At Vanishing Inc we pride ourselves on bringing you real-world effects, and Mesmerize from Stephan Olschewski is a great example of a workable, solid mentalism routine.
Ideally suited to audiences of at least 15, you get all of your audience members to think of ANY thought - no restriction. Having supplied each audience member with a small card, pen and envelope, you have them all write down their thought and seal it in the envelope. Having sealed their thoughts, you invite your audience to throw their envelopes to you, creating a barrage of envelopes hurtling at you on stage!
You then have a spectator selected at random (see bonus section below) to come up and choose from the floor around five of the scattered envelopes. From the selections, you invite the spectator to narrow down and select just one, giving you the remaining four (or so). Once a final choice is made, you have them sign or mark the back of the envelope to ensure everyone is happy that you have not switched it later on.
Once signed, you open the envelopes your spectator did not choose, revealing the thoughts of various spectators from the audience. You then invite the spectator to remove the card from their signed final selection and read out the thought written on the card - for example 'Helicopter'.
You then point to a glass that has been on display the entire performance that contains a black sealed prediction envelope. You have your spectator remove and open the envelope and inside is a folded piece of paper which accurately predicts the thought selected by the spectator (for example, 'Helicopter').
Some points to note:
- Your audience members can write down ANY thought
- Your spectator on stage can select ANY of the thoughts thrown up
- The spectator's final selection gets signed BEFORE you touch it
- Your prediction is on display the entire time and is not switched out
- There is no pre-show work
- There are no electronics, sleeving or suspicious moves
As a bonus, Stephan covers his version of using a tossed out crumpled piece of paper to select the volunteer, which ends up with a prediction not only of the thought selected but also the name of the volunteer.
By Stephan's own admission, Mesmerize is based on an tried and tested principle, however the workings of this effect are not often seen in the genre of mentalism. A fresh new approach to a prediction effect that will leave your audience begging the question 'What if?'
A small amount of craft work and some supplies easily obtained from your nearest craft store will be required to create and perform this effect. However, we're sure once you try this method out you'll be using it in every performance.
Mesmerize from Stephan Olschewski is available from Vanishing Inc as a video download, so you can learn how to get this effect up and running right after your purchase.
Brilliant and clever indeed... this gentleman has forged a total masterpiece.Larry Becker
I think it's terrific prediction, and I love the final punch-finish. Clever and very practical.Peter Duffie
It's perfect. The method is wonderfully simple and direct and I image it plays extremely well. I give it my highest recommendation.Sean Waters
Brilliant, yet, simple, the only way to do it.Marc Salem