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Topic: Contact Mind Reading: The Osterlind Approach
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 4, 2015 02:31PM)
This is a bit of a tough post to write. It's certainly not because of the quality of the product. And it's not because I don't see CMR as THE closest thing you can possibly get to real mind reading...because I do. And it's not because I'm completely bias, having written the introduction to the book. And it's not because Richard is a good friend of mine. None of these things would influence me to write what I'm about to write. If you know me, you know that's true.

It's a tough post to write because I KNOW that this is one of the true gems of mentalism. It's a 24 carat, 100 proof -- utterly impossible feat to present to audiences. It's impossible for them to deconstruct because, once they have seen there's no stooge, that nothing is written down...that no words are spoken -- there can be no possible answer other than they've just seen literal miracle of mind reading.

Remember: The performer genuinely has no idea what object the spectator is simply thinking of...or where an object has been hidden. The spectator is literally just THINKING of the object/location and the performer, doing nothing more than holding their hand, is about to attempt an impossible location.

I've posted elsewhere about my presentation of CMR for the first time...and the fact that I was first blown away by it when Osterlind showed it to his Master Class in Las Vegas. And I DO mean "blown away" as in chin-hitting-the-desk-and-a-brain-vibrating-with-"what the heck???" I fell instantly in love with the IDEA of this. I shrug when I see the endless methods of ACAAN or the majority of other "holy grails" -- but when I actually SAW this, I knew I was witnessing something utterly extraordinary.

So why is this a tough post to write? Give me a second and I'll explain.

For your fifty bucks, you're going to get a little book. Stacking this up against the other monster volumes on CMR (many of which I read in my frenzy to learn) it looks...well...small. Tiny, actually. Why? There's no filler. There's no self-indulgent pontification. No blah blah. There's just basic follow-the-instructions-and-you'll-be-able-to-do-this kinda writing. Step by step.

You're paying for a method...and learning that method from a guy who has done this for decades.

It's an effect...a demonstration that will leave your audience absolutely gobsmacked.

So why is this a tough post to write? Hmmm.

Two reasons. First: the people who are looking for "chango presto" mentalism -- stuff that works right out of the box, are in for a disappointment. Osterlind says some people have picked this up almost instantly. I believe him. But it took me a very long time and an astonishingly large number of failures and a pile of old fashioned hard work to even get to the point where I'm 50% confident with CMR. It hasn't been easy for me to learn. On the flipside, I wasn't learning from this book, because the book hadn't been issued yet.

This is the first in a series of books that Osterlind is aiming at the performing pros. It's not lightweight stuff. He makes a lot of assumptions about the reader in this book -- primary among which is that the reader already has a solid grounding in mentalism and is beyond needing the basics explained to him.

The second reason: CMR is quite literally...well...beautiful. From a presentation perspective, it's a symphony. I mean that. I would hate for this to become the "flavor of the week" with the "I do magic AND mentalism AND balloon animals in my show" set. When I was writing back and forth with Osterlind about this book, I urged him to put a hefty price tag on it...or to do it as a "very limited release" -- and he wouldn't hear of it. To me? It's worth ten times the asking price. Maybe more. Seriously. You want to talk "ultimate gimmick free and completely propless" mentalism? This is it.

But real gems deserve attention...and this is one of them. For some performers, what's in these pages will transform their act and revolutionize them as mentalists. Others will read it, sort of try it...and put it into the drawer. Then they'll moan about having spent fifty bucks on it. So here's your guide for whether or not you should pick this one up: IF you find your imagination stirred...and your heart beating just a little faster at the whole new world that opens up for you with CMR -- rush to hit the PayPal button now. Sprain your finger doing so, if necessary.

If, however, you're sorta kinda interested in knowing how this thing works, save your money.

This product gets six out of five billets from me. It is a modern-day masterpiece.

David
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Mar 4, 2015 04:05PM)
David, thanks for the preview. Can you shed any light on what makes Osterlind's approach to learning this different from the other established works on it?
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 4, 2015 05:23PM)
You're welcome, Joshua. Here's what it comes down to: I think you'll agree with me that there are only so many things you can say about CMR. They all boil down to "go out and work on it." But knowing exactly WHAT you're supposed to be working on is the hard thing -- at least it was for me. Some of the books are huge and quite detailed...so detailed that what you're supposed to be doing gets lost in all the words. Does that make sense?

Osterlind's book, as I said above, is direct and to the point. A basic foundation is provided. What you should be doing...what you should be saying to your volunteer...what you should be looking for...the steps you take as you progress -- are all covered clearly and precisely.

Now that I have an idea of what CMR is about, I am going back to some of those other books and realizing what they were trying to convey. But it's like what happens when someone comes here and says they are new to mentalism...and what should they read? The knee jerk reply is that you should read Annemann and Corinda. Yes...they're foundational books -- but useful only when the reader has some kind of grounding in mentalism to begin with.

I appreciate brevity. I appreciate clear instruction. Osterlind's is the best of the lot for this.

David
Message: Posted by: truman (Mar 4, 2015 09:50PM)
Thank you for the review, David. It sounds a bit coarse to ask, but I was wondering since the book came out. How many pages long is the book? Richard's website doesn't say, and it was one of the first things I looked for when I saw that the book had been released.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 4, 2015 09:57PM)
It's a small book. Keep in mind that I only have the pre-release PDF...not the actual book yet. But my copy is 39 pages.

Before anyone asks: NO...this isn't available as a PDF. Richard sent me a PDF so I could have a look at it before it was published.

David
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Mar 5, 2015 05:09AM)
Actually, I sent David a word copy that was not entirely complete. The book is actually twice as many pages as that and contains revised material. In actuality it is as big as many of the previous books on contact mind reading and bigger then some. It also contains unique and different approaches that have never been covered in any other previous books. It is not simply a basic book to begin with, but an advanced book that gives details the others do not.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Mar 5, 2015 10:12AM)
[I]Contact Mind Reading: The Osterlind Approach[/I] is 68 pages, perfect bound, and is trade paperback size (5.5 x 8.5").
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 5, 2015 11:10AM)
Now you know how long the book is in terms of pages. Thank-you, guys. :)

With reference to "length of the book" -- I don't think I made my point clearly enough in the post above. I read a number of old manuscripts in researching CMR and, while I was fascinated with the subject matter, I found many of them irritating. It may be because I tend to be a visual learner...but I find books -- particularly instructional ones -- that take forever to get to the point are very hard for me to study -- to learn from. I'll skim chunks of text, looking for key words that will give me the information I'm looking for. Since this is an admittedly sloppy way of learning, I often have to go back over the same stuff several times before I understand what the author is trying to communicate to me.

