Banachek - Unlimited

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TABLE OF CONTENTS I Will Never Forget It������������������������������������������������1 The Tools of the Trade�����������������������������������������������3 Pencil It In�������������������������������������������������������������3 Writing Tools���������������������������������������������������������3 Writing Tablets�����������������������������������������������������������4 Hotel Key Post-It tm Writing Tablet���������������������4 Business Card Writing-Tablet������������������������������4 Tablet Placement���������������������������������������������������5 The Setup����������������������������������������������������������������5 The Pencil Is Mightier Than the Pen����������������������6 Magician’s Thinking���������������������������������������������������7 Clothes��������������������������������������������������������������������8 Subtleties Of The Trade��������������������������������������������9 Congruency�����������������������������������������������������������9 Concealment�������������������������������������������������������10 ConJacketment����������������������������������������������������10 Blocking���������������������������������������������������������������11 Directing��������������������������������������������������������������11 Pliant���������������������������������������������������������������������12 Writing Subtleties Shortcuts������������������������������12 Entschuldigung���������������������������������������������������12 Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia���������13 Locality�����������������������������������������������������������������������14 Shirt Pocket����������������������������������������������������������14 Wallet��������������������������������������������������������������������14 Envelope Slit��������������������������������������������������������15 The Ostin Clip�����������������������������������������������������15 The Mason Jar with Ostin Clip��������������������������15 Billet Switches������������������������������������������������������15

How Big Does A Prediction Need To Be?������������16 Routines���������������������������������������������������������������������17 The PW Add-A-Number�����������������������������������17 The Trade Show Incapacitator����������������������������19 Cell Phone Ring Saver����������������������������������������20 Chair Prediction��������������������������������������������������21 All in a Name�������������������������������������������������������22 Garage Talk����������������������������������������������������������23 Room Service������������������������������������������������������25 The Photograph���������������������������������������������������27 Al Baker’s Chicken Feed������������������������������������27 The Al Baker Switch�������������������������������������������28 Watch This�����������������������������������������������������������29 In Case of Mistakes������������������������������������������������30 The Challenge������������������������������������������������������30 I’m a PHD������������������������������������������������������������30 Closing Bits and Pieces�������������������������������������������31

I WILL NEVER FORGET IT D occ Hilford’s Weerd Weekend in 1994. I had attended Tony Andruzzi’s events before, but it had been a little while since I had attended any such group of bizarre of mentalist get together. It was at this event that I lectured on my PK Touches, showing different ways to create the time and space effect that has since become a classic in almost all mentalist and magicians staple of go-to-effects to perform impromptu, on stage or during walk around events. I had believed, (not hanging around most magicians or mentalists) that this tool I am going to teach here was already just such a tool, something that all mentalists and magicians used. Boy was I in for a shock. It was at this same convention that I taught Richard Webster and Docc Hilford some of my metal bending techniques. Then I tried one more thing for them. I performed what developed into what I believe to be the first ever invisible book tests. At the time, it utilized what was currently the newest computer gizmo, the Electronic Pocket Rolodex. This was a handy dandy new tool that allowed you to enter all your phone numbers and contact’s information. It was wonderful and we did not care that it did not have a flash drive. When the batteries went dead, you removed them, replaced them and re-entered all of your contact’s information again. And you were happy to, all for the comfort of knowing you could take your phone numbers with you when you left home. How life has changed. Shortly after, Pocket Electronic Dictionaries came on the market, now known as PED’s. My routine fell into place. The same routine I performed for Docc and a few other top name mentalists on that eventful day.

I pretended to remove something from my pocket with great care. I asked Docc to hold out his hand palm up. I gently placed this item on his open hand. “Be careful, it’s invisible and very rare. Do you know what it is?” Docc had no idea, and why should he? “It’s an invisible Palm-top Computer.” *NOTE: At the time I referred to it as an electronic dictionary. Later, as well as now, we have palm computers. I made a motion with my left index finger into my right hand as I asked him to: “Please turn it on.” I knew that by miming the action Docc would imitate exactly what I had just pantomimed. He did as requested, pretending to hit a button. “Oh, sorry you have to open it up first.” I made an opening motion with my hands encouraging Docc to copy my actions again. Docc and the others in attendance chuckled nervously. Docc opened the invisible dictionary and again pretended to hit the button. “Now down on the bottom there is a button that says DIC,” a chuckle from the boys for some unknown reason, “It is short for dictionary. Please hit that.” Docc did just as requested. “I took all the original words out of that dictionary and put my own favorite words, all seven letters or less, there are 300 words, all seven letters or less. I have names, places, things and even a few words that are not so nice. Name a number from one to nine.” Docc named two. “Name another number from zero to nine.” Docc named six. 1

“Punch that in please...and finally, name another number from zero to nine.” This time Doc named seven. “So you entered two hundred and sixty-seven. Please hit the enter button and a word will come up, it will be seven letters or less. Let me know when you see it.” Docc played along and told me he saw a word. I asked for the word and he stated it was “Damien” “Ah, yes, one of my favorite names. Do me a favor, would you please show it to Richard.” Docc carefully handed the invisible contraption it to Richard. “Richard, do you see the word Damien?” Richard being the good guy he is played along as well, “Yes I do,” he stated. “You’re just as crazy as Docc.” This brought a good laugh from the few present. “Docc, please close the computer. I will get it from you later. Earlier today I wrote something down upon a piece of paper, I was not looking as I was doing it, in fact I was doodling. Doodling is when you let your subconscious take over and you scribble as you relax. Sometimes you draw a picture, sometimes you shade or scribble words. When I was doing this I was thinking about what word you would choose from my invisible palmtop. In fact here it is.” At that point I reached into my top shirt pocket, I removed a few items that where in there, reaching into the bottom of my pocket with my very empty hand. Between my index finger and ring finger I removed a folded business card and handed it to Doc. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. “As said, I was doodling and scribbling, not sure how neat it is but surely you can make it out, go ahead open it up.” Docc, being the performer he is, kept his composure enough to open the folded card with anticipation and showmanship. When he saw what was written upon it he broke out into laughter. Richard and others clamored in to see what was on the card.


I assumed that everyone in attendance would know “HOW???” But they did not. The tool I had assumed every mentalist used was overlooked by most. They all knew about it but had simply overlooked it for other tools. When I revealed how, they all smiled. Not one of them had caught it and not one had really thought this tool worthy of time and effort until that moment. After I left Weerd Weekend I started to ponder upon why so few mentalists ever used this tool A few people from that meeting called to ask for pointers. A few other people I had shown the method to do told me that the few times they had tried to use this tool they had a hard time getting away with it and had been caught. This made me think more about exactly what it was that I was doing different, what gave me confidence to use this tool all the time? Over time I realized many of the simple things that came instinctively to me, all the little subtleties (there is that word again) that gave me an advantage and allowed me to use this old tool on stage, close up, on radio and TV and in almost every situation except when I was naked. I am going to share that information with you here. You will benefit from my years of experience and I think you will find this tool far outweighs most secret writing tools that are out there. Plus you can find the necessary items for this tool almost anywhere anytime. So what is this tool? First let me state that I like this tool for one other reason, the name of it is what it is. In a day and age of creative titles that sound like a song named by the Goo Goo Dolls (Iris being an example of a song that has nothing to do with an eye or flower or camera), in a day and age where people name tricks and methods after hotel room numbers, old girlfriends, unusual words or mental conditions, this tool is named exactly what it is..... POCKET-WRITING! Yes, you write in your pocket. Sounds simple enough right? But therein lies the rub. If you just simply write in your pocket, you will probably get caught. You need to understand the tools, the subtleties and how to present the tool correctly, and more importantly, when you Pocket-Write, you need NOT to think like a magician.

Those present floored me as much as I had floored them with the utterance of one word, a question if you will: “HOW???” 2

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE PENCIL IT IN A simple way to explain it would be to tell you that you need a writing surface and a writing tool you can use in your pocket. That would oversimplify it, but it is the truth. The size of the writing tool, the size and access of the paper used will all make your experience a wonderful one and successful. But that is not to say that in a pinch you cannot use any piece of paper and find the right writing tool you need. But the proper way to use these items this will come with experience using the proper tools up front.

WRITING TOOLS First thing you will need is a writing tool. Now I like to recycle items I use in my show. I use golf pencils for most of my performances, so they are easily accessible but any pencil will work. Some are better than others. The perfect pencil is a golf pencil that does not have a long sharp point. Use one that has a shorter rounder point. IMPORTANT: You will want to make sure you dull the point. If it is too sharp the point could break off when you are writing. This will also allow for smooth writing which will be the same result when point or any side of the pencil makes contact as it writes. Carrying a good dual pencil sharpener will help. But still dull the point after.

It is also possible to use a cut down crayon. A black crayon can look like a sharpie. Now as to the size of the pencil. I simply take a golf pencil and break it. Make sure the broken end feels different from the point end. Sometimes I will take the time to cut the pencil to size. But the most important thing is to have it comfortable to hold in my pocket. Small enough so it does not look as if I am doing something in my pocket someone should not be doing in public. Now usually people will often say bigger is better, but in this instance it is not. I have played with various size pencils through the years, and I find that about a centimeter or two in size is perfect. This is just big enough to hold yet small enough to not take space in my pocket when I write. Now I usually make two or three of these just in case one ever breaks; however, I have never had a point break due to the fact I smooth the points down ahead of time by writing till they wear down. I cannot stress this tip (pun intended) enough. Now before you get ahead of yourself and say, “Wow, I would like to write in pen,” let me warn you, you are not the first to think of this and I will cover why you should not do this later. If you still insist pen would be nice, I will let you know what you can do instead to make it seem it is written in pen. But for now, stay with the tools I am describing.



