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"Drew is a consummate pro in all respects - meticulous about every aspect of his show, careful to establish and nurture the who, the why, and the how in a way that doesn't simply deliver entertaining mentalism only, but allows you to experience true theater." – Atlas Brookings

"I've only recently made the acquaintance of Drew, but I would already rate him as one of my favourite mentalism thinkers and creators. We share so much in common about our views of what performance mentalism should be that it's almost as if our minds are really linked! I love ALL of his ideas and routines. Every single effect is a worker, he absolutely understands how to get the most entertainment and audience interaction out of every routine." – Marc Paul

"Drew has definitely been the best kept secret in mentalism so far but this is about to change. In a time when everyone is looking for the next best thing and ‘cutting edge’ methods that sometimes have questionable results, Drew offers a combination of classic methods that have stood the test of time combined with clever subtleties to produce stunning and entertaining routines. Great material from a creator who is not only a brilliant thinker but an amazing performer as well." – Manos

"I have shared ideas back and forth with Drew over the last few years and he really is a very clever thinker. Drew has a wonderful economy in his creation style and is able to squeeze a lot of bang out of very little effort from the performer. This is material designed for a working performer and so does not require mental gymnastics while under pressure." – Mark Chandaue

And, just as importantly, here's what some of Drew's previous clients have said:

"Phenomenal show! It was incredible! Employees minds were blown away by his show and still talk about how "things" happened! We had a goal this year to provide our employees with the best event they have been to in years (if not ever) and having Drew perform definitely helped us achieve that goal! One of the best shows and forms of entertainment I have seen!" - NICE inContact

"Drew's performance is truly MIND BLOWING! I have never been so extremely pleased with a decision to hire someone in my life until I hired Drew for our company party! His performance at our Holiday Party was better than I could have ever expected. He was so entertaining, funny, and everything he did was seriously jaw-dropping. I am so proud and pleased with the decision to hire Drew, and would recommend him to ANYONE!" - ThumbTack

"Drew's performance at our team member celebration was phenomenal. He incorporated a personalized corporate message (our company motto) into the finale that left everyone saying "how did he do that?!" He was fantastic to work with from the time I requested a quote to the time he was at our event. His skills are truly unique and he is an exceptional entertainer." - Dell-EMC

What will he teach?

A 45 minute stand-up mentalism act. Drew will walk us through a version of the show he’s currently using - a show that has stunned audiences around the country for the last four years. While this act was designed for corporate audiences numbering as high as 900 in attendance, he's also performed it numerous times for universities and even at house parties with no more than 20 guests. The act is extremely scale-able, versatile, and travel-friendly.

Although he'll teach the majority of methods in play, the real focus of this lecture is the structure behind the act itself. This will be a masterclass on concepts such as establishing your theme, designing your character, creating "flow" though call-backs, layering methods, and strategies to build the impact and pacing of your show. He will also share his 10 Step Process for Designing an Act; his technique to encourage standing ovations; and a few business tips that will help you earn more from your existing gigs.

Highlights of the act include...

KISSing PINs- Drew's super simple but extremely effective solution to ethically revealing someone's PIN. The audience will be convinced that the onstage participant freely makes up a random PIN in real-time (even changing his mind in the process) yet you reveal the four digits in increasingly impressive ways that demonstrate the basic techniques of mind reading. There is no pre-show, stooging, math, electronics or peeks. The combination of classic methods is guaranteed to make you smile.

Obviously Influenced- A two-envelope "bank night" routine that makes everyone who didn't play wish they had! It also functions as a running thread throughout the show and provides one of the climaxes to the act. A number of subtleties result in an extremely realistic display of your mastery over human behavior. Drew employs very different methods from those typically used for this plot. Careful scripting and clever routining make this 100% sure-fire, completely hands-off, and gimmick free.

Omni-test- This is an entire 10-15 minute act on its own but it also forms the backbone of the larger set and paves the way for the show's finale. This sequence blends together a number of classic principles, engages several members of the audience, and produces an avalanche of interesting, varied, and visual revelations. If you think book tests are "outdated" or "unconvincing" this might change your mind.

