Follow-Up: Reverse Psychology Force

I received a number of emails about the Reverse Psychology Force. Half of them were hyped-up and super complimentary about the idea. The other half didn't get it. 

The half that loved it included some magicians whose work I really admire. So that reinforced the notion that I was on to something with the idea.

The half that didn't get it were a bunch of nobodies. So what do I care what they think? No, but I did receive some emails that said things like, "What's the big deal? You force a card and ask someone if they want to change their mind? How is that new?"

Which makes me think I didn't quite explain well enough the moment in the force that makes it so powerful. The moment which makes it, honestly, more powerful than any force I could do even with a gimmicked deck. 

If you haven't read the original post, scroll down a few day, you'll find it. The rest of this post assumes you're familiar with it.

So, you get to the moment in the force where the spectator is looking at the force card and you ask them if they like the card they have or if they want to start over and get a new card. How does this differ from just doing the classic force and then asking them if they want to change their mind? It differs in subtle but big ways.

The multiple, legitimate, free choices during the face down selection of the card
The psychological force card
The length of the selection procedure
The absolute illusion to the spectator that they are making a genuine decision to keep this card over any other one in the deck

Like many of you, I used to do the thing where I'd force a card on someone and then say, "And you're happy with that card? Okay so we'll take your card..." Where you kind of pretend to give them the option to change, but really you're just rushing them along and not even giving them any time to consider changing out of fear they'll say, "Yes, I want to pick a different card." With the Reverse Psychology Force there is no rushing. In fact, not only is there no rushing, you must slow everything down at the point you ask them. You are giving them the option to change and not ushering them on to something else, but letting them sit with the decision. So it feels for all the world like a genuine choice. It is a genuine choice but it's structured so they'll never take it. And it's this moment -- this moment where you slow down the process to wait for their final choice of a card after they've seen the face of the force card -- that can't be replicated in any other force. I mean, you can replicate it, but in that case you're just hoping to be lucky. This force doesn't require luck. The Reverse Psychology Force is like a three-legged stool. In a spectator's mind, in that moment of decision, they're thinking (at least on a subconscious level):

  1. I've already made multiple free choices during this selection
  2. I like this card I've selected
  3. I don't want to "start over" because this process takes a bit of time and I want to get on with it

It tics all three of those boxes. And it's all those together that makes the result of their "free choice" always, "I'll keep this card."  That's what I feel makes it the strongest force there is. The opposite of a force, is a free choice. And this is the only force I know of where the biggest free choice is apparently made after the force card is known. It's 100% disarming.

I wish I was able to express to everyone how much stronger this has made my tricks that involve a card revelation. It really allows me to do anything. And after any reveal you want, you get to backtrack to that moment. "You shuffled. You selected any card. And you even had the choice to change your mind after you picked this card." It's unexplainable to people.

This weekend I performed it with 100 tea-light candles in my bedroom indicating the card. I have french doors between my living room and bedroom and I had black-out shades on the bedroom side of the doors, so at night, when you looked through the door's windows into the bedroom it looked like a completely dark room. I performed this force on my friend in my living room, had her look into my bedroom, we walked over to the doors of my bedroom, I pushed them inward and it was almost like the room was painted with light as the doors swept open. It was essentially a black-art principle and looked very magical. (Although I wasn't trying to imply that the candles "magically appeared," or anything. It was just a neat looking effect in the moment.) And there was her card, the one she had just "freely" decided to keep.

And yes, I'm an idiot, and I left 100 candles burning on my bed unsupervised leading up to the performance of this trick.