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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Greg Arce's new mentalism book "Lost in Thought"... Why haven't you read it yet? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ruben Padilla
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I admit it's taken me longer than it should have to finally read this book at my leisure, and I'm glad I took my time with it. At 124 pages it isn't just a lunchtime read, and there's so much good material within its pages that you'll want at least a few hours of "digesting time" to fully appreciate it's breadth and subtlety.

Upon reading some of these effects, you may feel that much of what's included has been done before... Is this simply Greg's take on routines we already know and do?

Hardly.

The beauty of this material is the above illusory feeling, and the stuff that classics are made of. Simple plots, practical methods, household items, and diabolical thinking. It is only upon closer examination that you realize what Greg has managed to do. He has taken what are already the shortest possible distances between Effect and Method - and made them even shorter. He's streamlined even the most streamlined of secrets, and often combined them with multiple mentalism tools, to "supercharge" them into ready to perform showpieces.
It's like taking fax technology and creating the Star Trek teleporter. The tricks hit hard, yet remain simple and uncluttered, and they'll have you scratching you head in amazement that nobody's thought of this stuff before.

Part of the reason for the success of Greg's thinking is that he's immersed himself in the techniques of mentalism to such a degree that he knows virtually everthing having to do with the art. What little he doesn't know he finds out from friends like Max Maven, Banachek, Barry Richardson, Richard Osterlind, etc. So what you get is not only the fruits of his own thinking, but the apples that fall from the minds of his talented peers. (When Keith Barry locked himself in a hotel room for days to brainstorm effects for his CBS special, Greg was one of the consultants in the room with him.)

If you want to know more details about what's inside the book, you can click on another forum topic here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=82

Suffice to say that you'd be hard pressed not to immediately include some of these routines into your show. I've already pulled out an old Himber wallet for a diabolical Premonition effect that I can't wait to perform ("S.W.A.P."), and a variation on Maven's "Positive/Negative" (and a Larry Becker routine) that Greg uses as an opener. There's also a superb remote viewing effect with a freely chosen newspaper, another remote viewing effect using maps(!), a routine using Gaucci's "Eye to Eye" effect, a hilarious and effective roulette routine using a harmless explosive device (that's right - harmless explosive), and even a "Smashed"=like routine where the audience tells you what bags to smash using no equivoque or switch, yet you conclude by pulling a sharp, multi-puncture and pain-inflicting device out of the one bag they didn't select.

Want more? How about a named card appearing inside a balloon. No force, no equivoque, no diffiicult sleights, just a clean, clean, clean method. Other tricks utiliize postcards, store-bought greeting cards, your B'wave set, even a method for always (ALWAYS) winning the first round of "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

Throw in some magnets, silly putty, glue sticks, gift bags, business cards, a pre-show subtlety, and you have all you need to keep yourself busy for the next several months (and not spend any more money on lesser mentalism items!).

Also included is a thought-provoking section on acting that will prove invaluable to those who want more believability from their performances (and who doesn't?). Greg's vast experience in this area enables him to teach with authority, and he holds nothing back.

One of the great perks of buying this book is that Greg never stops thinking, and as witnessed by his multitude of posts on this very forum, he's very accessible. What does this mean to you? Well, once you read the book, contact him and tell him what you liked. Chances are he'll respond to you promptly with additional ideas and tips - the man never stops thinking. He's the gift that keeps on giving. Smile

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Greg is a friend of mine, but my opinions are unaffected by this fact. If you know Greg, you know he wouldn't mind if I completely panned his book. He just doesn't think that way.

But you owe it to yourself to buy this book and see the way he DOES think. I predict it'll change (or help) the way that YOU do.

Ruben Padilla
Magiguy
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Great review, Ruben! I completely agree with your assessment of the material. This is one of the more interesting and clever books I've read in the last few months and Greg is, indeed, a terrific thinker. I was one who pre-ordered the book and happily received his limited edition "Fear of Number 2." Then, when the release date fell behind due to some printing issues, he graciously rewarded me with another extra item to tide me over. "Lost in Thought" definitely deserves a wide audience (But not too wide... I want some of this material all for myself. Smile )
Greg Arce
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Thanks, guys. A word of warning: I only have about 4 or 5 left at the moment and when they run out I will have to make another run at the printer's so it will take a couple of weeks to get them back in stock.

And, once again, thanks to all the guys that have not only written reviews here, but have also sent me personal messages of effects they are now using from the book. It makes me proud to see my little ones out there in the world.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Pete Legend
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I recently purchased Greg's e-books.

1.Deep Thought
2.Simple Minded
3.Bank Nite
4.Cash Out

Outstanding work!If I were to write a detailed review it would take a month as there is so much going on within these works.First off he was a pleasure to deal with,very courteous and always willing to answer a question about any of his material.

Im in love with cash out.Imagine having an index (lightning quick) out in the open and yet the audience are completely clueless.The idea is wonderful!No palming and nothing to fumble about in the pockets for.

Clear nite an e-book which deal with bank nite.A very clever concept using clear see through bags.You want to do a bank nite ultra clean routine with or without a TT(both very well explained) then you must check this out.Great idea's concerning presentation is offered by many accomplished performers in part 2 (comes in two books)

Simple Minded and Deep Thought are the other 2 e-books I've purchased from Greg,would'nt be fair to review these as I have not digested the entire content as of yet but from what I've read so far all I can say is Genius! Some of it wont be for everyone but a hell of a lot will at leat surely make you think.

