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Head Case
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I have been messing around with cold reading for quite a while, and I never really got into it seriously. For the most part because I always assumed that it was so transparent that it could be applicable to anyone (from my limited knowledge) and it was just a bit too bold for me.

However, I was re-watching a lecture by Peter Turner a few weeks back (Such a cool guy) and he kept talking about being bold and taking chances, and I have no idea how, but I started thinking about what he said when I was out last night and that shifted something in me. I said screw it in my mind and started throwing out star signs and things along the lines of "You seem like a person that reserved on the inside, even though your outward appearance make you come off social, you seem to have an analytical view on taking care of issues in your life and you always tend to keep people at an arms distance until you feel comfortable enough to let them closer" I was shocked by the response it received. I mean to the point where I am still thinking, "There's no way, it must have been a fluke, I just got really lucky"

It went over so well that it heightened the credibility of everything else that I was doing. I mean the material I have been doing for years is solid by itself, but I could feel, and I don't think it was just me feeling it, but a general feeling of a deeper connection with the spectator(s) that brought the magic to heights it couldn't accomplish by itself. The question isn't if you should mix magic or mentalism, I have come to terms with a viewpoint that I heard Rich Ferguson say about using magic and mentalism to boost eachother. (In the right context and situations) You use them together in the right combination to bring the effectiveness of both up. That seems to make sense most to me and I could really agree with it. Obviously during the right time and place

Anyway, Is most cold reading just little phrases and talks that you come up with on your own, like tools, and then you apply the right tool depending on how you actually read what the type of person is that you are doing it to?

Um, maybe that didn't make sense, The other way to ask is, is there a source or sources of pre-written things you can say that you can in turn, tweak with other things you can point out about the person to make fit? Or is the bulk of it just Jazz and things you come up with on your own per a case by case basis? (When you are first starting to REALLY study it and figure out what circumstances seem to have the most impact on a person or audience?)

Tips and Ideas welcome. I was also looking at picking up Paul Drapers Lecture, and a friend recommended Ian Rowland's "Full facts of cold reading". Is that a good start to pick up some info on it?

Thanks.
Mr. Woolery
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Rowland's book is great for what you are doing. I have not read anything by Paul Draper but I watched his pep talk about anthropological cold reading and it was great. However, it was in the context of a card reading for fortune telling. Very different context.

My understanding from a shut-eye friend is that she is used to the term cold reading as meaning you are giving a reading to a stranger. Reading them cold.

The term is so broadly used that one person's definition will not match another's.

A nice way to use Barnum statements like you did is to reveal cards. They select a card and you use such a personality profile to apparently determine what card they chose.

Look at deceptionary.com for some great resources.

Patrick
Head Case
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Thanks Patrick, that's exactly what I did with the reveal for the last drawing for a sneak thief-ish presentation. Perfect for the whole "art assessment" ploy.

Thanks for the info.
seadog93
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Deceptionary.com is great! (http://www.deceptionary.com/aboutreading.html)

I agree completely at how broadly the ten cold reading is used.
From my perspective (which is worth, AT MOST, what you paid for it), most cold reading is psychic readings, whether that be tarot, palmistry, numerology, or even clairvoyance, etc.. There are many cold reading systems designed for the mentalist, either to used in readings alone or within the context of a mentalism show or routine, but the goods ones are still real readings systems.

I got started with Richard Webster's cold reading audio CDs an I really liked them a lot. They are available at library.com, heres the link to the first one:
http://www.lybrary.com/commercial-cold-r......418.html

If you are incorporating cold reading into mentalism, you might want to learn a system that corresponds to the routines you do. If you do anything with cards then learning numerology will allow you to do a reading during your routine (Richard Webster describes this beautifully in his CDs). Similarly learning the traditional meanings of colors can be used very well too. These are real readings and you may (or may not) think that you need something trickier to be effective, you don't, they are mind blowing.

