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Fooling With Freud by Mark Elsdon

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“I've never seen anything quite like Fooling with Freud! It is a beautiful composition from a man whose knowledge of techniques is nearly encyclopaedic. Mark's exhaustive understanding of methodology has allowed him to create exactly what he visualized - a mind blowing three phase demonstration of the impossible, a routine that is as clean as it is amazing. This is my favourite 'Conversation as Mentalism' piece - and if you're familiar with the series, you know that is no small thing.” –Atlas Brookings

“Brilliant! Mark has cleverly combined a series of methods into a structure that will cause people to believe you’re reading their thoughts, and actually analyzing their very thought process as you’re doing so.” –Colin McLeod

“Fooling With Freud is a masterpiece. It is clever, direct and deeply fooling. It should be in the arsenal of every modern mentalist! I give it my highest recommendation.” -Michael Murray

Over the last few years of devising conversational mentalism material Mark has developed several routines that are so powerful that they each demand a separate release. The first of this new Private Release series is titled Fooling With Freud and is a 100% practical piece of cutting-edge mentalism.

As per the Conversation As Mentalism ethos you don’t need to carry any props; this is a pure three-phase routine of direct mindreading - it doesn’t use playing cards, iPhones, peek devices, stooges, guessing or the law of averages.

What is the effect? In increasingly arbitrary ways, the participant merely thinks of something random (they never write anything down or tell anyone) and you simply reveal what it is. The routine builds through each of the three phases, ultimately leaving everyone involved to conclude that you really must be walking around inside their head!

Perform it close-up, stand-up, on stage, in the pub or wherever you like. It works as well for a whole group of people as it does one-on-one. If you like Mark’s CAM series you will LOVE this! If you’ve never read either of the CAM books, you’ll still LOVE this!!


The booklet also includes Pulling With Freud - Colin McLeod’s personal handling of Mark’s mind-bending routine.

Please note: this is a brand new, standalone release and does NOT appear in either of the CAM booklets, nor does it require any prior knowledge of CAM material.

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Propless mentalists will rejoice with this routine. I have been familiar with Mark's Conversations as Mentalism books and loved the simplicity in those effects. My instant reaction to this routine was satisfaction. Fooling With Freud certainly did not let me down.

My main concern with this book before buying was the vague description. In short, you're getting a five phase routine in which the spectators all think of different items and in each one you progressively reveal that thought. The part that isn't included in the description is that you're creating seemingly random lists of different common items to mentally think of. Like the other CAM effects you can write them on scraps of paper at any time and you're ready to go.

The first spectator thinks of an item from a list. You reveal it. The second thinks of another. you reveal it. You then discard the list and the third spectator mentally selects a free thought. You still reveal it. You can go as far as the fifth phase, or stop anywhere in between.

The methods to each phase build on each other and seem more impossible than the last. My favorite part is that there's nothing to catch. There's no equivoque, math, mental yarn, psychological forcing, or guess work. Fans of Atlas Brookings will enjoy the thinking here, and there's a great principle I haven't personally seen in print before that grounds the entire routine. Although I haven't tried it yet on an audience I'm confident you can nail it every time.

What did surprise me is the writing quality. I'm not saying anything against his intellect or grammar or any of that jazz. But it took a few reads to fully understand. The overview of the presentation took four full pages to describe. With that said, no detail was left out, but there was a lot to absorb. The breakdown of methods requires you to fully understand how the presentation plays out because they blend into each other. Even reading the methodology I had to skip back and forth between the effect and the work. A twenty pager so it was nothing to cry about.

One point I should mention is that Mark is a UK performer, but the routine can be adapted to other languages. Now, that doesn't mean I speak other languages or understand other written language. With that said, may have to "rebuild" the second phase from scratch. Fans of Atlas' work will understand what this means.

One last bit of business is that there's a variation from Colin McLeod. The methods are the same, however he gives another approach to performing this effect using a phone and streamlines it a little more. Not much to say here, but for completion's sake I should mention it.

Now the part we all care about. The great wall: the price. $45 is a little high in my opinion. Especially considering that the CAM downloads were less and contained more magic. I can assume the thinking is that its one FULL five-phaser so it requires a little more care. But the book was just a simple manuscript. I shouldn't say anything negative however, because I was very pleased with what I received.

Who should buy it? The routine certainly isn't of interest to the bare beginner mentalist. Its okay to be a beginner, as we all have been once, but those who already know the CAM books know Mark occasionally uses bold methodology. The methods that may appeal to others as "unfavorable," or "difficult." It really comes down to the practice you put in. However, fans of Mark's and more experienced mentalists will have a blast with this.
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