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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Latest and Greatest? Ľ Ľ ELEMENTARY by Drew Backenstoss (152 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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252life
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I personally have zero issues with how Drew is releasing this and think itís fair. I wouldnít buy a coach ticket and then expect to be allowed to wander into first class and grab a seat. People have options here. Also, if someone purchases the pdf version and then decides to upgrade, I believe Drew made that an option as well. That allows for testing the waters for anyone unsure if theyíll like the product. He has the right to market and price however he sees fit and we can buy it itís agreeable. This is one of the best purchases Iíve made and canít speak highly enough about it, so for me the values there.
Anyway, good luck to all. This is a winner of a effect/system.
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
DrewBstoss
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Martin: Sorry to disappoint you. The release details for ELEMENTARY are set. Again, no one HAS to buy this. The only person referencing "elite buyers" and "peasants" is you sir. If someone picks up ELEMENTARY "101" and wants to dive deeper they are welcome to upgrade at a later time (and only pay the difference). How often is that offer made within the magic community? I find it interesting that you've hyper-focused on the FB group but made no comment regarding the added value of the Simulator, a (signed) physical book and nearly 75 pages of additional content.

Brandon: Thank you for you considered reply. 100% yes - I assign a value to my time. Moderating a FB group and providing high caliber after-sales service takes time. (SIDE NOTE: I'll be curious to see if the two stage variations change your mind about performing ELEMENTARY within that context Smile )

Cardisty Master: Access to the FB group is not about piracy. It's about bonus content that people would receive without making the investment in the "Complete" package. Regarding demos - I am taking a few weeks off because time is becoming increasingly scarce. I have two daughters (2 and 6 years old) and want to cherish the years when this time of year is full of magic.

252life: Thank you for input. So happy to hear that you found ELEMENTARY worthy of your time and money. Just so everyone understands your mention of purchasing this - I have granted early access to a few people who are helping me test the Simulator and providing feedback on the book. My goal is to make this something that people not only enjoy reading but also (and more importantly) PERFORMING. Those who have received early access have all paid full price for the information.

Best wishes,

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

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cardistry master
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2020, DrewBstoss wrote:
Martin: Sorry to disappoint you. The release details for ELEMENTARY are set. Again, no one HAS to buy this. The only person referencing "elite buyers" and "peasants" is you sir. If someone picks up ELEMENTARY "101" and wants to dive deeper they are welcome to upgrade at a later tim (and only pay the difference). How often is that offer made within the magic community? I find it interesting that you've hyper-focused on the FB group but made no comment regarding the added value of the Simulator, a (signed) physical book and nearly 75 pages of additional content.

Brandon: Thank you for you considered reply. 100% yes - I assign a value to my time. Moderating a FB group and providing high caliber after-sales service takes time. (SIDE NOTE: I'll be curious to see if the two stage variations change your mind about performing ELEMENTARY within that context Smile )

Cardisty Master: Access to the FB group is not about piracy. It's about bonus content that people would receive without making the investment in the "Complete" package. Regarding demos - I am taking a few weeks off because time is becoming increasingly scarce. I have two daughters (2 and 6 years old) and want to cherish the years when this time of year is full of magic.

252life: Thank you for input. So happy to hear that you found ELEMENTARY worthy of your time and money. Just so everyone understands your mention of purchasing this - I have granted early access to a few people who are helping me test the Simulator and providing feedback on the book. My goal is to make this something that people not only enjoy reading but also (and more importantly) PERFORMING. Those who have received early access have all paid full price for the information.

Best wishes,

Drew


Ok I guess I misunderstood then. I understand with the demo sessions. The simulator is a very good idea. I wish more propless mentalism things would do that.
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Much (most?) of the ideas on Facebook groups are provided by purchasers of the effect. For free. If we're going to be all hard-headed businessman about this will Drew be paying contributors for their ideas, or does this "time is money" thing only work one way?


You're making a good point Mr. Pulman. I'm basing this on the assumption that Drew will be a very active participant in the group. From how responsive he is on this thread and how much time he has spent sharing this with others I feel it's a safe assumption, but still an assumption. I go back to my earlier point about people being able to charge what they want for their time. If a customer wants to share their ideas and thoughts on FB they are more than welcome to, but if they don't feel that's worth their time they can just read what's there.

