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Circle Force
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by Ross Tayler with Fraser Parker
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Circle Force
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by Ross Tayler with Fraser Parker
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Intuition Publishing
2015
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Copyright 2015 Ross Tayler and Fraser Parker
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All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be
reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express
written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations
in critical articles.
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PDF first published in 2015.
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Intuition Publishing
Badgers Hollow, Chapel Lane, Mareham-Le-Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
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Circle Force
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Foreword by Fraser Parker

What you are about to learn in my opinion, is a thing of beauty. It is a


card force that is not only very reliable in its application but also
extremely deceptive, thanks to the linguistics at play.

Ross credits an idea from my first manuscript, True Mysteries as the


foundation for this method. However, you would perhaps not recognise
this right away. I know this because when Ross showed me his approach
over Skype, I was completely fooled by the simplicity of the method. He
mentioned he had updated the thinking on it and then proceeded to blow
me out of the water by nailing the exact card I had thought of with a
seemingly free choice, all done with words and a single card prediction
that had been in his top pocket for the entire conversation previously. I
knew then that what he had come up with was something relevant, new
and exciting, which had to be shared with the magic community.

After gently nudging him for the rest of our time on Skype, I finally
persuaded him to write out everything he knew about his force and how
he had been using it, hence the following work. I am very excited about
this method and am pleased he has managed to refine a method of mine
that was unfinished when it was originally shared.

-1-
I wish I had this as a tool in its current state when I first envisioned a
force that allowed someone to change their mind, alas, I had to wait until
Ross came along to have this dream made a reality.

At such a young age, Ross has impressed me greatly with his thinking;
not only with this effect but with other methods we have worked on
together. He has the right attitude towards performance and a great
natural discernment when it comes to working out what will play for an
audience and what is only a pipe dream. So please be assured that this is
something that can and does work reliably, most of the time.

Fraser Parker

January 2015

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-2-
Introduction

Greetings!

Welcome, first of all, to the Circle Force manuscript.

These few pages will detail one of my approaches to the psychological


forcing of a playing card.

There are, of course, many forces of playing cards in the literature so


whats different about this approach?

Firstly, its not simply reliant on probability, or the assumption that


certain people name certain cards its actually mechanical. Thus it is
sufficiently reliable to use in effects above and beyond the simple
guessing of a playing card. A further peculiarity with this force is that
even if it misses, and every element of chance is against you, the number
of cards a spectator can be thinking of remains tiny! Therefore its
incredibly easy to have outs set up, or fish within the possibilities.

Secondly, and amazingly! The spectator actually changes their mind! A


card is thought of, and then to prove no cheekiness is taking place, you
have the spectator change the card! Yet still you can predict it.

This method was inspired by an idea Fraser published as a bonus in his


fantastic book, True Mysteries 1. Here the spectator thought of a card,
and then changed their mind. By discovering the first card thought of, it
was possible for the performer to determine roughly what card the
spectator had changed to. This was a really interesting idea to me, and by
reverse engineering it, I devised the approach youre about to learn.

-3-
As with any psychological method (or indeed any other method), theres
a chance of failure with this effect. This will most often be due to poor
spectator selection, or an awkward delivery of the script. Keep in mind
the scripts contained herein were written by me, with my pacing,
tonality, vocabulary etc in mind. If you repeat them verbatim, this force
will not be so effective. Your spectators will smell a rat when your style of
speaking changes and this small amount of discomfort will be sufficient
to put their backs up, limiting the efficacy of these techniques. However,
if you practice this and adapt it to your own character, I promise youll
have a great deal of success with this force!

Many thanks to Fraser for encouraging me to release this and providing


the platform through which to do it. Hes a great friend, a real gentleman,
and an exceptionally talented performer and creator! I have an optimistic
premonition that this will not be the last time we have the chance to
collaborate.

Ross Tayler

January 2015

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-4-
Basic Effect

A card is placed on the table. The participant is asked to think of a


playing card, and then change it in their mind. The tabled card is turned
over and shown to match their thought.

Method Outline

The principle upon which this effect relies is that one category of cards
i.e. the pictures, is massively more limited than the other category, the
numbers. Resultantly, by switching from a number to a picture, the
number of possible choices reduces from 40 to 12.

