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DrewBstoss
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"I've only recently made the acquaintance of Drew, but I would already rate him as one of my favourite mentalism thinkers and creators. We share so much in common about our views of what performance mentalism should be that it's almost as if our minds are really linked! I love ALL of his ideas and routines. Every single effect is a worker, he absolutely understands how to get the most entertainment and audience interaction out of every routine. Architect of the Mind is undoubtedly one of the most valuable mentalism resources that you will every buy. Do yourself AND your audiences a favour - buy this now and make sure you read every word, I can't recommend this highly enough!" - Marc Paul

I'm very excited to announce that my first major release to the community - Architect of the Mind - is finally ready for printing.

It will be a 326 page hardback printed in beautiful quality by Haresign Press. The contents cover 18 fully scripted routines and 10 essays ranging from stagecraft to best business practices. I won't be taking pre-orders so price and shipping details will follow at the appropriate time.

SPECIAL OFFER

Because this is my "debut" book I feel a need to give potential purchasers as much assurance as possible that this will be a worthwhile investment of your time and money. To that end I would be happy to send you any chapter of your choosing for free. Simply PM me with the title of the chapter that sounds most intriguing to you (along with your email) and I'll send over a PDF. The only caveats are that you must have 50 posts or more on the Cafť and the request must come direct from your Cafť account (via PM). I'm taking this measure to curb abuse of the offer through fake accounts.

Here's a complete description of each chapter:

Foreword by Atlas Brookings

R.M.R.
You demonstrate a unique process wherein a participant subconsciously guides you to her thought of card only to discover that it never really existed. Everything seemingly happens in the mind and hands of the participant. The explanation is rounded out by the inclusion of three brief essays promoting the merits of giving proper attention to scripting, audience management, and stage directions.

Seven Year Ordeal
At its core, this is my handling of the A.C.A.A.N. plot. One person thinks of a card, another thinks of a number - both choices are extremely fair and free from guile. You "read" both participants and immediately begin revealing specific details about their thoughts before placing the thought of card at the thought of number. The handling is extremely easy and quite hands off but most importantly the presentation gives YOU the credit for peeking inside your participant's minds.

The Personality of a Date
You engage three people in an unusual personality test. Each person is asked two questions that provide insight into their individual and collective dispositions. In the end you prove that you've accurately predicted their free responses to each of the questions. This is a very conversational piece suited perfectly for mix-and-mingle environments and plays equally as well for a group or for one-on-one performances. It takes up hardly any pocket space and there is nothing to reset.

Never to be Repeated
You guide two people through the process of constructing a memory palace wherein they memorize the order of a pack of cards - and you can prove it! You then unexpectedly take things further and demonstrate that members of the audience retained much of the information as well. The "feel good" presentation reminds every one of their incredible potential and that life is full of remarkable possibilities. This is my overhaul on the presentation of a marketed item.

The Usual Suspects
A victim was murdered in cold blood. Three "suspects" each admit to carrying a deadly item with them and are detained for questioning. Using your acute skills of deception detection you successfully locate the murderer. This is 100% impromptu and perfect for mix-and-mingle environments.

Concealed Carry
You play a very fair game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with three people - one round with each. They decide whether you should win or lose and you do just that. This is a quick way to warm up a group and give them a taste of what mind reading looks like. It's easy, propless, impromptu, and fun! I outline a "basic" and "advanced" handling - the latter gives you the ability to predict the outcome of the final round even though your opponent can freely change his or her mind up until the last second.

Common Cents Prediction
While your back is turned three participants secretly decide which of them will hold onto a folded bill. Each person then focuses their mind on a thought - the first thinks of a person, the second a place, and the third a thing. You peek inside their minds to discern their target thoughts and locate the money. Then, by way of a twist ending, you reveal that you successfully IMPLANTED the information in their minds in an act of "Reverse Mind Reading." The bill that's been in their possession the entire time is opened to show written proof. This piece is nearly ALWAYS with me and has served me well both in close-up and cabaret performance situations.

Group Dynamics
After warming up the group with a game of "Word Dissociation" you invite three people to decide on the resting locations of three borrowed objects. Their decisions are genuinely fair and there's no mincing of your words along the way. You show that not only have you successfully anticipated the positions of the items but in a surprise kicker you also predicted the final word of the dissociation game - a prediction which seems to have never left the participant's hands. The reset is instantaneous making this ideal for strolling work.

