Pass and Peek: A Mentalist's Utility by Dr Todd

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Pass and Peek: A Mentalist's Utility by Dr Todd

Postby Part-Timer » Apr 19th, '08, 20:23



The Effect

This is a utility device, not an effect of itself. 'Pass and Peek' is described as "A clever utility for mentalists to do simple mind reading, drawing duplications, pseudo-psychometry, and multiple-participant question and answer routines for stage, parlour, and close-up!" I think that's a fair statement.

Cost

£7.50 from http://www.lulu.com/content/1327167 . This is for a download, not an actual prop. However, as the download comprises instructions for making a utility prop, I thought it was better to place the review here, rather than in the electronic media section.

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)

2-4, depending on the handling you use, and how you rate the necessary move. I am sure that you won't be too shocked to learn which one it is! However, 'Pass and Peek' can definitely be used with no sleights at all, so don't be put off by any worries that you lack the necessary skills. The sleight-free method isn't mentioned in the .pdf file, but I'm sure you can come up with your own ways of using this.

Review

I'm going to be absolutely honest, and say that I have yet to use 'Pass and Peek'. Dr Todd demonstrated it to me at Tabula Mentis III, but I have now bought the manuscript.

I have some slight concerns about the availability of one item needed to make the prop. It's probably one of those things that sounds hard to find, until you actually look for it! It is not expensive to make a 'Pass and Peek' device, and most mentalists will have the rest of the things needed to construct one lying around. If not, they can be bought quite cheaply.

The device is clever, discreet and definitely a real world prop, rather than some fanciful idea that simply won't work in practice. It uses a combination of methods to produce a real-time utility item that can be used for a wide variety of mentalism effects, exactly as described.

That probably sounds like advertising copy, but I don't want to give away the method!

Dr Todd's instructions are clear and, as well as describing how to make the device, they also include a few ideas for effects that could use the 'Pass and Peek', but experienced mentalists will be able to come up with many more. It's a very versatile prop.

Overall

A slightly indecisive 8.5/10. I think it's a clever item, with a number of uses. It is a lot cheaper than many similar devices and, in my opinion, a lot better in some respects, because it's effectively invisible.

I can see two possible downsides to this item.

First, while 'Pass and Peek' can be used in a lot of circumstances, it might not always be appropriate to use it. I can't really clarify this, without giving too much information, but it's not an issue that is confined to this device. I'm sure all you mentalists can find similar issues with other props, and at this low price, I think this is a very minor point.

The other downside, as I see it, is that I think it's something that people might buy and not use. I'm certainly guilty of that so far (but then I have only downloaded the instructions today).

There's a strange thing that affects magic (and other things); people tend to treat expensive items as being better than cheaper ones. How else do you explain single effect downloads retailing for prices similar to books that contain a hundred tricks?

I think that writing off 'Pass and Peek' would be a mistake. It produces the same effect as a number of more obvious and expensive items you can buy. Please don't assume that, because the instructions are available at a bargain price, they aren't worth it. I can easily imagine this item being sold ready-made by one of the big magic dealers for £25-£30.

Well worth a look.

Part-Timer
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