Thus, by surreptitiously guiding the spectator to think of a number card


at the start of the effect, and then having them change aspects of their
card according to your guidance we can cause them to think of a
picture card.

This, combined with psychologically prominent choices and a simple


colour force, allows us to guide our spectator towards a small number of
cards with one being most prominent: the Jack of Spades.

The Script

Were going to build a card up one piece at a time. First, Id like


you to think of the colour. Now the number. And now the suit. In
fact, to make this fairer, change your card entirely. So if youre
thinking of a black card, change to red, a red card change to
black. If youre thinking of a picture change to a spot, a spot
change to a picture. Obviously pictures are the Jack, or Queen/
King, spots are Ace through to ten. And then settle on a suit.

-5-
Script Analysis

To begin, we must guide the spectator to mentally select 1 of the 20 red


spot cards. We do this by having them gradually build the card in their
mind allowing us to first force the colour and then limit the
possibilities for values. This is done with the following lines:

Were going to build a card up one piece at a time. First, Id like


you to think of the colour. Now the number. And now the suit.

Lets break this down.

By telling them were going to build the card up, this stops our
participant from jumping ahead, and thinking of a card outside of our
parameters.

We then ask them to think of a colour. This psychologically leads them


towards the red cards, as most people dont consider black a colour.

This next stage is sure fire: we always know the spectator is going to end
on a picture card, as we dont give them that option in the instructions.
We tell them to think of a number, not a value. Therefore, we can be
certain theyll think of a value between Ace and Ten.

Asking them to think of the suit last prevents them from over-thinking
the previous instructions. By stacking the three together, the spectator is
put under pressure, and less likely to deviate from our path.

These instructions are delivered rapidly, and I personally snap after each
instruction to add an additional layer of urgency to the proceedings. The
spectator is now thinking of one of 20 cards, and its clear we couldnt
know.

-6-
We now proceed with the second part of the script, to guide our
participant to the Jack of Spades.

In fact, to make this fairer, lets change your card entirely. So if


youre thinking of a black card, change to red, a red card
change to black. If youre thinking of a picture change to a spot, a
spot change to a picture. Obviously pictures are the Jack, or
Queen/King, spots are Ace through to ten. And then settle on a
suit.

The first part of this script justifies the changing of the card. Justification
= Acceptance, and therefore you wont be questioned on this.

Next, we guide them to change from a red card to a black card. As we


know what theyre thinking of to start with, we can narrow their choice
by labelling their decisions. As they dont know their first choice was
influenced, this truly seems to randomise their selection.

Similarly, we control the spectator to change to a picture card. By


referring to the number cards as spots, we avoid them noticing the
restriction placed upon them earlier (this may seem unimportant, but
considering the proximity of the instructions, the entirety of the force
being over within 30 seconds or less, Id rather not take the chance).

We now employ an element of Kentons The Secret methodology to


guide the spectator towards the Jack. By having it separated verbally
from the Queen and the King, it stands out in the spectators minds.

We end abruptly on the suit, guiding the spectator towards the


psychologically preferred suit, Spades.

-7-
The force is now complete. The script is delivered quickly and casually, as
if the decision to change is spontaneous. Any sense of process will disrupt
the deceptiveness of this method.

Frasers comments

The basic strategy for the ploy from The Secret Ross mentions is
to say the force card first then mark it out from the other options
by pausing slightly then naming both of the other cards together in
quick succession. This, coupled with the Jack of Spades being the
most psychologically appealing black picture card, makes the odds
of hitting this force very good indeed.

The suit selected will likely be the Spade, due to psychology: most
spectators opt for the suit which is easier to visualise and name
(most seem to struggle to recall what the more intricate symbol of
a Club is called). I have been using this as a force for over a year
now and have only ever had the spectator choose a Club a few
times when asked to name one of the black suits, especially when
pressured slightly with a snap of the fingers. Naturally, this may
change from culture to culture, so you should do what best fits
your location and use those psychological likelihoods as your force
items.

Variant Scripting

An alternative means of guiding the spectator to a red spot card would be


as follows:

Id like you to think of a card, nothing too obvious, and lock it in


your mind.

-8-
I would only perform this on a female spectator, and naturally, it is
slightly chancier than the original script. That said, this is how it works:

Females, by and large, will think of red cards. This is half of the script,
and the chanciest element. I find it to be quite reliably the case, however.

