Friday, July 18, 2008

Be Like Derren Part 5: Learn Some Mind-Reading Tricks

Even if you have no intention of becoming a stage performer, you can enjoy learning a few simple mind-reading tricks to entertain your friends. There are numerous mentalism books available in book stores.

I recently read Easy Mind-Reading Tricks by Robert Mandelberg. For a complete novice like myself, it is an excellent introduction to mentalism.

Before I began reading Mandelberg's book, I was afraid it would be loaded with transparent illusions. While the tricks are simple, however, they are not childish. Most of them really are impressive to an adult audience.

Here is a description of one of the effects, which is typical of those provided by Mandelberg (you will have to refer to the book to see how it is performed):

Page, Line, Word. The mentalist writes a word on a slip of paper and seals it in an envelope, which is entrusted to an audience member. A volunteer then writes down three numbers, which are intended to refer to the page, line, and word number of a word in a specific large book. A second volunteer takes these coordinates and locates them in the book. The mentalist's envelope is opened, revealing that he/she correctly predicted the word that would be chosen from the book.

Mandelberg provides helpful performance tips throughout, as well as observations about the techniques mentalists employ. Highly recommended for those who have never performed mind-reading tricks!

For more "Be Like Derren" info, see the list of Recommended Materials.

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