Emotional Mentalism

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Emotional Mentalism

Postby Part-Timer » Jan 16th, '12, 23:02



Emotional Mentalism by Luca Volpe

Cost
$113 (US) for the limited edition deluxe hardback version, $55.99 for the .pdf (I think there may a paperback edition coming out at some point too). Available by sending the appropriate amount to Luca through PayPal to INFO@LUCAVOLPE.COM"

If you want the limited edition book, I suggest you e-mail Luca first to make sure one is available (he replied extremely quickly to me).

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)

For method, 2 to 3, depending upon the trick. For effective presentation, 2 to 4.

Review

This is a book on promoting emotional response in mentalism. It primarily deals with Luca's approach to psychic parties, and much of the material is based on crystal lore/healing/therapy. This might not suit all mentalism performers and, while theoretically a "psychological illusionist" might be able to gain something from this book, I think Luca is right that the effects are best not performed that way.

As the book acknowledges, the methods are (largely) not original or unique, and the real benefit is in the routining, in particular establishing connections with the audience. If all you are after is some new "tricks", there are probably better places to look. If, however, you have no issues with presenting mentalism as genuine psychic activity, and particularly if you like things such as pendulum dowsing and crystal reading, this is an excellent book.

One particularly nice touch is that Luca includes a sample script, so the reader can follow exactly what happens when each routine. Obviously, you would not want to copy Luca's words precisely, but he uses the scripts to clarify the method. I think that, for these routines, this works better than pages of turgid instructions.

The deluxe version of the book is a fairly slim hard backed book, limited to 100 copies, and the first 50 orders also get a chakra crystal set as a bonus (Luca would normally sell these for $15).

I shall give a very brief summary of the effects, but please note that the book includes bonus material from a variety of well-known mentalists, some short sections on crystal lore and other New Age subjects that are dotted around the book (these are detailed enough to allow you to present the routines as written, although I think you would be wise to do some further reading on the subject) and even a list of New Age shops in different countries.

Crystal Psychometry

As you might guess from the title, this is a pseudo-psychometry routine using crystals. The method is fairly standard, but the routine is structured well.

The Sound of Dreams

This is a short Q&A style routine, using three envelopes and a Tibetan Singing Bowl (although a different container could be used in its place). Again, the method is not revolutionary, but this is a nice presentation of a classic mentalism effect, if you don’t want to spend ages doing Q&A.

Emotional Energy

I think that this is a really special effect. It is not going to fit well into many standard mentalism acts, but is designed for psychic parties or parlour shows. While the book does not particularly use new methods, this one was unknown to me. I liked the theme, the audience engagement and the "spectator as mind reader" plot. It was probably my favourite thing in the book.

Back in Time (Past Life Regression)

In spite of the title, this is not really a hypnotic regression. I'd say it has more in common with things such as The Midnight Side of the Mind by Paul Voodini. There is a trick, which uses a couple of standard mentalism methods. One of the methods is tweaked a little, and Luca wonders if it is original. I am fairly sure I have seen it somewhere else, but have e-mailed him about it (as Luca requests in the book).

The Stone of Destiny

Luca’s take on the "which hand is it in" plot. This routine has some nice extra touches that elevate it above a guessing game by using crystals.

Astral Projection (Out of Body Experience)

This is another "spectator as mind reader" effect (or more accurately, "spectator as remote viewer"). The participant has an out of body experience, in which he describes something drawn by the performer. There is a gimmicked version, which is more reliable, but also an ungimmicked version for those who don't mind the occasional miss (or who happen to have come out without the necessary item). The gimmick needed is a very common one.

Dream Prediction

A very clever piece, in which the performer seems to have predicted someone's dreams for a week. As you need to give the prediction and a "dream journal" to the participant in advance, it's largely only suitable for psychic parties, or other functions where you can ask someone to record their dreams for a while.

