This 7 dvd set was voted #1 on the magic cafe as being the BEST set of magic dvd's to own, with On the Loose coming in at a close second. The teaching is superb as you get to sit down with Richard and Jim Sisti as they go over not only the method of the effects, but also the psychology of the effects (ex. Why do the effect this way as opposed to this way, or why the audience assumes you’re doing one thing over another, ect.). I've been performing magic for over 13 years and in those 13 years I have bought a lot of material. I have dvd's from Dan Fleshman, to Bill Malone, from Greg Wilson, to Lennart Green, and so much more that it would be too much material to list here. I am proud to say that this 7 dvd set is THE BEST SET IN MAGIC to own. Let me say that again, the...best...set...in...magic. What makes it the best is 4 factors:
1. EVERY trick fooled me.
2. EVERY trick was a killer and fooled the audience.
3. EVERY trick can go into your act.
4. THE GIMMICKS ARE NOT EXPENSIVE.
Now even though every trick fooled me, and every trick killed the audience, there are a few tricks that just stood out from the rest that are worth the whole price of the set and those will be bolded and underlined. Now at the end of each dvd, there will be a conclusion of the overall material in it, with a rating. I will also be talking about some of the effects in length instead of just typing in the description and giving a quick summary of each. So ladies and gents, here is Richard Osterlind's Mind Mysteries vol. 1-7.
Mind Mysteries vol. 1:
Bank Night: The performer shows 5 envelopes marked 1-5, claiming that one of them has a $100 bill inside and if someone happens to have it they get to keep it. With each spectator freely choosing each envelope, all the envelopes get passed out except for the last one that wasn't chosen, which becomes the performers envelope. One by one each spectator who chose an envelope opens it and all they have is pieces of paper inside. The last spectator opens theirs to find 4 lottery scratchers tickets instead of paper, and the kicker ending of the performer having the $100 bill.
My thoughts: This is a great opener and it gets peoples attention right away because it involves money. With the kicker lottery tickets at the end, you instruct the last spectator to give each participant a ticket for helping out, which is a great touch to this effect. The spectators can freely choose any envelope they want which is the cool part. Very good trick 9/10.
The Perfected Center Tear: This center tear is so fair and so clean looking that you swear the performer can't see anything. This really is the perfect center tear. You can gain ANYONES information without looking like you're doing anything fishy at all. The spectator folds the paper in half and it looks like you just tore the paper up and placed it in their hands. A VERY POWERFUL MOVE 10/10.
My thoughts: This move is perfect. You can use this in so many effects, the possibilities are endless. In the effect on the dvd Richard tells the spectator to think of somebody important to them, but someone who's not in the room. He then tells her to right their name down, fold the paper up, and to hand it back to him, all while his back is turned. Richard then goes through the routine telling the spectator to visualize the person as a picture, and then he reveals the name of the person she's thinking of. This is just one effect you can do with countless more possibilities.
The Radar Deck: The performer takes out a deck of cards and asks 4 spectators to think of a card. He fans the deck to each spectator and tells them that when they see a card they like to think of it and hold it in their minds. After all 4 spectators have a card picked, the magician then asks a few questions about their cards. Then the magician begins to name each persons card out loud and then for a kicker, he tells the last 2 spectators the cards they almost thought of.
My thoughts: This effect is greater than the invisible deck IMO. You involve 4-5 people instead of 1 and not only do the spectators not have to name their card, but you tell them the card that they almost thought of as well as the card they did think of. This effect is so strong it can be a closer for any act. Richard explains it very well, and even tells you how you can make your own Radar Deck which was extremely helpful to me since I didn't know where I could pick these up. This effect kills every time, just a few questions, and boom, you know their card. I give it a 10/10.
Watch Routine: The performer takes out his business card and tells the spectator to think of any time they want and to write it down on the back of his business card. He then takes out a blackboard and says he's going to write a prediction time. He places the blackboard face down off to the side then takes a watch of another spectator and starts turning the pin, which is now changing the time on the watch. He tells that spectator to turn the pin without looking at the watch itself and whenever they want they could stop, and push the pin back in. The performer then asks the first spectator what time they wrote down. He then grabs the blackboard and his prediction time matches the spectators time. But if that wasn't enough, he tells the second spectator to turn over her watch to show the time she stopped on, and it matches the prediction time as well.
My thoughts: This effect just floored me. A freely chosen time, gets predicted by you, THEN by random chance the second spectator stops their watch on that chosen time BEFORE it gets named out loud. This effect made the audience go nuts and made me laugh with delight. All you need is a blackboard, a borrowed watch, and a business card. Nothing is gimmicked, and that's what I like about this set of dvd's is that it doesn't use a lot of pricey gimmicked props. The advice Richard gives about the business card in this routine is just brilliant. This effect is a real gem and can once again be a closer. A definite 10/10.