Pseudoesthesia
This is a fresh presentation for a classic plot in mentalism. One person thinks of an object and another person makes up a completely new word for it. Waxing lyrical on the origins of language and the science behind it you successfully "translate" the made up word to reveal the first participant's object. The purpose of this piece is to share a unique presentation - no doubt you already have your preferred means of carrying out the necessary mechanics.

Phishing
You display a list of the "Top 25 Most Popular Passwords" and invite two people to merely think of one password each. Demonstrating how your skill-set might be used for nefarious purposes you hack into the first person's mind and reveal his freely thought of password. Then, taking things to an entirely new level, you work with the second participant to reveal details about one of her childhood memories. There's no pre-show and nothing is ever written down. This is best suited for US audiences but the framework taught can be adjusted to accommodate any language and nationality.

You Were Missed
This is a powerhouse closing technique I use during consultations with prospective clients. Essentially you predict in advance that someone from the planning committee will be unable to attend at the last minute. I guarantee that this idea will enhance your perceived mystique in the eyes of new clients.

Let's Agree... to Agree
Contracts ensure that the expectations of both the performer and the client are fully realized. They provide protection and assurance to each party but may also generate undue complications if they aren't written or executed correctly. Here I outline the "Performance Agreement" I've refined over the past several years along with commentary that elucidates the legalities within. This is NOT intended to be used as legal advice - I'm merely sharing this information in hopes of helping those who aren't as confident regarding this vital document.

Leading the Witness
This is the "system" that I've developed over the last two years to consistently generate high-caliber and marketable testimonials. It's an obvious strategy in retrospect but its simplicity doesn't diminish its effectiveness. This is one of the most valuable secrets I'm sharing within these pages - you can thank me later!

Bernstein Dynes on a Cloud
This is an opener that I use on very special occasions. It was designed to deliver an UNBELIEVABLE kickoff to the show - though many readers may feel it's difficult to follow because it's too strong a piece. Essentially, this is my refinement of Bruce Bernstein's "A Sporting Prediction." It takes a bit of effort to prepare but the results are WELL worth it.

Social Insecurity
Three people stand in the audience and you proceed to reveal information you couldn't POSSIBLY know or have researched: part of one person's PIN, another person's Social Security number, and the last person's checking account number. This is accomplished without any pre-show, research, and a no time do the participants ever write this information down. Beyond being a set routine, I'm sharing a versatile system for knowing information about people that seems unfathomable. In the sake of full disclosure this method can only be employed when working with US citizens.

Put a PIN In It
Three people randomly selected from the audience generate new PINs based off of significant numbers in their lives. You successfully discern the three PINs and then things take an unexpected turn when a joke prediction made at the outset suddenly becomes significant. This is an excellent opening routine as it allows your personality to shine; the three participants never need to leave their seats; and there's nothing technically demanding in the way of pre-show, impression pads, peeks, secret writing, or the like.

Obviously Influenced
This is my take on the venerable two envelope bank night. A number of subtleties produce an extremely realistic display of your mastery over human behavior. This is a fantastic opener - indeed it's functioned in that capacity in my shows for the last several years. Combining a bit of jazz, a touch of sleight-of-mouth, and a helping of surefire mechanics this piece is a delight to perform.

A Stranger's Call
Two complete strangers on opposite ends of the phone share an unforgettable experience when they both inexplicably think of the same word. Then the "bizarre factor" ratchets up even more when an earlier miss suddenly becomes EXTREMELY relevant to the show. The basic structure of this piece has been one of my trusted closers for the last several years. I guarantee it'll leave everyone talking. The explanation also contains two brief essays touching on the "Too Perfect Theory" and a technique to subtly encourage standing ovations.

What Are the Odds?
You play a simplified version of the lottery wherein five randomly selected participants each generate a two digit number. It's obvious to everyone involved that their decisions along the way could have easily resulted in vastly different outcomes. Even though you have no apparent control over the proceedings, an envelope on display since the beginning predicts specific details about the winner. You then bring the routine full circle by concluding with a mind numbing revelation that your audience will never see coming.

Afterword by Manos Kartsakis

As I said - I want you to be happy with your decision to invest in my work. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out.

Best,

Drew
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." Neil Gaiman

Now Available: OMNI-TEST (Limited Release)
www.mindofandrews.com/omni-test

ARCHITECT OF THE MIND
For more information and to download a free preview visit the link below:
www.mindofandrews.com/colleagues

PENGUIN LIVE ACT: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/11689
DrewBstoss
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It seems that in the post above I left out the descriptions of two more chapters:

Catch Me if You Can
Four participants are given the chance to win several thousand dollars. Five envelopes, one of which contains the big prize, are openly mixed by each participant and then cleanly distributed among the players - one envelope each with the final envelope being left for me. Two more people from the audience then very fairly reorder the four players about the stage. Once all decisions have been made it's revealed that I've not only succeeded in keeping the money, but I've also accurately predicted who would end the game with each envelope along with the correct order of the players.

