Here’s an interesting idea using a center tear. I’ve yet to try it but I think it could be fun. You need a pencil and small stack of standard index cards. I feel like business cards may be too small for this because you and the spectators will need to tear them into a bunch of pieces.
You take out one index card and fold it in quarters. Then you take a pencil and draw a line across the center and ask them to write down a random word. Not too long and not too short. Have them fold up the paper so no one can see what they wrote. Forget the whole “think of a word that has a special meaning to you” thing. Just have them write down a random word. You take the it and demonstrate that in a minute, everyone is going to fold an index card into quarters and tear them up into small pieces, and give the pieces to the person who wrote the word.
You ask that person to cup their hands like they’re hiding something inside, and you stuff the pieces you torn in there. Then you you take out a stack of index cards and hand them out. You take one for yourself too. Then you, along with everyone else, tear the cards into small pieces and stuff them into the word-person’s cupped hands.
See, this is kind of like a snow globe, except with hands. You ask the hand glober to shake up the pieces they’re holding a bit, and open up a hole between one of their index fingers and thumb. Have them peek inside to see if they can see anything. Probably not. Have them shake again, and peek. Probably still nothing. You wanna give it a peek. You put your eye right up to the hole- and go- Oh, I think I see something…
You take out an index card and write something on there. Have them shake again, and you look again. Yeah, I think I got it. What did you write down?
You show them what you wrote down- Squid.
The method is just a center tear. But you don’t do the peek right away. When you take out the stack of index cards, place them on top of the hand finger palming the center torn bit. And take cards off the top to pass them out to a couple of other people. You keep one for yourself and put the rest away- the torn bit is underneath it. From underneath, you secretly unfold it so the writing side is facing down. You bring it both pieces up so you’re looking at the writing with the other un-torn index in front blocking it from view. As soon as you get your peek, and tear both genuinely down the center, stack the two halves (really four halves), and tear again, and repeat once or twice. You’re doing this as everyone else is tearing up theirs as well. You can then have everyone stuff their torn pieces into the hand glober’s cupped hands. The rest is as easy peasy.
This needs some work, obviously, but I think the idea is kinda interesting. You can also do this with a drawing. Like something simple but out of the ordinary that would make a cool snow globe. And make the whole thing about creating a snow globe. I think it’s a little cheesy presentationally to have it be so closely tied, but that’s just me.
Another idea is that after all the pieces are torn and collected, after you’ve gotten the peek, have the hand glober throw all the pieces into the air, and you quickly look at all the pieces before they hit the grown and write down the word before all the pieces hit the ground. You can also have them throw some of the pieces first, write down part of the word, then write down part of the word, then they throw the rest and you write down the rest before all the pieces hit the ground. Or you can write down the whole word after they throw some pieces first, and when they throw the rest, you confirm that you indeed did get the word from the first few pieces, and then reveal. This makes a bit of a mess so consider where you’re doing it, but I think the visual element could be cool.
I know it’s not exactly mind reading, but I think it’s a pretty cool way to hide a center tear peek without the typical justifications.