Once in place I fold the top piece in half once and open it back out to create a crease. Do not be influenced to fold more than once; I will cover that later. The reason I use Post-it™ note glue or repositionable glue, or removable glue stick rather than regular glue is so I can remove it later when I get down to the last sheet and stick a new stack of sheets or cards in place. The small amount on the back of the sheets will not hold it firmly in place for a long period of time. This is why you cover the entire back. It is possible in a pinch to simply use a stack of Post-it™ notes. The issue comes when you get down to the last few pages/cards as the backing is not sturdy enough for you to write upon. The great thing about Post-It™ notes, is that when folded, they seal themselves.

BUSINESS CARD WRITING-TABLET Inside your pocket you will need a writing surface. This is not the actual item you will be writing upon but the surface that the papers, cards or such will be set upon. I will describe two. This first one I use all the time. It consists of a hotel key. You only need one. Next you will need something to write upon. I use Post-it™ Note pads. Now, the perfect size for a hotel key is the 656 100 sheets that are 51mm by 76mm. These seem recently rare to come by in the USA, but you can see in the picture how well they fit. I remove the back cover and use a Post-it™ note glue stick or repositionable glue stick (same thing different brands) and cover the back sheet with glue. I only use a half of the stack at a time. I then press it firmly to the hotel key with the open end towards the edge of the key.

This is the first writing tablet I used for many years prior to inventing a few others. In fact, it was my first attempt at a permanent board in my pocket and I still use it when working walk around mentalism at corporate functions, trade shows, or restaurants as it allows me to hand out my business cards. One word of caution, you do not want to use glossy cards for Pocket-Writing as pencils often do not write well on them. A good card stock or linen finish works well but double check before you get a bunch of cards made up for your business card writing tablet. As said, I like to recycle items I use in a show, so I keep the cardboard backing of my 3 by 5 sheets of paper used in my Q&A routine. I cut them down to a size about 4 millimeters or so wider than the width of the business cards and about two inches longer. Then I place a business card on the cardboard and cut two slots just before the end of the business card. In fact you can get closer to the end of the card than 4

TABLET PLACEMENT Cards placed upon backing, 2 rubberbands hold in place.

Cardboard backing with slots

Writing on either of these ‘tablets’ is pretty much going to be set up the same way, they just sit in your pocket waiting to be used. As stated, the business card tablet goes in your pocket with the extra extended piece toward the bottom of your pocket. In both instances, you will be folding the Post-It™ Note down towards the bottom of your pocket and pulling out up towards the opening of your pocket.

THE SETUP Stack of approx. 12 business cards pre-folded in half

you see in the picture. The closer the rubber bands are to the end of the cards, the easier it will be to remove the card later. Next I take a stack of about 12 business cards, prefold them in half and open them up. I then arrange them in a stack and I place them on the cardboard. Now I put two rubber bands around the stack and the cardboard tablet between the slots holding the cards in place. Two bands in case one breaks over time. Again, do not be influenced into folding more than once. I will explain later. Also make sure the bands are not too tight. This set up will go into your pocket with the extra two inches at the bottom of the pocket. The idea is that the extra two inches of card will help keep the business cards up higher in your pocket for you and make it easier to position the tablet for writing.

Prior to placing the tablet in your pocket, you will want to drop a few Pocket- Writing pencils in your pocket, two or three will be fine. These simply sit in the bottom of your pocket waiting for the moment you need them. When ready to write, you reach in your pocket and pick up a pencil between your thumb and forefinger. You pull the tablet up to a comfortable position in your pocket and hold in place with your middle, ring and the digitus minimus (more commonly known as the pinky) fingers. When ready to write, simply write the info on the papers/cards. When done, drop the pencil, grab the top sheet, fold down, pull off or out of the bands and fold again the other way. Once you have removed the sheet and shown your prediction you are ready to go again. I will often fold the second Post-It™ Note in half in my pocket as I move to the next table resetting it all again. I warn once more, do not prefold twice.


THE PENCIL IS MIGHTIER THAN THE PEN I n 1965, engineer Paul C. Fisher patented a new pen design that changed the way Astronauts write in outer space. His Fisher Pen Company reportedly spent one million dollars of its own money to develop what was first called the “Anti-Gravity” Space Pen, and later simply the “Space Pen.” Fisher happened to perfect his invention around the time that NASA had its $128 pencil problem, so Fisher capitalized on that bad press and publicized his heavy-duty pen as the obvious solution. And it worked. Now what was that $128.00 problem? Well urban legend states that the US spent millions of dollars developing a space pen while the Soviets used a pencil. The problem being that without gravity, a regular pen does not want to write due to no pressure on the ink. If you have ever tried to write upside down with a pen, you quickly find that it will stop writing after a short period of time. Anyway, this story is not exactly true. As you can see, the US Space program did not spend money developing a pen, it was done privately by the Fisher company and they used the fact it could write in outer space to sell the pen and still later a “Space Pen” was used on the Russian

space station Mir in the mid-1990s for a promotion on QVC, as the first product “sold from space.”) Smart advertising. In fact, both the US and the Soviets ended up using the pen, but prior, both started out using a pencil, however, there was a problem. Pencil points tend to break, so the Soviets started to use grease pencils (same type I use in my Banachek Bandwriters) and the US started to use mechanical pencils and they were paying $128 per pencil. Now you might ask yourself what is the problem with a pencil breaking off? Well if you are in outer space, that little bit of graphite floating around the craft can get into any of the machinery or electronics or even in someone’s eye. On top of that, there is an issue with anything flammable, especially after the fire on Apollo 1. The US decided to cut down on anything flammable and that included every pencil, lead or grease. So they went to the Fisher Space Pen. A pen with a pressurized nitrogen cartridge that forced the ink to flow and an ink flash-point of around 200° C. NASA paid just $2.39 per pen with an order of 400 pens in 1968 and the Soviets purchased 100 pens and Fisher


got to use the “Used in Outer Space for their add campaign. Now you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Pocket-Writing? The answer is everything. There is not a single wide eyed mentalist that has not hit upon the idea of, “Oh, I will make the first Pen-Pocket-Writer.” Trust me, if you think this at any point you are not the first. Many have been made, and still others have sought to market them only to find out quickly that people return them. Money and time is lost. You see, if you write in your pocket, you tend to write with the point up and the end of the pen at an angle down. Gravity is not your friend. On top of that, due to the pen being much shorter to enable writing in your pocket, after a much shorter period of time the pen runs out of ink.

There is nothing worse than bringing a prediction out, opening it and you have a blank piece of paper. “Oops, in my excitement I forgot to write my prediction, I promise it was correct!” If you insist on writing in ink, then I suggest you use a dark blue pencil. Since your spectators have nothing to compare the writing to, it will look as if it was written in ink. Which brings me to Magician’s-Thinking...

MAGICIAN’S THINKING A nother idea, usually brought up by magicians who start to do mentalism and who start to do Pocket-Writing, is the thought that the writing should match in style and ink/pencil-type as the other writing instruments used in the actual show. I disagree. Don’t misunderstand me, if it matches, great, but really YOU the entertainer will be the ONLY ONE thinking about this. As magicians and even mentalists we often over-think our effects, sometimes to

the detriment of the power the effect could have had on the audience members. Let me give an example. Heidemarie is sitting with a group of friends. I approach: “Hi, my name is Banachek and what I do is read minds, let me take about two minutes of your time and show you.” Now Heidemarie and her friends are intrigued, plus I am only going to, “Take a few minutes,” so what is there to lose? This could be interesting...


“Do you know what this is? It is your future, there is no money inside but it is your immediate future and soon it will be something completely different. Hold out your hand.” I place a wallet upon her hand. “Don’t open it. I am going to ask you a few personal questions, but not too personal. What is your favorite ice-cream?” She answers “Rum Raisin”. “Anything on it or just plain?” Again she answers. At this point I am simply getting her to relax, I ask one or two more innocent questions then go in for the kill. “Okay, this one is important. What was the name of the first person you ever kissed?” “Shemar,” she responds. I ask if anyone else there knew that. Usually the response would be “No.” If “Yes,” I ask that person if we ever spoke before and if anyone else knew that. I want to make it clear, yet in a subtle way that there is no way I could have known that without saying those words yet. This also gives me time to start to pocket write the name and do it while all attention is on the people I am asking these questions to. All eyes are on them as they respond so all eyes are off me. Next I ask: “What month were you born in?” She responds with, “April.” I state, “April, that is the fourth month right?” This allows me to write a 4 as she responds (again attention is on them) and gives me time to do so. “When in April?” “April the 22nd,” She replies. I then ask, “Did anyone else here know that?” Again if someone responds I point out that they and I have never spoken. If no one then I might quip, “So now you know and have no reason not to buy her a gift on April, 22nd.” This again puts the attention upon the people, gives me time to write and gives me time to fold and remove the prediction. At this time I also point out I was doodling earlier or some other excuse for why the writing may be bad (See Cacography) as I was looking over at them and the fact that the wallet was her future but is now her past. Oh and did you notice because I repeat the date, everyone remembers it again? Now lets jump ahead as I will cover a lot of this again later. When I remove the prediction from the wallet, as they open the folded paper and see that written upon

the paper that has been sitting in view the whole time (at least they think so), there is not a single person there who is wondering, “Wait, I have seen him writing in pen all night as he walked around, but this is written in pencil.” Not a single person. They are all so blown away by what is on the paper that the type of writing instrument used is the last thing on their mind. Trust me, I have been Pocket-Writing since 1976 and this is July 2014. Thirty-eight years of Pocket-Writing and not a single person has ever pointed out the discrepancy. There was a point I was working six restaurants a week, sometimes two a night, hitting table after table. I have Pocket-Written at trade shows, five shows an hour. I have Pocket-Written on stage, close up, in parlor situations and not once has anybody ever pointed out this prediction was written in something other than what I was using in the show. And why should they? Number one: they are focused on the how the heck could I have know what they were going to say, and number two: in most instances the prediction was made earlier so why would I not have used a different writing instrument. To think otherwise would be magician’s guilt. Lose the guilt if in the moment you want your presentation to look as real as possible. (Let me be clear for those who will nit pick, this is not a statement saying you should or should not use a disclaimer, I am talking about in the moment of the performance piece). But again, for those who insist it should be so, use a colored pencil to simulate pen or a black crayon to simulate a marker.