I work as a screenwriter, doing something that many people do for free or for less than what I do. I've decided what the time it takes me to write a script is worth. Some people make 10x what I make and some make 10x less. But I've reached a level where I'm happy with what I make and am happy to let others make what they want to make. Drew's time is worth to him whatever he says it is, and people buy or don't buy based on if they agree with his valuation.

I think it's also important to understand that the FB group is not all you're getting for the complete package. There are other ideas, pages, and physical product all of which also have cost and value.

Quote:
Wow! Everything that has gone wrong with the Mentalism selling "business" right there.


If I mistook your quote here improperly I'm truly sorry. Problem of tone on the internet. I felt that this was you showing your displeasure with the pricing. But I definitely defer to you knowing what you mean more than I do.

Quote:
I really hope this thread doesn't descend into another pile-on where people are afraid to give their honest thoughts. We've had enough of that over the years. Drew has released some interesting variations on the work of others -standing on the shoulders of giants to streamline routines in an entertaining and creative way, but I don't think we've reached the point where his every utterance and release has to be treated with the accompanying scent of burning incense. I'd be very surprised if he believed that to be the case.


Definitely don't feel the need to praise anything, just the desire to do so. I've never met Drew at all. He just performed something for me that I found really intriguing. And I found his Penguin Lecture to be incredible. As one of the best rated lectures on the site I definitely feel in good company. But If I din't find Elementary to be good I easily would have said so. I've grown up in the Hollywood "biz" my entire life. Have no problem sharing my opinion. This one just happens to be good. I'll get Elementary and offer a review as soon as possible. Good or bad.

My only thought was he's earned the benefit of the doubt for now. And feel we should see the product before showing displeasure at it's pricing. But again if the is not the point you were making then I am sorry for my misinterpretation.

Appreciate your thoughts and the discussion Mr. Pulman.

Best,
Brandon
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chosen1
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Hello Drew.

I'm sorry your message came while I was typing mine.

I'm always open to having my mind changed. LOL. I'll definitely take a look at the stage version and give it a shot.

Best,
Brandon
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Martin Pulman
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On Dec 23, 2020, 252life wrote:
I personally have zero issues with how Drew is releasing this and think itís fair. I wouldnít buy a coach ticket and then expect to be allowed to wander into first class and grab a seat.

I really hope this isn't the way the Mentalism community is going, with talk of people in first class while others are in coach. Especially not at the present time.
252life
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2020, Martin Pulman wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 23, 2020, 252life wrote:
I personally have zero issues with how Drew is releasing this and think itís fair. I wouldnít buy a coach ticket and then expect to be allowed to wander into first class and grab a seat.

I really hope this isn't the way the Mentalism community is going, with talk of people in first class while others are in coach. Especially not at the present time.


Yes you caught me, itís a big social statement like someone mentioning fast food was.
Or, it could be that I was saying weíre all only entitled to what we pay for.
Iím not much of a socialist.

Back on topic. Iím so impressed with this release that Iím about to shoot Drew another congratulatory email about it in the hopes his head will swell.
Peace out comrades.
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
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Hey everyone,

So, first off, I had a chance for Drew to perform this on me about 1 month ago, and I agree with what everyone stated in posts. The performance was spot-on, brilliant, and had me giggling.

A little back story, for those that don't know what I do. Since March, I have been working on the COVID-19 glass vials that are being distributed to Pfizer/Moderna, and work has actually increased for me. It was one of those things, being in the pharma industry, then this pandemic started, and all of a sudden I am swarmed with lots more work.

I just recently got some vacation time until Jan 4, and starting mid January I will be partially moving on/off near Philadelphia, in hopes of getting more glass vials to our customers faster.

Back to Elementary & Drew: I actually purchased the complete package for $100 USD, and Drew gave me early access to test out the simulator and learn the basics.
Bear in mind, I have not read the extra content, that will be in the physical book, but I have read the whole system, all the variations, as well as everything related to the basic system, and subleties.

At first, it may all seem a bit overwhelming, but its pretty easy to wrap your head around it, once you start to understand the system, and test out the simulator.

about 2 days after reading everything thoroughly, and testing the simulator lots, I did my first performance over zoom to a friend, and he we floored, and said it was really clean.
yesterday, I performed it 2 times, once on Zoom, and one last night live. Again, flawless.

Once you understand everything, its pretty easy to go into performance mode, and nail this every single time.

