(Close Window)
Topic: Limited Edition Shakespeare Book-test
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 27, 2008 02:18PM)
Good old friend of the Bizarre Todd Karr has done it again…
an elegantly leather bound gold edged gaffed book of Shakespeare.

Well, you know how a lot of his stuff sells out,
then goes for triple on eBay,
I had to bite…

When it comes in I’ll write up a review,
but it may be sold out by then too,
darn those limited editions.

My two-cents,
Walt
------

“The Shakespeare Experiment”

The finest book test ever published
Pre-order $275 (regular $300)

The Shakespeare Experiment is possibly the most elegant book test ever created, and so cleverly gimmicked, they'll think the Bard's ghost is helping you!

Anywhere the spectator opens the book, you can immediately be able to divine six different words, or even recite a complete passage! He can then pass the book around and you can instantly give readings for different words on other pages.

Limited to 1000 copies
with luxurious leather binding and gilt edges!
Shipping in August.

http://www.miraclefactory.net/
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Jun 27, 2008 04:06PM)
Do they name a page number, a story they go to, in order to get the required info
cheerz
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jun 28, 2008 06:01PM)
I'm in too, it looks amazing. Apparently they don't name a page number or anything.

"Impressive 800 pages
Luxurious leather binding with gold foil stamping
Lavish production with gilt-edged, satin-finish paper
Diabolically gimmicked but looks totally normal
No forces, no fishing, no guiding to "the longest word," no spelling-bee anagrams
No gimmicks, breaks, or glimpses
No guessing or asking the first letter of the word
You don't ever have to touch the book!
Different plays, pages, and text throughout the book
Easy to perform!
Instant reading of several words or a complete passage anywhere the book is opened
Built-in words for comedy, romantic, or dramatic presentations
Actual Shakespearean text from classics like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet
Several methods incorporated so they can be combined for deceptive routining
Bonus secret Elizabethan Dirty Words feature"

"No B.S.
The Shakespeare Experiment is as close to mindreading as you'll get in a book test. You don't need to know the page number. You don't need to ask any questions or write anything down. No guiding the spectator to "the longest word." You don't have to ask the first letter of the word. No guessing letters. No math calculation. Not a "MOAB." And of course no spelling-bee progressive anagrams.

Performer Never Handles the Book
No need to riffle the book yourself, no peeks, no glimpses, no breaks. The spectator just opens the book wherever he'd like.

No Forces
No props to force a line or page. You simply let the spectator open the book anywhere, choose the left or right page, left or right column, and first or last word. We give you a perfect motivation for focusing on these words: with all that text, it's easier for you to visualize a word with some white space around it. There's no risk, and it's nicely justified.

Instant Mindreading
When the spectator opens the book to any page, you can immediately divine six different words. Or the volunteer can then pass the book around and you can instantly give individual readings to several people with different words.

Multiple Techniques
The versatile Shakespeare Experiment contains a number of techniques you can combine to throw the spectators off the trail by constantly changing your methods. You can describe your vision of the word...or you can spell out the word directly. You can draw a picture of your prediction, write down the word, or just verbally name it. You can incorporate the page number if you need to...or not! And you can perceive a single word on each page...or a complete passage. Whatever your favorite presentation might be, you can custom-fit it to this volume.

Lengthy Passages
At any page, you'll be able to recite a beautiful Shakespearean speech if you wish, a lovely interlude to add to your show!

Built-In Presentation Words
Every page contains specific words you can focus on to suit a specific show or audience, including serious, comic, romantic, and even slightly risqué phrases. For weddings, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day, you can emphasize the romantic words, and for Halloween, the macabre words.

Elizabethan Dirty Words
For those special R or NC-17 occasions, there's a secret location on every page with some of the dirtiest words ever spoken in Elizabethan England. Lots of fun for daring performers in the right environment!

No Gimmicks or Cue Sheet Needed
You can easily memorize the key words and locations on each page. Our complete Shakespeare Experiment instruction book uses dynamic visual graphics to help you quickly remember everything, allowing you to perform with nothing but the book and your mind!"




Here's some reviews from people I respect...

"A book test with The Complete Works of Shakespeare, you say? Verily. Instead of being Much Ado About Nothing, here is an approach which demands the performer use a book — and what a book it is. It seems carefully prepared so as not to be the Comedy of Errors that so many recent book tests have turned out to be. Measure for Measure, this is one of the cleverest and most useful tests of late. They say that "All's Well That Ends Well," and if that is true, the routine for which the book was designed is all well indeed. If you are looking for a beautiful object, a powerful effect and a "novel" method, you will find this very special book to be As You Like It." — Michael Weber

"William Shakespeare wrote, 'I am not bound to please thee with my answers.' But this book is — literally!" — Max Maven

"This is the stuff that dreams are made of! The Miracle Factory raises the bar and the Bard. A great idea that will make you look very, very smart." — Jeff McBride

"It's the motherf***** of all book tests!" — Lee Asher

I love that last review!

All I know is everything I've ever bought from Todd has been top notch. He certainly knows how to create extremely high quality books. I buy about every collector edition he comes out with. This one is no exception, he's got my order already. I almost want two, one to keep in my living room to mess with guests's minds. It certainly will be a beautiful tome, no doubt, not other book tests. I'm not really into fake books for the purpose, I mainly prefer natural books. But this is stuff people know and at 800 pages it falls into the realm of "no one would go to that much trouble". Little do they know.
Message: Posted by: kosmoshiva (Jun 29, 2008 01:33PM)
Will it fool Billy Shufflestick know-it-alls? (ie Shakespeare egg-heads).
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jun 30, 2008 12:33AM)
Well of the reviewers, I would think Max would know better.
Message: Posted by: steven-gibson (Jun 30, 2008 10:20AM)
Looks awesome!
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 30, 2008 10:39AM)
Well I’m going to be one of those owners of the 1000 copy edition.

Think of the possibilities for Bizarre…
even maybe a Shakespeare Séance where you contact the Bard himself,
or appropriate Spirits “speak” from the grave through Shakespeare’s language.

Or a Bizarre presentation where the “truth” is revealed,
was Shakespeare, Shakespeare –or- was Shakespeare, really Marlowe?

I think this can go so far past just another “book test”,
and I think using a Complete Works adds mucho credibility to the proceedings.

I wish I knew what the “gaffs” were and who developed them for the book
…for if they are truly as deceptive as described, this could be a killer,
“to hold as t’were a mirror up to nature”!

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jun 30, 2008 06:21PM)
Please review the effect when you get the book.
Thanks
PS
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 1, 2008 01:46AM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-30 11:39, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
Well I’m going to be one of those owners of the 1000 copy edition.

Think of the possibilities for Bizarre…
even maybe a Shakespeare Séance where you contact the Bard himself,
or appropriate Spirits “speak” from the grave through Shakespeare’s language.

Or a Bizarre presentation where the “truth” is revealed,
was Shakespeare, Shakespeare –or- was Shakespeare, really Marlowe?

I think this can go so far past just another “book test”,
and I think using a Complete Works adds mucho credibility to the proceedings.

I wish I knew what the “gaffs” were and who developed them for the book
…for if they are truly as deceptive as described, this could be a killer,
“to hold as t’were a mirror up to nature”!

Magically,
Walt
[/quote]

You got the vision Walt. And you don't even have to go so far as the Bard. I am thinking of practically any city in the US has some ghost actor who did Shakespeare. Channel that guy whoever he may be in your area. I'm in LA so I have a list nearly as thick as that book.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 1, 2008 11:12AM)
Oh Clifford!

That is soooo true,
here is San Francisco we have a rich theatre and opera tradition as well,
in fact quite a few famous performers breathed their last on our soil.

