This is an old standard in mentalism, and yet I seldom see it used anymore. This is really strong magic whether as part of a mentalism show or a magic program. A wonderfully convincing demonstration of your psychic ability.
Presentation: An outstanding example of mental magic. Can be used for the stage or parlor. I use one volunteer on stage and one in the audience. A strip of classifieds is cut in a random place and the mentalist reveals the the top line.
Gospel Presentation: I use this to demonstrate the omniscience of God. How God knows every little detail of our lives. A want ad often details a need of the advertiser. God knows our needs even before we ask!
Effect: Show a sealed envelope to the audience. Place it on a table or have an audience member hold it.The magician shows a column from the classified advertisements out of a newspaper to the audience. He announces that he is going to cut the strip in two, and that he will let someone else tell him exactly where to cut it. The magician tells them to say "STOP" while he moves the scissors up and down. He gives them a chance to change their mind and cuts it where he is told.
I use an audience member to do this. I have a volunteer on stage read the first line of the newspaper strip.
Then a sealed envelope is picked up off the table and is an exact prediction, word for word.
Secret: For this trick to really work right it is suggested that you use very ordinary classifieds. No pictures or anything real unusual. Cut a long strip out of the classifieds and cut the first article or so off of the top. On a piece of paper, write down the first line or two of the article on the long strip. Fold the piece of paper and seal it in the envelope. Before beginning the trick, lay the envelope down somewhere discretely. Hold the strip upside down and you can cut it anywhere because the predicted line is on the bottom. Obviously you donít want to stand too close to someone while doing this trick, but you might be surprised how close you can actually get. Look in the mirror!
As an alternative, have a long column of an article with a picture on top. By previously cutting off the article and glueing it to the headline and perhaps a picture, it becomes a very convincing representation of an unaltered article.
Emergency Toolkit: Put this one in your emergency toolkit. When your props are lost or you are called on to do an extra show you can put this together real quick. I have been put in situations where I've had to put together a show and either I did not have the additional props, or any props with me. I'm always ready to do some rope magic and a trick or two with a TT, but effects like this one can really become the center piece of a show. Impromptu or not.