I've read this particular book through several times and have not once felt the urge to cruise over chunks of copy to get to the information I'm after. That's a GOOD THING (a great thing for me) since it takes a very good writer to carry that off. My point was that, in these days of slap-dash publishing, the quality of Osterlind's instruction is outstanding.

There are fresh ideas in this book as well...and a critical "something" that hasn't been mentioned yet. When you're contemplating performing CMR there's one nagging thought: What if it doesn't work? There's no "out." Either it's going to work...or you fail in front of an audience. Osterlind provides some outstanding ideas about this...along with some "insurance" you can take out to ensure success.

Best of all -- this isn't a book that was written from an armchair. It was written by a performer FOR other performers. That means Osterlind considers all the same things you think about when you get down to the nuts and bolts of actually performing CMR. That means something to me.

David
Message: Posted by: The_MetalMaster (Mar 6, 2015 10:04AM)
I cant wait to get this in the mail. I ordered immediately after I saw he was releasing it. I was right there with David at the workshop when Richard did this for somebody during a break. I almost fell out of my chair! Never seen anything like it!
Message: Posted by: clairvoyant (Mar 6, 2015 04:29PM)
So, you like it because it's short and gets to the point without filler. The Larsen chapter is similar in that regard. How does it compare to that resource?
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 6, 2015 08:06PM)
I haven't seen the Larsen chapter, clairvoyant. But I've heard good things about it. Sorry.

David
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 6, 2015 09:50PM)
I am going to buy this because of your great post. Thank you.

Regards,
Mike

[quote]On Mar 4, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
This is a bit of a tough post to write. It's certainly not because of the quality of the product. And it's not because I don't see CMR as THE closest thing you can possibly get to real mind reading...because I do. And it's not because I'm completely bias, having written the introduction to the book. And it's not because Richard is a good friend of mine. None of these things would influence me to write what I'm about to write. If you know me, you know that's true.

It's a tough post to write because I KNOW that this is one of the true gems of mentalism. It's a 24 carat, 100 proof -- utterly impossible feat to present to audiences. It's impossible for them to deconstruct because, once they have seen there's no stooge, that nothing is written down...that no words are spoken -- there can be no possible answer other than they've just seen literal miracle of mind reading.

Remember: The performer genuinely has no idea what object the spectator is simply thinking of...or where an object has been hidden. The spectator is literally just THINKING of the object/location and the performer, doing nothing more than holding their hand, is about to attempt an impossible location.

I've posted elsewhere about my presentation of CMR for the first time...and the fact that I was first blown away by it when Osterlind showed it to his Master Class in Las Vegas. And I DO mean "blown away" as in chin-hitting-the-desk-and-a-brain-vibrating-with-"what the heck???" I fell instantly in love with the IDEA of this. I shrug when I see the endless methods of ACAAN or the majority of other "holy grails" -- but when I actually SAW this, I knew I was witnessing something utterly extraordinary.

So why is this a tough post to write? Give me a second and I'll explain.

For your fifty bucks, you're going to get a little book. Stacking this up against the other monster volumes on CMR (many of which I read in my frenzy to learn) it looks...well...small. Tiny, actually. Why? There's no filler. There's no self-indulgent pontification. No blah blah. There's just basic follow-the-instructions-and-you'll-be-able-to-do-this kinda writing. Step by step.

You're paying for a method...and learning that method from a guy who has done this for decades.

It's an effect...a demonstration that will leave your audience absolutely gobsmacked.

So why is this a tough post to write? Hmmm.

Two reasons. First: the people who are looking for "chango presto" mentalism -- stuff that works right out of the box, are in for a disappointment. Osterlind says some people have picked this up almost instantly. I believe him. But it took me a very long time and an astonishingly large number of failures and a pile of old fashioned hard work to even get to the point where I'm 50% confident with CMR. It hasn't been easy for me to learn. On the flipside, I wasn't learning from this book, because the book hadn't been issued yet.

This is the first in a series of books that Osterlind is aiming at the performing pros. It's not lightweight stuff. He makes a lot of assumptions about the reader in this book -- primary among which is that the reader already has a solid grounding in mentalism and is beyond needing the basics explained to him.

The second reason: CMR is quite literally...well...beautiful. From a presentation perspective, it's a symphony. I mean that. I would hate for this to become the "flavor of the week" with the "I do magic AND mentalism AND balloon animals in my show" set. When I was writing back and forth with Osterlind about this book, I urged him to put a hefty price tag on it...or to do it as a "very limited release" -- and he wouldn't hear of it. To me? It's worth ten times the asking price. Maybe more. Seriously. You want to talk "ultimate gimmick free and completely propless" mentalism? This is it.

But real gems deserve attention...and this is one of them. For some performers, what's in these pages will transform their act and revolutionize them as mentalists. Others will read it, sort of try it...and put it into the drawer. Then they'll moan about having spent fifty bucks on it. So here's your guide for whether or not you should pick this one up: IF you find your imagination stirred...and your heart beating just a little faster at the whole new world that opens up for you with CMR -- rush to hit the PayPal button now. Sprain your finger doing so, if necessary.

If, however, you're sorta kinda interested in knowing how this thing works, save your money.

This product gets six out of five billets from me. It is a modern-day masterpiece.

David [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Michael Zarek (Mar 7, 2015 03:17AM)
[quote]On Mar 4, 2015, David Thiel wrote:

It's a tough post to write because I KNOW that this is one of the true gems of mentalism. It's a 24 carat, 100 proof -- utterly impossible feat to present to audiences. It's impossible for them to deconstruct because, once they have seen there's no stooge, that nothing is written down...that no words are spoken -- there can be no possible answer other than they've just seen literal miracle of mind reading.
[/quote]

Don't wanna be disrespectful to classic techniques (CMR is still great and has some great uses) and calling it miracle of mind reading would describe it perfectly... 5-6 years ago.

I've done CMR and even invested quite a bit of money in books on the subject in the past and yet I don't do it anymore simply because the main effect (finding an object hidden in a room) isn't as powerful now with so many new prop-less mind reading effects coming out.

