Sorry it's been so long since my last blog. I had insane traveling the last couple of weeks, driving on average of 11 hours a day, followed by a plane trip to Florida for training. On top of all that, I became quite ill. Fortunately, I am 'back in the saddle,' so to speak and ready to write.
Big thanks to those of you who ordered my Corporate Magician's Newsletter System. All orders have been shipped. Those of you who made the investment will surely appreciate the simplicity of the system along with the booking dollars it will generate. Additionally, I've also included an UNADVERTISED bonus in the course.:) If you have any question, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On to this week's review: Bride of Monster Mentalism DVD by Docc Hilford. It's DVD number 3 in the 4-DVD series. It's available for $34.95 from Hocus Pocus.
Here's the Ad Copy:
Volume 3 - Bride of Monster Mentalism
A dreadfully seductive beauty has emerged from the depths. She begins by humorously entertaining her victims and leaves them with an insatiable urge to believe in her awful abilities. This bride is dangerous. She is MENTALISM!
A Letter from the Future -- A mysterious man risks everything to travel forward in time, gain information and prove he's returned to the past. But will he live long enough to see his proof discovered? An interactive production that will draw you into every choice that either proves or disproves it's not just science fiction.
Tridiction -- When David was thrown out of a Tahoe casino, he vowed revenge. A Satanic pact gives him a weird power, enabling him to predict the outcome of dice, poker and 21! Now they would pay, but what would be the price to David's soul? WARNING: This technique is described for entertainment purposes only!
Self Help -- When evil genius Harry Lorayne created a nightmare in his basement, he never dreamed that its chains would be broken and the little terror re-trained to rip the eyes out of innocent tradeshow attendees. But that's what happened. Come see the beast . . . if you dare. In 1992, a group of young college students were forced to participate in the following three unspeakable, psychic experiments:
Projected Force -- A subject was psychologically MADE to think of a playing card without any being present. NOTICE: This is the original method that became a famous UK mentalist's favorite
Peek Book -- Without a single book in view, another subject was instructed to merely think of a word. She never wrote it down, yet unconsciously made it evident to the experimenter. An apparent "bookless-booktest."
ESPed -- A subject was finally instructed to draw any picture he imagined on an index card. This experiment was conducted across the room and the experimenter never touched the card, yet he still had total knowledge of the design. Now the experimenter becomes the experimented! The required props for this full routine are as bare as the skeletons buried behind the laboratory. It's shockingly direct!
"This is the closest thing to real mind reading I've ever seen!" --- Dr. John Randolph, Miskatonic University Dept. of Psychology
As with previous releases, there is a lot to like for any serious mentalist as well as a few things I did not care for. Let's look at each routine one by one...
A Letter From The Future: This is essentially a card prediction in which the selected card is very fairly selected and it's shown that a letter from the past predicted what card would be selected.
MY THOUGHTS: This is a good, clean revelation of a predicted card. The actual work is embarrassingly simple, allowing you to concentrate on presentation. The letter itself and the way it's constructed allows for some great psychology and if you perform this as Docc does, you'll get credit for predicting more than you actually did.
Of course, you can use any method of having the card selected, but Docc's looks very fair and the method harkens back to the boldness of classical mentalists such as Anneman and Dunninger.
The routine, like a lot of Docc's stuff, is lengthy in terms of exposition. Your performing have to be up to snuff on this one.
I wasn't blown away, but I did like this. 7/10.
Tridiction: This is essentially a one-ahead routine with some incredible Equivouqe work. (I probably spelled it wrong.) The routine itself is based on a gambling theme which is pretty common for such one-ahead three part predictions.
MY THOUGHTS: You may be thinking there is nothing new here, but Docc's presentational approach and acting throws off those in the know because he does not present this as a scripted (pre-planned) 3 part test, but rather the success of earlier part(s) seem to motivate further tests. It sounds more complicated than it really is.
The real beauty, however, was the extended "min'lecture" Docc gives on the old Magician's Force, or Equivoque. His handling of this often abused technique is stellar and this one section of the DVD is worth it in my opinion. Simple stellar as he really makes the selection process look fair and above board with several layers to his approach I've never seen anywhere before.
Overall, I'll give the routine itself a good solid 8, but the min-lecture on Equivoque gets my highest recommendation at 10/10. Simply wonderful.
Self Help: This is a multi-phase card piece. What more can I say?
MY THOUGHTS: This was OK, but again, for me to use card effects in either magic or mentalism, it really has to blow me away and while this was good in terms of airtight yet easy method, I just was not motivated to work on this.
This gets just a 5/10 from me.
Projected Force: The mentalist attempts to send a just thought of card to a participant. She is successful in that she receives his thoughts.
MY THOUGHTS: The description of the effect is just as it reads. You attempt to send a spectator a thought and she receives it. No actual cards are used, nothing is written down and there is no pre-show or stooges. Intrigued? This is GREAT stuff!!
The method has to do primarily with linguistics and a little NLP. With that in mind, I will say the method is not foolproof as many effects of a psychological nature are also not foolproof.
However, this is just so damn good that I highly recommend this DVD just for this routine. If you were to put this routine right before a sure-fire piece of mentalism that is foolproof, then this effect comes off as as a sort of pre-test, so if the end result is not spot-on, that's OK. I LOVE this.
I'm giving this another 10/10.
Peek Book - This is just as the name implies, a peek book test, but Docc's routine is structured in such a way that apparently the audience forgets a book was used, leaving the impression of a totally clean routine.
MY THOUGHTS: This was good. as always, Docc's psychology is pot-on. Im not sure how well the notion of getting the audience to forget a book was ever in play really works with a modern corporate audience, but even if they pick up on the fact that a book was used, it's still strong. I personally the book test in the previous DVD was stronger, but this was definitely worth exploring.
I'll give it a solid 7/10.
ESPed - This is essentially a drawing duplication test in which everything is designed to look 'above board,' almost test conditions.
MY THOUGHTS: I felt this was the weakest piece on the whole DVD. If this "hits," you've got quite amiracle, but again, with modern audiences, selecting the wrong participant for this routine means that you've got the potential for the person to blab out part of the method.
Plus, in a corporate environment, people can and do get asked all the time after a show about "what was really going on," so while Docc's psychology is sound, I personally feel there are stronger drawing dupes out there that offer methods in which the participant is as in the dark as the audience.
I'm only giving this a 3/10...not because it's a bad routine. In actuality it's a good routine, but the risk factor (to me) is too high. If I'm going to do a "risky" routine, I only make that choice when there are no other methods of accomplishing the effect I'm going after.
With that in mind, I'm going to give the DVD a very high 9 out of 10. Projected Force and the mini-lecture on Equivoque (Magician's Choice) makes this DVD a must have in my view.
Next week I finish up the Monster mentalism review series with DVD #4 and a summation of the whole set.
Until next time...