Brain magic | Keith Barry

Brain magic. What’s brain magic all about? Brain magic to me indicates
that area of magic dealing with psychological
and mind-reading effects. So unlike traditional magic,
it uses the power of words, linguistic deception,
non-verbal communication and various other techniques
to create the illusion of a sixth sense. I’m going to show you all how easy it is to manipulate the human mind
once you know how. I want everybody downstairs also
to join in with me and everybody. I want everybody to put out your hands
like this for me, first of all. OK, clap them together, once. OK, reverse your hands. Now, follow my actions exactly. Now about half the audience has
their left hand up. Why is that? OK, swap them around,
put your right hand up. Cross your hands over,
so your right hand goes over, interlace your fingers like this, then make sure your right thumb
is outside your left thumb — that’s very important. Yours is the other way around,
so swap it around. Excellent, OK. Extend
your fingers like this for me. All right. Tap them together once. OK, now, if you did not allow me
to deceive your minds, you would all be able to do this. (Laughter) (Laughter ends) Now you can see how easy it is for me to manipulate the human mind,
once you know how. (Laughter) Now, I remember when I was about 15, (Laughter) I read a copy of Life magazine, which detailed a story
about a 75-year-old blind Russian woman who could sense printed letters — there’s still people trying to do it — (Laughter) — who could sense printed letters
and even sense colors, just by touch. And she was completely blind. She could also read
the serial numbers on bills when they were placed,
face down, on a hard surface. Now, I was fascinated,
but at the same time, skeptical. How could somebody read
using their fingertips? You know, if you actually think about it,
if somebody is totally blind — a guy yesterday did a demonstration
in one of the rooms, where people had to close their eyes
and they could just hear things. And it’s just a really weird thing
to try and figure out. How could somebody read
using their fingertips? Now earlier on, as part of a TV show
that I have coming up on MTV, I attempted to give
a similar demonstration of what is now known as second sight. So, let’s take a look. (Video) Man: There we go. I’m going to guide you into the car. Kathryn Thomas: (Laughter) Man: You’re OK, keep on going. KT: How are you? Keith Barry: Kathryn, it’s Keith here. I’m going to take you
to a secret location, OK? Kathryn, there was no way
you could see through that blindfold. KT: OK, but don’t say my name like that.
KB: But you’re OK? KT: Yes. KB: No way to see through it?
KT: No. KB: I’ll take it off. Do you want to take the rest off? Take it off, you’re OK.
We’ll stop for a second. KT: I’m so afraid
of what I’m going to see. KB: You’re fine, take it off.
You’re OK. You’re safe. Have you ever heard of second sight? KT: No. KB: Second sight is whereby
a mind-control expert can see through somebody else’s eyes. And I’m going to try that right now. KT: God. KB: Are you ready? Where is it? There’s no way — KT: (Beep) KT: Oh, my God! KB: Don’t say anything, I’m trying to see through your eyes.
I can’t see. KT: There’s a wall, there’s a wall. KB: Look at the road, look at the road. KT: OK, OK, OK. Oh, my God! KB: Now, anything coming at all?
KT: No. KB: Sure there’s not? KT: No, no, I’m just still
looking at the road. I’m looking at the road, all the time. I’m not taking my eyes off the road. (Beep) (Beep) (Beep) KT: Oh, my God! KB: Where are we? Where are we? We’re going uphill, are we going uphill? KT: Look at the road — (Beep) Still got that goddamn blindfold on. KB: What? KT: How are you doing this? KB: Just don’t break my concentration. We’re OK, though?