Not saying that CMR is no longer needed in any way (i still use it sometimes, just in smaller ways) it's just that with all the new material coming out lately, it stopped being as amazing as it used to be and mentioning that "You're actually doing this for real" as a selling point is no longer as powerful of a statement as it was 5 years ago.

Just my opinion obviously , anyone agree?

(Also I haven't read the book, so maybe it actually is full of completely new approaches that modernise it into a true and useful miracle of direct mind reading, if not than I think we need one)
Message: Posted by: Seethings (Mar 7, 2015 05:48AM)
Ford Kross's explanation of CMR from It Ain't Body Building (suggestive Mentalism part 2) is also very short - only six pages!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 7, 2015 10:38AM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, Michael Zarek wrote:
Just my opinion obviously , anyone agree? [/quote]

Nope - mainly cos its down to the presentation...so if you don't have an interesting presentation for it, then yeah - its boring...but nothing is inherently boring just because new stuff is out...though it might feel more exciting to perform to the individual because it feels 'new'...
Message: Posted by: Michael Zarek (Mar 7, 2015 11:28AM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, IAIN wrote:
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, Michael Zarek wrote:
Just my opinion obviously , anyone agree? [/quote]

Nope - mainly cos its down to the presentation...so if you don't have an interesting presentation for it, then yeah - its boring...but nothing is inherently boring just because new stuff is out...though it might feel more exciting to perform to the individual because it feels 'new'... [/quote]


You're absolutely right, and I'm not bashing the technique at all.
I personally tried many different presentations without being able to find one that I would be satisfied with but obviously that's just me.
My opinion is simply that the basic CMR effect at face value is no longer as impressive of a feat as it was 5 years or earlier because now we have other prop-less effects which are in their basic form still more impressive.
Message: Posted by: Sensio (Mar 8, 2015 04:13AM)
Practical and Pragmatic
These are the basic ingredients imho of all of Richard Osterlind's material so this book is a little pricey but I am pretty sure no one will be left disappointed...

Tempted...
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 8, 2015 09:00AM)
[quote]On Mar 8, 2015, Sensio wrote:
Practical and Pragmatic
These are the basic ingredients imho of all of Richard Osterlind's material so this book is a little pricey but I am pretty sure no one will be left disappointed...

Tempted... [/quote]

You make some good points, Sensio. I was thinking about this as I read through the book.

To someone who is merely curious, I agree: it's pricey. To someone who is looking to incorporate CMR into their act -- or to give it a serious look, how is fifty bucks pricey compared to the 200-300 dollars people pay for the latest electr*nic marvel or the limited edition ebook? This isn't a book of abstract thinking, it's a nuts and bolts, step by step method for developing a full routine. And you're right: it is completely practical and pragmatic in its approach.

I have to respectfully disagree with one of the previous posters. It's true that CMR has been around for a long time. But to say that it isn't something that will blow modern audiences away? Nope...not in my experience. As Iain suggested it is very much a matter of presentation. But stop for a second and tell me why this ISN'T as close to mind reading as you can possibly get. No pump*ing. No words exchanged verbally or with writing. It can be performed any place. Any time. Close up or on stage. No props. No prep. No batteries. No confeder**es. No angle or lighting considerations.The volunteer simply thinks of where something is hidden or to be delivered and the performer knows what they are thinking. It's got drama and a powerful mystique.

Of course there is a method. But how is this not mindreading?

I didn't choose to champion this book because Osterlind wrote it. I honestly wouldn't do that. I chose to get behind it because it's a superb product and, as such, it deserves to be brought to the attention of those who might use it. Of course I don't expect mentalists all over the world to start performing this. They won't. It doesn't fit everyone's style and there is a lot of hard work to get it even close to stage ready. And actually performing it for strangers for the first time will, in fact, make your knees sweat.

My attention and ambition are fixed on the delightful expectation of what I will have in my performing arsenal once I have complete experience and confidence in the system.

I'm backing the book for the performer who looks at this and sees CMR for high impact effect it is. That's the guy who will have his whole mentalism act transformed by what he learns in performing CMR.

David
Message: Posted by: Prometheus (Mar 8, 2015 09:52AM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, Michael Zarek wrote:
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, IAIN wrote:
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, Michael Zarek wrote:
Just my opinion obviously , anyone agree? [/quote]

Nope - mainly cos its down to the presentation...so if you don't have an interesting presentation for it, then yeah - its boring...but nothing is inherently boring just because new stuff is out...though it might feel more exciting to perform to the individual because it feels 'new'... [/quote]


You're absolutely right, and I'm not bashing the technique at all.
I personally tried many different presentations without being able to find one that I would be satisfied with but obviously that's just me.
My opinion is simply that the basic CMR effect at face value is no longer as impressive of a feat as it was 5 years or earlier because now we have other prop-less effects which are in their basic form still more impressive. [/quote]

My other effects, propless or not, are stronger than the "basic" CMR effect. But I think the reason is, that I can't put it into a act of mine, because it is not my style, or I just can't think of an appropriate presentation. In the right setting it plays very well, but if it way more impressive 5 years ago? I don't know.
But you can do much more with muscle reading. Use it for a book test, to find a certain person/object etc., or as a method to fall back on.
In Pablo's Zodiaco is CMR used in a very brilliant way, IMO. You can use CMR for a propless PIN revelation with some creativity. The "basic" CMR effect is just the tip of the mountain.
Message: Posted by: Waters. (Mar 8, 2015 01:17PM)
For presentational information and dealing with nuances like push versus pull, I am sure this will be well worth while. I haven't not (I know double negative) benefitted from reading any of the texts I have regarding CMR. I am sure this will be no different.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Mar 8, 2015 06:20PM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2015, Michael Zarek wrote:
[quote]On Mar 4, 2015, David Thiel wrote:

It's a tough post to write because I KNOW that this is one of the true gems of mentalism. It's a 24 carat, 100 proof -- utterly impossible feat to present to audiences. It's impossible for them to deconstruct because, once they have seen there's no stooge, that nothing is written down...that no words are spoken -- there can be no possible answer other than they've just seen literal miracle of mind reading.
[/quote]

Don't wanna be disrespectful to classic techniques (CMR is still great and has some great uses) and calling it miracle of mind reading would describe it perfectly... 5-6 years ago.