CLOTHES It should go without saying, loose pants are better than tight. One can do it in jeans but they need to be loose fitting especially around the pocket. I have written in tighter jeans but it is not easy and I would not recommend it. It is also possible to write in your coat pocket. I have also pinned a pad under my arms and written with my arms crossed but this was for a specific routine and with my back turned to the audience members.


SUBTLETIES OF THE TRADE S o now you know the tools. Look at the picture below and tell me who is using the proper technique for Pocket-Writing and who will get caught? It is definitely not number six. But who else and why. Can you pick them? Yes I said them? There are a few here who would get away with it and for different reasons.

bright signal beacon that something is going on in your pocket. Microsoft’s Bill Gates would be a great pocket writer. In almost every picture you see of him, his hands are in his pocket. Even to the detriment of good grace. In fact in 2008 Mr. Gates hit all the newspapers when he shook hands with South Korea’s 8th President and 2001 Noble Peace prize recipient Kim Dae-jung using two hands but gave what was reported as a “disrespectful handshake” to 10th President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea, and again in May 2013 a “disrespectful” hand in pocket handshake to South Korea’s 11th President GuenHye... and they felt it was done on purpose. A onehand shake is often seen as disrespectful in South Korea and parts of Asia, and is normally reserved for someone younger or a good friend. Doing it with your other hand in your pocket is even worse. Now, Bill Gates should have realized or been told that there is an appropriate way to meet leaders of State.

CONGRUENCY The first and most important thing is that your body language must have a state of consistency for Pocket-Writing. If your hands go to your pocket when you Pocket-Write and only go to your pocket when you do so, then you will be sending a clear and


The report that he did it on purpose is not true. In fact, I suspect it was the reverse since in almost all of Bill’s pictures online he can be seen giving this hands in pocket handshake to many people he liked. Bill Gates is a powerful yet casual person, and as time went by I am sure he simply felt relaxed. Customs are customs but it is important that when it comes to Pocket-Writing, you have to set up a standard for your Pocket-Writing body language. When I perform a center tear, if you watch my PSI series of DVD’s you will see I set up the idea I stand with my hands behind my back long before I need to do so in order to tear up the “evidence” even smaller. If my hands went behind my back only in the moment I was tearing up the evidence, then it would seem suspicious. The same when it comes to Pocket-Writing. Before as well as after Pocket-Writing, I have my hands in my pocket. Once in France, I was teaching Pocket-Writing. At the end I asked if anyone had any questions. One good looking gentleman stated, “In our country, it is rude to have your hands in your pockets.” I simply stood, smiled and waited, slowly the room started to chuckle, then they all started to turn to the gentleman who had just made that statement and grins took over their faces. All eyes were on him, finally and everyone in the room started to laugh. He had his hands in his pockets as he was making the statement. I was able to point out that in this day and age, people have become much more casual, and yes there are certain situations that it can be appear to be rude, as in the Bill Gates fiasco, but overall it is accepted in our society, especially if you have set it up as part of your usual body language. Congruency in body language is the key.




I like to wear a suit jacket when performing Pocket-Writing. Wearing a suit allows me to use the jacket for cover when writing. The front area of my jacket conceals that there is any movement in my pocket. Bill Gates is definitely going to telegraph he is writing in that picture due to the fact his writing hand is facing the audience. President bush might get away with it if he is writing with his left hand due to the fact his body is hiding that hand and the fact that both hands are in the pockets, on the other hand I like to write with one hand in my pocket but for setting up Pocket-Writing, I will often put both hands in my pockets, and remove one, gesture with it, place it back in my pocket and remove the other and gesture. Switching between hands from time to time and sometimes leaving just one hand in my pocket as I speak. Finally settling upon one hand in my pocket to write. So of the presidents pictured, who would be the best pocket writer? If you picked President Obama, you are correct.

CONCEALMENT To the right are three US Presidents: Bush Senior, Barack Obama and President/CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates. Look carefully and tell me who would get away with Pocket-Writing more often if they were Pocket-Writing?

President Bush SR

President Obama

Bill Gates


BLOCKING Another point to take from the above is if writing on stage and if Pocket-Writing in your right pocket, you will want to face to your right using your body to block the writing (do the opposite if left handed). I will also often have the person on stage point to an audience member seated to stage right and we speak and get info from them. This way I can use the positioning of my body on stage and also the use the person on stage to block my right hand in my pocket (for more clarity see the add-a-number effect herein.) On top of that, all eyes go to the person in the audience especially if that person is standing and responding to questions.

DIRECTING As already mentioned, but can never be emphasized enough direct the gaze of your audience away from yourself as you write. As much as you can, do the writing in the off moments; you do not have to write right away. Ask a simple question to place all the attention on the person answering. This is when you write. Again, do not feel you have to write immediately, take your time, divide the information up. As in my example earlier, I asked for the month of the person’s birth. I then point out and state in such a way they have to answer that it is the fourth month; “April is the fourth month, right?” That put the attention on the person and gave me time to write four and a line. Next I ask for the date in the month. I then ask if anyone else knew that. That gave me time to write in the date and remove and fold the paper. All while the attention is on the other people, and if no one piped up and answered “No”, I would ask another question like, “Is there any way I could have known that? Did we speak prior to now?” A side note, I hate it when I see mentalists and magicians ask, “Now why did you choose that?” It screams of a performer who has never thought about what he or she is going to say in that most crucial of moments when they are secretly writing, whether it be in the pocket, nail writing or double writing. Come up with something better. Trust me, I know, I have asked the exact same question when trying to get out of an awkward moment, it is probably why I hate it so. Rather ask, “Now does that number have

any personal meaning to you?” Or make a simple silly statement; “Oh, the number of a squirrel clothes designer,” or “That reminds me, did you ever wonder where people in hell tell each other to go? I did just yesterday and it was while thinking about...” But do not say, “Is there any reason you chose that?” You leave them open to mumbling about something totally off track. You may be thinking that the sentence, “Now why did you choose that?” and “Now does that number have any personal meaning to you?” are the same, but they are not. One is an open-ended sentence and the other is a simple yes or no answer. By adding the word, “Personal” you have limited the replies to yes, no or a specific personal answer. Plus I would only ask that question with anything that deals with a number or date. Okay, lets get back on track. So we have directed by putting attention on people but lets talk about our own body language again. If you lean towards the pocket you are writing in, you will telegraph exactly what you are doing. If you think too much about what you are doing, again you may well telegraph what you are doing. It is important that the top half of your body, the part that is communicating with people, is separate from your bottom half. People are looking at your face and if all your body language is towards your hand in your pocket, it will telegraph like a shining beacon. Learn to be casual. Don’t lean towards that pocket either to the side or down towards it. That is why in the previous picture, President Bush Sr. is doing a good job writing in his pocket even with a short 11

jacket on. If President Obama or Bill Gates lowers their mic when they write, they will telegraph something is going on. Rather move the bottom of the mic up and sideways and slightly away from the mouth if you have to move it while waiting for the response. This will signal the audience to look at the person in the audience without telegraphing anything at all. When working close up, use your eyes to direct attention to people. Look away from the person you are working with and turn to someone else and ask a question. All eyes will go to that new person.

PLIANT Okay so what is Pliant? Well it is simply the French word for fold. Figured I owed the French something after mentioning that other story. I have emphasized time and time again that you should only fold your card once prior to writing upon it. There is a good reason for this. If you fold the card, or paper, into quarters, you will find that you have created deep valleys in the writing surface and often when you Pocket-Write, a piece of crucial information will not write in that crease like the number one, a line or some such. You are much better to fold it a second time, in your pocket after you have removed the paper from the tablet. It might seem like a minor thing, but it can be the difference between convincing a skeptical person that the right thing is indeed written upon the paper and that can be the difference between an impressed person and creating more skepticism.

WRITING SUBTLETIES SHORTCUTS When writing in your pocket you will probably be like most people, your handwriting will be sub par. Especially if your regular hand writing is pretty bad. You need to make sure that the person looking at it during the reveal can actually read it. Whenever writing any letter or number that has a circle in it, matching up the ends can be hard to do. Numbers like 8, 9, 0. I have a few ways to fix this.

If given say a number or word with a 0 (Zero or O), or a letter with a Q in it, I will write the 0 or Q over and over as if scribbling it many times over itself. I will do the same with the rest of the number so it all looks written in bold. This way it is very clear what number is that is written and the ends do not have to match up. If writing an 81, I will write the 8 as a cursive capital S.

If writing a 9, I will write it as an upside down 6 instead of a line with a circle on top. Often if a month with and 8 or 9 or such I will write out the abbreviation of the month rather than the numerical status. Which brings me to my next point; some people may write better in cursive normally but find when they Pocket-Write, printing is easier. Some people will do the exact opposite and find that they writer better in cursive in their pocket despite the fact they always print letters when the write. Experiment both ways and find out what works best for you. Find short cuts that work for you. Use abbreviations.