Thought Scan: The performer hands out a bunch of index cards and pencils to the audience and tells them to write down personal information about themselves (favorite car, date, ect.). He passes out envelopes and tells the audience to place their cards in the envelopes. Next the performer takes out a pad and starts writing down impressions of the spectators and their thoughts and he tells them that he will inform them of what he's picking up in his mind. Then while he's doing this he starts naming all of the personal things the spectators wrote down piece by piece, naming stuff all over the place until everything is answered.
My thoughts: This is basically a Q and A question and answer routine. The way Richard performs this looks absolutely impossible and looks like pure mind reading to the whole audience. He doesn't just start with one spectator and names all of their thoughts and moves on, he starts off that way, but skips around the room naming things in pieces (ex. drivers license #'s). It involves the whole crowd and is very, very strong. Richard does use an expensive gimmick however, BUT since this particular gimmick is no longer being made, he explains how you can do this routine WITHOUT USING GIMMICKS. You literally walk into the show cold, and whenever you want to start this routine, you can just get into it WITH NO PRE-SHOW WORK. This routine is even stronger because you involve the spectators personal life, and you essentially reveal that to them. That's what makes this effect so strong. I give it a 10/10.
Magazine Test: The performer takes out his blackboard and writes down a prediction and gives it to another spectator to hold face down. The performer then takes out a magazine and asks a different spectator to place the magazine card anywhere inside to choose a page. Once the page is chosen, he then instructs her to put the magazine behind her back and to draw a circle about the size of a dime, halfway down the page. He then asks her what word is in the middle of the circle, then grabs the blackboard from the other spectator and it's the word she freely chose.
My thoughts: This routine WAS Richards closer for a long time and once you see this effect, you will know why. This effect just kills everyone. After they draw the circle behind their back they have a choice of about 5 or 6 different words to choose from that are either touching the circle or are in the circle and that makes this effect 10 times more impossible. The way Richard instructs the spectator in order to achieve the effect is genius. And not only do you reveal the chosen word, but they see another word crossed out on the board and that was in fact the other word they were going to choose. This all happens BEFORE the effect starts, the audience sees you write down something on the board, then they see you hand it to someone else in the front row (nobody sees the other side of the board of course), and when you reveal it, the audience sees the words for the first time and they just go nuts. Again, this is strong enough to be a closer, and it was in fact the closer for Richard in his show. I give this a 10/10.
Linking Finger Rings: The performer takes out a pencil and borrows 3 wedding rings from different people in the audience. He then LINKS all 3 rings together, and calls each spectator up to verify that their linked. The performer then proceeds to unlink each ring seemingly more magical than the first and hands them back to the spectators.
My thoughts: This is another killer. The 3 rings are really linked together, and what’s really cool about this is that Richard lets one spectator verify that they're linked, then has the second spectator verify that his ring is really there linked to the other 2, then has the third spectator hold the rings in their hand. All before he unlinks them. There is only one prop used and depending on where you find it, it won't be too expensive. Again very strong and since it's something not everyone has seen before, it's also very different. Again 10/10.
Overall Thoughts: That's the end of vol. 1 and as you can see everything in here is just a killer. There is not one effect on this dvd that the audience won't love. Everything is so strong, and so well throughout by Richard that you can just tell right off the bat that he's been doing this for over 30 years. But we're just getting started.
Mind Mysteries volume 2:
This dvd is Osterlind's breakthrough card system and I've got to tell you that once you know this system, you will never look at cards the same way again, EVER.
Card Calling: The performer takes out a jumbo deck of cards and cuts them multiple times. He then fans the deck towards the spectator and tells them to take out a group of 8-10 cards at once. The performer then tells them to shuffle the group of cards and when finished to fan them towards themselves. The performer then turns his back and proceeds to name each card, and asks the spectator to hand it to him as he does so, until all the cards are named.
My thoughts: This is just one effect you can do once you know this system. It looks like pure mind reading and the audience just can't believe it. It can be done on stage, as with a lot of these effects in this series, and the reason this effect can be done on stage is the use of the jumbo cards. Very strong effect. 9/10
Two Cards in Pocket: The performer talks about playing blackjack and asks a spectator to cut a deck of cards multiple times, then without looking to place the top card in his right pants pocket, then the next top card in his left pants pocket. Then the performer takes the cards back and places them back into the card box and closes it up. The performer then names both of the cards but as a kicker, the spectator names the pocket that each card is in.
My thoughts: An absolute KILLER, KILLER, KILLER. This effect really is that clean as it sounds. Yet another trick you can do once you know this system. The spectator handles the cards 99% of the trick, all you do is pull the cards out of the box and place the cards back in the box and it looks soo super clean. Can this be your closer? I don't know if I'd go that far, but the overall effect is great and fools everyone badly. I give it 9/10.
Challenge Mind Reading: The performer takes a deck of cards and hands them to a spectator. He then turns his back and tells her to think of a card, then tells her to spread the cards in her hands and find her card in the spread. Once found, the performer puts the cards back into the box, and tells her to keep thinking of her card. He then names the thought of card out loud.
