Sunday, April 10, 2005

Change of Mind for the Lazy and Unprepared!

As I have mentioned before, I love Richard Osterlind (Its not like that, I have a girlfriend). Osterlind's thinking is brilliant and in my opinion he is THE best mind in mentalism these days. No, I am not affilitated with Osterlind on any level other than being a student of his wonderful products and effects. I just like to give praise where it is due.

One of Richard's effects that appears on his "Mind Mysteries" video series is called "Change of Mind". The effect is both simple and amazing. The mentalist predicts what coin spectator is going to select before the spectator selects anything. Not only is the denomiation of the coin predicted but so the date of the coin. It is a beautiful effect and I encourage everyone to pick up the DVD and watch it.

The last prediction in this effect is brilliant. The performer shows a handful of change that is in his pocket. He then makes a prediction. A spectator reaches into the pocket and pulls out one coin and sure as shit the prediction matches. This is a great ending that requires a little prop to be built that is easy to build and compact to carry. However, I am to lazy to do anything these days so I came up with my own handling that I am going to share with you. Of course, I am not going to tip Osterlind's methods so if you already own the effect you will know what I am talking about. If you don't then you should go over to Osterlind's website and buy the product and then you will know what I am talking about.

Okay, I mentioned I am too lazy to build the overly simple prop that Osterlind's handling requires. Instead, I use a small drawstring bag that can fit in my pocket. Here is what happens. I ask if any spectators have some loose change in thier pockets. When I find a spectator that does have the spare change I hand them the clearly empty draw string bag (it really is empty) and I ask the spectator to pour his change into the bag without showing anyone the amount or types of coins. Then I proceed with Osterlind's method for predicting the spectators coins with the only difference being the spectators choosing the coins from the drawstring bag instead of their pockets. To end, I decide that I should choose a coin too. I write down my prediction and I reach into the bag and pull out a coin (remember, these are the spectator's coins and I never touch the bag until I have to reach in and pull out a coin) and slicker than snot on a door knob my prediction matches the coin I pull out.

Predicting my selection is super simple. I have a coin of my own in finger palm. When I reach into the bag I just pull out my palmed coin. Of course, I have written the information from my palmed coin as my prediction and all ends well.

I truely believe Osterlind's version is better than mine. However, if you are lazy like me and don't want to put together the very simply prop than this will work well. Also, if you ever find yourself without the prop and are asked to perfrom you can use this version to great success. You don't need a drawstring bag. Instead, you can using any non-transparent container (even and envelope) to hold the change. The only real downside is that you will lose money on this effect. After all, it is supposed to be the spectator's money so you have to give it back. But, if you use pennies or nickles it shouldn't bankrupt you.

So there is my slight variation on "Change of Mind" for those of you who are either lazy or find yourself without your prop. I just hope I haven't soiled Osterlind's great thinking too much. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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