Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Clock is Ticking on Murder and REVIEW: Performing Mentalism for Young Minds - Vol. 1

Hi everybody,

Just a quick Murder By Magic program will be gone at the end of the month. I'm pulling it because I never wanted to flood the market. I've already performed Murder By Magic several times this month and have several more booked well into 2012, with one performance booked in July. It's an incredibly unique concept, one you can use to profit from and set yourself apart from the competition...but time is almost up.

Now it's on to this week's review: Performing Mentalism for Young Minds by Paul Romhany & friends. Here's the link: It's available for $40.00 from Hocus Pocus.

AD COPY: One of the most anticipated books in magic and mentalism has now arrived!!

Paul Romhany has produced the most comprehensive collection of material for the performer who wants to add mentalism in their show from pre-schoolers to high school students. Everything from walk-about routines to birthday party routines to parlor and even stage routines for the family entertainer.

Over 265 pages which include a collection of essays on how to perform mentalism for children, plus over forty effects from performers around the world including:
Mark Strivings, David Kaye, Tim Mannix, Paul Romhany, Richard Webster, Andrew Gerard, Wayne Rogers, Tony Binarelli, Bev Bergeron, Jim Kleefeild, Keith Field, Danny Archer, Andrew Gerard, Jack Dean, Greg Arce, Anthony Lindan, E. Raymond Carlyle, Professor Spellbinder, Matthew Johnson, Tony Chris, Cris Johnson, Reg Blackwood, Ken Ring, Christopher Taylor, Christopher Berry, TC Tahoe, Ozzy D, Magical Michael, Magic George, Ken Dyne, Jasper Blakeley, Ray Roch.

This book covers performing mentalism for pre-schoolers to teenagers, even adults will be fooled and entertained by the routines in this book.

A treasure trove of effects, essays and advice from real world performers who make their living by entertaining family audiences. This book is destined to become a classic in both the magic and mentalism field.

If you ever wondered if mentalism can be performed for young minds then this book will show you it can, and how to do it.

"The essays in this book are worth the price of the entire book, and more!! The rest of this book is a treasure trove of fascinating mental effects that your young - and not so young - audiences will enjoy. These wonderful effects are so good that I'm tempted to dust off my old Riccardo outfit and start performing again. I know you'll enjoy this book, and will come back to it again and again in the future. If you have any doubts whatsoever about performing mentalism for children, try one or two of the effects in this book. I know you'll change your mind. Thank you, Paul, for compiling and publishing this valuable book." - Richard Webster

"When magicians and mentalists think of 'kids' they think of kids 3-4 years old. This is rarely the case, even for regular kids entertainers. People do not give kids enough credit for being smart. They get mentalism and mindreading, even at the age of five and six. It can be done, and I have done it. They certainly understand when Harry Potter gets a psychic image." - Banachek

Preface by Richard Webster
Introduction by Paul Romhany
Performing for Children an essay by Paul Romhany
Parade of Children Prediction Trick by Tim Mannix
World Cup Routine by Paul Romhany
Cereal Box Prediction Larry Mahan and Robert D. LaRue, Jr.
Slide Thru Card Switch by Wayne Rogers
Perform For The Children! by Kyle Peron
A TRIP ROUND THE WORLD IN 8 MINUTES! by Tony Binarelli and "Jules Verne"
Phantom Artist Halloween Card Routine by Professor Spellbinder
The Phantom Artist by Ted Annemann and Professor Spellbinder
Clip-Lit Sports by Jim Kleefeld
Psychic Santa by Matthew Johnson
Judge, Jury and Executioner by Reg Blackwood
The Mental Corridor by Cris Johnson
Teaching Someone to Read Minds by Cris Johnson
Mental Monopoly by Danny Archer
Time Warp by Paul Romhany
Mind Reading to Africa by Ken Ring
The News in Total by Ken Ring
ESPompoms by Ken Ring
King Book Test by Christopher Berry
Guessin' Gumballs by Jack Dean
Child's Play by Bev Bergeron
Emoti-Con by TC Tahoe
BIRTHDAY PRESENT by Richard Webster
Pointilism by Greg Arce
Cookies Fortune by TC Tahoe and Paul Romhany
Safety Mentalism Routine by Paul Romhany
Younger Persons Version Reverse Q & A by Anthony Lindan
Prized Balloon by Ozzy D
The Fortune Teller by Paul Romhany
Puzzled by Magical Michael
Pin the Tail on the Donkey by Andrew Gerard
Mystery Ball by Paul Romhany & Hal Spear
Spot the Pole by Wayne Rogers
The Mind Reading Hat Routine by Magic George
The Magic Square by Dal Sanders
Gift Wrapped By Kennedy
Magicians Choice By Keith Fields
P.S.I Fari by Tony Chris
Scrabbled by Jasper Blakeley
Balloon Bank Night by Wayne Rogers
Last One Standing by Anonymous
SPOON BEND by Ray Roch
Drawing On The Imagination by Christopher Taylor
RING OR WATCHES? by E. Raymond Carlyle
Mentalism for Preschool Kids by Mark Strivings
Performing Mentalism for Children by David Kaye
The Precognitive Phinger Puppet by Mark Strivings