The Ultimate Trust Exercise (PERFORMANCE ONLY)- One of Drew's signature pieces. A Russian roulette with a purpose. This goes far beyond merely avoiding bodily harm and culminates in four inexplicable moments of mind reading. He's not at liberty to divulge everything, but you're certain to be inspired by what he does tip - along with the overall thinking that went into this.

Solo-fab- Drew's take on confabulation designed with the solo performer in mind. There's no secret writing or assistants and the predictions are visible to everyone even in larger venues. If you've always wanted to achieve a similar impact to the "Master Prediction System" without the associated cost, legwork, or limitations than look no further!

BONUS #1 - With your purchase you'll receive the full lecture notes used by Drew and Dan during the filming. This document is intended to be a companion guide to the video content and contains even more details on the concepts discussed. DON'T PASS IT UP!

BONUS #2 - Following the lecture's filming Drew asked Marc Paul to review over the footage and provide feedback on the performance. The hour long Skype conversation that ensued captured a variety of insights from Marc's vast professional experience. The topics covered include: tips on stagecraft, troubleshooting some of the techniques used in the act; and a discussion on general performance theory. A recording of this Skype call is provided as a separate file on the download page. THIS IS A MINI-LECTURE ALL ON ITS OWN!

Who is he?

You've likely never heard of Drew and there's two good reasons for that: first, he performs under a stage name (he'd prefer we didn't mention it here) because "Backenstoss" is a mouthful... and second, until recently he's kept himself somewhat aloof from the magic community.

He's studied magic and mentalism for nearly 20 years and combines his passion for mystery entertainment, the analytical skills he gained through an education in finance, and his background as an actor to create unforgettable entertainment experiences for his audiences. His debut book Architect of the Mind has helped established him as a strong new voice within the field of mentalism.

Over the last 10 years Drew has been quietly building his list of clientele as well as refining his craft. He's quick to admit that he's a "Part-time Professional" balancing his day-time role as the Director of Human Resources at a national advocacy group with a busy after-hours career as a highly rated corporate entertainer. Drew lives outside of Salt Lake City, UT with his incredible wife of nine years and two beautiful daughters.


Where can you see the greatest creators and performers share their professional magic act in front of a live audience and then teach you to do it? Only Penguin LIVE: ACTS!

The world's best magicians spend years developing the perfect act. Magic fans almost never get a chance to learn the real secrets behind what makes the top pros act so amazing. Until now. Penguin Live Acts gives you exclusive access to the biggest names in the industry, as they share how to perform their powerful A-material.

First you'll get to watch the show, performed for a real audience, from start to finish. Then you'll go behind the scenes to learn about the routines, and the real secrets about building an act that can take decades to learn.

Many of the ideas shared have been held back for years, and you can only learn it at Penguin LIVE: ACTS!

Want VIP access to EVERY FUTURE Penguin LIVE we film? Check out Penguin LIVE: All Access Pass!


Purchase this product and on April 28th anytime after 12:00pm Eastern, click the MyPenguinMagic area at the top of the Penguin site. You'll see the "learn" button appear next to this lecture.

This product is for everyone, from the beginner to the professional and for magicians and mentalists alike. Don't miss it!

Have a question about this product?

Featured Magic Tricks

Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 100)
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Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 28th, 2019
Drew Backenstoss’ Penguin Live Act is wonderful!

First of all, it is obvious that Drew is a master in interweaving methods and subtleties in order to create strong and hard-hitting routines. Second, it is clear that Drew is a very talented and charming performer. Third, it is also evident that Drew has overdelivered in so many levels that this short review cannot even come close to conveying how good his lecture was.

The Lecture is perfect for any mentalist, regardless of their level or developmental stage. It covers a wide spectrum of topics and provides real-world advice on how to create and structure a coherent mentalism act. Drew’s 10-Step Process for Designing an Act is an extremely helpful tool for any mentalist and that alone should be worth the price (if not more) of this Lecture.

Not only does Drew provide a masterclass in act structuring, but he also shares several excellent mentalism routines. These are no ordinary mentalism effects. Instead, these are routines that reflect Drew’s careful thinking, clever method layering, and attention to detail.

