Godspeed by Emran Riaz

Godspeed by Emran Riaz

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Godspeed by Emran Riaz

The effect from the participant/spectator's point of view: Spectator As Mindreader variation

The Mentalist takes out two business cards, handing one to the participant. He writes something on his own card and then asks the participant to write down a word that is personal to her. They exchange face-down cards and, without looking, place them out of sight. 

The Mentalist then asks the spectator to imagine being in a familiar environment and name out loud two things that she sees. She checks the mentalists' business card and discovers he has predicted one or both of the named objects.

Finally, the mentalist asks the participant to focus on her personal word. He names it.



To peek or not to peek -that is the question. If you ask someone to write down a thought you may have already lessened the impact of the effect; if you then ask them to hand the written information to you, you have lessened the impact a little further. If you tear up the information I believe the impact has lessened again (though I know many very talented and experienced performers disagree). There are many ways to get around these potential problems, of course: have the card placed in a secure envelope (and possibly perform the routine as remote viewing); have the information written on a page of a pad and torn out; perform a switch which means their billet was, presumably, never touched; 'steam' your way through; or go prop-less and avoid the issue altogether -while bringing up a host of other issues.

Yet, many performers continue to swear by old-school centre tears and peeks, and there is still a thriving industry in creating new variations. Thankfully, we appear to have left behind the era of the $200 peek- those responsible now appear to have disappeared (gone off to some tropical hideaway to count their money, no doubt).

Godspeed, the new full-business card peek from Emran Riaz is every bit as good as many of the more expensive peeks which have preceded it and would probably be fairly priced at $10. It is currently $15 (it was previously released as one of the effects/utilities on a multiple effects PDF/video-file release which originally retailed for $25, I believe). 

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I find it incredible that this peek has never been in the literature before, but if that is the case, then Emran is to be congratulated on coming up with something so simple, so obvious (once you know how), and so bizarrely overlooked. Having said that, it will take a little daring for many mentalists to perform this, and its major drawback is that, if you don't perform it smoothly, you are most probably 100% busted. The type of business card you use may also be crucial for a successful performance of this peek.

The basic handling that Emran demonstrates is fine, but the really interesting version here is the spectator as mind-reader variation. Having the spectator mimic your actions offers a pretty decent logic for the card being handed over, and it has the nice bonus of silently proving to the participant that you couldn't possibly have read anything on the card -after all, they placed your card out of sight and it was impossible for them to read it. It's a technique that was exploited for years by Uri Geller and has, I think, been under-utilized by mentalists since then -especially in close up billet work and drawing duplications. You can get away with a lot of sins if their hands are full!

The video demonstrations and explanations are filmed in a basic fashion but do their job, and Emran seems to be an engaging, likable performer. Personally, I continue to believe that asking the participant to hand you the card that they have just written on is a compromise too far (unless there is a further logical disconnect within the routine), but if you're on the lookout for a clean, full business card peek -and you enjoy the thrill of performing with a little daring-then 'Godspeed' could be just what you're looking for.

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