If you listen to the CDs you'll know where to go from there. If you catch the reading bug you will probably want to learn a full system like tarot or palmistry. Not only are these great in and of themselves, but they will give you more experience in doing readings for people, answering questions and using your intuition, all of which will help all of the rest of your mentalism.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Mr. Woolery
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Okay, now that I'm not on my phone, I'll type a little more.

The stock lines and Barnum statements (something for everyone) are only part of what is generally called cold reading. As Seadog says above, most readers use an oracle or system of some sort. If you want to toss out some apparently psychic moments, just keep using the lines. No need for anything else at this time. Look for the Forer Script online. As far as I know it is public domain. If you want a whole lot more to say, look at horoscope books for some general statements that are made for different signs. You don't need to know astrology, just remember those lines that you say "well, that sounds good, but that's everyone!" Rowland's book is a fantastic analysis of this sort of reading methodology, though he also shows that you can pretend to be almost anything (so long as the sitter really does not know a lot about the system supposedly being used) and convince people. Again, for what you seem to be doing so far, this is all you need and can last a lifetime. Honestly, there's no more needed if you are using it as an adjunct to your other routines.

If you want to sit down with someone and give them a psychic reading, go study an oracle like tarot or palmistry. This is more akin to counseling than to performing. Possibly not what you want right now. If this is what you want, there are a lot of ways to go. I spent money and time going the route I don't think is best, which is reading books for mentalists wanting to fake the readings. I eventually learned that the real work is written by the real workers. Get a book by a shut-eye reader who has lots of experience. Learn the oracle being taught. Practice it. Use it. Then go look at the stuff written for the mentalists. But this route is for you only if you want to sit at a table and read cards or palms for one person at a time. If you are all about making someone else the center of attention and never saying "look at me" you may want to consider this version of cold reading. It is the older, deeper, more "legitimate" version. If you want to have everyone in a crowd say "he must be psychic!" stick with the first version.

Lunch is ready, gotta go.

-Patrick
TonyB2009
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Cold reading is more than a few stock phrases thrown out - thought they can work as part of a presentation (not as a proper reading). The easiest thing to do is to get the following two ebooks: Julian Moore's James Bond Cold Reading, and his Speed Learning Palmistry.

The first will give you the basis of the 'statements' type cold reading, while the second will give you the simplest and most readily available oracle system so you can go out and do readings. Do an evening or two reading palms in your local pub, and you will quickly find yourself sharpening up at it.
Head Case
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2014, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Okay, now that I'm not on my phone, I'll type a little more.

"The stock lines and Barnum statements (something for everyone)", "If you want to toss out some apparently psychic moments, just keep using the lines. No need for anything else at this time. Look for the Forer Script online. As far as I know it is public domain. If you want a whole lot more to say, look at horoscope books for some general statements that are made for different signs. You don't need to know astrology, just remember those lines


Yes this is exactly what I am doing,, perfectly on point. I just want to toss out a few "stock" lines maybe to segue into an effect or a particular revelation. I was curious where to find inspiration or examples of more "stock" lines that could sort of apply to everyone. The idea to read horoscopes is fantastic!

So the books and things mentioned are more for palm readings? Like real readings? I could see how learning that would be helpful to be able to make statements to people altogether, however, yes, I think going down that rabbit hole might be just a tad too much for what I am looking at haha.

Just so I know I am looking at the right thing, the "Forer Script" is an e-book? A quick google search has returned "The Forer effect" and something by Derren Brown doing a test. - Are one of those correct?
Thanks!
bevbevvybev
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Learning a system such as palmistry will give you the chance to practice the chops you can then apply to mentalism. The more you understand giving any kind of traditional reading, the more you'll be able to apply the principles to everything else you're doing. When people say 'learn a system' they don't always mean 'learn it instead of doing mentalism' but mean that if you practice giving readings without hiding behind an effect, you'll learn lots of tools that will enable you to make anything you perform more believable and resonant with your audience.

It's a bit like going for acting lessons. You wouldn't want to become an actor, but it would help your mentalism performances. It's the same thing with readings IMHO.