In sum, I would highly recommend Drew Backenstoss’ Penguin Live Act to any mentalist.
9 of 9 magicians found this helpful.
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Highly Recommended Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 30th, 2019
This is definitely one of the best ACTS/lectures I have seen to date. There is so much value in what is taught here that I sincerely believe that anyone who is serious in the art of mentalism should get it.
Besides the brilliant routines that Drew teaches in full detail what is even of greater value is the information shared regarding how to build your character and your act. If you are not familiar yet with Drew's brilliant thinking then you are in for a treat.
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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Best lecture ever Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 20th, 2019
I do magic and mentalism for over 30 years and this is my first review ever. Why? Because this lecture and this performer deserves it. This is the best lecture i've ever watched. Drew Backenstoss explains a lot of very (!) good and practical routines and much more than that. On top he explains very (!) important theoretical issues. This lecture should be much more expensive because the material is gold!!!
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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Highest Recommendation Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 14th, 2019
This is a phenomenal ACT filled with cleverly routined pieces of mind reading, structured to perfection. One of the best mentalism ACTs on Penguin! Highly Recommend!
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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So much to think about! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 8th, 2019
This was one of my favorite lectures. Although I am probably using only one routine from this lecture, there are SO MANY nuances and ideas that are applicable to anyone's act.

There are tons of great tips on character, structure and how to get clarity in your routines.

The best part is how transparent Drew is about where he got his material and how you can further your education in and out of the magic community.

4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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A lesson for all of us Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 6th, 2019
This was my first introduction to Drew's work. I have to say that his act was one of the most well thought-out shows I've ever seen put together. The individual tricks are strong and you may find some use for them in your performances. However, the real strength of this lecture is getting a chance to see how Drew has layered his methods, presentations, and routine structures to create a final product that is far more than the sum of its parts.
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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Absolutely Excellent! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 3rd, 2019
Aside from one of the most entertaining Acts I've seen, the amount of excellent material, advice and tips on here is simply staggering. The Act alone would be excellent value, but when you add in the extra discussions and PDF, its hard to see how anyone could be wanting for anything.

Highly recommended!
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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Great value! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 30th, 2019
Let's get the negative (or least positive) points out of the way: I didn't love the act, the pacing, the persona or the methods. :-)
But that is a personal opinion! I know many people will like this, and be able to use this.
Now for the positive: although I haven't watched the over 4 hour long video I already got a lot of value from the first 30 minutes of the explanations. Drew talks about A LOT of practical stuff that is useful for any performer. He doesn't leave any detail out. If you're a mentalist of a magician, you will get something out of this that you WILL use.
It's the small things that are important in this lecture. It's not the tricks, the methods or the act. Is about how you structure your own act, how you pack, how to set up your stage, what to put in your case and how to be prepared. I like the ideas presented here, but I wouldn't perform them in the same way or with the same methods. But I know I will use some of the ideas in some shape or form.
So as the title says: Great Value!
5 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
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One of Mentalism's Rising Stars Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 4th, 2019
Drew Backenstoss' LIVE ACT performance was excellent. Fun, entertaining, mysterious and polished. Truly a great showman and a terrific performance.

I believe Drew is one of the rising stars in mentalism and will eventually become one of the greats at the top of the field.

After the show, the 3 + hours of conversation with Dan, discussion about Drew's philosophy, many insights and recommendations, as well as the explanations for the effects begins. This is just my opinion, but I found this part a struggle to get through. Drew is very detailed when explaining things, but overly so. I kept saying to myself, just get to the point already. It was like asking someone for directions to get somewhere and after 15 minutes they are still talking - telling you all the things they think you need to know, when if they had just gotten to the point you could have walked to where you wanted to go in 5 minutes.

I do understand wanting to explain important things in enough detail. And the flip side is not good either, just glossing over things. But you can over do explaining things and doing so gets tedious.
4 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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I need MORE of Drew’s wisdom! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 29th, 2019
It is fascinating as a part time performer. To hear his nuggets of wisdom was an absolute joy. One of the best of the LIVE ACTS version of Penguin Live. A superbly crafted act, and crafted is the correct word! In every part you can feel the love, time and thoughts that have gone into this. It is NOT just a bunch of tricks tacked together or a sales pitch.

Speaking of which can Drew release more stuff please. Or can Penguin get him back and stock his products.

And it’s his first proper lecture??! You would never know. The detail, scripting, craft, bits of biz carry’s over to the Explanations also. So so much bang for your buck.

In a word. Amazing. In 5 words: time to watch it again. Bye
4 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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