My thoughts: This is basically invisible deck, without the deck. The only difference is that the performer never touches the deck while the trick is taking place. The only time the performer touches it, is to put the cards away. Again, this looks like pure mind reading, and it blows people away. A sure 10/10.
Corinda Effect: The performer hands the spectator (who is sitting at the table) a deck of cards and instructs her to cut the cards multiple times. Then he tells her to hold the cards under the table out of everyone's view, including her own. He then tells her to cut the deck a few more times, then tells her that she can take either the top or bottom card and turn it face up and place it in the middle of the deck. To make sure that nobody sees the card accidentally he tells her to bring the deck out from under the table face up. Once the deck is brought out, the performer tells her to cover the deck with the card box, all of this happening while the magicians back is turned away. Then the performer names the chosen card out loud, the spectator spreads the cards, finds her chosen face down card, turns it over, and it is in fact the card that the performer named.
My thoughts: This is another great effect you can do with the breakthrough card system. What's great about it, is that nobody knows what the card is, not even the spectator handling the cards. So when you name the card for the first time, everyone will be saying to themselves, "there's no way he can know that card, nobody saw it". So when you have the spectator turn over the named card, and everyone sees it for the first time, it looks like you predicted the future. Again the performer never touches the deck. This is very strong, it may not be one of the best out of this series, but as a stand alone effect, it is very good. I give it 8/10.
Blackjack Demonstration: The performer selects 4 spectators for a game of blackjack. One becomes the dealer and the other 3 become players in the game. As the cards are being dealt by the dealer, the performer is predicting each hand before the cards get turned over. Not only does the performer predict each hand, but also each card that comes up when a player takes a hit. Then at the end of the game, he predicts the dealers hand, and the dealer busting, and everybody wins.
My thoughts: This is also a great effect you can do with this system. It's a real shock to the spectators when you know the hand they have and what hand they're going to have. Again, this looks like you're predicting the future, but this time in a blackjack game. Beware, people will want you to come to the casino's with them after this effect. Once again, not the best in the series, but on it's own, it's very good. Gets an 8/10.
Overall Thoughts: This dvd is fantastic, the breakthrough card system truly is a breakthrough in magic. Once you know this system, the effects you can do with it are endless. This is only a handful of tricks you can do with it, and as you can see, all of them are great. You very rarely have to touch the cards, the spectators do most of the handling, and that by itself is very strong. Plus if you want to you can give the deck away as a souvenir at the end to prove that you're not using trick cards, AND YOU'RE NOT. That's the cool part. Overall this gets a 10/10, great dvd. But we're not done, we still have got a long way to go.
Mind Mysteries volume 3:
Sweeter and Lower: The performer takes out 3-4 sweet N' Low packets and has the spectator choose one to write their name on. Then with their signed packet, the performer rips the top off, and pours the contents of the packet into his fist. Once the packet is empty, the performer places the rest of the torn packet into the fist as well leaving nothing behind. Then with a slight blow, the performer opens his fist and the signed sweet N' low packet is restored, leaving no sugar, or pieces of any kind.
My thoughts: This effect looks very clean and as fair as it should be. What I like about it, is that the packet is signed to prove that it is the same packet and of course you give it back to them after the trick is over so they can take it home and tell the story. That's what makes this effect stronger, IMO. The gimmick that Richard uses, is a gimmick that every magician should have, and you probably own one right now. He also uses this same gimmick in a number of other effects on these dvd's which I'll discuss later. Another great thing about this effect is that you can get sugar packets anywhere, or find them anywhere. So minus the prop you've got to carry, this effect is basically an impromptu miracle. This is borderline as far as being one of the best in the series, or just being a good trick in the series, and IMO it's not as strong as the others in here, but it's very flexible as far as when and where you can perform it, and it's pretty easy to do. So overall, I give it an 8/10.
Change of Mind: The performer takes out a pad of post-it-notes and a pen. He then asks a spectator for a large amount of change from their pockets. Then he asks the spectator to split that handful of change with another spectator beside them. He then instructs them to put the change into their own pockets. The performer has the first spectator sign their name on one of the post-it-notes, and the performer writes down a prediction on that note and folds it up. He does the same thing with the second spectator. Then the performer signs his own name on a post-it-note, and writes a prediction on that note as well. Then the performer asks the first 2 spectators to each pull out one coin and set it on the table. He then tells the third spectator to pull out a coin from his own jacket pocket and place it on the table as well. Then without any funny moves, the performer unfolds each note that was signed to reveal that the predictions match the coins that were taken out of the pockets.
My thoughts: This effect is good, but it just didn't do it for me. The gimmick itself is very easy to make, and it's hidden in plain sight. The overall effect is good with them signing their names on the notes and you not only predict the coins but also the date on each coin as well. So the effect itself is strong, it just didn't hit me that hard as a lot of the others did. Some who see this effect will probably disagree, and that's fine, but for me, it just didn't have that big of an impact. Overall a 6/10.
