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Topic: Pygmalion Effects: Reality as an Art by Aaron Alexander
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Jul 1, 2014 03:53PM)
I received my copy from the first batch of Aaron's new book today, so I thought I'd start a space here to discuss it. I'll post some thoughts within the next day or two as I work my way through the book.
Message: Posted by: Gourmet (Jul 2, 2014 02:27AM)
I'd love to read, what you can say about ppygmalion effects!
Message: Posted by: Adam Hince (Jul 2, 2014 10:23AM)
I got my copy yesterday as well. I've just started reading but haven't been able to devote much time as of yet. I'm really looking forward to getting into it.

Regards,
AH
Message: Posted by: Jerome Finley (Jul 2, 2014 04:45PM)
My prediction?

Those who love and follow my work are also going to love, cherish and appreciate Aaron Alexander's epic "Pygmalion Effects" and for those who don't care for my work and approach - they too are going to love, cherish and appreciate Aaron Alexander's epic "Pygmalion Effects!"

;)

I highly recommend and endorse this book. "Pygmalion Effects" is a worthy addition to any serious library.

It's pricey. The author isn't well known to most (with good reason). The material is stellar, as is the approach, thinking, depth of feeling, execution, timing, psychology, subtleties and nuances behind the material within "Pygmalion Effects."

Aaron Alexander's "Bridge", "Push" and "Psychic Surgery" have all become staple pieces and permanent additions to my own work and repertoire...and I can say with the utmost honesty and conviction that it only continues to grow and get better from this point on, folks.

We've got something (and someone!) exceedingly special here.

JF.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Jul 2, 2014 05:01PM)
Where can this be purchased?
Message: Posted by: Jerome Finley (Jul 2, 2014 06:19PM)
Http://pygmalioneffects.com/
Message: Posted by: magus (Jul 2, 2014 08:10PM)
Password protected
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Jul 2, 2014 08:11PM)
I was about to say that too. What is the password?
Message: Posted by: Waters (Jul 2, 2014 08:20PM)
I can't wait.
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Jul 3, 2014 10:46AM)
Due to the recent arrival of Pygmalion Effects, I was forced to move a book from the top shelf of my bookcase to make a space, a shelf I reserve for the most cherished tomes I know that I repeatedly return to for inspiration: the Artful (and Art of) Mentalism books, Maximum Entertainment, The Book of the Demons, The Alchemical Tools, a printed copy of Invisible Readings, the Psychological Subtleties series, Pure Effect, Absolute Magic, Thought Dial, Thought Veil, Guerilla Q&A, Mind Reading, Mystery by Association, Building Blocks, and Conjurer's Psychological Secrets. I had some expectations for this book. However, I've been floored. Those expectations have been far exceeded. If I could start over in this journey, right now I'm thinking I'd whisper in my younger ear to start it with this book.

Aaron Alexander has a unique perspective and writing style. It seems as though he largely arrived to this point in his personal journey independent of the magic and mentalism communities. Reading this book makes you feel a little silly about our squabbles about the finite distinctions between magic and mentalism, and such things. Aaron's writing style is almost scholarly in a lot of ways, somewhat detached and objective like a textbook; some of the adjectives I've heard attached to Todd Landman's writings would seem to apply here as well. Although some of the end results of his perspective resemble Jerome's work, they're shared in a very different way, Jerome's writing is much more emotional, I guess, is how I'd describe the contrast. But along with the scholarly writing, every once in a while a little poetic flourish arrives out of nowhere that reminds me of something out of one of Enrique's books, or I come across a paragraph that feels like the little kid in Aaron couldn't be held down, and decided to come out to say hello. Above all, I'd say Aaron is devoid of ego. He's a bit remarkable in how comfortable he is with sharing that he doesn't find himself particularly remarkable, and how comfortable that leaves you feeling to give this material a whirl.

This is a book about taking little abnormalities in our human sensory experience that most of us overlook and how to bring them to attention in contexts that sculpt masterpieces out of merely being human, shining a light on these sensory aberations in a way that reawakens that childlike curiosity that most of us have allowed to be buried deep below the surface.

I was surprised by how well structured and how much is going into these routines. I'll be honest, I thought these routines would rely solely on suggestion based on the videos, in a manner similar to Luke Jermay's early work. However, there is a lot more in play to make you comfortable with the overall experience that you are sculpting in that you are relying on so many things in concert and not just having to take a leap of faith with a single principle like suggestion. Aaron's masterpiece, Push, for instance, has a lot going on. It reminds me of Docc's Ball and Tube in its structure, like a mother bird slowly edging its young out into a new world, its first phase starts with a solid foundation (i.e., physiological sensations ala body magic) and builds into phases relying more and more on suggestive principles in the second and third phases. Of course, Aaron would rather avoid using terms like suggestion, hypnosis, body magic, etc., in that they all bring limiting associations that he'd rather get away from and focus more broadly on taking advantage of naturally occuring sensory experiences.

The beginning of the second section has some parallels to Jodorowsky's work on sacred deceptions that both Enrique and Jerome have elaborated on to some extent in their work, and also brought to mind Taylor's Death and Resurrection Show. However, Aaron's perspective on shamanism, and our role as modern shamans is quite unique, and offers a perspective that is easy to slide into and embrace.

