Mark Strivings - Connote-A-Mental

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    Mark Strivings - Connote-A-Mental


    I am SO excited! Today I am bringing you something is absolutely incredible! I've been pondering releasing this for awhile now, but have decided to take the plunge. And YOU are the beneficiary.

    We'll get to the details in a few moments, but first, allow me to lay out the groundwork.

    There are a couple of terms that have been coined within the last 20 years or so with which I deeply identify - 'layers of deception' and 'depth of deception'. They are basically two different ways of describing the same thing.

    What this means is that with any magic or mentalism effect, there is the effect itself and then there is the method. Sometimes between that method and the effect is basically a straight line. This can be good or bad. It's good in that it usually means that the effect in question is very clear. There's nothing in the handling or presentation to muddy the waters. Conversely, it can be bad in that should someone happen to stumble onto any aspect of that method, they've pretty much got how the effect works in its entirety.

    'Depth of deception', or 'layers of deception' are those dodges and subterfuges that we use to put roadblocks between the method and the perception of the ultimate effect. This way, should spectator stumble upon a portion of the method for a given effect, it will only take them just so far in terms of sussing the whole thing out. What they think they know might explain one aspect of what they have witnessed, but it doesn't explain other parts of the mystery. In other words, they will run into a brick wall at some point.

    One of the most common means of creating 'depth' to 'layers' is to utilize multiple methods in the course of an effect. Obviously this isn't always possible, and sometimes the end result actually muddies the overall picture to the detriment of the effect. Too much procedure. Too much 'other stuff' that can get in the way of the basic effect.

    Another common means of creating 'depth' or 'layers' is the use of subtleties. These can take a huge number of different forms, and I am a massive fan of subtleties. In fact, it was the late, great Harry Lorayne (R.I.P, Harry) who said, and I will paraphrase, that the use of a subtlety is better than the use of a sleight, and he would take the former over the latter just about every time.

    One of the things that I have always sought in terms of my own work was to add as much 'depth' to the deception as possible. I have several examples from my repertoire wherein multiple methods are in play. Likewise, I have pieces that have multiple subtleties involved. But from where I sit, the very best effects have both multiple methods and multiple subtleties. The deception is so 'deep' that it's virtually impossible to cut through.

    Awhile back I came across a classic piece of mentalism which I had never heard of before. It turned out it's older than I am. Part of the reason that I wasn't familiar with it is because it was a marketed effect back in the day and is basically unavailable today. That will do it every time.

    Anyway, when I read through the piece in question I was immediately struck by the clever use of multiple methods, along with the equally clever use of subtleties that are downright devious. Needless to say, I was immediately drawn to this piece. In point of fact, it almost instantly became a piece that I simply had to do. Just reading through it, I could instantly see how incredibly deceptive it is. The 'depth' or 'layers' of deception present in this piece are impressive, indeed, for a performance piece that is so direct and clean.

    All of that being said, I was also immediately faced with a huge problem. One of the props used in this amazing piece, an every day item, was of a nature that its use today, as opposed to over 65 years ago when this was released, is pretty much taboo. As a direct result, if I was going to be able to do this amazing piece, I was going to have to fix this issue.

    Among the multiple problems in fixing this issue is the fact that part of the actual method of the effect is directly tied to the use of this specific item, the item which I couldn't use. Finding a substitute proved to be a bigger issue than I initially thought it would be. Nonetheless, perseverance won out, and I was able to overcome the issue in question. So, YAY!

    I could now do the effect.

    But there was something more.

    In the course of working with the effect, which was already using multiple methods and subtleties, it became apparent to me that there was even more that could be added in the methods and subtleties departments, that wouldn't weigh the effect down with unnecessary baggage. In other words, I had additional means, right at my fingertips, of adding even more deception to this already amazing effect, than was ever possible before. And I could do it without distracting from the effect or watering it down in any way.

    Needless to say, the effect went from amazing to mind-numbing.

    The real beauty of this effect is that it is criminally easy to do. In fact, the ratio of what the performer has to do to make this happen, as opposed to end result, is ridiculous.