Guiding the spectator to a spot is done through the line:

Nothing too obvious.

Picture cards are generally perceived as being more obvious than


number cards, and thus will not be selected.

The second phase of the script now proceeds as previously.

Room for Error

The Worst Case Scenario: Initial colour force may miss the spectator
can still only be thinking of 1 of 12 cards, as they have no option but to
think of a number at the start.

Second Worst Case: The psychologically prominent suit may not be


chosen - the spectator can only be thinking of 1 of 6 cards.

Third Worst Case: The Secret fails the spectator can only be thinking
of 1 of 3 cards. They will be very close.

Final Thoughts on the Force

I personally have no preference for either script. The first is slightly more
reliable; the second may seem more relaxed. Choose whichever best fits
your character and performance context.

-9-
If using the second script on a man, you may choose to use the Jack of
Hearts as a force card, as he is statistically more likely to be drawn to a
black card initially.

Frasers comments

I would be tempted to use the shorter variation outlined above as


it suits my bold approach to performance. In my mind, I am going
into it with a fifty percent chance of getting either a direct hit on
the card or very close and the other fifty percent of the time still
getting close with a picture card of the wrong colour. My chances
are even greater if I follow my instincts as to which colour my
spectator may choose first.

I agree with Ross that in my experience most of the time a female


spectator will choose a red card first and a male will be more likely
to go for a black card. To me this is good enough. I am only
warming up with a quick card effect, so a miss here is not a big
deal and can be easily brushed off as I go into something else. I
may also occasionally place down the Queen of Spades for females
or Queen of Hearts for male spectators, so that no matter which
picture card they decide on I will be very close to their card and
usually only be off by one value (thank you Kenton)!

I may even adjust to placing the Queen of Spades in front of a


female spectator due to the psychological likelihood of them
choosing a Queen, and use a King for a male. Ill only do this with a
compliant spectator, otherwise I will place down the Jack.

Of course, if you do not wish to be so bold you can use whatever


outs you desire. I may at times place each of the three most likely

-10-
choices separately in each one of my pockets and reveal the card
the spectator eventually names.

Another multiple out I may choose to perform would be to place


the King of Spades (or Queen for a female) in my pocket secretly
before any mention of an effect has taken place and arrange a deck
of cards with the Jack of Spades on top and Queen of Spades on
the bottom of the deck. I would then leave the deck in sight on the
table and proceed with the effect. This allows me to reveal either
prediction as needed.

If you are still unsure then instead of placing your prediction face
down on the table before you start, you can leave it in the deck and
quickly check the colour of their first card before taking out the
card of the opposite colour, as your prediction. This questioning is
more in line with the original method from True Mysteries and will
go by completely unnoticed by your spectator. They will still be
impressed you can get anywhere near their final selection, in terms
of suit and value.

As for the original version of the scripting. The way this is


performed by Ross gives him a ninety percent hit rate. If you
follow his scripting and say it in your own way you should also be
able to get the feel for this in terms of its pacing and delivery and
achieve the same results. I may instead say,

Think of a colour... (pause), one from out of the deck

to imply a card with an actual colour of red as opposed to black,


which many would consider a non colour, when given the choice in

-11-
this way. When addressing the number selection I would disguise
this element of the force by saying,

Think of the number of the card...

and adjusting the meaning of the statement by continuing with the


words,

or value.

If you snap your fingers after the first part of this statement then
your spectator will commit to a number before you seem to offer
further choice of the picture cards, after they have already made
their decision. This is an idea from Peter Turner to create the
illusion of a greater selection field after subtly forcing the spectator
to commit to their choice, with a snap of the fingers. I would then
leave the suit selection as is. This is just my preferred approach.
What is important is how you deliver these lines yourself. Use
whatever lines and exact wording work best for you. However, if
you do modify the scripting, it is essential you keep in tact the
same structure and order in which the lines are given to get this to
work.

I may also say the following words before getting the spectator to
change their mind,

To make this even fairer, when I snap my fingers, you are going
to change your mind to a completely different card.

This line allows you to give all of your instructions to the spectator
before they change to a different card as well as control when this

-12-
happens with a snap of the fingers, ensuring they do not drift off
and think of a non-force card too early.

