Below is a portion from a chapter in my book "Can you keep a secret?" that I hope may help you.
Where else can one learn techniques to help them in the pursuit of Mentalism? I suggest the following route in reading and study:
Begin with 13 Steps to Mentalism Corrinda. This is truly the equivalent of The Tarbell Course for Mentalists. Study and learn each step thoroughly until each section is mastered, even if you feel that you may not need to learn it. A well-rounded understanding of each of the techniques will aid you further on in your study.
While learning from Corrinda, also begin reading, studying and learning from Red Hot Cold Reading Dewey. Proper Cold Reading Technique is a MUST for any Mentalist. Proper technique (which is not however merely a memorized personality profile as some would like you to believe) is useful in Question and Answer routines (one of the strongest things a Mentalist can do), it will give you the ability to apparently know many additional
personal things about your subjects and can also help you when asked on the spot to read my mind. Again, I urge you to study and learn through these techniques, step by step.
Once you have finished with Red Hot Cold Reading move on to King of the Cold Readers and then Psychobabble by Dewey as well. After that is completely digested it can also be a help to digest Completely Cold Kenton Knepper. (I do not suggest any deviation from that order however as it is imperative that one learns proper technique with no short cuts).
If you are still performing during your study of these books, then additional reading from Larry Becker and Max Maven would also be suggested. While much of this material is more mental magic in orientation, much contains subtleties that will be useful later on in your development but this will also aid you in your learning new and useful principles to apply to your act and help you ease into your performing persona as a mentalist as well.
After Corrinda is learned, the reading of Bob Cassidys The Art of Mentalism and then his newer The Art of Mentalism Two is a good place to begin to learn philosophy of mentalist performing. His series Principia Mentalia (Vol. 1-4) is also recommended. Mind, Myth and Magic T.a. Waters, while containing many unperformable effects also contains many useful ideas as well as MUST read essays on ethics, readers, and other such topics.
Below is a list of additional suggested readings or The four foot shelf for Mentalists.
Paramiracles Ted Lesley
The JINX (Hardbound Issues of Annemmans Magazine)
The Complete Magick (Republication of the magazine) Collectors Workshop
Psychological Subtleties Banachek (and all his other materials that are published)
Anything and everything by Eugene Burger (especially Magic and Meaning
Strong Magic Darwin Ortiz
Tony Binarelli My Way to Mentalism
Now when you have learnt from there, you can then move on to the works of Richard Busch (Peek Performances and Peek Encores which will teach you peeks, and "Number...Please?" which will teach you psychological subtelties you will carry with you into many other uses PLUS some great practical effects), The Purloined Thought by Al Mann (which will teach you all about other methods of info gathering via tears and such), The Mental Mental Mysteries of Wm. Larsen Sr., and "The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust" by David Hoy.
While you are studying and learning from the above books, do yourself one more favour and take some acting classes (or get involved in some community theatre). Study the classic books of acting PLUS "Impro" by Keith Johnstone (which will help you in improvisation work, something a mentalist can use as you do need to think on your feet)
I sincerely hope that this bit will help your pursuit/quest to study mentalism in the best manner you can. Do STUDY it and not skim through those books looking for tricks. Study the books lesson by lesson, step by step and do not move forward until you have absorbed the previous material. If you do that you will have more qualifications than many and will be on a very succesful path towards mentalism.
AB Stagecraft http://www.mindguy.com/store
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