It makes sense to me to review these e-booklets together. The introduction to both books is identical as the theme of each booklet is the same: routines with business cards for the mentalist (though some magicians may be interested too). There are three detailed routines in each booklet with variations on some of them included and material to print out so you can get them printed on your business cards or print on stickers to add to your business cards while you experiment with the routines. If you like the first book, you’ll want the second.
There have been booklets on routines with business cards before (I wrote one myself decades ago) but these are aimed more for those who lean towards mentalism. The mentalist might write a prediction on a business card before leaving it with someone or do a ‘flash’ magic square a la Roy Johnson or Doug Dyment but the routines in these booklets are meant to be more interactive and in some cases done over the phone later. The idea is that the person you give the business card to prompts the demonstration by asking about what he sees on your card.
Just as there are some mentalists that don’t like to use playing cards I’ve come across some that don’t like to use printed lists so if you’re one of those then walk right on by. For the most part the routines use mathematical principles and clever forces so the mere mention of math has lost some more readers unless you’ve previously read anything by The Unknown Mentalist in which case you might stick around.
The first routine in the first booklet is called Telepathy Test. On the back of the business card is what looks like a word search puzzle and a list of words. After the performers introductory patter the participant chooses a word and looks for it in the puzzle. The performer is able to reveal the word he is looking at.
Routine two is called Digital Destiny. Apart from information on the business card (a list of words) another small card is used with different years on in three different colors. One side of the card has dates from the past and the other the future. In the simplest version of the routine as soon as someone picks a color you know which word they will eventually end up with.
Other versions of the routine are given where the color is never used. If I were to make this up I’d eliminate the first line on the future dates side of the card as they are years that have already gone. Also you’d pick younger people to do this with, if someone my age picked some of the later dates they’d be dead before the date arrived so the final word arrived at would not be significant in any way. A very unusual limiting force is used with this routine involving digital numbers and whilst I found it interesting, I thought it too many hoops to jump through to reveal a word. Maybe it will open the door to people giving readings based on the digital segments in someone’s date of birth?
The third routine is a humorous one, the spectator’s fingerprint apparently appears on your business card. It’s taken as a bit of a joke but eventually an ESP symbol he is concentrating on appears in the fingerprint. No mathematics in this one, but you need a Frixion pen. And if you have one, there’s also a killer use for it in the second booklet.
Universal Answer is the first routine in Businessassins 2. I found this one amusing as the spectator finds the answer to the meaning of life. A 25 square grid full of words is on the back of your business card. An alternative grid with symbols/pictures could also be used and while that does look better, the word grid is far more practical if you were going to do this over the phone, as pictures can be described by people in different ways, and in the end the participant has to use words for the images anyway. At first I thought the use of ‘traffic light’ seemed out of place as a choice and something else could be substituted, but then realized it doesn’t matter as the climax shows this is not to be taken too seriously (which is not to say the person won’t be baffled).
This is an unusual application of an old force and whilst the author mentions in passing that some of the routines in the booklet with a little thought could be sized up for bigger audiences it made me think of some of Martin Gardner’s bigger prediction squares and using words perhaps for those (see The Magic Magazine, February 1975 or Martin Gardner Presents p.141) but I know I never will.
The second routine in book 2 is Zodiac Zap. A mixture of principles here, one is the use of a Friction pen but I can imagine this having quite an impact as everything written on the back of the business card disappears except for the date you met and the participants zodiac sign which you could not possibly have known.
The final routine in this booklet, Fast Forecast is another routine with a list of words on the back of your business cards. These forty five words represent positive development for the subject at different times. Under the guise of a numerological experiment the participant is guided through a series of calculations with information the mentalist could not know and the resultant number leads to a word on the list which the performer is able to slowly reveal. All the possible words can be milked for a positive future forecast.
If you get just one routine from these booklets that you are going to use a lot, then it’s a good investment. The principles, thinking and presentations described may very well spark your own imagination.
