How does Kreskin do it?

I got to see Kreskin live last night and he was truly amazing.
I don’t expect that anyone can give a scientific answer as to how he reads minds but I am convinced there are no plants in the audience. As a science teacher I fully doubt that he can read minds but as a member the the audience, it is hard not to believe that he some special ability. At one point, he told a couple what their phone number was! That was after he told them their street and house number! I can see how some of the stuff he did was gimicky and he did cover his mistakes well but his ability to tell people personal information, read hidden pieces of paper etc. was uncanny.

Is there any way to eliminate the possibility that he is getting the information from plants moving through the audience before the show?

Phone number and address might come up if they wrote a check at some point in the box office, maybe?


Heh, that guy’s still alive?

Unless he told me MY name, address, and phone number, I would still believe that the audience members are plants.

I am not a magician but let me ask how much do you want to spoil the illusion of the show? I can think of a bucketload of methods to come up with names, addresses, phone numbers and plenty of more obscure info from a crowd of people at a theatre. And that’s starting “cold”, that is with zero audience interaction.

If the audience does anything aside from “walk in, sit down and keep their mouths shut” then that opens up a host of other ways to come up with stuff that will seem amazing, including what I believe is one of Kreskin’s signature tricks, guessing a person’s SSN.

He’s spending a lot of money on plants!! He must have given about 30 people personal information. I suppose its possible that he garnered info from cheques. In one instance he had each person in the audience write something on a piece of paper. Later in the show he had an audience member randomly pick one of the papers. He was able to tell us exactly what was on that slip of paper!

Besides, he’s such a nice guy. He wouldn’t resort to dirty tricks. Would he?

A few weeks ago I saw (on TV) Criss Angel walk into a “random” bookstore; and then asked a “random” shopper to pick a “random” book from any “random” shelf. And then open the “random” book to any “random” page. And then pick a “random” word from the “random” page and commit it to memory.

Criss mysteriously guessed the exact word. I said “fuck you Criss; either their’s a camera or it’s a plant.”

'Nuff said.

It sounds to me like he gets name/address/phone number etc info from the box office and just uses that. It’s called “hot reading”. Read up. It’s commonplace.

As I’ve said before, I know very little about “magic tricks” but from what I have read most of them simply rely on people like you not believing that the “magician” would resort to the simple underhanded tricks that the “magician” actually uses.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. And as to the “nice guy” part, if one has a stage show which relies on various underhanded tricks to fool the audience, how would one act in order to make people like you believe the tricks? Would one act in a way that made people think you would sell your grandmother or like a “nice guy”?

As to the writing on a piece of paper thing, there is only one sure thing: he or a someone working for him read the piece of paper. The only question is when and how. There are as I understand it lots of ways to achieve such basic trickery.

For about $14.95 you can go into an internet service that will supply almost anything you want to know about an individual. So somebody buys tickets to the show on Ticketmaster, gives them a CC #, telephone # and address. Ticketmaster knows the seats. How hard is it to track down the rest of the info? He could probably tell the person who their high school crush was.

I’ve seen a bit of Criss Angel. Obvious BS. Kind of a giveaway when a woman gets pulled in half and her top torso starts crawling away. Very entertaining though!

I am pretty good at the intrenets. Do you think I could make a show where people give me their name and I show them how good I can use google and zabasearch to tell stuff about them? That would be sweet and I will be famous.

That’s what I’m looking for. How? He has no assistants with him. I still don’t believe he uses plants.
Sitting here at my computer, I can have great doubts and be convinced that he is pulling tricks but being in the audience and seeing him interact one on one with seemingly random people, I had my mouth open in awe for a good hour.

No such thing as magic. Or unicorns. Or leprechauns.

Poke about on google. Magicians who appear to know what is on bits of paper written by members of the audience are dime a dozen. See if you can find a method that fits. As I understand it, most magicians use variations on old standards, so finding a description that fits perfectly may be unlikely.

The only way we could analyse the trick would be for you to tell us, moment by moment, exactly what happened with those bits of paper. But straight away there is a problem, I guarantee: you cannot say. Why not? Well one of the key elements of trickery is “misdirection”, which is a fancy way of saying that tricksters do eye catching stuff to make you look in one place, while they shamelessly do other stuff while you are not looking.

For example, one of the first things I noticed about your post in which you describe Kreskin appearing to know what was on the paper was your words “later in the show”. There is no way your eyes were on the pieces of paper for the whole time.

Don’t get me wrong: skeptical as I am, and interested in magic tricks as I am, I virtually never manage to figure out how tricks are done. Once in my entire life did I spot how a trick was done as it was done. Much of the time, even watching a video of a trick over and over again with liberal use of the pause button it’s hard to spot how they are done, though sometimes you get it eventually.

Someone posted some video of (I think) David Copperfield doing a trick with a duck and a box the other day. I must have sat in front of it with my mouth agape through about a dozen viewings before the penny dropped. There’s no shame in watching a good magician and being totally fooled, therein lies the fun! But the fact that you were totally fooled doesn’t mean it wasn’t basic trickery at bottom.

Psst. That was Justin Timberlake and you’re confusing a vowel.

It was fun. Maybe I should leave at that. But I can’t. Guarentee when I get another chance to see him, I’ll have this all figured out.

Which is more likely, he can read minds, or he can pay people $500/show to be a plant.

Oh and paging Ianzin

Could someone explain this to someone who’s a bit behind on cultural references?

Justin Timberlake hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in which he was in a music video called “Dick in a Box.” It’s on Youtube if you’re curious…we had a couple threads about it around the time.