Spoon Bending: The performer takes out a spoon and places the handle on his palm. The handle then begins to bend in the palm seemingly by the power of his mind. The performer then shows the spoon and the audience can see it clearly bent. Then the performer places the spoon back on his palm and the handle begins to curl inward and bend more. Once again the performer shows the spoon to the audience. Then the performer holds the spoon openly towards the audience and with seemingly an unseen force of nature the bowl of the spoon begins to droop downward right in front of the audience as the kicker.
My thoughts: This literally looks like you're bending silverware with your mind. It really looks like a special effect off of a TV show. The bends are so visual, especially the bend at the end with the bowl. Richard like always goes over everything in great detail and talks about all the little touches that make this effect that much more magical ( where to place the hands, how to reveal the spoon, ect.). It's impromptu, all you need is spoons, that's what's great about this effect. However, I always carry my spoons with me if I plan on performing this routine, simply because other people might feel uncomfortable with you bending their silverware. But overall this is another gem in the series, and a 10/10.
Radio Sum Total: The performer passes out a bunch of index cards with pencils to the whole audience. He claims that he's going to try a radio effect, in real life. He then shows an index card with a bunch of numbers on it. The performer then claims that there is over 100,000 combinations that are possible with this group of numbers, so to start off the performer tells everyone to write down a "1". He then has a spectator pick 5 "callers" in the audience and the performer instructs them all to think of a number between 1-9 but to avoid them picking the same number, each number gets written down, then eliminated. This in turn, forms a 6 digit number say "164,728". The performer then goes back to the index card with bunch of numbers on it, and he tells the audience to write down these numbers as the spectator says them out loud. They end up writing down 5 rows of 5 numbers (25 numbers total). The performer then tells the audience to add these numbers up, like a math problem, and after all the numbers are added up, the total ends up being the seemingly random 6 digit number in the beginning.
My thoughts: This is another great effect, and seems totally random to the spectators, and it involves the whole crowd which is a plus. However, it just seems like a lot of work that everybody has to do, with adding numbers, ect. and that to me takes away from the overall magical experience. These people aren't in math class, they're at a magic show, and they should feel like they're in a magic show. The ending of this trick is good, with the final numbers adding up to the 6 digit number that was formed in the beginning, but to me it feels like everyone's at school vs. everyone being at a show. So overall I give this effect 6/10.
Uncanny: The performer riffles through the cards and has the spectator see one in her mind. He then spreads the cards all over the table face down, and seems to accidentally turn the thought of card over. He then has a second spectator see a card as he riffles through, goes through the deck and takes out the card that he thinks is her thought of card. The performer holds the card face down up at the fingertips and with no funny moves of any kind, the card slowly and magically turns face up in the hand to reveal her thought of card.
My thoughts: This routine is strong. It doesn't use any short cards or breaks of any kind which is a plus. Both reveals look great in their own way but the nice find in this routine is the reveal of the second card. The way Richard gets this card to turn over is just amazing, and he uses no special gimmicks at all, but the effect looks like the card is turning over with the power of your mind. You can use this one move with many other card effects that you like, and that's what I ultimately like about this routine. Overall I give it a 8/10.
Lottery Effect: The performer says that he wants to play a game that would simulate a lottery drawing. He then writes down a prediction number that's going to be revealed later. He asks a spectator to see the ball in their mind shooting up and asks them the number, lets say it's "3". He asks a second spectator the same and she says the number "8", and the last spectator says the number "6". The performer then shows the prediction number and it matches their chosen numbers.
My thoughts: This is a great trick and really fooled the audience badly. It uses one prop every magician should own, and if you don't, you can pick it up here at penguin or any other magic dealer, and it should be in stock. It's not expensive, but if you wanted to you could get a more expensive one, but Richard doesn't use an expensive one, and a cheap one is all you need anyway. What's great about this prop is that there's so much stuff you can do with it that the possibilities are endless. The next effect uses this same prop as well which I'll get to in a moment, but overall this effect fools people badly. Very strong, a 9/10.
Cell Phone Effect: The performer asks a spectator to call up a friend or a relative on their cell phone. The performer then writes down a prediction on a note pad while they're waiting for an answer. When the spectator gets them on the line he tells the spectator to ask the friend to think of a number between 1 and 1,000. The spectator names the number out loud and it matches the prediction.