Catch Me 2.0
This is an alternative handling for "Catch Me If You Can." Some readers may prefer this variation due to the streamlined process by which the envelopes are distributed to the participants. "Catch Me 2.0" still retains the same advantages of the original - all props needed fit inside one pocket; it doesn't use any gimmicks; the combination of methods produce an extremely deceptive and convincing display of your ability to predict (or influence) human behavior; and it plays big due to the involvement of multiple participants both on stage and from the audience.

NOW all of the chapters are accounted for!

Best,

Drew
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." Neil Gaiman

Now Available: OMNI-TEST (Limited Release)
www.mindofandrews.com/omni-test

ARCHITECT OF THE MIND
For more information and to download a free preview visit the link below:
www.mindofandrews.com/colleagues

PENGUIN LIVE ACT: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/11689
Jonathan1000
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As my free chapter, I asked Drew to send me the effect WHAT ARE THE ODDS, which he summarizes as follows:

You play a simplified version of the lottery wherein five randomly selected participants each generate a two digit number. Its obvious to everyone involved that their decisions along the way could have easily resulted in vastly different outcomes. Even though you have no apparent control over the proceedings, an envelope on display since the beginning predicts specific details about the winner. You then bring the routine full circle by concluding with a mind numbing revelation that your audience will never see coming.

Drews summary is accurate but does not do the piece justice since it does not explain what the multiple climaxes really are or how truly impossible they feel. It is not my place to reveal these impactful moments; Drew elected to hold them back from you, though they are so powerful that I think that decision was a mistake.

The procedure for randomizing the lottery numbers feels reasonably fair and employs completely free decisions made by the five participants themselves. Drews introduction to the book warns us not to expect cutting edge methods and this effect has none. Still, the methodology is well-concealed (it largely fooled me) and I expect it will be relatively easy to perform.

I really like this piece and I will definitely be performing it, though with a bit of guilt since Drew sent it for free. And speaking of definitely, I will most certainly buy the book once it becomes available. Based on this effect, I highly recommend it.
"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals." -- Homer Simpson
MadisonH
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Stay tuned for my full review of the book. Admittedly, Iím so in love with the content that I want the review to do it justice so it is going to be a MAMMOTH review. It will take me some time to get it together.

Madison
Atlas
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I know I wrote the foreword, so take this with a grain of salt if you like, but I've read this book and fully expect it to be the Tarbell book of the year. I tried to get Drew out to the last MINDS but logistics prevented it. I think if he'd been able to attend, word would have spread and this book would be the most hotly anticipated thing in mentalism.

This book will be a classic and a resource to performers for years to come.

All the best,

Atlas
Manos Kartsakis
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I am also obviously involved in this project since I wrote the afterword for the book but I can objectively say that this book is destined to be a classic. Drew has definitely been the best kept secret in mentalism so far but this is about to change.
In a time that everyone is looking for the next best thing and "cutting edge" methods that sometimes have questionable results, this book offers a combination of classic methods that have stood the test of time combined with clever subtleties to produce stunning and entertaining routines.
There is a reason why Drew is being so generous and offers everyone the chance to get a chapter for free and that is because the material is THAT good!
I can reccommend this book to everyone who is seriously interested in the art of mentalism with my hand on my heart. Great material from a creator who is not only a brilliant thinker but an amazing performer as well.
SleepyMagic
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Looking forward to the reviews
DrewBstoss
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Jonathan1000: Thanks so much for taking the time to post your thoughts regarding "What Are the Odds?" You mention it might have been a mistake to not disclose the extent of the multiple climaxes within the description of the chapter... but I'm okay with under-promising and over-delivering Smile

Madison: I can't thank you enough for your enthusiasm for the book. You work REALLY hard on your fair and balanced reviews - I'm certain it will help others gauge whether or not "Architect of the Mind" is for them. I'm under no illusion that this book will float everyone's boat and I'd rather people make that decision before they decide to invest. Looking forward to seeing your full thoughts (the good, the bad, and even the ugly)!

Atlas and Manos: You two were the principal motivations behind me having the confidence to release the book - so it was only fitting that you are both featured between its covers. Thanks for the extremely kind words. Admittedly, I'm not as certain that the book will reach "classic" status... but I've done my best to deliver a book that's worthy of space on someone's shelf.