With a bit of boisterous Victorian over-acting, it could be both spooky and fun.

I read more of the buried details on Todd's site, and I'm more stoked than ever
…will August ever come?

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: handa (Jul 1, 2008 07:58PM)
Behind the first Phibes, Theatre of Blood is easily one of my favorite Vincent Price movies.

I'm just sayin' that's all.

Chris
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 1, 2008 08:24PM)
I hope its got the witch scene from Macbeth.

This is a book collectors dream. It looks beautiful...

The price on that Witchboard had better be forth coming or else I'm buying this and a few other things I've been wanting.
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 1, 2008 08:35PM)
As far as book tests go, how does it compare to Luna?
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 1, 2008 10:48PM)
I'm not seeing the edit button but I should add.. After you receive this and if you have a copy of Luna, how does it compare? The description sounds familiar.
Message: Posted by: jfquackenbush (Jul 1, 2008 11:39PM)
Walt, you said 1000 copy edition like there's going to be another edition. do you know something we don't or am I just misunderstanding you?
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 2, 2008 01:04AM)
No Todd doesn't reprint anything. Once it is gone it's gone. I learned that lesson the hard way. Now I know better. Miracle Factory collector's volumes only extremely rarely come up on the secondary market. I think in the years I have been a collector of the bizarre and quality tomes, I've seen one and it went for several times the original price.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 7, 2008 03:23PM)
A few extra secrets about The Shakespeare Experiment:

1. The book includes all 154 Sonnets for the ultimate in poetic artistry in your performances!
2. A beautiful ribbon bookmark is bound into each book
3. You can perform using just the book, but there is a set of
optional secret accessories included so you can customize your routine to
your own performance style!
4. The book has dozens of beautiful Gustave Dore engravings!
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Jul 7, 2008 10:57PM)
I'm certainly not knocking this, I love book tests, but I see this as more of a seance/home theater effect. I can't imagine hauling around, then having spectators work with this 800 page (huge/heavy)tome! but I probably don't know what I'm talking about. :)

s
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 8, 2008 10:57AM)
I would not think of this as a walk-around or close-up prop certainly.
It is a leather-bound 800 page book as you say.
But even in paperback, I’d not think of a Shakespeare Book-Test for those venues.

That leaves: stage and platform, parlor size shows, cabaret size shows, permanent haunted venues, and séance programs, quite a bang for the buck I’d say.

For a “pick a card any card” show, this is not the way to go.
For an elegant evening of mystery and enchantment, I’ve bet my money it is.

I’m excited about this because of the amazing track-record from this publisher.
They consistently produce high-quality, high-content materials which sell out, and become collector’s items going for premium prices at auction.

I of course won’t have any clue to the methods and workings until it’s out,
but I believe what their detailed marketing says, they are generally accurate.

I’m rather hoping that the “collectors” grab up most of the 1,000 copies,
so very few active performers will have this in their repertoire.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 8, 2008 12:18PM)
You could almost see a bare stage with only a library book stand and the book. I won't conduct this in normal book test/mindreader fashion, it will be more like "A Book of Ghosts". This just opens up a whole world of rich storytelling. Heck you could probably tie this in with Peter's ouija board!
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 8, 2008 12:35PM)
Clifford!
Bite your tongue!

Combine this cost, and the Witchboard cost,
and I'll go bankrupt....

But then,
for that antique bookstand under a single spotlight....
it might all be worth the poverty!

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Jul 8, 2008 01:31PM)
I dearly want one...but I have a tiny concern....

The website image is of a book calling itself the "Complete Works of Shakespeare".

Yet the Ad states...."an array of Shakespearean plays including Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, and all 154 sonnets."

I for one will notice if say..."Winter's Tale" is not in there...not to mention Julius Caesar and the Tempest.

800 pages?

Complete Works or not? The "Selected Works of Shakespeare" is still cool...but not quite as cool.

I had to heft a Riverside edition for four years...so I'm curious what players are indeed upon the stage.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 8, 2008 01:52PM)
What me'thinks, is that while it is purported to be:
a "Complete Works" as far as the audience knows or can tell,
it is indeed an "abridged or selected" Shakespeare in reality,
to accommodate the necessary gaffs, methods, and gimmicks.

They no doubt, had to make some very hard choices of what to include,
I would sorely miss "The Tempest" personally if it was not there,
but I think most mere-mortals are more R&J and Hamlet prone.
I love that all the Sonnets will be included, on the other hand.

As with many if not most magical props,
I'm expecting discrepancies between what is “appears” and what it “is”.
I'm just glad of the subject matter, and the credibility the tome will lend.

My continued thoughts and guesses.
Walt
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 8, 2008 04:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-08 14:31, Eddie Garland wrote:
I dearly want one...but I have a tiny concern....

The website image is of a book calling itself the "Complete Works of Shakespeare".

Yet the Ad states...."an array of Shakespearean plays including Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, and all 154 sonnets."

I for one will notice if say..."Winter's Tale" is not in there...not to mention Julius Caesar and the Tempest.

800 pages?

Complete Works or not? The "Selected Works of Shakespeare" is still cool...but not quite as cool.

I had to heft a Riverside edition for four years...so I'm curious what players are indeed upon the stage.
[/quote]

To gaff this with every piece of work contained within would be a feat worthy of Max Maven. I don't know if he is part of this evil plot. I am anticipating it will be far more than good enough to pass the muster that even a knowledgeable spectator under the scrutiny of a performance and your control could ever give it. Remember, a gaffed book is not a D'lite or a thumb tip or anything a normal person has been exposed to. It would never even occur to most people that such a thing exists, especially with the context of a book they know of and are familiar with some passages.
Message: Posted by: handa (Jul 8, 2008 10:22PM)
I wonder if there will be a Charles and Mary Lamb version of this for the lighter reader?

If not, then this is the hint for somebody to produce one!

Chris
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 11, 2008 10:17PM)
Who needs "the kid stuff" I think it's being the real deal that makes it elegant and deceptive.

Just got a few more details on the Miracle Factory publication…

The Shakespeare Experiment, perhaps the most elegant and devilishly versatile book test ever, beautifully printed, leather-bound, gilt-edged 816-pages.

It includes a full-color hand-tipped-in frontispiece Shakespeare portrait and marbled endpapers!

--The Trick Glossary! In the back of the copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare supplied, you'll find a Shakespearean lexicon that we've gimmicked so you can do more instant mindreading. The spectator can open to any page of the glossary and you can instantly divine several different words.

--Also located something very special about The Sonnets that will allow you to combine a popular card effect with Shakespeare.

Introductory price of $275 (regular $300) until August publication, limited to only 1000 copies.

I can’t wait, I’ll keep everyone posted, Walt
Message: Posted by: driversoft (Jul 14, 2008 07:08AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-08 13:18, Clifford the Red wrote:
You could almost see a bare stage with only a library book stand and the book. I won't conduct this in normal book test/mindreader fashion, it will be more like "A Book of Ghosts". This just opens up a whole world of rich storytelling. Heck you could probably tie this in with Peter's ouija board!
[/quote]

Peter & Sean's "Witchboard" clearly bears the date 1816 on the front - which just so happens to be the bi-centennial of Shakespeare's death - there's the link you're all looking for?
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jul 14, 2008 08:53PM)
Oh SWEET!
Message: Posted by: driversoft (Jul 15, 2008 05:19AM)
Again, linking to the Witchboard:

In 1716, the centenary of Shakespeare's death, Charles Johnson produced a farcical version of "The Taming of the Shrew", called "The Cobbler of Preston", in which Christopher Sly would become the hero.