I'm still working my way through the book, but figured I'd start with a review of some of it. I'd planned to try to get a full review up quickly, but soon realized that this book requires careful attention and study to be fully appreciated. It is densely packed and not something you can breeze through without missing a lot. So far, I really like Push and the Skull as far as performance pieces go, but I like the perspective offered here and how it leads you to approach creating and thinking about what we do even more. I won't go into much detail about the effects because that would be too tainted with my own experience and what I'm looking for in performance pieces right now. However, I will tell you that they all have very solid foundations, have multiple methods supporting their foundations, and are taught in steps that are easy to follow. Those of you who are somewhat intrigued by what Jerome does, but have trouble taking the leap of faith to do it, will likely feel more comfortable guided by Aaron's perspective because of his step by step approach, his unremarkable remarkableness, and his textbook style teaching. This book is very generally applicable, though. And I would bet pretty much everyone in our field will find it an eye opening, game changing, experience, because it's not really tailored to just one out of the "real" Jermay, Finley, Montana, Scryer, or "traditional method" Cassidy, Hilford, Osterlind style camps. It takes a broad, unique perspective that celebrates being human.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Jul 3, 2014 11:10AM)
Thank you for the wonderful review! If only I knew the password to the purchase page..
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Jul 3, 2014 11:20AM)
I got on a mailing list when he was selling his other work Bridge, and received an email from him when Pygmalion Effects was ready. Aaron's been reformatting his website. The password page wasn't there before, and so I don't know the password. I'm sure someone that knows will chime in or contact interested parties eventually. I know he only printed up 30 copies of this first printing, and he was emailing people to purchase them based on how early they got on the waiting list, so those who got on earlier had first crack at them. That's all I know, sorry.
Message: Posted by: Waters (Jul 3, 2014 11:28AM)
I have been out of town for a few days and having been burning to get to my mailbox. I have been awaiting this! Thank you for the review.

Sean
Message: Posted by: BlakeAdams (Jul 3, 2014 11:33AM)
Im about half way through the book and I love it.

Let me tell you how much so far. The other night I was able to PUSH my wife over onto our couch and drag her around with an invisible rope. (sounds abusive lol)

After reading just half the book I knew these effects would work on a lot of people, but I didn't expect them to work on my wife. She was impressed. I can't way tot study this more.
Message: Posted by: Gourmet (Jul 3, 2014 12:44PM)
Thank you very much for review.
Message: Posted by: aalexander (Jul 5, 2014 02:31PM)
I wondered why there was such a huge spike in website traffic, and now I know. I hope this resolves some of the questions on this thread:

[i]Pygmalion Effects[/i] is a one-of-a-kind book that has a small run of copies printed every month or two (there are only physical copies). If you want to get in on the next small run, you can contact me directly. There is a semi-public website with information for performers through the second link in my signature, and another with more details that is only available on request.

Everyone is wary of hype and of expensive, disposable books, so I'll stay quiet and let those with a copy speak to what this book really is. Before this thread, everyone found out about the project through personal word of mouth anyway. If you want to get a feel for the style of work yourself without taking the plunge on PE, I'd recommend checking out [i][url=bridge.pygmalioneffects.com]Bridge[/url][/i], or just watching the unfolding testimonials and the results from people who have put the methods of PE into practice.

You can reach me at aaron@ or info@ addresses on my website (so either one @pygmalioneffects.com). I'm happy to answer any questions.

-Aaron.
Message: Posted by: lucavolpe (Jul 5, 2014 06:11PM)
Aaron is a very clever mind, I highly suggest you guys to check out his works, they will enhance your performances to the next level.
Message: Posted by: Waters (Jul 6, 2014 08:19AM)
I have finally performed Bridge a few times and can attest to its effectiveness. It is strange (and wonderful) to watch. It seems to me that Bridge could be a nice starting point for all of the material in PE.

I agree with all of the thoughts above. Aaron's brand of explicit physical mentalism will be used and discussed for years to come. His skilled writing and clarity are enviable. I cannot wait to give these a try. I am only 60 pages in, but I am impressed. Understated, unassuming and yet amazing.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Jul 6, 2014 01:49PM)
[quote]On Jul 2, 2014, Jerome Finley wrote:
My prediction?

Those who love and follow my work are also going to love, cherish and appreciate Aaron Alexander's epic "Pygmalion Effects" and for those who don't care for my work and approach - they too are going to love, cherish and appreciate Aaron Alexander's epic "Pygmalion Effects!"

;)

I highly recommend and endorse this book. "Pygmalion Effects" is a worthy addition to any serious library.

It's pricey. The author isn't well known to most (with good reason). The material is stellar, as is the approach, thinking, depth of feeling, execution, timing, psychology, subtleties and nuances behind the material within "Pygmalion Effects."

Aaron Alexander's "Bridge", "Push" and "Psychic Surgery" have all become staple pieces and permanent additions to my own work and repertoire...and I can say with the utmost honesty and conviction that it only continues to grow and get better from this point on, folks.

We've got something (and someone!) exceedingly special here.

JF. [/quote]

Folks . . . Aaron has kindly GIFTED us all with his works and I absolutely agree with Jerome, "we've got something (and someone!) exceedingly special here."
Message: Posted by: mindguru (Jul 16, 2014 08:45PM)
After reading it, all I have to say is brilliant and thought provoking.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Aug 18, 2014 12:18PM)
I received my book last Thursday, and decided to take the time to share my thoughts about it.

To most, Aaron Alexander is an unknown name. To the select group who have taken the plunge and purchased Pygmalion Effects, he is a name that will never be forgotten.

Aaron offers a unique perspective in that he developed his material independent of the magic and mentalism communities. Instead of drawing upon sleight of hand, he drew upon his research of ritual experience. The results allow for stunning miracles to happen.

Imagine... pushing someone without touching them. Doing everything you could do with a rope... with an invisible rope. Conducting a surreal surgery that syncs up the movements of the participant with yours.

These effects are not pipe dreams: they are but a mere snapshot of what is possible with Aaron's original processes. Contrary to any assumptions you might have made, these effects are 100 percent reliable and I can attest to their effectiveness: I have already used Push and the Invisible Rope to great success.

Important to note is that the book offers much more than effects. The effects are but examples of the original mindset and principles that Aaron has developed masterfully to the level of an art. With it, the gateway to create thousands of effects is opened.

With PE, the performer does not perform for someone, but with someone; it's not about what control you can exert over a person, but the shift in reality that you can both experience together. And, a shift in reality is exactly what happens. PE is a fluid process that allows you to enter a space that has traditionally been inaccessible. In this space, the impossible can happen.

