VIDEO: Welles on Cold Reading

Orson Welles talks about the art of cold reading.

“Cold Reading is the secret discipline behind the art of phoney fortune telling, of faking talking to the dead, of voicing the impossible and convincing the gullible. It works by making a little knowledge go a long way.  But, my friends, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing….”

Chapter 16 How To Forget

The term cold reading is an old one, and predates Orson Welles’ talk here.  It is used as the background to the novel and film Nightmare Alley and not only does it feature in my book but in A.L. Kennedy’s recently published Blue Book which I’m reading right now… and enjoying immensely.  Let Orson explain.

I have my doubts that Welles did half the things he claimed to.  This looks more like well informed wishful thinking to me.  An imagination thank fully unchecked by my sort of cynacism.  And what a genius for story.

He did like to pose


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