Perhaps Shakespeare was unhappy with his considered efforts being turned into a farce - perhaps, exactly one hundred years later again, in 1816, his restless spirit, embodied within one of the only means of communication open to him, had something to say...

Something that can now be said...
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jul 15, 2008 11:23AM)
Some wonderful parts from some of the wonderful Sonnets,
for book-test and séance considerations?

XXXII

When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,

IV

Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,

XVIII

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

XXVIII

But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.

LV

'Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.

LXXI

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:

LXIV

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

LXVI

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
..........
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

XCIV

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.

CXXIV

To this I witness call the fools of time,
Which die for goodness, who have lived for crime.

CXLVI

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
( ??? ) these rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shall thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.

XII

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.


Magically,
Walt
The Baron Saturn
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Jul 15, 2008 12:01PM)
Walt...I mean Baron.
That was great!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 31, 2008 10:07AM)
Interesting, please tell us more. I am curious about how much memory work is involved.
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Jul 31, 2008 03:57PM)
Walt,
The Grandmother Of All Book Tests hasn't even reached it's shipping date and you go and point out this...what's a guy to do but stump up the cash.

I'm going to have to buy a bookcase just for booktests at this rate. :readingbook:

Neal :)
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Aug 6, 2008 02:31PM)
I like this story

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080806173611.55jwcsq3&show_article=1
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Sep 3, 2008 09:36PM)
Does anyone have more news or reviews about "The Shakespeare Experiment"?

I've heard that it will come back from the printer on Septemebr 12 and probably ship by the end of the month.
Message: Posted by: Stefan (Sep 19, 2008 03:12PM)
Even though it sounds large, it also sounds unique and interesting. Will look forward to some reveiws.

Pax, Stefan
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Sep 19, 2008 06:10PM)
They just received the first sample of the leather cover...
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Sep 20, 2008 01:34AM)
Mmmmmmmmmmm Leather........

Sorry, I have a book habit.
Message: Posted by: ekins (Oct 10, 2008 06:28PM)
Recieved an update from Todd yesterday which I've copied below. I'm looking forward to seeing my copy.

-------------

Just a note to let you know we've finally received The Shakespeare Experiment from the printer here at The Miracle Factory. The gilding took weeks longer than they promised, but it's here and we'll be sending them all out by next week! Each book weighs OVER THREE POUNDS...it's a substantial volume that'll make your divinations look impressively impossible and look great in your magic collection!

The arrival of the books means that our introductory price is soon coming to an end. You can still order for $275 and save $25 off the normal $300 price. Hurry! Only 1000 copies are available and they're going faster than any book we've published! You get the book, optional accessories, and full operational manual with tips by Michael Weber and Andy Nyman, ready to blow your audiences and colleagues away!
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Oct 11, 2008 01:47PM)
Hi, everyone. The above post is correct. The books are here and lavishly beautiful. Everyone we've shown them to are amazed by the quality and cleverness. If you want to save $25, order this week! http://www.miraclefactory.net
Thanks! Todd
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 11, 2008 05:05PM)
At last.... going to be in the mail.... in my hands.....can't....wait!

Walt
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Oct 11, 2008 07:43PM)
For those of you who may want a tie-in...

Check out [i]Interred With Their Bones[/i], by Jenniffer Lee Carrell. It's available thru amazon, and, as far as we're told on the jacket, a major best-seller. It's a story along the lines of [i]The DaVinci Code[/i], but based on the heroine looking for... well... let's just say something very exciting in the academic world. It also gets into some of the intrigue during Shakespeare's time and a bunch of other material that may just generate some ideas for a book test.

Like DVC, a good chunk of the "historical" stuff is fiction, but it's still a good read.
Message: Posted by: askernas (Oct 16, 2008 02:08AM)
Oh, great!

I just hope it has time to get here before I move to a new apartment at the end of the month!

Been waiting for this one for months ! =)
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Oct 21, 2008 01:24PM)
Hi, everyone. Shakespeare's here, and we're packing and shipping them this week!
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 21, 2008 01:57PM)
I had thought they shipped last week?
Ah, well to quote the master:

“Oft expectation fails,
and most oft where most it promises;
and oft it hits where hope is coldest;
and despair most sits”.
-William Shakespeare-

Magically, Walt
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Oct 21, 2008 07:43PM)
No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing. -William Shakespeare
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 22, 2008 01:12AM)
The suspense is killing me! If I wasn't working so much, I'd see if I could just pick them up!
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Oct 27, 2008 10:05PM)
Hey, everyone. It took longer than expected to get these in the mail, but they're on their way! Everyone who's seen it is just speechless at the elegance and intricacy of this amazing piece.

On this and the other Shakespeare thread, I am offering a one-week only special for Magic Café readers. The introductory price is over and The Shakespeare Experiment is now $300. However, for Magic Café guests, I'll honor the old price of $275 for another week. Shipping in the U.S. is our treat, but if you live anywhere else, add $40 for postage (CA residents also add 8.25% sales tax.) Send via Paypal to toddkarr@aol.com and we'll pop yours in the mail!
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Oct 27, 2008 11:23PM)
I itch for these things, but not being a pro, I just can't justify spending the money. There are so many wonderful things coming out now. Please, just let me salivate over them.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 29, 2008 10:01PM)
Then Todd must not quite have you under his spell yet. Look carefully at his foto up there and feel your will dissolving...

In the mean time, please don't drool on my Shakespeares. Considering I don't really have any bad habits to drain my money, I consider myself fortunate to have my addict habit reserved to Amazon, Fry's, HPLHS and Magic Collectibles - it's an addiction that leaves me stronger and smarter so well spent I say. (and I don't have a wife to contend with at the moment so PARTY ON!)
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Oct 30, 2008 12:47AM)
I don't dare look too long at that photo, otherwise I would be so poor I'd be living in a cardboard box!

Bill
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 30, 2008 02:36PM)
Bill, just suck it up and buy the thing if you want it....
bribe Santa or Satin as needed.
When it comes (I think it was sent by camel)
I'll post a review, just to put you over the edge...

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Oct 30, 2008 03:05PM)
I had a friend whose brother died at a young age. Her philosophy then became: "If you want it, get it. You don't know how long you'll be around." As much as I sympathize with that philosophy, and having lost my brother also at a young age, I have a wife and grandchildren to think of.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 30, 2008 04:53PM)
You could make it back on bar bets!
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Oct 30, 2008 08:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-30 15:36, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
When it comes (I think it was sent by camel)
Magically,
Walt
[/quote]

Hee hee...made me laugh!
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 30, 2008 10:48PM)
All I know is I live closer, I should get mine first! ;-P
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Oct 30, 2008 11:20PM)
Hey, if Rolls -Royce cost ten cents a carload, I couldn't buy a Yugo hubcap.

Bill
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 31, 2008 12:42PM)
The Shakespeare Experiment just arrived.

First thoughts (just out of the box)

--The book is smaller and lighter than I thought,
a very good thing!!!

--The book looks “real”
a very necessary thing!

--OK, it looks too “new”
and I am just going to HATE to have to wear and age it a little.

--Geesh! This must have been a TON of work to produce!

I can’t comment on the magical aspects yet,
but wanted to give a first impression at least.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 31, 2008 01:15PM)
Ok Walt, you had to rub it in didn't you. You are closer to your mailbox than I am right now!

I am glad it is not the size of some of the Shakespeares I have. One of them is a BEAST!

My thinking is you can compensate for some of the "newness" of the book by using a very nice antique or at least appropriate looking bookstand like you would find in a fine book conservatory. Like this: http://bookstands.net/232.html BTW, this site has a very nice selection using fine hardwoods (drool). Love this one: http://bookstands.net/022.html

A bookstand makes it easier to handle the book and protect it. I can't imagine the screams that one would utter if a spectator accidentally dropped this book.

