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Topic: Osterlind Breakthrough Card System
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 12, 2005 10:18PM)
HNey guys, another book video question.
Osterlind Breakthrough Card System - book or DVD....which has "more material" and better for learning?
Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jun 12, 2005 10:27PM)
It's really a 'depends who you are' as far as learning the stack goes. Either way is satisfying. Someone say the manual, I think the dvd was great to learn it. I'm not sure which has more material (I believe the dvd does. The manual only has a portion of it I think). And don't forget about the stack effect on Richard's blog!


Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 12, 2005 10:35PM)
Actually I'm really looking for a lot of good effects to use, so whichever one holds that
Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jun 12, 2005 10:58PM)
On 2005-06-12 23:35, God-glorified wrote:
ACtually Im really looking for a lot of good effects to use, so whichever one holds that

The DVD definetely has plenty to keep you busy for awhile (5 I believe). And if your familiar with mnemonics you could always memorize it, which opens up even more doors!

Message: Posted by: Kevvy (Jun 12, 2005 11:58PM)
The BCS comes in handy when using the classic force. It is a great out should you encounter the type of spec that selects the last card.
Message: Posted by: Josho (Jun 13, 2005 03:46AM)
While I absolutely love the Mind Mysteries series, if I had to choose only ONE way to learn the system, I would opt for the book. (There's no reason you can't buy one now and buy the other later, is there?)

I learned BCS from the (original) book quite a few years ago, and while I was thrilled to learn a couple of new effects from the DVD and from the 20th Anniversary edition of the book, I think it was easier to learn "from scratch" from the book than it would've been from the DVD.

Both the book and the DVD have five effects, so quantity of effects balances out. The DVD has: Card Calling, Two Cards in Pocket, Challenge Mind Reading, Corinda Effect, and Blackjack Demonstration. The current edition of the book has Real Simple, Card Calling (identical to the DVD), Cards in Pocket (identical to "Two Cards in Pocket"), Test Condition Card Trick (identical to "Challenge Mind Reading"), and Magician Fooler.

So why would I go with the book? These reasons: the book has six peek techniques (the DVD has some, too, but not all six -- the cleanest and most clever one, IMO, the Card Case peek, is in the book AND on the DVD). The book has an illustration of the stacked deck, which is very handy when you're just starting out learning it.

But, frankly, the most compelling reason for me is: I would not have wanted to be tethered to a DVD player every time I wanted to work on learning the system. I took that original book with me everywhere, and having all the little hints and reminders in print form, in my pocket and ready for review at a moment's notice, was terrific. If, every time a question came to mind, I had had to carry around the DVD and wait 'til I got to a DVD player, and then fast-forward and reverse 'til I found the answer to my question, it would've been a hindrance.

There's without question information on each that is not presented in the other. Watching Richard perform with the BCS is instructive in and of itself, and you will no doubt pick up many unspoken performance hints from watching him. Then again, there are many hints in the book as well that may not've been mentioned on the DVD, and/or things that are stated more clearly in text than they might be when trying to explain the system out loud. It's the convenience of having the book at hand at all times when learning the basic system that tips the scale in my mind.

Message: Posted by: Steve Dela (Jun 13, 2005 04:14AM)
I say go with the DVD.
I bought the instant download of the stack quite a while ago. I tried to learn it and pretty much gave up.
I then saw the dvd and that was it... the effects were so strong I thought I had to make the effort. so I watched the set up and explination on the dvd and it was so much clearer to me :)
I learnt it enough to perform it with in one day, and now I can just real them off without thinking much.

Although you should adapt your own persona, it is also fun to watch how Richard performs. He is a VERY entertaining performer.

In Magic
Steve Dela
Message: Posted by: Josho (Jun 13, 2005 04:39AM)
One should definitely try to judge how they learn best. Some people learn better from visual stimuli, as the DVD provides. Some people learn better aurally, which is closer to what the book provides.

I had no problem whatsoever learning from the book, and had already committed to learning it so I didn't need (and couldn't have GOTTEN, at the time!) to see the effects performed in order to give me the impetus to learn the system.

The book has been in print for 22 years -- somehow, a whole lot of people managed to learn (and make an enormous hit out of) the BCS in its print form before the DVD came along. Again, I take NOTHING away from the DVD -- I think the Mind Mysteries series in general is the best DVD purchase I've made in years.

Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 13, 2005 11:58AM)
Great info guys youve really helped a lot.
So in general (please correct me if I am wrong) for the most part---the book and the DVD have all the SAME AMOUNT MATERIAL its just a matter of which I would prefer learning from.
Thanks for all the help
Message: Posted by: Tom DV (Jun 13, 2005 12:31PM)
If you're getting into mentalism or mental magic, you will end up with Mind Mysteries anyway. Tom
Message: Posted by: Josho (Jun 13, 2005 03:05PM)
So in general (please correct me if I am wrong) for the most part---the book and the DVD have all the SAME AMOUNT MATERIAL its just a matter of which I would prefer learning from.

