Just received my copy of The Shakespeare Experiment by Todd Karr, creator of the 2006 Da Vinci Zone book test. The 816 page volume bound in black leather with the title, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
, embossed in gold on the front cover and spine, gilt-edged pages, tipped in color portrait of the bard, and over 40 pages of Gustave Dor engravings, is the most beautifully produced of the hundreds of book tests Ive seen. The text is authentic Shakespeare and the format is consistent with that of The London Shakespeare and other scholarly editions of his works. With only 1,000 copies printed it can be expected to become a highly sought after collectable once those have been sold.
The 21 pages of notes and instructions on the accompanying CD include numerous tips and helpful suggestions. Unlike those used in many other book tests, this book may be freely handled by members of the audience yet the performer need never handle it himself. While none of the methods employed are new the manner in which they are keyed to the text and to each other is subtly disguised and, with the suggested ways of directing the spectators attention to the words, passages or images to be revealed, accord the performer a considerable degree of flexibility in making his revelations without reliance on other props or devices, suspicious forces, fishing/asking questions, or having anything written down, yet will defy detection under the degree of scrutiny the book might receive during performance. Minimal memorization is required and well disguised cribs are provided for backup use if necessary.
The Shakespeare Experiment is perfectly suited to use as a stand alone test and, while incompatible with other tests using the typical paperback books, could be effectively used in combination with others in which hardcover books are used. It is available from The Miracle Factory, 1909 S. Harvard Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 877-707-4268 www.miraclefactory.net
: I am not assciated with Todd Karr or The Miracle Factory in any way, so have no financial stake in this or any other Miracle Factory product; however, I both use and collect book tests (have approx. 1,000 of them) and am compiling a definitive reference work on their history and evolution.