TO ALL THOSE THAT MIGHT BE INTEREST IN THE OFFER OF A FREE CHAPTER:

Please be sure to include your preferred email in the PM that you send me - it'll help alleviate some back and forth (and shorten the turn around time of sending the file).

I really do appreciate everyone's interest.

Best,

Drew
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." Neil Gaiman

Now Available: OMNI-TEST (Limited Release)
www.mindofandrews.com/omni-test

ARCHITECT OF THE MIND
For more information and to download a free preview visit the link below:
www.mindofandrews.com/colleagues

PENGUIN LIVE ACT: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/11689
Winnes
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From the descriptions above I was already interested in the book, but after reading through the chapter sent ("Usual Suspects"), its a definite purchase from me. Even though I'm familiar with the core method used in the effect, the presentation given is great to read and I honestly cant wait to try it out - in fact I have a mix and mingle for Halloween in a few weeks time and I fully plan to include this. There's no doubt that it will play out as good as it reads in the description and have a great reveal, but it allows for loads of fun before you get there and just full of entertainment.

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, but if the chapter I sent was indicative of the rest of the book, then I truly can't wait to get my hands on it and will definitely be picking it up as soon as it goes on sale.
BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

I agree, this is a huge tome. 328 pages if I am not mistaken.

I am currently going through it, and just by reading the introduction, foreward by atlas, and preface, I can tell that this is going to be a good book.

Forget the effects, just in those 3 sections alone, you get a feel to who Drew is as a person, performer, father, son, human being, and that to me is worth more than any effects that you will perform.

Also, Atlas speaks very highly of him as well in his foreward.

When you start a book that way, you get to dive inside the inner feelings, where the heart is, and you get to appreciate the work, and the man more.

Just my early thoughts

Alex
PRESET by Alex Alejandro & Dan Harlan now available for a special introductory price!
John C
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2018, SleepyMagic wrote:
Looking forward to the reviews


I'll be afterword you.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
MadisonH
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Architect of the Mind Review

Typically in my reviews I describe the effect, but Drew has already done a wonderful job of that in his post, so Iíll just leave my thoughts about each of the effects here. If you want to know what the effect is, refer back to Drewís post. If an effect warrants more information, I will add it.

R.M.R.- This is a DEVASTATINGLY powerful card effect. It is extremely hands off and the spectator has no chance of working out the method (they also do all of the hard work for you.) This passed the girlfriend test with flying colors and it will be added into my set. I stray away from performing mentalism with cards in a professional setting, but for casual performances, I donít mind it. This is the perfect casual piece to pull out and fry everyone who sees it (magicians as well.) There are also several variations taught including a totally impromptu one. This gets my highest recommendation. Itís a combination of classic techniques blended seamlessly into one effect which is SO strong while also being very simple. Love it. I will be using it.

Seven Year Ordeal - This is Drewís brilliant take on ACAAN. It is truly a demonstration of mind reading rather than coincidence or luck. The Crusade by Atlas Brookings and Andrew Brown has been my go to ACAAN since I learned it those years ago. Well Drewís iteration is very similar in the feeling the routine musters, but achieves the results in its own, creative way. The biggest benefit with Drewís routine is that it uses the entire deck opposed to a chunk of the deck as in the Crusade. I also believe the selection of the card is a bit more logical in Seven Year Ordeal than in the Crusade. Seven Year Ordeal is also a bit more straight to the point. This whole routining and presentation is structured so that the performer gets all the credit; it is a thing of beauty. Honestly, I feel this will replace the Crusade for me. I think it offers some significant advantages with very little compromise. Oh and once again it is simple tried and true methods blended beautifully. I will use this.

The Personality of a Date - This is a lovely combination of several published ideas into an effect and presentation which will be long remembered by the audience. It is very conversational, and the end climax will hit them out of left field. As Drew states, this is perfect for mix-and-mingle type performing because you are creating conversation amongst the group and they are all getting to take part in somewhat of a game of storytelling. Admittedly, it takes quite a bit of time to make up the item needed for the routine. It is simple to make, but time consuming. However once you have it made, it will last for a very long time. It is simple, but very effective. I am still in the process of making mine up, but once itís complete, Iíll be road testing it. For those close up gigs, I will carry this with me and I will use it.