Not hypnosis. Not suggestion. Not sleight of hand. Pure, concentrated moments of impossibility.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and hope that others enjoy it as thoroughly as I did.
Message: Posted by: Adam Hince (Aug 30, 2014 07:03PM)
I've been using Inivisble Rope and Push from PE in my stage shows recently and I can't highly recommend them enough. Such an amazing experience all around with both of these pieces. If you own the book, please please please try them out. If you do not own the book, I suggested that you do what you can to get your hands on one of the copies.

AH
Message: Posted by: Mental_Mike (Aug 30, 2014 08:41PM)
Loving this book! Push is amazing, but I find myself using psychic surgery the most. There's a couple effects I haven't tried, that I can't wait to use. Using these effects, you will not fail unless the spectator is working against you (happened with a family member once). This is one of those books that I hope stays fairly limited.
Highly Recommended!
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Aug 31, 2014 07:21AM)
Yes this book is a marvel. Waiting for PE2 that will see the day more rapidly if enough people show interest if I understood well :
I'm in... ;)
Message: Posted by: lemonjug (Aug 31, 2014 02:41PM)
I'm definitely interested in PE2.

Anyone find a good alternative to the pewter skull Aaron uses in The Skull?

Ray
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Aug 31, 2014 03:30PM)
I use a palm sized picture frame. Anything else works too.
Message: Posted by: lemonjug (Sep 1, 2014 06:13PM)
Thanks for the tip.
Message: Posted by: piyuyu (Sep 5, 2014 10:44AM)
I have finally got my PE.

Just wanna thank Aaron for his great customer service!!
Such a humble and nice gentleman.

Looking forward to reading this and all his future releases.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Sep 5, 2014 10:44PM)
Superlative work . . . absolutely rocks the house!!! Aaron is unstoppable in delivering powerfully creative breakthrough performance pieces, methods and techniques. THANKS Aaaon!!!
Message: Posted by: Magic.Maddy (Sep 9, 2014 11:30AM)
This looks SO good. I love magic they can feel. There's no denying that the people in the video genuinely FELT magic. I will be saving up for this one. It will be my next big purchase (if it's still available by the time that happens!)

Good work Aaron! It's very different and new stuff here. Congratulations! :)


Hopefully some full reviews will come in soon enough! I want to hear about the other effects.
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Sep 9, 2014 01:31PM)
I count myself fortunate to have seen PE and PE2 as it developed. I wrote the intro to Bridge so I may be biased but everything I wrote about Aaron and his work there pertains to PE as well.

Pygmalion Effects is a superb collection of exceptionally hard hitting effects/experiences, much of it propless (other than your participants whose bodies become your "working materials") and all of it open to a wide variety of presentations. Even if you know exactly what is going on the majority of the effects retain their full impact and power. This is rare and is attracting attention among many of the stars of mentalism.
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Sep 10, 2014 01:37PM)
For those working with this book, a construct that you can use to give the Invisible Rope presentation more meaning is the idea from Huna mysticism of Aka Cords.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Oct 2, 2014 05:14AM)
I've pre-ordered for his October run. Looking forward to delving deeper; in the meantime I'll look into Aka cords.
Message: Posted by: MatthewSims (Oct 2, 2014 06:05AM)
So many great things in this art, so little little money.

I've had this on my wish list since day one of talking to Aaron. I've had many great conversations with him. He introduced me to Bridge and allowed me to share my thoughts and ideas in Bridge Extended. At times it seems he is on the cutting edge of an entire new art form all together. It's not mentalism, it's not hypnosis.

I asked him one time what he considered what he did to be. His only explanation was that it was the closest thing to real magic he had ever found. I could not agree more.

Thank you Aaron for sharing your wonderful thoughts with us and helping us move forward with progress.

Your friend,
Matthew
Message: Posted by: Hallucination (Oct 8, 2014 07:17PM)
It is with some trepidation that I give my thoughts on Pygmalion Effects. Because the majority may accuse me of being an insider hyping a product, while only a scant few know who I am. I can only say that I brought any suspect thoughts about my motivation on myself mainly because I chose to remain relatively silent in the community due to my own constructs. I'm slowly breaking silence because I believe in Aaron and his way of thinking and believe such work elevates the art and deserves more attention I'll attempt to be as up front and honest as I can

Off the bat I will say I payed for the first version of Pygmalion Effects I received. A large book that has since been broken down into 2? Upon meeting Aaron (for a second time) he surprised me with an updated version. Being extraordinarily generous, he gave me the revised book 1 Reality as an Art of the series. Thank you Aaron, that was exceptionally kind of you. Aaron is constantly updating and revising his work for clarity and ease of reading. So this will be an inside look of his Pygmalion Effects book 1 Reality as an Art. I'd like to say I'd like to keep the information within the book(s) to myself, but that wouldn't be fair to Aaron.

The way I write about the book may make it appear as though it is a stuffy academic text book when in reality I found it to be written with warmth, humor and humanity making it very enjoyable read. While I don't have a way with words the way Aaron does, I hope I don't do a disservice by undermining or misrepresenting the contents within.

Having realized the following synopsis is rather lengthy, I've decided to post it in 2 parts. The following will cover part one of the book, with a follow up post at a later date, will cover the second half, or part 2, of the same book. I guess the following is not really a review as it is a brief look at the contents to help people decide if the book is for them.

To begin we have a lovely introduction from a professor of psychology. She says that while Aaron emphasizes that his book is about "an art and not a science," his work will be of interest to scientists in how it provokes us to think about ideas in perception, wellness and healing. I know this will raise a few eyebrows among magicians. All I can say is think along the lines of the work of neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, or just pick up the book and explore before passing judgement. Aaron's lectures before neuroscientists seems to be gaining interest in their profession. In the end good things can come from this.

