When you perform mentalism do your audience believe it’s real?
Acclaimed Mentalist Phill Smith describes Mitox:For me performing mentalism is about giving people a window into a world where the things that I do are possible. Imagine how your audience will respond when they are faced with a person, not a trick, not a routine, a living breathing human being whose very existence redefines what is possible. I’m talking about addressing your craft as a professional, as a craftsman, and developing a toolkit which will allow you to become something unique.I have worked on my toolkit for years, and now, with Mitox, I am presenting it to you. Mitox contains the cream of the crop of my routines, effects and ideas about performing mentalism as it should be performed: as powerful interactive theatre, capable of opening the eyes of an intelligent audience to a world where thoughts are fluid and even time itself can be toyed with.Teach a Man to FishMitox isn’t just about 20 great effects though. They represent the core of the ebook, certainly, but I hope they are more than just effects to try out and learn. In Mitox I lay out ten great tips for creating your own effects, all of which I have tried to sum up in each of the twenty core routines, to give some inspiration to you, the reader. Picture being able to create effects and routines at the drop of a hat, peeling away from the mainstream industry. Relying not on dealers and purchased effects to supply you with miracles but to have at your fingertips a bottomless resource of unique and powerful performance pieces unlike any performed by any other mentalist the world over. This has always been within reach, but in Mitox I share with you my ten top secrets for generating inspiration and leveraging your own unique knowledge into impactful pieces of mental theatre that will leave your audiences speechless. Join me on the frontiers of mental performance. The Grand DeceptionAs a mentalist, your premise is what marks you out from the man in the street, it is the source of your abilities and the story which is told by your every effect. It is what elevates your performance beyond mental magic tricks and lifts it into the theatre of belief. The premise is the engine which drives a mentalists act, but how much time have you spent pinning yours down? In Mitox I explain my theory of Premise and explain how I believe Premise can transform a dull routine and turn it into a performance capable of stimulating your audience’s emotions as well as their intellects. How would it feel to have an act that audiences don’t see as being ‘what you do’ but as being ‘who you are’? Knowing that they haven’t come to see your act and routines, but that they have come to see you. I like things to be simple and easy. I hate gimmicks and gaffs. I like backups in case things go wrong. I like strong effects, which give me the chance to shine through. I love impromptu. Above all I like the audience, for a moment at the very least, to believe. I hate dealer hype, and I hate the disappointment of buying a text full of clever but unworkable effects. For this reason I have been through Mitox and stripped out anything that wasn’t 110% great. Anything I wasn’t happy with: out. Anything which was difficult to do: out. Anything which audiences didn’t respond to with real feeling: out. So what’s left?20 industrial strength effects that will knock your audiences for six.Left Brain / Write BrainAn introduction to the structure of the brain leaves the audience with a remarkable (and completely impromptu) prediction of a thought of number and colour. EquifinqueThe perfect close-up opener for any mentalist, a light hearted propless introduction to mind control and prediction which is almost guaranteed to warm up any audience. Red HandedThe strange story of a Victorian murderer takes a time warping twist for the weird which will blow your audience away, as your randomly chosen helper is shown, via a hundred year old manuscript, to be an exact physical match for the culprit, even down to their clothing and name. Custard BooktestYou divine the thought of image from a randomly chosen page of an ungimmicked copy of the Yellow Pages, then reveal that you knew before you even arrived at the gig what the image would be. There are no gimmicks and no gaffs, the directory can even be borrowed. AtypicalTwo spectators are each given a sealed envelope labelled only with the word Party, each of which contains a photograph of a party. With no further clues, each is able to describe the kind of party shown in the photograph, and even details such as decoration and the outfits of the guests. Remember, they genuinely do not see the photographs, each photograph is different, the helpers are not stooged and there is no preshow work. This effect combines the imagination of the audience members with the ingenuity of a unique principle to produce a great new effect. I’d Rather NotYou make a prediction of a spectator’s most embarrassing moment so remarkable that she will simply not read it out. Force of PersonalityA very visual Just Chance effect where you put your ability to judge a participant’s personality on the line with an incredible gamble. This effect plays big and gives you the opportunity to really engage an audience with your personality. (Includes details of a handy new utility prop which simplifies hundreds of other effects, which is so easy to make you probably have all the bits on your desk