I am more inclined to treat this like a fine collectible (Because it is!)rather than just a book. That lends a certain air to it. Consider the dismal statistics for people reading or buying books (if anyone is interested I will post them - shocking!), it is very good odds that most you perform for will have never been in the presence of a fine book. Sad, but that is just the state of things. That experience alone will be a gift for some people. One of the things I would like to communicate, even if in subtle ways, through this effect is a love of books.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 31, 2008 01:59PM)
For my two-cents, I think (oh the pain!)
I will have to rub some dust into the leather and dog-ear the page corners a bit....
this will almost kill me,
but it just looks too new and beautiful right now!

The bookstands look great,
and will work very well with the extra props that come with the book as well!
Thanks.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 31, 2008 01:59PM)
Review, Part Two:

Since my last post I’ve printed out the instructions and commentary from the CD-Rom
….all twenty-one pages of them

First, my disclaimer is that I am NOT a mentalist, I am a magical-storyteller,
so I must approach it from that perspective where my personal expertise lies.

--The system is well thought out, comprehensive, and thorough in description.

--The system(s) and method(s) are very clean most importantly,
and quite diabolical as well.

--There are many “pluses” in handling, and few if any of the “minuses” of most other book tests. The performer does not need to handle the book or ask pesky questions.

--Don’t expect to perform a multi-phase routine right “out of the box”,
to be optimally deceptive and foolproof you must become intimately familiar with the book, it’s layout, and it’s secrets… all quite easy, but it WILL take time and concentration.

--OK, not everything Shakespeare wrote is represented… you just can’t have everything in a book that’s going to tell you all you need to know to become a Wizard.

--That said, all the Sonnets are represented, and you can even put together a presentation from those poems and the classic illustrations.

--Some top minds in magic worked with this and made invaluable suggestions,
all the subtleties are there, you just need to work with the props!

--So having owned The Shakespeare Experiment for less than two-hours,
I have to give it
a 10 out of 10 for appearance,
a 10 out of 10 for techniques,
a 10 out of 10 for value, and
a 9 out of 10 for flexibility and ease of use.

Oh, and please don’t ask me for specifics,
it would not be fair to other buyers or the publisher, would it?

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: fraughton (Oct 31, 2008 02:09PM)
Walt, thanks for the review; it is very helpful.

Cliffird, you are my Hero. I saw a picture of that Thomas Jefferson bookstand years ago, and I have been looking for it ever since.

Still, I'm not gonna pay 2K, I'm a violin maker. It will happen in a way that incoporates some of my ideas and costs a lot less. I just needed pictures.

Thanks gents.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Oct 31, 2008 02:45PM)
Here is a cool gothic bookstand [url=http://www.designtoscano.com/product/furniture/shelves+and+etageres/st.+thomas+aquinas+gothic+wooden+bookstand+-+bn1447.do]furniture[/url]

This one has me drooling: http://www.newel.com/PreviewImage.aspx?ItemID=2679&ImageID=6004

And my friend I have more pics of that in a different version offered at Monticello...

http://monticellostore.stores.yahoo.net/110000.html

This is the original: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc22.jpg
http://www.monticello.org/images/media/bookstand.mov (spin it with your mouse!)

In looking for this, I came across this page which has something else brilliant on it - Jefferson had a portable reusable notebook of ivory sheets that he could write on and erase later. Brilliant!

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/jefflife.html
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc65.jpg
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 31, 2008 03:24PM)
I too love bookstands, and this effect I think deserves one
….as long as it cannot in anyway be seen as part of a method or secret to the spectator.

That said, this added prop would be helpful to display the extras,
and hide other aids for the performer.

I too have a love of books and reading,
it is one of my missions, to champion literacy,
and so want to have the same undertone and message as you Red.
To my mind all books are “bibles” and objects of desire and honor.

I’m thinking it will be Spring before I’ve fashioned my own take,
presentation, and routine for The Shakespeare Experiment,
but good things take time, and I want to do this justice,
I certainly won’t innovate on the marvelous workings,
just pick and choose and put things into my voice to make the
statements I personally want to make.

If I’d not purchased this (and it took some courage as well as Todd’s reputation to do it)
I would certainly ask Santa or other powers of the Winter for a copy!

Hope to hear more people’s take on this as they get their volume.
I’m tickled by the extra little games and hidden treasures in this.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Josho (Nov 1, 2008 12:04AM)
There are some laptop tables that look like very elegant, simple bookstands (I've seen some from Levenger's). I would opt for something like that, if the book is relatively small.

Can't wait to get my copies.

--Josh
Message: Posted by: John (Nov 4, 2008 09:38PM)
I'm very interested in this new offering. I, too, do not do mentalism - but I could probably incorporate some some form of "mental magic." Walt, I loved your self-description of being a "magical story teller."

My question is - without encroaching on actual workings - how does it compare with M.O.A.B.T. or Becker's Ultimate Flashback? I take it that he workings use multiple strategies and approaches, but I wondered if there are principles shared with either of those book tests - particularly the first. In other words, how does it compare with some of the other leading Book Tests?

Many Thanks,

John
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 6, 2008 04:31PM)
Hi, everyone

I'm grateful to Walt for his complimentary review!

Here are three other comments on The Shakespeare Experiment from other magicians who now own one, two from full-time pros Paul Kozak and Levent, another from Shakespearian scholar and magician Dr. Brian Jay Corrigan. Order yours at The Miracle Factory at http://www.miraclefactory.net

"After 25 years of headlining comedy clubs, I have burned through a lot of material and have a wide repertoire as an arsenal. My favorite magic presentations are routines that I can improvise in and yet depend on a proven payoff. When I opened the wrapper to The Shakespeare Experiment, I felt like I was holding Charlie Parker's saxophone in my hands, the 'Ultimate Jazz Instrument.' I know that every time I perform this, I will be able to jazz out and improvise in the presentation, keeping it fresh and exciting not only for the audience, but for myself as an artist. 'Willie the Shake' and I are going to 'Blow Daddy Blow'!" - Kozak

"The Shakespeare Experiment a is beautifully crafted product. But to me, the real beauty lies in the addition of the gimmicked graphic elements, which open a whole new avenue to book-test mentalism." - Levent

"Masses of congratulations for The Shakespeare Experiment. I am, without exaggeration, a world-known, oft-published expert in Shakespeare, and your work demonstrates a genuine knowledge of and love for the texts. Well done...extremely well done. Beautiful presentation. I am putting it on my office lectern beside beside Dobson and Wells' Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, ready to spring on my students as they come by for consultations. It looks very well there - and very genuine amongst my other Complete Works editions, concordances, facsimiles, etc. Actually, it looks so very much better than the standard college textbooks that it only makes sense to leave it out in full view. The workings, too, are devilish and delightful. Brilliantly done. Many thanks." - Dr. Brian Jay Corrigan

Best wishes,
Todd
The Miracle Factory
http://www.miraclefactory.net
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 6, 2008 05:30PM)
Another happy Shakespeare Experiment-er:

"Wow! You have outdone yourself!!! I can tell, like your other creations, this is a labour of love.

"I examined the book for thirty minutes to see if I could decipher some of the secrets...this book can withstand a fair amount of scrutiny without fear of exposure. The CD is very clear in the instructions, and I enjoyed those extra hints and tips from other performers that will elevate this to an extraordinary level.

"The best part is the learning curve is short so I can concentrate all on the presentation. This is a very seamless prop: no stumbling or the shortcomings of some other book tests.

"When you first offered this to the magic community, I already had the perfect venue for this wonderful prop. I perform a lot of charity fundraising events, black tie, wine and cheese events, etc.

