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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Strictly Scryer (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
3750 Posts

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I kept telling myself that I need another book like a need (another) hole in my head. I've been happily reading and rereading -- feasting, actually -- on some of the great books of last year. Each time I re-open a book I've already been through, I often wonder what I was thinking the last time I read it since there seems to be so much stuff that I never noticed before.

So when Stevens Magic began trumpeting the arrival of a NEW Neal Scryer book, I resolutely put my figurative fingers into my ears and told me very firmly in my strongest grown up tone, that I did ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED another freakin' book. I reminded me that I've told myself time and again that my job is to refine the act I'm currently doing. End. Of. Discussion....Period.

But there were several intriguing ideas in the sales material including some very wonderful pendulum stuff...and I am a sucker for intriguing ideas and pendulum stuff. So I ordered it.

Full disclosure? Neal is one of my closest friends in the performing community. But having said that, I have to add that I view all potential material with a commercial eye. I'm interested in what will work for the corporate audiences I am hired to entertain. Much of Neal's repertoire tends to carry a very heavy "psychic" flavor, which isn't my style.

I completed my first reading of this book in less than an hour. (Strictly Scryer is a wee book -- 97 pages.) But the initial read gave me a pleasurable hour that started off with a sterling introduction written by Pete Turner. This is followed by a very strong routine built around twelve roses, three audience volunteers and no-miss "readings" about what questions they may have in mind, along with which color rose they would freely select. This, friends, is a solid routine. As with many of Scryer's routines, there's a very simple off-stage something that makes it "go."

There's four pages of fascinating thinking about a new routine featuring the Center Tear.

Then I hit page 63 and read a quiet little pendulum routine called "The Power of Love." It's so simple that I had to read it twice. So powerful...so diabolically brilliantly deceptive...so completely foolproof...that I am hard at work on re-designing it to fit me. I also have a palm sized red mark in the middle of my forehead in the "why didn't I think of that?" spot.

As I read the other chapters...significant discussions of PATEO...the use of Stooges...some fascinating spins on a Confabulation routine...I realized how much ground Neal covers in this relatively tiny book.

I also realize that Neal may, in fact, be an alien. At the very least, he sees a different world than the rest of us. His ideas...his thinking is...just plain DIFFERENT. It's fascinating to peek out at the world through his eyes.

I remember discussing this with Neal on one chilly New York afternoon. We were talking about his books and how he's a "psychic" kinda guy and how those of us who weren't...well "psychic kind of guys"...might handle the ideas he presents. He looked at me for a long time and didn't say anything (which is MOST unusual for him) -- then he shrugged and told me that an idea is like a seed. You take it, plant it...work with it and after a while it comes to life as something beautiful and completely new.

There are a ton of good seeds in this book for more conventional mentalists who choose to look beyond the heavy-duty "psychic" package they come in. There's the trademark uber-simple Scryer method and completely out of the box thinking about stuff you may have already considered.

Is my head buzzing with new concepts? Let's just say that I have some great seeds to plant.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
IAIN
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Eternal Order
england
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I will definitely be ordering this sometime next month...
lucavolpe
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Italy - London
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Waiting mine!!
seadog93
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Just ordered mine! Smile
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
lucavolpe
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Arrived today! Reading now...fantastic stuff, the rose act is wonderful!! High emotional material here!!
Jerome Finley
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SLC
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I've had my copy of "Strictly Scryer" for a few weeks now and boy do I like this one.

I'm a huge fan of Scryer's work and a friend of the man himself, he's like a brother to me in many ways and I've long considered him one of the very best in the world at what he does (and rightfully so). I really haven't met another person like him and I'm so glad he's on our side and that he has a huge heart. I love the body of work he's so generously produced and shared with our community and while it's rare for me to adopt another person's material, a significant portion of my repertoire these days is NS work specifically. Each of his books are filled with top notch routines, effects and showpieces and the thinking and feeling behind it all is incredibly dynamic and unique. He really comes at this stuff from a different angle and it's refreshing to say the least...he's done a great deal to breathe new life and positive energy and an attitude of sincerity, generosity, modesty and really caring about the people he sees as clients, performs for as a group/circle and as audience members or those he changes, blesses, uplifts and inspires as active participants. He plays hard, he uses strong, direct material, he's not apologizing (he has nothing to be apologetic or sorry for when it comes to playing the role of a psychic or being a naturally healing and positive influence in the lives of others) and he's leading the new way, standing at the pinnacle of a new generation and giving us his lifetimes' worth of experience and activity in the field. To me, this work and that kind of experience is invaluable. What really gets me about the Scryer books and material is all that's waiting for those who read between the lines (the psycho-spiritual bits of business are phenomenal in ALL of his books!) or for those who take these ideas and magnify them, add to them, reframe them and make them their own in such a way that way they begin to love and cherish it and respect these things properly - it becomes an extension of themselves and they treat it as such.