Now I cannot give a full detailed review of the book, since there is a lot more extra content that will be inside, and I want to perform it more before giving more thoughts, but I can say in the 3 times that I have performed it, I am really enjoying performing this.

What I can say is that the book is full of different ways you can perform this, and you can pick and choose how you want to perform and present this.

For you international people, you will be able to do this as well, as everything is covered.

BUT....and this is important...........when you receive the book, please read the Elementary first, so you can understand everything in its entirety, and then once you go to the International version, you will pick it up right away. If you skip to the Intl version first, you might get lost.

I urge readers to read everything completely first time around.

Simulator is great in being able to test your knowledge, different PINS, and being able to know whether you are right or wrong. Very similar like if you were going to perform it for real.

I get nothing from Drew for saying this stuff, and I paid full price for my book, and I feel that this PIN divination will be a worker among many of you, and you will pick it up quickly, and it will be a staple in your online or live shows for many years to come.

Its that good, and Drew has ironed out all the kinks in the routine.

Like I said, when I post my full review when the book comes out with all the extra content, I will, and I will have many more performances under my belt and will able to tell you all about my experiences with this.

For now, only having it 5 days, and performing it 3 times, I can say its great, and I will definitely continue to use it every chance I get.

MY honest thoughts.

Alex Alejandro
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252life
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Couldnít agree more Alejandro. The simulator is fun btw. Also, it may appear challenging at first blush but itís actually extremely straight forward and quickly intuitive. Give it a few read throughs and before you know it, you know it Smile
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
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I've been meaning to write about this since Drew kindly demoed it online for me. Along the way I've been involved in helping to develop and write some of the other releases that have covered similar ground in the 'propless arena'. We always set out to make the effect for the audience as clean as possible whilst trying to minimise the process - and I can honestly say that Drew's routine is one of the cleanest and most streamlined versions I've ever seen. I'm really excited to read all of the variations of his work on this. I have read and understood the opposing views regarding the pricing structure that Drew is adopting - I respect all of them, but in my mind I wouldn't hesitate to get the full package and (like most things in mentalism) if I can't afford the things that I want I'll wait and save up. On this, I think that Drew is pretty much in a 'no-win' situation either way. We are in hard times for many, but he is entitled to (and I'd say should) also set a fair price for his work and there is never an easy way to please everyone's expectations - all he can do is to remain true to what he believes is the value of what he is offering and others will decide whether they agree. I can empathise with the different views expressed, particularly in the current global situation, but having seen the 'basic' routine and briefly discussed what is being offered I am confident that all packages outlined will be good value for money. This is a strong routine and I am sure that those who invest will be happy with what they get. The offer to upgrade for the difference is also very fair. I hope that the thread won't be dominated by that issue and can now focus on the routine itself. I appreciate that's hard before it's released (in January) but from having seen it demoed I am sure the feedback will be very positive when the reviews start to flood in. What I've seen from Drew so far has impressed me, and this looks to me like a great release. I'll happily purchase a copy, and congratulations to him for some great thinking.
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Congrats on the new release, Drew. Iíll be looking to get this but I also need to pick up Architect of the Mind. Any chance you will do any bundle specials like you did with your lecture?

Just figured I would ask. Smile

Merry Christmas to everyone here!
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Just wanted to chime back in here with a few things.

First and foremost: Drew is one of the kindest people Iíve ever met in magic. I assure you he is not trying to be mean by not admitting some people to the group. It seems pretty obvious to me. People pay a premium price for access to an entire bonus effect which he could have released on its own. This bonus effect WILL eventually be discussed on FB. Therefore, if you donít have the complete set, you canít be admitted to FB where discussions may turn to some of the material that was made exclusive to the people who opted for the larger package. Pretty simple there.

As for the book itself, I first read a draft of it in September and admittedly, I was overwhelmed. Drew has structured the book in such a way that he tries to make it as easy as possible to learn, but when reading the book cover to cover in one sitting as I did, it was a LOT of information. Itís better to read the first portion of the book, go to the simulator and get familiar with the ins and outs, and then once you feel comfortable with that, move on to the next stage. This will help you wrap your head around it.

Whatís crazy is once you understand it, itís INCREDIBLY simple and intuitive. Once you understand why it works, thereís nothing to memorize or work out in your head. It all just snaps into place. This is so much the case that when I went back and reread it last week, I found myself cracking up at myself for being overwhelmed by something which is so basic and easy. My initial problem was trying to absorb ALL of the info in one go. This isnít one of those pieces. Read each piece, fully understand it, and then move on to the next piece. This will give you all of the knowledge you need and significant lower the learning curve.