I just owned 7-out of 25 lessons, and I will just give a general review, for those lessons.They're a great start for the beginner, but limited in scope and depth of material. The black & white photos are not close up, so it can be hard to see small objects. They have some drawings, as well. They are a good supplement to any magic library, but not a complete course, by itself.
To my shame I have not subscribed to Magicseen as no shelf space left for real books. The article by the magazine editor Mark Leveridge is easy reading on the passing of the late Paul Daniels and if I did subscribe to a paper issue I would get a PDFs copy free, now if I can convince my better half Gillian to let me put a book shelf up? I was totally surprised by the quality of contents of this magazine could not fault it.
Forget the comments about non-sleight-of-hand that are always attached to this book.
Yes, it was written so that, for example, card forces are always replaced with something much simpler (the "10-20" force).
If you are new to card magic, then you may want to learn the tricks as written. Otherwise, you should read the book with the idea of keeping the effect but putting back in sleights that make the effects stronger (e.g., eliminate counting procedures such as the above-mentioned force).
This is a very clever performance piece that strongly attracts and holds the interest of spectators through the brilliant application of the experienced magician’s ability to direct and manipulate a spectator’s attention. Devin Knight shares with all of us this distillation of his performer’s experience. Although math facts, and also the calendar are utilized, this entertaining piece pivots on the magician’s knowledge of what people will typically notice, and what they usually don’t take notice of. The math facts and calendar facts are treated as everyday life without snobbery, and this is a handy performance piece that can occupy those moments in the performer’s act that do not need him to do an effect. Like tying your shoes, you will have numerous uses for this. Well written and illustrated, Devin Knight has given us a gem.
Probably the best book ever written on the presentation of magic! Chris has done the magic world a great service by making this available again. I remember reading this as a teenager and it changed the way I looked at magic FOREVER. If you wonder how I become so clever, well this book was the starting point. This should be required reading for anyone doing magic! My highest recommendations.
After the many tarot books I have read, always finding these books unclear about how to actually read a card for a querent, I was truly pleased to find Jesse's "Tarot Reading Master Class", because, at long last, I had found an approach to reading the cards that was practical and would make sense to both the reader and the querent. Without plunging deep into the depths of the symbolism of ancient mysticism in every tarot card, The "Tarot Reading Master Class" smoothly gives the reading from Jesse's unique method, which is as functional as it is fun, and for reading the cards is all you need for the job and is an indispensable tool for the mentalist.
Even in my wildest dreams, I could not have thought of performing stack magic without a deck of cards. Kommando Kard is an unbelievably simple idea which is mind blowingly powerful.This will be one more bench mark in stack magic by the Unknown Mentalist. The 15 routines provided are extraordinary. Very easy, very deceptive, very stunning. The brilliant high point is some of the routines can be performed even without knowing the Karma Deck. Those are so deliciously self working.
I am a big fan of Karma Deck. Using it for about 9 months now. My opinion this is a landmark in stack magic. And now Karma Deck Pro is a leap forward for the Karma Deck system. The suit systems are simply brilliant. So easy that I got them instantly, as soon as I read it. The routines in 'Gaspers' are easy to do and big on impact. The concept of 'Karma Pairs' is path breaking. Discovering so many wonderful aspects of the Karma Deck is by itself an education in stack magic. Above all, the 'psychology of stack magic' is eye opening, especially the question 'which hat you are wearing'. Once again, Unknown Mentalist has packed so much value into this release (11 ebook bundle? crazy!!).
Roly-Poly is a charming effect where the magician begins by bending a quarter repeatedly in order to soften the metal and then rolls the metal in his hand to form a metallic ball that is then given out to a spectator. This is an entertaining exhibition of conjuring with a delightful conclusion, and can amaze both children and adults. Every performer will be able to deliver an impressive experience of magic with Roly-Poly. Devin Knight's instructions are easy to follow and have helpful illustrations. Don't allow the price to mislead you: This is a gem
Is there no end to the unconventional thinking of the Unknown Mentalist? Once again, like Karma Deck itself, this idea of Kommando Kard is an unbelievable twist in the field of stack magic. A truly great idea of performing stack magic and card mentalism even without a deck of cards. I think this will start a new genre of stack magic and even card mentalism. Amazing range of 15 killer routines with just one Kommando Kard in your pocket. This is mind boggling. Excellent buy.
