Stage mentalism...

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/02/04 03:38 PM

I am just wondering if anyone has any really visual outstanding mental magic or mentalism effect.

Postby Guest » 04/03/04 12:44 PM

I was so tempted to just say "yes" but there are however, they depend upon what your "premise" is as a mentalist. In other words, if you only purport to be a thoughtreader, then demonstrating metal bending (highly visual) is not going to work for you. On those same lines, large board predictions such as Sum Total Stage work well too. That is one of the problems that magicians that want to add a mental trick to their show run into because MOST mental effects do not rely on visuals but instead rely upon facial expressions of the participants, verbal cues and talk, not visuals.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft

Postby Guest » 04/03/04 01:11 PM

I am performing some stage work soon and I'd like to add to my "mentalism" effects, I do "one ahead" and the magic squares but what are soe other tricks where the entire audience would be involved? Id like everyone to "think" of a number or a word and have an amazing outcome (similar to the ELephant in Denmark type of effect)

Postby Ted Leon » 04/03/04 05:20 PM

You would do well to read the David Berglas book.
It's full of big stage mentalism.

You might also consider Bigbee's "Stage Mentalism".

Liz and I filled the stage many times with a version Mark Strivings "Warm and Fuzzies" using different colored balloons and a "compatable' couple.

I actually think that most of the mentalism effects can be made big enough for the stage......that's another discussion.

Hope this helps,
Ted (Leondo)
Ted Leon
Posts: 57
Joined: 03/03/08 01:00 PM
Location: Las Vegas

Postby Guest » 04/04/04 10:11 PM

Ted I have read Berglas's book a million times, its a sort of study guide when I have those down days. I like to read the life and success of another performer. I guess I get to a point where I read so much, I forget the classics. I love Berglas's balloon predicition effect inwhich the stage is littered with balloons and the 3-4 spectators on stage have thought of cards and they match their balloons. Very clever!

Postby Guest » 04/06/04 07:23 AM

For health reasons and partnership differences we were forced to sell the Funhouse Magic Shop in Baltimore, however, I know Scott Kalin the new owner has several complete stage mentalism acts ranging in price from $10.00 to $15.00, all great stuff including Larry Becker's "Reflect-Thot", Dan Tong's "Flight Plan and Clue" (either as a combo set for $15.00 or individual for $10.00 each) and Dan Tong's "Motel Surprise" for $15.00.

As you can see anyone of these could be purchased for around $10.00 to $15.00 they come with nearly everything youll need to perform and will get you 5 to 10 or more minutes of solid metal magic depending on your presentation (Flight Plan and Clues are easily adaptable to other situations For that reason I recommend getting the combo set at only $15.00, the systems are different enough that having both would help if you were planning on adapting the system to other story/plot lines if you just want go with whats in the kit go with Flight Plans). These effects go back to the days of The American Magic Company, they are sometimes forgotten and or over looked but would make a great add on to anyones show

Scott can be reached at 410-633-6420 or by going to his web site

Postby Guest » 04/15/04 12:07 PM

I dont want to seem like this is my personal advertisement board or that I am using it that way, but, in trying to answer the question of obtaining a visual or outstanding effect while we are no longer in the business of selling magic-mentalism retail, we happen to know that Scott Kalin sells some great old and hard to find magic and mentalism effects from the 70s 80s and 90s most of these effect were mentioned in my last post and many readers contacted Scott buying up most of what he had. He now has some new/old effects and the price is still comparable to what it was 20 years ago. Also thanks to Mr. Becker this new version will contain more information then it did when it first came out, Im talking about Larry Beckers Perplexing ESP Plaques with complete explanations on how to do Larrys Sneaky Two the nice thing here is you get five plaques/mini clip boards, that can either be written on directly, or can be used with post-it notes paper. Instruction will have you using the boards to carry out any number of mental-magic effects including design duplication. The boards only sell for $20.00 close-up and $40.00 jumbo. For now the only place to get them is through Scott Kalin at 410-633-6420, 6816 Eastern Ave. Baltimore Md. 21224 Scott is the new owner of The Funhouse Magic Shop in Baltimore.