I've done CMR and even invested quite a bit of money in books on the subject in the past and yet I don't do it anymore simply because the main effect (finding an object hidden in a room) isn't as powerful now with so many new prop-less mind reading effects coming out.

Not saying that CMR is no longer needed in any way (i still use it sometimes, just in smaller ways) it's just that with all the new material coming out lately, it stopped being as amazing as it used to be and mentioning that "You're actually doing this for real" as a selling point is no longer as powerful of a statement as it was 5 years ago.

Just my opinion obviously , anyone agree?

(Also I haven't read the book, so maybe it actually is full of completely new approaches that modernise it into a true and useful miracle of direct mind reading, if not than I think we need one) [/quote]

Totally disagree. Done correctly, this is mind blowing. Remember that "all this new material" coming out is something that "We" only know about. Non Magicians/Mentalists don't know about the "latest & greatest", and most couldn't give a hoot. I'm not sure where you get the figure "5 years ago" from?, but I know that Kreskin ( among others) has been doing this for a lot longer, and invariably it turns out to be the main talking point, post show.

I'm looking forward to reading & learning from this book, and reading Richard's stories from the trenches on same.
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 9, 2015 09:08PM)
I agree. This effect is more powerful than billets...after all, there is no writing.

Regards,
Mike

quote]On Mar 8, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
[quote]On Mar 8, 2015, Sensio wrote:
Practical and Pragmatic
These are the basic ingredients imho of all of Richard Osterlind's material so this book is a little pricey but I am pretty sure no one will be left disappointed...

Tempted... [/quote]

You make some good points, Sensio. I was thinking about this as I read through the book.

To someone who is merely curious, I agree: it's pricey. To someone who is looking to incorporate CMR into their act -- or to give it a serious look, how is fifty bucks pricey compared to the 200-300 dollars people pay for the latest electr*nic marvel or the limited edition ebook? This isn't a book of abstract thinking, it's a nuts and bolts, step by step method for developing a full routine. And you're right: it is completely practical and pragmatic in its approach.

I have to respectfully disagree with one of the previous posters. It's true that CMR has been around for a long time. But to say that it isn't something that will blow modern audiences away? Nope...not in my experience. As Iain suggested it is very much a matter of presentation. But stop for a second and tell me why this ISN'T as close to mind reading as you can possibly get. No pump*ing. No words exchanged verbally or with writing. It can be performed any place. Any time. Close up or on stage. No props. No prep. No batteries. No confeder**es. No angle or lighting considerations.The volunteer simply thinks of where something is hidden or to be delivered and the performer knows what they are thinking. It's got drama and a powerful mystique.

Of course there is a method. But how is this not mindreading?

I didn't choose to champion this book because Osterlind wrote it. I honestly wouldn't do that. I chose to get behind it because it's a superb product and, as such, it deserves to be brought to the attention of those who might use it. Of course I don't expect mentalists all over the world to start performing this. They won't. It doesn't fit everyone's style and there is a lot of hard work to get it even close to stage ready. And actually performing it for strangers for the first time will, in fact, make your knees sweat.

My attention and ambition are fixed on the delightful expectation of what I will have in my performing arsenal once I have complete experience and confidence in the system.

I'm backing the book for the performer who looks at this and sees CMR for high impact effect it is. That's the guy who will have his whole mentalism act transformed by what he learns in performing CMR.

David [/quote]
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Mar 9, 2015 10:35PM)
[quote]On Mar 9, 2015, insight wrote:
I agree. This effect is more powerful than billets...after all, there is no writing.

Regards,
Mike

[/quote]

No doubt that CMR, properly done, is powerful. So are billets. That's why many top performers use both. In fact, I've frequently combined the two in a single routine.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=581511&forum=82
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 9, 2015 10:59PM)
For the record I didn't say CMR was better than billets. I love billets. I love CMR too.

David
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Mar 10, 2015 12:34AM)
[quote]On Mar 9, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
For the record I didn't say CMR was better than billets. I love billets. I love CMR too.

David [/quote]

I know that, David. Insight apparently decided to continue his devaluation of billet work that he started on two different threads, and to which I've already responded in Inner Thoughts. I have no idea why he chose to do it in this thread rather than in that one.

Sorry for straying from the topic, but as a billet worker all my life, I couldn't let that little shot pass.

Based on your insightful review, I'm looking forward to reading Richard's contribution to CMR work. I'm sure it is a valuable addition to the literature.

Good Thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 10, 2015 06:10AM)
But David, which one is as close as one can get to real mind reading? Based on your words in this very thread, your answer is CMR.

Regards,
Mike



[quote]On Mar 9, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
For the record I didn't say CMR was better than billets. I love billets. I love CMR too.

David [/quote]
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 10, 2015 06:17AM)
Bob, if you read the very first post in this thread, do you know what rating David gives this? The answer is 6 out of 5 billets. I agree with David that CMR and not billets is the closest thing to real mind reading. Now, don't get me wrong. I still give billets a 5 out of 5 billet rating, as David probably would too. But that extra billet...that one has to go to CMR due to the impossible conditions, including no writing---just as David mentions. So, hopefully now you see my comments in this thread are simply to remain on track with David's thoughts...comparing CMR to billets is not out of the realm of discussion even on this thread.

As far as devaluing billets, no...I have always said billet work can also be powerful.

Regards,
Mike

[quote]On Mar 10, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]On Mar 9, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
For the record I didn't say CMR was better than billets. I love billets. I love CMR too.

David [/quote]

I know that, David. Insight apparently decided to continue his devaluation of billet work that he started on two different threads, and to which I've already responded in Inner Thoughts. I have no idea why he chose to do it in this thread rather than in that one.

Sorry for straying from the topic, but as a billet worker all my life, I couldn't let that little shot pass.

Based on your insightful review, I'm looking forward to reading Richard's contribution to CMR work. I'm sure it is a valuable addition to the literature.

Good Thoughts,

Bob [/quote]
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 10, 2015 07:17PM)
I'll tell you, Mike: I'd also give billet effects six billets out of five. :)

Here's why: some of the most powerful effects in all of mentalism can be done with billets. The classic CT. Name and Pl*ce -- which has been in my performing repertoire for several years now...not to mention 4DT and the many ways they are used in everything from Q and A to the occasional drawing dupe.

