Luke Jermay - A Twisted Palm.pdf

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A Twisted Palm By Luke Jermay

This is something I use very regularly when performing in a darker mood. On the surface, no trickery is possible, as the effect uses nothing more than the spectator’s hand. Underneath this surface appearance are giant icebergs of deception. First, let’s consider how this effect looks to your audience. The performer offers to read a spectator’s palm. He does so, looking at the lines, when suddenly a look of surprise overtakes him. “Your future is not set in stone, and in fact you have the true ability to shift and warp what defines your very being” The performer instructs the spectator to look downward at their palm. He asks them to tell everyone what they can see. “The lines of my palm are moving” The performer asks the spectator to be clearer with her statement. “The lines are moving on my palm. They are shifting around and moving” The performer looks the spectator deeply in the eye, snaps his fingers, and thanks her for her help. She looks down, to her now perfectly normal palm. This effect I am sure will be brushed aside as being completely unworkable and no at all practical by all but the worthy. It is nothing more that scripting or linguistics. There is no real deception at work on a physical level. The spectator actually deceives herself into believing she is seeing something that she is not. Stare intently at your own palm now, while thinking about the lines on your palm moving, warping, deepening, lightening and twisting. Take a moment to do this. Do it now. Right you’re back. Already you have begun to understand that there are many advantages at work in your favour. It is an interesting visual illusion that if you stare at a perfectly straight line, in time it will begin to move by your perception. This has to do with light refracting in your iris, as well as the distractions around your peripheral vision. We infuse this visual illusion with some heavy suggestion. The effect will vary, but in my own experience, it will never flat out fail. The effect will change with each spectator. I do try to ensure each and every spectator is influenced as much as possible. Occasionally you will have to settle for the rest of the audience believing the lines are moving wildly, when in fact they are barely moving to the spectator.

Imagine we are joining the performer as he is offered a lady’s palm, in request of a palm reading. “It would seem you are an overly critical person, to the point of actually creating problems that did not already exist – a perfectionist. It would also appear that you a fairly quiet person, but when the mood strikes you, you can be the life and soul of the party” These are standard cold reading strategies. I develop this as far as possible in the time I have, at times offering deeper reading than others. “The thing is you have to remember you have the ability to shift and change…your future is not set in stone, and in fact you have the true ability to shift and warp what defines your very being. We look at your palm and all the lines taking their different meanings, meanings that only you truly understand” This is the beginning of the shifting line process. The shifts may happen very quickly in the eyes of a spectator or very slowly. We will deal with there as they happen. “See the funny thing is, well…you can actually see the lines saying that you control your future right now. If you just look down and concentrate for a few moments, you will see what I mean now really just relax and look down. Can you see those like I can? I mean, are the lines clearly moving to you yet?” The spectator may reply, “No, nothing yet”. Don’t worry. In such a case, you need to add a few psychological extras to ensure the spectator begins to see the lines on her palm move. I personally feel time and silence are two of the most useful tools at this point. If you simply allow the spectator some time, and look at their palm expectantly in silence, you will often be surprised with the results. Time and silence are key factors to keep in mind, as well as your own belief in expecting results. “Just tell me how the lines are moving now? In circles? Wiggling lines?” This is important. You do not ask them if the lines are moving or not, but rather how they are moving. Asking how they are moving makes the hidden assumption that the lines are moving. It is solely a question of how they are moving. A spectator has little choice in what to say. They are subtly forced to find a response that fits what you have asked. Whatever you get in response, amplify and expand on what they have said. “You can see them moving, swirling, turning, shifting and contorting just as I did a moment ago…But keep watching and tell me exactly what you can see now” Cover the spectator’s hand with your own as you continue “Look up at me. Now something really weird is going to happen, and I mean really weird. All I have to do is this”

At this point, I lightly trace the shape of a cross on the spectator’s palm with my forefinger. “Look down now! You can see that cross right? How bit is it?” Once more, you are forcing the spectator to answer in an affirmative way regardless of what they can see. It is not always possible to make people see. Most times, I find it possible to get people to see a cross on their palm. The silence and waiting rules still apply, of course. Wait until the spectator believes what you have said is what she sees. “You can see all those lines on your palm forming a cross starting you in the face right? Now will you answer me one question?” This is the end of the sequence and it has two main parts. First, the spectator must focus on answering the direct question you ask. This allows all that you have said before to be assumed a fact. The focus is on the question you are about to ask, and not on whether the spectator saw the cross. Second, to end it is important to break the suggestion in some way. I use the following tongue in cheek question. “You’re not a Vampire are you? I mean if you are still a Vampire and you see a cross well there is no telling that might happen! As you are still in good physical shape, we will assume you are not a vampire. Thanks very much, you were great! Remember you have the ability to change what is ion front of you and your perception of it, no one else” The final statements serve to break a suggestion that some spectators find a little worrying. It is hard to convey the exact sequence of actions that take place in live performance via the printed page, when dealing with such material. Video however could never give you details that print does. This effect can be pushed even more in séance settings. If you like the idea of this, it will be covered more thoroughly in Kenton’s “Kentonism 2”. In Kenton “K2”, a spectator believes they see a hole in the center of their palm. Your commands and scripting need to suit your own style to work fully. Take the script and play with it, exchanging parts for wording that suits you. I would suggest not moving too far away from the basic structure give however, because it works!

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