The book explains why he chose the title Pygmalion Effects and what it means to him. Reading this I can see he is quite passionate about his work and can see it build and continue on throughout the book. Very touching Aaron.
He also lays out his expectations on what a book on "real magic" would include or bring to the table for the reader and practitioner. With his criteria set forth methods for accomplishing such lofty goals are layered through out the book to ensure the reader has a full understanding of the contents and ideas and is able to achieve success in performance. Upon reading the book I believe he accomplishes his goals quite admirably.
Aaron asks us to eschew the contrivances and preconceived constructs some of us hold, to embrace a new mindset; to create space for an experience to happen instead of compartmentalizing it into one box or another, undermining the experience.
The first part of the book talks about the basics of his method to create something unique. Aaron uses an example situation that encompasses an experience almost all of us has had to emphasize the points he makes. The strange twist to this example situation made the surrealist in me smile. Later in the book Aaron reveals several building blocks to achieve more pragmatic results. But first, two demonstrations are explored that create a magic experience from the basic elements discussed thus far, and boy are they good. You have seen them in Aaron's videos. Yes, you can do this too. All methods discussed are quick reliable and very workable, so the emphasis is focusing on creating experience.
As another way of sharing the ideas, Aaron explores a hypothetical history as a thought experiment.. When I read this I immediately thought about Burger and Neale's 'Magic and Meaning'; (it's just the way my mind went). Aaron allows the reader to reconsider constructs and mindsets that limit certain possibilities in modern (western) thinking. I found this to be a very interesting premise, prior to reading Aaron's work I had an interest in the works of V.S. Ramachandran and can see parallels between the two. He discusses the way people conceive of such things and the very real potential for something more. My opinion this is what the essence of a good performance of real magic can be. A shift towards deeper thinking and unique outlook on the art challenging our own mindset.
Well, that covers part one of the first book in a nut shell. My writing style makes it seem as though the book jumps from one topic to another when in reality it has a foundation, sets basics and uses examples, to aid understanding, and builds upon established criteria. An ulterior motive of my wordiness is to cause readers of this review to say "!@#$ it, I'm not reading all that" and pass over the book. Ha ha. Indeed my machinations are not purely altruistic. (Aaron knows I'm joking). For those still here and interested a look at part two will come at a later date. And I promise I'll throw in a post here or there so as not to be a complete stranger.

I'll finish by attempting to answer who is this book for? Well I could say if you enjoy the writings of Cassidy, Neale, Burger for their scholarly perspective or the works of Finley, Jermay, or Parker for their style of effects, then you will find this informative and fascinating. I believe this would tie in wonderfully with Anthony Jacquin's work on the Imagination Model. If you're well read you may find Aaron's thinking to be consistent with the thoughts of others tying concepts together. I can almost guarantee you will find something that will make you go 'Oh, I hadn't thought of that'; and that will open new doors for you to explore. If you're coming in from a fresh background then you're in for a wonderful ride. In the end the book is about connecting, experiences and creating real magic.
Just want to close by publicly saying Thank you Aaron for allowing me an inside view to your work, for your wonderful perspective and way of connecting. Your friendship means a lot. Keep creating, never stop exploring and always strive for the exquisite. You have a bright future. I'll be watching.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Oct 9, 2014 12:43AM)
Having read that I'm looking forward to receiving it even more. I'm hoping it won't be long now until the postman rings twice . Nice review and I look forward to part 2.
Message: Posted by: Hallucination (Oct 9, 2014 10:19PM)
Thank you Rolyan

One of the problems of writing a review is where to shine the light. I want the reader to have enough information to make a judgement call but I don't want to ruin any surprises. I find that one of the joys of reading a good book is discovering things for myself. Pygmalion Effects does have lots of things to discover, and think about and inspire.
If you're anything like myself you'll love reading this book. I'd like to read your view on it when you do read it. In the meantime enjoy the discovery.

Jim
Message: Posted by: hashtagmagic (Oct 10, 2014 05:29PM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2014, Hallucination wrote:
It is with some trepidation that I give my thoughts on Pygmalion Effects. Because the majority may accuse me of being an insider hyping a product, while only a scant few know who I am. I can only say that I brought any suspect thoughts about my motivation on myself mainly because I chose to remain relatively silent in the community due to my own constructs. I'm slowly breaking silence because I believe in Aaron and his way of thinking and believe such work elevates the art and deserves more attention I'll attempt to be as up front and honest as I can

Off the bat I will say I payed for the first version of Pygmalion Effects I received. A large book that has since been broken down into 2? Upon meeting Aaron (for a second time) he surprised me with an updated version. Being extraordinarily generous, he gave me the revised book 1 Reality as an Art of the series. Thank you Aaron, that was exceptionally kind of you. Aaron is constantly updating and revising his work for clarity and ease of reading. So this will be an inside look of his Pygmalion Effects book 1 Reality as an Art. I'd like to say I'd like to keep the information within the book(s) to myself, but that wouldn't be fair to Aaron.

The way I write about the book may make it appear as though it is a stuffy academic text book when in reality I found it to be written with warmth, humor and humanity making it very enjoyable read. While I don't have a way with words the way Aaron does, I hope I don't do a disservice by undermining or misrepresenting the contents within.

Having realized the following synopsis is rather lengthy, I've decided to post it in 2 parts. The following will cover part one of the book, with a follow up post at a later date, will cover the second half, or part 2, of the same book. I guess the following is not really a review as it is a brief look at the contents to help people decide if the book is for them.

To begin we have a lovely introduction from a professor of psychology. She says that while Aaron emphasizes that his book is about "an art and not a science," his work will be of interest to scientists in how it provokes us to think about ideas in perception, wellness and healing. I know this will raise a few eyebrows among magicians. All I can say is think along the lines of the work of neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, or just pick up the book and explore before passing judgement. Aaron's lectures before neuroscientists seems to be gaining interest in their profession. In the end good things can come from this.