The beautiful thing about this method is the fact that it exists in
words, which disappear after they have been spoken. This
combined with the fact a seeming free choice for the spectator to
change their mind is created, along with the use of certain
psychological ploys, all come together to create a bold deception
which is very hard to back track. This notion of tying up the effect
is cemented even further when the following thoughts on re-
framing are applied to this effect.

Reframing

Its often said that most of an effect happens in the minds of our
participants, after the performance. Therefore, we should always be
acutely aware of how they go on to remember an effect. I therefore
thought it necessary to include a brief discussion of creating false
memories via the reframing, or recapping process.

Essentially, this process involves us retelling, to the spectator, how wed


like them to remember an effect. For those who doubt the necessity of
efficacy of this technique, heres an example of just how strong this is,
taken from my own performing experience:

I was doing an impromptu performance at a friends house party, and


had taken the time out to bend a coin for a PK routine (if you want an
impromptu coin bend, nip outside, slip the coin into a crack in the
pavement, and kick it). I went into the routine, switching the coin into
the participants hand then using suggestion to have him feel it bend. It
absolutely blew the guy away. Then the bte noir of the modern

-13-
performer struck. A month or so later I bumped into this guy in the pub,
and he informed me hed got bored one day, so found himself searching
how to bend a coin by magic on YouTube. Of course, it didnt take him
long to find the method. He told me he knew I must have switched the
coin, he was right but heres where it gets interesting. I responded:

Thats really interesting, and Ill be honest I know people who do


it that way, but think back did I ever even touch the coin? I
couldnt have switched it.

He thought for a second, then a frustrated grin burst across his face,

Damn it! You didnt! I thought I had you!

This stuff works. In the context of this force, Id suggest the following
script:

So lets quickly look at how fair this is! I asked you to think of
any card in the deck that was a totally free choice, wasnt it? No
influence or restriction! And then to make it even fairer I had you
change your mind entirely! How many times did you change?
Clearly theres no way I could know to what card youd change
before even you knew!

Note the irritating number of exclamation marks. I find it important to


become quite animated at this point, so as to sweep the spectator along
in the emotional journey and shut down their critical faculties.

The points we mention multiple times are those we really wish them to
remember:

That all of their choices were free.

-14-
That they had total freedom in their decisions.

That they could have changed their mind in any way they wish,
possibly multiple times.

Essentially, we increasingly exaggerate how impossible the effect was,


but using similar wording along the way. Therefore, people accept
increasingly incorrect statements as fact. Lets take the coin switch
scenario:

1. Ooh, no, you take that, I dont ever want to touch it!

2. Okay, make sure I stay away from the coin, I dont want to touch it.

3. And be sure to see I dont ever touch it!

4. Again, I never touch the coin.

5. Is that really bent?! I never even touched it! Can I touch it now?

See how a statement about my own intentions soon slips into a reality
altering statement.

Use these techniques both in this routine and in others I guarantee it


will make your magic stronger.

Frasers comments

Reframing in this way is very important. It helps to not only create


a false memory but to also get rid of any (in this case true)
explanation for how this was made possible; In this case, the use of
a force. If you can, you should plant these ideas in the mind of your
audience during the effect, so that later on it is easier for them to

-15-
create a false memory due to the fact that they now have pieces of
scripting they remember which will fall in line with the false story
you wish to create.

Effects

Due to the speed and reliability of this force, it has practical applications
beyond a simple card guess. Here I will run through several
presentations and effects utilising this method, combined with other
psychological ploys to achieve totally hands-of feats of mentalism, mind
reading and mystery.

Influence

A card is placed face down on the table, in an envelope, wallet or even the
spectators pocket. You speak with the spectator about advertising,
hidden messages and subliminal influence. The spectator thinks of a card
under the fairest possible conditions, even changing their mind. You are
then shown to have influenced their thoughts.

This is the simplest application of the force, however there are some nice
elements to this presentation that make it effective. Firstly, youre really
doing what you say youre doing. Even if a spectator where to cotton on
to elements of the method (they wont, but just imagine), you really are
using words to influence someones thoughts theres nothing to
uncover. Secondly, on the rare occasion you miss slightly, youll always
be close. Therefore you can point out that, like advertising, these
methods cant produce precise results but its clear how they can
produce results closer than mere probability would permit.