ENTSCHULDIGUNG Since I gave the French a tip to the hat earlier, I thought I would do it for the Germans. Entschuldigung means excuses, and in this case an excuse is a good thing. My hand writing is so bad that I can’t read it and having my wife come up, stick her hand in my pocket and secretly write is not an option and would look, well strange to say the least. Pocket-Writing does not make it any better so I have many excuses for why it is so bad. Here are some tips to make your writing more acceptable.

Excuse Number One You heard this in an earlier example.“I was doodling; do you know what doodling is? It is when you scribble without looking. You write or draw subconsciously. I was looking over here and thinking about what you might say. I did not look at it, but doodled 12

something on this piece of paper. I am not sure if you can read it or not, but look and see if it says 4/22 and Shemar.”

Excuse Number Two “On the way here, I was doing something you should never do when you drive. No not that,” (use this line in the right situation only). “I was trying to write while I was driving. There are a few reasons you should never do that. One is because you can almost hit people. I almost hit a postman. And two, if you have ever done it, you know it is almost impossible to read later (everyone can relate to that). I did not really look at it, not sure if it is readable but I folded it up and placed it in....” I would love to know what excuses you come up with if any are needed!

Excuse Number Three “I am often asked if anyone in my family can do these things Well until recently I would have told you no, however my granddaughter, who is just starting to read and write has shown some promise. When I told her I was coming to New York she ran into my office and fetched a piece of paper and began to write something and folded it up. Well I placed it in this envelope and it has been here since that time. Now remember she is only four and is just learning to write so I am not sure how neat she wrote it.” This last is one of my favorites as it takes all the responsibility for the bad writing off me. If the spectator was to mention how bad the writing is, he is not insulting me but he is insulting a small child. No one wants to do that. A simple, “What do you expect, she is only four,” will hurry them to figure out what it says. But I have never had that happen due to the fact I point out her age just prior to them opening it up.

HIPPOPOTOMONSTROSESQUIPEDALIOPHOBIA Okay, you’re probably thinking what is that title and is it a real word? It is! So now you’re probably thinking it means a fear of monstrous looking Hippos, if you thought that you would be incorrect. Well sort of. It means the fear of long words. With Pocket-Writing that fear is always prevalent. So we need to control the length of long words and find ways to get around them. The easiest way for me is set in the example I gave at the beginning of this manuscript on Pocket-Writing, The Invisible Book Test. I simply told them the dictionary contained all words seven letters or less. I will often tell someone to think of a simple word, seven letters or less. This solves most problems. Another way is to ask questions you know the abbreviation for. Things like months of the year or states. The other thing is if someone gives you an extra long word, simply write the first part of it. For

instance, if someone says, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” when asked to give a word seven letters or less I can do one of two things; remind them that I said a short word of seven letters or less, or point out that despite the fact I asked them to say a short word of seven letters or less, they chose a large word, then pull out my prediction and show them I am correct. And no, I did not write out that 32 letter word. I simply write...“Supercal.” They know what it means. And depending on the person I might say something like, “Now I had a word in mind, I knew it was not the whole word as it did not make sense, but now I understand.” A hit in anyone’s book. *SIDE NOTE: The word hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is indeed taken from a misspelling of Hippopotamus and the word Monstrum (meaning monster) is used to exaggerate the length of words, put together with the word phobia that means fear.


LOCALITY S o where do we make it appear we are pulling the prediction out from? We certainly do not want to bring it out from our pocket where we are writing. That might point to the method, so what do we do?


My favorite thing to do is to simply act as if I am removing it from my shirt pocket or my side jacket pocket. Think about it, if you were making a prediction when you were driving on the way to the show, would you really take the time to place it in a wallet, an envelope or some other device? If you were doing walk around, would you really be taking the time to place it in any other place. No you would not, you might fold it but you would dump it in your pocket for later. As I will explain in a bit, there are times a wallet is the way to go, there are times you will want to isolate the prediction from people in an envelope. But for me, removing it from a shirt pocket makes perfect sense, especially if I can leave them with impression my hand was empty when it went into the pocket. The way I do this is very simple. After I Pocket-Write, I either fold the paper or card up further or scrunch it up into a ball. My hand comes out and as I mention I placed it in my pocket earlier, the hand comes to the top of the pocket, touches the top and drops the paper in. At that moment I remove a pen, glasses or some other object from the pocket. As I place that object in my other hand or on the table my hand is now seen to be empty as it reaches back up to my pocket and removes one or two other things. Finally when all has been removed the index finger and middle finger grip the Pocket-Written paper and brings it out slowly. It is in this way that I reach out to a spectator and have them remove it from between those two fingers. Since it is folded,

they open it. If a Post-It™ note, it will appear to be sealed. Further proof you could not have just written it.


As said, there is indeed a time and place for using a wallet. In the trade show example of effects I will use the wallet to keep a spectator in place. While holding it they cannot go anywhere. It also gives a great visual to other spectators. The wallet I tend to use is the Mark Strivings Sight Unseen Wallet. This wallet is a business size wallet and has a hidden slit that allows you to secretly place something inside from the outside. The Peter Nardi Stealth Assassin Wallet has also borrowed (with permission) this feature. You are looking at the slit in the picture, it is along the stitched seam. What I like about this is when working on stage or close up, I can open the wallet to “check and make sure I placed my prediction inside”. They see the prediction. It is a duplicate and as I close the wallet I secretly push that duplicate back up onto the wallet so later when I open it they will not see it. Now when I am ready to reveal, I pick up the wallet, at the same time removing the secretly written paper from my pocket and simply place the wallet onto the prediction hiding it. If I am using the Sight Unseen Case, I can even push the prediction into the wallet so I can handle it freely. One has to be careful not to reveal the prediction underneath the wallet while doing so, especially if working on stage. Usually I see no reason to do this. 14

I will simply open the wallet, reach under the compartment with the slit and pull the prediction out into the open and vary openly and carefully hand it to someone else. If you do not have access to a fancy wallet, any wallet with a slit through it into a compartment will work just fine.

ENVELOPE SLIT If you want, a simple envelope can be used. Use a coin envelope and about an inch or less from the flap, cut a very fine straight line, large enough for your folded card or paper to go through. Do this on the face/ flap side of the envelope. When ready, place the envelope on the prediction, open the flap and reach in with your index and middle finger, pulling the prediction through the slit. It will look as if the prediction is coming out of the envelope. To hide the slit, you might want to draw a dark square on the flap, placing it in such a way that the slit is against the line. Then write the word prediction in the square. I would not show this side but it should pass a quick subtle flash. You can also hide the slit by placing a sticker on the face side of the coin envelope. If you want to get real creative, you can seal off a section at one end of the sticker so it does not stick to the slit but sticks to the rest of the envelope just hiding the slit. If using an envelope you should place a dummy in the envelope for looks and feel. This can be permanently planted or loose in the envelope depending upon how you are going to use it.


This gimmick was invented by Bob Ostin and marketed by Davenports as “Bob Ostin’s Dice Prediction,” 1953. An ad appeared in Pentagram, Vol. 8 No. 2, Nov. 1953, p. 16. Tony Corinda also mentions Ostin’s clip in Thirteen Steps to Mentalism, 1958, p. 186.Ostin’s clip was made with a rubber band or elastic. The model with a metal spring was developed and marketed in 1959 by Robert Nelson (sharing credit with Syd Bergson) under the name “Nelson’s Mental-Gimic”; see The Linking Ring, Vol. 38 No. 12, Feb. 1959, p. 11.

THE MASON JAR WITH OSTIN CLIP This is the same as the Ostin clip but the clip hangs from a string attached to the inside of the cap of a mason jar. This is screwed on to the mason jar and remains in full view the entire show. When it comes time to reveal the prediction the spectator is asked to remove the cap. Since his hands are full with the jar and the cap, he cannot remove the billet. You remove the billet and hand it to him taking the lid with the clip. The mason jar idea was contributed to Bascom Jones’ Magick Magazine, by Robert Swartz.

BILLET SWITCHES Any billet switch can be utilized in order to allow the prediction to be seen in full view. You can use a simple switch, the Jay Sankey “Paperclipped”or the double-capped pen switch, the tin box switch or any of the gimmicks that allow to see the prediction out in the open. See the Al Baker effect, “Chicken Feed” for the Al Baker Switch and a routine.

This consist of a Bulldog clip that appears to have a billet protruding from its metal lips. When this clip is opened, the billet retracts into the clip. This allows you to palm a billet, keep it hidden, reach up to the clip as if you are about to remove the billet, open the clip, and bring your secretly palmed billet in to view. It should look as if you are removing the billet from the clip. 15

HOW BIG DOES A PREDICTION NEED TO BE? I love presenting Pocket-Writing in lectures for magic meetings and conventions. It allows me to prove a few things to the magicians and mentalists in attendance. One of those things is that small things can play big. Think about it, Uri Geller used to perform for thousands and bend a key. The audience loved it, they could not see the bent key way in the back but they lived vicariously through the person who was holding the key when it bent. Plus the fact the person was allowed to take the key with them. Further proof that it was not a trick key and proof that it was indeed bent. The same goes for when you pull the little piece of paper from a small wallet. The reaction of the person you are doing it for sells the fact that what THEY are looking at is the right information written on the paper. Do not listen to magicians who are used to performing large visual magic on stage when they insist a prediction has to be large for everyone to see. There is nothing wrong with that, but I assure you it does not HAVE to be that way. They open the prediction, they see it, they get to take it with them to show everyone else who wants to see it, and they react. That is all you need. The Add-A-Number routine that follows is a perfect example of one such routine.