I think some people get hung up on the idea that a thing or word is written down...and they see that as a weakness. It's not a weakness at all. When I'm asking someone to write down their thought, I tell them that we live in busy worlds...that in order for me to really try to draw the information out of their minds, they have to concentrate on a single thought. What focuses concentration more than writing it or drawing it? When you're doing so, you are completely focused on the task at hand and won't think about whether or not you remembered to lock the front door, or where you're going for lunch tomorrow.

Read some of the excellent essays in books like Ran Pink's T-Rex or Osterlind's PCT. It's absolutely true that people often forget that they wrote anything down in the first place -- and if they remember...it's thought of as something incidental -- meaningless. It really is a matter of presentation.

I used "nothing written down" in a very long string of things that I talked about with reference to CMR. From my perspective, it DOES feel like mind reading when I perform it. But so does revealing the contents of a CT or the circumstances of a first kiss.

Do I think one is stronger from an audience perspective? I'd have to think hard about that. For me CMR is new and, as such, really is drawing a lot of my attention right now, whereas my hands remember how to do the billet effects I perform and they really are second nature to me.

I was frankly surprised to see postings here that asserted that CMR was stronger 5 years ago (and I truly don't understand this. If the effect blew audiences away 5 years ago...what changed?)...or that there were other propless effects that are more powerful. Personally -- I've never been as blown away by an effect as I was the first time I actually saw CMR performed. Is that just me? I'm honestly not sure.

To be honest, I see billet effects and CMR very much on the same footing. It's not the answer you wanted to hear...but the fact of the matter is that my act would be devastated without billets but could survive the exclusion of CMR. I just happen to be much more excited about CMR at the moment.

David
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 10, 2015 11:34PM)
If writing is not a weakness, why use the "no writing" language to describe CMR as "holy grail" material? It seemed like that was a big deal for this effect for you per your posts above. Or simply, that I was mistaken in your assessment of this CMR. Sorry if I misunderstood.

Regards,
Mike

[quote]On Mar 10, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
I'll tell you, Mike: I'd also give billet effects six billets out of five. :)

Here's why: some of the most powerful effects in all of mentalism can be done with billets. The classic CT. Name and Pl*ce -- which has been in my performing repertoire for several years now...not to mention 4DT and the many ways they are used in everything from Q and A to the occasional drawing dupe.

I think some people get hung up on the idea that a thing or word is written down...and they see that as a weakness. It's not a weakness at all. When I'm asking someone to write down their thought, I tell them that we live in busy worlds...that in order for me to really try to draw the information out of their minds, they have to concentrate on a single thought. What focuses concentration more than writing it or drawing it? When you're doing so, you are completely focused on the task at hand and won't think about whether or not you remembered to lock the front door, or where you're going for lunch tomorrow.

Read some of the excellent essays in books like Ran Pink's T-Rex or Osterlind's PCT. It's absolutely true that people often forget that they wrote anything down in the first place -- and if they remember...it's thought of as something incidental -- meaningless. It really is a matter of presentation.

I used "nothing written down" in a very long string of things that I talked about with reference to CMR. From my perspective, it DOES feel like mind reading when I perform it. But so does revealing the contents of a CT or the circumstances of a first kiss.

Do I think one is stronger from an audience perspective? I'd have to think hard about that. For me CMR is new and, as such, really is drawing a lot of my attention right now, whereas my hands remember how to do the billet effects I perform and they really are second nature to me.

I was frankly surprised to see postings here that asserted that CMR was stronger 5 years ago (and I truly don't understand this. If the effect blew audiences away 5 years ago...what changed?)...or that there were other propless effects that are more powerful. Personally -- I've never been as blown away by an effect as I was the first time I actually saw CMR performed. Is that just me? I'm honestly not sure.

To be honest, I see billet effects and CMR very much on the same footing. It's not the answer you wanted to hear...but the fact of the matter is that my act would be devastated without billets but could survive the exclusion of CMR. I just happen to be much more excited about CMR at the moment.

David [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Mar 11, 2015 03:06AM)
I think we need to get away from trying to make a comparison between different types of techniques and what is better. There's a time and place for each method.Yesterday, at a conference in Italy, I was demonstrating contact mind reading. Someone asked me if I could find a playing card from a group spread out on the table. I explained I could, but I would never do that as there are many other more expedient ways to achieve that effect.

I don't use peak wallets often, but there are certain instances where they are the best solution to the problem. Each technique should be thought of as a tool to accomplish the desired result. It's not a competition.
Message: Posted by: insight (Mar 11, 2015 08:32AM)
I agree and am not saying one is better than the other. Both billets and CMR have a place in a full performance. But, what I am saying is that one is more powerful. One is more like real mind reading than the other. One is a closer, while the other is an opener. I don't think we should be afraid to point out that CMR does not allow for a "he must have peeked" or a "that pen was technologically equipped to communicate" explanation from the spectator. If it is real mind reading we are after, it makes sense to me to close one's show with something that is so powerful, so propless, so process-free (yes, writing is a process and spectators aren't stupid to realize as such), that it appears impossible to explain other than the real thing. CMR fits these conditions. That said, I think billets can certainly be incorporated as an opener in one's show, and thus, this argument is not about which one is better. Both work, but only one fits the criteria to blow the spectators away.

Regards,
Mike

[quote]On Mar 11, 2015, Richard Osterlind wrote:
I think we need to get away from trying to make a comparison between different types of techniques and what is better. There's a time and place for each method.Yesterday, at a conference in Italy, I was demonstrating contact mind reading. Someone asked me if I could find a playing card from a group spread out on the table. I explained I could, but I would never do that as there are many other more expedient ways to achieve that effect.

I don't use peak wallets often, but there are certain instances where they are the best solution to the problem. Each technique should be thought of as a tool to accomplish the desired result. It's not a competition. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: truman (Mar 11, 2015 08:57AM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2015, insight wrote:
I don't think we should be afraid to point out that CMR does not allow for a "he must have peeked" or a "that pen was technologically equipped to communicate" explanation from the spectator.
[/quote]

Ok, but let's take the no fear approach all the way to "he must have been a stooge."
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 11, 2015 10:24AM)
I take your point, Mike. But what I keep trying to communicate is that one ISN'T more powerful than the other. It's not about what is performed, it's about HOW it's performed and WHO is performing it and WHAT they are doing with it. Surely you've seen Bob Cassidy perform Name and Pl*ce. Can you possibly truthfully say that it's not pee-your-pants powerful?

