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Secret products for mentalists.

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The moment someone spills the contents of a

glass I immediately react:

“I knew this was going to happen... I also

knew you would not believe me…So I took a
piece of paper and wrote what I saw."

I take out my wallet and hand it to anyone


“Remove the only piece of paper with a

question mark from my wallet, and please
read out loud what it says.”

The paper describes what just happened.

Jaws drop.

The secret is wonderful.

I just carry with me the prediction all the

The prediction describes ambiguously how
someone will accidentally spill the contents of
a glass.

It's then just a matter of waiting for the event

to happen, which eventually will and you have
a miracle with zero effort.

Of course, you can apply this principle to

predict lots of things. Just think about the
most not so common events that happen the
most in your life and go ahead and predict

Additional thoughts by Lewis Le Val:

I have been using this ever since José shared

it with me, I think it is brilliant. The note in
my wallet reads:

“At around half way through the

performance, I will knock a drink over and
distract everyone. I apologise.”

If I, the performer, spill a drink or knock it
over, I read the note out loud myself. If
somebody else knocks the drink over, I say
before handing them the note:

“Right on time! I knew this would happen,

and I made a note of it for you, as proof.
Take this and read it out loud.”

I have found that these words get, as well as a

reaction, a good laugh from the audience as it
looks like your prediction is making them
apologise for disrupting your performance.

If anyone asks you why you did not stop them

from spilling the drink if you knew it was
going to happen, mysteriously say:

“I’ve stopped it once already!”

You could also write:

“If I had not spilt the drink, the following

miracle would not occur…”

Again, the ambiguous ‘I’ in the sentence
means that it can be read by the performer or
a spectator.

If you use this line, you can then proceed with

your performance, whether you are half way
through an effect or about to begin a new one,
and act as if the outcome of it would not have
happened if the drink had not been spilt.

You could take this a step further by keeping a

nail/thumb writer in you wallet next to the
note, with the note saying:

“Only after the drink is spilt will the lady

guess correctly.”

In this case, you the performer should read

the note out loud. The lady could be the person
who spilt the drink, or if it was spilt by a male,
have them select any female in the audience
after you have read the note. Now say (to the

“On the back of this note is a two digit

number. It is the amount of people who have

spilt drinks during my performances in the
last few weeks. So tell me, what is the

Whatever number they say, use the nail writer

to write it on the back or bottom of the note.
You can use your wallet to lean on, like a mini

“I told you I had proof. Take a look.”

Hand the note to the lady and leave it with her

as a souvenir.

If you carry any $5/£5 notes in your wallet,

write on one of them:

“Allow me to buy you another!”

This can then be given to someone if you

accidentally knock their drink over. Simply

“I knew this would happen, so I wrote

something on there, just for you. Take a

This is a little something that I have kept to
myself for a while. What started as just a
throwaway line has now become something
that I use in almost every performance
situation after realising what impact it can
have on spectators! It is one line that you can
say at any point during your performance. At
the beginning, middle or end of a trick or
routine or even during casual conversation. If
used correctly, it will not disrupt your flow,
only enhance it, especially if used before a
reveal of a thought, card, name etc. When
used correctly, the Buzz Subtlety will give
your spectators the impression that you really
can read minds or predict future events,
because when it hits, there is no possible
explanation! You make a quick statement
about the future which moments later, comes
true. Pure and simple.

The line is,

“Someone’s phone is about to buzz!”

In this day and age people don’t just receive
notifications on their phone for calls and text
messages. People’s phones buzz (vibrate) for
all sorts of reasons. SMS, iMessage, BBM,
WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter,
Snapchat, Email... The list goes on! I bet your
phone buzzes for at least 3 of the above. I
know mine sure does! People just can’t seem
to keep off their phones, and they always have
them within reach. You will have no doubt
noticed this if you perform at restaurants or
bars. Phones are everywhere! So if you simply
say, “Someone’s phone is about to buzz!”
During your performance, you can bet that it
won’t be long before one does. It will happen
anyway, so why not take credit for it! Within
five minutes of you saying this line, if
someone’s phone buzzes they will be very
quick to announce, “It’s mine!” to the rest of
the group, and it looks like you predicted it.
Yes, even if it takes five minutes for a phone to
buzz you still get credit for predicting it,
simply because you said it before it happened.
If nothing happens, if there’s no buzz, just
continue as normal. People will and do forget.
As long as you don’t say another word about it
after casually delivering the line, they will
forget you said it if there is no buzz to remind

In the many, many times I have used The Buzz

Subtlety, I can honestly say that it has hit a lot
more than it has missed. People’s phones
frequently buzzing is such a normal thing now
that it has become one of the most predictable
things about us, yet people don’t realise that,
and that is why they’re so impressed when
you actually predict it.

