What's the Difference - Part 7
Reading Hidden Writing Thingies
Mentalists have always been after a way of seeing what they are not supposed to . Here I outline a few of our most popular devices for secretly reading a hidden message.
Mental Board by I-Magic:
The spectator writes something down on a little slip of paper. This is folded up and placed somewhere that the performer cannot see. Then the performer somehow manages to recreate the drawing or word written by the spectator. This is my least favorite of the gimmicks that we'll be taking a look at today. You may like it, if you really work at it, but I have not been able to get it to work 100% of the time.
Strengths: When it works, it's an amazing effect and it is very inexpensive.
Weaknesses: The instructions are lacking and the method doesn't always work. I've also been caught once by someone who saw how the trick works.
I don't want to say "don't buy this." It has its place in mentalism and can be a killer effect. It's just going to take a little practice and nerve from the performer to achieve the reaction it deserves.
Thought Transmitter by John Cornelius:
A thought of word, number, or symbol is written on a post-it note and hidden inside of the opaque wallet. You can then draw, or state whatever was hidden from you.
Strengths: This is mentalism at it's best. The gimmick is awesome and the possibilities are endless.
Weaknesses: I don't want to give anything away, but there are batteries involved and they aren't the easiest kind to find or replace. Also, if the spectator puts the post-it in the wrong place, it will be hard to get a clear reading.
TeleThought Wallet by Chris Kenworthey:
This basically has the same effect as the Thought Transmitter, but it's a little more user-friendly.
Strengths: You don't have to hide the actual peek from your audience. Again, not wanting to give anything away, In the video demo, the wallet is just lying on the table in front of the spectator. I can see everything that they wrote on the card; while they can see nothing. It's like having x-ray vision!
Weaknesses: The wallet kind of looks funny. The edges are trimmed with gold and there are plastic slips on either side.
Well, there you have it. My review of mentalism thingies that let you see things that are supposed to be hidden from you. Have fun getting into people's heads.
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