by: Andrew R. Canning
Few things impress people as much as seeing a well performed Magic Trick - especially when it is done without apparatus or preparation. Mentalism is one of the more impressive types of Magic Trick and the one I'm about to reveal is so easy to learn that you'll be performing it tomorrow! Or even tonight!
There are two important rules for learning Magic Tricks -
1. Practice before you perform. Get it right. Work out your patter and learn it off by heart.
2. NEVER tell your audience how it was done!
To learn this Magic Trick you only need to remember a few things and develop a 'patter'; a way to perform it.
You have an audience of at least six, preferably a dozen - though it could be performed for as many as you like - provided you can give them all paper and pencils. You tell them that you are going to project your thoughts into their minds.
They must write down the thought as soon as you tell them to - write down the first thing that comes into their head, without trying to think about it (transmitted thought is fragile and too much of their own brain activity will wipe it out).
"We'll start," you tell them, "with an easy one. Get ready to write it down ... a single digit number; a number between 1 and 9 - NOW!"
You write on your piece of paper; the number 7.
"Now we'll try a word. What I want you to write this time, is the name of ... a vegetable - NOW!"
You write on your piece of paper; the word CARROT.
"Another word. This time I want you to write down the name of ... an animal that lives in the jungle - NOW!"
You write on your piece of paper; the word LION. (Trust me; I know they don't live in the jungle, but this works!)
"Let's go back to numbers. This time it is a 2 digit number with two different digits (i.e. not 11 or 22). I want you to write down an odd number between ... 10 and 50 - NOW!"
You write on your piece of paper; the number 37
"OK. One more number. Again a 2 digit number, an even number with 2 different digits. I want you to write down an even number between ... 50 and 99 - NOW!"
You write on your piece of paper; the number 68.
When everyone has written their last number, you display your paper and get them to compare their answers. More than half the answers will match your 'prediction'.
Well, not everyone is receptive to thought transference, and for those that are, it is an intermittent thing and they will not receive every thought accurately. Those that thought too much before writing it down may have scrambled the transmitted thought.
Do not repeat this trick for the same audience - when they find you are using exactly the same numbers and words each time, they will smell a rat!
In fact most people under the given conditions will come up with those numbers and words. Why? Dunno. Must be the way the human mind is wired.
Note. When doing the 2 digit numbers, always pause where I put in the 3 dots - as this helps to clear their minds of any number they were thinking of up to that point; they don't know what you are going to say next, so it blanks the mind.
If you decide only to use the numbers, I would do the single digit last. When you've just written down '7', being told to write a 2 digit number, you are going to avoid using 7 again. Moving the 7 to the last slot means there is 68 between it and 37.
To learn this Magic trick all you have to remember is 3 numbers and 2 words. Easy isn't it? Your victims - sorry, audience - will be spell-bound with amazement.
There are many Magic Tricks you can learn that are just as easy as this to perform and just as impressive. My own preference is for Magic tricks that can be performed with borrowed objects so that the audience doesn't suspect that you are using special gimmicks - even though, often, you are.