KT: Yes. That’s so weird. We’re nearly there. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! KB: And I’ve stopped. KT: That is weird. You’re like a freak-ass of nature. That was the most scary thing
I’ve ever done in my life! (Applause) KB: Thank you. By the way, two days ago,
we were going to film this down there, at the race course,
and we got a guy into a car, and we got a camera man in the back, but halfway through the drive, he told me he had,
I think it was a nine-millimeter, stuck to his leg. So, I stopped pretty quick,
and that was it. So, do you believe it’s possible
to see through somebody else’s eyes? That’s the question. Now, most people here
would automatically say no. OK, but I want you to realize some facts. I couldn’t see through the blindfold. The car was not gimmicked
or tricked in any way. The girl, I’d never met before, all right. So, I want you to just think
about it for a moment. A lot of people try to come up with a logical solution
to what just happened, all right. But because your brains are not
trained in the art of deception, the solutions you come up with will, 99 percent of the time,
be way off the mark. This is because magic
is all about directing attention. If, for instance, I didn’t want
you to look at my right hand, then I don’t look at it. But if I wanted you
to look at my right hand, then I look at it, too. You see, it’s very simple,
once you know how, but very complicated in other ways. I’m going to give you
some demonstrations right now. I need two people to help me out
real quick. Can you come up? And let’s see, down at the end, here,
can you also come up, real quick? Do you mind? Yes, at the end. OK, give them a round of applause
as they come up. You might want to use the stairs, there. (Applause) It’s very important
for everybody here to realize I haven’t set anything up with you. You don’t know what will happen, right? Would you mind just standing
over here for a moment? Your name is?
Nicole: Nicole. KB: Nicole, and? (Telephone ringing) KB: Actually, here’s the thing,
answer it, answer it, answer it. (Laughter) Is it a girl?
Man: They’ve already gone. KB: OK, swap over positions. Can you stand over here?
This will make it easier. Pity, I would have told them
it was the ace of spades. OK, a little bit closer. (Laughter) OK, a little bit closer, come over —
they look really nervous up here. Do you believe in witchcraft? Nicole: No. KB: Voodoo?
Nicole: No. KB: Things that go bump in the night?
Nicole: No. KB: Besides, who’s next, no, OK. I want you to just stand
exactly like this for me, pull up your sleeves, if you don’t mind. OK, now, I want you to be aware of all the different
sensations around you, because we’ll try a voodoo experiment. I want you to be aware of the sensations,
but don’t say anything until I ask you, and don’t open your eyes until I ask you. From this point onwards, close your eyes, do not say anything, do not open them, be aware of the sensations. Yes or no, did you feel anything? Nicole: Yes. KB: You did feel that? What did you feel? Nicole: A touch on my back. KB: How many times did you feel it? Nicole: Twice. KB: Twice. OK, extend your left arm
out in front of you. Extend your left arm, OK. OK, keep it there. Be aware of the sensations, don’t say
anything, don’t open your eyes, OK. Did you feel anything, there? Nicole: Yes.
KB: What did you feel? Nicole: Three — KB: Like a tickling sensation?
Nicole: Yes. KB: Can you show us where? OK, excellent. Open your eyes. I never touched you. I just touched his back,
and I just touched his arm. A voodoo experiment. (Laughter) Yeah, I walk around nightclubs
all night like this. (Laughter) You just take a seat
over here for a second. I’m going to use you again, in a moment. Can you take a seat
right over here, if you don’t mind. Sit right here.
Man: OK. KB: OK, take a seat. Excellent, OK. Now, what I want you to do
is look directly at me, OK, just take a deep breath
in through your nose, letting it out through
your mouth, and relax. Allow your eyes to close,
on five, four, three, two, one. Close your eyes right now. OK, now, I’m not hypnotizing you, I’m merely placing you in a heightened
state of synchronicity, so our minds are along the same lines. And as you sink and drift and float
into this relaxed state of mind, I’m going to take your left hand,
and just place it up here. I want you to hold it there
just for a moment, and I only want you to allow your hand to sink and drift and float
back to the tabletop at the same rate and speed as you drift and float into this
relaxed state of awareness, and allow it to go all the way
down to the tabletop. That’s it, all the way down,
all the way down. and further, and further. Excellent. I want you to allow your hand
to stick firmly to the tabletop. OK, now, allow it to stay there. OK, now, in a moment,
you’ll feel a certain pressure, OK, and I want you
to be aware of the pressure. Just be aware of the pressure. And I only want you to allow your hand to float slowly back up from the tabletop
as you feel the pressure release, but only when you feel
the pressure release. Do you understand? Just answer yes or no. Man: Yes. KB: Hold it right there. And only when you feel
the pressure go back, allow your hand to drift
back to the tabletop, but only when you feel the pressure. (Laughter) OK, that was wonderfully done.
