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Mind Mysteries Guide Book Vol.1: The Act Review

Official Review

September 24th, 2006 8:34pm
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
General Comments on the Mind Mysteries Guide Books

The way we learn is changing. With so many types of learning media available, producers now have the opportunity to choose the right medium for the right type of instruction. Video is great for teaching moves, but it also makes it easier to simply copy everything, including the performance. Books are traditionally not good for teaching the techniques. But the beauty of learning from books is that they force you to think creatively. You have to fill in a lot of gaps and, by nature, you'll fill them in with ideas from your own mind.

The Mind Mysteries Guidebooks are an excellent addition to the DVDs.

To be honest, I don't own the DVDs. My interests in mentalism are very specific and, as it turns out, quite different from what Richard Osterlind is doing. So I borrowed the necessary DVDs from my friend Jeff McBride. The DVDs are quite good, but this isn't the place to talk about them.

The Guidebooks allow Richard to go into detail about his thought process. As he does this, the reader naturally starts considering his or her own thought processes. This is invaluable!

Mind Mysteries Guide Book, Volume 1: The Act

Richard spends a lot of time talking about audience control. This is an invaluable skill for any performer, especially mentalists. Much of his script, choreography and technique decisions stem from the need to control his assistants.

I also learned a lot from reading more about Richard's personal history. It allows me to see why he makes certain decisions. More importantly, it makes it easier for me to decide if what works for him will work for me.

In addition to the in-depth analysis of the DVD work, the books contain additional touches that weren’t discussed on the DVDs.

My favorite topics were:

  • Analysis of paper types for use with the center tear
  • Saying = believing
  • Dramatic build
  • Taking them on an emotional roller-coaster ride
  • Taking routines full circle

I only have two minor criticisms of the work. Actually, the first is not really a criticism, but a suggestion to people who want to do his Bank Night. Richard obviously knows himself and his audiences. My guess is that most of his audiences are from his peer group. There's a section of his script for Bank Night that references the Monty Hall's TV show Let's Make a Deal. The show ran in the '60s and '70s. So if your audience is primarily 40+, then the reference makes sense. Sure, there have been re-runs almost every decade since the '70s, but your chance of getting a large response goes down and your audiences get younger. Just keep this in mind and change the reference, if necessary.

Secondly, Richard spends some time defending criticisms of the DVD. This left a bad taste in my mouth. People will think what they think. Peoples' opinions are driven more by their own internal filters than by what they're reviewing. Never apologize. Never explain.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Mind Mysteries Guide Book Vol.1: The Act

Author: Richard Osterlind
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"The Mind Mysteries Guide Book will take the thoughtful and diligent student through each of the effects that make up a successful working professional's act piece by piece, move by move, subtlety by subtlety. The 'real work' oozes out of every pore of this book."
- from the foreword by Jim Sisti

In an unprecedented event, Richard Osterlind has revisited his hugely successful Mind Mysteries video series and has written a definitive guide book that exponentially enriches the material presented in it. In this first volume, Richard takes Mind Mysteries Volume 1, which captured his professional act, and dissects it effect by effect, pointing out all of the subtle yet essential details to making these effects work for you as powerfully as they do for him. In this guide book, you'll discover new, unearthed treasures regarding Mind Mysteries as well as important new additions such as:

  • An expansion of the Miracle Thought Projection idea for use with larger groups
  • An important new addition to the Perfected Center Tear
  • A new facet to the Radar Deck
  • New ideas for almost every routine in Mind Mysteries Volume 1 for presenting these effects for larger audiences
  • New presentation ideas, jokes and patter lines
  • How to turn what you do into a real show, including ideas on call backs, blocking, stagecraft and other theatrical techniques
Every piece performed in Mind Mysteries Volume 1 is part of Richard's professional performing act and thus, every line spoken and every gesture made is an integral part of it. In the Mind Mysteries Guide Book, Richard goes through the act line by line and shows you the real secrets of how to make your mentalism and magic more effective, powerful and entertaining. Even if you don't perform these specific effects, the principles outlined here are fully portable and can be easily applied to the material that you do perform.

If you own Mind Mysteries, the Mind Mysteries Guide Book will be an indispensable tool in adding these powerful effects and sound theatrical principles to your own work.

Pages 84

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