"This is a very elegant and classy looking book! It does not disappoint from a visual standpoint and looks like an expensive Complete Works of Shakespeare that you would be proud to hand down...heirloom quality, from the leather grain-look binding to the gold gilding and ribbon bookmark..it exudes quality and luxury. 

"I can't wait to perform this! I already know when I am not using this book for performances, it will have a place of honour on my bookshelves with other books on Shakespeare and or on my coffee table or side table when company arrives.
"My mind is buzzing with all the wonderful possibilities!"

— Rajinder Sangha
Message: Posted by: John (Nov 6, 2008 09:57PM)
Any one able to give a description of what a sample handling might look like?

John
Message: Posted by: Dave McFarland (Nov 7, 2008 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-06 22:57, John wrote:
Any one able to give a description of what a sample handling might look like?
[/quote]

I just got my copy this week, and I haven't had a chance to road test it (it definitely will take some time--like any good magical effect--to master). I can tell you, however, that there are a few things that sets this apart from other book tests I have. Most importantly there are multiple types of revelations possible, so it is much more versatile then a lot of book tests. You're not limited to the common "What page did you turn to? Now look at the first word at the top of the page" scenario. You can direct the spectator to different areas of a freely selected page, and divine a thought of word--without knowing the page number. In addition, you can reveal details of images in the book -- not just words. The book has several different sections--the plays, the sonnets, a glossary--which all have their own miracles hidden in them. The great thing about the book is that there's no single method and you can develop a complete (and interesting) multi-phase routine that doesn't feel repetitive. Since you can direct a spectator to different areas of the book and have them look at and concentrate on different parts of a page, your revelations will seem really astounding.

As others have said, the book itself looks fantastic. It really looks like a bound leather edition of Shakespeare (as it should). The quality is great and the massive number of pages makes it all the more deceptive.
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 8, 2008 11:08AM)
A few more raves about The Shakespeare Experiment! — Todd

As far as the book is concerned, I must say that you created a masterpiece. Excellent! — Davide Costi

The book itself is a gem; it looks like an heirloom from my grandparents and is very convincing. It looks and feels upper class. I own more than ten book tests, but this one has a total different and diabolically clever combination of methods. — Erik Groesche

Shakespeare has landed and is everything you promised. It is a lovely production and the method thoroughly and solidly constructed. — Stephen Minch

As a full-time working professional magician with a rather sophisticated client base, I have been looking forever for a book test that would suit the atmosphere of my act. Most importantly, I have searched for a book test that has a wide range of presentational options that made logical sense in its presentation applications. Rarely does something appear in the world of magic that has it all. Todd Karr’s latest creation, The Shakespeare Experiment, does indeed…and more. Not only does his new book test have a wide variety of presentation uses, it also has a look and feel that is unparalleled on the market today. From the detail of the cover to the gold-leafed pages, it could easily look at home in the libraries of any wealthy estate in the world. I cannot overemphasize the caliber of the finished product. I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to receive a personal presentation of this work of art. I was wholly surprised when I was told to simply to open it to any page with no prompting. The rest of the effect had me in its grip completely. This is elegant, classic magic at its best. If you have been looking for something special for your act that won’t stay on your bookshelf, buy The Shakespeare Experiment. Or better yet, don’t buy it…I would rather be the only one who uses it in all of my shows! — Peter Morrison
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 8, 2008 05:19PM)
And by the way, the $275 special ($25 off the normal $300) for The Shakespeare Experiment for Magic Café readers only is good for another week! Just send via Paypal to toddkarr@aol.com! We pay the shipping! California residents add 8.25% sales tax. Foreign orders add $40 shipping.
Message: Posted by: necroloid (Nov 9, 2008 07:45AM)
Looks fantastic but $40 bucks shipping to Canada is a bit much for me.
Message: Posted by: Piers (Nov 15, 2008 02:38AM)
Have to confess I am very tempted.
Could I also read the book simply as the Shakespeare plays?
Piers.
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 15, 2008 08:43PM)
Hi, folks. A few more reviews to tempt you!

You have done a marvelous job. The quality of the book is outstanding. Thanks and congratulations on this marvelous effect.
— Benedikt Grindel

Thank you for the enormous work you have put into this and the magnificent object you have allowed me to own. Your book will go down in history!
— Nikola Pelletier

What a thing of beauty! Congratulations. I'm very glad I obtained a copy. You certainly have gone "all out" with the look, feel, and effects.
— Richard Paddon
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Nov 16, 2008 05:18PM)
By the way, the $275 special is now officially over! Shakespeare is still less than some other book tests out there, so you'll still have a great value for your dollars!
Message: Posted by: todsky (Nov 16, 2008 09:24PM)
Well, I just received mine a couple of days ago, and it's indeed a beaut! Production-wise, it's absolutey gorgeous: I didn't expect such a physical work of art. I haven't gotten around to the inner workings yet; still admiring the 'body' before I get to the 'mind' of this creation. Those gilt-edged pages take my breath away: it's almost too beatiful to use!

-Another Todd
Message: Posted by: Jerome Finley (Nov 16, 2008 11:03PM)
I don't even do a BT anymore but just had to adopt one of these beauties. Needless to say, I am dusting off an old pet routine and expanding the demonstration using this gorgeous SBT!

The sheer size makes the divination of a word seem absolutely impossible. The quality is such that the book itself is far above suspicion and looks exactly like it should. The workings here are easy to use and deceptive in play with lots of room to tailor fit this test to your own style, character and performance.

Here was I, like a Psalm -
JF
Message: Posted by: MINDPSYCHIC (Nov 21, 2008 07:34AM)
Received mine the a couple of days ago and it is indeed a work of art. My hope is the Mr. Karr is working on some new titles to add to the lineup. Its a breath of fresh air to have a book test that dosen't look like it came from a dollar store. I finally have something that I'm proud to display and use at high-end gatherings. Perhaps an old Charles Dickens, or other classic work could be next. Please Mr. Karr- keep them coming, and thank you for making this available.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Nov 22, 2008 08:37AM)
For those who care:

I have no idea why the reviews of what is a classic (in every sense of the word) book test ended up on the bizarre forum when they clearly belong on a mentalist forum (e.g., Penny For Your Thoughts or Inner Thoughts). Finding no reviews on either of those forums and not realizing that several reviews -- most of which were pre-publication reviews posted before the book was shipped to purchasers -- had already been posted, I posted a review to the Tricks & Effects forum (where I mistakenly assumed that reviews of newly released products were supposed to be posted) only to have it immediately "locked" by the forum moderator on the grounds that "it has already been reviewed." Anyone interested can still find my "locked" review (which like those here is highly favorable) on page 4 or 5 of the Tricks & Effects forum.
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Nov 22, 2008 10:39AM)
[quote]I have no idea why the reviews of what is a classic (in every sense of the word) book test ended up on the bizarre forum when they clearly belong on a mentalist forum (e.g., Penny For Your Thoughts or Inner Thoughts).[/quote]

Maybe it was because it was reviewed by bizarrists who first recognized its value.

:pirate:
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Nov 22, 2008 10:50AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-22 09:37, Dick Christian wrote:
For those who care:

I have no idea why the reviews of what is a classic (in every sense of the word) book test ended up on the bizarre forum when they clearly belong on a mentalist forum (e.g., Penny For Your Thoughts or Inner Thoughts). ...[/quote]Dick:
It could be that since Shakespeare is the most well know early writer of horror and fantasy, he fits the bizarrist wants. Macbeth, Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, all speak to us, not to mention his earlier work under his previous name (Christopher Marlowe), the classic Doctor Faustus. Ghosts, demons, fairies, death, witchcraft, how can we not be interested? :)

Tony
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Nov 22, 2008 10:59AM)
These days the magic world is not divided into tiny bundles like
close-up, stage, mentalism, bizarre, storytelling, side-show, any longer.