Obviously choose wisely when you decide to

use this. If you’re performing for a group of
middle aged people or older, it is probably not
a good idea to use the Buzz Subtlety here. If
you’re performing for a group of younger
people, people who look like they use their
phones a lot, then definitely throw the Buzz
Subtlety in here! If you see them using their
phones a lot, if their phones are on the table, if
there is free Wi-Fi in the venue, or if they look
like they’re about take a selfie at any moment,
these are the best people to use the Buzz
Subtlety with. Obviously the more people
there are in the group or at the table, the
better your chances are of hitting. In the few
years I’ve been using this, only once has
someone said to me, after no buzz, “What
about the phone?” I simply put my hand on
the outside of my pocket where my phone was
and said, “Oh it was mine, I felt it a few
minutes ago.” So although technically it
didn’t hit, this line stopped it from being a
miss. I still predicted a phone buzzing. This
line is worth remembering in the highly
unlikely event of someone asking about it
after no buzz. If you ever need to say this,
don’t bring your phone out to show them and
over prove it, just say the above line with a
smile, and move on.

Here’s something fun. I haven’t done this for a

while, but I used to do this if I was exiting a
bar or a coffee shop etc. On your way out just
stop and say to a random person, “Your
phone is about to buzz!” then leave! If their
phone does buzz for whatever reason, great! If
not, it doesn’t matter, you’ve gone!

The Buzz Subtlety shouldn’t be taken too

seriously, just use it to give your performance

an extra kick. It creates something from
nothing. If it misses, it won’t harm your
performance in any way. It’s just a sentence. If
it hits, then it will make you look even more
awesome than you already are! ;) When you
go out and use this, and you see what
reactions this little line can get, I guarantee
you will be using it all the time!

Thank you again for your interest, have fun

with this and please feel free to get in touch
with me if you have any questions or would
like to share any experiences you have with

Oh and by the way, your phone is about to


Additional thought by José Prager:

Search “Fake SMS” on the app store and you

will find several apps which allow you to type
any fake message you want to receive at any
chosen moment. You can easily set up the time
before approaching a group, or even right in
front of them, it all depends on the situation.

The idea is to activate it as a “back up plan”
and leave it on the table in full view before
going into The Buzz script, then if someone’s
phone vibrates you’ve made a really clean
prediction, if not your phone will get an SMS
right in front of everyone and you continue
with Lewis’ original idea of just pretending it
was yours’ you pick it up, pretend to read your
message and simply place it back in your

You Were Missed!
By Drew Backenstoss
I REALLY enjoy the business side of
performing. I love engaging in the "Client Life-
Cycle" of finding a prospective client,
developing a relationship with them, booking
a show, performing the show, and then
maintaining a solid rapport that potentially
leads to additional bookings (either repeat
bookings or through word-of-mouth referrals).

In all honesty I can say that I have a 100%

booking rate IF I'm able to arrange an in-
person meeting/consultation with a new
client. Time and distance doesn't always allow
for such a meeting - although I've booked
SEVERAL shows over conference calls too -
but such an opportunity lets me demonstrate
live what my show entails as well as assists
the event committee in determining if I'll fit in
well with their colleagues and the overall feel
of the event. I'm confident that once someone
has experienced the fun and mystery of
having me manipulate their thoughts they will
be eager to share that feeling with others.
The subtlety that I'm about to disclose has
served me well in these meetings.

Allow me to paint a clear picture of the scene:

I've set up a time to meet with the committee

to discuss their event and give them a taste of
my special skills. I anticipate that four
individuals will be present - Mary, Michael,
Amanda, and Jessica. They are all from
different departments with their own unique
work loads - but they've found some time in
their busy schedules to meet with me because
they want to ensure that I'm going to help
them look GREAT in front of their peers.

I arrive at the office, sign in, and wait for a few

minutes before being greeted by Amanda and
then ushered into a conference room that has
been reserved for the meeting.

Once we are ready to begin it becomes

apparent that Jessica has experienced some
hiccups in her day and she won't be able to
attend - no problem though as three of the

four committee members are present and they
make the decision to move ahead.

Before going any further I remove an envelope

from my leather shoulder bag and place it on
the table in full view with the comment, "This
is a Thank You card - I want to give it to you
now so I don't forget later! You're welcome to
read it once I'm gone."

We then proceed to speak about the details of

their event until the discussion turns to me
"showing instead of telling" what their guests
will experience during my show.

I invite Mary to generate a random four-digit

PIN (to ensure that her ACTUAL PIN is kept
secure) and demonstrate a variety of ways to
seemingly pull the numbers out of her mind.
Perhaps on the first digit I focus on her verbal
"tells" as she recites the numbers zero through
nine out loud; on another I might gently take
hold of her wrist and attempt to "muscle read"
her nonverbal responses as I count aloud;
eventually though, we arrive at the final digit
and I propose to try something that looks like
"genuine" mind reading. I say, "You won't say
anything and I won't make any physical
contact - you'll simply think a thought and I'll
try to peek inside your mind."

