This is Volume 2 of the series and focuses on mentalism – The Magic of Your Mind. I was a bit disappointed with Volume 1 but this is Barrie’s speciality so my hopes were still high. But, like I said in my review of Volume 1, one must bear in mind that Barrie is a retired professor and not a professional performer, so he presents like a well-spoken academic not an entertainer.
The first routine is “Choices Have Consequences”. It is a fairly common Bank Night plot. Max Maven has a great version detailed in his Video Mind series. This was very decent and clean as well. 3 envelopes are shown and 2 spectators make a choice of one each, one is left for the performer. The spectators’ envelopes contains small tokens of appreciation while the one remaining with the magician contains $200. It is direct but a bit gutsy. Some sleight of hand is required but there is a motivation for the clean up. While not as sleight free as other versions, it does mean it is clean and quite angle free.
“Second Spot” is a psychometry routine popularized by Maurice Fogel. I’ve read the book by on Fogel by Chris Woodward & Richard Mark (a great read for mentalists btw) and liked the routine. Ning actually made up a set after Bob Chua shared the basic method with her. She told me about it but never ever showed it to me… I’ve got to get her to perform it for me soon. Barrie’s version is the exact same method that Ning uses 🙂 which is the standard Fogel method. The basic premise of a pyschometry routine is that a number of items are contributed by different spectators and the magician is able to divine which object belongs to each specator. If you have never seen this type of routine before, it is a good start.
“Mesmer’s Pencil” is a another fooler that I can see a street magician performing as well. It uses an ungimmicked pencil and is a two-phase routine that has the pencil rise under command and rendered too heavy for a spectator to lift (like a heavy-light chest but with a pencil)
“Dollar Divination” is a solid routine but requires masterful handling of the audience and the effect so that it does not appear convulated. When Barrie performed it, it got a tad confusing but I think the routine has potential. It uses a killer bill switch which is possibly a solution I have been looking for!
“Angel’s Flight” is another decent routine that requires good presentation to pull off. If done well, it is an impressive routine. One of the good things of this routine is Barrie’s deck switch. It is a neat idea BUT requires motivation to be good. I did not feel Barrie created the motivation and in fact his handling did not make sense in a way. However, I see great potential for this deck switch for stage work.
“Thoughts with Wings” is a word-from-newspaper sheet prediction. I felt the handling was suspect because the heat is on him at the critical moment. Max Maven has a similar premise but much stronger in my opinion.
As with the previous volume, Michael Weber (awesome magician and mentalist) offers insights and clarity in the discussion session in the explanation portion of the DVD. It is really useful and adds a lot to the sharing of knowledge.
This volume is much better than volume 1 and I recommend it if you are looking for mentalism routines and presentations and have experience in the field. For new students to mentalism, it may not be very clear or the best example of how such effects are performed. 4 out of 5 stars
You can buy it here from Ning’s sexy Magic Boutique here.
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