Mental Blueprints - Looking for Reviewers

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

Postby V Marra » 02/21/13 02:54 PM


I'm looking for reviewers of a new eBook that I am putting out called "Mental Blueprints."

I am really excited about releasing this book, and my collaborators and I did a lot of research to ensure that we are putting forward quality, original, ideas in this book, and really making a valuable contribution to the community and published record.

So I am looking for a few volunteers to receive a free copy to review. If you are willing to read it this weekend and post your review of it here, please send me a message, or respond here. Also, if when you review it, you find anything that could be credited better, or is very similar to something that is already published (we did our best to research to avoid this, but we could have missed something), I'd be looking for your input on that.

Hit me up if you want a copy - I will give away a few today.

If you would like to see the product page, go here: ... -s-saurabh

And here is the ad copy:

Mental Blueprints

Eight strong mental effects from the minds of V, Andrew S, and Saurabh include:

Foreign Thought (Andrew) - One spectator thinks of a card, while another is put into a ʻtranceʼ. The spectator
in a ʻtranceʼ is then able to divine the card being thought of. 100% hit. Borrowed deck. No setup or pre-show work.

eQueen (V) - An equivoque effect with an imaginary deck of cards. Get down to your card prediction with only two "choices" plus one totally free choice! 100% hit every time. The two "choices" are also very convincing and one uses a brilliant play on words.

Confined (Saurabh) - A spectator cuts a deck of cards and notes the card cut to. The mentalist is able to read the spectator's thoughts to divine the thought of card. Every card in the deck is different, and the mentalist does not touch the card nor deck after handing it to the spectator.

Colouric (V) - The performing artist asks a participant to choose one of three colours. He then reveals that he has successfully predicted ahead of time which colour the
participant would choose. 100% hit every time.

Induced Anomalous Trichromancy (I.A.T.) (Andrew) - A spectator is made to see in black and white, then gets colours confused. Finally, the spectator sees colours that no one else can see. An interesting piece of strange that you have to read to believe!

Northerm Nirvana (V) - Originally published in Thomas Baxter's "Open Prediction Project," this was V's contribution to the project. A prediction is written down. The spectator is then asked to deal cards face up onto
the table. Whenever they feel the urge, they deal a card face-down. It matches the prediction. This can be done with a borrowed deck, and the mentalist does not touch the deck nor the cards once the spectator starts dealing. Employs psychological methodology, therefore it may not work 100% of the time, but when it does, it is truly a miracle!

Cuppie Quickie (V and Saurabh) - The performing artist asks the participant to place an object under one of three cups for a dangerous feat. Amazingly, he knows exactly which cup the participant selected. 100% hit every time!

Septagonal (V) - Another take on an Open Prediction style effect, with an added kicker second prediction.

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Postby Joe Mckay » 02/22/13 10:36 AM

I am free this weekend. It looks interesting.

You can send one to me at and I will review it.
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Postby V Marra » 02/22/13 01:42 PM

Hi Joe, thanks! I sent you a PM.
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Postby Joe Mckay » 02/22/13 01:49 PM

Cheers, Vincent.

I will take a look at it over the couple of days and post up a review here and on The Magic Cafe (I use the name Bob_Hummer over there).
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Postby V Marra » 02/22/13 03:16 PM

Sounds good, thank you!
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Postby Joe Mckay » 02/22/13 08:08 PM

As promised. Here are my initial thoughts...

FOREIGN THOUGHT - This is potentially very strong. It is very bold and reminds me of how far mentalism has come in the past decade. Fourteen years ago - this was the sort of thinking that Derren Brown was using to make waves at magic conventions. Although it seems like a combination of ideas I have seen before.

Still - the effect makes use of a glimpse which is a good one and is a nice variation on an old gambler's glimpse.

The other nice thing about the structure is that it allows for some simple 'instant hypnosis' as part of the introduction to the trick. Yet the method is not built around it. As such this trick is useful for practising this sort of material in public. When this stuff is done well it can be the thing the spectator remembers most from your performance.

I have always being interested in 'think-a-card' routines. And this is one of the best I have seen (as simple as it is). It offers certain advantages over other approaches I have considered. And the presentation used should help smooth ovher the spectator's perception of the critical part of the routine.

For those who like this routine you should try and uncover a routine buried in 'The Spellbinder' magazine which takes an even more direct approach (but not quite as good since it is more of an 'Instant Stooge' effect).

EQUEEN - This is another approach to the 'think-a-card' plot. It uses thinking similar to that I have seen from Derren Brown, Chuck Smith, Kenton Knepper and Bryn Reynolds. At first I was going to dismiss this as being unoriginal. But - I caught myself. This is a useful addition to previous work in this area. An excellent subtlety is used at the very beginning of the effect which helps achieve most of the trick there and then.

For those who are not confident using these techniques (the title is a clue to the technique involved) - this is a workable approach. And - thanks to the subtlety used - the spectator will go away falsely remembering exactly what choices were offered. I have never used these techniques before. But - I may give this one ago since it is so much simpler than the other work I have seen in this area.

CONFINED - Another 'think-a-card' effect. But this sort of thinking has already being detailed in the works of Juan Tamariz, Simon Aronson and Michael Close. So - it won't be new to most magicians. Also - some of the other work in this area makes use of the clever "No No's" concept of fishing. So - there are more interesting avenues than this one to explore.

