recommendations please

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Guest » 05/29/07 01:51 AM

Hi everyone, I am a newbie in the field of mentalism magic. I've been learning and performing (to friends) card magic for the last few years but I now find myself wanting to move to new direction, especially after being mesmerised by Derren Brown's performances on TV and his live show ('something wicked this way comes'). I love the more simple tricks, such as guessing within 50p how much money there is in a person's wallet, or guessing how many fingers behind one's back. Does anyone have any recommendations on books or DVDs that I should explore?
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Postby Guest » 05/29/07 09:53 AM

My advice is, buy an Invisible Deck and develop a mentalism presentation. You might already have one in a drawer.

Do not do the standard presentation you see everyone else do. Develop an original presentation, in which you do everything possible to make it seem like real mind-reading.

Practice it a lot. Rehearse a lot. Perform it for people.

When people start coming up and asking you if you real, then pick another trick.

The tricks you choose are of secondary importance. What matters is how you present them.
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Postby Guest » 05/29/07 10:02 AM

To add to Pete's good advice, mentalism requires more presentational skills than "regular" magic. The emphasis is on presentation and personality, the actual workings of the effect are sometimes absurdly simple but well-disguised. The skill is in hiding the simple methodology and creating the illusion of mental phenomena in the minds of the spectators.

Rather than DVDs, I would suggest a thorough reading of The Jinx and Corinda's 13 Steps that will give you some background. One of the things that makes Derren Brown's performances so good is his thorough grounding in the fundamentals and attention to performance detail....far more important in mentalism than any other branch of magic.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 05/29/07 11:12 AM

There is one DVD (actually a set of two) I will recommend that you study: Max Mavens Nothing. The conversation between Maven and Michael Weber (who built his reputation among magicians as a sleight of hand guy but works for the laity as a mentalist) is worth the $100. The entire project is a lesson in performance mentalism that deserves study (but not parroting). Listen, take notes, learn, and put into practice not necessarily the effects (though there might be one or two that fit your wants), but the concepts he teaches as he describes the base methods.

That said, David is correct about first studying Corinda and the Jinx. And if you dont want to get the entire Jinx file, Annemanns Practical Mental Effects is the best of the Jinx but without Annemanns commentary.

You can read a wonderful review of Annemanns book written by Max for the Book of the Month forum by clicking HERE .

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Postby Guest » 05/29/07 03:33 PM

I would suggest a better Annemann purchase would be Max Abrams monumental Annemann: The Life and Times of a Legend. At $80 it is a bargain and once sold out, probably won't be reprinted.

See here to buy: http://www.murphysmagic.com/s.nl/id.107/.f?sc=2
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 05/29/07 04:56 PM

David,

Murphy's is a wholesaler and regular folk can't purchase from them. They'll have to purchase the book through their "favorite magic shop."

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Postby Guest » 05/29/07 06:10 PM

I knew that....I thought I clicked on a listing for L&L who apparently doesn't have it, damn cheap drugs from the 70s....

So, see here and you can still buy one for the list price. There are two listed.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... &ds=30&x=0
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Postby Guest » 05/31/07 07:49 AM

Thanks Pete, David and Dustin for your advice. Much appreciated! I will go do some research now and come back for any queries.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/31/07 11:48 AM

Being in the U.K., you also might want to check out the work of Al Koran and Maurice Fogel. SIMPLE KILLER STUFF.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/07 01:47 PM

You may want to read this first...

MENTALISM 101
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Postby Guest » 05/31/07 04:06 PM

wow craig, thanks for that link!
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Postby Guest » 05/31/07 11:35 PM

I would also suggest contacting Hermetic Press and buying the book on Maurice Fogel about to come out. It was written by Chris Woodward, Fogel's son-in-law and Richard Mark, a close friend of Fogel.

While I haven't seen the book yet, I thoroughly trust Chris and Richard to do the sort of job Fogel deserved.

There are several books about Al Koran's work and studying them will advance you in mentalism.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/07 10:46 AM

I once read a booklet by Fogel and thought it was fabulous. I cant wait to see the new book.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/07 03:09 PM

Is the acidus novus taught in Corinda's 13 or Annemann's PMM?

http://www.mevproshop.com/acidus-novus.html
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Postby Guest » 06/01/07 03:48 PM

No, I don't believe that it is...however, you should understand that there are dozens, if not hundreds of methodologies in using billets from the simple and direct Center Tear to Tear and Read methods to Peeks to Switches to....

