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Profile of SShawUK
Firstly I'm a long time lurker, first time gentle.

I've been following a lot of the posts on here regarding Pentel's genius Frixion pens, and have no doubt many people have put them to some amazing uses. I've been messing around with one for several months now, and haven't really come up with anything amazing to date.

I've recently purchased an effect that shall remain nameless, the crux of which requires you to determine the colour of the spectators mentally selected card. The rest of the effect plays brilliantly, however, I've always been put off by the old "Your card is a red card, is it not?" ruse.

I thought I'd share this with the rest of the Café, as I've found it very useful this weekend when performing to a few of my more astute friends, and hope someone can put it to some use. It's by no means amazing, but I think its something I'll use, and hope someone else might get some benefit out of it.

So.....for those effects where it is essential early on to ascertain the colour of a chosen card, here is my spin on it using nothing more than a Pentel Frixion pen and my business card.

So spectator has a mentally selected card. I take one of my business cards out of my wallet and mimic writing something on it. In reality, I have already prepared this card with the word "Red" written in standard black ink and the word "Black" written in black Frixion ink. On the back of the business card, I have written, again in Frixion ink, "I knew you would choose a black card"....or words to that effect.

So, I tell the spectator that I have just made a prediction as to the colour of their card, and that if it's right, I will then go on to name their card in full. I ask them if they would be impressed if the colour of their card was what I had just wrote on my business card. I ask them to name the colour of their chosen card. When I show them the card, there is a mildly comic moment when they realise it has both "Red" and "Black" written across the front, do with this as you please, I do nothing as I find it ridiculous. Anyhow, and here is the crux of this, depending on their choice of colour, I do one of two things, and I'm sure you are already well ahead of me here. If there card is black, I reply with something along the lines of "Of course, I knew your card was black, I knew it was black before you knew it, that is why I wrote this on the back of the card before I left the house"...showing them the reverse of the card with the black prediction.

On the other hand, they name red.....I reach into my pocket, and grab my lighter...."Interesting" I muse....."Selecting a red card shows me you have a strong character, permanence, a solid grounding in life, in social encounters you're not the type of person to fade away into the background" I say the words "fade away", I wave the lit lighter underneath the business card....the word "Black" does the out on the reverse of the card...

I now have the information I need to continue with the effect, in a manner I feel comfortable with. I am also totally clean, with one prediction that can be inspected, that was in plain view the whole time.

I hope that this is of some use, and look forward to any feedback anyone has on other uses of these pens. I haven't looked into any commercial effects utilising these pens, so if this is infringing on anything anyone else has already published, I will happily remove it.
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
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Profile of carmean
Like it, nice idea!

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Simon Shaw, Suffolk, England
416 Posts

Profile of Bananafish
It is a nice idea but making the writing fade away like that could appear to be a bit magicky, which may not be the impact you want.

Personally, I would just go with the comedy line..

"I am thinking your card is cherry coloured?"

If they say yes, an immediate hit, if thet say no, or pause to think - you then have the funny comeback line

"What, You have never heard of a black cherry?"

The fact that you are then going on to name their card, makes this strong enough to do that, plus it is a funny (and imo - endearing) line that shows you don't take yourself (or your powers) too seriously...

Just a thought (from one SShaw to another)
The Wizard of Hearts
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
323 Posts

Profile of The Wizard of Hearts
I like it too. Especially the way the "out" disappears along with the wrong choice. That's something Max Maven would come up with. Very good. Thank you for posting it. It's going in my notebook even as I type.
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Profile of SShawUK
Thank's for taking the time to read this everyone, I'm glad it's been of some use to someone.

Bananafish: I really appreciate your reply, in fact, the "cherry colour" method is the exact one outlined in the effect. And whilst I use it in some cases, it just doesn't appeal to me for this effect. The term "Cherry Red Ferrari" is always in the back of my mind when I use that phrase, and I think some spectators would be aware I was fishing for the colour of their card.

Last night I used the same technique, and think I've managed to eliminate the magicky element, I had a small candle on the table in front of me. So the spec. saw the two words, "red" and "black" on the card. I can't remember my exact patter, but I asked them just to focus on the word representing the colour of their card and then name the colour out loud. In this case, they named "red". As they were looking at me, the business card came close to the candle, the word "black" and the "out" disappearing. I said something along the lines of "There was never any doubt in my mind you had chosen a red card, you were so quick to accept that "Black" was written on my business card, when in fact there was only ever one colour written on there". They never saw the word disappear, and I'm pretty sure, that after some of the other effects I showed that night, the spec. believed that there was only ever "Red" written on the card.

