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  1. #1
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    Any Good Mentalism Books?

    I have Psychological Subtleties and an NLP book. I'm looking to do the style of mentalism that Derren Brown does, but there's no way I can afford his books which are now in the $200+ range. I really want to find a book that will help me with forcing techniques etc. Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    Goudinov's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Do you have 13 steps?
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    Nope...I've thought about getting it many times, but I just don't want to get it if it's not going to mesh with what I want to do. I'm really into psychological "forces."
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  4. #4
    Premetheus37's Avatar Elite Member
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    If you're looking for what Derren Brown does he has some DVDs and VHS tapes for sale on his website: DerrenBrown.co.uk. They're not books, but they'll teach you some of what he does for far less than $200.

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    I'm currently reading '3510' by Luke Jermay. You might like it.

  6. #6
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    What Derren Brown does has less to do with NLP and more with the creative application of simple techniques.

    Get Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals of Mentalism and Theo Anneman's Practical Mental Effects. After that, get a copy of Corinda's 13 Steps. Red Hot Cold Reading by Herb Dewey would be another good choice along with Miracles of Suggestion and Wonder Words by Kenton Knepper. Docc Hilford's Monster Mentalism series would be a good place to go after that.

    Save up for a copy of Anneman's The Jinx (it'll cost you a pretty penny) and heavily study books and tapes on performance theory such as Maximum Entertainment, The Performance of Close-Up Magic, and Strong Magic.

    As a personal preference, I would also recommend looking into Fate and The Book of Haunted Magic by Rick Maue (you'll love Terasabos). Also, try to contact Sal Piacente and acquire a copy of his Memory on the Fly lecture notes. And while I'm thinking of memory, How To Develop a Super Power Memory by Harry Lorrayne wouldn't be out of line either.

    And if you don't mind the shameless plug, I have an ebook out right now about scripting and routining designed for beginners to the subject. You can PM me for details if you think that you might be able to use it.
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    Banachek has some really good stuff, you should check his stuff out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
    And if you don't mind the shameless plug, I have an ebook out right now about scripting and routining designed for beginners to the subject. You can PM me for details if you think that you might be able to use it.
    I'd really like to look it over. Give me a PM if you feel inclined.

    On another note. One of the only reasons I take care on this website is that people who know what they're talking about aren't so focused on new releases.

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    Thanks for all the input everyone, and feel free to post more. I'm going to look up the books you all have talked about.:)
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  10. #10
    Jason.Michael's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Keep in mind that much of what Derren does is in his presentation.

    After studying a good amount of the basics in mentalism, you'll notice that much of his work involves basic elements and plots - and he puts his own unique spin on them.

    Honestly - a lot of Derren's stuff is just "Derren being Derren".

    Good luck!

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    Most people who contact me for advice are into mind reading and mentalism. Good. It's a terrific branch of magic and one that I love. Here's a great way to start. You know there's a book called Corinda's 13 Steps To Mentalism. Buy a copy. And then don't buy anything else. In fact, take all the money that you were thinking of spending on other books and tricks and tapes and props over the next year. Put it all back in your bank account. This is the best advice I can give you. I've just saved you lots and lots and lots of money.

    Study Corinda. Using just that book, get yourself to the stage where, if you want to, you can entertain people for 10 minutes at a party.

    That's all. That's the target. To be able to do 10 minutes at a party, among friends or strangers, anytime you want - with confidence, and so that you enjoy it and they enjoy it and you all have a good time. This is not easy. It's an ambitious target, and it will take time. But it's a wonderful feeling when you get there!

    IF you can get that far, using just Corinda, then you can start spreading your wings, buying other stuff, learning some other material. By then, you'll have developed enough good judgement to know what's worth buying and what isn't.

    IF you can not get that far, then may I suggest you just give up. Go and do something else. There's no point buying and reading other stuff, because none of it will do you any good. You'll never get anywhere. At least not in mentalism.

  12. #12
    Steerpike's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by supernaturalone View Post
    IF you can not get that far, then may I suggest you just give up. Go and do something else. There's no point buying and reading other stuff, because none of it will do you any good. You'll never get anywhere. At least not in mentalism.
    I have to disagree here. I don't recommend 13 Steps to beginners in mentalism because of how dry and textbook it is. Fundamentals of Mentalism and Practical Mental Effects will cost you about the same amount of money as 13 Steps and give you a more stable foundation of not only effects but also performance theory.

    Why people continue to insist that 13 Steps is the end-all of mentalism still escapes me.
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    I will admit that 13 steps is somewhat dry and textbook. However, I feel that this allows the "student" more of an opportunity to build his own presentation(instead of mocking others) and the skills associated with presenting an effect.

  14. #14
    Steerpike's Avatar :: Moderator
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    I'm a firm believer that the student must mimic before he can innovate.

    I no longer buy into the whole idea that driest textbooks allow you to spread your wings more. They ask you to do too much too early. The path to mastering skills begins with imitation and progresses from there to understanding, contextualizing, experimenting, and finally innovating.

    Saying that 13 Steps is the only book a beginner will ever need is asking them to take the wrong step too soon. They will inevitably work back to step one of imitation and they'll have wasted their time in the process.

    If I could go back and change one thing about my education, I would have purchased Practical Mental Effects before 13 Steps.
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  15. #15
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    Whatever book a beginner begins to study, the books won't make them into a great performer, or even a bad one. Like anything else, the only way to learn to perform is to do it. The first time they try, it won't go very well. The 100th time will be a little better. 'Experience is all', and thinking about it that may be the only advice worth giving.

    A lot of people get 'paralysed' because they want to be good, and perfect and confident right from the beginning. Well, sorry, but it doesn't work like that. Look, here's the deal. You go out and you perform a trick or two for real people. The first time, you probably won't be that good. In fact, you'll probably be pretty awful. That's OK. It's allowed. I was awful (and maybe I still am). All the great magicians and mindreaders around... they were all hopeless when they started. That's what starting out is like.

    But so long as you've started, you've done the most important thing... you've actually performed for people. You've done it. You haven't just sat at home thinking about it or pretending that you're still preparing. You've done it. For real. That's what counts.

    So, you're first time was fairly dreadful. The next time, you'll be better. The time after that, you'll be better still. And so on. After 100 times, you'll really be getting the hang of it. This is called learning by doing, and it's the only way. Understand this: it is the only way.

    Every performance counts. If you're entertaining someone with magic, or at least giving it your best shot, then it counts as a performance. Even if it's just a two minute card trick for one person at one party, it counts. It's experience. Over time, several things will happen. You will find your natural performing persona. You will find what sort of material works for you. You will find what sort of material you like doing, and that you have success with. It's a slow process, for sure. But it is the only way.

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