The book explains why he chose the title Pygmalion Effects and what it means to him. Reading this I can see he is quite passionate about his work and can see it build and continue on throughout the book. Very touching Aaron.
He also lays out his expectations on what a book on "real magic" would include or bring to the table for the reader and practitioner. With his criteria set forth methods for accomplishing such lofty goals are layered through out the book to ensure the reader has a full understanding of the contents and ideas and is able to achieve success in performance. Upon reading the book I believe he accomplishes his goals quite admirably.
Aaron asks us to eschew the contrivances and preconceived constructs some of us hold, to embrace a new mindset; to create space for an experience to happen instead of compartmentalizing it into one box or another, undermining the experience.
The first part of the book talks about the basics of his method to create something unique. Aaron uses an example situation that encompasses an experience almost all of us has had to emphasize the points he makes. The strange twist to this example situation made the surrealist in me smile. Later in the book Aaron reveals several building blocks to achieve more pragmatic results. But first, two demonstrations are explored that create a magic experience from the basic elements discussed thus far, and boy are they good. You have seen them in Aaron's videos. Yes, you can do this too. All methods discussed are quick reliable and very workable, so the emphasis is focusing on creating experience.
As another way of sharing the ideas, Aaron explores a hypothetical history as a thought experiment.. When I read this I immediately thought about Burger and Neale's 'Magic and Meaning'; (it's just the way my mind went). Aaron allows the reader to reconsider constructs and mindsets that limit certain possibilities in modern (western) thinking. I found this to be a very interesting premise, prior to reading Aaron's work I had an interest in the works of V.S. Ramachandran and can see parallels between the two. He discusses the way people conceive of such things and the very real potential for something more. My opinion this is what the essence of a good performance of real magic can be. A shift towards deeper thinking and unique outlook on the art challenging our own mindset.
Well, that covers part one of the first book in a nut shell. My writing style makes it seem as though the book jumps from one topic to another when in reality it has a foundation, sets basics and uses examples, to aid understanding, and builds upon established criteria. An ulterior motive of my wordiness is to cause readers of this review to say "!@#$ it, I'm not reading all that" and pass over the book. Ha ha. Indeed my machinations are not purely altruistic. (Aaron knows I'm joking). For those still here and interested a look at part two will come at a later date. And I promise I'll throw in a post here or there so as not to be a complete stranger.

I'll finish by attempting to answer who is this book for? Well I could say if you enjoy the writings of Cassidy, Neale, Burger for their scholarly perspective or the works of Finley, Jermay, or Parker for their style of effects, then you will find this informative and fascinating. I believe this would tie in wonderfully with Anthony Jacquin's work on the Imagination Model. If you're well read you may find Aaron's thinking to be consistent with the thoughts of others tying concepts together. I can almost guarantee you will find something that will make you go 'Oh, I hadn't thought of that'; and that will open new doors for you to explore. If you're coming in from a fresh background then you're in for a wonderful ride. In the end the book is about connecting, experiences and creating real magic.
Just want to close by publicly saying Thank you Aaron for allowing me an inside view to your work, for your wonderful perspective and way of connecting. Your friendship means a lot. Keep creating, never stop exploring and always strive for the exquisite. You have a bright future. I'll be watching. [/quote]

TLDR: My review is unbiased. Aaron gave me a free book.
Message: Posted by: aalexander (Oct 10, 2014 11:09PM)
[quote]On Oct 10, 2014, hashtagmagic wrote:
TLDR: My review is unbiased. Aaron gave me a free book. [/quote]
Sorry to butt in, this is just a perfect moment to explain how I try to operate:

To be clear, [i]nobody[/i] got a free copy. Case in point: he probably doesn't know it, but "Hallucination" was the first person to buy a copy of PE (Alpha) back when it was a 430 page behemoth. I did not know him prior that, there were no reviews and, as I come from a different background, not a single performer anywhere knew who I was. I'm not sure, but I think he saw a clip from an old lecture and emailed me. After spending a year or so fixing up that version, I made sure that anyone that took a chance with the older copy would also get the polished book that I had originally set out to write.

[b]Complete disclosure now:[/b] Of the final version, I gave only 2 copies out for no money, both from the first small run. One was for a huge stack of high-quality material, the other was a very special case. There were no review copies, no advertising or promotion, or anything but the work speaking for itself through the people who own it. Otherwise, in 2012 I sent copies of the older book to a panel of about 10 experts in various fields (including Bill, as he implied) for detailed comments and advice that would not be shared with anyone but me.

All of that said, nobody has to take a blind chance on my material. Anyone who is considering getting a copy can see an unlisted private page with full details and honest unpublished reviews, and I openly answer all questions (not the ones in my signature). It should always be honest and transparent, just not public.

[b]tl;dr:[/b] When you spend a good fraction of your years on a particular project, you handle its fruits with a certain care and integrity - both on and off of the written page. I'm no exception. I hope everyone with any of my work will expect the same level of accountability that "Hallucination" was talking about.

-Aaron.
Message: Posted by: jaymeswhite1219 (Oct 23, 2014 11:12AM)
I think I am going to buy Bridge and once I read that I am going to get Pygmalion.
Message: Posted by: hashtagmagic (Dec 4, 2014 04:16PM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2014, aalexander wrote:
[quote]On Oct 10, 2014, hashtagmagic wrote:
TLDR: My review is unbiased. Aaron gave me a free book. [/quote]
Sorry to butt in, this is just a perfect moment to explain how I try to operate:

To be clear, [i]nobody[/i] got a free copy. Case in point: he probably doesn't know it, but "Hallucination" was the first person to buy a copy of PE (Alpha) back when it was a 430 page behemoth. I did not know him prior that, there were no reviews and, as I come from a different background, not a single performer anywhere knew who I was. I'm not sure, but I think he saw a clip from an old lecture and emailed me. After spending a year or so fixing up that version, I made sure that anyone that took a chance with the older copy would also get the polished book that I had originally set out to write.