    So now, after taking no small amount of time to decide whether I wanted to send this out into the world or not, allow me to introduce you to...

    by Mark Strivings
    Mark Strivings - Connote-A-Mental
    I can do no better than to give you the original description of this amazing effect from over sixty-five years ago...

    A packet of 18 cards are shown to be printed each with the name of an object that is likely to be found carried in a person's pocket. Each card is different . . . there are positively no duplicates! The cards are then dealt face down into three rows of six each. The spectator is asked to lay an object on a card in the first row. When he has done this, the rest of the cards in that row are turned over to show that they are all different and that he could have chosen any one of them. Then he is asked to lay an article on any card in the second row. The cards on each side are shown to be different. Next he is asked to lay an object on any card in the last row. Now imagine if you can the effect on the spectator. There are now three cards face down on the table, each of which has an object lying on it. AS EACH CARD IS TURNED OVER IT IS SEEN TO BEAR THE NAME OF THE OBJECT THAT THE SPECTATOR PLACED ON IT!

    In my background research to prepare this release, among the many accolades that I found of the original release back in the day, I came across a Ring report from several decades ago wherein the above effect had been performed. The review stated flatly that it was a 'show stopper'!

    And it is!

    What you have here is my updated handling of this classic effect. Happily, what I have added to this amazing effect is entirely in the shadows. The effect is performed exactly as it was when it was released back in the 50's. It's every bit as clean and baffling, but the deception is now deeper than ever before.

    Back in the day, when you ordered this effect you received eighteen cards with words printed on them. These cards were slightly bigger than our contemporary business cards. The words were all common objects that people carried on them with no duplicates of any kind. Additionally, you received printed instructions.

    Like I said earlier, this effect is no longer made. But happily, you can easily make this out of your own business cards!

    What I have done is to lay it all out for you. Every nuance, every subtlety, every detail of what you need to know, from both the original release, as well as the entirety of the new information which adds immensely to what is already a killer routine - it's all included.

    There are NO arts and crafts in putting this together. All that you will need to make this up are eighteen of your business cards, a marker of some sort, a soft pencil and maybe a pair of scissors. That's it. The entire process might take you fifteen minutes to do. Once you have put your own set together, simply snap a rubber band around the stack of cards and you are good to go! You can easily supply or borrow the other objects that you will need to perform this.

    Additionally, in this little manual, I have detailed multiple layers of additional deception that you can add to the performance of this effect. None of these require anything more than what I have already listed and are extremely easy to do. Do the original routine, which is laid out in its entirety, or add even more layers of deception to this already incredible effect. It's entirely up to you!

    Some FAQ's before I turn you loose -

    Q. Is there any sleight of hand involved?
    A. None whatsoever.

    Q. Is there any memory work involved?
    A. None whatsoever.

    Q. Are there any calculations involved?
    A. None whatsoever.

    Q. Do I need to have anything 'special' about my business cards to do this?
    A. The only characteristic that your card needs is the ability to be able to spread them somewhat easily. If your cards are made of a card stock or finish that makes it difficult to deal a card easily off the top then you might have a bit of an issue. That said, even that problem can be worked around.

    Q. Can everything be inspected?
    A. You are using business cards with words printed on them. There's nothing suspicious here. Any and all of them can be viewed in their entirety and nothing will be found to be amiss.

    Q. Do I need to supply anything else in addition to the business cards?
    A. There are three other objects involved in the presentation which you can easily supply yourself or borrow from a helper. These are readily available and you will find no problems in borrowing them.

    Q. Are there any hidden gimmicks?
    A. None whatsoever. This effect is entirely self-contained with the exception of the borrowed items.

    Q. Is this effect difficult to perform?
    A. It is dangerously close to being self-working. A six-year-old could do this effect, easily.

    There's only one effect in this little booklet, but what an effect! You will be able to read the entire thing in a few minutes. It will take you a few minutes more to put it all together. After that, you will be set to amaze with a stunning triple sensation that leaves no clues.

    Trust me, it is worth way more than the cost of admission!
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