It goes without saying that "Strictly Scryer" is another incredible book...it's short at just 97 pages, but don't let that fool you. As David mentions in his OP and review of this book, it's jam packed with TONS of stuff you'll absolutely love, use and learn from. My head was spinning with ideas and I struggled to read more than a few pages at a time because I'd be taking 6-10 pages of notes, franticly jotting down my creative insights, ideas for altering the approaches I read to better suit my audiences and the particular venues I work in, etc. How can you put a price on something like this?

You can't. You just can't. There is no good way to invoice someone for "your work has changed my life, my work and my career for the better. Thank you."

I've often heard it said that if you can get even one (ONE!) solid, workable piece of magic or mentalism from the books you buy and read, then it's worth the cost of that book several times over.

To this, I couldn't disagree more. My feeling is that if you're reading any book about this art and craft and NOT asking yourself the hard questions as a result, if you're not finding NOT JUST ONE, BUT SEVERAL PIECES of strong, hard-hitting material that you can use and adapt and adopt and make yours...something that will pay the bills and help you attain the end results, reactions and root experience that you're seeking as a performer then YOU'RE READING THE WRONG BOOKS and investing your time, energy, efforts, money and brain cells for garbage that you shouldn't be wasting such precious resources with, and in most cases, should never have been written, filmed, produced or allowed to litter our libraries and the efficacy of this community, our shared art and its exponents in the first place.

The same applies for those of us who rarely if ever adopt new material for active use in our professional repertoires, live shows, productions and programs. I'm pleased to say with "Strictly Scryer", though I'm friends with Neal and I had the inside scoop on some of these pieces for awhile now, I was astonished to see how much of this we had never discussed and how freakin' great it was, how much was applicable TO ME and what I couldn't wait to begin working with.

A few examples are routines such as: "The 12 Roses", "The Rose Pendulum" (and the next piece of business and demonstration, worth what will add up to several tens of thousands of dollars during the course of my career, guaranteed!), "Crematory Journey", Next Level CT, The World's Strongest and Easiest Q&A (again, another stellar piece that really IS easy and truly IS strong and I've no doubt that in Neal's hands it's well one of the world's best - I've been using it well before it was slated for release in "Strictly Scryer" and never wanted to see it in print, honestly...it's exactly what it should be and it looks and feels "just right"), Telepathic Card, The Power of Love (and just as David mentioned, WOW...this is going straight in, I'm aching to perform it NOW) and those are just the ones I've wrapped my head around so far.

I'll be reading this book again and again and mining Neal's thoughts, feelings, insights and experience for years and years to come. The price here is the only thing that ISN'T right (meaning it's ridiculously LOW for what you get), it's available now and if you love strong mentalism, psychic flavored entertainment that truly TASTES "psychic", out of this world thinking and supporting the ongoing publishing work and continued twisting of Neal's arms, legs and nose hairs as provided by the one and only Richard Webster, I think this is a steal.

LOVE IT.

J.
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algebraic
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I placed my order yesterday. I'm looking forward to receiving it.
Stunninger
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Based on David Theil's & Jerome Finley's recommendations, just purchase Strictly Scryer.

Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reviews, which are wonderful.
B. Morrison
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Add my voice to those who are praising this book, and to those who wish this didn't have such widespread exposure.

Prospective buyers should, however, ask themselves how strong they want to present themselves.

If you're not comfortable presenting yourself as the real thing, you may want to think twice about ordering any of Neal's books.

.
MDantes
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New Orleans
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This looks amazing. I'm picking up a copy!
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SamNJ
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What I like about Neal's own work is that it is uncomplicated yet forceful. I add my voice to those who say that it is strong stuff - - it is, indeed.
Heywood
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I finally found the time to read Stricty Scryer. I should have made time earlier. It was more valuable of a read that some of the current 300-500 tomes on the market. It is worth its weight in ... performance.

Once again, solid worker material. Thank you Neal!!!!!
Martin Pulman
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London
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Have only read this once, but so far I'm underwhelmed. But enough people whose work and philosophy I respect have expressed admiration for it, so I must give it another chance. Sometimes the greatest works seem banal on a first exposure and only reveal their wonders on repeat readings. I'm hoping that's the case here.
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