My thoughts: WOW, Richard has taken this prop to a whole new level. This effect is so strong, it's almost too strong to even perform for people. When you turn over that piece of paper showing the predicted number that the people ON THE OTHER END OF THE CELL PHONE picked, the audience will just go crazy. This effect is so simple, uses the same prop as the lottery effect, the only difference is that this effect is 100 times stronger. It's the difference between asking someone in the audience to think of a number between 1-1000 and calling someone and have THEM pick a number between 1-1000. Now Richard also explains that he doesn't like to do the trick this way, but rather let the trick happen. Meaning he waits for a cell phone to ring during the show, then if/when that happens he stops what he's doing unless it's a crucial part of the trick, and he turns to the person with the phone, has them answer it, then goes into the routine from there. Reason being it makes it look more spontaneous. I don't care how you do this effect as it is just a true killer, and absolutely mind blowing. A true 10/10 gem.
Bill in Cigarette: The performer asks the audience if they have a smoke. He then takes the cigarette and drops it on the floor in the middle of the room. The performer borrows a big bill, and has it signed and also has the audience memorize the cereal number. He then folds the bill up and places the bill in a small envelope for safe keeping. He then borrows a lighter and burns the envelope up to where there's nothing left but ashes. He then walks towards the cigarette and openly breaks it in half. As pieces of the cigarette fall to the floor the performer begins to twist a bill out of the cigarette, he then unfolds it, and it is in fact the signed bill with the cereal number a perfect match.
My thoughts: HOLY GOD, this effect is one of the coolest, most strongest effects you can possibly perform. It's one thing to perform bill in lemon, or bill in Kiwi, or bill in orange, but bill in CIGARETTE? Now THAT I've got to know. Not only does this effect use minimal props, it is also very easy to do. You can borrow the bill, the lighter, the ashtray, AND YOU CAN BORROW THE CIGARETTE all you need is the little envelope to put the bill in, and the extra prop which again all magicians should have already. This effect is another closer and it's going to be my closing act right now. It's THAT GOOD. Also the way Richard has the audience memorize the cereal number is great. He involves the whole crowd in this trick and that's another reason why this plays so well is because everybody’s involved. I would almost go as far as to say this trick is worth the whole price of the set. It's just so strong, and so easy, and the props are so cheap, and you get a miracle. Fantastic 10/10.
Overall thoughts: Once again this is a great dvd with a lot of really strong material combined with a few killers. Notice how each dvd so far has had 2-3 really powerful effects in them, with a lot of other strong effects built in around them that you can use in your shows, and this dvd is no exception. It has everything, from cards, to spoons, to predictions, to money, it has it all. One of my favorites of the entire series, and we're not even half way done.
Mind Mysteries vol. 4:
Glass of Water Production: The performer shows a folded up paper bag. He unfolds it and shows it completely empty. He then calls up 2 spectators and hands one of them his watch and the other his jacket, then he rolls up his sleeves. He tells them to put the watch and jacket on, and to hold the bag open. Then the performer tells the spectators to each grab a hold of his wrists. All of a sudden the performer reaches into the bag and pulls out a full glass of water.
My thoughts: This trick is very shocking, and very different. It's something you don't see every day, and it kind of reminds me of the bowling ball from bag trick, only with a glass of water instead. I never did the bowling ball from bag gag, but this trick is I will do, because it's much more practical, and a lot easier to handle. How Richard keeps the water from spilling is very clever and you should be able to do this routine without fear of that happening. Also the little moves he uses showing the bag empty to both spectators and the audience is genius. This isn't closer worthy IMO, but it is definitely repertoire worthy and something you will use.
IMP Pad: The performer points out a spectator in the crowed that he claims to have talked to prior to the show. He tells everyone that he had the spectator draw a picture on a pad, and had him wrap up the picture in tin foil and place it in an envelope. The spectator confirms that everything is true. The performer then asks if he still has that envelope with him and to confirm in no way, that he ever touched the pad or could have possibly known the drawing, and to also confirm that he let him keep the pad as well. Once again the spectator confirms everything is true, and brings out the envelope from earlier. The performer places his hands over the envelope without touching it, seemingly trying to see the picture through the foil and the envelope. Next the performer grabs his blackboard, and begins to draw the picture, and when done, has a second spectator hold the board face down. The performer then tells the first spectator to open the envelope for the first time to reveal the drawing (Lets say a clown). Then the performer grabs the blackboard, turns it over, and it matches the duplicate drawing.
My thoughts: Pure genius of an idea. This IMP pad is a revolution in pre-show work. This IMO is better than any clipboard or another pre show device you can buy. Richard goes into great depth (like always) with how to make the pad. This was the first thing Richard ever invented for his shows, and it's not expensive to make at all. Once made you might as well throw all of your other pre-show devices away because this just destroys them all. The effects you can do with this are endless and this effect really hits the spectators hard, because of how impossible you make it sound. And Richard shows you how you can even give them the pad right after they write down the word/drawing/ect. So when it's time to perform, they have everything with them when they sit down, and you bring all of this up in your show. This makes this particular effect seem impossible that you could know that picture, and that's what makes this routine so strong to the audience. This gets a 10/10 just for the pad.