Never to be Repeated - This is Drewís presentation for a marketed effect. He doesnít explain the method, but if you think about it about, there are enough clues in the text to explain it. However, I highly suggesting purchasing the original to support the creator. Drewís presentation turns it into a piece for stage and gets the whole audience involved while making the trick very visual. My only problem with it is it is a card effect which may not be able to be seen that clearly in a large venue. That said, itís a great presentation for a solid effect. I have made it up but I am on the fence about whether or not I will use it in my show. Also, just to be clear, it plays as a memory demonstration which your spectatorís do, so it isnít a magic trick; it is, rather, a memory demonstration using cards.

The Usual Suspects - This uses a tried and true method to produce a wonderfully fun and organic routine. It is propless even though it uses propsÖ the props are actually the spectatorís items. The method is solid and workable with no guess work. My only qualm is that it is a one moment routine. Itís a strong singular moment, but for a finding the murderer plot, I prefer there be more than three people involved. (Marc Paul has one that I have used with great success. He taught it on his penguin lecture.) That said, the presentation is very fun and engaging and will get everyone talking, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. What more could you ask foróespecially in a mix-n-mingle scenario? The moment of reveal may not last with them, but I would be willing to bet the experience would resonate long after youíre gone.

Concealed Carry - This is a wonderful rock, paper, scissors routine played with three participants. There are two versions taught. In the basic version, you play the first participant and win and then play the other two participants at the same time and beat each of them. (Or you can lose all three if you so choose. Drew lets the players decide collectively whether you should win or lose the three rounds.) In the advanced version, you beat the first two players, then the third player changes their mind and your prediction, which you wrote in the start, proves you were able to anticipate their thought process. Both versions are great and easy to do. The advanced version takes a little more thinking or memory work, but itís nothing you couldnít handle. This is another great piece for mix and mingle. It isnít a show stopping piece, but it is a fabulous warm up and introduction to the group. Itís the perfect propless effect to keep in the back of your mind because it does actually play quite large.

Common Cents Prediction - You may not be able to tell, but this routine and the two that came before it all utilize the same core method. These are three different presentations for the same method (which is a lesson within itself.) Of the three, this is my favorite presentation. I am absolutely in love with this. I have been carrying it on me since I read it and the reactions are out of the park. I love this because it plays very big and the final climax leaves them with their jaw on the floor with no way to back track. The more they think about it, the more confused they will be. They think itís something quite simple and then when the final revelation comes, their brains melt slightly as they try to comprehend just how complex the whole scenario truly was. It uses just a bill and 2 quarters but my oh my, itís a killer. Love love LOVE this. It reminds me of Prometheus by Manos, but with the help of three people instead of two. And in this one, thereís not a single question asked. It is brilliant. I will be using it no doubt.

Group Dynamics - This is so good. Its structure is so well thought out. They get a strong effect with your first prediction and then an impossible kick in the teeth with the second prediction. This routine could be used in almost any scenario: mix and mingle, table-hopping, casual close up, around the card table, even on stage (although it is better suited for close up.) These are classic techniques used in an innovative way. I just love the way the routine comes together. Drew has used some genuine psychology in his thinking to help facilitate the initial effect. This is a workerís dream. Iíll be using it.

Pseudoesthesia - This is simply a presentation for a word reveal (no method for gaining the information is taught because thatís not the emphasis,) but holy cow, what a presentation. I can honestly say, the presentation is perhaps the best, most interactive, most logical, most intriguing word reveal Iíve ever come across. I donít know how to discuss this routine because the routine is what is special about it. All I will say is, this will be my go to reveal of a word. It works one-on-one, but thereís some additional logic added in if thereís at least two people other than the performer. Itís a solid presentation and sure to be remembered. I absolutely love it and will be using it. P.S. Scott Creaseyís peek from M.M.M. seems made for this presentation.

Phishing - DANG this is another hit. It reminds me of some Paul Carnazzo thinking. This seems like the type of effect he would come up with (he is credited.) It also reminds me of Thought Association Card a bit. What improvements this offers is that it is logical. Itís a logical list and it feels very casual. The method used to get the first spectatorís password is very clever and totally hidden. The way youíre able to reveal the spectatorís childhood memory feels about as real as it gets. Itís a lovely, logical progression from revealing a password to revealing something much deeper. This routine allows you to connect with your spectators on a very emotional level. It is very practical (in fact, Drew keeps a screenshot of the list on his phone) and very hard hitting. Once again, Drew is using classic methods in a fresh way which leaves for a hard hitting moment of mind reading.