Postby Guest » 04/18/04 11:54 AM

I just picked up stunners plus. Its interesting. It reads like stereo equipment manuals, but the information in there is a gold mine. It sinteresting to read the effects and work out your own methods for the efffects.

ALSO! I love some of the concepts in George Andersons It must be mind reading. Theres a few gems in there...

Postby Guest » 04/19/04 02:59 PM


I could not agree with you more, Larry's Book "Stunners Plus", is great. I actually like the way it is written, it's like going to a show, you can visualize the effects being worked out. I think the world of Larry, we (my son and I) contact him regularly and he has always been a perfect gentleman, I think he has magic and mentalism best interest at heart when he offers suggestions or ideas. When we contacted him letting him know we just bought the rights to his Perplexing ESP Plaques and asked is we could explain his Sneaky Two with the plaques he was very quick to give us the nod, asking if we needed anything else.

Soon the plaques should be available online from the big name online dealers; we all know who they are. As I said in an earlier post the Close-up Plaques will cost $20.00 and The Jumbo Plaques will be $40.00, what was not mentioned was that the Jumbo Plaques will be limited to 100 sets, when they are gone they are gone so contact your favorite dealer and reserve a set.

Some of the older classic mentalism is being dressed up and sold for hundreds of dollars per effect. All we need to do is buy the old stuff for these low 10 to 20 dollar prices and dress them up to fit our performance style. Flight Plan, Clues, Reflecta-Thot, Motel Surprise and now Perplexing ESP Plaques are great magic/mentalism they provide a performer with anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes or more of solid entertainment for around $10.00 to $20.00 and comes with nearly everything youll need to do your show. Not only that but if you sit down with your instructions to tricks like Flight Plan and Clues, you can easily make up a conversion chart to convert the effect over to any theme you want this conversion only takes a couple of minutes and youll be able to adapt it over to nearly any topic. I have helped people convert them over for kid shows. The best thing about Flight Plan and or clues is that in the end there is no questions asked, there is no pre-show work, no assistant, and no stooge. You could then re-set the effect and do it again with a different outcome; the effect has been overlooked for years.

As I said before I highly recommend these older effects, when we bought the rights we decided to release them in very limited supplies, we are still selling off the old stock, when it is gone we will decide whether or not we should re-make any of it, personally I think this stuff is classic, and should not be dropped from our dealers shelves, that is why we didnt jack the prices to meet todays prices, these effects are priced very low, but that doesnt mean they are low quality.

I could have easily redesigned these to look more modern, then jacked the price, but thats not fair to the buyer and it takes away from the cool feeling of being able to step back in time and buy a brand new piece of history this is all old stock from the American Magic Company.

Take Care


Postby Guest » 04/22/04 09:32 AM

70% of my work is in the streets and in nightclubs. It's a fun environment, buyt rough to capture attentions. The main problem is being that you are on their turf, their space. So the best thing to gather attention is to use color and simple resent props. Thats why I love these books (mentioned above), sometimes the hardest part of finding an effect is getting it to interest the audience. The attention span of average audience is about 45 seconds and thats being gerous.

EXAMPLE: Thats why I have tried to incorporate as many props, that arent props, into my act. I have a think a card inwhich the thought of card is beamed into a sepectators mind. I get the audience to be the props. In their best antennae position, they try and pick up the cards color at first. If that doesnt work, they readjust their pose, and mystically the cards value is shot into their mind.

I don't want to give too much away. I just needed a boost to think of some new avenues of performing. I can't recommend maximum entertainment enough. It is true delight to read and it has helped me realize that the audience is there to see me and the show, not just the effect.


