Symbol Minded by Mark Strivings


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An incredible mentalism effect that baffles audiences! 

Picture this: 

I’m at a cocktail party and performing strolling magic. I am working with a small group of very nice people and I kick into the following spiel. “Suppose you were to walk up to ten people randomly on the street, hand them a pen and a pad of paper and ask them to draw a simple design, shape or object. Nothing complicated. Something simple. A design. A shape. An object of some kind. Something that you could take a quick glance at and state exactly what it is. Not a scribble or anything like that, but an actual something. If you did this you would probably get a house, or a flower, or a tree. Make sense?” 

Whereupon I remove a small packet of roughly 30 business card sized cards and show them openly. “This is just a bunch of stuff. Designs, shapes, objects. All very simple. All immediately recognizable. And they all fall into the category that I outlined for you before. As it happens, there actually IS a house and a flower and tree in here. In a moment, you’ll select one of these items and it’s entirely possible that you might get a house or a flower or a tree. But understand, that would be entirely by chance and it’s nothing psychological. And if you’re not happy with your selection, you can pick something else. Fair?” (See the pic above to get an idea.) 

With that said, the cards are spread and one is freely selected. There is no force or limitation of any kind. While they look at their selection and show it around, I remove a single card (the size of a business card) with a bunch of symbols on it (again, see the pic above to see this card). “On this card is everything that is in that packet of symbols. We didn’t look at all of them, but they are all here. Indeed, do you see whatever it is that you selected?” 

“Yes.” (Let’s say they picked a light bulb) 

I would then show that on the other side of the single card is my business card, and that I would like for them to concentrate on whatever picture they had selected. I would then take a pen and focus on their thoughts. Eventually I would make a simple drawing in the corner of the business card. 

“For the first time, what object are you thinking of?” “A light bulb.” 

The single card is now shown and you have drawn a light bulb. You take back the ‘light bulb’ card and they get to keep your business card. 

I can then instantly go to another group and do this entire scenario again with no reset and a completely different result. And again, and again, and again… 

There are two things that are particularly important. First of all, I am instantly reset and can do the effect again immediately with a completely different outcome. And when I say immediately, I mean IMMEDIATELY. I can do it all night long this way. The only times that the results are ever duplicated (no pun intended) are purely by chance. It’s amazing. 

Second, this is absurdly simple! Beyond simple! In fact, this very well may be the easiest really good effect you will ever do. Just to give you an example, I once taught a six-year-old kid to do this trick in literally two minutes time. The kid then immediately went into the lobby of the place where we were and proceeded to do the trick for everyone who went by for the next hour, knocking them dead every time! True story. 

Some points to remember:

  • Zero sleight of hand
  • Zero memory work of any kind
  • Zero calculations of any kind
  • Works every time without fail
  • Instantly and endlessly repeatable with different results every time
  • Always ready to go, resets instantly
  • 100% examinable
  • Absolutely no force of any kind
  • Includes artwork to put the multi-symbol card on the back of your business card (this is GOLD!)

You get: 

32 business card-size symbol cards like the individual cards in the pic above. You will use these over and over. Printed on incredibly high-quality stock, these will last for years of constant use. 

40 ‘revelation cards’ which contain ALL of the symbols on each. Again, see the pic above. These are to get you started. You can do this as simply as putting your phone number of the other side of the card along with the design duplication. You’re good for 40 performances. 

A ‘ten-up’ master of the revelation cards above. This is for one of two uses. If you find that you prefer to use the basic revelation cards (like what comes with the set), then you simply take this master to your business card printer and have them print as many as you would like. You’re set for life! An even better approach would be having them printed on the back of your business card. This way you have a completely logical reason to give them your card at the end of the effect and get the gigs!

You can do this in literally ANY close-up environment and come out looking like a mind reader!

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