You Were Missed - Oh, it hurts me that this us being released to the public. This is a technique you can use which I believe would almost guarantee your booking after a meeting. Itís a solid, workable method. Admittedly, you wonít be able to use it every time (well you can, it just loses the biggest part of its impact,) but you will be able to use it more often than not. What I love is that the biggest hit occurs after youíve left the building. You leave the meeting, they read your letter and have an incredibly hard-hitting, inexplainable reveal which will leave them talking and saying ďwhen can we hire him!?Ē This is genius. Youíd be a fool to overlook the strength of this from a booking perspective. Iíll be using it.

Letís Agree to Agree - This is one of the most valuable chapters in the book. Drew walks you through his entire contract and provides commentary on what everything means and why itís included. This is such wonderful, real world advice which you can begin using immediately. I found a lot of value in this chapter as someone who isnít well versed in contracts/business jargon. Great value in this chapter, even for those who have been using contracts for years. You may find some of his points worth considering.

Leading the Witness - This technique is so simple to execute, and yet will leave you with some great testimonies to use on your site. As Drew states above, it kind of seems like the logical thing to do, but this one simple step will no doubt give you much stronger testimonies than not doing this step. I will be implementing this technique from now on. It is well thought out and I believe also works on many psychological levels as well which I donít have time to discuss here. Again, this chapter is more valuable from a business standpoint than any single effect could be.

Bernstein Dynes on a Cloud - Talk about a POWERFUL way to start a show. This is straight up genius. A prediction mailed to the organizer of the event weeks in advance not only predicts something the organizer would choose, but also what the entire audience will choose. Wow it is seriously brilliant. Iíve always loved the method behind ďSporting PredictionĒ but couldnít find a use for it that I liked. Well this is it! It is used in such a smart and out of the box way with additional subtleties which really keep everything above board. It is such a great combination of ideas; each method cancels out the one before it making it seem impossible. I guarantee Iíll use this at the right time and right place for the right event. I love it.

Social Insecurity - This is very clever and very clean. This uses a knowledge base of something Iíve never seen utilized before. Drew was very clever to see the potential in this; he squeezes as much out of it as humanly possible. It really doesnít get any fairer than this effect. This will feel like real mind reading to everyone watching AND everyone participating as thereís quite literally zero process. They think of something, and you tell them what their thinking. Itís LITERALLY that clean. I like it a lot, but there are some certain factors which frighten me a bit for reasons I canít get into. I donít know that Iím bold enough to employ it in my set, but if you are, you are getting about as close to real mind reading as you can get. Great thinking here.

Put a Pin in It - This is clever, clever thinking. It uses classic methods combined in a brilliant way. You get a wonderful first effect and then a killer unexpected climax reveal of the prediction. I love this routine for so many reasons. The presentation is so fun and inspired. There is a certain aspect of the presentation that I donít think Iíd necessarily run with, but luckily, you can customize it pretty easily. It is a great way to start your show because the beginning of the effect is a highly dramatic moment with a big build up which builds to a big comedic let down. Itís a perfect way to get people comfortable and relaxed and know everyone is there for a good time and not to take themselves too seriously. It is a method Iím familiar with, but the combination of methods and the presentation Drew created is beautiful, logical, meaningful, and playful. I will be using this and Iím HEAVILY debating using it as the opening to my show.

Obviously Influenced - This is a wonderful take on the two envelope test. One of the great things about this routine is that the spectator actually feels like the winner and will walk away quite pleased with their prize. This isnít one of those, ďOh, you lost, sucker!Ē Type of bank night routines. It is beautifully simple. Thereís very little in the way of method or process. Itís a great piece to showcase the performerís personality, and it is a nice way to start a show. It sets a wonderful tone, and amazes the audience without smacking them in the face. I like it and I will use it.

Catch Me If You Can - This is pack small, play big at its finest. 5 envelopes and a paper ball is all thatís used. You get multiple climaxes out of the routine which feel more and more impossible. Again, classic methods blended together into one seamless routine which feels totally impossible. Practical, hard hitting mentalism at its finest. It can also be used successfully in mix and mingle environments.

Catch Me 2.0 - This is the same basic effect as the previous routine, however this version uses a different method which is streamlined a bit from the audiences perspective. I prefer the former, original version to this streamlined version; I happen to really enjoy the method used in the first routine, whereas the main method here is the method I believe most audience members would suspect when coming up with a method. I could be wrong about that though, especially if itís done well. It is still a very practical and workable method. I just feel itís a solution to a problem which doesnít actually exist.