MY THOUGHTS: I'm skipping right to my thoughts this week because I really cannot impress upon you how great this book is. It's what I would call a foundational book that should be in the library of every magician who has any desire to perform for kids.

While the main focus of the book is the idea of performing mentalism for kids of all ages, the real strength of the book is how many of the essays lay the groundwork for being a good children's performer.

Here are just some of my personal favorite entries in this tome: (bear in mind that modesty prevents me from listing my own contributions to this work. Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased with my contributions, but I'm in awe of a great deal of the work in this book)

- Introduction - right in the beginning, Paul breaks down the approximate ages of kids along with their developmental levels, giving readers an approximate blueprint of what kids can process.

- Essay: Performing for Children - here Paul covers the basics of performing for kids in terms of stage, warmups, control, basics of theatre, performing style and various key elements of performing such as themes, plot, characters, dialog, music and more.

He continues on with thoughts on character, acting techniques, scripting and so much more.

Oh, and we're only on page 28 of a book that's nearly 300 pages. Quite frankly I could have stopped right here and felt as though I got my money's worth.

Mark Strivings (from the wonderful Desert Brainstorm Series of DVDs) chimes in with several routines, essays and professional advice on performing mentalism...for preschool age kids. I thought I was good because I performed mentalism for elementary and middle school age kids, but Strivings' thoughts on using mentalism for younger tots blew my mind away in a good way and expanded my thoughts.

David Kaye adds his thoughts on the subject, contributing thoughts on kids show performing pertaining to good kids show tips for success and understanding the mindset of kids.

This is all so good! Oh, and there were actual routines in the book too - a ton of great ones. Here are just a few that jumped out at me...

Around The World In 8 Minutes - a wonderful routine involving a three part prediction using three geometric shapes, a blow-up globe of the earth and references to Jules Verne.

Phantom Artist Halloween Card Routine - a paper "cut out" made by the performer in a 'trance' matches the selection of a child. Its fun and visual.

Psychic Santa - The premise: "This year, Santa brought me my gift even though I did not decide what I want yet. I think that's how he knows if you've been naughty or nice." Talk about one heck of a hook for a kids' trick!

Time Warp - A wonderful watch prediction effect involving a picture, a watch and a very fair handling. I love watch effects (I currently have three such effects in my set lists) and this one will find its way into a show very soon.)

Child's Play - an amazingly kid friendly twist on a drawing duplication that utilizes the game of tic-tac-toe. This was my favorite effect in the entire book. Simply amazing, clean and easy to do. A full-blown stage effect that requires ZERO preparation - completely impromptu and yet I couldn't figure out the method to save my life until I read the secret. Mindblowing and yet kid friendly!

I haven't even scratched the surface in this review of just how much "A" material is in this book. Again, if you have any desire to perform for kids, you NEED this book even if you have zero desire to perform mentalism for youngsters. The essays alone show forward thinking by experienced, real-world pros.

Paul is currently editing Volume 2 now. I can't wait.

A 10 out of 10 and my TOP PICK for the best release of the year!

Next week: My Top Picks List for the year 2011!


Cris Johnson

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