[b]Complete disclosure now:[/b] Of the final version, I gave only 2 copies out for no money, both from the first small run. One was for a huge stack of high-quality material, the other was a very special case. There were no review copies, no advertising or promotion, or anything but the work speaking for itself through the people who own it. Otherwise, in 2012 I sent copies of the older book to a panel of about 10 experts in various fields (including Bill, as he implied) for detailed comments and advice that would not be shared with anyone but me.

All of that said, nobody has to take a blind chance on my material. Anyone who is considering getting a copy can see an unlisted private page with full details and honest unpublished reviews, and I openly answer all questions (not the ones in my signature). It should always be honest and transparent, just not public.

[b]tl;dr:[/b] When you spend a good fraction of your years on a particular project, you handle its fruits with a certain care and integrity - both on and off of the written page. I'm no exception. I hope everyone with any of my work will expect the same level of accountability that "Hallucination" was talking about.

-Aaron. [/quote]

Ah, not to knock your product. I bought bridge and it's great. I was just being cheeky.
Message: Posted by: DrewBstoss (Dec 5, 2014 11:44AM)
Many of the compliments that I could offer Aaron and his incredible PE have already been given in previous reviews and posts. I would like to add that my interaction with Aaron, both in purchasing Bridge and then PE, has been extremely positive--he's a great guy and extremely quick to respond!

By submitting this post I know it will bring this thread back to the top of Mentally Speaking and for me that realization is bitter-sweet. On one hand, Aaron deserves more recognition for this contribution to the community but on the other, I secretly wish this thread would disappear into oblivion so less performers would be aware of the power this book provides you.

Best,

Drew
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Dec 6, 2014 05:53PM)
Drew I share everything you said above and I'm eager to see PE2. Aaron told me that it may come to life if enough people show interest : I do... ;)
Message: Posted by: shakuni (Dec 6, 2014 06:01PM)
+1 for PE2.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 8, 2014 05:06AM)
In general (with just one reservation) I like the book and contents. But as I get older I find I learn differently. As a book lover it pains me to say that I wish purchasers could have access to videos of Aaron performing the routines. This material is too good to just leave unused because of uncertainty.

Just my opinion of course. Pleas note I'm seeking clarity; I have no desire to copy anyone else's presentation!
Message: Posted by: One Eyed Jack (Dec 8, 2014 07:29AM)
Another +1 For PE2.
Message: Posted by: lemonjug (Dec 8, 2014 08:38AM)
I have to agree with Roylan and say that I would have greatly benefited from some videos of Aaron performing these effects. That said, Aaron has been very helpful in dealing with any problems I've had. Pygmalion Effects is a wonderful book.
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Dec 8, 2014 01:18PM)
Aren't the videos for at least two of the effects up on Aaron's site?
Message: Posted by: One Eyed Jack (Dec 8, 2014 03:03PM)
You are right Bill. You can see demonstrations of both Push and Psychic Surgery (as well as Bridge) here; http://pygmalioneffects.com/
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 8, 2014 04:56PM)
To be fair, you can see partial videos of 2 or 3 effects on the website. They are not complete and are not instructional (they aren't meant to be). I can understand fully why Aaron doesn't want to post public videos, but it's something that I would have liked. It's is quite a large investment in time and money and I want to do it justice.

However, I know that Aaron is committed to helping out purchasers whenever he can, and is certainly more approachable than some!
Message: Posted by: aalexander (Dec 8, 2014 06:11PM)
Not long ago there were uncut public videos of everything but Ghost Touch. I didn't bother moving them all to the new web page. I do send links to people want a visual. As Roylan pointed out, though, they aren't video instructions. You see what the spectators see, so there's no discussion and the process is still invisible.

Part of the decision to not make video instruction was that the demonstrations are just that - demonstrations. What they demonstrate is something bigger that people will apply in their own way. Also important was that video would have been too easy to share. Both have to do with the thought that if the effects outshine and out-travel the rest, we would leave behind some key nuggets and just end up with another magic book.

That was the calculation at the time, anyway. I'll use the feedback I got and continue to get to improve the next project.
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Dec 9, 2014 07:48AM)
Hello Aaron
I would be pleased to receive the links. And what about PE 2 and other projects ? ;)
Thanks
Eric
Message: Posted by: backinblack (Feb 7, 2015 11:36AM)
Is push really 100 percent reliable? what does the book cost?
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Feb 7, 2015 11:55AM)
It is!
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Feb 8, 2015 06:29AM)
[quote]On Feb 7, 2015, Your Thinking Cap wrote:
It is! [/quote]
Hmmmm, are we sure that 'it is' is a full and correct answer to a potential purchaser.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile pointing out that Push is very reliable assuming certain conditions are met. These include, but are not limited to, the experience of the performer, the connection with the spectator, the environment, the context, stage/spectator management, and performers knowledge/belief of the principles.

It's not 100% under all and any circumstances, but the above can help make it as reliable as most will need.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Feb 8, 2015 06:55AM)
Fair enough. I was on the go when I wrote my initial response, so I didn't have time to write a full answer out. What you said is definitely true- a good performance is contingent on those things. In my experience though and with Aaron's tips, it is extremely reliable.
Message: Posted by: backinblack (Feb 8, 2015 08:36PM)
Thx for answer.. do not know the method but if its about suggestion/nlp/psychology it is usually never 100% reliable.. could be something different with hypnosis..

anyhow: still curious: whats the price of the book?
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Feb 9, 2015 05:41AM)
[quote]On Feb 8, 2015, backinblack wrote:
Thx for answer.. do not know the method but if its about suggestion/nlp/psychology it is usually never 100% reliable.. could be something different with hypnosis..

anyhow: still curious: whats the price of the book? [/quote]
It's about £175 or US$270. It's a nicely produced paperback book that contains a lot more than 'Push'. Aaron can give you more details if you get in touch with him on here.