A Strangerís Call - Youíd be hard pressed to find a stronger closer than this. It builds amazingly well. It starts with a bit which has been happening throughout the show with audience members who have come on stage. It starts with a bit of a let down, goes on to an amazing success, climbs to an even more amazing succes, and then ends with an impossible, over the top, out of this world prediction which no one sees coming and will leave them scratching their heads. Drew follows this routine with an essay on the too perfect theory and, coincidentally, I think he put the essay in the perfect place. To me, this effect is on the verge of too perfect but Drew has tried to prevent that by adding in subtleties along the way to suggest to the audience, fully unconsciously, that it isnít what it may seem to be. Itís a great routine. I donít think Iíll be using it, at least not any time soon, but I can see why Drew has gotten so much mileage out of this routine, and I can also see why it would have to be the last trick in your show. It would be impossible to top.

What Are the Odds - Okay ladies and gentleman, this is the final effect in the book and it is a DOOZEY. In my opinion, this is the best effect in the book. It packs small and plays MASSIVE, and it is a simple method with an intriguing plot, a logical presentation, an impossible prediction, and then an out of this world, ďno frickiní wayĒ prediction. In my opinion, this is a perfect routine in every way, shape, and form. It has everything I love in a closer, and it is virtually self-working. I cannot recommend it enough, in fact, the highest recommendation I could give is that I will be using this as my new closer to the show Iím working on. Itís THAT good.



I really feel we are within the Golden Age of Mentalism. We have some of the most innovative thinkers of all time within our midst, sharing their creativity with the world. Decades from now, people will look back on this time in awe of the greats who were all around at once. I truly believe Drew Backenstoss will be a name they bring up. Heís the ďnew kid on the block,Ē but from this material I can tell you he is neither new to creating or performing. He is only new to sharing. His name will become well known and his effects will be performed by pros all of the world. Clearly, I love this material. It is practical, hard-hitting mentalism which is easy to do and Drewís presentations are some of the best full fledged presentations Iíve read. His scripting is superb. It is truly a treat that he is sharing with us so freely. I cannot recommend this enough. Iíve told Drew this, but the biggest issue I have with this release is that all of the material is so strong, I canít decide which ones to put into my immediate show; I want them ALL to be part of the program.

Seriously, you will regret not picking this up. I am honored I was able to receive a sneak peek at the material, and I can safely say I will use a majority of the material within these pages at one time or another. This is one of those releases Iíll reference back to time and time again.

But donít take my word for it! Take Drew up on his offer! Get a chapter for free. See for yourself why so many people are so excited about this material. I can practically guarantee reading one of the chapters will astound you and only make you crave more.

Drew, you are on your way up. Prepare for a whirlwind surrounding this release for all the right reasons.

Madison
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On Oct 7, 2018, MadisonH wrote:

A Strangerís Call - Youíd be hard pressed to find a stronger closer than this. It builds amazingly well. It starts with a bit which has been happening throughout the show with audience members who have come on stage. It starts with a bit of a let down, goes on to an amazing success, climbs to an even more amazing succes, and then ends with an impossible, over the top, out of this world prediction which no one sees coming and will leave them scratching their heads. Drew follows this routine with an essay on the too perfect theory and, coincidentally, I think he put the essay in the perfect place. To me, this effect is on the verge of too perfect but Drew has tried to prevent that by adding in subtleties along the way to suggest to the audience, fully unconsciously, that it isnít what it may seem to be. Itís a great routine. I donít think Iíll be using it, at least not any time soon, but I can see why Drew has gotten so much mileage out of this routine, and I can also see why it would have to be the last trick in your show. It would be impossible to top.

Madison


This was the chapter I requested. These are my honest thoughts:

I think Drew is incredibly bright and clever. His writing is personable and his thinking is clean and high-quality. This routine does some really great things, but the "too perfect theory" is not the weakness, in my opinion. This routine is an astounding effect for the audience, with incredibly deceptive details and subtlety by Drew--all built upon a terrible method.

Now before you attack me, let me explain.

Most buyers are going to read this book and skim through this routine expecting a new, amazing method--and then be disappointed, and then unfairly criticize Drew. Maybe I can help clear this up now--the method is not one I would ever use--it's a full dealbreaker for me. And with that said, who cares? Drew himself writes that this book is not a book with new, innovative methods, it's a book of subtleties, ideas, and clever thinking--to skim through would be missing the forest for the trees.

I think the method could be tossed in the trash--there are far better ones available that cost minor tweaks and would allow the same routine. Drew has some really, really clever ideas on layering, deception in mentalism, and structuring your routines to have these loose threads you can tie in with other effects.