ROUTINES S o far you have been given a few basic routines as examples. Mostly for the subtleties involved. You certainly can use as is, but I would suggest you read on and pick and use subtleties spread out among these routines and adapt to your own custom routines. I mean, who wants to be performing the exact same routine someone else is performing.

THE PW ADD-A-NUMBER I stand on stage, hands in my pockets. On my table is a small wallet. I pick it up and open it quickly and flash a yellow piece of paper inside. As I close it I nod and say, “Oh, good, I was so busy before the show I was not sure I placed that inside.” I continue with, “Is there anyone good with numbers? Please make your way to the stage.” A person is selected. Let’s say his name is Joe, and Joe makes his way to the stage I pick up a marker board and a marker. I draw three lines on the board, hand the maker board and marker to Joe and tell Joe, “In a minute we are going to get three two digit numbers from three people in the audience, you will write them one at a time on each line below each other nice and large so the audience can see them. I will tell you what we are going to do with those numbers when we are done. Again, nice and large.” As I do this, I am placing my hands in my pockets, at times I gesture with one hand, at other times I gesture with the other hand. To the first person on my left I hold out my right hand, I ask them if we have ever spoke or met before and them I ask them to, “Stare at my right hand, keep staring... Okay get a two-digit number in your head. Do you have one?” They state they do.

I tell them, “That is exactly the number I wanted you to choose.” This elicits a few titters from the audience. I then ask them to tell everyone what their number is so Joe can hear and write it on the board. Joe writes it on the board. As he starts, I turn to the second person who is situated in the middle of the audience, “Have we ever met before?” As they respond in the negative I react as if the way they spoke tells me something about them. “Ah, you are going to be more difficult. Stare at my hand.” This time I hold up my right hand, part way through I stop and hold up my other hand for a second. “Keep staring at my hand. Call out your number.” They do so. Again Joe writes it on the board. As Joe does so I turn to that person and state, “Ah, you are a little off from what I was trying to make you think of, but I have one more person to try to fix it with. I knew you were going to be more difficult, but that is a good thing and now it becomes more of a challenge for me.” (If at any point they go off script, have a hard time focusing on a number). I point out that I did say they would be more difficult to work with. Often I get people only giving a one-digit number at this point despite the fact I am asking for a two-digit number. I turn to the third person standing that is in the audience to my right. I ask them if we have ever met or spoken before. Then I ask them to look at my left hand as I hold it up and my right hand goes to my right pocket. “Please stare at my palm, keep staring, get a two digit number in your head but don’t say anything.... do you have one?” They state that they do, and I stare at my palm then back at them and ask, “Please subtract two from your number... Okay call it out for Joe.” (I have them subtract two rather than add in case their number was 99 or 98. It would not be good 17

for me to ask for a two digit number and then force them into a three digit number.) They call out their number. “Perfect, that is perfect.” I turn to Joe, both hands go into my pockets as I ask Joe to total the numbers. As he starts to I talk. “Now Joe, I know I am putting you on the spot, asking you to total numbers in front of all of these people, plus the fact I am speaking is probably making you nervous so I will shut up.” It is during this moment that I move in close to Joe, using Joe and the fact my writing pocket is upstage to write in my pocket. As I speak, once I see what Joe has totaled I Pocket-Write it on the tablet in my pocket. I do not remove the card or paper just yet. I do call out Joe’s total once he is done. Because I am dyslexic I do not trust my own totaling, so I let Joe do it for me. But I also cannot fully trust Joe since he is in a very nerve racking situation. So I ask Joe to show his addition to the audience because, “Joe, although I asked the audience members who gave us the numbers if we had ever met before and they said no, I could ask you, you could just pretend to add the numbers up and pretend to give a total that I wanted you to give. So show it to them and double check your addition while you do so, point the board towards the audience so they can see it please.” By doing this, you can be sure that if Joe totaled the number wrong either he or someone else will point the error out for me at some point. I recap that we had three people stand and give us three completely freely selected numbers. That Joe has totaled them and his total is 102 or whatever it is. At that point Joe has had time to check his total. If he made a mistake I will have time to write the new total below the first. This way I have not only predicted the wrong total that Joe gave, but he correct total as well. This will rarely if ever happen. If no one says anything I can turn to Joe and state, “So no mistakes and your total is 102!” It is at this moment I remove the paper from the tablet and fold it, and secretly remove from my pocket. As I do so I place the wallet on my palm directly over the hidden prediction and say, “I am often asked if anyone in my family can do these things, well until recently I would have told you no, however my granddaughter, who is just starting to read and write, has shown some promise. When I told her I was coming to New York, she ran into my office and

fetched a piece of paper and began to write something and folded it up. Well I kept it in my suitcase and placed it in this wallet just before the show and it has been here since that time. Now remember she is only four and is just learning to write so I am not sure how neat she wrote it.” I remove the folded paper from the wallet, and very openly hand it to someone in the front row whom I also have asked to stand. I ask them to open it and read what number she wrote. It matches Joe’s total. Joe is dismissed and the person in the audience keeps the paper. I can’t tell you how strong this plays to a large theater audience. You will hear gasps and people emitting statements like, “No freaking way,” or “How?” And yes, people will not credit your granddaughter. As the show progresses they realize it is all you doing these amazing things. Your four year old is quickly forgotten. And before you point it out, yes I know that the total in the graphic is incorrect, but now you know what to do if that happens don’t you.

27 32 43 104 18

THE TRADE SHOW INCAPACITATOR Wikipedia describes Attention as, “The behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources”. A good trade show performer is able to get attendees to do just that. Allocate their attention to the product or item he or she wants them to place their attention upon. That usually starts out with the booth or stand the performer is standing behind. Getting people into that space is the hardest thing for any trade show presenter. Using a wallet and pocket writing will allow you to gather the first few people. I was very, very successful on the trade show floor. During slow times I could still draw a crowd. I would walk into the aisle with my little wallet and stop approach someone. “Hi, is this yours? No! Actually it is, it’s your immediate future... please hold out your hand palm up.” Since I was so abrupt, they did not even think about it, they simply held their hand open. Plus the fact I had the wallet out as if to give it to them made them even more willing to comply. I immediately placed the wallet in their open hand. Now they were stuck, they could not go anywhere. “Don’t open it. Keep your hand palm out. Do you know what this is?” They may make some guesses but no matter what I told them... “It is your future, there is no money inside but it is your immediate future and soon it will be something

completely different. Let me show, you step into my office.” I point at my stand. I had gathered the first person or two. They were intrigued but I needed more people. “You see, earlier I was doodling, not looking at what I was writing, then I saw you coming down the aisle. You may have seen me fold a business card and place it inside. Before we get to that card, I am going to ask you a few personal questions but nothing too personal, what was the first pet you ever had.” While doing this, I would look for anyone else who I could make eye contact with as they passed by. Once I did this I quickly asked that new person, “Hi, would you mind helping this person please? It will only take a few seconds.” Since I was asking them to help someone else they would comply. If I would have asked them to help me, they would have seen me as a salesperson and refused, but they almost always complied when I asked them to help a fellow attendee. As they walked over I would tell them that, “Inside that wallet is his future, but it is your future as well.” I always made sure they were willing to participate before I spoke those words though. Now I was set. The fact I had a crowd of three or four or more people allowed me to draw in an even larger crowd, especially in the end when these people saw that I had predicted their birthday and a short word. But once again, I get ahead of myself. This second person was asked to provide a piece of information like, “Call out any small word seven letters or less.” One other tip, once they called out a word I always asked if they had another word prior to that one. Often they did. If the word was better than the final word, I felt free to go with it. “Sugar” is better than “Love” in just such a situation. A simple, “So your first instinct was to go with sugar. Let’s go with that, it is much more interesting than the word love and you will see why in a second,” worked. Sometimes if they gave two words I would write both words. Sometimes I simply pointed out that they almost went with one word but change their mind and settled upon whatever the word it was they settled upon. All gave me time to write in my pocket behind the trade show stand. I never forgot to involve the person holding the wallet, I always ended by getting some information from them if I had not already done so, something 19

like their birthday. I may throw in something about the product the booth was selling and the fact it would provide months or even years of service, then I would say, “Speaking of months, what month were you born in, ah the fourth month, what date in that month.” I wrote this information as I pointed out that the strangers did not even know that date. If I had gotten their birthday prior to other people coming up, and wrote it already, I would pick up the wallet and place it on the hidden paper and I would state, “By the way, tell all these people what your birthday is.” This way it would seem that this was the first time they had revealed it and the wallet was already into play. It is in just such a situation that a wallet is the perfect tool for drawing people in. If people think they are going to get something for free. They will indeed step up to your booth. Oh, and as for the prediction turning into something different, well “A minute ago I told you that inside here was your future, it is now your past. Open up the paper and read what is inside it.” It is for this reason it was important to always have some Pocket-Written information from that first person. So THEIR future had changed and become the past as I had foretold when I first met them. I would then head into a book-test or spoon bending. Something visual that could performed above their heads so passerby would wonder what was going on and step up to the booth, to the point I would have to ask everyone to step up closer and out of the aisles. The technique of asking people to help other people in a trade show situation is a valuable one and can be used with many types of effects, a book test for example. While doing a book-test, you can draw in a few people to help each other. Placing books into a few people’s hands stops them from being able to go anywhere. Handing a prediction to someone at the beginning of your performance does the exact same thing. But once again I digress. This is not a book on working trade shows.