Learning any related skill is going to help your performances, not replace them. You can still tell someone which card they thought of, just in a better way.
ddyment
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Thanks to those above who have recommended the material at The Deceptionary.

I always suggest that neophytes should pay particular attention to the outlined section near the top of the Cold Reading Resources page.

Best wishes on your journey!
"Calculated Thoughts" now available at The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
TonyB2009
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If all you are interested in is the Forer statements, then get the James Bond Cold Reading from www.thecoldreadingcompany.co.uk
Head Case
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Quote:
On Jun 12, 2014, ddyment wrote:
Thanks to those above who have recommended the material at The Deceptionary.

I always suggest that neophytes should pay particular attention to the outlined section near the top of the Cold Reading Resources page.

Best wishes on your journey!


I will be taking a look at that, Thanks for putting emphasis on the particular section to pay attention to.
Head Case
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On Jun 12, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
If all you are interested in is the Forer statements, then get the James Bond Cold Reading from www.thecoldreadingcompany.co.uk


Thank you for the recommendation. I have lots of good stuff to take a look at now and see what fits best for me.

Much appreciated.
Ben Seatreader
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+1 James Bond Cold Reading.
bevbevvybev
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What is all this renewed interest in cold reading all about? Funny isn't it. It's kind of cyclical, these topics disappear for a year but always come back!
John C
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On Jul 9, 2014, bevbevvybev wrote:
What is all this renewed interest in cold reading all about? Funny isn't it. It's kind of cyclical, these topics disappear for a year but always come back!


That's what keeps you in biz! +bond cold reading
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harris
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Seems like years ago, there was a book called Cold Reading.

The above post by Bond is a more recent title.
The one I was thinking about was pre-70's
Harris
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Mr. F
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I'm a newbie to the scene but have spent significant time reading about and practicing cold reading techniques. I'm fully aware that I have lots to learn, but I can't recommend "Red Hot Cold Reading" strongly enough. I've also thoroughly enjoyed listening to and working on Luke Jermay's "Tarot Alphabet." A good point that he makes (clearly citing where it originated) is that if a reading is to appear genuine, the reading should be connected to personal qualities that would not change should you read the same person in the future. Many cold reading methods do not allow for that.
IAIN
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Though, a person's qualities can change significantly if they have gone through transformational life experiences...or just try to improve themselves 😊
I've asked to be banned
JayFredericks
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Quote:
On Oct 10, 2014, Mr. F wrote:
I'm a newbie to the scene but have spent significant time reading about and practicing cold reading techniques. I'm fully aware that I have lots to learn, but I can't recommend "Red Hot Cold Reading" strongly enough. I've also thoroughly enjoyed listening to and working on Luke Jermay's "Tarot Alphabet." A good point that he makes (clearly citing where it originated) is that if a reading is to appear genuine, the reading should be connected to personal qualities that would not change should you read the same person in the future. Many cold reading methods do not allow for that.


There's quite a lot more than stock phrases to cold reading, but having a source for some, really helped me when I got started. Pick up this book Mr. F mentioned - Red Hot Cold Readings by Herb Dewey and Thomas K Seville. For someone just starting out with cold reading, it's fantastic. It has a good amount of phrases in it, and it will guide you through the process in a way that really helps a beginner to understand. I don't know where you can get it, but I bet a quick google search will answer that question. Good luck!
Mr. Woolery
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Palmistry will always allow you to give the same basics in a reading. Numerology, likewise. Card reading (tarot or other cards) will allow for what past events or situations are affecting the sitter at the moment.

If you just want stock lines there are several ways to make sure you have a similar reading each time. Webster's Psychometry from A to Z seems to be the go-to reference on the subject of name-based readings, but The Ken System by Ron Martin is also very good. I don't have A to Z, but I do have Ken. Simple concepts, but most of the best things in magic and mentalism are simple. This isn't to say there's no work. There's a lot, actually, to make it feel natural and real.

-Patrick
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