For me, and most purchasers, I think the strength of a routine like this is not using it as your closer, but dissecting it all and taking notes on how Drew approaches a basic effect with a basic method, and builds brick by brick until the tower falls on the city. Epic.

It's obvious he's done a show for a paying audience.

||sean ||
//Sean Beard
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This sounds incredible.. Just trying to figure out what chapter I want as they all seem amazing 😂
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Madison - As always, your review was INCREDIBLY thorough! I appreciate the time you took to detail your reaction to each chapter of AoTM. I'm happy to hear that so much of it was positive - and I'm equally happy to see your honesty on the few things that didn't quite "fit" you.

Sean - I knew that the core method used in "A Stranger's Call" would be polarizing to readers. I SINCERELY appreciate your blunt honesty! "I think the method could be tossed in the trash..." is just about the response I anticipated it would evoke from some Smile

You are EXACTLY the kind of person I had in mind when writing AoTM: Someone who fully understands his/her likes and dislikes, persona, and overall performance objectives and ideals. In my opinion - you've accomplished a REMARKABLE feat by seeing past a "dealbreaker" and recognizing the real ideas I was hoping to communicate through the piece: layering of method, climactic build, stagecraft, an impactful presentation, etc.

Those who are able to read between the lines of Madison's and Sean's posts will no doubt come to suspect the method under scrutiny - that's just fine. As Sean mentions - there are MANY other directions you could take to accomplish a similar goal. I have my reasons for electing the route I've taken (mainly to serve the dramatic impact of the routine) but I COMPLETELY understand if you don't feel the same way! I should point out, this is the ONLY routine where I employ this method... and I feel that the impact justifies it.

Best,

Drew
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Price and release date?
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I can honestly say to everyone who is interested in this book that there is no filler between those pages. Drew is extremely honest about the material and I know that he and I share the same mentality about the material we share with the community. We both want people to know exactly what they are getting so they can judge for themselves if it suits them or not. Madison's review is very honest and detailed and it shows that this is audience tested reliable material.
Madison mentioned the similarities of the Common Cents routine with one of my routines. Good eye Madison. Smile Drew and I have talked a lot about this routine. I absolutely love Common Cents and have performed it quite a few times. It is a killer routine and gets amazing reactions.
Having said that, I am sure you will find great value in all the routines in the book, whether that is a combination of methods, inspiring presentations and subtleties or routines that fit right into your working repertoire.
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I have never talked to Drew before, but he was very kind to share his routine "The Usual Suspects" with me. I had the PDF in email when I woke up. I downloaded it immediately. There were 34 pages and everything was so well-written that I just couldn't stop reading.

This is a very good routine and I requested it because I have been going through my collection of "Murder Mystery" and "Which Hand?" routines lately, and I wanted to compare Drew's thinking with what I already have. I like Intelligent Methods. I love the routines that I can repeat even though I immediately don't, but it's just a criterion. I was very happy with what I read. It's a very clever piece of Mentalism.

Drew's routine uses borrowed items and they are mixed while your back is turned. I like it a lot and I have already come up with a presentation that I'll try out soon.

Thank you Drew for sharing it with me. If that's how clever other routines are too, your book will definitely become a classic.
Seth speaks
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On Oct 8, 2018, IAIN wrote:
Price and release date?


See the first post...
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Drew was kind enough to share his effect and chapter 'What are the Odds?' before I get to that though lets talk about Atlas's foreword, the introduction and preface. Atlas sets the scene with his foreword giving us a great insight into Drew's personality that carries through to Drew's preface and introduction. His reason's for writing the book and his list of what the book is and isn't is a lesson in itself, don't skip this! It has already been mentioned in this thread but I love to read books written with this much detail, and Drew encourages us to not take the material as written, although you could, but to dig deeper into it and learn the lessons from it in terms of his choices of method and scripting, and that is the hidden depth in these kind of publications, yes you get well crafted and honed material that you could and will use verbatim, but much more than that you get to see the choices another performer has made and apply those thoughts to your own material.

What can I say about the 'What are the Odds?' routine it is just that a well crafted performance piece, that uses familiar, fooling methods, layered on top of each other to create a powerhouse prediction with a kicker that comes out of left field, the spectators can genuinely stand freely in a line, and have input into the mix of numbers that create a final random number that unfolds into multiple climaxes. It uses a gambit from a routine I am currently writing into a show and like others have said in this thread I am tempted to replace it with this!

I for one can't wait for the book to come out and will be ordering immediately, Drew is destined for great things, and this book will deservedly become a must-have.
Rich Morrell
---
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