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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » The Professional Mentalist's Field Manual (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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Imagine you're sitting in Jack's pub at MindVention. Let me set the scene for you: in one corner some guy in a loud shirt is trying to charm a phone number out of the cute waitress in a short tartan skirt. There's a crowd of guys watching a mini hypnosis demonstration in the middle of the room with varying degrees of skepticism. There's a steady stream of people delivering drinks (rum and coke) to Bob Cassidy, who is telling an animated and probably very off color joke to a dedicated crowd.

In walks Richard Osterlind. He's puffing on a pipe and, when he sees you sitting by yourself, he smiles and walks over. This is good because there are a lot of things you want to ask him about...and none of the information you're after today has anything to do with CTs or Mental E*ic...or ThoughtSc*n. Cool as these things are, you're more interested in talking with Osterlind about the nuts and bolts -- getting the real scoop -- on the day to day important stuff about doing mentalism.

So he sits down beside you and, after as much polite chat as you can stand, you decide to launch into asking him about a pile of things you'd like to know:

* How did he structure his own show...and why did he choose the effects he chose?
* What single non-performance item should be packed in your case?
* What are his thoughts on REALLY understanding what an effect means?
* How about stage fright...does he have any tips on overcoming it?
* Does he have any tips on how to get a standing ovation after every show?
* Is there a way to get on and off the stage smoothly...and how should a case be packed anyway?

That's the way I see Osterlind's newest release: "The Professional Mentalist's Field Manual." A guy who has been successfully performing mentalism longer than many people have been alive is sitting beside you sharing no-nonsense thoughts about how a pro does mentalism. There's a lot of material covered in these 22 chapters. It's all "real world" stuff. You'll get his impressions about how a pro conducts himself, some thoughts on things like: "Do I eat with the clients?" "What article of clothing do many performers forget about...that marks them as non-pros?"

There's not a lot of abstract talk about performance philosophy. Just good advice from a guy who does this for a living, a guy who is among the most influential mentalists of this generation. It's real world advice about the nuts and bolts of doing mentalism like a pro -- even if you don't perform for money.

It's also a relatively small book. I did my first read-through in just under two hours. But they were hours where I nodded my head a lot, took my pen and underlined certain passages and paused and said "Hmmm."

I've been a full time performer since 1990 -- and I still mined some wonderful nuggets from this book. Lots of them. And in the interests of full disclosure, Richard is one of my closest friends. But that's not why I'm recommending this book so highly. I'm recommending it because it's GOOD.

If you're looking for the latest collection of killer effects, this isn't it. If you're looking for some advice you're going to USE as you DO mentalism in the real world -- this is the one.

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


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
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saysold1
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Thanks David!

David as usual I agree with your take on this super book.

I am about 70% through it and I think it is a GREAT little book.

Lots of nuggets and smart advice for a working Mentalist (or someone looking to become one), offered up in simple language as though sitting with a friend.

There are a lot of chapters, but the average length of each is probably 1.5 - 2 pages or so.

The chapter going over Richard's show is one of the lengthiest and best, delving into the order of his effects and explaining how each puzzle piece fits into the bigger picture.

In my other mini review (latest/Greatest) I compared Richard's new Field manual to "Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber - one of my all time faves. This is the kind of material that you will want to remember and go back to again.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
jstreiff
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Absolutely agree with the above! If you really work, this is invaluable.
John
MatthewSims
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You always give the best reviews, David. Thank you for your devoted dedication to the art.

With a smile
Matthew
Stunninger
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Wonderful review, David! Thanks very much.
Tony Iacoviello
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I agree with all that has been said.
What no one has mentioned is the construction of the book.
The paper used is a very high quality heavy paper.
The binding is excellent, a very think layer, the pages should never come out.
And the cover is a very nice texturered material.
So not only did a lot of thought go into the material in the book, it also went into the material of the book.
This is a quality purchase, in every way.


Tony
Richard Osterlind
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I want to thank you all for your kind comments and great reviews. I appreciate it tremendously.

Richard
Scott Soloff
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David,

Once again, thank you!

As always, best wishes,

Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Richtofen
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I have read all Richard's books, the best one is still for me principle of magic.
this book is good , people want to start as professional or people already are but for not so long will receive lot of good advice.
i disagree on some point, like the use of pre show but it's Richard's opinion and I respect that.
A good one but if you are mentalist and don't have principle of magic buy it first:-)
Ray Bertrand
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British Columbia
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Thank you David for a wonderful review. My copy should arrive tomorrow. I can hardly wait.

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
saysold1
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My only slight disagreement would be his take on PS work and s*****s. I know Richard has always had fairly strong opinions on this subject, and on this point I respectfully agree to disagree. His points in this subject are well researched and debated, but to my taste well done PS can be powerful and effective.

But what I love about Richard (and his new book) is that he speaks his mind and doesn't hold back, even though he knows some might disagree with his views honed over so many years of experience.

Still a great read - and I am now re-reading and highlighting.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
pedrao15
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São Paulo
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I got to know Richard`s work through his dvds and I really loved it!
I just put his and Ken Weber's book into my shopping cart, looking forward to reading it =)

*puff*
Richard Osterlind
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Saysold, I appreciate your kind remarks about the book.

We are leaving for Mind Summit tomorrow, so I will be away, but I do want to comment about your remark.

I am not disputing the effectiveness of hidden pre-show work during a show. That is not the argument. The chapter talks about the "consequences" of using that technique with meeting planners and clients for the professional worker. With all courtesy, I stand by my remarks

Richard
GaMind
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Well, I've been putting this off way too long. I just ordered Richard's new book and can't wait for it to arrive. I ave no doubt it will be a real education. Richard, enjoy Germany -- I'm sure it will be a great trip.
Chamberlain
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Just ordered this, looking forward to it arriving! Richards one of my favourite mentalists
innercirclewannabe
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It is an excellent read for the working Mentalist. The story he told about his Bank Night routine being extrapolated to the point of ridiculousness had me roaring laughing!

All in all, Richard's 40 years + experience in this business oozes through each and every page.

Highly recommended.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
GaMind
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Just wanted to circle back after reading Richard's book. It is terrific. David could not have been more accurate in his review. It is a straight-forward, easy to read, no b.s. gold mine of information that only someone with Richard's experience and knowledge could share. Thank you Richard, I have no doubt it will be one of those books I come back to often.
XyGreg
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Wonderfull book! The chapter on the perception of reality is one of my favourite, it solves by itself a lot of questions and crazy reflexions you can read on forums... Definitely worth reading, thanks Richard Smile
Stunninger
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Going to have to get this book for sure. Richard is a wonderful teacher and a very kind person.
C.J.
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Picked this up two weeks ago, and loving it. Until reading this book, Osterlind's work never really "clicked" with me and my style, but hearing him speak candidly about his structures, performance and theory has given me great respect for him and his views. There are a number of points I was surprised we agreed on, and a significant number of little details I had never considered but are so obviously true when you think about them. I haven't seen many theory books hit the mentalism shelves in the past few years, so this is a welcome addition to my library. The book is easy to read (perhaps too easy - it's a simple matter to jump from chapter to chapter without pausing for the reflective exercises), and very direct. There's no fluff and waffle here. So far I've been especially struck by some of the rebukes that apply to the way I've spoken about and to other members here at the Café.

It's always going to be a challenge coming up against Train Tracking, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to shortlist 'PMFM' for 2014 release of the year, and it will be one of the books I recommend for people wanting to step up from hobbyism.

Now to return to some of Mr Osterlind's (notice I didn't call him 'Richard', lol...!) other work and view it with my refreshed eyes.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
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