Thomas Baxter – RPS Entity


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Good, entertaining close-up Mentalism without playing cards is not easy to come
by. For the strolling entertainer or for the hobbyist who wants something to show
his friends, RPS Entity is a new and worthwhile addition to the repertoire.

This effect was inspired by an effect called CHILD’S PLAY, by Simon Aronson,
and can be found in his wonderful book, SIMPLY SIMON (Apparently HIS effect
was inspired by an earlier effect from Robert Neale, with which I am not familiar).
In Simon’s version, he used actual objects, small toys in the shapes of a Rock,
Paper and a tiny Scissors, along with three different colored poker chips. He
would have the objects and the chips mixed, an object places upon each chip,
and then the participant would call out any two of the chips. Simon would tell the
participant which chip would win. At the end of his routine, Simon would predict
the placement of all of the objects on the chips. I’m told that Neales version also
used 3 actual objects and three chips.

While the thinking and methodologies behind these effects were fascinating, I
found that I didn’t want to have to deal with 6 props rattling around in my pockets
for one effect, nor did I want to do the prep work necessary for the prediction
ending of Aronson’s effect for a strolling situation. I set about to re-think the
basic concept and to change it so that it could be done with just 3 bits of paper or
business cards, or the more formally prepared set of 3 poker chips if desired.
I’ve eliminated the need for the special toys, and simplified things to make what I
think is a quick, entertaining and mystifying 3 part routine with an optional kicker
prediction ending. RPS Entity can also be done over the telephone or online on
the Internet, by email or on chat lines.
It is a versatile little routine, and while it may not be the earth-shaking Holy Grail
of Mentalism, the universal popularity of the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors (also
known as Roshambo) brings with it an immediate audience recognition and
interest. I’ve used this routine in many situations and performances, and the
reaction has always been positive and rewarding.
I hope that you’ll use it and get as much fun out of it as I have.
Thomas Baxter (July 4, 2007)