I think part 2 is coming out this year but again Aaron can tell you more.
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Mar 2, 2015 02:04AM)
I received the book and Aaron was VERY kind and helped with all he can, 10/10 customer service.

about the book... I only read it very fast and jumping from here to there, only stopping at "invisible rope" and "push".

I tried "invisible rope" and it worked wonderfully, very very entertaining.
"push" didn't go as planned, but I'm no dissapointed because my wife is VERY sceptic and difficult to work with (but she felt "invisible rope" very vividly).
with all the tips of Aaron, I can see it working almost 100%.

all the routines seems very engaging and I can see myself enjoying them very much. I'll write again when I tried them.

highly recommended book, worth the price.
Message: Posted by: aalexander (Mar 2, 2015 09:34AM)
[quote]On Mar 2, 2015, eusbanger wrote:
I only read it very fast and jumping from here to there, only stopping at "invisible rope" and "push".
[/quote]
It sounds like you are talking about your first try before reading the book itself. That's a clear A+ for gumption, but also remember that each "effect" in the book is just a demonstration of a principle. If Push is taken out of its context and used like a mentalism effect, it is kind of neutered. Push is my go-to demonstration with skeptics for a lot of reasons, as is discussed elsewhere in the book.

[quote]On Feb 8, 2015, Rolyan wrote:
Perhaps it would be worthwhile pointing out that Push is very reliable assuming certain conditions are met. These include, but are not limited to, the experience of the performer, the connection with the spectator, the environment, the context, stage/spectator management, and performers knowledge/belief of the principles.[/quote]
To be fair, a thumb tip is very reliable assuming certain conditions are met. These include, but are not limited to, the experience of the performer, the connection with the spectator, the environment, the context, stage/spectator management, and performers knowledge/belief of the principles. Without those, nothing works, not even [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_After_Effects]After Effects[/url], which is as it should be. The day someone writes to say that my work is perfect if you have no talent and hate your participants, I'm cashing in my chips and going home.

But when we imagine connection, belief, and so on, is it something that is "managed" or "used," or is it something that opens worlds for us? I think a big part of what we're really talking about here is whether something like Push has the same limitations as ideas that performers are familiar with, like postural sway suggestions or DR, when in fact it is an extremely different beast. Certainly these methods will vary depending on whose hands they are in, but we also know that several people are now using Push on stage or in high-stakes situations without any worry, as I have been doing for years. It absolutely will not fit everyone, which is, again, as it should be.
Message: Posted by: Giannim (Mar 2, 2015 02:06PM)
Hi Aaron,
Did you received my email?
Could you please let me know something about it?
Thanks, Gianni
Message: Posted by: Twisted Mentat (Aug 23, 2015 08:48AM)
Does it only work in English?
When the book will be available for purchase?
Message: Posted by: MatthewSims (Aug 24, 2015 02:36PM)
If I'm not mistaken, I think this book is already out. I'm sure it's amazing. I hope to get it one day when the magical Funds Fairy arrives after school.
Message: Posted by: Psy (Sep 8, 2015 09:52PM)
Any news about PE2?
Message: Posted by: mindguru (Sep 14, 2015 07:16PM)
Yes I would like to know about this too.
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Sep 16, 2015 02:51AM)
I asked this directly to him one month ago, this was his answer, hope this helps:

As for PE2, I am debating whether to release it all at once, or as smaller collections. The writing is finished, and has been for 5 years. I am unlikely to release it very soon, but maybe in the winter or early next year. I will still probably put out The Weaver's Underground in the fall.
Message: Posted by: BlackZ (Sep 16, 2015 04:00PM)
Thanks for the update!
Message: Posted by: Psy (Sep 19, 2015 11:40PM)
Thanks for the update
I hope that Aaron releases PE2 all at once because the price will be high and that will make the material more exclusive
Message: Posted by: Sicorace (Sep 28, 2015 05:29AM)
Who has more info on PE2?
Message: Posted by: ThoZ (Oct 5, 2015 04:10PM)
Or any news on the PE "slim" version?
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Oct 7, 2015 12:55AM)
Well, I see that there is some interest, I will send him an email right now.
maybe he is bussy and didn't read this all
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Oct 7, 2015 06:09PM)
Hope to read you soon ;)
Message: Posted by: lemonjug (Oct 24, 2015 09:05AM)
Anyone heard anything from Aaron? I thought Weaver's Underground was due for release this month. Sent him an email a few weeks back but no reply yet.
Message: Posted by: shakuni (Oct 24, 2015 10:24AM)
I also sent an email with no reply yet... Thanks.
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Nov 27, 2015 06:05PM)
Any news on this?
Message: Posted by: TheDirectionalist (Nov 27, 2015 06:41PM)
Sent an email awhile ago with no answer..
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Nov 30, 2015 03:05AM)
Same here... lets hope if he comes back soon
Message: Posted by: Hallucination (Nov 30, 2015 11:22AM)
I'd like to see Aaron pop in here as much as everyone else. It's been a month since we last spoke. I hate speaking for anyone. I also know how it can be frustrating by seemingly having inquiries not answered. I hope I'm not stepping on Aaron's toes by saying hang tight guys. I know he's finishing up a very important research project and he's very perfectionist about his work in general. His work is his baby; his mind has the focus of a laser beam; and I can understand how he'd like everything to be just so.
Sometimes things may seem strange, don't give up. I have faith in him, he'll be around. It's the people who haven't given up, the people who honestly inquire not only about his work but about the individual is what matters.