Highlights so far... Deep Thought:Most here have performed Kenton's KK or Heirloom,imagine no need for wallets one envelope one card(Scorch) or if you want it more visible how about one jumbo card in a baloon(Floater).EMOTIONAL-ALL is a piece that most wont dare to go,would you go all the way for your audience,Im not sure if I could maybe you can...

I cant review these e-books without saying something about AWE-SUM TOTAL.This effect is in Simple Minded.It's a world class piece that will entertain and baffle an audience full of magicians/mentalists alike.A true wonder!What to get more info I recommend checking out his site.I like to state I perform for a living here in Ireland (not easy) and this review and any other I may write is of course un-biased and honest.

Pete Carroll
Greg Arce
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Wow, Pete!! Thanks for that. As I've said, I am always pleased to hear that some of my stuff has found homes... and good homes.

It's always scary putting out these things because they are based on my own personal tastes and I never know if others will have other wants or needs that I can't satisfy with my effects. It makes my day whenever I read or hear that someone is using one of my ideas... and having fun with it.

Thanks again to Pete and everyone that has played around with my stuff.

I hate to let the cat out of the bag since the cat is barely a kitten, but I am working on a small booklet that will contain four effects... basically kind of cute effects. Two are one on one drawing dupes and two are cute solutions to ACAAN. Remember, they are not earthshaking mysteries... just cute solutions to these effects. Plus I'll include a bonus effect that is not the norm for me... it falls into the bizarre category... but at the same time it's kind of cute.

The book will be called Four Thought and will probably sell for $25 and I plan to only print 200 of them because I really hate dealing with the mail so I'll just do a small run. The booklets will be in the style of Docc Hilford's in that they willl be that size.

Anyway, I should know more in about a week.

Thanks again.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Samuel Catoe
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I hope you know you can put me down for a copy Greg.

Sam
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
PM me for details and availability.
Ruben Padilla
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Four Thought!

What a clever name...
Greg Arce
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Quote:
On 2006-10-18 02:00, ruben padilla wrote:
Four Thought!

What a clever name...


It's amazing what comes out of an idiot's mouth from time to time. Smile That's just a little inside joke between Ruben and myself.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
1KJ
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I really liked many of the routines, but have one little criticism and advice for future writers:

Several of the effects called for the purchase of something that isn't even available any more without any suggested workaround. At the time of the writing, perhaps it seemed like a given to purchase certain effects, but today some of that stuff isn't even available. I think it is ok to suggest that an effect could benefit from another purchase, but I think every effect should really focus on how it can be accomplished with readily available materials and then offer someone else's effect as a bonus or further suggestion.

KJ
1KJ
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I received a very nice PM from Greg who provided me links to some hard to find items.

Here is the message:

***********************

Well, when I first put the book out I know for sure Eye to Eye was something you could buy. I know in years to follow others came out with routines the duplicated Eye to Eye but used other methods. I just did a quick search and I guess he's come out with a new version of it: http://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/super-d......s-gauci/ but I think it still uses the devices you put in your ear.

And here's what I found for a quick search of the bombs I used: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/170893704021?lpid=82 And I know when I put out the book I saw them in various joke and novelty shops. I bought the ones I used at the Hollywood Magic shop.

Greg

***************************

Thank you Greg, very kind of you. As I said, several of the routines were VERY intriguing and now I have what I need to perform them.

KJ.
Mindpro
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Seek and ye shall find. Also if your going to purchase any older or out of print release, I would think you should expect such possibilities.
innercirclewannabe
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Don't know why you felt the need to publish a PM here on an open forum. It is supposed to be a private message, after all.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
Greg Arce
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While I do agree that PMs should be private, I do not hold any ill will towards KJ for doing it. I was glad to be of help. I only wrote to him to see what were the exact problems he was having with my effects. I was glad that I found solutions to his problem.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
1KJ
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I understand that PMs are generally private. However, I felt the PM was helpful to anyone purchasing the book. It is a fine book with many good routines. I felt the PM would be useful to others. I don't think there was anything too private there.
KJ
1KJ
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I ordered the bombs used in one of Greg's routines. I am really looking forward to this. I think it is a great routine!
KJ
Steve Suss
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You really can't go wrong with anything from Greg Arce. He's one of the great thinkers in this game and he's always been very generous with his time.
Steve
1KJ
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I just received the mini bombs, and I am starting to work out my routine.
KJ
1KJ
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I think I have a good "bomb" routine by combining the "bomb roulette" with a lost card effect. The bombs are set and a signed card is lost in the deck. They see the signed card go into the deck, they shuffle the deck. I try to find the card without looking at any card. For every time I try to get their card and miss, I have to detonate a bomb. Each bomb is just a click, no dangerous explosive. Before detonating the last bomb, I accuse the participant of removing the card and placing it in "that box" across the room. Obviously, no one has been near the box since they saw the signed card go into the deck. They go through the deck, the card is not there. A spectator goes to the box across the room. No one has been near the box since the signed card went into the deck. They open the box and remove a card. It is the signed card. Finally, the last bomb is detonated with a bang.
KJ
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BTW, I like to start these sort of routines giving the audience a choice. I generally perform for audiences where people know each other, so it can get pretty hilarious. "Would you like to see me chop off Harry's arm or blow myself up?" It's amusing just how viscious crowds can get. One side of the audience is chanting "chop, chop, chop!" The other side is chanting "blow, blow, blow!" I then try to get their chants in sync with a commonly known melody. "That is so cute... you are all chanting a sweet melody about maiming one of your friends."
KJ
Gumar Oz DuBar
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Haven't finished mine yet, but I like what I'm reading so far. I can see the contents of this going somewhere for me.
I write and edit text.
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