curtain call

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In Curtain Call, Barrie Richardson opens with the full details for his entire professional act, and follows up with dozens of wonderful tricks, routines and tools for the mentalist.


  • Barrie Richardson

    Photo: Janie Richardson

  • CurtainCall

    Illustrated byEarle Oakes

    Hermetic Press, Inc.Seattle, Washington

    Barrie Richardson

  • ContentsIntroductionDavid Berglas ixPreface xi

    Chapter I: A Banquet Program 1Choices Have Consequences 5

    Mesmers Pencil 13

    My Second Spot 21

    The Propensity to Be Influenced 26

    Quartet 34

    Concluding Thoughts 50

    An Unforgettable Night 51Chapter II: Mind to Mind 55Zebra2 59

    All Gone 67

    The Eye of the Target 71

    Giuoco Piano 81

    Eric Mason 85Chapter III: Intimate Mind Games 89Symbologic Revisited 93

    A Glimpse of Milton 100

    The Devils Dictionary 106

    Spoo-Key 111

    The Bhutan Key 119

  • Chapter IV: Card at Any Number 123Impromptu Card at Any Number (Close-up Version) 127

    Card at Any Number (for Platform Performance) 135

    David Berglas 139Chapter V: Modest Miracles with Business Cards 143Zinggs One-Handed Billet Switch 147

    A Color, a Number and a Letter 151

    Spooky Writing 153

    A Dessert and a First Love 155

    The Happy Peek 161

    The Triangle Peek 166

    Double Deception Billet Routine 170

    Anthony Blake 174Chapter VI: Osmosis 177The Osmosis Envelope 181

    The Happy Story 184

    Memories of the Sun and Moon 189

    Fourth Dimensional Osmosis 194

    Gil Eagles 200Chapter VII: Hidden Devices 205Devious Deck Switch 209

    The Click Switch 213

    Forcing Flip-Pad 217

    Slippery Jacks Side Steal 219

    The Strangers Trick 224

    The Bluff Riffle Force 227

    Derren Brown 233Chapter VIII: Water & Frost 237Birches 241

    Palmero Ranch 247

  • 71

    The Eye of the Target

    A few years back I contributed a routine called Mental Target Practice to Walt Lees fine magazine, The Magician (February 2005). Since then I have revised the handling.

    I took the core idea that makes this demonstration possible from Ted Annemanns Dead Name Duplication (published in 1932 as an install-ment in Thayers Trick of the Month Club). Orville Meyer took the idea further in Tervil, in the March 1939 issue of The Jinx (No. 54, p.383). Annemanns bold and wonderful idea is that a message he has written is secretly switched for another written by one of the participants. This persons message is given to someone else to read. Thought to be the performers message, it apparently matches the first persons. No one ever realizes that the participant has supplied the match for his own message!

    Billet switches are involved, and the switch I now use is one major change Ive made in the method. This switch is so deceptive and so versatile, I think you will like it. Rather than manipulation, an innocent-looking form of billet-switching rod does all the work.

    Billet-switching rods go back to the nineteenth century. Edwin Sachss may have been the first written description of one, where it is used to switch

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    Barrie Richardson

    half of a playing card. (See his Sleight of Hand, 1877; The Salamander Card or The Salamandrine Card, p. 187 in the common fifth edition.) I came up with the idea of adapting the concept to an unsuspicious common article frequently used in mentalisma pen. I contributed this switch to the September 2005 issue of Walt Lee's magazine, The Magician. Only later did I find out that Karrell Fox had had the same idea. (See Clever Like a Fox, 1976, p. 91.) However, Ive expanded the possibilities of the billet-switching pen. This tool has many uses and should receive wider interest than it has.

    This ten- to twelve-minute routine takes less than thirty seconds to prepare. What I have done is to develop the basic concept into a platform demonstration that involves the audience and makes the participants suc-cessful while leaving them astounded. Best of all, it is easy to do. There are no special props and the secret choreography is not difficult.

    I angle my presentation so that one of the participants discerns my thought, and another participant reads his counterparts thought. You do not have to do it that way. You might frame it as a straightforward prediction of a chosen word, followed by the divination of a number, both done by yourself. But I enjoy routines in which audience members are given the chance to demonstrate their own latent mental powers and are amazed by the outcome.