!
-16-
Frasers comments

If using an envelope or wallet there are many possible multiple out


methods you can employ, to ensure that you are always seen to hit.
I myself, prefer the bold approach of using a single prediction and
sometimes only being close. Either approach is fine, in my opinion.
Due to the lack of outs needed and thanks to our unique scripting
and approach to forcing a playing card this becomes even easier to
arrange, for those who wish to have a definite outcome, every time.

Psychic Spectator

A card is placed face down on the table, in an envelope, wallet or even the
spectators pocket. You tell the spectator to slip into a negative state of
mind, and think of a card. You then encourage them to focus on a time
they felt positive or especially intuitive, and now to change their mind
entirely. The new card is named, and it is then shown that the spectator
is more skilled than they first believed.

Again, a very simple application of the force. The shift in spectator state
justifies the change of mind. I love this type of presentation, as if the
spectator is guessing, it prevents them from being difficult. Its also far
more pleasant and theatrically interesting to apparently give a spectator
a skill, or teach them to achieve their potential. The fact that theyre not a
real psychic will act as an out if the force misses slightly.

Frasers comments

This is a very interesting notion. It creates an immediate


emotional relevance for a simple card plot as well as creating a
possible framing to ensure success with the force, itself. I have not

-17-
tried this yet but if you were to label the first card's colour
selection as reflecting a negative emotion, I would be willing to bet
that the spectator would be naturally drawn to black due to its
association with negative emotions and vice versa for the positive
emotion being associated with the brighter colour of red. The
proper labelling and scripting would therefore, ensure the force
would work as planned. I will leave it to you to find the best words
to use for this.

Psychic Spectator, with two cards

Two cards are placed face down on the table, in an envelope, wallet or
even the spectators pocket. You tell the spectator to think of a card. You
then instruct them to change their mind entirely. Both cards are named,
and the spectator is shown to have guessed them with a startling degree
of accuracy.

This effect is slightly risky, but the payoff is very strong. Often, youll find
that the first part of the script will lead spectators to think of the 7 of
Hearts. This is a very psychologically appealing card anyway, and with
the script structured as it is, the odds of the participant thinking of it are
quite in our favour. The Jack and 7 are placed down casually, and we go
through the force. When the Jack is named, it is turned over. We then
enquire out of interest what their first card was. If this was the 7 or
close, we reveal it. If not, the card is casually tossed back into the deck
without a word.

Prop-less Tossed Out Deck

Six spectators stand in the audience. The performer instructs each to


think of a card, and then change their mind. The performer takes a

-18-
moment, then with some struggle names six cards. One at a time, each
spectator is then instructed to sit if his or her card was named. All sit
down.

This is a beautiful effect, which can be utilised close up or on stage. It


combines the Circle Force with the Hoy Principle and some further
scripting to create the illusion of a multiple mind-read with no props,
pre-show or fishing. Briefly, the Hoy Principle involves forcing a single
piece of information upon a group, then apparently reading each of their
minds individually by revealing several pieces of information, including
the force item, and then asking each spectator to confirm that you named
their thought. A multiple reality is created, as every spectator believes the
other thoughts named where those of their fellow participants.

Have six spectators stand from different areas of the audience and
perform the force on the group. Once all have cards, go through your
process, whatever that may be. Now continue with the following script:

Okay, Im not certain on all of these, but this is what Im getting:


the 3 of Clubs, the Jack of Spades, the 4 of Hearts, the Queen of
Spades, um theres also a red picture card. Really send it! Okay
no thats all Im getting, a red picture card, but we can count that.
And finally, the 9 of Diamonds.

Each spectator is now addressed individually. Moving from right to left,


point at each of them one by one and instruct them directly, as follows:

If I received your card, please sit down.

The idea of addressing the spectators individually is an excellent one of


Wayne Dobsons. It serves the dual function of building the climax, and

-19-
thus creating multiple applause cues, and strengthening the illusion that
each spectator was thinking of a different card.

Lets break the script down quickly to show why its so reliable! This is
the most important section:

Jack of Spades the Queen of Spades, um theres also a red


picture card. Really send it! Okay no thats all Im getting, a red
picture card, but we can count that.