COLOURIC - A parlour type effect using multiple outs to achieve the successful prediction of a choice of one out of three objects. I don't really like this. I am always hesitant with these sorts of methods since some laypeople are aware of the concept of multiple outs.

And it is unimpressive when you are only predicting something which you would naturally hit 33% of the time through luck alone. In effects of this kind - you need to up the stakes . For example - putting spikes under two of the cups and slamming your hand down on one of them. Or perhaps by putting money in one of the envelopes - and setting fire to two of them. Or putting a bullet in the barrel of a gun and firing it at your head.

Alternatively you can take the approach of somebody like Banachek. Who will use a simple trick like this as part of the selection of a spectator to ensure they will be a good subject for a later and more indepth routine.

Lastly - the best approach I have seen to a 3-way out in such a simple effect (which doesn't use either of the above approaches) is in SIMPLY SIMON by Simon Aronson. There he makes use of such a trick for a charming version of the children's game of 'Paper, Rock, Scissors'. And even there a novel mathematical principle is used to add more smoke to disguise the use of a simple 3 way out. Aronson's effect is worth checking out since it makes use of a game familar to everyone, and therefore provides an interesting hook. All kids have wondered at some point if there is a way to always win at this game.

INDUCED ANOMALOUS TRICHROMANCY (I.A.T.) - This is an unusual trick. It uses gimmicks to achieve an effect similar to one I have seen from Joshua Quinn. Jay Sankey and Richard Sanders also worked together in the late 80's on a similar plot as well. Still this is a powerful effect whcih will require careful stage management. It is worth investigating for those who want to achieve an impact totally unlike that found in 99% of mentalism effects.

NORTHERN NIRVANA - An Open Prediction effect which uses a method which 99% of magiciaNs wiLl never have attemPted before. Probably because most magicians are highly sceptical when it comes to this type of psychology. Your mileage may vary. Still - if you can master this arcane subject it might be worth using your powers on a trick more interesting than The Open Prediction. Since it is one of the most boring card plots around.

CUPPIE QUICKIE - Another trick involving the guessing of an object placed under one of three cups. This approach strikes me as a useful addition to the work done in this area by Rick Maue in his TERASABOS effect.

SEPTAGONAL - Another approach to The Open Prediction plot. The method (using a clever technique taught earlier) is a good one. This is one of the better solutions to this (boring) card problem I have come across. Still - nothing revolutionary I'm afraid.


This ebook is part of the Derren Brown/Banacheck/Kenton Knepper 'prop-less' type approach to mentalism which has being so influential over the past ten years. Often involving clever scripting, equivoque, psychological forces, dual reality and false memories. It is a school of thought that I have studied alot myself. But these days - I prefer to not entirely do away with every last prop usually used by mentalists (such as books, pens, business cards, dollar bills, envelopes and balloons). For me the charm in mentalism is to make use of the sneakiest thinking possible.

And whilst I think the past decade has bought an important correction to some of the lazy excesses of the past (if I never see another nail-writer I will die happy). I sometimes feel the pendulum (another prop I can do without) has swung too far the other way.

Once you start stripping back the methods and tools you use - you can sometimes leave yourself exposed. To expect a clever script to handle all of the weight of the presentation and the method can be too much. Personally - my preference is for clever mentalism with the occasional verbal subtlety thrown in. Such as I see in the work of Barrie Richardson and Bruce Bernstein. There is nothing better than a little touch of dual reality to keep the smart ones awake at night.

So - these days I usually steer clear of the modern types of mentalism ebooks that are cascading on to the market.

And I tend to not use cards in my mentalism effects. I have a ton of great card tricks already and prefer to use different props when doing mentalism. But that is a personal preference.

Still - with all that said. This is a useful collection of mental effects mainly using cards. And it is part of the modern approach which can create miracles when it goes smoothly. But which can seem sometimes feel a bit 'samey' for the purchaser looking for something new.

So - for those who enjoy playing in these fields I give this a recommendation.
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Postby V Marra » 02/23/13 01:15 AM

Thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed review. Indeed, my collaborators and I were focused on a more hands-off and modern approach with many of these routines. I enjoy these types of effects because they can be done in very impromptu situations with little to no preparation or props, and one of the reasons I got into mentalism was because of my love for psychology.
Your points are all well taken and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
Thanks for your kind words on eQueen and Septagonal, those are two of my favourites and I am quite proud of them, so I am glad you enjoyed them.
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Postby Joe Mckay » 02/23/13 02:33 AM

I hope I wasn't too harsh, Vincent!

I just think there is so much stuff coming on the market these days that it requires honest reviewers to help purchasers decide what may interest them.

Thanks once again for the ebook!


PS I have posted the review up here as well - ... orum=159#0
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Postby V Marra » 02/23/13 05:16 PM

Hi Joe, I appreciate the honest review, and overall I think your review was quite positive, so I am happy with it!
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Postby carlandrews » 02/25/13 06:27 PM

I would be happy to review it for you.

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Postby V Marra » 02/27/13 05:15 PM

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the offer, unfortunately I already gave away my quota of review copies.

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