As Truman raises in the above post, why wouldn't they suspect either a stooge or an "instant stooge" -- if not going all the way to "confederate?" It's a valid point. How are these presentations being framed? THAT'S the issue.

Think about it: the seed to growing believability in a performance is planted in the way it's structured, the way it's presented. Look at the vast lengths we go to show that we're not using electron**s in performances.

To me CMR is amazing simply because there really IS no gaff...no prop. But there IS a method. Because billets are physical items, does that mean that using them -- applying the method -- makes them weaker from an audience perspective? I honestly don't think so.

Saying that a billet routine is an opener and a CMR effect is the closer? Or that one is inherently more "powerful" than the other? Nope. I would classify some reactions I've seen to billet routines as having "blown away" the audience.

It really is a matter of content and presentation.


David
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Mar 11, 2015 02:50PM)
Neither CMR or billet routines are good openers. Neither (except for Q&A with billets, which is too involved to be an opener) are "major" effects that involve the entire audience.

But yes, I agree that many people just assume that a CMR demonstration involves a stooge or a secret confederate in the audience cuing the performer. As David said, it's presentational skills, NOT METHOD, though, that makes an effect powerful.

It seems to me, though, that insight is more interested in getting people to take his side in a debate than in having a meaningful discussion based on the real-world experience of working professionals.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Mar 11, 2015 05:20PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:

It seems to me, though, that insight is more interested in getting people to take his side in a debate than in having a meaningful discussion based on the real-world experience of working professionals. [/quote]

Sadly too often the case around here. Performers who perform for live audiences receive more feedback than quarter arm chair backing.'

By the time you show here you should have some experience under your belt, be able to ask 'intelligent' questions and your methods practiced and your methods a non-issue.

Sound harsh? Yeah, but it would save a lot of time.

Best,

Scott
Bob, like the new avatar
Message: Posted by: Investigative Mentalist (Mar 12, 2015 10:17PM)
Quite simply, the Osterlind book on Contact Mind Reading is "All Killer, No Filler."

As David says, there is no fluff to fill a bunch of pages just to make the book bigger. It's straight forward, easy-to-follow instruction.

I read the book quickly and immediately asked my wife to hide something in the living room.

I used the techniques Richard teaches in the book and after wandering around the room for a few minutes I didn't exactly find the item but I came within about two feet of it.

My wife started to get a little bored and said "it's right there." LOL

Friends and family are not the best subjects to practice with but the point is the system works and I could definitely tell when I was getting close even though it was my very first attempt at it.

Highly recommended!
Message: Posted by: Sensio (Mar 13, 2015 01:31PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2015, SeattleSteve wrote:
Quite simply, the Osterlind book on Contact Mind Reading is "All Killer, No Filler."

As David says, there is no fluff to fill a bunch of pages just to make the book bigger. It's straight forward, easy-to-follow instruction.

I read the book quickly and immediately asked my wife to hide something in the living room.

I used the techniques Richard teaches in the book and after wandering around the room for a few minutes I didn't exactly find the item but I came within about two feet of it.

My wife started to get a little bored and said "it's right there." LOL

Friends and family are not the best subjects to practice with but the point is the system works and I could definitely tell when I was getting close even though it was my very first attempt at it.

Highly recommended! [/quote]

Well done!
The question is whether or not we eventually try it with non friends and family where our mistakes count much more. Do we take the plunge or leave for next Monday as people often do with diets?
I hope you get my point about this vicious cycle where starting with friends and family we get average results and then feel less enthused to try with non friends who keep a stricter eye to our average succeses...
Message: Posted by: truman (Mar 13, 2015 02:30PM)
As a suggestion to bridge the gap, you could try CMR when you've already acquired the information you need through another method. That way, you'll succeed for sure, but you could be testing yourself at the same time to see if you could have succeeded with just the CMR.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Mar 13, 2015 04:02PM)
Truman- That's always been the way I have suggested to learn CMR.
Message: Posted by: truman (Mar 13, 2015 05:15PM)
Bob, I've also seen Annemann say something along these lines in the Jinx, usually taking someone's wrist to locate their card when it's already known.

Along the lines of the discussion earlier, I just saw the following in The Jinx, Volume 67. It sounds like Neuman was the Satori/Hanussen/Bishop/Brown/Polgar/Hellstrom/Cumberland of his day:

[quote]John Neuman, now about 80 years of age, has returned to this country when everybody for years has thought him dead. Shades of Charlier! Neuman is a muscle reader par excellance and in the late nineties was tops with his work. He took the Nov. S.A.M. members by storm and those, who didn't know of him nor who didn't know their history could say little more than "plants" and "confederates," the "locations" were that fast and certain.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Mar 14, 2015 03:28PM)
The Annemann quote also highlights the biggest problem that must be overcome in a CMR presentation- if even an audience of magicians assumed it had to be "plants and confederates," it's apparent that intelligent laypeople who aren't familiar with CMR (and many are) will also think it's all a set-up.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Mar 15, 2015 06:59AM)
All the advertising for my book, even the title itself, clearly states this is an advanced book for the professional mentalist. Its purpose is not to teach CMR to the beginner, although it can do that, but is primarily directed to the worker who has read other material on the subject, tried it and never achieved the results he wanted. I simply show in the book what I went through and what I learned works for me.

If it seems “iffy” - good! It should. One of the intentions of the book is to point out that all mentalism should have an edge to it and not seem so foolproof that it comes across as a rehearsed magic trick or a totally produced “reality?” television mentalism show. Look at the way Cassidy works. He displays his mentalism as though it were hard and unsure. The results have to appear to be somewhat uncertain to match the magnitude of the experiment. One of the traits most lacking in many new mentalists is fortitude – the willingness to step outside the boundary of the safe and take chances, dealing with the results, good or bad, as they come. It’s what Bob calls jazz mentalism and it can achieve results that are totally remarkable. But you have to have guts! The fact that Bob has done his work in front of every kind of audience imaginable, even motorcycle clubs, speaks of his own grit.

If you are worried about trying Contact Mind Reading in public, think about the feeling you would have walking out on stage to an audience of 2000 to do your first hypnotism show! Some of the greatest feats of our art require nerves of steel to pull off. That is why I see so many mentalists afraid to use a swami or do billet routines requiring multiple switches. They lack courage.

