Lawyer Boy Rick Lax performs a card trick via YouTube. As always, I got curious about it and tried to figure out how how the trick worked. Another mentalist trick revealed after the jump.

*Please watch the video first before reading the rest of the entry.*

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Card tricks such as this one are entertaining because they still work even without a live audience. A pre-recorded video picking up stray thoughts from your mind? It’s certainly creepy and fascinating at the same time. This also makes it a topic for a little analysis. Here are the things that might have worked towards the big reveal.

The Big Screen

Rick asks the viewer to picture a big, blank screen with its four corners while showing his hands in a peculiar way. Notice that instead of depicting a regular quadrilateral, his hands are pretty much configured like an upright diamond. Yes, you heard that right, he was actually showing us a diamond.  He repeats the same gesture over and over the whole act which actually led me to discovering what he was actually doing; Mentalism works by employing subtle gestures as a way of suggesting outcomes. (You’ll also notice that he’s wearing an item of clothing with diamonds patterns on.) At this point, it doesn’t matter what the next step was (i.e. picturing a color bright in your mind) because, assuming familiarity with card suits, imagining a diamond would always lead us to the color red.

Show Me a Number

Rick Lax shows the number three

When did he suggest the number 3? A closer inspection of the video yields that he did this while asking us to imagine “the pips going down the card”. Notice that his hand was showing three fingers as he does this, moving three times downward to emphasize the point. No gesture was done after that point, which might have cemented the suggestion. Then the big reveal: it’s the three of diamonds.Of course, we already knew that, right?

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Performing the trick requires much practice and I can say that Rick did put a lot of effort into this; employing suggestion the way he did is not really an easy thing to do. I was only privileged to see it in video and I probably wouldn’t be able to spot the trick if I saw it live. At the very least, I’d just have niggling though that there’s something amiss but I wouldn’t be able to put my finger onto it.

Sidenotes:

1. The title of the video explains that this was a Derren Brown illusion. Derren Brown is quite a skilled mentalist and maybe the topic of a future post. Stay tuned.

2. You might be interested to know that Rick Lax has a book to his name:Lawyer Boy: A Case Study on Growing Up. Seems to be an entertaining read, I’ll probably post a review in the future.

3. As always, post your thoughts and comments in the comments section – I’d love to hear from you!

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