So firstly, youll notice that two of the most likely cards are named the
effect is not reliant on The Secret element of the method hitting
perfectly, as two of the Spade picture cards are included in the script.
This increases your odds of hitting. Secondly, youll notice that theres no
need at all for the colour force at the start of the effect to hit, as every red
picture card is covered by the second part of the script. By saying that
we can count that we are telling the spectator to accept their mind as
read, thus they will sit down.

So what if a spectator or two remains standing? Ive only had this happen
twice. Firstly dont panic, youre reading minds; four out of six isnt bad!
But we can actually recover further remember how earlier we saw that
theres only ever twelve cards the spectator can be thinking of (assuming
every psychological aspect of the force misses) if they followed your
instructions. Weve mentioned 8 of these in the above script: all six of the
red picture cards, and two of the Spades. We are therefore only fishing
for one of four cards! The options are the Jack, Queen and King of Clubs,
and the King of Spades. We handle this as follows:

Yes, I said Id struggled with you, it wasnt the four of Hearts,


was it?! No. Okay, re-focus! This is a Club, yes?

-20-
The first part of the script does a few things. Firstly, it implies you knew
youd get this wrong, so you dont lose any control over the situation.
Secondly, by inferring that you thought the four was theirs, youre
cementing the suggestion that each card you named was aimed at a
different individual. This beautifully covers the use of the Hoy Principal.

If the spectator responds that the card was in fact a Club, just guess at the
Queen. At worst youll be off by one (bare in mind the audience dont
know that you know theyre thinking of a court card so this will still
seem very impressive).

If not, we know their card is the King of Spades.

If more than one spectator is standing, state that you feel as though a
coincidence has occurred, and ask if theyre both thinking of a club. If
neither is, both are thinking of the King have them name their card on
3. If both are, guess that theyre both thinking of the Queen as normal. If
one is thinking of a club and the other not, name the Queen first so that if
it misses you can end on the strong revelation of the King of Spades. By
mentioning the coincidence, we have a chance of creating an additional
layer to the effect, so its worth the punt.

Frasers comments

This to me is simply beautiful. To the audience having multiple


thoughts to deal with, it would appear to be far more difficult,
however thanks to the scripting, we cannot really miss. This effect
on its own is worth the price of the manuscript. The fact you can
still hit the spectator's card or be very close on the very small
chance you are left with one or more spectators standing is
brilliant and only adds to the effect, in my opinion. Not getting all

-21-
of the cards correct right away creates further drama and also
prevents this effect from always being too perfect. Being able to
state that two spectators are thinking of the same card as a
coincidence and to be able to name the exact card they have in
mind is also a real bonus effect, which can occur from time to time.
The idea of getting the spectator to sit down if you are only close
with one of the thoughts is a subtly from Luke Jermay, he uses as
part of his devious and brilliant Touching on Hoy routine.

Pseudo-Berglas

A borrowed, shuffled deck is placed on the table well away from the
performer. The spectator thinks of a card, and then changes their mind.
The new card is named. Another spectator is instructed to give a number
between 1 and 52. The performer never touches the deck. Someone deals
to the named number, turns the card over, and it is the thought of card.

Here is one of my approaches to the ACAAN/Berglas Effect plot. The


appeal of this effect as it is generally performed lies almost entirely in its
shear impossibility. I do believe its possible to make it emotionally
relevant, contrary to the opinions of many mentalists and magicians,
however much of the time its impact derives from the fact that its
statistically improbable (although not quite so improbable as we like our
spectators to think). The effect becomes all the more impossible if the
deck is never touched by the performer and this is what Ive
endeavoured to achieve by this handling. I say pseudo-Berglas, as neither
the card or the number are truly free choices as the original dictates
however hopefully the effect is viewed in exactly the same manner by the
spectator as both feel free.

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The set up is simple. The Jack of Spades in the 36th position in the deck. I
normally accomplish this by cutting the Jack to the face of the deck, then
casually shuffling 16 cards from top to bottom. The deck neednt be
touched after this.

Perform the Circle Force and have the card named. Half the work is
done.

Now to force the number 36 - Ive developed a technique I call the Ruler
Force to do this every time. This is included here as a bonus, however at
this point any method of getting a card to a number without touching the
deck will work. This could even be combined with Frasers approach to
the Berglas Effect presented in True Mysteries 1, those of you who own
the book will see how killer this would be.