Energy Portal

This is more of a performance piece than a trick, involving a sort of energy cleansing ceremony with a pyramid and a pendulum, so it might not appeal to most performers (even those who don't mind going down the psychic performer path) . There is a good effect along the way.

As well as these items, you get various New Age "primers", as mentioned above, plus bonus material from Pablo Amira, Scott Grossberg, Bryn Reynolds and Neal Scryer. Some of these have been in print elsewhere, I think, but I hadn't read any of them.

Overall

10/10, if you are happy with the nature of the material and the presentation required.

I think this is an excellent book. Luca has a great way of structuring routines not only to create an emotional link with the audience, but also with a view to marketing and being hired to do future events. I think this book will be more than worth the money to someone who does psychic parties or similar events. If you have no interest in that sort of thing, you might still get something out of this book. If you have nothing but scorn for New Age beliefs, I think you should steer clear!

While not directly relevant to a review, I want to say how extremely helpful Luca was in dealing with my order. He replied almost instantly and after a couple of messages back and forth, he sent my book that same day, and it arrived the next.

I will also mention that, obviously, English is not Luca's first language, and the book does contain some small slips. There was nothing major and bearing in mind the translation issues, I think the standard was high (better than some books I have read by authors from England). I just have in mind the criticisms of Andy Nyman's excellent Bulletproof based on a few typos.

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Re: Emotional Mentalism

Postby Craig Browning » Jan 17th, '12, 17:06

Sounds great, I'll have to look into it. :wink:

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Re: Emotional Mentalism

Postby Amira » Feb 10th, '12, 22:21

Review: Luca Volpe-Emotional Mentalism


I finally have some free time to review Luca´s new book. A gem of a document for anyone interested in learn mystical and really mysterious approaches to Mentalism.


Price and Description:
Book: $113
eBook:$55.99
at http://lucavolpe.wordpress.com/about/


My opinion:

I contribute a few ideas on this book and I did it because after reading the draft some time ago I really felt in love with this material.
Several authors reminds us to look and learn from the roots of our art. Mysticism, energy work, symbolism, new age and other related topics that really can elevate our performance from ordinary to extraordinary, and with the material that Luca shares in his book, we can do this.

This book consists in 2 sections: Effects and Psychic Parties.

9 different demonstrations/effects from Luca in which you can see clearly how simplicity is key in Mentalism/Psychic Entertainment. Simple premises and a lot of powerful moments.

My favorite piece from Luca is Crystal Psychometry (a real gem, pun intended) , Sound of Dream Q&A , in which we can see clearly how Artistic Motivations can be so strong that can be really cancellate "methodologies" and leave your participant and audience just wondering about your great abilities.
In here you will find also several demonstrations that are the "real thing" that you can apply to your work to be seen as a great mystery performer and not just as illusion maker. A lot of work with crystals, Tibetan Bowls, energy rods and other artefacts that are very appealing to study and use.

The contributions for this book are also very good. Neal Scryer shares one of his ideas from his Black Book ( my favorite from the contributions), Scott Grossberg with a reading, Bryan Reynolds and his bold and simple solution to "Which Hand" and one pendulum routine by one young performer that I don't remember his name.

The second part is all about Psychic Parties. How offer them to your public, how to organize them and all the little finesses that really come from Luca´s work and experience with this type of venue for a performer.


Rate: 9.7/10
A great book, hardcover so you need to pay a little extra for the shipping (if you want to avoid that just buy the eBook version) but overall an amazing new offering that surely will convert a lot of perfomers into seekers of new levels of mystery.

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Re: Emotional Mentalism

Postby bananafish » Feb 22nd, '12, 14:36

Thanks for the review(s). I already have several of Luca's effects/pdfs and I personally believe he is one of the great modern mentalism thinkers. Certainly everything he does is guaranteed to be well performance tested - and very strong.

I have grown to trust your thoughts on thes things - so this one will definitely on my to get list.

Thank you.

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