Yes, they both teach the system and both give about 5 applications. Roughly speaking, the PDF has more on peeks and the DVD demonstrates actual performances. Other than that, I think they're roughly equivalent and it is indeed a matter of which you'd prefer learning from.

I think Tom is correct in that if you're really into mental magic, the Mind Mysteries DVD series is pretty much a must-have. Then again, if you've learned the BCS and the tricks from the book, the specific volume of Mind Mysteries that deals with the BCS will be mostly a rehash of what you already know.

Message: Posted by: Roki (Jun 13, 2005 04:26PM)
Thanks Josho , excellent detailed info . Very helpful . I am rereading my Osterlind books before his visit to the Café next month.
Message: Posted by: Mr Mindman (Jun 13, 2005 04:33PM)
I have the DVD's and the 20th aniversary manuscript.
Both are brilliant and as it has been said, it just depends which you learn best from.
If you want to see a very good mentalist at work, get the DVD's

Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jun 14, 2005 10:24AM)

I have some thoughts on this subject. They can be found on my blog at:


Message: Posted by: toonomads (Jun 14, 2005 07:20PM)
Hi Richard,

Very sensible. It's nice to hear a full-time working pro advocating getting as much knowledge as one can from all sources available (I believe that's what you said).

I hadn't seen the connection between the old ways of learning in person and through video. But I have felt it, as I live in Japan and have spent the last decade learning from both books and video with an occasional lesson when I get to Los Angeles, my hometown.

As someone who returned to magic at around age forty but didn't get serious until about age 45, videos have been a big help. Plots that I really like I often explore with multiple texts and videos as well as seeking out live performances when I can.

All the best,

Mark Pappler
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 14, 2005 10:26PM)
Richard and all magi friends, I thank you deeply for ALL the insight and help you have given me. I greatly appreciate what you have done.
God Bless
Message: Posted by: Roki (Jun 15, 2005 04:35AM)
Well , nothing inspires confidence like seeing a true pro at work on video . I felt totally different after watching Richard use a N*** W***** on vid even though I'd read his take on it . So much to pick up unconsciosly too .
How to convey a trustworthy likeable persona that you will fool your audience in an honorable way ! This is in the character and cannot be described .
I still like the books also to pore over the ideas at a more considered level .
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jun 15, 2005 07:32AM)
Let me add just a bit more to this conversation.

Over the last couple of years, I have been in the situation of being both author and video performer of some of the same material. The instructional process is totally different for each outlet. During a video shoot, quite a bit happens spontaneously and the performer gets a chance to take advantage of each situation as it arises. The viewing audience sees the magician "thinking on his feet" so to speak. Most of this would never see the pages of a book. When completed, the feeling, from the performing end, is akin to numbness and I have often found myself wondering, "What did I do and say?"!

Writing, on the other hand, is a very contemplative effort and gives the author a chance to delve very deeply into the subject if he/she so desires and wants to put forth the effort. I have often spent 3 or 4 days on the same page, writing and rewriting the material until I was satisfied. There is always the opportunity to review everything before it goes to paper or electronic press.

With books and video, you get to see 2 sides of the performer. Now, whether or not that person has 2 sides worth seeing is up to you! (I think I would be a lot less tolerant of myself than others have seemed to be!)

And thank you very much for your kind words.

Message: Posted by: Phil Thomas (Jun 15, 2005 06:38PM)
Hi Richard and all,

I have both the ebook of BCS and Mental Mysteries dvd. I have to admit that when I first got the ebook, I was a little stumped on how to do it all as I am not good at computing things in my head. I almost gave up on it, but it kept calling to me for some reason. Then I saw it on the dvd and was blown away by how simple it actually is. As Richard says in the dvd, it is kind of a knack that you have to learn. Once I got the knack of it down, it just "clicked". Now I understand how simple this actually is. Once you set the time to study it and play around with it, you too will see how simple and fun this is to do. Great job to you Richard on coming up with such a wonderful masterpiece, and the Mind Mysteries dvds totally blew me away. Keep up the great work my friend.

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jun 22, 2005 07:01AM)
And an excellent essay, a follow-up to Richard's post above, is on his blog. It's what I pointed out with my review of Dan Turcotte's DVD/e-book combination set, http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=92689&forum=111&post=3886427

As one who only recently got into performing (a year ago last month; huzzah for anniversaries!) I very much appreciate the videos available. But I learned very quickly that they are not nearly as interactive as books. Each has strengths peculiar to themselves, and they work best when a video and a book work in tandem.

Message: Posted by: Desix (Jun 22, 2005 01:45PM)
Personally, I had no desire to learn the BCS as I have little interst in cards. But I kept reading on here how great it was and I dusted off the DVD one afternoon. I know nothing about card handling, tricks, decks, etc, but I was able to learn the system from scratch in a couple hours, and have used it numerous times now. I really like it and it blows people away. So I am a novice who learned soley from the DVD, and it seemed to do the trick. I am a true believer in the BCS now!