A fun bit for mentalists who aren’t afraid of being lighthearted occasionally. And for magicians who do some mentalism or mental magic.
Yesterday’s free Kindle book on out-of-body experiences (in the Magicreads section) gave me an idea. You’ll need a ‘pencil topper’ that can show two different sides (not all are suitable). These are small objects, such as erasers, that fit on the end of a pencil. They can often be found in shops that carry stationery, school supplies, or toys, and are also used as advertising handouts.
Here, we’re going to have a smiley, or otherwise friendly face on one side, and a trance-like face on the other. The first one has open eyes and an upward curve for the mouth, the second has straight lines for the eyes as well as the mouth. The simplest way is to use a ready-made pencil topper and two round stickers on which you draw the faces. Alternatively, you can make a suitable pencil topper yourself with very little work, using heavy paper or card stock, or felt or other material, or one can be crocheted.
When you perform a light-hearted prediction effect, go through the preliminaries until it’s time to write the prediction. Then explain that sometimes, you like to give your powers a rest, so you use your assistant to do the work. Show the pencil, smiley side of the pencil topper showing, and introduce him or her. Interact with the pencil topper as much or as little as your persona dictates, then place it into a trance. Turn the pencil between your fingers so that the trance side faces the audience. After a few moments, claim that your assistant is ready, then write the prediction with the pencil; alternatively, have it whisper into your ear, then write. Wake him/her up and put the pencil away — perhaps adding that, now that it’s awake, it can go back to sleep in your pocket.
Conclude the effect normally.
For a divination effect, the pencil topper can have an out-of-body experience — astral projection — and go into the spectator’s mind, or look inside the envelope, etc.
You can use the paddle move to show the smiley face on both sides, then magicially produce the trance side — also on both sides, of course.