There are (thankfully) many more grey areas and connections between genres.
With the proper mood and story "mentalism" slips into Bizarre,
with a different approach side-show slips into psychic, and so on.

I do not perform mentalism or mindreading,
yet the Shakespeare Experiment fits my storytelling needs like a glove.

And because of the melding and overlap in magic,
that, is why this thread runs here.

Sorry you were locked out, it seems we need to spead the wealth.

My thoughts,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Merlin C (Nov 22, 2008 03:16PM)
If you use The Shakespeare Experiment not just to divine an out-of-context thought-of word but take its poetry to evoke feelings, mysteries, airs and stories of elsewhen, that's bizarre, and what a waste if you don't!

Anthony Raven did, after all, co-found the PEA. (And put out a book a little like this of his own . . .)
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Nov 23, 2008 12:13AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-22 09:37, Dick Christian wrote:
For those who care:

I have no idea why the reviews of what is a classic (in every sense of the word) book test ended up on the bizarre forum when they clearly belong on a mentalist forum (e.g., Penny For Your Thoughts or Inner Thoughts). Finding no reviews on either of those forums and not realizing that several reviews -- most of which were pre-publication reviews posted before the book was shipped to purchasers -- had already been posted, I posted a review to the Tricks & Effects forum (where I mistakenly assumed that reviews of newly released products were supposed to be posted) only to have it immediately "locked" by the forum moderator on the grounds that "it has already been reviewed." Anyone interested can still find my "locked" review (which like those here is highly favorable) on page 4 or 5 of the Tricks & Effects forum.
[/quote]

This is not a normal booktest. Todd is a friend to Bizarrists and certainly this was made with Bizarre and Storytelling magic in mind. It has many special features and can be performed outside of the traditional book test realm, unlike other book tests.

And mod action here is often inscrutable, so I wouldn't worry about trying to decipher it. Certainly reviews of banner ad products are more welcome here.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Nov 23, 2008 09:44AM)
Please don't read something into my words that isn't there. I do not dispute that many effects are not by their nature limited to a single category. I can also understand that some of the early pre-release review may have been submitted by bizarrists. While Shakespeare's works often dealt with fantasy, I doubt that most literary scholars would consider him primarily a bizarrist. Yes, the Shakespeare Experiment can lend itself to presentation in a bizarre context. So can some card tricks; however, I think most would still classify them as card tricks. The Shakespeare Experiment is a BOOK TEST and book tests, while they may lend themselves to presentation in a variety of contexts, are typically categorized as mentalism and I submit that if a performer is looking for book tests the most logical place to begin a search would be in forums devoted to mentalism.

I see no need to further beat the horse.
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Nov 23, 2008 11:10AM)
Then, why complain about where the reviews first appeared? They first appeared where they first appeared. Why strike the poor horse in the first place?

:pirate:
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Dec 13, 2008 08:49PM)
I've been working on this and tried it for the first time tonight. I was all set. My plan was to figure out three words, each one getting clearer as I "tuned in", then once I was fully tuned in, read a passage.

So I was a bit nervous. I had the stuff memorized, but the first time ... well, I was nervous. I'd routined around leaving the bookmark out just in case I needed a reference. (I didn't as it turned out! I'm all proud!) (And the bookmark was in the book ... I just opened to that page when I said I was learning to read, pulled out the bookmark and left it on my table ... and no one even noticed it. It's a BRILLIANT cue sheet.)

I introduced the routine and the justification for what I was doing. I do a light-hearted show, I was learning to read ... other people's books. I could sort of tune in and then just read away. That way if I forgot a book and was on the subway I'd be set. I handed the book to a woman, told her to open it to any page and she did.

Then she bent the hardback cover all the way back to make sure it stayed open.

The crack of the spine breaking was very loud.

The sound of my heart stopping, not so loud.

(Fortunately there are NO visible signs of damage. The book still looks awesome. I have NO idea what she was thinking, I have never in all my life seen anyone treat a hardback like that.)

I didn't really react, though, and just went into the routine. And it went GREAT. I don't go for applause in my show, it's just not my style and I don't really care. I mostly just want to see people smiling and having a good time. But people applauded this. Totally unprompted. I was very pleased indeed.

And the book still looks as good as new even after that horrible handling, and my heart still appears fine!
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Dec 13, 2008 11:31PM)
Dick Christian, I just read my own post above of Nov. 23, and I see it appears harsher than I intended. I did not mean for it to be offensive.

Evanthx, what a horrible experience! I hope the book is not damaged. I can't imagine anyone treating a book that way, much less a book belonging to someone else.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Dec 16, 2008 10:57AM)
As I wrote to Evan yesterday in an email, we bound the book with proper sewing so it could survive mishandling. The enthusiastic spectator undoubtedly bent back the inner spine, which is reinforced with cloth and difficult to damage. This is one of the reasons I didn't want to do a paperback book test...too susceptible to damage!
Message: Posted by: chmara (Dec 16, 2008 12:38PM)
I wish I could have two of these -- one to "age" .

This is IDEAL FOR SEANCE WORK - especially if your guide or familiar quotes Shakespeare as messages for sitters. The variation in emotions found in the hot spots allows a more relaxed performance style and multiple uses.

I would say that an astute magician might spot the gaff but as with most book tests the owner would be foolish to let this marvelous book reside in anyone's hands for intense inspection before or after use by one or more sitters.

Too often the emotional content of book tests are ignored -- not so here. The emotions can run rampant if a loquacious performer uses it in touch with his audience.

It is a pro tool for pro performers, both rugged and useful.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 16, 2008 09:44PM)
I agree, though it hurts like all heck,
the book is heightened by distressing or aging it
to look a bit less than new off the shelf.
Arguhhhh, suffer for your art!

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Dec 17, 2008 02:48AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-23 10:44, Dick Christian wrote:
[i]"I see no need to further beat the horse...[/i]
[/quote]

But you [i]did[/i] just want to get the last word in, didn't you? Spoken like a true mentalist, sir! Well done!

fnord!
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Dec 17, 2008 02:59AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-13 21:49, evanthx wrote:
I've been working on this and tried it for the first time tonight. I was all set. My plan was to figure out three words, each one getting clearer as I "tuned in", then once I was fully tuned in, read a passage.

So I was a bit nervous. I had the stuff memorized, but the first time ... well, I was nervous. I'd routined around leaving the bookmark out just in case I needed a reference. (I didn't as it turned out! I'm all proud!) (And the bookmark was in the book ... I just opened to that page when I said I was learning to read, pulled out the bookmark and left it on my table ... and no one even noticed it. It's a BRILLIANT cue sheet.)

I introduced the routine and the justification for what I was doing. I do a light-hearted show, I was learning to read ... other people's books. I could sort of tune in and then just read away. That way if I forgot a book and was on the subway I'd be set. I handed the book to a woman, told her to open it to any page and she did.

Then she bent the hardback cover all the way back to make sure it stayed open.

The crack of the spine breaking was very loud.

The sound of my heart stopping, not so loud.

(Fortunately there are NO visible signs of damage. The book still looks awesome. I have NO idea what she was thinking, I have never in all my life seen anyone treat a hardback like that.)

I didn't really react, though, and just went into the routine. And it went GREAT. I don't go for applause in my show, it's just not my style and I don't really care. I mostly just want to see people smiling and having a good time. But people applauded this. Totally unprompted. I was very pleased indeed.