Marked Coin in Bottle: The performer asks for a penny, a dime and a quarter from the spectator. He then takes out a sharpie and tells them to initial the quarter. The performer then brings out an empty glass coke bottle and tells the spectator to try and place the dime in the bottle. It goes in but barely, then he asks to try to push the penny in as well, which won't go. The performer then takes the quarter and pushes it through the mouth of the coke bottle and the audience can hear loud clinking sounds. The performer then has the spectator check inside to make sure it's the same quarter with his initials, and he confirms it is. Then the performer takes out a plastic freezer zip lock bag, places the bottle in the bag, seals it up, and breaks the bottle with a hammer. He then opens the bag back up and very carefully grabs the quarter to hand back to the spectator.
My thoughts: This is very visual, and I love the presentation with this. By emphasizing that the dime will go in, but not the penny, then you just know that the quarter's not going in and that's what the audience will be saying also. And when you put the quarter in the bottle the audience can hear very clearly and see the quarter rattling around inside the bottle. I absolutely love the touch of bringing out the freezer bag to break the bottle to get the quarter back. It leaves no evidence behind and the audience is left with a real mind blower. With all of this said however, this trick takes a lot of work to prepare. It is a pain and you will hate doing it, but once you prepare say 10-15 bottles you'll be set to go for that many performances, and it's all worth it because this effect kills. IMO it's a more practical quarter in soda can, the only differences being that you're using a bottle instead of a can, but you also don't have to go outside to pour out the can, or waist a soda, or get drops on the floor, ect. Sinful beats this trick, don't get me wrong, but this trick flows smoother in your act because you don't have to leave the room, and it's more visual IMO. I give this an 8/10 simply because of the work involved other then that, a definite keeper.
Signed Torn and Restored Post-it-Note: The performer tells a spectator to sign their name on a post-it-note pad. The performer then takes the pad and pulls the paper from it. He then rips the note up into pieces. The performer then asks what's the 2 ways to destroy paper? They say by tearing or by fire. The performer then pulls out a lighter and lightly burns the paper. Then all of a sudden he slowly unfolds the paper, and it's completely restored to show the signature.
My thoughts: This is fantastic. It packs small, all you need is a post-it-note pad and a pen, and it plays big. It almost reminds me of a torn and restored card, but only with paper instead. And the lighter is a nice touch because it seems like the pieces fused together because of it, and that's very strong. What I also like about this is that you don't need anything extra on you, just the post-it's and a pen and you get this amazing little miracle. And did I mention that you end clean? A plus, plus effect. 9/10.
Spike Bending: The performer takes out several long steel spikes and shows them to the audience. Then by the power of the mind, the performer bends one of the spikes. Then the performer takes a second spike and bends that even more then the first one. Everything then gets handed out for examination.
My thoughts: This is a cool effect. It's more metal bending but with spikes instead of spoons. IMO, you don't need to perform this one after you perform the spoon bend, and also this effect seems unpractical. Like you're really going to be carrying around spikes in your case. The actual effect is great, and fools the audience, and you can give these out at the end. But this one didn't do it for me because of the impracticality. Overall a 6/10.
S.O.S. Pseudo-Psychometry Bag: The performer takes out a large black cloth bag, and instructs the audience to place at least one personal item in the bag while the performers head is turned. The performer then takes out the items one by one, and not only reveals who gave him the items, but tells why the spectator got the items in the first place.
My thoughts: This trick is another personal type of effect that really hits the spectators hard because it involves their own personal items. I'm not familiar with this prop so I don't know if it's expensive or not, but it doesn't look that way from my point of view. I like the overall routine, and I especially like how Richard reveals the personal things about the belongings right before he gives them to the correct owner. This effect wasn't for me, but it's still a good effect and it will fool the audience when you use it. I give it a 7/10.
Signed Torn and Restored Newspaper: The performer takes out a full newspaper and has a spectator pick any page that they want. He then has them sign the paper on that page they selected. Then the performer tears the paper in half, then in half again, then again, until he has 32 pieces. He then puts all of the pieces together, then slowly unfolds the paper and the paper is fully restored and it is indeed the same signed paper. The performer then hands it to the spectator to keep, and is left completely clean at the end.
My thoughts: I'm just going to say this right now, this effect is worth the whole price of the series. There is just so many TRN effects out there that cost over $100 and this version is not only practical, but very cheap, requires minimal set up, and since you have the paper signed, this just beats any TRN on the market. And what's more is you END CLEAN AT THE END and you can GIVE THE PAPER AWAY. This is a true closer and just worth the whole price of the set, bar none. A 10 doesn't do this trick justice. It's easy, it's brilliant, minimal set up, end clean, can give the paper away, ect. Everything you want in a magic trick. And by the way it leaves the audience breathless. A 100/10 absolutely phenomenal.