My suggestion would be to learn one method thoroughly....master it and use it under fire. Only after you've physically mastered the move and used it in performance 100 times or so will you be aware of any shortcomings. At that point you can make adjustments.

Bert Reese, the old-time billet master, only had two or three techniques, but he was the master of them. They allowed him to make a very nice living for most of his life. See the Bert Reese Docimasy written and published by Al Mann. Chris Wasshubber at lybrary.com may still have copies.

Don't get into the expensive and time-consuming habit of always chasing the "best" method, something I call the "Grail Quest," so prevelant amongst amatuers. Dealers and publishers love amateurs who are on a Grail Quest.

Finding a mentor is also a good idea, someone who can point you in the right direction. As you're in London, that shouldn't be too difficult.
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Postby Guest » 06/02/07 12:05 AM

I see what you mean David. But are the basic methodologies that you're talking about taught in Corinda's or Annemann's?
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Postby Guest » 06/02/07 09:23 AM

Yes. Stick to basics, especially at the beginning. Learn a good cold reading system, Richard Webster's Psychometry A to Z is almost certainly the best for what you'll need.

In mentalism the "real work" is usually very simple, very direct, and extremely well hidden. A lot of mentalism is making a "big something" out of a very small and simple method, like a billet switch.

Docc Hilford has a number of booklets that detail simple and direct effects that are well-worth the money.

The "real work" of mentalism is your personality connecting with your audience.
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Postby Guest » 06/02/07 01:36 PM

Thanks David. You mention Webster's book on coldreading. I have also been recommended Ian Rowland's The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading. What are your opinions of this book, vis-a-vis Webster's?
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Postby Guest » 06/02/07 02:33 PM

tongzilla,

If you are just wanting to read some background stuff on mentalism (and enjoy a chuckle or two), you might try some of these links:

Vinyl X-Ray Vision - http://www.kirchersociety.org/blog/?p=608 - able to read music on a record....

Practical Mind Reading - http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC02571585 - interesting OLD read....

Aronson's MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS - http://www.simonaronson.com/Memories%20 ... 20This.pdf - memorized deck...

Jinx Magazine Spoof - http://www.lybrary.com/free_ebooks/junx ... 23889f4858 - this is funny....

Stage Hypnotism - http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC09864572 - another interesting OLD read....

More Cold Reading Stuff - http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcoldreading.html - scroll down to Cold Reading

Japanese Web of Mentalism Links - http://mental.lap.hu/ - links from all over....

Mentalism What is It? - http://www.mallusionist.com/mentalism/index.shtml - you gotta read all the links, some just for laughs......

Paranormal Network - http://www.mindreader.com/home/ - some interesting approaches....

Weird People - http://www.mysteriouspeople.com/index.htm - yeah, there are some weird people in the world....

Psychic Video - http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1731019 - tsk tsk tsk.....sometimes folks go too far....

Derrin Brown Reading - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G18NfN76bAs - a little sample.....

Shaminism - http://anamspirit.com/index.html - You gotta love it!!!!!

If I were just starting in the study of mentalism and mental magic, I would start by mastering the basic stuff in Fulves' Self-Working Mental Magic. Then, I would buy Annemann's Practical Mental Magic.

Once through those two books above, you will know whether or not you are ready to devote the time and effort needed to get through Corinda's 13 Steps.

Do the baby steps first....It will save you a lot of money and frustration....

(Craig: Thanks for those links you had in your post above...That is helpful information)...

opie
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Postby Guest » 06/02/07 03:21 PM

Both the authors mentioned are friends of mine, both have stayed in my home. Both the books mentioned have their own strengths and uses.

Ian's book is a easily the best and most detailed overview of cold reading, the why's and wherefores. It is an exhaustive look at a broad-ranging subject and should be in everyones library.

Websters book is an approach and a highly practical method. It is both easy to learn and easy to apply and can make your mentalism stronger.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/07 03:03 PM

I'm reading the section on Book Tests in Corinda's 13 Steps at the moment. Have to say I'm slightly dissapointed about the cleaniness of these routines, from changing magazine covers to using various methods of forcing a particular word in the text. The first book test I ever saw performed is where ANY book from a library is chosen by the participant, who is free to flip to ANY page in the book to test the mentalist. I love simple effects like these. To me, that is a proper book test with no 'gimmicks'.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/07 05:21 PM

The book test you describe sounds very much like one done by Chan Canasta. I understand Derren Brown does a good rendition of the Canasta approach with similiar success.

