Here’s a little mentalism trick that’s Christmas themed!
Effect: You show five pictures of Christmas things and someone thinks of one of them. You read their mind and tell them what they’re thinking of.
This is simply a progressive anagram. Using the chart below you say letters, one at a time, and if the letter is in what they are thinking of, you move down the list and if it isn’t you move to the right.
The nice think about this list is that you can only get one NO answer before you know the work they’re thinking of.
Personally if I was to do this, I would have an index of the different options, and have a physical prediction, or something like a modified Six Outs by Blake Vogt with only five outs.
About a month ago I picked up two Richard Osterlind books. I got The Principles of Magic and The Principles of Mentalism. These books look like they’ve been out for a while, I think the magic one had a copyright date of 2005 and the mentalism one a few years newer.
These books are filled with short thoughts on different aspects of performing. Usually these little essays about about a page and a half to two pages. Richard gets the information across, but it’s a pretty much just the facts. He doesn’t go too deep into much of it, but it’s a starting point to get you thinking about different aspects of how you perform.
I’d say these books are targeted towards someone who is going from performing for family and friends to maybe trying to do a show, or just starting doing formal shows. If that’s you, pick up a copy of the one that’s appropriate to what you do.
In yesterday’s blog post about progressive anagrams, I mentioned a good way to use them for internet shows without any memory work. That doesn’t solve the problem of people not knowing how to spell words. The easy way is to use simple, common words, and not things like astrological signs like, “Sagittarius” which took me 4 tries to correctly spell it before I did a web search to figure it out just now.
The next problem and what I think is the biggest weakness is when you get the letters wrong. There are some instances where you will get no letters wrong, but you can’t count on that. There are also some where you’ll only get one wrong and immediately know the word, which is the problem. It feels like you are doing exactly what you are doing, figuring out the word by the letters.
To remove the idea that you’re just guess based on the letters, you need a prediction. Something physical to show that you knew it all along. This could be a written prediction, or whatever. A simple solution (depending on your words) would be a nail writer. Another easy way would be an index of the words, or multiple out set up.
What the prediction does is makes it harder to backtrack the method. If people talk after the show it ends up being, “If he was just guessing, then how did the prediction match what I was thinking of?” Taking it a step further makes it a more solid trick!
A friend of mine who is a mentalist from Ireland is in town and we had coffee yesterday. We were chatting about mentalism and the struggles to make it play big. One of the things he showed me was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen this year (more on this in a minute). Part of … Continue reading “Adding Texture to Predictions…”
A friend of mine who is a mentalist from Ireland is in town and we had coffee yesterday. We were chatting about mentalism and the struggles to make it play big. One of the things he showed me was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen this year (more on this in a minute).
Part of the challenge of mentalism is you need normal-ish looking props. Once you know make a die 24 inches big, or use a calculator that’s build for bigfoot, you lose what makes mentalism great, which is the lack of propy props.
This is an amazing way to force one object out of five that feels very free and has some theatrical build up to it as well.
My idea is to borrow five different objects from people in the audience. You introduce a padded envelope that has your prediction in it. They give you a number, let’s say it is 28. You count to that number per the Quinta Force and let’s say we end up on a cellphone. You open the envelope and inside is a cellphone…then for the kicker on the back written in marker in giant numbers is 28!
I haven’t finished reading the book, so someone may have thought of this already.
That’s something that will play fairly large, I guess it could be done with paper prediction that unfolded into a large display. My thinking was to try to get away from a printed prediction as that’s fairly common way to reveal things and I wanted something that would add some texture to the show.