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Compared to the quantity of literature on magic as a whole, there have been a mere handful of works on Cold Reading released to the performance community of theatrical mind readers and ‘psychic entertainers’. Many are small pamphlets of 15-20 pages, which when available can command prices as high as $80-200. Unlike these ‘traditional’ texts, The Dance focuses on cold reading not as a product but as a process. The how’s and why’s of cold reading are presented to the student in a clear and concise fashion. Many books try to teach you what to say, The Dance teaches you how to say it.
Brad Henderson has been a professional entertainer and mind reader for over 20 years. He has lectured to some of the most exclusive gatherings of magicians and has garnered a considerable reputation for his own psychic reading skills. He presents seminars on the Psychology of Communication to business people from a multitude of industries. His own performances walk the edge of theatrical techniques and legitimate psychological manipulation that borders on eerie. Not only has he studied the art of cold reading for years, but has hands on experience, in the trenches, using his skills to entertain and educate audiences throughout the U.S.
The title typifies the author’s approach to the techniques used in psychic readings. Each reading is like a dance, an interplay between psychic and subject whereby the reader surreptitiously gains information and leads the listener into believing he is speaking in terms of specifics, when in reality generalities abound. The key lies in keeping the listeners unaware of this process and rewriting their memories of the events which occurred. Teaching such a ‘organic’ and ‘live’ process is a difficult task, however, The Dance attempts and succeeds in a manner never before conveyed in print. Though a rather advanced book, the Dance asks key questions which every potential reader should answer before embarking on their studies.
Sections of The Dance include:
The Myth of the Cold Reading:
There is a common perception that there exists one very general script that will hold true to most people. The Dance is one of the only texts written on the subject which abandons such a notion in favor of teaching the real techniques used by successful psychics. Our opening section lays down the philosophical framework of the book as well as explores the way general statements are believed to work, and reveals their inherent weaknesses. Also, The Dance explores the ethics of misrepresenting to our audience that what we do is “real” and offers for the first time a reading paradigm which is both engaging and ethically sound.
What’s My Motivation?:
One of the more frightening revelations begins as a discussion of the personality types naturally drawn to the pursuit of Psychic Readings. Control, power, and ego fulfillment pervade the industry. The Dance advocates a NEW approach deviating from the Classic Svengali – the dark, mysterious, power hungry character who knows all and sees all. Learn how this more modern approach makes the public a willing accomplice to the mediumship process and insures that they receive real value from their time with the Psychic. Also, learn who should stay away from this kind of work and why.
We explore the role of “sitter derived reading structures” or “The Method”. This strategy immunizes the psychic from the dangers of failure and skeptical arguments alike. Subsections include Interpretation, The Power of Evidence, Involvement, the Psychic Limb, and The Personal Trip. Here we learn what the psychic needs to do before he or she begins her practice and how to find that niche market which leads us down the road of success. We also learn of a brand new method that solves many of the ethical problems of the past.
We explore the reasons people go to mediums for help. Different ‘reading’ situations pull from different demographics of the public. Each has their own needs and vulnerabilities. Learn what going to a reader or medium possibly says about your clients and what you need to do to give them value and insure their emotional well being.
The Private Reading and The Performance Reading each address the specific nature of these venues. The private reading section details the techniques and attitudes most successful for a one on one traditional psychic reading, whereas the Performance Reading discusses specific techniques which a ‘showman’ can use in order to maximize the impact of his or her readings and dissuade skeptics from ruining their presentations.
The performance reading section is unique in that there is almost no material available which covers the tools for the ‘stage medium’ to increase the effectiveness of their readings. As many of today’s star mediums are performing in this mode, here is a rare opportunity to glimpse the mechanization behind such subtle performance techniques. Subsections include The Stance, Sacrificing the Ego, Nature of the Beast, So you’ve decided to put on a show, The Happy Conspiracy, Yeah Team, We might as well sell T shirts, I’m ready for my close up, Ask and Ye Shall Receive, The Inside track, The Wonderful thing about Triggers, and When they decide you’re putting on a show.
The Dance: Herein, in some cases for what may be the first time ever in print, are revealed the verbal tricks of the trade employed by psychics to convince the public they are delivering profound psychic or spiritual messages replete with specific details. Sections include: How to Ask a Question, Does This Make Sense, Multiple Choice, Negative Question and the Method, Beware the Stereotype, Tricks of the Trade (data collection), We have Ways of Making You Talk, Back Pedaling, Projectile Miss-iles, Celebrity, and Recapitulation.
Finally, we close with PERFORMANCE PIECES. Here are two showstopping presentations straight from Brad’s working repertoire. Both will give you the opportunity to showcase your readings skills.
The Dance is a softbound book, 121 pages, printed and bound entirely in the U.S.A. You can also purchase
The Dance by Brad Henderson, first edition.