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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Theatre of the mind-the book (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ystar
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Whay can you tell me about it?
Decomposed
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I have volume 1, its real good. Barrie Richardson is a great writer.
coupcoupdaddy
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Is so.
foreign correspondent, z and lt



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fred200
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Is a really nice book with a lot of effects and presentations mi favorites one's are the center shtick{is a very clever aplication of post-it notes} and whole chapter of words with wings.
gerard1973
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Ystar:

Buy the book. Barrie Richardson’s "Theatre of the Mind" and its sequel "Act Two" are both great Mentalism books. Both contain great easy to perform effects and Barrie Richardson explains everything in great detail.
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
John C
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Great stuff. Plus, a lot of cool patter and ideas for patter. He wrote another book not tricks but a concept. It's called The 10Percent principle. A great book if you are looking for motivational patter ideas. A great book if you just like reading motivational books.

Can't go wrong with TOTM. It is loaded with easy to perform and interesting mentalism and motivational stuff.

John
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
landmark
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What do you want to know about it?
spycrapper
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For me this is a very good book.. I like the ACAAN problem here
Magic is life

Ario A.
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haim goldenberg
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One of the best book ever...
Mind_Magic
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"Theatre of the Mind" book contains a lot of useful and practical information and enough routines to build your own show. It is one of my favorites.
“Act Two” book is good too.
High recommended Barrie Richardson's books.
ThomasBerger
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Buy anything from Barrie Richardson.
He is wonderful.

Tom
ThomasBerger
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Nearly forgot...
Barrie also has a book called The 10% Principle
co-written with Mary Ann Castronovo Fusco
aimed for the general population which is great
for corporate work because it has many of his wonderful metaphors
and real life examples that can be woven into presentations.

Tom
irishmagic
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I put theater of the mind and act II at the top of my list. get your hands on them both.

MIKE
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This is a review of it that I wrote for Talkmagic.co.uk.
Maybe it'll be helpful... I hope.

****
My first review, and since I'm not too experienced yet I hope you guys will go easy on me... My ego is fragile... Smile

As far as I know (which is very little) Barrie Richardson gained attention from the bigger community of mentalists and magicians alike with this book, even though he has been performing for a long time. A college professor by trade, he has performed for trade shows, lectures, charity etc. for a number of years.

A quick opinion: This isn't something a newbie should be reading yet. Check out Mr. Craig Browning's posts on how to start your mentalism education. Nevertheless, this book doesn't take much to understand, and only require a rudimentary knowledge of mentalism to be able to perform most of the routines. As an aside, Bob Cassidy's 39 Steps to Mentalism ended with a note that people have urged him to include Barrie's material to his list, and he intends to do so if he comes up with an update of his 39 Steps. That's how credible this book is, but I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this.

The Product:
"Theatre of the Mind" by Barrie Richardson
http://www.magictricks.co.uk/prodshow.asp?code=520

The Effect
1999 recipient of the Psychic Entertainers Association award for creativity, and with over fifty years of professional performance behind him, Barrie Richardson has gathered together 53 of his best mental routines, many with complete presentations, for this large volume of baffling experiences.In THEATER OF THE MIND, you will find page after page, of fresh, practical material, tested and perfected before thousands of audiences; astonishing feats that use only ordinary items, and few of them, entertaining mental experiments that involve the whole audience, that pack small and play big, and that exploit a devilish combination of simplicity and cleverness. What you will discover in Theatre Of The Mind is a wealth of professional material at a pauper's price. A 320 page hardbound book with detailed instructions and illustrations!

Cost
MSRP: (US) $37 (on Murphy's Magic)
£29.99

Difficulty: 3 (you need to know basic billet switches, the basic principles, and it assumes you are already confident in performing. Mind you, this is not a book telling you how to start! Go to Annemann for that I think.)

(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

Review
First up, realise that not everything in the book is mentalism (one effect teaches you how to produce a glass of water. And honestly in my opinion, Barrie's routines are closer to mental magic than mentalism. However, I don't want to get into that debate, and it really doesn't matter because this book is full of powerful effects that are so simple, you'll either laugh at the brilliant methods or stare dumbfounded going, "That's it? That's how it's done??"

When the advertising say the routines pack small and play big, you better believe it. "Think Hot, Think Cold", a mind-reading routine is such an example. You give the impression that you are reading the name of a selected card piece by piece from your spectator, and the gimmick you require can be found in a toy-store. Another one I love is "The Very Last Chance", Barrie's version of Tom Sellers' Bank Night, but with balloons. It's as simple as heck, but plays big and is a riot of fun to perform.

That said, here comes what I think is the best bit about the book. Since the methods are usually ingenious and simple, presentation becomes more important. Each routine comes with a full patter script, but be advised that the patter suits Barrie's style, which is fun, warm, and light. So if you're into Bizarre Magick or your character is one that professes to possess real powers, just adapt the patter to your own style (which is actually quite an obvious thing to do... Smile). Again, "Think Hot, Think Cold" is a routine that is solely dependent on your presentation to sell the effect. I think the P word is probably the most important element of Mentalism and Barrie's book will definitely give you ideas on how to go about it, pointing out important details like setting the proper mood before going into the effect.

What I feel can make his material stronger is if you incorporate other stuff like Kenton's "Wonder Words" (which I have only heard good things about), Banachek's "Psychological Subtleties", and other such stuff that focus on what is said to make the effect even better. Already I am thinking of combining some of Barrie's material with one of Banachek's favourite bit of pattering where he lets the audience think he knows when the spectator is actually changing his mind. The simplicity of many of his methods also sparks off ideas on ways to simplify and minimise your own routines.

Where there are special gimmicks or props to be made, Barrie gives instructions on how to construct them and use them. I think having to perform mentalism in addition to a time-consuming day job has imbued Barrie with a remarkable sense of economy and efficiency, which are reflected throughout the book. And since I've heard and read many people say that Mentalism should have as few gimmicks/props as possible, one can definitely learn much from Barrie's own style.

Last note - I think this is one book that will reward study of its various aspects. If you're looking for something that comes right out and says things like, "This is how you should patter: Blah blah blah..." or "This is how to present an effect: Blah blah blah...", then this is not for you. If you take the time and effort to analyse his material, break down his patter and presentation (and methods), there is much to gain. Most of the gems are only to be had if you read and think about the material, ask questions about it, and play around with them. There are many times in my course of reading this book where a lightbulb literally went off in my head and I couldn't help but shake my head at the sheer high quality of the creativity that comes out of Barrie's head.

Again I must reiterate that this book won't teach you how to be confident on stage or how to develop your own style. It assumes you are a performer already, and I suspect it will be most useful to the performing mentalist.

Overall
9/10 - One point off for some routines that aren't strictly mentalism or even mental magic (though there's enough there to last a life-time), and because I don't think anything's perfect. Smile
Nir Dahan
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They say that if you can get one effect out of a book it is worth it...
from this one you can get 10 if not more!

just to name a few
-lazy mentalist,
-dollar divination
-ACAAN

and many more.
one of the better mentalism books around in the huge swamp of mentalism nonsense that floods the market in the past 5 years or so.

just my opinion,

Nir
visit me at http://www.bidthegrid.com
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