Let’s try it again. Excellent. Now that you’ve got the idea,
let’s try something even more interesting. Allow it to stick firmly
to the tabletop, keep your eyes closed. Can you stand up?
Just stand, stage forward. I want you to point directly
at his forehead. OK. Imagine a connection between you and him. Only when you want
the pressure to be released, make an upward gesture, like this, but only when you want it to be released. You can wait as long as you want, but only when you want
the pressure released. OK, let’s try it again. OK, now, imagine the connection, OK. Point directly at his forehead. Only when you want the pressure
released, we’ll try it again. OK, it worked that time, excellent. And hold it there, both of you. Only when you want the pressure
to go back, make a downward gesture. You can wait as long as you want. You did it pretty quickly,
but it went down, OK. Now, I want you to be aware
that in a moment, when I snap my fingers,
your eyes will open, again. It’s OK to remember to forget,
or forget to remember what happened. Most people ask you, “What
the hell just happened up here?” But it’s OK that even though
you’re not hypnotized, you will forget everything that happened. On five, four, three, two, one —
open your eyes, wide awake. Give them a round of applause,
as they go back to their seats. (Applause) OK, you can go back. (Applause) I once saw a film called
“The Gods Are Crazy.” Has anybody here seen that film? Yeah. Remember when they threw
the Coke out of the airplane, and it landed on the ground,
and it didn’t break? Now, see, that’s because
Coke bottles are solid. It’s nearly impossible
to break a Coke bottle. Do you want to try it? Good job. She’s not taking any chances. (Laughter) You see, psychokinesis
is the paranormal influence of the mind on physical
events and processes. For some magicians or mentalists, sometimes the spoon will bend
or melt, sometimes it will not. Sometimes the object will slide
across the table, sometimes it will not. It depends on how much
energy you have that day, so on and so forth. We’re going to try an experiment
in psychokinesis, right now. Come right over here, next to me.
Excellent. Now, have a look at the Coke bottle. Make sure it is solid, there’s only
one hole, and it’s a normal Coke bottle. And you can whack it against the table,
if you want; be careful. Even though it’s solid, I’m standing away. I want you to pinch right here
with two fingers and your thumb. Excellent.
Now, I’ve got a shard of glass here, OK. I want you to examine the shard of glass. Careful, it’s sharp.
Just hold on to it for a moment. Now, hold it out here. I want you to imagine, right now,
a broken relationship from many years ago. I want you to imagine
all the negative energy from that broken
relationship, from that guy, being imparted into the broken
piece of glass, which will represent him, OK. But I want you to take this
very seriously. Stare at the glass,
ignore everybody right here. In a moment, you’ll feel
a certain sensation, OK, and when you feel that sensation, I want you to drop the piece
of glass into the bottle. Think of that guy, that ba — that guy. (Laughter) I’m trying to be good here. OK, and when you feel the sensation — it might take a while —
drop it into the glass. OK, drop it in. Now, imagine all that negative
energy in there. Imagine his name
and imagine him inside the glass. And I want you to release
that negative energy by shaking it from side to side. (Burst) (Laughter) That was a lot of negative energy,
built up in there. (Laughter) (Applause) I also want you to look at me
and think of his name. OK, think of how many letters
in the title of his name. There’s five letters in the title. You didn’t react to that,
so it’s four letters. Think of one of the letters in the title. There’s a K in his name, there is a K. I knew that because my name
starts with a K also, but his name doesn’t start
with a K, it starts with an M. Tell Mike I said hello,
the next time you see him. Was that his name?
