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INFLUENCE-ENZA by Michael Breggar
Imagine you are a chicken.
Oh, lucky you. You don’t have to cluck like a chicken to get this collection of mentalism effects. Unique, twisted and methodologically easy, Michael Breggar veers from his monthly “Auto-Magic” column in The Linking Ring to bring you mentalism-y effects your audiences will remember…long after you’ve awakened them from their trances. Or, as in Michael’s case, long after he’s awakened them. Period. You’ll be the cerebellum of the ball when you perform these effects! So, open up both brain hemispheres, damn the puns and full spine ahead! We’ll meet you on the (brain)stem!
Marc DeSouza writes (from the Foreword) …
“Michael Breggar has made it his mission to create really entertaining presentations for some great mental effects. To create simple, entertaining mental miracles that are sleight-free so you can concentrate on pleasing your audiences… ok, get your mind out of the gutter, I mean letting them be a part of a fun, yet very strong magical experience…. Not only are the premises interesting and humorous, but they use a variety of objects, like dice, fortune cookies and Legos, that are certain to keep even the most jaded audiences fully engaged.
By taking the ‘no sleight’ route, most effects become process heavy. Michael has created premises and presentations that take what is normally an ordeal and makes the ride as good as the climax. Dare to break out of the world of dreary mentalism. Have your participants take a psychic romp in a hospital nursery, create some sick and twisted fortune cookies, pretend its Oscar Night and have your audiences pick some winners, play poker with a Martian and even witness a fistfight between Martin Gardner and Dai Vernon!”
“I am delighted by this book. Not only the methods, but many brand-new themes. Mentalists look for this, as they can tire themselves and the audience with seemingly repeated effects. Michael has dug deep and I look forward to using some of these on stage. BTW, for those who care, there are many new methods. Michael knows what he is writing about. Confident, sincere, original. I love it.” - Marc Salem
“If you read the Linking Ring, you will certainly recognize the name, Michael Breggar from his “Auto-Magic” columns. Michael is an extremely knowledgeable performer in many different areas of magic! When he sent me a copy of Influence-Enza, he called it ‘Comedy Mentalism’. How misleading! Yes, the lines he uses in his patter ARE funny and some of the premises are a little off-the-wall (a fist fight between Martin Gardner and Dai Vernon!), but the Mentalism is dead serious! Frankly, this is some of the cleverest material I have seen in quite some time. The humorous premises, in fact, often “set-up” the audience for an even more effective knock-out blow at the climax! Even if you work more straight-forward, this material contains ideas you can use and the book is filled with one-liners that can be quite effective in any show.
The routines run the gamut from using cards and dice to fortune cookies, Legos and much more! They are all based on classic ideas, but, and here is the great part, they do not require any fancy sleights or moves! Like his LR column, he achieves strong results through subtleties and ingenious routining. (The thinking reminds me a lot of the wonderful, “Scarne on Card Tricks.”) And those results are worth doing! Michael always has a strong eye on powerful material. The audience is laughing like crazy one minute and speechless the next!
The bottom line is this; don’t be put off if you think this is a book of silly Mentalism “jokes.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This is strong material meant to play for real people out to have a good time and still have their socks knocked off!” - Richard Osterlind
"Knowing of Michael’s flair of emphasizing presentation, Influence-Enza will be a welcome addition to anyone's library.” - Don Wiberg
“Quite an impressive achievement! The effects are diverse, imaginative, ingenious and meticulously sourced. I also like that fact that you included some multi-phase routines. I don't think we get to see enough of those these days. All in all, you've outdone yourself, sir. Congratulations!” – Michel Potts
“Michael strips away the inconsequential, eliminates heavy technical sleights, and focuses strictly on the effect and its impact on the spectator. What a concept. As an unashamed fan of Mike's work, I was initially irritated to discover that he'd already churned out a follow-up to his last, Dancing with the Cards. How can one man generate so much quality material in such a short period of time?! Creative genius? Or perhaps he took a walk down the crossroads one misty midnight… His creations are strong, the instructions clear, and the writing is, well, funny and fun to read and perform…” - Anthony Vinson
NOW! Cluck like a chicken and take a peck at what’s inside:
Influence-Enza – a Nick Trost effect takes a few hairpin turns with your audience driving under your influence! From a shuffled deck of cards, two spectators create three piles of face-down cards in front of little signs marked 1, 2 and 3. A third spectator removes a card sight unseen from the balance of the deck and seals it in an envelope safe from any sleighty hands. Free choice? Not quite. You have managed to influence the spectators so that the number of red and black cards in each of the three piles exactly match what’s written inside each of the little signs! And little sign #3 also has the name of the card sealed away in the envelope!
A Day at the Hospital – Using the principles described in Influence-Enza, your three spectators correctly sort out boy and girl babies into three separate nurseries. You have also managed somehow to influence the selection of a name for the hospital administrator’s new baby!
If It’s Good Enough for Bill Murray – How about this: an entertaining and highly effective three phase routine with ESP cards! This is definitely not your average Ghostbuster’s matching card effect!
Drawing on Emotions (ReDOnE) – Michael revisits one his most talked about effects from his book The Five Roads to Vegas. It has been restructured to work in all venues. A drawing duplication without a drawing? It really seems like real mind-reading.
Another Day in Para-Dice – Revised from the “Auto-Magic” column, you divine the total of three dice thrown. Twice.
Gardner and Berg Walk into a Bar and Get into a Fight with Vernon and Don Alan – What starts out as a fabulous “Do-as-I-Do” effect ends up with two extraordinary finales. An impossible centerpiece effect. Unless, of course, you are a psychic!
Award Season – A trip to Hollywood where you, the mysterious mind-reader, deduce the Academy Award winning movie merely thought of by the startled spectator.
Never Play Poker with a Martian – You reveal that Martians are great poker players because they supernaturally influence which cards are dealt to, and played by, the other players. You demonstrate this by Martianally influencing your helper into dealing a royal flush under impossible – and impossibly funny - conditions.
Unfortunate Cookie – An update of one of the most popular effects from Michael’s Linking Ring column. Your assistant is given 25 fortune cookie fortunes. They are all rather dark and macabre except for the one your helper selects by pure chance.
The ACAAN Deck - Yep. This is the real McCoy. The spectator names a card and then a number. They then deal down to that number from a deck untouched by you. And, there’s their card. Works cleanly 80% of the time. Built in outs cover the other 20%. You’ll make up this gaffed deck once, but you will use it forever.
Counter Fits - Your volunteer is given the psychic power to discern real from counterfeit money. They get to keep the bills they identify, so they better be right! Did I mention the bills are sealed in opaque envelopes?
(L)Ego Trip – An unbelievable closer. Your helper merely thinks of a typical Lego object (such as a simple car, airplane, house, cat, etc.) and you assemble it. Without even looking at the Lego blocks! And the kicker is nothing short of impossible!
What are you waiting for? A written electroencephalogram?
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