Overall thoughts: Once again a very good dvd with a lot of worker material. The TRN is the star of the dvd and the set, and from these first 4 volumes if you just added the TRN, the bill in cigarette, the cell phone effect, the radar deck, the watch routine, the magazine test, the spoon bending, and an effect from the breakthrough card system, you've got a completely mind blowing act right now. And we still've got 3 MORE VOLUMES OF MATERIAL. How much more can this man give us? Well let’s find out.
Mind Mysteries vol. 5:
Ultra Board: The performer has a blackboard with 3 clips on it. He then writes down a prediction and covers it up with an envelope. He then asks a spectator to think of a person dear to them that's not in the room, and to say their initials out loud for all to hear. The performer writes the initials down right below the envelope signifying that prediction. Next the performer asks another spectator to think of their birthday as he writes another prediction down and covers it with another envelope. He then asks what the birth date is and he writes the date below the second prediction envelope. He then asks a third spectator to grab some change in his pocket (approx. 3-4 coins).
The performer then tells him to hold his hand up in a fist holding the 4 coins as he does so, the performer writes down a third prediction and covers it up with a third envelope. The performer goes back to the first spectator and reminds everyone the person that they chose. Then he unclips the envelope above the initials and the prediction matches the chosen name. Then the second spectators envelope gets unclipped to show that their prediction also matches. The performer goes to the third spectator who still has his hand with 4 coins above his head. He then tells him to count the coins to see how much change is there, and the performer writes down the amount below the third prediction envelope. The third envelope gets unclipped to show that the final prediction matches the change total.
My thoughts: This routine is awesome, and uses a non-gimmicked board. It just looks like pure psychic powers to the audience. It's super easy to do, and the method is genius. A definite add to your show, 9/10.
Spoon Bend: The performer takes a spoon and openly lays it on his palm. Then with no cover, the spoon handle begins to bend. Then it bends more and more seemingly by the power of the performers mind. Then the performer shows the spoon bent, and holds it straight up and down by the handle. Then with no cover, the bowl of the spoon begins to droop foreword seemingly by the performers mind. The spoon is then handed out as a souvenir.
My thoughts: This looks absolutely sick. The method is the same method used in vol. 3 but with a few MAJOR handling differences. You actually see this spoon bend in the open palm and it looks like pure mind powers. You can do this surrounded, and right in the spectators face. It looks like something Criss Angel would do, it's that freaky looking. Both bends are great, but this one by far is the better of the two. The method is so simple, and to make it look like it's bending in your open palm is even more simple and easy to do. This routine is a stunner, and a true 10/10.
Fork Bend: The performer shows 3 straight forks to the audience, then with no cover, all 3 forks bend downward in the performers hand.
My thoughts: This is a great follow up to the spoon bending routine. It's a surprise when they see all 3 forks bend at the same time and again looks like you're bending metal with your mind. The method is of course harder than the spoon bend because you're using 3 forks instead of 1 spoon, but the effect still looks the same to the audience. I don't like this as a trick on it's own, I like it as a pure follow up to other silverware bends, however like I said, it all looks the same to the audience so it really doesn't matter when you want to do this. Overall a 8/10.
The Very Modern Mindreader: The performer passes out a bunch of index cards to the audience along with pencils to write with. He then asks the audience to write their names on the top of their cards. Then he asks them to write down anything they want that's important to them (car, names, numbers, addresses, pets, ect.). Then after they get done, the performer passes out small brown envelopes and tells the audience to place their cards in the envelopes and to lick them shut and to hand all the envelopes back to him. Then the performer picks a spectator and asks him if they've ever met before, and they say no. Then he tells them their name. Next the performer begins to reveal everything that the spectator wrote down in his card. Afterwards the performer takes out their card from their envelope and hands both back to the spectator. Then the performer continues this until every spectators envelope is done.
My thoughts: This routine is an act on it's own. It lasts a good 10 minutes if you get every spectator, or it can last a little less depending if you want to do every envelope. You can make this routine last as long or as little as you want depending on the details you give out each spectator. It takes literally 2 seconds to make the gimmick and the method combined with this simple gimmick, just makes me smile. I can't believe how simple this method is. With just a few index cards, and a few envelopes you can literally perform this mind reading masterpiece. It will build your reputation as a mind reader, this trick does what is promised on the description of the dvd case. It is so strong, you really can't go anywhere from here after you perform it, just stop the show and say good night. A masterpiece in mentalism, a 10/10.
Digital Feedback: The performer takes out a scientific calculator and shows all of the various buttons on it, and also shows that there's nothing in the memory. He then divides the audience into 2 teams and asks a spectator from the first team to type in any 2 digit number. Then he asks them to hit the multiply button, and asks another spectator to type in another 2 digit number and hit the equal button. The performer then asks them to remember that number, and to hit the off button. He does the same thing with the second team. The performer then writes down a prediction number on a piece of paper and folds it up. Then the performer starts naming each digit from both sets of numbers, and adds all of it up on the blackboard for the audience to see. Once both totals are added up, then both numbers get added up together to make a whole new number. The performer asks a spectator to open up the prediction and it matches the totally random number.