And the book still looks as good as new even after that horrible handling, and my heart still appears fine!
[/quote]


A little scary, no? Having worked with books in my life so long, I often forget that [i]most[/i] people, in fact, [i]don't[/i] know how to properly care for them...

Also, to fine book owners -please know that there is a proper "breaking in" period (and method) for new books to insure that they are conditioned for being opened at any page without your well justified fear that some damage could occur to the spine.

Wow... I'd sure love to get a copy of this effect!
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 17, 2008 11:08AM)
Hi Gaddy,
I lovingly broke mine in,
and you may want to tip that method here for expensive book lovers,
and if we can find the time I'd be happy to show you my copy...
in case you want to have a heavy talk with Santa soon.
Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Myrsolon (Dec 17, 2008 01:38PM)
I too would be really interested in learning how to break in a book. I poked around online a bit and this is, in my completely inexperianced opinion probably the best explination [url]http://www.ehow.com/how_2293208_break-new-book.html[/url]
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Dec 17, 2008 02:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 12:08, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
Hi Gaddy,
I lovingly broke mine in,
and you may want to tip that method here for expensive book lovers,
and if we can find the time I'd be happy to show you my copy...
in case you want to have a heavy talk with Santa soon.
Magically,
Walt
[/quote]

It's pretty simple, just time consuming.

Lie the covers down flat with the spine flat on the table as well. Continue doing this to every couple of pages or so, pressing down gently-yet-firmly on the middle of the pages near the spine.

Every 30 pages or so on both sides lift the middle registers of pages up by one or both hands, allowing the recently laid down pages and covers to hang down loosely, further loosening the spine (only do this for the 1st 2/3 of the book -you don't want the middle pages to come out!)

Continue laying down the pages like this all the way to the middle. Then do the same thing laying down pages from the front only. The do the same thing from the back of the book.

By this point you should have a well broken-in spine on your fine, expensive book!
Message: Posted by: supercool (Dec 17, 2008 04:27PM)
If you wanted to age it here are a few ideas-
* use a cotton ball and coffee (or a darker tea) and paint the pages.
* if you wanted to make look as if it had been in a fire braze it with a torch
* rub the leather and edges of the paper with sand paper
* personalize it with a fountain pen behind the cover (ex- To my dearest Tommy love Grand Ma)
* age leather cover with brown shoe polish
* mist the book with water and place it in a warm, dark, and humid place for mildew look and smell
* press some 4 leaf clovers, flowers, and old photos in the book to give it that used feel

Just a thought =)
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Dec 17, 2008 05:09PM)
Supercool, do you realize this is not just [i]any[/i] book? If I could afford one, I would think more than twice about distressing it! Just thinking about it is painful!
Message: Posted by: supercool (Dec 17, 2008 05:18PM)
Yes, I know it is really nice, I was just giving a few ideas. I personally would want it to look old but not damaged.
Message: Posted by: Matthew St. Cyr (Dec 17, 2008 07:53PM)
Holy heck, I just read through this entire topic, and I'm suitable impressed. I've never considered doing a book test before, but this sounds absolutely incredible.....
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 18, 2008 10:43AM)
Bill- yes the aging is painful, I think I'll limit to sandpaper and polish, and once again ARGUHHH (suffering for art).

Matthew- it is impressive I've never wanted a booktest either, it's just that cool!

Magically, Walt
Message: Posted by: cardone (Dec 18, 2008 01:13PM)
I'm having my mom sign and write a message to me in the front cover so it looks like a college graduation gift ......
Message: Posted by: Matthew St. Cyr (Dec 18, 2008 02:28PM)
I just hope that there are still some copies available when I've got the money after the holidays!
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Dec 27, 2008 07:45PM)
Announcing a FREE Shakespeare Experiment contest for Magic Café readers!

All you have to do is find and decode the SECRET MESSAGES in the book included with The Shakespeare Experiment. If you don't have The Shakespeare Experiment already, you can look at someone else's copy and if you win, you'll have your own. If you already have one and win, you have a choice of a second Shakespeare Experiment (one for your library, one for your shows) OR $300 Miracle Factory credit to use on any items you wish.

Just look for the hidden messages I've embedded in the text. They're all in one particular place and not difficult to decode.

To enter, you have to 1. Go to our site and join our Miracle Factory V.I.P. List (this is a promotion, after all, but it also helps prevent multiple entries). 2. Send me an email decoding the secret messages. On January 31, I will pick an entry out of a hat at random to choose a winner. Only entries with emails matching our V.I.P. List will be eligible.

(Incidentally, this is the second time I've inserted hidden messages into a Miracle Factory book. The first was in Mystery School, where Jeff McBride and I encoded messages throughout the pages.)
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Dec 28, 2008 09:32AM)
Never mind.

:hrmph:
Message: Posted by: bitterman (Dec 28, 2008 11:21AM)
How many messages are there? I've found a few, but you could shoehorn any info into a 'message' if you wanted, so it might help to know when to stop :)
Message: Posted by: mentalskeptic (Dec 29, 2008 06:00AM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-27 15:18, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:

When it comes in I’ll write up a review,
but it may be sold out by then too,
darn those limited editions.

My two-cents,
Walt
------

[/quote]

I have this and am very impressed. Works more for me as another book in my study that I might bring out when we're having friends over than the center of a performance piece during a show (toting the book around would be out of character for me, as I suspect for most other mentalists).

But everything the adverts say is true. As someone who loves Shakespeare and as someone who collects booktests, this is a fine example of a quality item worth every penny it sells for
Message: Posted by: mentalskeptic (Dec 29, 2008 06:02AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-27 20:45, Todd Karr wrote:
Announcing a FREE Shakespeare Experiment contest for Magic Café readers!

All you have to do is find and decode the SECRET MESSAGES in the book included with The Shakespeare Experiment. If you don't have The Shakespeare Experiment already, you can look at someone else's copy and if you win, you'll have your own. If you already have one and win, you have a choice of a second Shakespeare Experiment (one for your library, one for your shows) OR $300 Miracle Factory credit to use on any items you wish.

Just look for the hidden messages I've embedded in the text. They're all in one particular place and not difficult to decode.

To enter, you have to 1. Go to our site and join our Miracle Factory V.I.P. List (this is a promotion, after all, but it also helps prevent multiple entries). 2. Send me an email decoding the secret messages. On January 31, I will pick an entry out of a hat at random to choose a winner. Only entries with emails matching our V.I.P. List will be eligible.

(Incidentally, this is the second time I've inserted hidden messages into a Miracle Factory book. The first was in Mystery School, where Jeff McBride and I encoded messages throughout the pages.)
[/quote]

Perfect, Todd! You just happen to run this context while I am in Mexico for a month -- I certainly havent traveled with the tome! Good luck to everyone on the contest..
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Dec 29, 2008 11:54AM)
The messages are very distinct and in one particular spot. Many readers have found them already, so they're not that obscurely hidden. Mentalskeptic, sorry about the timing but I'm glad you like The Shakespeare Experiment!
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Jan 31, 2009 11:37PM)
It's still $195 at Hocus Pocus...
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Jan 31, 2009 11:47PM)
I'm going to try this on my Dad and his girlfriend when they come to visit in April. He was a publisher for 35 years, and absolutely loves antique and well-made books, as well as anything Shakespeare; she works as an acquisition librarian at the University of Washington. We'll do it in my library, and they'll have a choice of four books seemingly pulled at random from the shelves, including three that came with a magic slate book test from Viking. I'm about 90% sure they'll pick Shakespeare, based on their interests and the obvious quality of the book (if not, maybe we'll do the slate trick and then try to come back to it). Hopefully the "free choice" will make it even more convincing. Now, 2 1/2 months to practice...
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Feb 1, 2009 03:15PM)
Maxfield: You'll be able to do your routine confidently by the time they visit, I'm sure. If they don't choose Shakespeare, just pretend you're simply having them leaf through one of the books to show they're all different. Then use a simple equivoque to leave them with the Shakespeare Experiment book. A good procedure is explained in the manual, and if you have any trouble, write me or call and I'll walk you through.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Feb 3, 2009 07:03AM)
I don't understand how Hocus Pocus sells this for $195 while the Miracle Factory sells it for $300. Am I missing something? How can the distributor sell it for less than the manufacurer? With a unique product such as this, one would hope for more consistent pricing without discounts.