CELL PHONE RING SAVER How many shows does the dreaded spectators cell phone go off during a crucial part of an effect? We tend to get upset at the spectator. Heck, we asked at the beginning of the show that all cell phones be turned either off or on vibrate yet this inconsiderate person who does not seem to realize they are already occupied, left their phone on, how selfish. I have seen comedians berate a spectator because of this. I on the other hand love it when this happens. It allows me to produce a miracle. Look, we cannot assume this spectator was a selfish human being. Okay, more than likely they are, but we cannot assume that. I have left my own cell phone on, sitting on my table on stage. At that moment, I could not ignore it. I picked up my phone, answered it. It was the wife. I told everyone and had them say hi to my wife. What they could not hear was her telling me off for embarrassing her like that. Really... no one there knew her or could see her, but you know wives. Since it happened at the beginning of my show, I was able to use it as a reminder for everyone to turn their cell phones off. As if I had planned it that way. My point is, if I can do it to myself, I can’t assume that another person is doing it on purpose. People are human and do forget things during conversations and such. So how do I handle it when this happens? Well I will often have my Pocket-Writer apparatus just sitting in my pocket waiting in case a mistake happens so I can use it for an out or just this perfect moment. A phone rings during my show... “Whose phone is that? No don’t be embarrassed it is okay, in fact it is perfect...really. “Have we ever met before? Is there any way I could have known you were going to get a call right now? In fact, you did not even know you were going to get a call, did you? “All I need to know is who called you? “Oh, one more thing...what time is it? So they called you about a minute ago now. “Before the show began, I had a premonition that despite telling everyone to turn their cell phones off, someone would forget. I wrote something down and 20

placed it in my shirt pocket just in case. Now it is not neat because I was driving when I wrote it. Have you ever tried to write and drive, you look at it later and say, what the heck was that, but I think you can make it out.” I hand it to a person in the front row and it has the name of the person who called and the exact time it happened. This is so organic looking that it brings down the house. I have saved a bad moment and made it starring moment in my show. On top of that I can now remind the audience to turn their cell phones off as, “I do not have any other premonitions in my pocket.” I have also used this when there is a rude person in the audience who is on their cell during the show. It happens, especially at colleges. Kids these days just do not have manners. I will ask them who they are talking to, ask them to ask that person for any word. I will ask them for the word, tell them to tell the person they will call them back after the show because they are sitting in a room full of people trying to watch a show. I then reveal the word in my pocket. They are slightly embarrassed yet impressed at the same time and it prevents anyone else from interrupting my show with rudeness.

CHAIR PREDICTION You point out a mason jar that has a bulldog clip sealed inside and hanging freely. They can see a slip of paper hanging from its jaws. You mention that jar will become very important in a little while. You can even hand the jar to someone in the audience for safekeeping if you like. Next you point out three chairs, numbered one two and three. Three people are brought up on stage, a lady, a man in a white shirt and a man in a black shirt. They are brought up one at a time and take a seat in any chair. “In a second I am going to ask you to walk around the chairs. During that time I will be playing some music. I want you all to walk around the chairs in a clockwise fashion. The moment the music stops, I want you to take a seat in any chair other than the one you are sitting in. In other words, when the music stops, you cannot be seated in the seat you are in now. Please stand.”

The music starts. After an appropriate amount of time the music stops. At this time they all take seats. Now two things will happen. Either they will all have different seats or two people will have different seats and one person will be by the same chair they had earlier. If this happens you can make a big thing out of it and tell him he can take the seat of either of the two people. He does so. Next you hand each person a piece of cardboard. You ask the first person to write single-digit number on the board and show it to the audience. You ask the second person to do the same, and finally the third. Now you ask them to switch cards. They have created a three-digit number. Now you point out the mason jar with a bulldog clip hanging inside. You bring up the spectator who has been keeping the jar safe, they open the jar. Now they are left holding the lid and the Jar so you kindly and remove the paper from the clip and exchange it for the jar and lid, which you seal and put back on the table. You point out that the three people could sit in any seat they wanted to, in any order they wanted to. You have the person holding the slip to open it hiding the writing on it from the audience from now. Point out it is written upon on both sides. You ask them to turn to the side written in red. You point out the order of the people, white shirt, lady, black shirt. The man is asked to read off what is written in red but to keep the back of the paper from the audience for now. He reads: “The man with white shirt will be seated in the first chair. “The lady will have decided to take the middle seat. ‘The man in the black shirt will be in the third and last chair.” “Ah, but it is better than that. They each got to choose any number. Then all three of them decided what three-digit number to create with those numbers. I had nothing to do with it at all. They could have chosen any numbers at all and rearrange them in any way they wanted. They decided to create the number three hundred and fifteen, please turn the paper over and read off the number on the other side.” He reads, “315”. This is a very strong effect and plays huge.


How Seat the lady in the first chair, the man in black in the second chair and finally the man in white in the third chair. When they rearrange themselves so they are not seated in the same chairs, there are only two ways they can end up: 1) Man in black, Man in white, Lady 2) Man in white, Lady, Man in black So you need two predictions in your pocket. Write those predictions in red. Place both predictions in your business card tablet (see mine) each on opposite sides so the predictions are against the cardboard with the blank side out. Now make sure the prediction that says man in white will be in the first chair is facing out towards the outside of your pants. Keep the Man in black to the inside so you remember man in black is in the dark area against your leg and man in white is facing the light. You will also need a black piece of crayon in your pocket to Pocket-Write the number. Hand them a marker and poster board. You will have plenty of time to turn the tablet over in your pocket if needed. Now all you have to do is have them create a three-digit number and pocket write. As you recap, you have plenty of time to write this number on the correct card in your pocket, remove and palm so you can switch it in the clip hanging from the Ostin Clip in the Mason jar.

ALL IN A NAME The first version of this was published March 1939 in Anneman’s The Jinx, issue 54, page 383, by Orville Meyer. In 1944, Theodore Anneman again published the routine by Orville Meyer in Practical Metal Effects. I have seen it written that this is a variation of Anneman’s Dead Man Divination but can’t seem to find the effect. Another version was published in Lewis Ganson’s Magic Of the Mind, page 5 as “The 100% prediction” by Punx. Still later in 1990, Punx published his version in Fourth Dimensional Mysteries, page 84 titled “The Punx Prediction”. In 1951, Bob Somerfeld had a version his book Mind Readers Digest, page 9, titled “Threediction”.

Below is a stream-lined version using Pocket-Writing to clean up the effect in the end. The performer hands a spectator a business card. He asks them to write the name of someone they know personally, someone the performer could not know and to initial it. They are to fold it in half when done. The performer takes the card and hands it to someone else for safekeeping. The performer then takes out another business card, he writes something, initials it and hands it to someone else. Performer takes back the first piece of paper and opens it and reads off what is upon it and the person’s initials. He closes it, turns to the spectator holding his piece of paper and has him read off what is written upon it. It matches. Both papers are handed out to the audience.

How When the performer takes back the first spectators card, he switches it for his own blank piece of business card or a card with just any name written upon it. He palms the spectator’s card and pretends to remove it from his pocket, opens it and pretends to write something upon it, but actually reading the spectators name. This card he hands to a completely separate spectator. Reaching for the first card the performer opens it and pretends to read off the spectator’s name (a small subtlety here is to open, then turn the card around, as if it is upside down). He then turns to the spectator he handed the other card to, they open it and read off the name and initials thinking it is the one written by the performer. In actuality it is the one written by the first spectator. During this the performer has all the time in the world to write the same name and the same initials on the card in his pocket, remove it and switch it for the blank one. To clean up, all the performer has to do is switch the card in the pocket for the one in his hand, dump the dummy in his pocket, now he retrieves the spectator’s billet. Both billets now have the same name and these can be given to the first spectator to keep. As with the original effects, one can use more than just a name and initials. Feel free to have a city and a number or wherever you want written down.


GARAGE TALK This is my version of a Leslie Anderson classic The Children’s Yard Sale, which is based upon a Gene Grant idea called “The vision of the Future” in his Phantini’s Incredible Mental Secrets. The method is the same as Gene Grant’s and Leslie’s, and the story was influenced by Leslie’s buying the cards at a children’s yard sale. I added one of Harry Anderson’s lines, “You, if that is your real name,” but the rest of the story is all mine. The method of locating the card is the same as Anderson’s I just rearrange them a bit to make it easier to figure it out as my math is terrible. “A deck of playing cards! It is not coincidence that causes there to be four suits in a deck, and fifty-two cards in a deck whose values add up to three hundred and sixty-five... same as four seasons, fifty-two weeks in a year and three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. “Not coincidence, NO, it is fate. And so it is fate that will play a part in this first experiment....

“YOU, if that is your real name, call out aloud the name of any playing card in a deck of fifty two cards... the Seven of Hearts; please do not forget that card. “It was fate that led me to that very moment that this story begins. “I was at a garage sale. I was passing the many tables of wonderful antique and some so not antique junk. “It was at the end of the longest ornate table that I noticed the blond hair and the pair of wide blue eyes gazing inquisitively above the remnants of a battered old ‘Nike’ shoe box. “My gaze followed these eyes and revealed the wonders that held their attention... “A worn, used, shark’s tooth, no longer white but a lifeless gray. A green smiling dinosaur, only three feet left protruding from its scratched and dented plastic torso. A red yo-yo, no string, and...AND THESE PLAYING CARDS!” Performer removes a deck of cards from his pocket. “I closed the distance between me and those eyes and saw that they belonged to a young angelic featured boy, no older than four or five. “His line of vision finally left the contents of the box and shifted to my unshaven face. ‘How much for the cards’? I asked. “I immediately saw a piercing, pleading sadness in those eyes that revealed to me that these treasures belonged to this young man, whose parents had forced him to sell some of his most prized possessions to teach him not to become too attached to the material world. They had probably even watched as he meticulously put the price on each and every one of the artifacts. ‘How much for the cards?’ I queried for the second time, knowing that the price marked is not always the price asked! “Still no reply, ‘Maybe he’s a mute,’ I thought. “I reached for the cards, but, as quickly as a chameleon’s tongue snatches a fly off a plant, he snatched the cards from my clenched hand. ‘I WANT TO BUY THEM!’ I said in a loud voice as I removed the change from my pocket to pay the twenty-six cents marked on the box.” Performer shows the audience the “26c” marked on the box in large black letters upon a name tag size sticker stuck on the back of the deck of cards. He continues... “Still no reply. ‘Must indeed be a mute’ I thought.