already) Signature EffectAn autograph book serves as a powerful reminder of a whole chain of exciting meetings, one of which is chosen by a spectator. You successfully divine which signature they are thinking of and add in a brilliant kicker that suggests that perhaps that particular celebrity will be back in touch... Gagging OrderThe ancient one ahead gets a simple update which solves the problem of the final prediction with a great bit of lateral thinking. You may not like it straight away, your audiences will. Real DealYou ask an group of people to imagine drawing something. You pick one of them and tell them what they are thinking of. That’s it. No gimmicks, not even any props... just like the real deal, if you are up for it, Real Deal is too.Knowledge 5A quick and easy introduction to genuine psychological influence and suggestion with a built in safety mechanism to stop you from making any mistakes, Knowledge 5 is a simple way to generate a customised psychological effect for any situation and audience. Thumbscrews BooktestNot so much a new method, but a whole new approach to any booktest. You put the psychological thumbscrews on a spectator in a new presentation that takes your existing booktest and builds it into a credible demonstration of mental ability that is as fun as it is intense! Knowledge 3A highly engaging demonstration of subliminal suggestion framed as a simple bar bet. Using nothing more than the items from your pockets, you challenge the audience to resist your attempts to influence their decisions. Graphology TrioA complete routine of graphology themed effects starting with an eminently possible demonstration of handwriting analysis and ending with the incredible divination of a thought of word, ostensibly through ideomotor cues. Mental CardsTwo straightforward card effects which bring the themes of mentalism into any card routine. SpectaphoneA spectator shuffles and cuts the deck and without looking puts a card into his pocket. A random number is written on a borrowed pad with a borrowed pen, a random prefix is added and the whole lot is dialled on a borrowed phone BY THE SPECTATOR. The random sucker on the end is persuaded to to participate in the effect and told to pick a card mentally. The performer does not touch the deck at any time from the start to the finish. Or the phone. He does not speak to the person on the other end of the phone. The named card and the chosen card are shown to match. This effect is killer. Surveyor’s MatrixA new approach to an old mathematical puzzle takes a simple trick and remixes it as fantastic finalé to any mental act. Is this all dealer hype?No. These effects all rely on straightforward tried and tested methodologies, and the impact they each have is fantastic. What’s more, you could carry every single prop required to do every one of the twenty incredible effects in Mitox inside a single slim briefcase. And you could buy them all for way less than the price of the book in just one visit to WHSmiths. Some, like Signature Effect, will require a few hours of prep to prepare the simple prop, others, like Equifinque* and Real Deal don’t use any props at all, you will be ready to go any time. (*OK, you need a pen for Equifinque, but only once, and not whilst you are performing) Mitox effects aren’t ‘tricksy’, they don’t come across as routined deception framed as mental skill. To an effect, they have all been engineered to appear as real.'Phill, for me Mitox has been one of the best books to come my way in years. I am putting into practice your thoughts and advice and the effect on my shows is immediate and seeable. I can tell from the audience's new reactions that you are dead-on! While I've vaguely, instinctly, thought about the subject for years, you've explained in clear ways what I need to understand, so the advice is immediately applicable. - Tom Jorgenson __________________________________________________'Wow, I can´t stop reading.... It is fantastic!! Good ideas and good presentations. Im loving it!' - Javier Martin “Luxor”__________________________________________________'This book contains a number of thoughts, quotes, and over 20 routines for mentalists everywhere. It is well written, well laid out, and very easy to read. Although not so easy to put down. Some of the effects are truely simple but astoundingly clever; An autograph book which someone flicks through and finds someone they like... you can name the person almost instantly - you don't even have to be in the same room (Although it is rather rude to perform in a different room to your audience). And the kicker ending is absolutely first class... Drawing duplication without pen or paper based on physcological traits. Gagging order is a fun *** ahead based routine. and I could go on, but it is all on the site. I just wanted to say this is without doubt the best book I have bought this year, and I buy lots of books. It is a joy to behold and surpasses all my expectations. I didn't really want to tell you about this but this book has really cheered me up and there isn't enough happiness in the world as it is. So you now all know... If you want some inspiration, some new routines, or advice, buy this book... tip top and highly recommended. An absolute 10 out of 10 and then some” - Johnathan Fielder-White_____________________________________________________'One reason I’m drawn to mentalism as an art-form is that those who wrote on it tend to be (warning: up-coming prejudice and stereotyping) more prone to contemplation than their wand-wielding brethren. You know how, in the increasingly crowded field of literature on mentalism, occasionally you find a real nugget: a melding of well-read thinking, the courage to be a little ‘out there’, and real-world effects? Phill Smith has produced one such, and he is to be congratulated on a fine job. I’m in the habit of bookmarking items that interest me in a book, and in my now well-thumbed copy I spy 6 bookmarks. Six ideas I want to work with further is a high count in my experience; as far as the rest of the material is concerned, I’d cheerfully say there’s not a dud amongst them. As an artefact, this is a nicely-produced paperback, whose author has an engaging style that makes this a very good read. He has leavened the effects with thought-provoking essays that display his experience as a worker. This is not beginners’ material: not because it is at all difficult, but required performing experience and an ability to engage with an audience. Congratulations Phill on a fine job, and thanks for sharing this contemporary material with us. - Bob Gill ___________________________________________________'Book received this morning. thank you for the prompt service. I've started reading it and it is full of delightful and fresh ideas, and beautifully produced' - Maxwell Reed___________________________________________________'Just wanted to drop a line to say how much I enjoyed Mitox. It was a breath of fresh air to read, not only with exceedingly good, practical methods, but also presentations that were very well thought out and scripted.' - Andrew Edmonds ____________________________________________________'If you're into mentalism then this book should be on your "must read" list' - Duncan Trillo___________________________________________________'What you get is an A5 size, beautifully presented approximately 166 page, soft cover, book – professionally printed. Inside are twenty mentalism effects, each presented as effect, method and often followed by additional ‘thoughts’. The book is appropriately complimented by superbly clear, black and white line drawings, that really do help the explanations. Of additional, and real value, are the mini essays that intersperse the book. These let the book flow really nicely, but also provide real food for thought. So much so that I am rewriting much of my own scripting, which will certainly be more powerful and salient. This is a great book. Small, concise and real world. I won’t be selling my copy!OverallI salute Phill for taking the time to produce this. No padding, just 20 excellent effects of different types, interweaved with some excellent mini-essays that will get the self reflective juices flowing, and can only improve ones performance and content. Rating: 9/10. Well, nothings perfect, is it?' Piers Casimir_________________________________________________'Phill pitched the book before its release as real, simple, and direct mentalism that you can do with a minimum amount of preparation. He delivers on that promise. You do need a working knowledge of the history, theory, and methods of mentalism, so this is not a beginner's manual. He makes a lot of feints in the direction of the classics and provides a contemporary set of effects that are (mostly) impromptu, edgy, and powerful. He adds some essays on performance, how to think like a mentalist, and how to design effects that fit your own personal style. He also has fascinating quotes about the functioning of the brain, which start each chapter. His thinking, in many cases is very innovative and lateral in ways that present daring solutions to perennial puzzles in mentalism. The 164 pages mix the description of the effects with the various essays, all of which are dotted with quirky humour and the usual British irony/sarcasm (and I mean that in a good way). My favourite effects thus far are 'Left Brain/Write Brain', which is a fabulous colour and number prediction; 'Custard Booktest', which uses multiple phone books; 'Gagging Order', which presents a new twist on an old gag; his trio of graphology effects, and 'Surveyor's Matrix', which is a fantastic idea to close a show. All in all, this gets the big thumbs up from me!' - Dr. Todd Landman__________________________________________________'Just got my copy yesterday, some wonderful stuff in the book, I really enjoy the "premise" sections as you call them phill. thank you for releasing this material' - Paul Gibson__________________________________________________'I just want to add my praise for this book. I've read it over a couple of times now and the thinking behind not just the effects, but also the small nuances and presentations is fantastic. I love Phill's writing style as well, very humourous.Reading through your book has given me a lot to think about, Phill. Thanks for the great book' - Harry Truman ___________________________________________________'If you havent ordered this yet i urge you to do so........NOW! If not for the wealth of material and ideas, just for the funny stories. Awesome book, can see this being in my top 5' - Lyndon Webb __________________________________________________'I'm about half way through reading Mitox and it's knockout, first rate, nothing short of excellent. I just want to know when and if there is going to be a 2nd volume' - Franklin Arbisman
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