I've attempted to incorporate personal readings into many of my recent performances. I'm admittedly really new to this genre of mentalism, but in my opinion-- a solid reading for a participant doesn't get any fairer or more personal when it comes to a demonstration of mind-reading. That's primarily why I'm personally so interested in it. Becoming proficient in this skill enables the performer to entertain at a moment's notice without any secret props, gimmicks, or devices. How many mentalists -- or even mental magicians -- do you know who can successfully do that? After studying/observing alleged psychics for a couple months both live and online, I've also read Ian Rowland's Full Facts of Cold Reading and Brad Henderson's The Dance in attempt to build my understanding of the craft. I learned that a good reading becomes a dialogue between the performer and the participant.
Despite that, I also learned that it's often good to have a "system" to feed that dialogue. What I always hated about most systems is that they consisted of overly general Barnum statements and stock lines that could apply to virtually anyone; I always felt like that was too transparent of a system. I'm sure they're effective in the appropriate context, but most of the time, I just despised how lazily non-descript such systems were. The systems that produced more concrete detail or vivid imagery and information were often too difficult to commit to memory or impractical to recall during the heat of a performance.
In attempt to bring more color and detail to the readings I performed, I started playing with an idea that produced much more success than I could have ever imagined. Best of all, it doesn't take long to memorize (chances are, most here already committed it to memory throughout their childhood), and despite that-- it lends itself to some insanely accurate "hits." This system is admittedly comprised of different stock lines that can actually change from person to person and reading to reading, making each reading inherently unique to the participant. I believe this is a significant strength over other reading systems currently published.
To demonstrate, give me an opportunity to read you. Keep in mind, this is (unfortunately) a one-sided conversation, so I won't be able to elaborate on any specific details as I would if you were genuinely here, interacting one-on-one. If you're in your mid to late 20s, you may find that this will resonate with you more than those of other ages, but I hope everyone will find something worthwhile and personal in this reading...
"I gather that you have a sense of humor that often gets you in trouble. Despite that, you see no point in changing at all, so you surround yourself with those who appreciate a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit. Overall, you have a good reputation for being funny and well-liked...
It wasn't always like that though. When you were younger, you really didn't fit in in school. You were more creative than most, but most of the time, you were likely invisible to the majority of your class. You consciously avoided confrontation with the more popular kids. In fact, I'm sensing a crush of a girl you dreamed of pursuing... Marianne? Marissa? Mary? An M name of some sort. Does that mean anything to you? I'm not sure if you ever had your chance with this person, but I'm sensing some sort of returned admiration. She liked you too, but you were in different social circles at the time... are you friends with this person on Facebook now?
You're smart. You received above average grades in school, but I imagine that you consider your greatest strengths are more experience-based. You feel like you've lived a lot more than those around you. In fact, recently-- you've been thinking a lot about what makes you different from everyone else. You consider yourself stronger emotionally and more righteous to a degree... you have a solid conscience and a good sense of intuition. You understand when something bad is going to happen before it does. In fact-- you got that trait from an uncle or other elderly figure... who likely passed away too soon. Does that make sense? But you feel like your good qualities are exaggerated... and despite that, you still feel stuck in life. You feel like you could do more to make yourself happier, but you have other obligations and responsibilities to others that you find important..."
So hopefully, bits and pieces of this resonated with the readers here. If you felt particularly drawn to it, congratulations-- you're Spider-Man. All I've done was take the characteristics that make Spider-Man relateable and applied them to a general reading. Please acknowledge that this wouldn't be the full meat and potatoes of the reading, but simply the system that feeds the dialogue between the performer and participant in order to achieve greater, more accurate hits. It's essentially a script of ideas to further explore and elaborate.
The interesting thing about this is that the same could be done with any superhero... or any protagonist at all. Art imitates life. Think about why certain television sitcoms remained on the air for 10+ seasons or why certain comic book heroes became iconic over the span of decades. It's because people enjoyed their stories and related to their characters. If that's the case, in theory-- there should be a piece of everyone in any literary or pop-culture protagonist to make for a successful reading. And since these characters are mainstays, their stories are easy to recall and reiterate with the conviction and consistency needed for a successful reading.
Has this idea been explore before? Like I said, I'm relatively new to readings, and I would love to hear what others have to share.