Magic Trick: Thought-transference: another performance


A very brief description of another telepathic act. It should probably not be performed for the general public as it involves an assistant touching and being touched by the audience: a perilous idea in these days of sexual harassment suits.

The performer introduces and mesmerizes his assistant. He circulates among the audience and gets from several members a particular action that his assistant will perform. This is done in a low voice so that the audience nearby, not to mention the assistant, will not hear. He then has his assistant enter the audience and perform the required action, one per audience member. Mystification rules!


What actually happens here is that the performer and his assistant have a memorized list of actions that the assistant will perform: polish spectacles, ruffle hair, transfer a handkerchief from one pocket to another, etc., etc. While the performer is apparently soliciting actions at random, he is actually forcing audience members to agree to one or another of the actions on the predetermined list. As this is done in a low voice, no individual member of the audience will realize that s/he actually isn't making his or her own suggestion; any good performer can force agreement on any subject; besides, most people in an audience won't speak up too loudly or disagree with the performer.

The performer must make a point of remembering the audience members he has selected, as well as which action each has agreed to. When he's selected a dozen or so, he makes mesmeric gestures causing his assistant to enter the audience; then by more gestures — but really by imperceptible signals or low-voiced comments if they pass close enough together, he indicates which audience member is to be approached — in the order of actions on the list, not the order in which he selected them. When they are finished, the performer invites the audience members to confirm that his assistant has performed correctly.


The assistant is supposed to be mesmerized; so it may be a good idea to inform the audience that a female assistant is programmed to defend herself from unwanted contact.

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