CMR forces you to behave like a real mentalist. Last week, in Italy, I was doing a seminar and had demonstrated CMR with 2 people. Then one of the mentalists insisted I do it with him and I could tell it was a challenge. I decided to pick out an object he was thinking of. After a minute or so I wasn’t getting anywhere. I turned to him and said, “You are not thinking of the object. You are thinking of me!” He looked at me, hesitated, and then said, “You’re right. Let’s try it again.”

The second time around I found the object immediately. He admitted he was not aware of giving me any cues, but also said, “What I found even more fascinating than you finding the object was that you knew I wasn’t thinking of it the first time!” That is the way real mindreading would work. Every person is different and every result unsure.

Finally, as far as the “strength” of CMR, both on stage and in more intimate situations, I guess I must have incredible luck in getting audiences of all types who think it is one of the greatest things they have ever seen. Yes, I do mostly corporate work, but I also perform anywhere I go. Ask around to those people I have spent some time with and they will tell you I’m not afraid to try CMR, cold reading or even instant hypnotism at any time and any place. I simply try to copy those who I admire. All of the greats, from Foster and Reese, down to Dunninger and Kreskin have always been ready to go. That is what makes reputations.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Mar 15, 2015 04:24PM)
Mr. Osterlind,

Thank you.

Best wishes,


Scott
Message: Posted by: jremy7 (Mar 17, 2015 02:02PM)
I have had greater sucess with mentalism while actually "messing up" but not giving up and trying like a falling cat to land on my feet. Richard is of course correct as usual: It takes courage and daring. I'm glad for all the material he has given the mentalism community. It's a remarkable resource for me; not to mention a continuing inspiration.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Mar 17, 2015 06:46PM)
Some people think CMR no longer holds an audience the way it once did. (When was that?) I may have ceased hotel-hopping four years ago, but I still keep my hand in from time to time. Leading someone to something they're only THINKING about still drives people crazy, whether it's in a grocery store, in a Wal-Mart, or even amongst the feebly retired folks in our complex. (The truly retired ones are the ones home during the day, hanging around the community rooms or the pool.) Interestingly enough, I have better success with my walker than I ever did on (only) my own two feet.

From 2004 - 2011, NOBODY for whom I performed this - had ever seen anything like it. Why weren't they watching Kreskin's show in the 1970s like I was?

----

Second, and less argumentative (It's a cranky sort of day today. The VA phoned and want me to go in for more tests, and I don't have that much blood left after the last time!) I rather liked David's intro, even if he did beat my record for longest and most-rambling introduction to an Osterlind book. This gave me a look into the head of someone who had never seen CMR performed and certainly not as well as an Osterlind performance. Kreskin marvelled me, but the distance that television causes - sort of dampened the miraculous feel. On screen, it looks exactly like a set-up -- because on-screen, there's that strong possibility of a set-up, and we're all born with a distrust of television anyway. (Or we were, a generation or two ago.)

So the first time I tried it, it was with no prior experienced. I'd watched a Banachek video (I think it really was a video, before we had a DVD player, but don't trust my memory if I'm not referencing my journals.) and practiced with Cherie -- and failed miserably. I was to perform in front of a group of hospital workers the next night, so I came up with a plot which - if I failed - would be funny.

Because I saw that the only way I could learn it was to DO IT. And I really, really wanted to start learning right away. Which is why I had no nervousness; I was sure I would fail. My brain was practically turned off.

And it turned out to be as simple as falling off a logarithm.

Future attempts were hit or miss, and I'd say I ended up with about an 87% success rate. Even when I was off, I made sure I was standing with my second choice right behind me. (Every time I missed, the true target was the second choice.) This, and my reaction, brought the house(s) down with laughter.

Therefore, I <u>needed</u> to know what this really looked like to an audience, and David's introduction - almost as long as this current post - gave me that information. Yes, it was somewhat disconnected, but that's how a person sounds when their brains have been scrambled.

Finally I thought there would be only a few things I might pick up from Richard's new book. After all, I'd been doing this for a decade and had received some wonderful tips from Richard along the way. Smug was I.

(Talking like Yoda is Chet.)

Boy howdy, was I wrong! (Richard, ask Lisa for a translation of the phrase "Boy howdy!" when spoken in a cowboy or southern way.)

There - is - so - much - more. For one thing, I've always avoided really impossible tests, such as finding something on a cluttered table, with that something being hidden under a pile of other somethings. That just seemed impossible. Finding a card within a spread seemed impossible with CMR.

Maybe the only real weakness of CMR is that it really looks like a stooged set-up. Using the Osterlind Approach, I cannot imagine anyone thinking a stooge is involved. Yes, he really teaches multiple ways to convince your audience that they have just seen the impossible. There is literally no other explanation.

If Bob Cassidy has this much knowledge and skill, it's no wonder that he is unafraid to perform in front of armed audiences.

With the Osterlind CMR manual (How DOES he fit a thousand pages of information into a slim booklet's 60 or so pages?) I even begin to see the possibilities of determining a thought-of word or object which is not in the area....literally plucking an unspoken, unwritten thought from a victim's mind.

In a handful of pages, Richard has introduced me to real mindreading.

And now the world is all new again.
Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Mar 17, 2015 09:04PM)
I will go and check these DVDs from Richard. I know there will be good stuff and some hidden gem to discover.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Mar 17, 2015 09:17PM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2015, Lord Of The Horses wrote:
I will go and check these DVDs from Richard. I know there will be good stuff and some hidden gem to discover. [/quote]

If you put this book in your DVD player, you will damage your DVD player.

*jeep! Good night and God Bless! (Thanks, Red!)
---Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Mar 17, 2015 09:41PM)
Chet,

INCREDIBLE! It is a book, a book... a book!

Not another DVD (Dumbing Viewers Deeply) ...

Way better to me! Good choice Richard!... Godspeed to you and your family, and thank you for your help!
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Mar 17, 2015 10:16PM)
Book.

Even the word makes me nostalgic. Book.


Someday, Grandpa will tell unbelieving great-grandkids that there was a time when you could read a book, and never worry about running out of batteries.