This is something I will be using in the new year significantly. Iím so excited for its release and Iím so excited to see the enthusiasm of people who have experienced the effect first hand. That is a true testament to the power of this piece. Remember these comments arenít from Drewís friends. They are from strangers experiencing the effect for the first time. This is a big difference to how most propless effects are released. In most cases, a full performance is never shown and the only people commenting on the thread are the creators friends gassing him up. Clearly, Elementary is something special and Drew is a special species who deserves all of the mild praise he is receiving here (but heís too humble to ever admit that.)

Madison
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2020, chosen1 wrote:

I work as a screenwriter, doing something that many people do for free or for less than what I do. I've decided what the time it takes me to write a script is worth. Some people make 10x what I make and some make 10x less. But I've reached a level where I'm happy with what I make and am happy to let others make what they want to make.

Hi Brandon,

I'm also fortunate/unfortunate enough to work in the film/TV business. One of my jobs is optioning the scripts and properties for development at our production company. If we were ever fortunate enough to option a screenplay from you -at whatever price- I'd hope you'd supply us with a complete draft and we wouldn't have to pay you extra to find out the ending.

Charging extra for a physical book or for access to a simulator is perhaps understandable but I sincerely hope other creators don't try and copy this marketing model where you have to pay extra for access to a Facebook group. It would be a very depressing development. Not everything has to be monetized.

Regards,
Martin
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Hello Mr. Pulman.

Lol. Your fortunate/unfortunate line is so apt. Greatest job in the world, but man is it difficult sometimes. So so so accurate.

Thank you for your work! Anyone who helps in development or to put money in writerís pockets as you do, is awesome!

Your analogy is very interesting. Youíre definitely speaking my language. Iíd like to offer an addition to that about how I see this. Please feel free to disagree.
As you know options can vary in length. Usually a year but 18 months is pretty common too especially now with how Wild West the landscape has been this year. Would your company offer me a one year option and then expect me to extend it for another 6 months without an additional payment? The same way I wouldnít take payment for a year treatment and after 6 month start shopping elsewhere.

I also donít see any tier that Drew mentioned that said pay extra for the Facebook group. Could have missed something but each tier comes with additional content /or a physical book and/or the simulator. Is this not the case Mr. Pulman or are you just expressing a general concern that this could become the case?

And if you ever need a horror script let me know. Lol. Iím finishing one with a magic bend next month. Good luck sir. Itís so crazy right now I hope youíre doing well and your business is navigating as best it can.

Hello MDantes, thank you for sharing. I do think it might be better for the conversation as a whole if we all softened are tones. Forums are nothing if not a place for opinions especially of the varied kind. At this point I do not agree with Mr. Pulman but hope the tone has remained polite. Your idea of taking these pricing discussions to a private correspondence is a great idea though. Or perhaps a new thread about general pricing practices so this discussion can remain focused. Iíd be happy to start one if others are interested and think it could be very enlightening.

At the end of the day, Drew has created something really great. Heís been kind enough to share it with anyone wants it. Given us several options on how we can add it to our collection. And itís all coming very soon. Heís released incredible material in the past so, for my money, heís earned the benefit of the doubt he has never, as far as I know not delivered top notch material and over delivered. No reason to believe he wonít do so again.

Best,
Brandon
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252life
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Great post!
Personally Iíd like to see this distraction treated as such and ignored.
ELEMENTARY is a big slice of genius and I think Drew deserves every penny he chooses to charge.
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
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Hey Drew,

Your ELEMENTARY full package book costs as much as your ARCHITECT OF THE MIND book.Reading the reviews of your ATOM,it seems that it was well worth the money and even a STEAL at this price.
ELEMENTARY costs the same and it is after all 100$ for one piece of propless mentalism.Again,reading the reviews of your ATOM you seem a great guy,therefore the ELEMENTARY book should be worth it.
I am looking into buying the full ELEMENTARY package.You mentionned that the shipping is 5$,but is it worldwide shipping or only for U.S.?Would it cost more internationally?
Also,are you still not performing it on zoom or are you back at it?Would love to see a performance.
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I hope that Drew sells as many books as he wishes but at what point in the past we have lost sight of what direct and simple mentalism is. If I have to have a conversation with the participant and restrict his choice, it wouldnít be simpler to use acidus novus or if via internet a nail writer?
Happy purchase