Postby Guest » 04/22/04 01:58 PM

I'll mention two great effects that will be coming out soon, both packaged together, both Larry Becker effects, "Perplexing ESP Plaques", and "Sneaky Two" they come in both close-up and jumbo the selling price will be $20.00 and $40.00 BTW the JUMBO plaques are limited to 100 and then they will not be made for another 5 or more years. Murphy's has all 100. At any rate you are aware of the "Sneaky Two" effect it is a version of "Sneak Thief" Perplexing Plaques allows for many of the same type effects and as you said these are nice effects because you are putting objects into the hands of the spectators which does tend to keep them interested a little longer. We thought combining these effects with the same plaques/clip boards would be nice as you can do multiple effects with the same props, as opposed to pulling out one set of clip boards for one effect then a second set for a different effect (that would be like using a red back Svengali and a blue back stripper - not only would it help you in knowing which deck does what but it would also tell the audience you have a different deck for a reason)
You sound like you have a lot of experience and know what will and what won't work for you. I suggest you consider whether the perplexing plaques, would work for you, one nice thing that many people don't think of when using these is that they are like a board game, you get five plaques (meaning you could use up to five people) most people think you have to have five. Obviously for some effects you'll need all five plaques, but some effects you'll may only use three or four, for "Sneaky Two" you'll only use four. The flexibility of these props help to make everything appear to be even more on the up and up. if you write me privately I will try to explain it better, but these boards with Larry's routine's and ideas can make anyone look great and we left the marking/coding system up to the end user. We give several suggestions and supply the material to mark them the way you want... so in the end your set can be different from everyone elses, helping performers keep their individual styles. As I said before, Murphys has all 100 of the Limited Edition Jumbo Plaques, if you are interested in them or the close up version you might want to contact either , or your favorite online dealer and ask them to try to get you a set, when you get yours contact me with me with any suggestions or questions and I will help you as much as I can, giving you further suggestions. I played with these for a very short time, but can see the value of them for a good performer and someone that is creative can take, Larrys ideas, Dan Tongs ideas, and my ideas and have a blast twisting them into total miracles using design duplication, mind reading effects, you name it the spectator could go through the five plaques one at a time, then concentrate on just one of them, the rest could be put back into their envelope or dropped into your pocket, and you would instantly be able to tell the spectator which plaque they were/are concentrating on. This really is one of the props that are only limited by your imagination and I think anyone that buys them will enjoy them as usual we kept the price low, and give away tons of extra options, and information.

These things really are a lot of fun


Postby Guest » 04/22/04 02:34 PM

Sounds like theres some potential there, Im a big fan of online videos. Do you have any demo videos so I can see them in action?

Postby Guest » 04/22/04 08:32 PM


Sorry, we don't have anything on video yet, and in trying to keep our prices down we may not do a video... (that said you never know, doing a video might be fun...) However, I have to say just the name Larry Becker should be enough, in fact when I heard the effects were going to be made available for sale, I didn't ask what they were, I just said, when can we meet, where do we meet, cash, check or charge, and how much of it do I need to bring. But I am probably Larry's biggest fan.

Take care,


One last thing... As with all of our products we ask that buyers write back and provide us personally with feedback, routines and suggestions. We don't visit every board so we can't respond to everything that is written about us, in fact Magic Cafe has suspended us from the board forever... so if we don't respond to something you ask us there... it's because we can't get in... We do have our own board; much like this board... it is professional without all the bickering you might find on some of the other boards... our board can be found at

We plan on writing follow-up books containing additional routines that can be done with these props/routines anyone that provides a usable routine will receive full credit in the book/booklet as well as a free copy of the book. The books will only sell for around $10.00 and will be a great value as we will have them filled with only the best information. You sound like the type that would probably be able to offer many usable suggestions, we plan on doing the same with all of our products and have a nice supply of material already for our "Anywhere Bill Book" some of our Retro Magic will be combined and put together in one book/booklet.

