Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mentalist Book Test

Effect - The magician gives the spectator a sealed envelop to hold for safe keeping, pronouncing that he has made a prediction which is contained within. The spectator signs the envelope, to ensure that no switches will take place, and then he stores the envelope away in his pocket, or some other safe place. The magician then holds out three books, and offers the spectator to select one of them. Having selected his book, the magician then riffles down the pages and instructs the spectator to call out “STOP” on any page he chooses. Once the spectator has stopped the magician, the magician turns his back as to not see or glimpse anything, and instructs the spectator to memorize the page number he stopped on, and also to remember a single word from the top line of that page. After the spectator remembers the word and the page, he closes the book and instructs the magician to turn back around. The magician gazes into the spectators eyes, and, with what appears to be genuine mind reading, he not only tells the spectator what page he stopped on, but the word he was thinking of! BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Now is the truly magical part! The magician instructs the spectator to turn to the page he selected in his book. The spectator tries to turn to that page, but it’s missing! The page the spectator selected, and only that page, has been torn out of the book! The magician backs away, as to insure that no sleight of hand or other form trickery will take place, and instructs the spectator to take out the envelope that was given to him and was signed before the effect began. He takes it out and opens it, to find that the page he selected was sealed in the envelope the entire time! Not only that, but the page matches up PERFECTLY with the one torn out of the

Preparation - To prepare for this effect, you will need two copies of the same paperback book. The books need to have a relatively large amount of pages, between 200 and 300 works perfectly. The size of the books needs to not be too big, although you can do it with any sized book, it makes it harder to effectively pull of a switch that you will need to do later on if they’re too big. The perfect size is about 6 or 7 inches tall, and about 4 inches wide. Good ones to use are those old romantic novels that your grandmother or mom always reads and gets for a buck at the local dollar store. Now, preparing the books. A very clever thing you can do is to give the books a distinctive mark, such as a creased corner, or a slight tear on the cover, but to do it on BOTH of them. If the spectator remembers this mark from before, it makes the effect seem all the more powerful and impossible. From one of these books, you need to select a page a little bit past the middle of the book, and one that has ONLY one large word on the first line of that page. Once you have found a page, tear it out. When you’re tearing out the page, make sure to leave distinctive, jagged rip marks all along the edges, so that when you match up the page later, it shows a perfect fit. After you have torn out the page, fold it neatly into either quarters or eighths, and place it inside an envelope and seal it in. Also, it’s not necessary, but it definitely adds to the suspense of the effect if you put ANOTHER envelope over top of the one containing the torn out page and seal it. That way, they have to go through two envelopes to get to the page, and it not only makes things seem even more impossible, but also more magical.

Next, go get a playing card, or anything that acts as a bookmark, and mark the page number, but in the one that WASN’T torn out. Now, go get two other books, but different ones than before. What these books are or look like doesn’t matter in the least. Now, take the duplicate book with the page torn out, and place it in your jacket pocket, or one of your back pockets, or tuck it into the back of your pants, and cover it with your shirt, where you can easily access it, but no one can see. Next, take the duplicate book with the page still in it, and put it in the middle of the other two books, so you have a stack of three books, with the duplicate being in the middle. That’s all for the preparation!

Presentation - The first part of presenting this effect is making sure that the spectator, and everyone watching in the audience, knows that an envelope switch is absolutely impossible. Declare that you’ve made a prediction which you won’t reveal until later, and have the spectator sign the envelope. If you get 3 or 4 spectators to sign the envelope instead of just one, it makes the effect even better. Next, give it to one of the spectators to store away and hold for safekeeping. A subtlety on this is to make sure to give it to the spectator that stands the furthest away from you, which makes the climax of the effect seem even more impossible. After the envelope has been stored away, pick up your stack of books, and have a spectator select the duplicate book. The way this is done is with the magician’s force. In case you aren’t familiar with it, I’ll briefly describe what it is. You invite a spectator to take a book. If they take your force book, great, that’s the end, just sit the other two books aside. If they take either of the other books, tell them that you needed to eliminate one, and have them sit that one down away from the other two, and then invite them to take another. If they take the force book, sit the book you’re left holding down on top of the other book they selected so you’re left with only the force book, and if they take the other, instruct them to place it down with the other one, so you’re still only left with your force book. After they have selected your force book, get a pinky break at the you’re going to force, and casually let the book mark fall out. This adds to the effect that the book isn’t anything special, it’s just a book you happened to grab on your way out. Keeping a pinky break, tell them that you’re going to riffle through the pages, and instruct them to call out “STOP” at whichever page they like. As you riffle through the pages with the thumb on the same hand you’re keeping the break with, time it so that they call out stop as you’re getting near the middle of the book. As soon as they call out stop, pick up the page AT YOUR BREAK, and NOT where they called stop. Timed properly, this looks exactly like ou just opened the book where they called out stop at. As you’re opening the book, tilt the book
towards them so they can see the page they stopped at, and cover up the page opposite it, so that they don’t mistakenly think THAT is their page.

Turn your head away as you’re doing this to insure that no one thinks you peeked at the page. Tell them to memorize the page number they stopped at, and also instruct them to think of a “fairly long” word from the first line of that page. As soon as they tell you that they memorized it, instruct them to close the book, and then turn back around. Look them directly into their eyes as soon as you turn back around, reach out your arm and casually take the book back from them, and place it in your jacket pocket (or wherever you hid the other duplicate book). Do this very casually, like the book doesn’t matter at all anymore, concentrate entirely on them. Pretend to be reading their mind, as you slowly reveal the name of the page they elected. Then, slowly just like before, reveal the word they thought of. By this time, most people will have forgotten about the envelope and will have thought the effect has ended. Use this opportunity to reach into your pocket and remove the duplicate book WITH the page torn out of it. Remind them that they could have stopped you on any page they wanted. Once they agree, hand them the book, and tell them to turn to the page they selected. To their surprise, the page is missing! Now, take a few steps back, and instruct them to take out the envelope that you gave them before the effect began. Once they do, have everyone verify their signatures on the envelope, and have them examine it to make sure that it hasn’t been tampered with in any way. Once they all agree, tell them to open it. After they open the envelope and find their page inside it, wait for the reactions to calm down slightly, and then have them match up the torn out page to the page in the book to show that it fits PERFECTLY.