Dan Harlan is a treasure. Here, he continues on with more mentalism from Tarbell, and if you
thought his last two mentalism lectures were great, this one is even better.
What I like
about the material that Dan teaches is that it's accessible. Sure, there are a couple of moves that
you have to learn, but they are fundamental for every mentalist. All of the routines are excellent,
but I especially liked his take on the hoary chestnut Add-a-Number. For anyone with a passing
familiarity with this effect, you know that everyone from Dunninger to Banachek has performed it
because not only is it a classic, it is impressive. There are many ways to do it, and you can buy
all manner of gimmicks like a Baker slate, a tricked-out calculator, or an Add-a-Number Pad to
accomplish it. Dan picks a way that will cost a couple of bucks and one that anyone with a little
arts-and-crafts skill can do. (Banachek, by the way, has a version on his Psi series DVDs that is
even more low-budget. You need two index cards, a Sharpie, and some glue.) And then Dan extends
the routine beyond the usual revelation of the sum to wonderful effect.
At the end of the
lecture, Dan shows three effects that rely on a utility d***** e*******. He clearly shows how to
manufacture them quickly and easily. Again, you could accomplish the same thing with stuff like a
TT, a Shaxon envelope, or a tricked-out clipboard, but Dan takes the easiest approach. A few minutes
of DIY, and you will kill using the gimmick that you construct.
As with the rest of the
Tarbell lectures, for about $20, you get many times the value. If you are just starting out in
mentalism, this is an excellent place to begin. You'll not only learn killer routines but also
concepts that will last you a lifetime.
One last piece of trivia. I am usually jaded by a
lot of magic lectures that feature the same people in the audience, lecture after lecture. L&L
Publishing is the worst in this regard, generally fantastic lectures but with years of DVDs
featuring "Frank" and a bunch of provocatively dressed showgirls and wannabe actress/models. If you
watch as many Penguin lectures as I do, you will also see a few of the same folks time and again.
But the young woman volunteer for the magazine test here is a standout, just amazingly attractive.
Keep it up Penguin, and I can purge Frank from my mind.
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Even if you have Tarbell, Dan Harlan breathes life into the written word. Sometimes doing the effect
as written, sometimes taking a sideways look. Great value as well. Why not try it for a month ?
have mine on my phone and it makes a train journey a creative experience.
I do not perform--I'm just interested in how things are done. I found this lesson (and some of the
others in this series) well worth the price. The video is about 2 hours and 40 minutes, largely
because Harlan stretches out his performances with 'close your eyes and concentrate' shtick. This
kind of presentation seems outmoded to me, at least in Western countries, where people know you are
not actually reading their mind. How about 'Close your eyes while I pretend to read your mind"?
Anyway, the tricks are good and the explanations are clear and terse.
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