Gary Kurtz – Spectator Affirmation Part I of 3 parts.

GeMiNi Buried Treasure from prolific Gary Kurtz – part one of 3. 

Gary Kurtz Mentalism

Spectator Affirmation
If a magician (whose profession it is to deceive people) says something, there is always a question in the spectator’s mind as to whether he is telling the truth or not. But, audiences will automatically take the word of a fellow spectator. To amplify the Magic Effect, we should get the audience to confirm what we say and do as often as possible.

The Nod Technique
Every time you want a verbal and visible response from a spectator, shake your head “yes” or “no” in conjunction with what you say or ask. When you emphatically shake your head the spectator will automatically shake his head (unconscious sympathetic reaction) and come out with the desired verbal response. An effective technique to know for stand-up, cabaret, and stage performances. Even if the audience can’t hear exactly what the spectators say, they can see their heads nodding “yes” or “no.”

Affirmation = Involvement
Using the first two rises of the previously described Ambitious Card routine as examples, compare the following two scripts to see which involves the spectators more:

Example A
Magician: “Place your card back into the middle of the deck. Good. Your card is somewhere in the middle of the deck; obviously not on top…. But I snap my fingers, and it comes back to the top….” Magician: “Once again. Your 5H. Into the middle of the deck. I snap my fingers and it comes back to the top again….”

Example B 

Magician: “Place your card back into the middle of the deck, wherever you like. There? …Now at this point Steven, how far down in the deck would you say your card is?….”

Spectator: “About middle….”

Magician: “About twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth?….”

Spectator: “No.”

Magician: “I just wave my hand over the deck through, and it comes…to the top!”

Magician: “Once again. Your 5H, yes?” (Nod Technique) “Into the centre of the deck. You see it go in, yes?….” (Nod Technique)

Spectator: “Yes.” Magician: “Even I saw it go in…. But I wave my hand and once again it comes back…to the top!” Fill in the text yourself for the rest of the previously described routine.The spectator verifies everything that you say and do. They are actively involved. You’ll have to agree that the Effect produced by Example B will be considerably stronger.

As the above examples illustrates, not only is this a good technique for amplifying the Effect, it also makes the performance much more engaging and entertaining. The spectators cannot simply sit back and watch passively. You actively involve them.