*jeep! Goodnight and God Bless!
Message: Posted by: jaymeswhite1219 (Mar 19, 2015 11:09PM)
I tried for many years using the Corinda method and always failed. I purchased the preorder of the Osterlind book and started reading it today. If anyone can teach me this it is Osterlind. All his work is gold. I have made a career from mentalist and in a way its all because of Osterlind, he made me fall in love with mentalism 15 years ago and I haven't looked back.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Mar 20, 2015 08:46AM)
Thank you Jaymes. You have no idea how gratifying that is to me.
Message: Posted by: BlakeAdams (Mar 20, 2015 11:22AM)
Mr. Osterlind,

I preordered the book and once I got it I devoured it. I loved every bit of it. Ive read many books on CMR but yours by far is the best.
Thank you so much
Blake
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Mar 20, 2015 12:11PM)
For those who don't know, the very last item on DVD 2 in the Intimate Impossibilities set is Richard performing this.
It makes a nice visual illustration of what is taught in the book.

Tony
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Mar 20, 2015 04:24PM)
Thank you Blake and thank you Tony for pointing that out.
Message: Posted by: Marc O (Dec 18, 2015 06:58AM)
It took me a while before I ordered this book but I finally took the plunge.
2 days ago it was delivered at my door and yesterday evening I started reading this book.
So far I only read the foreword by David.
David made me feel really there, right next to him, watching Richard in action.

After David's foreword I stopped and layed it down.
Not because it was a bad read, NO NOT AT ALL!
But because I feel this book should be treated with proper respect!
This should not be devoured as a simple Big Mac with no taste to it and still leave you with a hungry feeling, no this should be seen as a dinner in a Michelin star restaurant!

Bite for bite this should be tasted, letting the smell and taste of that tiny bit go round and round before you take your next bite.
Looking forward to reading the complete book but for now holding my horses allowing this information to sink in piece by piece....

Boy I hope with Richard's written help that I can pull this CMR of...
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jan 4, 2016 03:35PM)
Not familiar with this - now you have me curious.

Thanks Marc O
Message: Posted by: Marc O (Jan 6, 2016 11:47AM)
[quote]On Jan 4, 2016, saysold1 wrote:
Not familiar with this - now you have me curious.

Thanks Marc O [/quote]

No problem at all.
You have helped me out before, glad I could return the favour :)
Message: Posted by: The Urban Entity (Jan 13, 2016 05:00PM)
I've been doing hellstromism for years. And my fav method has been the adaptation of grabbing the hand ala Mr. Osterlind. I found that his approach of hand/arm placement has improved my hellstromism.

In fact, over the years, I've gained an entire act based on the ability to do such. I've found that this opened up a lot of presentations that many people have not yet explored.
Message: Posted by: espmagic (Jan 14, 2016 05:10PM)
One of the things not really addressed here is that the Osterlind book *is* the one that will make you want to go out and do it. Period. I have read many tomes on the practice, the concept, how it is "supposed" to work, etc., but Richard's small book is the one that rids you of fear, and allows(?) you to actually try it...perhaps only once, perhaps as a permanent addition to your work, but it is easily the best and most motivating book I have read on the subject.

Lee
Message: Posted by: ed wood (Feb 3, 2017 05:16AM)
Strange request - can someone who has this book describe what it looks like for me. I've lost my copy! I've been through shelves of books and can't see it anywhere. Particularly interested in what the spine looks like.
Thanks, Ed
Message: Posted by: ed wood (Feb 3, 2017 06:37AM)
Found it....and yes I can see the irony in losing a book on muscle reading!!
Message: Posted by: Johnsypoppins (Feb 14, 2017 06:23PM)
Wish a UK dealer had this, would snap it right up.
Message: Posted by: casco1 (Feb 15, 2017 03:36AM)
I have alway stayed away from this type of effect since I thought it was to risky and almost impossible, but now my interest is rising.
Message: Posted by: Sven Rygh (Feb 15, 2017 08:47AM)
Https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/hellstromism-a-crash-course-in-the-hidden-object-test-ted-karmilovich
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 7, 2017 06:27PM)
Sometimes I come back and read old threads here. I have to say that seeing the postings from Bob Cassidy and Scott Soloff -- both of whom are gone now -- made me feel quite sad.

Something that made me smile was thinking about the way this clever little book changed nearly everything I do in my show. Certainly the performance of CMR is one of the highlights of my show. It truly IS one of the great effects of mentalism...and it feels just as powerful to me now as it did the very first time I experienced it -- something I vividly remember and wrote about in the introduction to this book.

Since then I have been up and down with this effect. When I started performing it in my stage shows it worked perfectly...but I was mildly surprised that audiences weren't utterly blown away what I was doing. After all...it is one of the few things I do in my performance that doesn't use use props or devices of any kind. To my mind there is no greater TUH-DAH cue. But I love the routine and I started looking into it. I was floored at what I found.

People assumed...ASSUMED that the effect used a) electronics or b) that my volunteers were either stooges or instant stooges. Let's say...admit even...that they are probably justified in thinking that because there ARE versions out that do that very thing.

The only way I could think of to diffuse these suspicions was to meet them head on. So I rethought CMR from the ground up.

I revised the way I performed the effect. I let the audience member choose the object...made clear that I never touched it...it wasn't mine AND I had the audience member hiding the object CHOOSE someone else from the audience -- someone I could have no prior knowledge of -- to watch them hide it. I went to great lengths to make it clear that I had not worked anything out with my helper. And the effect got that much stronger.

Then I took the plunge and turned my back while my helpers chose the object and hid it. I didn't even know at that point WHAT the object was. For some reason this flipped the switch and propelled the effect into the stratosphere.

Not knowing what the object is doesn't make the effect any harder...because the guide still takes me directly where I need to go...and it actually has a two part reveal: finding the object AND discovering what the object is for the first time.

Now it draws the gasps I was looking for...and is a powerful routine.

But that, in itself, isn't the greatest thing I learned from the book...or why the book revolutionized my whole approach to mentalism.

Let me explain: CMR only works when you pay complete attention...TOTAL focus on your volunteer. You need to be completely in tune with them. Nothing is "half way." It has to be a pure partnership. Broken down to its purest essence? I AM working as hard as I possibly can to read their mind. If I fail to connect with my volunteer, the effect won't work. It's that simple. There is no plan B. there's no out. No "off by one." You either get it right or you fail completely.

The difference today? I work THAT HARD in EVERY effect to read their mind. In my mind I am as vulnerable to failure when I am doing a CT as when I am doing CMR. I work that hard to get in complete synch with my volunteer every single time. It makes every effect I do much stronger...much more believable.

That's the great lesson this wee book on CMR taught me.

It is an outstanding resource for every performer who is truly open to having their performing world rocked by a splendid new idea.

David