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Dear Friends,

‘Companionage’ is a French word from medieval times, used to define that stage in the life of a person when formal education was over and learning happened by a direct exchange of secrets, from one craftsman to another. Under companionage a person would travel across Europe, staying in several towns, each for a while.

This way, a traveling blacksmith, for example, would stay with the town’s blacksmith to work with him, learn from him and share his own knowledge in return. By staying with blacksmiths from town to town, each would achieve mastery, go back home, set shop and start receiving their own ‘companions,’ other traveling blacksmiths eager to share and learn.

It is thanks to forums like this one that we still travel to find ‘companions.’ We all gather here to learn from each other, to teach each other and to share our accumulated knowledge. We are still traveler companions who find and give each other sanctuary in our craft.

Among the members of our community that I have most to thank for is Bill Cushman. Dr. Bill’s input has been vital in the development of my own work, and I also have found a dear friend in him.

Sadly, our friend Bill is going through a rough patch right now due to health problems. He is in lots of pain, unable to move freely and unable to work. This last issue has him adding financial struggle to the physical ones.

Thanks to forums like this one we only need one click to get together. And in that click “across the ages” you will be led to a most wonderful ebook that has been lovingly assembled by Dr. Bill’s “companions.” It is complete with over 200 pages of essays and effects, both old and new. The amount of accumulated knowledge is simply astounding.

That is what I would like to ask from you; one click. Click on the link below and look what has been made available to you on Dr. Bill’s behalf. Or even if for the selfish reason of having Bill back on his feet, willing and able to write and work, creating these marvelous routines and effects he is known for in our community.

List of Contributors:

1) Bruce Bernstein
2) Christopher Taylor
3) Chuck Hickok
4) Deddy Corbuzier
5) Larry Becker
6) Greg Arce
7) John Riggs
8) Joshua Quinn
9) Kenton Knepper
10) Millard Longman
11) Nick Morton
12) Patrick Kuffs
13) Peter Duffie
14) Ron Martin
15) Tony Eye
16) Patrick Redford
17) John Bannon
18) Julian “Bev” Moore
19) Andrew Gerard
20) Will Tsai
21) Rich Hennessey
22) Sean Waters
23) Jerome Finley
24) Don Theo

All my Best,

Enrique Enriquez
Bill Cushman
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Enrique, thank you so much for your eloquent post. Your theme and this time in my life mesh perfectly.

And of course my appreciation to all the contributors and folks behind the scenes who have done so much to make Companionage come together as smoothly as it has. Luke, you've been relentless and I hope you get a good 24 hours sleep!

Many of you have already generously made your orders without knowing much more than the cause and the contributors. I plan to rectify that soon, offering some more detailed descriptions of the contents to go up on site when you hit the link. After Luke gets some good sleep, of course!
Nathan Pain
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Just hit Buy won't be sorry Smile

Bill Cushman
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I commented somewhere about writing up descriptions of contents but when that list hit five pages, I decided to just drop in bits and pieces, here and there. Well, I'm here and you are....there!

What follows are my comments solely on the essay/teaching tools end of things (with one exception, transcending all possible categorization):

Within the contents of Companionage also exists an unreal assortment of essays and tools. Chuck Hickok leads the pack without hesitation, providing six essays from his last three books, "Mentalism Inc.", "Mentalism Inc. 2" and "Thought-full Telepathy." Chuck suggested three that he thought most vital then let me choose some more of my own favorites. If you’ve read these, you can only benefit from reading them again and if you’ve never come across these tight and brilliant analyses of our craft you are in for a first class education.

From the original old Curmudgeon himself, John Riggs, comes "The Power of Negative Thinking and Other Curmudgeonly Thoughts." John takes to task some of the most insidious of new age positive thinking psychobabble while keeping true to the heart of what really matters. Short but masterful. What would life without John to keep our heads on straight be like? Don’t even want to know.

OK, now for a couple that might be missed for their full benefits. First comes Millard Longman’s "First Contact." While designed for sales training, including marvelous tips on the famous elevator speech and maintaining equality at all levels with phone communication, Millard’s 10 + page treatise on these matters is equally valuable to the mentalist marketing him or herself in a variety of circumstances. It will take a little reading between the lines and flexibility to substitute “mentalist” for “sales professional” but this is an incredible tool for self use as well as training and sharing with others. As typical of Millard’s work, it comes straight from the heart and exemplifies his own beliefs and practices.