Arthur
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Feb 3, 2009 09:19AM)
This subject was discussed at length on another forum. It seems that someone violated an agreement with Todd Karr of Miracle Factory that he would not sell it for less than the MSRP. As a result, Miracle Factory will no longer be wholesaling any of their products and you will only be able to purchase directly from Miracle Factory. Todd reads and posts to this the Café so I'm sure he will correct me if I have mispoken.
Message: Posted by: David White (Feb 3, 2009 09:28AM)
People just violate agreements and that's that? That's not how I run my business. Customers should never suffer due to mistakes or violation of agreements. I won't say more because it truly isn't my call.

Either way, I have seen one of these books, but couldn't make heads or tails of it which is a very good thing. I keep forgetting to order one, my question is what reason do I have to pay one hundred dollars more for the book when I do order?
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Feb 3, 2009 09:59AM)
[quote]
On 2009-02-03 10:28, David White wrote:
People just violate agreements and that's that? That's not how I run my business. Customers should never suffer due to mistakes or violation of agreements. I won't say more because it truly isn't my call.

Either way, I have seen one of these books, but couldn't make heads or tails of it which is a very good thing. I keep forgetting to order one, my question is what reason do I have to pay one hundred dollars more for the book when I do order?
[/quote]

The purpose of my post was not to take sides in this matter, but simply to respond to the question of why Hocus Pocus is selling The Shakespeare Experiment at a substantially reduced price. Any retailer is free to set the price for the goods they sell and purchasers are free to buy from anyone who sells it. It is also the right of the producer of an item to decide whether or not they will wholesale it. If my understanding is correct and that the deep discounts being offered by some retailers results in the Miracle Factory will no longer wholesaling their products to dealers, it simply means that the option to acquire their future releases at bargain prices will not be available in the future. In the long run the market will determine whether it is the seller or the buyer who benefits from that decision. As the saying goes, "you pays your money and you makes your choice."
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Feb 3, 2009 12:33PM)
Dick, you are correct; we thought the basic retail price was secure but apparently not. Hopefully the discounted copies will run out soon. I will say that ordering directly from the manufacturer generally gets you better customer service and exchange policies. We won't make the same mistake again.
Message: Posted by: kcalB (Feb 3, 2009 10:04PM)
It's not always about the cheapest price.
Customer service from The Magic Factory is superb and I for one get a certain satisfaction from supporting the creators of fine work.
If my clients were only interested in the cheapest price, I'd not work a day in my life.

SB
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Feb 4, 2009 03:22PM)
Thanks, Sebastian!
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Feb 4, 2009 04:39PM)
Todd,
As you know, "ordering directly from the manufacturer generally gets you better customer service and exchange policies" was not the case for me.
Parson

This post will self-destruct shortly.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Feb 4, 2009 09:44PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 15:33, gaddy wrote:

It's pretty simple, just time consuming.

Lie the covers down flat with the spine flat on the table as well. Continue doing this to every couple of pages or so, pressing down gently-yet-firmly on the middle of the pages near the spine.

Every 30 pages or so on both sides lift the middle registers of pages up by one or both hands, allowing the recently laid down pages and covers to hang down loosely, further loosening the spine (only do this for the 1st 2/3 of the book -you don't want the middle pages to come out!)

Continue laying down the pages like this all the way to the middle. Then do the same thing laying down pages from the front only. The do the same thing from the back of the book.
[/quote]
That brings back memories, as I remember being taught this method some 30-40 years ago in public school. Around the same time we were taught how to make book covers out of brown paper bags.
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Feb 5, 2009 02:39PM)
The Shakespeare Experiment Hidden Message Contest has ended! The winner is Jen Southern! Now, I must say, we had only TWO entries...see, you should have entered!

The hidden messages?

Look at the "Publisher's Note" at the bottom of page 6. The first letter of every word spell out the names of the playwright and plays, and a credit for the publisher: "William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Miracle Factory and Todd Karr created this book."
Message: Posted by: greatchach (Apr 16, 2009 04:57PM)
Can't believe it's back on sale at Hocus Pocus even cheaper than before. That being said, I've ordered from Todd directly a couple of times now and couldn't be happier with products or service. I'm actually glad he won't be releasing some of the bigger items to distributors anymore - it keeps things just the slightest bit more exclusive (even within the magic community) - meaning, you have to actually search it out rather than have it spring up on every magic site you visit.
Keep up the good stuff and looking forward to what is to come.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Aug 8, 2009 06:06PM)
Yes, I saw it on Hocus Pocus for $149! By the time I got to them, they are sold out and and no longer carry it! I still have it in my wish list, although they don't carry it anymore, this is copied from there: The Shakespeare Experiment- Price: $299.95- Member Price: $149.95
Man, I missed a good one.

ACE
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Aug 9, 2009 01:41PM)
Ace,

You may have missed getting it at the cut-rate price, but copies may still be available from the original source, The Miracle Factory. It's probably the Cadillac of book tests. What's wrong with paying full price for it?
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Aug 9, 2009 10:13PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-09 14:41, Dick Christian wrote:
Ace,

You may have missed getting it at the cut-rate price, but copies may still be available from the original source, The Miracle Factory. It's probably the Cadillac of book tests. What's wrong with paying full price for it?
[/quote]

Nothing is wrong with paying full price for an item I will use in my pro show.
I do mainly kid shows for stage and all my corporate close up is walk around with no tables, or the riverboat magician, same situation. So this would only be used maybe once or twice to show the couple of friends that might come over. Then it will sit on my shelf. I just wanted it because I like Shakespeare. My trained show rabbit is named Shakespeare. The Miracle Factory actually send me a $50 off sale for this this week end, maybe I will get it.

ACE :dance:

Joe
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Aug 20, 2009 12:14PM)
Is this book still available?
Message: Posted by: Dave McFarland (Aug 20, 2009 02:03PM)
I believe it's still available: http://www.miraclefactory.net/shakespeare.htm
Message: Posted by: kcalB (May 1, 2011 04:54PM)
I have one that is unused which I'm willing to part with.
SB
Message: Posted by: magic in mind (Jun 13, 2011 01:09PM)
Theres one on ebay now!!!
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Jul 22, 2011 08:25PM)
The binding on mine separated from the cover as it was sitting on the shelf. Seriously. Definitely not the quality product and craftsmanship that was advertised, or that you'd expect from a book at 1/3 the price.
Message: Posted by: magic in mind (Sep 2, 2011 08:44PM)
Mines for sale v good.But a massive tomb.doesnt sit with ne plus moabt and the rest of my booktests.pm me for good price.
Message: Posted by: CarlZen (Sep 2, 2011 08:52PM)
To me there is only one book test and no other and that is the Mother 2.0. One thing I can say if you don't own one buy one for me it's the best one out there.
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Sep 2, 2011 11:07PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-02 21:52, CarlZen wrote:
To me there is only one book test and no other and that is the Mother 2.0. One thing I can say if you don't own one buy one for me it's the best one out there.
[/quote]
And except these two which BT do you know?