If you care to discuss these effects further feel free to email me direct at

Thanks Again


Postby Guest » 05/01/04 03:03 PM

Scott This is a photo of the books/booklets youll receive with our version of Larry Beckers Perplexing ESP Plaques . We have obtained permission from Mr. Becker to include his outstanding design duplication process (Sneaky Two) along with the purchase of his ESP plaques. This is a great value for only $20.00 close-up or $40.00 jumbo.

BTW - I may have already told you this but just in case I didn't, the Jumbo version has been limited to only 100 sets. ... s%20ii.jpg

For those unfamiliar with Larrys Sneaky Thief this is the effect;

A pack of playing cards is shown to be well mixed, the pack is then shuffled again and distributed among four spectators who are requested to quickly mix their respective packs. The first spectator is asked to spread his card and confirm that it is made up of an assortment of different values and suits he replies that they are, he is then instructed to mentally select and remember any DIAMOND in his hand, he is then asked to hand his packet of card to the second spectator who adds them to their packet, the second spectator is asked to shuffle their combined packet and to mentally select any CLUB card in his hand, the second spectator is then asked to hand his card to the third spectator who adds them to the portion of the deck he was previously handed and to shuffle the combined packets of cards, with this done the third spectator is asked to spread the cards and mentally select and remember any HEART card in his packet, finally the third spectator is told to hand his packet of cards to the fourth spectator who is asked to combine them with his packet, to shuffle the cards, look at them and mentally select and remember any SPADE card from the deck. The packet of cards is now discarded as the performer distributes four plaques and pencils/markers to group of spectators. The performer explains that after he turns away the four spectators are to jot down on the memo cards the value of the mentally selected cards, but not the suit when the four spectator have done this one of them is asked to collect and mix/shuffle the plaques (writing side down) when this is complete the performer turns and retrieves the four plaques turning the top plaque face up the performer announces that it is for example and ACE but more important even though it is not noted on the plaque it is the ACE of HEARTS and that it is the card thought of by spectator number three, the third spectator acknowledges that the performer is correct. The perform then flips over a second plaque and after showing that it contains for example the number EIGHT he states that it does in fact represent the EIGHT of SPADES and further that it was selected mentally by spectator number four, the fourth spectator confirms that the performer was right; the performer starts to reach for the third plaque but stops as he explains that he is having problems visualizing what ever is written on this plaque, he then pushes it aside exposing the back of the fourth plaque, the perform steps back and states that he will not even touch the face down plaque but instead he will attempt to mentally determine both the value and suit written on the card; after a moment he points to the second spectator and states that the written card definitely belongs to him/her and that it is the NINE of CLUBS, the second spectator confirms that the performer is 100% correct, the performer addresses the first spectator and states that the remaining plaque most belong to him/her, continuing with the fact that he is still experiencing some difficulty the performer asks the spectator to give him a small hint, is it a big card, or a small one the performer asks. The spectator replies, it is a big one, the performer reaches under his coat and removes a jumbo playing card with its back toward the audience, big like this the performer says; before an answer can be given the performer continues, what card are you concentrating on? The spectator states that he is thinking of the KING of DIAMONDS the performer replies, I thought you might, with that he turns the jumbo card around and it is the KING of DIAMONDS.

I hope you will try to get your set soon, as it stands now there are only 100 sets of the JUMBO plaques being offered, and only 144 of the close-up sets, we might continue making the close-up plaques, but have decided to limit the jumbo plaques to just the 100 sets that have already been purchased by Murphy's Magic Supply, if you want to try to get a set of those, it might be best to contact Murphy's to see if they can direct you toward one of their distributors. As I have said before and this is not just a sales pitch, these things are fun, once you start playing with them you will find tons of uses, they are basically mini clip boards making it possible for you to do clip board mentalism close-up/walk around.

When you get them, let me know what you think, and what kind of stuff you come up with for using them

Take Care


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