Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Final REVIEW: Mental Deceptions Vol. 2
Welcome to the LAST installment of my blog, at least for the immediate future. In the last installment, I outlined my past with Rick Maue and the positive influence he’s had on my career.
With that in mind, I cannot even pretend to be objective in last week’s review or this one. If you ever read this, Rick, thank you. And as you always say (and I remember the origin of the reference) I will indeed keep the change.
My review of volume 2 of Mental Deceptions DVDs starts after the ad copy…
AD COPY: Despite over four decades of magic and mentalism experience, Rick Maue has always managed to remain a bit elusive...until now! On this DVD set, Rick presents a number of his signature pieces, as well as several unreleased items, with many of the effects coming from his working repertoire.
Mental Deceptions is loaded with strong mentalism for stand-up or close-up performances and remarkably, none of the effects require expensive gimmicks or props - just everyday items such as envelopes, poker chips, paper, playing cards, etc. (It's why Michael Weber dubbed Rick "OfficeMax Maven.")
What's more, no sleight of hand is required. Rick calls it VdM Magic - material that's so technically easy that the Venus De Milo could perform it! In other words, everything is well within the technical reach of every performer.
You'll also be able to step inside the mind of Rick Maue during informative interview segments conducted by magician Francis Menotti. You'll see for yourself why Marc DeSouza once asked Rick, "Why is it that when I see you lecture, I feel like I am watching a mad scientist at work?"
THOUGHTS ON Volume Two:
* Beyond The Witching Hour – A bit of Spirit Communication that also teaches a very useful utility move for the everyday worker who wants to move the hands of a watch.
MY THOUGHTS – I remember Rick showing this to me at a lecture in Pittsburgh, PA. Despite doing it super slowly, as my eyes burned him, I could not catch the move. This is so brilliant, and so impossible to catch. One of the best methods of covertly moving the hands of a watch ever created.
* The Final Picture – Whether on stage, doing close-up, performing a séance, or working impromptu, this is the piece that Rick has performed more than all of his other creations combined.
MY THOUGHTS – as with all of Rick’s creations, this is super simple in terms of technical work. The way Rick does a lot of the stuff in this routine will make you feel like a Jedi by the way he uses non-verbal deception and simple hand gestures to influence the volunteer in certain ways.
* Animal Instincts – A close-up prediction effect that relies on human instincts.
MY THOUGHTS – The end of this routine came as a complete surprise, a cool kicker type ending people just don’t see coming. That being said, this is a somewhat lengthy routine so this is NOT something you can do table to table or strolling. It’s a routine in which you’d need a table. Consider it a routine for formal closeup sessions, such as a private party for a small group of people, less than 10, for the best venue for this routine.
* In The Neighborhood – A simplistic version of “Out of This World”…but it doesn’t use playing cards!
MY THOUGHTS – This is a fun “Sorting” type routine, as the title suggests, and is slightly similar to Out of This World. The best part is the fact that this routine uses poker chips rather than playing cards and the way the routine unfolds is a complete surprise. The working is exceedingly simple and the working is similar to Rick’s terrific Fate? Routine. I really like this.
* Abstract Extraction (Francis Menotti) – A strange effect that make brainwaves visible to the human eye.
MY THOUGHTS – I remember reading Penn & Teller’s “How To Play In Traffic” book and reading about a similar effect. This is fun, easy and most assuredly something different which is always nice in a collection of mental effects. Francis Menotti presents this, and though I’d never heard of him before watching this DVD set, he’s definitely someone I intend to keep an eye on for future releases.
* Defining The Difference – A strong bit of mentalism that demonstrates the difference between a magician and a mentalist.
MY THOUGHTS – Shades of Annemann in this routine and wow, what an effect! I was blown away by the mentalism part of the routine. As past readers of my blog know, I’m not big on card effects in either magic or mentalism, so it takes a lot to make me sit up and take notice. It’s not that I’m against cards in mentalism, but merely that many card effects bore me. This routine, however, is one I may add to my set list!
* Focus / Sixth Sense Symbols – A three-phase routine that looks and feels like real mindreading. It appears impossible, because it almost is…unless you know the secret.
MY THOUGHTS – This routine was really the only disappointment on the entire 2-disk set. The routine itself was incredibly powerful and very cool, but the method, while easy like Rick’s other stuff, is not something I am able to use due to the nature of how I do my shows. I have to be intentionally vague due to avoid exposure.
* The Journey – A stand-up piece that has fooled some of the best minds in mentalism. It’s strong and versatile, and like almost all of Rick’s creations, everything that you need comes from a regular office supply store.
MY THOUGHTS – This routine is one of the best pieces for stage mentalism I’ve ever seen. It was stunning, and was so strong I could only think of stooges as a way for the solution to work…happily, I was wrong and I can’t wait to add this to my set. Trust me, the DVD set is worth the price for this one routine.
Thank you all for the support over the years! As always, if you have any questions about anything, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.