For almost a year now, Karma Deck has been my 'go to' stack. Fantastic principle. Now Karma Deck Pro adds more strength to an already great stack. Powerful variations which make the stack so random. Yet retaining the simplicity and ease of use which are fundamental strengths of the Karma Deck. The suit systems are killer. Even a kid can pick them up easily. Very flexible. A wide range of 9 great routines. Actually you can make an entire card act out of this 11 ebook bundle. The psychology of stack magic is very well explained. One of my top purchases in terms of value and quality.
If there is an Emmy Award for stack magic, I would give it to Kommando Kard. I bow to the Unknown Mentalist for his devious mind and extraordinary out of box thinking. Kommando Kard is more like a one man army or a multipurpose swiss army knife. The very premise of deckless card magic and that too stack magic is mind blowing. 15 killer routines on this theme is a great achievement. KK will now be a permanent occupant of my wallet.
If there is a Grammy Award for stack magic, I would give it to Karma Deck Pro. When I finished reading Karma Deck (so simple that it took me all of 10 minutes to get the whole thing), I thought nothing could beat it. But I just had to start reading Karma Deck Pro to prove myself wrong. Because Pro beats Karma Deck 7 to 1. So many random variations and all so simple and easy. Ridiculously easy suit systems. 9 killer routines which made my own mind race with more routine ideas. First time in my life I bought a 11 ebook bundle for $9 !!! (intro price) On hindsight, I would have happily paid 4 times that price.
If there is an Oscar Award for stack magic, I would give it to the Karma Deck without a second thought. The Karma Deck principle has redrawn the very foundations of stack magic as it has been structured so far. The history of stack magic will have 2 clear divisions now. Before Karma Deck and After Karma Deck. For me personally, this has entirely changed my thinking on stack magic and infact removed so many blocks. Calling this simply brilliant will be a gross understatement. Together with Karma Deck Pro and Kommando Kard, I have enough stack magic ammunition for the next decade, at least. I cannot recommend it enough.
An entire system within a single revolutionary idea. The idea which changed stack magic forever. That is the beauty and power of Karma Deck, I think. It was already an easy system, but as I used it more and more, it started becoming so ridiculously easier that now I just 'see' it clearly all the time. And not just one, but all the variations in Karma Deck Pro. The suit systems are really a cake walk. Besides, the routines included are solid and stunning. The whole offering packs a big punch. 11 ebook bundle is great value for money. Highly recommended.
Those of you who are not familiar with the ingenious Eddie Joseph MUST purchase this e-book! Staggered is one of those VERY rare effects that plays even better than it reads...this effect is called 'Staggered' for a very good reason.
At $8 this was a bit hard to resist particularly with Devin's track record. Well after reading this all I can say is this is grossly underpriced. The description above is completely accurate. The tearing procedure is completely natural and innocent and yet extremely easy to remember. You can practically pick up a newspaper and perform this impromptu. For me this is a perfect compliment for my eStooge dice as I can know the number before the spectator does. This was money very well spent.
There have been numerous instructors who explained how to tear a newspaper page so that it yielded a piece of newspaper that bore words that had been already predicted by the performer from the beginning, and where its place in the stack of newspaper pieces corresponds to a number chosen at the beginning by the spectator. Devin Knight has actually streamlined the performance of this effect and made it easier for the mentalist to learn and easier to perform. The other versions of this effect have been surpassed and outdone by Devin's ingenuity and by his crystal-clear instructions that are to the point, and which at every step focus on how the effect looks to the mentalist, guiding the reader to giving an applause-worthy performance. This is, now, the best way to achieve the full entertainment value and the full mystery inherent in this effect. Devin Knight has taken this classic effect and both modernized it and simplified it, bringing it within the abilities of today's performer.