Reveal Your Sins


Relax, I haven’t become a fire and brimstone preacher. This is a quick presentation idea for any trick themed around the Seven Deadly Sins.

I came up with it a while back, for a trick using blank-faced cards with sins on, but I was reminded of it recently when reading Mark Elsdon’s timely ZOOMentalism, which includes a pleasingly prop-less Seven Sins routine.

Whatever method you use to discover their chosen sin, here’s a dramatic way to reveal it.

Dabbling In Your Dark Side

Rather than just saying their sin, or writing it on a pad, act like you are struggling to guess their sin, then escalate your emotions as if you’re exhibiting that sin.

Want some examples? Sure:


If they chose ‘Wrath’, you’d get more and more angry at “Not getting a clear signal”, perhaps even to the point of knocking over a table or smashing a (cheap) vase.


If they chose ‘Gluttony’, you’d nervously munch on a peanut as you try and guess their sin, then two, then a handful, then tip the whole bowlful into your mouth.


If they chose ‘Lust’, well, you’d need to use your judgement – don’t blame me if you don’t get re-booked for the church BBQ!

Anyway, you get the idea. It’s a chance to let loose and take a break from the usual restricted range of emotions you get to play during a show. And because it’s intentionally exaggerated, you can be set-munching rather than subtle. Go on, embrace your inner Helena Bonham Carter or Nicolas Cage.

The End Of Sin

To finish, you can calm down and realise that you’ve been channeling the correct sin, so you can overtly state it for any audience members who are slower on the uptake. Alternatively, if your audience is really into it, embrace the chaos and end your show at the emotional peak, like a rock band trashing the stage (though sadly, without a roadie to clear up afterwards).

Naturally, this kind of presentation isn’t right for every audience. But for the right crowd, it can be a whole lot of fun. And you can always playfully repent afterwards, which can be entertaining in itself.

Give it a go, and if you pull it off, you can feel rightly proud of your performance. (Just not too proud, mind).

PS I’m on hols for the next two weeks, but I’ve pre-written two posts (which is uncharacteristically prepared of me), so assuming the auto-posting works, there’ll be no interruption to your scheduled programming.