Nicole: Mm-hmm. KB: OK, give her a round of applause. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) (Applause ends) I’ve got one more thing
to share with you right now. Actually, Chris, I was going
to pick you for this, but instead of picking you,
can you hop up here and pick a victim
for this next experiment? And it should be a male victim,
that’s the only thing. Chris Anderson: Oh, OK. KB: I was going to use you, but I decided I might want
to come back another year. (Laughter) CA: Well, to reward him
for saying “eureka,” and for selecting Michael Mercil to come
and talk to us — Steve Jurvetson. KB: OK, Steve, come on up here. (Applause) CA: You knew! KB: OK, Steve, I want you to take
a seat, right behind here. Excellent. Now, Steve — oh, you
can check underneath. Go ahead, I’ve no fancy
assistants underneath there. They insist that because I was a magician, put a nice, black tablecloth on. There you are, OK. (Laughter) I’ve got four wooden plinths here, Steve. One, two, three and four. Now, they’re all the exact
same except this one obviously has a stainless steel
spike sticking out of it. I want you to examine it,
and make sure it’s solid. Happy? Steve Jurvetson: Mmm, yes. KB: OK. Now, Steve, I’m going
to stand in front of the table, When I stand in front of the table, I want you to put the cups on the plinths, in any order you want,
and then mix them all up, so nobody has any idea where
the spike is, all right? SJ: No one in the audience? KB: Yes, and just to help you out, I’ll block them from view,
so nobody can see what you’re doing. I’ll also look away. So, go
ahead and mix them up, now. OK, and tell me when you’re done. (Laughter) (Laughter) KB: You done?
SJ: Almost. KB: Almost, oh. OK, you’re making
sure that’s well hidden. Oh, we’ve got one here,
we’ve got one here. (Applause) So, all right, we’ll leave them like that. (Laughter) I’m going to have the last laugh, though. (Laughter) Now, Steve, you know where the spike is,
but nobody else, does? Correct? But I don’t want you to know either,
so swivel around on your chair. They’ll keep an eye on me
to make sure I don’t do anything funny. No, stay around, OK. Now, Steve, look back. Now you don’t know where the spike is,
and I don’t know where it is either. Now, is there any way to see
through this blindfold? SJ: Put this on? KB: No, just, is there any way
to see through it? No? SJ: No, I can’t see through it.
KB: Excellent. Now, I’m going to put on the blindfold. Don’t stack them up, OK.
Give them an extra mix up. Don’t move the cups, I don’t want
anybody to see where the spike is, but give the plinths an extra mix up,
and then line them up. I’ll put the blindfold on.
Give them an extra mix up. No messing around this time.
OK, go ahead, mix them up. My hand is at risk here. (Laughter) Tell me when you’re done.
SJ: Done. KB: OK, where are you?
Put out your hand. Your right hand. Tell me when I’m over a cup. SJ: You’re over a cup.
KB: I’m over a cup, right now? SJ: Mm-hmm. KB: Now, Steve, do you think
it’s here? Yes or no? SJ: Oh! (Laughter) KB: I told you I’d have the last laugh. (Laughter) SJ: I don’t think it’s there.
KB: No? Good decision. (Laughter) (Applause) (Applause ends) Now, if I go this way,
is there another cup over here? SJ: Can we do the left hand? KB: Oh, no, no, no. He asked me could
he do the left hand. Absolutely not. (Laughter) KB: If I go this way,
is there another cup? SJ: Yes.
KB: Tell me when to stop. SJ: OK.
KB: There? SJ: Yes, there’s one. KB: OK. Do you think it’s here, yes or no?
This is your decision, not mine. (Laughter) SJ: I’m going to say no.
KB: Good decision. (Laughter) OK, give me both hands. Now, put them on both cups. Do you think the spike
is under your left or your right hand? SJ: Neither. KB: Neither, oh, OK. But if you were to guess. (Laughter) SJ: Under my right hand.
KB: Under your right hand? Now, remember, you made
all the decisions all along. Psychologists, figure this out. (SJ gasps) Have a look. SJ: Oh! (Applause) KB: Thank you. (Applause ends) If anybody wants to see
some sleight of hand later on, I’ll be outside. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. Thank you. (Applause)

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