The Ruler Force

This is a prop-less timing force Ive developed after several years of


playing with the dribble forcing of playing cards. Both forces are entirely
based around proper pacing, and being assertive with your spectator.

I make direct eye contact with the spectator, and ask them to visualise a
scale in the air between 1 and 52. I mark this scale out with my hands,
being sure to draw the scale left to right from the participants
perspective. Precise labelling and direct commands are key for this force
to be effective.

I now begin sliding my right hand from right to left along the scale and
instruct the spectator to call stop. By watching the participant closely,
one can predict precisely when they are going to say stop, and adjust the

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pace of the right hand movement accordingly. Most frequently, the
spectator will have you stop just over 3/5 of the way along the scale.

This is where you must be really assertive. Stop at that point and address
the spectator:

There. Youre sure? That must be what, 35 36? Yes. And that
was a free choice, you dont want to change. Youre happy with
36.

This is a series of questions, but theyre said as statements. In reality,


after the spectators called stop, they dont get a chance to speak until
theyre nodding and agreeing with your assessment. Only when you know
theyre not going to change do you step off them and ask if they felt the
choice was free. Nodding your head whilst making these statements and
keeping solid eye contact is a very effective way of increasing your
spectators compliance.

A small amount of experimentation will allow you to find your own pace
with this very bold force, and calibrate precisely how much pressure you
need to put on your spectator, and when you can begin relieving it.

Once the card and number have been named simply take a few
moments to recap the effect (take the time to create a false memory of
how free everything was), before having a spectator pick up the deck and
deal to 36 for the revelation.

When playing with the number force early on, its possible that the
spectator will decide they want to change the number slightly. They cant
move that far away, so dont panic (they, after all, apparently decided
their own restrictions by calling stop where they did). Its a simple matter
to casually move a few cards from top to bottom or visa versa in the

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action of handing the deck to a third spectator to count. With practice,
this wont be necessary.

There you have it, a totally hands-off ACAAN!

Frasers comments

I would personally just place the force card on top of the deck and
then use a Andrew Gerard idea of using a reverse count to create
the illusion the spectator dealt down to the force card. The correct
way to do this is taught on the True Astonishments box set, for
those who want to use this option. If you hit the card directly, you
can then either reveal it as the top card of the deck or go into a
pseudo any card at any number.

I have also used an idea I first saw my friend Peter Turner use to
get the spectator to deal down to the correct number of cards. This
method requires placing the force card seventeen cards down in
the deck and then using a timing force to get down to the exact
card. You simply have the spectator slowly deal cards one at a time
face down then when they have dealt thirteen cards, say the
following words to them in a casual manner, just stop wherever
you want. They will usually go three more beats and deal three
more cards face down before stopping. You can then have them
turn over the next card left on top of the deck or if they go one card
extra just get them to turn over the card they just dealt onto the
pile of cards on the table. This way you get two chances at hitting
the force number. If you stack the 3 force card outs on top of the
deck, from the start, in the following order: Jack of Spades, Queen
of Spades and King of Spades, then depending on which card they
name, it is a simple matter to change the position of your timing

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force to hit the correct card. If they were to name the Queen of
Spades for example, you would simply adjust when you tell them
to stop dealing, in this case, telling them to stop after they have
dealt the fourteenth card, one extra to the original placement of
the force, the thirteenth card. Therefore, with a simple adjustment
you can cover all of the most likely possible outs. If you miss the
card force with either method you can simply ask what card they
thought of and then set up either method by looking through the
cards face up and casually cutting the card they name to the
correct position in the deck, to create the outcome of either effect.

Notes on Missing and Final Thoughts

It is possible that occasionally, due to poor delivery, participant selection,


or simply some spectators being total arses someone will have
intentionally or otherwise diverted from our path. In all incidences, the
best solution is to brush it off as nothing. Blaming the buffoon will only
make matters worse, and if their mistake was unintentional, you risk
alienating a potentially shining participant (especially as following their
mistake, meeker spectators will often be especially eager to please and
become putty in your Machiavellian hands). Real mentalism is hard
this should be clear to your audience, so if your attitude is correct, theyll
forgive something as little as missing a playing card.