Then an ebook within Companionage from master mentalist Ron Martin! This is really exciting and is called "Three Steps Toward Consciousness." You are hereby challenged to read this without having your consciousness raised; it is simply that powerful. Almost 50 pages long, Ron shares a presentation he has given professionally for many years that has an immediate and intense impact on all who listen to his words of wisdom. It can be presented as is in full or broken into distinct modules to deal with specific issues in our consciousness challenged world. This is an outrageous resource on so many levels, full of teaching tales, exercises and metaphors to take the brain to new levels.

And last but far from least, comes "Energetic Wave and Thinner" from the brilliant mind of performer/healer Jerome Finley. This truly crosses lines between essay and effects but seemed to fit here best for descriptions sake. 20 pages in length, Jerome gives you techniques to immediately access states of intense beauty and peace with a single person or an entire roomful. These are the developing masterpieces he is known for that transcend what we call magic and mentalism but can still be used to enhance a favored effect. The material within is completely unique and unsurpassable. References are made to others of Jerome’s body of work, some no longer available and some still within reach. No matter; Jerome gives you all you need and more to transform experience with a confidence that will impel you to put these techniques to work. Within are formats that cannot fail while you build up your confidence to take further risks and grow both personally and as a performer.

Look later for more. And/or look elsewhere on the Café. Most important, stop reading and go celebrate family, friends and health!
Bill Cushman
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In any case, I'm going to continue with my expansion of the contents of Companionage, in case you don't already have enough to think about:

Stuart Nolan mentioned on another thread that he is already having success with Gerard's "Pure." No surprise to me. Since Stuart so neatly broached the subject:

From Andrew Gerard, "Pure" is a new and unique psychological force. Gerard says his hit rate with this is 85% on a regular basis and provides some interesting ways to handle exceptions. Typical Gerard lateral thinking prevails!

Gerard also invited a couple of his friends to join in and you can only imagine what that means! First comes a name familiar to most of us, Patrick Kuffs. Patrick includes his "Reflections on a Challenge," which is deceptively informative. On the surface, a get out of jail free card, there is much, much more in terms of the refining the psychology of handling difficult audience members.

Gerard’s second friend, a name new to me but not soon to be forgotten, is Will Tsai. His "One and Only, the Chair/No Chair Routine" is a perfectly charming and immensely deceiving combination of old and new principles. I’m glad to have made this new friend and so will you all be!

A true chair routine (yes, this time with actual chairs, not to mention live musical accompaniment!), "Lord of The Dance," is offered by Tony Eye. It plays for major entertainment without sacrificing mystery. And as is typical with all of Tony’s fine work, LOTD is worked out with precise attention to all the details needed to choreograph a great routine.

Elliot already chimed in on the same earlier thread where "Pure" came up, about a version of "RPS" from Bev, so allow me to continue. Bev is wonderful old friend Julian “Bev” Moore, in case there is someone who doesn't know this brilliant thinker by all names. He has two takes on what we in the US call "Rock/Paper/Scissor," each with their own particular strengths. One with stooge, one without and both devious and deceptive. I can't resist; take out your hands, a fun change of pace is afoot!

Just getting a hold of an effect by Bruce Bernstein is a coup! But what an effect! "Bernstein’s Bet" is an update of something previously published but streamlined into a state of near grace. Yes, a deck of cards is involved but, perhaps more important, the audience becomes a second deck “in play” while a sum of money (the bet) is predicted in a way that shifts focus from a drawback in other handlings of this devious principle and transforms any such concern into greater strength. "Bernstein’s Bet" hits them before they know you’ve started swinging!

Deddy Corbuzier comes in strong with 3 effects. There is a great new update of a classic add-a-no force, "I-Call," that makes perfect sense in this modern day and age, his own "Freewill Roulette" as performed on his television show in Indonesia and his previously published "Freecall," used for another fundraiser for St. Judes. This is a standout routine that was very well received and is very flexible with many variations possible.

For me, the a large part of the power of Christopher Taylor's work has always been his ability to transport us to exotic environments with but just a few well-placed words. He does so again with the utmost of charm in "Hun Dun Undone," combining Taoist legend with an old word principle, disguising it in way that randomizes the procedure beyond all recognition and with perfect logic. Entertaining and easy.

Next Christopher returns with a “twisted” ending applicable to a variety of booktests in an effect from his Linking Ring One Man Parade, March 2004. All inclusive, "Liar," is completely improved with a different, far more flexible and logical subtext, using an optical illusion rather than words for its mode of transporation and never fails to engage and catch the audience by surprise.

And one last time, "Yeah Luke!" I'm beginning to believe he's triplets. Back later!
Kelvin Ng
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Vancouver BC
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Wish Bill and his family well!
"We tend to think that magic is all about us, what we do, and how we execute the tricks, when in actuality, it's really about what the spectator witnesses, imagines, and remembers in their minds."

- Wayne Houchin
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