Such a presentation is not for the faint of heart or people new to mentalism. Even Canasta, as highly skilled as he was, missed on his last television appearance in 1971 or so. His cool demeanor and massive experience of having done the same effect literally thousands of times made his recovery, for him at least, relatively easy. Few today could pull off the effect with his elan.

You're far better staying with more mechanical versions, several have been developed since Corinda wrote the book.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/07 01:35 PM

Tongzilla:

There is a book test in The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust which may interest you. It's not for stage -- more of those impromptu, at someone's house miracles that kills one person. The spectator picks any book and looks at a freely selected page, and you name what they're looking at. There's more to it, but that's what everyone will remember. Best of all there's no preparation whatsoever -- you could walk into the Library of Congress and do it on the librarian.

For professional performance, start with Barrie Richardson's magazine test from Act Two. The spectator opens a magazine to any page and picks any word. You divine it, one letter at a time -- no mistakes, no fishing, no questions. There are book tests using the same method. But Barrie's book will tell you if you like the method, then go buy one of the book tests that uses that method (or make your own, as Barrie shows how).
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Postby Bob Farmer » 06/05/07 02:51 PM

Book tests, like alot of mentalism, are usually overpriced and underamped. For the cheaper and better tests be aware that here's a great test in MAGIC FOR THE MILLIONS by Greer Marechal and a couple of really good ones in Tarbell.
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Postby NCMarsh » 06/05/07 06:32 PM

I strongly second Pete McCabe's recomendation of the Hoy booktest, but disagree about it not being "for the stage"...Brad Henderson has a piece that is proof that the principle plays strong on stage ...

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Postby NCMarsh » 06/05/07 06:34 PM

Incidentally, I love Bob Cassidy's impromptu book test (The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy)

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Postby Guest » 06/05/07 07:24 PM

There are a half dozen or so book tests in Fulves' Self Working Mental Magic. Amazon has 43 copies listed, with prices beginning at $2.75 US. Here are the contents of the book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0486238 ... eader-link

opie
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Postby Guest » 06/06/07 10:40 AM

Marc Paul's AAA booktest is very good.

Elliott
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Postby Guest » 06/06/07 10:46 AM

There is also a nice one by Vernon in one of the Tarbell books (don't remember which one)
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/06/07 11:31 AM

If you want to kill with a book test... get... THE MOTHER OF ALL BOOK TESTS. Not cheap, but I have seen performers destroy audiences with this at trade shows.

It is amazing.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/07 11:41 AM

Actually, the best way to kill with a book test is to use The Secret Ways of Al Baker. Just throw it at the audience. Its quite heavy :)
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/06/07 01:20 PM

Actually, the best way to kill with a book test is to use The Secret Ways of Al Baker. Just throw it at the audience.
Ha!

Speaking of which...any thoughts on "The Saturday Evening Post Feat"?

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Postby Guest » 06/06/07 06:59 PM

I think it is wonderful how so many guys have turned out to help this young man....So, I thought I would point out that my second book recommendation, Annemann's Practical Mental Magic, has fifteen book tests, and Amazon has about 40 copies, with beginning prices of just a few bucks:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0486244 ... eader-link

:whack: pie
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Postby Guest » 06/08/07 05:09 PM

The Study of Corrinda's "13 steps to mentalism" is paramount for moving into Mentalism as it teaches you the basic HOWS and then once mastered the study of Cassidy's series "Principia Mentalia" as well as his "The Art of Mentalism" (both 1 and 2)is what teaches you the WHY, in tghe performance of mentalism. While studying these works and mastering them, take some acting classes as well because there is no other part of our art that requires top acting skills than a good mentalist. Then there are numerous books to get into for more work BUT for the basics, I recommend these 3 steps. Feel free to write to me privately if you want to discuss more.

PSIncerely Yours,
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Postby Guest » 07/18/07 10:41 AM

May I suggest that you approach Corinda as though it was to be the final exam for your Masters degree in Mentalism. I assure you that every time you re-read it you will discover something that you never "saw" before. Use the principles in Corinda to create your own effects. What would you like to see a mentalist perform. Then firgure out the method yourself. Don't do as many others do and that is what effect did so and so do so I can do it too. Do only the effects that you can create. It's not as hard as you may think. You want to be your own self, not a copy os someone else. Best of luck.
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