From the introduction:
As far as I'm concerned, sleight of hand (or any other artifice for that matter) has but one purpose - to convincingly establish a false premise, which I believe to be the cornerstone of all effective illusion and deception. The more convincingly that premise is established, the more amazing the resulting effect will appear to be.
The subtleties and psychological approaches of mentalism can, when augmented by sleight of hand, provide a directness and clarity of effect that is too often lacking in mental routines. The fact that sleights are avoided by many performers can only be attributed to the false belief that sleight of hand is extremely difficult or to the misguided belief that artistic mentalism can be achieved with nothing more than a collection of self-working, commercially available effects.
The sleights illustrated and taught in Sleightly Mental can, if properly mastered, be of immeasurable value to the mentalist. Some of them are variations of classic moves and others - notably the "out of pocket" technique - provide new approaches to popular mental effects. They are all within the reach of the average performer who is willing to give them the practice and rehearsal they deserve.
Sleightly Mental consists of two complimentary works - the ebook itself and nine video clips, which show the various moves in action. This, I believe, is the most effective way of showing exactly how the moves work and just how they appear to an audience.
[Please note that the video clips are in low resolution, 320 x 240 pixels, and not of the best quality. Those were the early days of adding videos to ebooks.]
While each of the moves can be applied in a multitude of effects, the following, if presented as described in the text, comprise a complete routine of close-up mentalism:
- ESP Card Matching
- The Quarter Bend
- The Koran Center Tear
- Out of Pocket Writing
- The Erdnase Bottom Deal
These effects are described in the text accompanying each move.
1st edition 2003; 21 pages; 9 MP4 video clips.
Reviewed by Christian Fisanick (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★ Date Added: Thursday 09 June, 2016
Way too many mentalists--especially those not coming from a straight magic background--overlook the use of sleight of hand in mentalism effects. If you are a good performer, an arsenal of a few good sleights will transform you into a dangerously deceptive performer. Why? Because if you are a proficient mentalist, no one is even thinking that you are using anything close to sleight of hand. That's the stuff of magicians. Bob Cassidy, of course, understands just about everything about mentalism and in this unique work, combining an ebook with some short demonstrative videos, he gives you the tools. And he has selected the small lot of them well. No, you aren't going to be the next Ed Marlo, Ekaterina, or Shin Lim with cards, but you will be able to do some amazing things. For example, I smiled knowingly to myself when I saw that Bob also uses a false shuffle that I learned as a teenager in the 1970's from Henry Hay's obscure but spectacular book, The Amateur Magician's Handbook
. (Bob is a huge fan of Hay, which is only fitting; that book boggles my mind every time that I look at it--so very, very good, a lost classic.) With some practice, this is great stuff, particularly for the current generation of mentalists who may not have the grounding in straight magic or learning stuff out of old, classic books. Get $25 together and spend it now. (And while you are at it, buy Hay from here as well for $25.) And, as usual, thank me later.