“But I realized he wasn’t as he let out a tremendous howl. You see, I had kicked him in the shin, grabbed the cards and quickly made my way out to the front of the driveway. I handed the old lady there the twenty-six cents as I informed her that her grandson had stubbed his toe. I hopped into my car and sped off. “Here, catch.” The performer throws out the cards to the person who earlier named a card. And asks them to come up on stage. “See the twenty-six cents on the box. Please remove the cards carefully and hold them face down. “Is it possible that these cards that the angelic snot nosed brat had possibly laid out in a row and gathered up thousands of times could have a link with which to cause a coincidence of fate? “Please deal the cards face down one at a time and hand me the twenty-sixth card. Twenty-Six being the number chosen at random by the child as the price to reluctantly (wink) sell the cards. “Remember you named the seven of hearts before I told this tale.” The performer shows the card the audience, it matches. “Definitely a demonstration of forced fate!” The performer scales the named card into the audience. “And so I leave you with a deck of fifty-one cards to remind you that when things sometimes go wrong, there is usually a reason; in this case, it’s because you are not playing with a full deck!”

How A preset deck so you know the numerical position of any card in the deck. You could use a system, a cue sheet, mnemonics or the system below. Instead of a nail -writer as used in the original version. You use a child’s crayon to write the correct price on the deck of cards prior to bringing it out of your pocket.

The above set up is easy to find cards. You know that Clubs you add ten and subtract one from its value. Diamonds you add twenty and subtract one, Hearts you add thirty and subtract one and finally Diamonds you add forty and subtract one from its value. The first nine cards are the picture cards of the H, S and D. The last three cards of the deck are the picture cards of the clubs. Since no one sees the faces, since it does not matter if it is a shuffled deck, since the child could have put them in some sort of order. The fact the cards are in some sort of order does not really matter. For a mnemonic of the order of the suits think: He Sold a Deck of Cards. Hearts, Spades, Diamonds Clubs.


ROOM SERVICE Pocket-Writing lends itself to this effect. As in the original Jonathon Neal Brown’s trick Room Service, have the person step into the elevator and hit a button from one to nine. “You said nine, so nine it is, you hear the elevator music, finally the elevator stops. You step out on the ninth floor. To your right are the numbers one to forty-nine, to your left are the numbers fifty to ninety-nine. Which way do you go, to your right to the lower numbers or to your right to the higher? “Fantastic, so you go to your right. “Those are rooms fifty, to ninety-nine... Imagine you walk up to a room, you look up and see the room number, it is 9 hundred and ..... Keep in mind you have selected to choose a number from fifty to ninety-nine.” Let’s say they say, forty-nine. “So you chose to go to the ninth floor and walk and enter room nine hundred and forty-nine. Now just as when I checked into my hotel, you would need a key

for that. Now you have never been to my hotel room have you?” The spectator is asked to come up on stage and as she does so the performer openly reaches into his inside jacket pocket and removes an envelope. He then removes the key, places it upon the envelope and asks the spectator to reveal to everyone else what the room number is. It matches.

How Well, back in February of 1997 I posted an effect to the Magic Grimoire called “Electronic Room Service”. At the time I used double writing. As time went by, when in a pinch, I used pocket writing instead. Here is that post and it explains the details. Just adapt double writing to writing on the small envelope in your pocket and it is even easier and cleaner. *Note: Shortly after this post a version much like it appeared in Lee Earle’s “Syzygy”.

Date: 21 Feb 97 23:42:21 EST From: BANACHEK <[email protected]> Subject: Electronic room service For the last two years I have been performing some version of Koran’s Medallion in my stage show. I have a back up coin in my case just in case anything happens to the first. Well, somehow, both coins were left at home while I was putting my show together. I was doing that yearly (if I am lucky) cleaning everything out of my case. I arrived in Florida to showcase for some colleges via their Junior Student Government Seminar. Then I hit upon a novel impromptu idea. I had been working on a routine for Room Service to take the place of my Medallion routine for certain venues. At the desk they handed me the usual electronic (magnetic) key, with the little envelope with the room number written upon the envelope. I asked for an extra key with an envelope and told her not to write the number upon it (most are ahead of me now). Since most of the routine is build up, the presentation was easy. I simply had the envelope upon the pad, double-wrote the room number upon the envelope and pad. Now I palmed the small envelope and performed the empty hand card to pocket. This is a fairly new sleight, and very clean. It enables you to hold your jacket open and reach in with an empty hand and remove the card (in this case an envelope) from your pocket. 25

I do not know who invented this as it was shown to me by a magician friend who had it shown to him by someone else and it seems there are different versions from Gary Kurtz to a host of others, including Dai Vernon’s Inner Card Trilogy Page 28, part 3. And he got it from Teddy Victor. Anyway, the basic slight goes as follows. If you are right handed you will palm the envelope in the right hand. This hand, with the envelope, goes to your right lapel and holds the lapel open, away from your chest. In actuality the fingers go behind the lapel and thumb in front. While doing this you will find it easy to let the envelope come to the fingers and out from the palm against the inside lining of the coat. In other words the envelope is held against the inside of the jacket by the fingers on the inside and the thumb on the outside. Now with a non-obvious ( a subtle, no ‘look see’ my hands are empty!) gesture such as pointing to your inside pocket as you say, “In my pocket!” your left hand is shown empty. Then it goes inside the jacket, taking the envelope by the left thumb and index finger, and pretends to remove it from the inside pocket. Keep the number side (number should be written small in the top left hand side below the flap) away from the view of the audience. Remove and show the key to the audience as you patter, then lay the key on top of the envelope so it is horizontal and the envelope is vertical and point at the key, actually pointing at the number on the envelope as you ask the spectator on stage to “read off the room number!” Anyone who has stayed at a hotel will realize that the number on the envelope is the one to the room, especially since the number says RM# before the number. The members of the audience do not realize the number is not written on the key. Now I only wish I had one of those keys that works with the light (the kind with the holes) with me. I could have written directly on the key with an erase wipe marker and done away with the envelope–in fact this type of key is even smaller. I have one around here somewhere and will let you know what transpires. (I have since used the plastic keys with the holes and simply filled in the number with a china band writer). All rights reserved by Banachek 2002 (in case I want to add it to a book later).


THE PHOTOGRAPH Performer hands a picture of a man to an audience member. “That is a picture of my brother. It’s a blown up copy. I want you to look at it. You have never met my brother have you?” They of course answer in the negative. You then ask them to look the picture over, look at the back if they want. Ask them if there is anything there that gives your brother’s name away. They will answer no. “Now I need you to use your imagination. Hold the picture up to your ear and imagine my brother is whispering to you his name. “What is the name? “Now imagine he tells you the date that picture was taken, what month and what date in that month?” They again respond with a name and a date. “The original of that picture is in my wallet.” Performer removes his wallet. He opens the zippered compartment and removes a picture. Very openly he hands that wallet size picture to the spectator. He asks them to turn it over and written on the back is the exact name and date the spectator imagined the man in the picture whispered to him.

How Pocket writing and a card to wallet style wallet. I prefer a La-Paul style wallet. But even the Stealth Assassin wallet mentioned earlier will work fine. You will need to write on the back of the picture in your pocket, use a crayon for this as it will write better for you on a glossy stock picture. A gray one would look more worn and older.

As you work with Pocket-Writing you will come across times you will want the prediction in full view prior to getting the information from the spectator. Logically this is impossible, unless you are making a switch. Many methods have been around and I will mention a few in bit. But for now, here is an example routine that first appeared in Al Baker’s Mental Magic published November, 1949, page 50 under the title, “Chicken Feed”.

AL BAKER’S CHICKEN FEED Some time ago an effect was produced, I do not know who originated it, in which the mentalist divines the exact amount of loose change that a spectator has in his pocket. He writes the amount on a slip of paper and when the money is brought out and counted, its sum corresponds exactly with the amount written by the mentalist. My method for producing this intriguing effect will be found to be simple, straight forward and convincing.

Needed Two small slips of paper. An office spike file. A stub of black crayon. A piece of cardboard about 4 by 3 inches. A trombone paper clip.

Preparation Have the paper clip sewn in your right hand trousers pocket near the top. Slip the cardboard into it. This is to form a rest on which you can write with your hand in your pocket (Fig.1). Fold one of the paper slips in half and in halves again. Thrust it onto the spike file, then remove it and open it out again. The holes are necessary since 27

you are going to switch this slip for another which will be spiked on the file. Place the open slip and the crayon stub in your right trousers pocket. Have the file on your table. You are ready.