I then tell Mary that I'd like her to translate

this final number into an exciting vacation
destination as follows, "If, Mary, you're
thinking of the number zero I'd like you to
focus on Los Angeles; if you're thinking of the
number one focus instead on Cancun; if its the
number two think of New York; the number
three will be London; four will be Paris; five
will be Rome..." and I continue associating the
remaining digits with different cities around
the world.

At the conclusion of my explanation Mary

confirms that she's thinking about a specific
city. I then proceed to reveal details about her
city - the sights, sounds, smells, etc. - slowly at
first and then building to a crescendo before
correctly identifying that she's thinking of

The discussion wraps up and they are eager to

lock in the date of the show because they
know that their group will love what I do.
On my way out I comment, "And be sure to
read over the Thank You card that I placed on
the table at the very start! It was a pleasure
meeting all of you!" And with that I exit the

A few minutes later the group opens the letter

and reads:

"Mary, Amanda, and Michael,

I had a great time visiting with you all today -

thanks so much for taking time out of your
busy schedules to meet with me... and please
tell Jessica that she was missed!

I'm confident that my services are a great fit

for your event and I look forward to working
with you.


Drew Backenstoss

P.S. Mary - I hope that you have a chance to

REALLY visit Paris sometime soon!"

This is as simple as preparing enough Thank

You notes to cover whoever might miss the
meet-up last minute. While setting up the
consultation I ask for the names of those who
will be present and then write up one note for
each person that could be absent from the
group. I also write a generic note that covers
the possibility that a) everyone will be
present, or b) more than one person happens
to miss the meeting. It just reads:

"I had a great time visiting with you today -

thanks so much for taking time out of your
busy schedule to meet with me.

I'm confident that my services are a great fit

for your event and I look forward to working
with you.


Drew Backenstoss
P.S. I hope that you have a chance to REALLY
visit Paris sometime soon!"

The above verbiage covers ALL angles - it
reads correctly regardless if everyone is
present or if you end up meeting with only one

In this case, you do lose the "You Were Missed"

prediction but the P.S. still leaves a satisfying
mystery for the group to reflect on.

Once you are aware of the final attendance for

the meeting you simply remove the correct
Thank You note and place it down on the table.
I like to draw attention to it so as to increase
the impact of the P.S. prediction. Even though
the only logical explanation for the "You Were
Missed" aspect of the prediction is to have
multiple notes - lay audiences simply won't
expect you to come so prepared. To top it off,
the "real-time" prediction found in the P.S. line
actually negates such a theory even further
and strengthens the idea that you genuinely
knew one member of the group wouldn't be
able to attend before THEY even did!

Regarding the P.S. prediction - here you are

simply using any strategy to force the desired
outcome. As outlined above I really like a
"Reverse Assignation Force" - meaning that
once I force (or learn) one piece of information
I can re-frame it as being associated with
another and then proceed to reveal this NEW

For those that REALLY want to know what is

going on with the PIN reveal outlined in the
performance description I often just use
TOXiC to force a four digit number on
someone. The logic of creating a random
number so that the participant can keep his or
her genuine PIN secure is sound and isn't ever
questioned. A nice little subtlety to add here is
that I'll often force a five digit number. After
the calculations I'll say, "so that should give
you a random four digit number yes?" The
person will then respond, "It's actually five
digits long..." To which I reply, "Oh...well that's
okay. Just focus on the first four digits - that's
all we need."

If you'd prefer to reveal someone's genuine

PIN or phone unlock code than I
wholeheartedly recommend Michael Murray's
"Calculated Risk". The "Reverse Assignation
Force" is even a bit more convincing at this
point because you are simply adjusting the
force item's location in the (verbal) list to be
assigned to the final digit of the person's
actual code (which you learned through
Michael's diabolical handling).

There are a number of routes to take

depending on what you'd like to accomplish.
Maybe you use a book test that forces a
particular word. Or perhaps you employ Colin
McLeod's "Perfect Prediction" strategy to
predict SEVERAL thoughts throughout your
time with the group.The options are really

I recognize that this takes a few minutes of

preparation, it burns through several Thank
You cards, and it may seem like over-kill...but
I can assure you that it leaves a powerful
impression in people's minds. I've done
enough live consultations with clients to
expect that nearly 50% of the time SOMEONE
won't be able to attend as planned - so I'm
happy to go through the extra work on the
chance that I can blow their minds with a little
extra KICK!

I hope this idea serves you well by enhancing
your mystique and perceived abilities in the
eyes of prospective clients!


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