I know it's no consolation to say, 'hang tight;' things will come together. Aaron is one of the good guys. He has an extraordinary bright future and I'm happy to have been able to cheer him on.
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Dec 1, 2015 07:21AM)
Sure, I have no doubt about him, he seems a really nice guy and I REALLY LOVE his work

his out of the box thinking and his inspirational writting style is superb.

just is so frustating to stay here praying for more good books from him XDDDD

P.D. as others said, PUSH is just a MASTERPIECE
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Dec 22, 2015 07:56AM)
Still no news about Aaron ?
Anyone ?
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 22, 2015 02:46PM)
Had the pleasure of meeting him a few days ago. Very nice guy and quite mobile at the moment. I'm sure he will address everyone's concerns when he can.
Message: Posted by: BlakeAdams (Dec 25, 2015 06:44PM)
Aaron you are our only hope........
Message: Posted by: Elliot Marx (Jan 17, 2016 05:56AM)
I too have tried making contact via email for some time without reply.

Very much enjoyed his thinking in Bridge, ZK and PE.

Hopefully he'll return soon...

Elliot
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Jan 18, 2016 06:27PM)
Hopefully ....
Message: Posted by: shakuni (Jun 6, 2016 07:47AM)
Any updates...
Message: Posted by: hypnogeek (Jun 8, 2016 05:21AM)
I waited for a long time to get my hands on the book. But I am really disappointed. Its simply a collection of basic hypnosis tricks disguised using mentalism patter. Most mentalists who are not very familiar with hypnosis would find it new, but sadly its not. All this stuff can be found in basic stage hypnosis books. I'd suggest not to wait for second volume. Instead get Ormond McGill's book for much more and better material.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jun 9, 2016 01:18PM)
I must respectfully disagree, hypnogeek.

While some of the basis of Aaron's material can be found in The Encyclopedia, if you really thoroughly read the book you will find it goes well above and beyond what is taught as "basic hypnosis tricks" as you put, and has turned these premises into fully engaging routines. These routines are not hypnosis.

I have performed much of the material in Pygmalion Effects, and have even mixed the routines with genuine hypnosis. While they share common roots, they are not the same at all.
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Jun 17, 2016 12:38AM)
[quote]On Jun 9, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
I must respectfully disagree, hypnogeek.

While some of the basis of Aaron's material can be found in The Encyclopedia, if you really thoroughly read the book you will find it goes well above and beyond what is taught as "basic hypnosis tricks" as you put, and has turned these premises into fully engaging routines. These routines are not hypnosis.

I have performed much of the material in Pygmalion Effects, and have even mixed the routines with genuine hypnosis. While they share common roots, they are not the same at all. [/quote]

totally agree with you, this routines are not hypnosis but you can link them with it.
for a fast and engaging demostration these are pure gold

and yes, I'm still waiting to volume 2, but seems Aaron dissapeared the last months
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jun 17, 2016 08:09AM)
Indeed!

But a skilled hypnotist can link most things with hypnosis effectively. I've seen James Brown use a card trick as an induction.
Message: Posted by: blurrylines (Jun 18, 2016 05:33PM)
Is Aaron still around? He's not replying to emails, or accepting orders. Hope he's ok...
Message: Posted by: RexDeash (Jun 19, 2016 02:48AM)
I also emailed him but didn't get any response. Perhaps he is busy with his work. Hopefully, we'll hear from him soon..
Thanks
Rex
Message: Posted by: blurrylines (Jul 28, 2016 02:44AM)
Still no word...
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Jul 30, 2016 08:46AM)
Well, he replied an old email from me last week.

I can't talk for he, but I can say that he is performing and testing new ideas.

the other news, are only up to him to share them
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Jul 31, 2016 02:56PM)
New video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpOpFHk9Wps
Message: Posted by: BlackZ (Jul 31, 2016 04:50PM)
Super!
Message: Posted by: Psy (Jun 23, 2017 01:25PM)
Anybody knows what happened to this guy and the pending releases?
Message: Posted by: eusbanger (Jun 27, 2017 07:43AM)
Some months ago he told me that he was working in another publications, he send one of the effects to me to test and give my opinion (very interesting but need some work still)

I wrote to him last week, still no answer, I'll inform as soon as he does.
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Jun 27, 2017 01:29PM)
Thanks ;)
I'm eager to see volume 2
Message: Posted by: Owen (Oct 9, 2017 02:35AM)
I'm interested in this book. Website still pw protected...
Message: Posted by: Adrien L. (Oct 9, 2017 03:09AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2017, Owen wrote:
I'm interested in this book. Website still pw protected... [/quote]

Contact Aaron directly. You can find an email on this site: http://bridge.pygmalioneffects.com/
Message: Posted by: Owen (Oct 9, 2017 03:49AM)
I emailed him last week but got no response.
I'll try him again.
Thanks Adrien!
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Oct 15, 2017 02:03PM)
I tried a few weeks ago to no avail :(
Hope that every thing goes well for Aaron.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Oct 15, 2017 08:45PM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2017, Owen wrote:
I'm interested in this book. Website still pw protected... [/quote]

How does one obtain the password?
Message: Posted by: Owen (Oct 15, 2017 09:14PM)
Great question MG... I emailed Aaron can't reach him
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (May 5, 2018 10:47AM)
[img]https://s9.postimg.cc/ri9ktcgsv/bueller-e1431195418441.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: RedDevil (May 9, 2018 09:07PM)
From what I remember, “Aaron” is an earth walker. He will turn up
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (May 10, 2018 12:27PM)
Or not.

I mean, I'd love to see more of his work, but it's not like he's obligated to put stuff out for us.
Message: Posted by: MDantes (May 10, 2018 09:27PM)
We’ll keep the light on for’em
Message: Posted by: Second Sight (Aug 30, 2018 12:59PM)
I am making a costly book purchase and I am hoping to sell a few books from my collection to help defray that expense.

To that end, I have listed my copy of Aaron Alexander's "Pygmalion Effects" in the books for sale section. It's a great book, and I've kept my copy in perfect condition for years.

I paid $295 for my copy and I am willing to sell it for $225 shipped from Ireland.

Thanks for your consideration,

Best,
Second Sight
Message: Posted by: shakuni (Apr 2, 2020 12:07PM)
Any update on PE2?