Of course, if one is proficient with the basics of sleight of hand, many of


the effects herein could be rectified with a simple top change, double lift,
palm etc, should you be so inclined. Ill leave this up to you, and your
decision should be dependant on your character, presentation and
performance circumstances.

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Equally, one could simply move into a different effect if the force misses.
Lets say were set to perform Pseudo-Berglas, with the Jack of Spades in
the 36th position; and the force misses entirely the universe is against
you. The spectator names the 4 of Hearts. Just improvise! The Jack could
serve as a key card, allowing you to quickly shift the 4 to the correct
position before performing the Ruler Force. Or you could simply locate
the 4 and use it for a stop-trick. Or really think: based on the process
weve taken them through where must they have started? On a black
picture card of course! Why not ask what their first card was, give
yourself another chance to hit! Or use an invisible deck as an out.
Whatever you do, just remember to stay relaxed. You own the
performance space. Only you know where youre going. Only you know
your process. Theres nothing to call you on.

Ultimately, when performing any effect theres a chance of missing. Key


cards get forgotten, breaks bet dropped, swami lead snaps, spectators
write above the impression device or miss-fold the billet; the list goes on!
As mentalists we neednt worry about this, and as magicians we have the
tools to jazz around it. This effect is reliable, and this effect is powerful.
Learn it, use it, and create some real miracles for your spectators.

Frasers Final Thoughts

I will give you some final thoughts on missing. Some of you


reading this will be unhappy that this is not a one hundred percent
method for psychologically forcing a playing card. I personally, do
not mind the fact that this works more often than not, around nine
times out of ten. To me this effect falls into the ten percent I allow
myself to fail in my performances. I feel having a slight chance of
failure only adds to the believability of my performances when I

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occasionally miss. In fact, if I get a succession of hits during a set I
will usually add in at least one near miss or failure anyway, to
breed credibility into my act.

The good news is that with this method you will very often have a
way of hitting the exact card someone is merely thinking of even
after they have had a free choice to change their mind, or you will
be seen to be very close. The percentage of potential success to
failure far outweighs my fear of failure.

Luckily for those wishing to be less bold in their approach there


are many different systems available for multiple outs from special
envelopes to wallets. One simple solution would be to place three
of the black force cards (the Jack, Queen and King of Spades) in
your left pocket and three of the red force cards (the Jack, Queen
and King of Hearts) in your right pocket and pulling out whichever
one you need as your prediction, after the spectator has named
their card. Now you can only ever be slightly off on the suit, which
will be a very rare occurrence if you follow the script as we suggest.

I believe what makes our approach unique is the fact the method
allows for a seeming free choice for the spectator to change their
mind. The fact that the force happens earlier in the script to get
them to a card that is, in itself, a seeming free choice, as well as the
fact it is discarded early on, means that it is completely forgotten.
This in turn, makes what you do very deceptive and the effect
outwardly very fair.

As with all psychological forces of this nature, if it fails, simply


move on to something else and use the card they thought of as the
selection for another effect.

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Thanks and Credits

Again, many thanks should be extended to Fraser for providing the


original inspiration for this method of forcing a playing card.

There are many other forces in the literature, heres a very brief list of
these as well as some excellent forces on psychological forcing as a
broader subject, all of which you should investigate:

Derren Brown has a force of the Jack of Spades in his excellent book
Pure Effect, as well as in his fabulous Devils Picturebook' tapes. Both of
these sources contain an array of other mental card forces these works
are seriously worthy of study.

Docc Hilford has an interesting force of the 6 of Clubs, which I first saw
published in Psychological Subtleties 3. This book contains several other
methods of psychologically influencing spectators to think of certain
cards.

The Psychological Subtleties series is essential for anyone wishing to


look into the subject of psychological forcing.

Peter Turner has some excellent work of forcing playing cards and other
pieces of information in his various works. Specifically, Id suggest
looking into his DVD sets Jinxed, Devil in Disguise and his Penguin
LIVE Lecture.

Ben Seward has some great thoughts on both forcing and fishing for
cards in his fantastic Cog manuscript. These techniques are
exceptionally difficult, but well worth the practice.

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There are doubtless others but these are the sources that occurred to
me first. Study all of these works, and youll have an excellent set of tools
to work with.

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