Procedure Casually ask a spectator if he has some chicken feed in his pockets (*AUTHORS NOTE: Al Baker is using the slang term “Chicken Feed” for money). Then ask him if he knows the exact amount. Naturally he doesn’t know. “Well,” you say, “If you don’t know then nobody else can possibly know. Suppose I try to guess just how much loose change you have there.” Take the stub of the black crayon from your right trousers pocket and with it write some figures on the other slip of paper, openly but don’t let anyone see what you have written. Fold the paper in half and in halves again and thrust it onto the spike file (Fig 2). Put the crayon stub in your trousers pocket again. “Now,” you say to the spectator, “Will you take out your chicken feed, count it and let us all know exactly how much you have?” As he announces the total sum, let us say seventy-nine cents you place both hands in your trousers pockets casually. “Well now,” you say, “If I wrote seventy-four cents, that would have been a pretty good guess, wouldn’t it?” As you say this, keeping your whole attention on the spectator, draw the slip of paper up against the cardboard in your pocket, write “79c” boldly on it, fold it in half upwards and then in halves again sidewise, then finger palm the folded slip. As you continue to speak to the spectator, “You couldn’t have made as close a guess yourself, could you?” Place your left hand on the base of he spike file to steady it and with an upward movement of your right hand, remove the paper slip from it taking it in

such a way that its corner overlaps the corner of the finger palmed slip in readiness for the Baker Switch. Turn to a spectator on your left and as you say to him, “Will you open this paper and read out what I have written?” Make the Baker Switch in placing the folded paper in your left hand and give him the slip on which you have just secretly written, 79c, leaving the paper just removed from the file in your right hand, finger palmed. This person opens the paper and reads, “Seventy-nine cents.” The reason for spiking the paper on which you do the secret writing will now be obvious. There is also a very good reason for using a black crayon with rather blunt point and making bold figures (Fig 3). As soon as the paper is opened out and shown it can be seen by practically everyone and this enhances the effect greatly. Too often in tricks such as this one the writing is done in faint lead pencil. I have seen the effect ruined because the person who opened the paper could hardly read the writing himself, much less anyone else.

THE AL BAKER SWITCH For full disclosure, I have included the Al Baker switch that appeared on page 2 of the same book. WRITTEN IN BAKER’S WORDS: First you must have a clear understanding of what you must appear to do, namely to transfer a folded bill from one hand to the other. To do this fold a dollar bill in halves lengthwise and again in halves the same way, then once the opposite way (Figs 2, 3, 4, 5). Take it at the tips of the thumbs and forefinger of your right hand (Fig 5). Move your right hand towards your left hand, turning it over in the action and thus reversing the bill. Grasp the free end of the bill between the left thumb and forefinger (Fig 8). Repeat this simple move over and over and study the action carefully for this is what you must appear to do when the switch is actually made. When you understand the action thoroughly, practice the following moves until they do simulate exactly the passage of the bill from one hand to the other.






Take the two dollar bills and fold each of them in the following way - first in halves with the backs on the outside (Fig 2). Fold again in halves the same way (Fig 3). Fold in halves the opposite way (Fig 4). This process will give you two little packets about 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/8 in size. Place one of the folded bills, which we call B, and which will represent your own bill to be switched for a borrowed bill, in the finger palm position in your right hand. Take the second folded bill, which we will call A, and which will represent a borrowed bill, between the tips of your left thumb and index finger in such a way that its lower right corner overlaps the upper left corner of B (Figs 5+6). Hold both hands in front of your body, your arms half bent, hands about nine inches apart and the left hand a little higher than your right hand. As if merely to place A in your right hand, move your left hand towards the right at the same time turning it back upwards, thus turning A over, end for end (Fig 6). As the hands meet again, place A in the finger palm position in your left hand, drop the tip of the right thumb on B, gripping it against the tip of the right index finger (Fig 7), and draw the right hand away, the tips of its thumb and fingers sliding over B (Fig 8). Hold this position, the tips of the right thumb and fingers at the top of B a few moments before removing the right hand altogether (Figs. 9+10), holding the spectators bill B in plain sight. I must repeat that the action must simulate the actual placing of A in the right hand. Practice the moves in slow motion until they become familiar, then, and only then, increase to a pace to that with which you would actually place the bill in your left hand in ordinary circumstances.

Timing Timing may defined as the seizing of a favorable moment of the execution of a sleight as, for example, when the spectators are relaxed or have their attention directed elsewhere.

We will suppose that a spectator has folded a dollar bill in the manner already described and that you have a duplicate dollar bill finger palmed in your right hand. Follow these moves: Take the bill from the spectator with your left hand, then put it in your right hand in the position shown in Fig 6. Keeping the greater part of folded bill in full view, hold it against your forehead for a moment or two. Drop your right hand to body level as you say, “I get a 3” (or whatever may be the first figure in the number of your palmed bill which you have memorized). Again put the bill deliberately to your forehead, pause for a moment, then drop your right hand again to a point a little above and a few inches away from your left hand, and say, “There’s a 9 next” (or whatever the second figure of the memorized bill number may be). Say this with your whole attention directed towards the spectator and at the same time place the bill in your left hand, really executing the switch. Note particularly that the switch is never made in moving the right hand from the forehead directly to the left hand. First you put the bill deliberately to your forehead, then drop your hand, again put the bill to your forehead and again drop your right hand. Pause a moment and then make the switch as you engage the attention of the spectator by making a remark and gazing directly at him.

WATCH THIS I have used the face of a pocket-watch as a writing surface. I told the audience that I have made a prediction. When I show it to the person on stage I pointed out what is written with a crayon on the face and ask them to read off the time on the face of the watch. Everything seems fair to them since I said, “On the face of the watch,” and the fact I said I had “Made a prediction.” To everyone else it appeared I had set that time on the watch.




IN CASE OF MISTAKES I carry a Pocket-Writer with me all the time in case of mistakes. For example, let’s say you are practicing a new classic force. You are good at it but once in a while the person takes the wrong card, maybe you do not even realize they took the wrong card. So you start to reveal the card, you are wrong, you ask what their card is. They tell you it is the Seven of Clubs. Oh dear, what do you do. Well instead of failing, you can turn it into a very impressive hit. “Really, the Seven of Clubs! Wow, this is really impressive... I knew... You’re not going to believe this... In fact even I am having a hard time. On the way here I had a premonition that tonight I would get this wrong one time. Really I did. I wrote the name of the card down that I would get wrong, I placed it somewhere in this pocket. Here it is... Open it up and read it.” It says: “7C”. You have taken a fail and turned it into a huge hit.

THE CHALLENGE As mentalists, we always get challenged. How often do you get people telling you to tell them what they are thinking? Or you ask them for a piece of information and they say, “You’re the mind-reader, you tell me.” I rarely get that last line, because I ask people for information prior to telling them why I need it. But sometimes I will get it like when asking for a birthday or some personal information. In this situation I tell them, “Please, just trust me, if you tell me, I think you are going to be very, very impressed with what is about to happen.” At this point they are intrigued and because I said “trust me,” they give in. They tell me the information. After a show, as mentalists, we always get people coming up and challenging us to tell them some information we could not have known. The very nature of our shows whets their appetites for a personal experience. As mentalist we all have our excuses, “I’m too tired after a show, that is why I saved the predictions till the end of the show so I would not have to think,” or “I’m sorry, I have to get out of here and get to my next gig or I am going to be late,” or “I would love to, but they need me out of here so they

can clean up,” or “My wife is having a baby!” We have a host of excuses, but what if you did not have to have an excuse? What if you could do that one last thing that is just as strong as anything else in your show and you have impressed them so much they want to hire you and you could leave them with your business card with your information upon it and a permanent, personal reminder of what you did for them. Well, with pocket writing you do.

I’M A PHD Years ago I was at a show. After the show, as usual, a man came up to me and asked me to tell him something, well he actually demanded: “Tell me what I do for a living?” Now I could tell he was well dressed and successful, a possible client. I could have made an excuse and gone my way but I did not so... I looked at him as if surprised. “What did you say?” “Tell me what I do for a living?” “I thought you said that. You are not going to believe this but on the way to the show tonight I had a premonition that someone would come up to me and ask me just that question...This is very strange... What do you do for a living.” “You tell me, you’re the mind-reader!” He demanded. “Trust me,” I said, “If this is what I think it is, you are not going to believe this.” “I’m a gynecologist,” he uttered. Oh crap! I thought, how do you spell it and how am I going to write that in my pocket? So I pocket wrote as I pretended to be surprised. “Really, a gynecologist? You are not going to believe this.” I removed a few things from my shirt pocket and finally found the folded business card within. I handed it to him. He opened it and the shock was all over his face. What had I written? I had abbreviated it. Now that man turned out to have a lot of money, he has hired me on a yearly basis for over 25 years and still tells that story. He pays a lot of money. All because I had a folded business card and a broken pencil in my pocket.



CLOSING BITS AND PIECES D uring my lecture, after the session on pocket writing I take a few questions. Invariably, at approximately every other lecture someone will speak up and suggest using a nail/band/boon writer in your pocket for pocket writing. No, no, no! This is missing the point. If you are going to use such a device, use it outside of your pocket. But to use such a device in your pocket defeats the purpose. You will have to get the device on, you will have to remove it prior to folding your paper. Both of these things take time, and if you even try to use such a device you will find you will have to let go of your tablet, remove the device and locate the tablet to fold your card or paper, all over again. It makes no sense at all. Again, Magician Thinking. You can not improve upon a small pencil or crayon for writing with in your pocket. I mentioned in the beginning that in a pinch you could pretty much find the things you need in any situation to pocket write. All you need is a pencil and something to write upon in your pocket. An

open book of matches, a torn cover from a magazine, a post card, a business card will all work well. One time I even used a credit card receipt, the carbon type, and wrote upon it with my fingernail. I could go into detail about all the uses of Pocket-Writing, from predicting the pick three lotto to the half time score of a football game, but I am pretty sure at this point you can figure out how very valuable this tool is. To me the most impressive is a simple direct reveal of a predicted piece of information, the clever ones will use pocket writing to add a layer to an effect or method their routine is already using. Enjoy Banachek July 2014


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