Practical Mental Magic - Theodore Annemann

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Practical Mental Magic - Theodore Annemann

Postby TheJWalker » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:02 pm



This book is also known as Annemann's Practical Mental Effects.

This book is perhaps less known than 13 Steps to Mentalism, but it is cheaper and more easily available (Amazon keeps it in stock). On the other hand it has a few shortcomings. Here is the review:


The Effect
This book is filled cover to cover with effects, their designers, and how their designers used them. It covers everything from effects using small pieces of paper (billets) to card mentalism to book tests and publicity stunts, and so much more.


Cost:
Retail $12.95US (what is that like 6 pounds for you brits?)
You can get this book cheaper on amazon.


Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

Ranges from 1-5 most of this stuff is in the 3-4 range but it EXPECTS YOU TO KNOW BASIC SLEIGHTS. It will give a cursory explanation of what it is doing but that is all. It doesn't use modern terms to refer to its sleights in some cases, but usually it does give enough description for anyone who has been performing magic awhile to figure out.


Review
This book has some big ups and some big downs so I'll start with the bad and move onto the good.

CONS:
1: You must have a very firm understanding of English to read this book. If you are not at a college reading level, or if English is not your first language don't waste your time and money. I am a very good reader and a decent writer and I had to work through what this book was talking about sometimes.

2: This book has only a very few basic illustrations. If you need the sleights explained to you then you are reading the wrong book.

3: While cheaper it is not quite as thorough as Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism, on the flipside it definitely rounds out those volumes nicely.


PROS:
1: Routines: It explains it effects withing the context of a routine. It will give you excellent ideas for how to work your own routines by showing several different effects in the forms of different routines.

2: The number of explained effects is tremendous. The book claims 200 on the back but after three reads I am sure that given time and study you could work out more than that.

3: Bert Reese is my personal favorite magician from his era, one of the very first things this book does is take you through a very simple routine that Reese performed around the world in his day.

Overall
For Beginners: 3/10 unless you are really quick on the uptake all this will give you is a whole bunch of ideas as to how you could do things. If only you could figure out exactly why he said that you can easily remove the billet from their sight and switch with another without apparently touching the billets (from early in the book). . .maybe I'm just thick to be honest I bought this book when I first started magic and I couldn't make heads or tails of it. . .now it is a regular read.

For Someone who knows terminology and if they can't figure out exactly what their being told to do then they know enough to come up with a workaround: 9/10 An amazing amount of ideas and insight into mentalism it doesn't quite stack up to Corinda's work but it rounds it out well, and is easier to obtain.

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Postby magicofthemind » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:22 am

While many of the effects and of course the patter are dated, I find it useful as a sourcebook for the classic techniques which are buried in with the effects. So you can pull out methods from several effects and come up with your own routines.

It's an entertaining read too - one of my favourite dipping books.

Barry

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Practical Mental Magic

Postby Allen Tipton » Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:03 pm

:) The Walker: The Annemann book may possibly less known in Iraq but is very well known( almost legendary) in the UK, USA & Europe.
Indeed it is one of the 2 books( the other being 13 Steps) that are recommended to magicians beginning mentalism.
Practical Mental(1044) is mainly compiled from The Jinx; the brilliant magazine he piublished in the 30's. This is available on CD.
Sadly he committed suicide in his mid 30's.

As magic of the mind has discovered the principles and their application are invaluable. Any patter will date as will some presentations & are easily remedied, but the solid groundwork is there in this book.
Allen Tipton

Began magic at 9 in 1942. Joined Staffs M.S at 13. Nottm.Guild of M. (8 times President. Prog Director 20years)IBM. Awarded Magician of Month 1980 By Intern. Pres. IBM for reproducing Dante's Sim Sala Bim. Writes Dear Magician column for Abra. Mag.
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Postby TheJWalker » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:18 pm

The Walker: The Annemann book may possibly less known in Iraq but is very well known( almost legendary) in the UK, USA & Europe.
Indeed it is one of the 2 books( the other being 13 Steps) that are recommended to magicians beginning mentalism.


I believe I said that it was less known than 13 steps. This may not be true but I see recommendations for Corinda's books everywhere I look and rarely do I see mention of this one.

I agree that it is definitely a great book for MAGICIANS beginning mentalism, but I don't think that it is an appropriate start in magic for the layman who wants to get into magic (or mentalism)
I maintain that it is a 3/10 for anyone who is just beginning down the path of learning magic.
The only reason I gave it a 9/10 instead of 10/10 for current magicians is that I still consider 13 steps to be superior and since they cover the same subject matter I didn't want to give them both 10s

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Practical Mental

Postby Allen Tipton » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:02 pm

For Beginners I would recommend Karl Fulves Self Working Mental Magic or Bill Severn's mental magic book. These were written for beginners & more experienced magicians might also find them useful.
I personally do not recommend mentalism for beginners in magic and certainly not for laymen.
Mentalism is a far more elusive & difficult side of our Art. You need charisma, great experience handling audiences and if possible for most performers the Art of Acting.
Allen Tipton

