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Bob Cassidy’s
Exclusive Routines
©2003 by Sacred Chao Productions
(The material contained herein originally appeared, in slightly different form, in the
manuscripts supplied with two of my original exlusive releases – The Mentalist’s Kit, and
The Remote Viewing Wallet, both of which are no longer available anywhere in any
form. I have rereleased the routines because I think they are among the best I have ever
Q and A 2000
The Medium’s envelope test
A Remote Peek
Q and A 2000
Principia Mentalia
I first used the term “Jazz Mentalism.” I love this routine
because it allows plenty of room improvisation and yet has a very solid structure.
Here is what it looks like to the audience:
The mentalist distributes 3” x 2 ½ “ billets (index card stock prefolded into quarters)
and pencils to everyone present. They are told to focus on thoughts that are important
to them, or upon questions to which they would like an answer.
He says, “Fill in the spaces on your card where it asks for information so we will have
a record for future verification. In fact, we need a judge to supervise things here. How
about you sir? You look somewhat honest.”
Pointing to three spectators spread throughout the audience, the performer continues,
“Would you please stand? I’d like to set up a special test with each of you.”
He instructs the first spectator to concentrate on the name of a childhood friend and
to print it on her card. The is told to write the name of a pet he or she once owned,
and the last of the three is asked to draw a picture. These three envelopes are
numbered and handed to the “judge.”
“The rest of you will need envelopes, as well. Fold your cards into quarters and seal
them up. I don’t want to touch them!” (The performer hands out envelopes to
everyone. If he has an assistant she can help with the distribution.)
Another spectator is asked to collect the sealed envelopes in a large bowl, which is
then brought back to the front.
The performer reaches into the bowl and removes an envelope. He crumples it in his
hand as he begins to give his impressions. Looking directly at a member of the
audience he proceeds to answer her question directly. He tosses the envelope aside,
still unopened.
He removes another envelope and the procedure is seemingly repeated. If the
question is overly personal or silly, he asks that the owner not acknowledge it. After
the thought is revealed, the performer opens the envelope and gives the billet to the
judge for verification.
Interspersed with all of this, the mentalist reveals the answers to the three special tests
and concludes the demonstration by duplicating the thought of drawing.
If he had a mind to, the mentalist could answer every question in the bowl, but this
would make for a long and boring performance. Instead, he reveals about ten
thoughts- seven from the bowl, plus the three special tests. The picture duplication
adds a perfect and visual finish, which is usually lacking in the classical Q&A routine.
From the audience’s point of view, the whole thing looks very direct. Everyone has
written questions, and three people have been directed to think of specific things as
special tests.
The entire audience is involved, which is what makes this type of routine the
strongest in mentalism.
There are four distinct methods employed by the performer, which is what makes the
effect unfathomable. Each method serves as a logical disconnect for the others.
As readers of my previous works have already deduced, the entire act is structured
on the framework of my version of “Fourth Dimensional Telepathy,” as published in
Art of
Mentalism, Part 2.
This is the method used to reveal the thoughts of the three
“test subjects.”
(I must assume that all of you are familiar with at least one version of this effect, even
if it is only Annemann’s original. )
As I have noted, the three special tests give the routine a framework and allow for a
visible conclusion- the mentalist and spectator standing side-by-side exhibiting
identical drawings. (Which is also an excellent applause cue.)
The second method employed is double-speak. You will recall that the cards
distributed to the audience are preprinted. All they say is: “PRINT YOUR THOUGHT
OR QUESTION HERE “ at the top of the billet, and “NAME_________” at the bottom.
Except for three billets, which have preprinted questions on them. The cards say, for
“WILL I WIN THE LOTTERY?” At the bottom of the billet it has a place for the
persons name and date of birth.
These three cards, which are on the bottom of the stack of billets at the outset, are
given to three well- separated spectators. To keep them from noticing that everyone
else has different cards, the performer keeps saying, “Don’t let anyone else see your
question card, I don’t want anyone to think that somebody is peeking at your card
and signalling me,” or words to that effect. Printed on these cards is a request for
their name and birthdate so that these people don’t wonder why everyone else is
writing on their cards. Reread the presentation to see how misleading this is.
When envelopes are handed out to the audience, these three spectators are given
marked envelopes. (They needn’t be marked to identify their owners, you just must
be sure that you DON’T take one of these out of the bowl later in the routine.)
The third method employed is a simplified use of George Anderson’s “Dynamite
Mentalism.” That is, you will later answer three questions without addressing anyone
in the audience in particular, or while looking at an imaginary spectator in the back of
the room. These questions are ones that are asked at every show. (These vary
according to age groups and socio-economic factors, but any of the primary works on
cold reading will provide you with many such questions, to which you have already
worked out an entertaining and/or humorous response.)
The fourth method is a hybrid of two ancient ploys- the fake question and the one-
In your right trouser pocket, paper-clipped together so you know which is which by
feel, are two folded billets containing fake questions. For example, they might be,
“What is my wife’s name?” and some ridiculous question like “What time is it?”
To go one-ahead, which happens twice in the routine (apart from the Fourth
Dimensional elements), the performer gets one billet in finger palm position and
removes an envelope from the bowl. Shaking his head in disgust or amusement, the
performer tears the envelope open and removes its billet. He unfolds it and
memorizes it. He refolds it, and hands it to the judge. Of course it is switched for the
fake question along the way. The judge opens the dummy and reads the stupid
question aloud. The performer shakes his head at the imaginary writer.
The routine then can be broken down this way:
1. A planted question is answered. (The lottery number question in the
above example)
2. The first test is performed. (The childhood friend)
3. Go one ahead with a switched out dummy billet. Do a revelation of the
info just peeked and toss this envelope aside. (This is important. While
some envelopes are opened during the routine, just as many are tossed
away without being opened. This is one of the “logical disconnects”
which “prove” that you are not using the one ahead or similar
4. Second planted question.
5. Second test question.
6. One ahead with switch for dummy
7. revelation of info just peeked.
8. Third planted question
9. Third test- The Picture duplication
This accounts for 9 revelations. You may intersperse the Anderson readings as needed or
substitute them for the dummy questions and one ahead segments. This is all part of the jazz
aspect of the act. And that is the beauty of it. With no preshow whatsoever you have a full-
length one-man (or woman) question-answering act that is extremely direct and utterly
Well, that’s two percent of your act- the rest is your presentation and performing skills.
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