Regards
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Robert P. - You are absolutely correct - no harm in asking! I wouldn't be opposed to a "bundle deal" with AOTM and ELEMENTARY... but the truth is, there are only 11 remaining copies of AOTM available for purchase. So, it wouldn't be something I could offer for long. If you (or anyone else) is interested in having the discussion feel free to PM me Smile

klegy - Yes, I have been told by many that I didn't charge enough for AOTM. In a similar vein, I'm confident that you'll find ELEMENTARY (especially the "Complete" package) is much more than "one piece of propless mentalism" Smile Keep in mind, if you'd like to test the waters before making the larger investment, ELEMENTARY "101" is an option. Regarding shipping, I don't recall ever specifying anything about costs... I plan on using USPS 2-day Priority ($8) for all US orders. I am still trying to find the most cost effective (but dependable) international courier. If anyone has suggestions don't hesitate to PM me! Part of the uncertainty stems from the fact that I don't yet have the final printed book in my possession, therefore I have to guess on the parcel weight.

Mark Timon - As I'm sure you appreciate, there's a time and place for any method. Every technique comes with compromises and considerations. I will say though, I've always wanted to perform ELEMENTARY in front of a room full of magicians but make one adjustment - I'd have the person commit to the PIN in writing. I'm QUITE confident that under those circumstances, the majority of magicians would think they just witnessed the most deceptive peek in existence Smile I hardly every find myself in the company of other performers so I'll never know for sure - but my gut says it would fry them. ("FOOL US" here I come haha!)

Best wishes,

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

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I read 15% or 20% of the book, and I performed it the same day (I know, I know, very foolish, but I was excited and I tend to do that).
I'm so grateful I was able to see one of the early edits of Elementary.

Elementary is BRILLIANT.

More importantly, I can't wait to put this in my show.
This is coming from someone who used to hate propless mentalism (I still do hate 99% of propless mentalism)
but now I have a lot of experience with a couple good ones.
--------------------------------------
In reply to Mark Timon's comment,
"If I have to have a conversation with the participant and restrict his choice,
it wouldnít be simpler to use acidus novus or if via internet a nail writer?"

Neither Acidus Novus nor a nail writer is like Elementary.
Your comment seems to say "Elementary has compromises, but a nail writer or Acidus Novus doesn't have compromises."

Comparing Elementary versus a nail writer is like comparing an app trick versus a nail writer.

Yes, when you perform propless, you have a conversation with your participant (compromise).
You restrict the choice (compromise) ... but if your participant is left with the impression that you restricted her choice,
then frankly that's not Elementary.
What's the latest info you nail wrote? a phone number?
Did your participant say, "Why did you restrict me to just a 3 digit number? I want to think of a five or ten digit number."
Of course not.
The art in mentalism is making such restrictions (compromises) seem justified, motivated, invisible, or even shaping their perception of it so they feel it's even more personal or impossible.

Propless mentalism has gotten me out of several snafus--no signal from the app trick, etc.
Having something like this always in your pocket (because you need no pockets for it) is like having a superpower.
Being a capable mentalist--independent of gimmicks--gives the mentalist confidence,
and having this superpower can only add to your credibility when you grab your gimmicks.

In the hundreds of virtual shows I've done in 2020, propless methods like Elementary are a hundred times better than Acidus Novus (for obvious reasons).
I've used a nail writer many times in those shows, but Elementary has none of the compromises of a nail writer:
1. You need paper (and probably pencil/marker)
2. You need your gimmick
3. With your nail writer you restrict her choice anyway (be honest)
4. She always needs to say her thought first, then you reveal the "prediction" (you can frame it a different way, but audiences do start to pick up on this pattern. It is CATEGORICALLY different when you tell her what she's thinking)
5. "You want me to say it out loud?" (proceed with necessary 'conversation' with your participant, even though you're using a nail writer)
6. Finally, the reveal. Sometimes the writing is illegible because it snagged that time/you were nervous/the tip broke/your 8s suck
7. The nail writer has been and can be exposed in a single sentence.

The above are compromises you carry when you nail write.
Not trying to bash it, just pointing out the obvious--everything has a compromise.
The best virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician Jon Finch.
252life
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Amen
Look for all the world like you're counting the brain cells in his cranium.

-Theodore Annemann
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