Began magic at 9 in 1942. Joined Staffs M.S at 13. Nottm.Guild of M. (8 times President. Prog Director 20years)IBM. Awarded Magician of Month 1980 By Intern. Pres. IBM for reproducing Dante's Sim Sala Bim. Writes Dear Magician column for Abra. Mag.
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Postby TheJWalker » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:38 pm

I've had mentalism in some form or other in my routines since I started magic. It is a good break from the comedic theme that I normally run with, and it can have a great effect on the audience. I think that the beginner could start with mentalism as easily with any other form of magic, it really depends on the personality of the performer. No matter how good a magician or mentalist I become I'll never do a mentalism only act because it would so severely run counter to my natural personality while performing, but for those with a stage personality that meshes well with mentalism it might come more naturally to them. Admittedly the advanced techniques of mentalism require a great amount of both practice and personality to pull off, but the more advanced flourishes and slights used by the card/coin artists require a great deal of practice as well. All of these forms of magic have their "self-working" tricks, and all of them build off of the same ideas of misdirection. Experience in acting will almost certainly help any magic performance.

L+(MP)-I=B

L= Layman
M=Magic books/dvds/mentors
P=Practice
I=Ignorance
B=Beginner

Everyone was a layman once ya know. . .well almost everyone

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Postby Whalemeister » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:59 am

Thanks for your review, you've provided a balanced view of the book and highlighted the key good and bad points.

I've been doing card effects for a few years now and have been edging towards mentalism recently. As a result of this I'm currently looking for a few good books to learn from, it looks like this and 13 steps will be an excellent starting point.

Unless anyone else has got any suggestions

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Practical Mental Effects

Postby Allen Tipton » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:53 pm

:) If you are serious 8) about going into mentalism as opposed to the odd mind reading type effect in a magic act do look up Craig Browning's 3 pages,'Becoming A mentalist' in the Support N' Tips section of The Forum.
Allen Tipton

Began magic at 9 in 1942. Joined Staffs M.S at 13. Nottm.Guild of M. (8 times President. Prog Director 20years)IBM. Awarded Magician of Month 1980 By Intern. Pres. IBM for reproducing Dante's Sim Sala Bim. Writes Dear Magician column for Abra. Mag.
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Postby Whalemeister » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:52 pm

Hey thanks for the advice Allen, I'll read that article now, I've already ordered the book as it was only about £6.50, and for that price you can't really go wrong.

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Postby George Chan » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:57 pm

I have read many books on mentalism over the the past 18mths. PME is very useful and I do not find the english to hard, the the way of talking is old fashioned but you get used to it. The main difference between PME and 13steps is that PME is written in effect/method style whereas 13steps is more like a text book, going through principles and ideas.

Some of the effect in PME are stronger than other and some I would not do because I dont like them to much. The strength is in how you can modernizr the effects bringing them up to date for 2008.

Two more modern books are Max Maven PRISM and Cassidy Artful Mentlism. These are method/effect.

ONe thing to think about before perchase is that the price of PME can vary very much from around £6 to £25 so shop around.

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Postby scott priest » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:14 pm

Practical Mental Magic is an excellent resource. By the way, The Karl Fulves book "Self Woking Mental Magic" also has a nice Psuedo Psychometry routine based on Anneman's system. The strength of both of these books, including 13 Steps- Corinda, is to familiarize yourself with the various systems and workings of mentalism. If you are like me, you will find that some of the workings will fit you, and some will not.
They also start you off in the field of mentalism that you will specialize in.
But, for the Anneman book specifically- there are some fantastic contributions. Agreed, some of it I would not perform- but it isn't about learning the effects themselves per se, it is learning the mind- set and method behind the effects & finding ways to customize that learning into something that looks like you & fits your personality. This was no easy lesson & will take some honesty- but studying Anneman's book is well worth your time & will help you decide if you should go further. ( Not to mention that won't cost you much to aquire it.)

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Postby moonbeam » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:15 pm

For all those interested in Practical Mental Effects by Theodore Annemann - it's freely available on http://www.thelearnedpig.com.pa/

QUESTION:
If we can sue McDonalds for making us fat and cigarette companies for giving us cancer; why can't we sue Smirnoff for all the ugly gits we've sh*gged ??
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Postby scott priest » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:36 pm

:? I don't know if that site has the book for free- but if so, then the above post should be deleted promptly.

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Postby Michael Jay » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:19 pm

scott priest wrote::? I don't know if that site has the book for free- but if so, then the above post should be deleted promptly.


Yes, it is on The Learned Pig - the copyright isn't owned by anyone (it is now public domain).

But, I wouldn't say that your post should be deleted. Having a reference on the internet is a pale comparison to having the book on your shelf, particularly because the price is very reasonable.

Mike.

Edited In: Oops, just realized that you might mean that moonbeam's post should be deleted...

I would disagree on that front, also. The Learned Pig Project is a massive reference site that requires membership to enter. So, unless someone can take a test to gain access, then it doesn't matter much that the site is posted. In fact, I believe that you'll find a myriad of posts on this site pointing to The Learned Pig Project.

Michael Jay
 

Postby scott priest » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:30 am

I stand corrected. Thank you.

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