My thoughts: The trick itself is amazing for the audience. Unfortunately it is a lot of work to prepare this gimmick, and this is the first expensive gimmick that you have to buy and reconstruct yourself. Plus another thing I don't like about it, is that the spectators once again feel like they're in Algebra class. At least that's how I felt after watching the performance. Maybe when others see this, they'll feel differently about it, and think it's great. But me personally, this is the first trick of the series that I don't like. It did fool me badly, but it just seems like too much work to do in order to do one trick. I give this a 5/10.
Inside the Fold: The performer shows a folded up business card, and asks a spectator to think of a number between 1-100. After she does, the performer then asks her to name her number out loud. Then the performer hands her the business card to read out loud, and to everyone’s amazement it matches her chosen number.
My thoughts: This trick uses the same gimmick as the cell phone effect, and the lottery effect, the only difference is, Richard teaches you how to use this with a folded up business card. This is just genius and really fools people badly. What I like about this is that the spectator doesn't just read the number, they read "you will say ??" which is what is wrote down before the effect begins. IMO it's stronger then the lottery effect, but weaker then the cell phone effect. But the method is what makes this trick so cool. Once you know this all you need is this gimmick and your business cards, and you can literally perform this miracle. A true 10/10.
Stainless Steel Blindfold: The performer calls up 2 spectators to help him on stage, and brings out a stainless steel blindfold and some large band aids. He then tapes his eyes shut with the band aids, and places the steel blindfold on over his eyes as well. The performer then asks a spectator in the front row, to hold out their index finger, and to not move. Next the performer slowly walks to the spectator with his index finger, and they touch fingers. He then asks 2 more spectators in the audience to pull out an object that's personal to them (say a photo, and a key). The performer then asks a third spectator to write down a word on a piece of paper. Next he tells his 2 assistants on stage to get the 3 items and to bring them up. He then tells them to hold the 2 personal items in their open palms but not to let him touch them. Then the performer names both items in detail. Lastly the performer tells one of the assistance to hold the piece of paper with the word on it, in their open palm, and the performer gets the word right as well. Then with no funny moves, the performer slowly takes off the blindfold and band aids to show that his eyes were completely covered the whole time.
My thoughts: This trick is powerful to witness. It's almost like a magic stunt that you would see someone perform on TV. It's a really fun routine for the audience to watch, and it's really fun to perform. However, you need to buy a gimmick that you can only get from Richard in order to do this effect. IMO however, you don't need to use the gimmick Richard uses, as any gimmick you purchase should get the job done. The only difference with this routine is that the audience can examine the blindfold, with others that may not be the case. The trick itself is strong, you just can't do it until you get a certain prop. Overall I give this a 7/10.
Penomenally Psychic Control: The performer takes out a bic pen and a salt shaker and balances the pen on top of the salt shaker. Then without going near the pen, the performer clinches his fists and moves the pen back and fourth seemingly by the power of his mind.
My thoughts: This trick looks spectacular and completely impossible. Once again you need to build a gimmick, and have a different gimmick separately. The gimmick you have to make is a pain. Needless to say you will not have fun making it. The other gimmick is also hard to find, but with a little searching, you should be able to find one. Once you've got these 2 gimmicks however, the effect is awesome. I give this a 7/10 just because of the work involved.
Stopping a Watch: The performer borrows a spectators watch and places it on the table. The performer then claims that he's going to make the second hand stop. Then without going near the watch the second hand stops, then after 5-10 seconds it starts going again. The performer then goes to the spectator who gave him the watch and asks what time is. The spectator says the time, then the performer places the watch in their hand and asks again what time it is. The spectator notices the time has changed. The performer repeats this with multiple different watches. Then the performer borrows one more watch only this time, he makes every hand on the watch start spinning out of control then with seemingly by the power of his mind, stops everything in its tracks. This is repeated with a compass as well.
My thoughts: This trick uses the same gimmick as the penomenally effect. With this one gimmick you can stop and start watches. In order to make the watch go crazy, you just have to run into those certain types of watches but when you do, it looks incredible to the audience, but you can't show it to the owner of that watch. Also with this method, there's so much more you can do with it as the idea is very universal and flexible with other objects. Me personally I don't see myself performing this, as watch stopping really isn't my cup of tea, but others of course will see differently. Overall I give this a 8/10 just for the method.
Overall thoughts: What a shock, another good dvd. It's not the best in the series but you will still get a lot of mileage out of the material on here. The spoon bend method is great, and the very modern mindreader steals the show, along with inside the fold, ect. Once again you will find material that will go right into your act, and I for one am going to add the very modern mindreader, along with inside the fold, and ultra board to my own act. Now because of the digital feedback routine I can't give this a 10 or a 9, but 8/10 is still very good and I highly recommend this dvd as you have to get it just for the very modern mind reader routine alone. Having fun yet? Well we're almost done.