    Effect and Presentation: The performer explains to his audience that he is going to write something on the back of his business card. This will be the target for an experiment that is far from foolproof. But if we even get close, he asserts, it will still be remarkable. In any case, we will have some fun and you can all try it for yourselves on a rainy day at home!

    He proceeds to think for a few seconds. He then jots down a word on the card, lets several in the group see it, then folds it in quarters with the word inside and fixes it under the clip of his pen.

  • 73

    Curtain Call

    Asking a woman seated in the front row, on his left side, to help himwell call her Dorishe gives her the pen and isolated prediction to hold.

    He moves to face the central section of the audience. It is imperative that no one thinks there is any collusionand there absolutely is notso I would like you three women to elect one of you to be my helper.

    The women he has addressed choose Pam. The performer walks over and greets her with a smile. He then hands her a second business card and pen. Pam, I dont want anyone to see what you write on this card. So please, all you other inquisitive and creative peopledo not peek!

    No!And the book is in English?Yes!What is the name of the book you are thinking of ?Pam gives a title.Do you know, I thought you would select that book? Congratulations! Did

    you first think of ______? Here he names a current best-seller.Yes!Okay, we are ready for the experiment. Close your eyes. Imagine you are

    holding your chosen book. Open it. Pam, you can actually pretend to do this! Imagine the book on your lap. You are opening the coverGood!

    She may or may not choose to mime the actions.Now start turning the pages. You can turn several at a time if you like.

    Stop whenever you wishJust there? Do you want to move ahead or backward from that place?

    She is happy with where she has stopped.In your minds eye, imagine yourself looking down at the page number. There

    is one number on each page of the open book. Take your time and change your mind as often as you like. When you are ready, use your index finger, and in your imagination circle the page number. Look at that number and repeat it to yourself.

    Pam, now move your index finger in a large circle on your imaginary page. Make the circle smaller and smaller until it encloses just one word. The word is not one that will embarrass us; it is a common nounyou knowthe name of something like house, cow, skyscraper, computer or whatever! Can you see that

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    Barrie Richardson

    word clearly? Now open your eyes and print your thoughts on the little card clipped to the pen. You can spell the word, cant you?

    While she is doing this, the performer walks well away. He explains that the writing helps to commit her even more firmly, and provides a good way to audit the experiment.

    When Pam has finished writing, she refolds the billet, locking her thoughts inside it, and slips it back under the clip of her pen. Explaining that this will keep it secure, the performer has her point to someone she judges to be a man of integrity. She chooses John. The performer delivers her pen, with her billet mounted in plain view, to John and asks him to join him on the platform, where he stands at the performers right.

    Striding back to the center of the platform, the performer asks, Pam, did you get any sense that I was trying to lead you, using verbal suggestion?

    She shakes her head.I hope I didnt make you nervous! Lets see how well weve done.He turns to Doris, who is holding his pen with the billet on which hes

    written the target word. He gives this pen and billet to John. At the same time he relieves John of Pams billet and pen.

    Removing her billet from the pen clip, he holds it up. Pam, you strolled in your mind through a large book store, chose any book you liked and any page in that book. I asked you to think of any word on that imaginary pageand of hundreds of thousands of words, you chose... He opens Pams billet and reads her word to himself.

    Pam, now there are two persons who know the target word you selected. I want to make this experiment more memorable, so I will whisper your word to two women in the audience. He steps from the platform and chooses a woman seated on the left side of the audience, another on the right side, and whispers Pams word to each of them.

    Returning to the platform, he says, Now four of us know Pams word.John, will you please open my target card? Study it. In a few seconds I am

    going to ask you to broadcast to the entire audience the word on my target card.My whispering partners, please stand. Pam, will you stand also?When John announces my target word, if it is Pams selection, I want you

    to demonstrate this is right by doing one and only one thing. Remain perfectly still until I clap my hands. If it is the correct word, take your seat. Otherwise, remain standing.

    John, are you ready? The performer nods and John states the word: Photograph.

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    Curtain Call

    There is a pause. The performer claps his hands...And the women all sit down! There is stunned silence; then applause.The performer motions for everyones attention.Pam, you are wonderful and I hope your husband appreciates you. Pam,

    would you help with one more experiment? I want you to reverse the experi-ment.


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