I would love anyone else's thinking on this, I'm sure these pen's have other applications along these lines, the disappearing of an out.
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
Matt Pulsar
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Inner circle
1009 Posts

Profile of Matt Pulsar
I can think of many ways you could have both predictions already written, pretend you write it down, and then reveal one or the other, without having to use the pen and make it an effect or a magic trick. From billet switches to wallets to colored markers etc.....

Personally in such occasions I just look them in the eye, tell them to think of the color of the card, and then squint and say "red?" If I hit, great, if not, I tell them to really focus on the card, and make a visual picture of the suit in their mind. At this point I reveal the suit, etc..
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Eternal Order
18822 Posts

Profile of IAIN
You could, if you wanted to use the frixion pen thing, if you get the prediction wrong - suddenly half jokingly lose the plot - get angry...and go to burn up your card's prediction...then stop, and say "only kidding..."

by then, the dirty work is done and you're ready for the reveal..
I've asked to be banned
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Profile of tiriri
I like the way Scherzo does it, which is to force a card and have all the possible combinations written down on a white card with a frixion pen, but the right one, which is written down with a normal pen. The he burns a flash paper on the card and magically only the right name of the card appears on the white card.

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Hill Valley
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Profile of DT3
Hope I'm not giving away too much here but try pairing "frixion pen" with "Cushman" in the search box.

You'll be glad you did.

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Profile of jessewjoseph
The frixion pen was cool, but seemed a little too magicky to me too... so now I just stick to using it for hiding dirty inside innocent pictures =P
Bill Cushman
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Profile of Bill Cushman
You are too kind, Don. I've actually seen clients carrying Frixion pens so my Mentalink from "Mind Index," which allows you to legitimately borrow a pen (and, no, not a Frixion Smile), is the only routine I'll still do with this wonderful bit of technology.
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Memphis, TN
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Profile of lumberjohn
Whenever you must get 50/50 prediction right, as in a "Which Hand?" or "Positive / Negative" type effect, you could write both choices on the card, one in regular ink and one in Frixion. Cross through the regular ink choice with the Frixion. The regular ink would secretly begin on the prepared card and the Frixion would be used during the performance. If choice one is selected, just turn the card around. If choice two is selected, find an excuse to use a lighter or candle under the card to vanish the Frixion ink, leaving you with only choice two. In light of the 50/50 odds, the key to this type effect is to build it up so the stakes are extremely high (such as by placing a large sum of money on the outcome) and allowing your spectator to change his mind several times before the reveal. You might also use psychological red herrings to make it appear you are influencing their choice ("People who choose red are are passionate, but I might be trying to influence you to choose red by saying so.")

The difficult thing here is coming up with a justification for the flame, which you will need to use half the time. One possibility would be to, after acknowledging the high stakes, invite the spectator to try to see through the back of the card, "helping" them out a little by placing a flame underneath. Any other ideas?
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Memphis, TN
622 Posts

Profile of lumberjohn
With a Frixion pen, you could also demonstrate X-ray vision. This could also be presented as a remote viewing "ink blot" test. With a normal pen, draw on a business card an abstract image with lots of apparently random lines, but which clearly resembles a recognizable object like a boat. Place this card second from the bottom of your stack of business cards. After showing the bottom card to be blank, perform a glide to hand your spectator the prepared card face down. After showing the Frixion to write, ask your spectator to relax and use their non-dominent hand to automatic write random lines on the bottom of the card. Once you've seen them draw enough to make your pre-drawn image plausible, tell them to put the pen down. You can now perform a reading based upon the image on the other side (i.e., "I see travel. Perhaps you've taken a vacation recently . . . or are thinking about taking one?). After you've done the reading, use the flame as if you're trying to "cheat" by looking through the card, but reveal nothing further, as if you have failed to detect anything this way. Finally, turn the card up to show the drawing on the reverse. Of course, this could also be done with a non-writing pen if you skip the demonstration of the pen actually writing. This might be the best approach if performing for people that might be familiar with the Frixion.
Paul Budd
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Profile of Paul Budd
I don't generally "plug" products....but Jeff Stone has just released an entire eBook utilizing the Frixion pen for effects. Lot's of cool stuff! Check it out at:

Paul B.
His face isn't really this long in-person!
Once Upon A Magician blog
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