Special “CT” Edition of the celebrated tear that “makes all others obsolete” …

Doug Dyment’s

A Monograph on an Optimal
Billet Tear with 2 Real-Time Peeks

What can one say about billet tears that hasn't already been said? Do we really need another one? How many ways can there be to fold and tear a piece of paper? The answers just might surprise you!

R2-D2 embodies a truly original approach, not merely another variation on an old theme. A tear that has been engineered from the ground up to meet twenty demanding, objective criteria:

Twenty Billet Tear Evaluation Criteria

  1. The peek(s) must be optimized for execution in real time (i.e., during the tearing sequence).
  2. There must be no reliance on hidden actions: the tearing should be an open, transparent process, taking place at the fingertips, exactly as it appears, with no concealed openings or other moves.
  3. It must be possible to perform at least the first couple of tears (when onlooker scrutiny is most intense) with eyes fully averted.
  4. Each peek must be coincident with a specific tearing, to justify the eye movement.
  5. The tear must also accommodate those performing situations requiring a delayed read (i.e., non-real-time, with the “hot” portion of the billet retained in the hand for later reading, under conditions yielding less scrutiny and/or further removed in time from any overt manipulation of the paper).
  6. It must be possible to view a substantial portion (at least half) of the original billet during the peek(s).
  7. Before the entertainer receives the billet, it must be folded at least twice, with intersecting folds, such that the writing seems safely concealed on the inside.
  8. The actual tearing process must be physically undemanding: a tear shall never encompass more than four thicknesses of paper, or begin at a folded edge.
  9. The actions must be effective when performed with dry fingers.
  10. The information to be read shall not require placement in an idiosyncratic fashion, but be centred on the vertical axis of the paper (when held in normal writing position).
  11. No illogical tears are permitted; they must always encompass the entire billet, and be down the middle of its shorter dimension (i.e., no lengthwise tears, partial tears, “off-centre” tears, etc.), exactly the way a person would normally tear a packet of paper.
  12. No illogical moves should be used (e.g., unnecessary turnovers, unexplained rotations, counting/“fiddling”/flipping of paper layers, finger insertions, etc.); nothing should appear in any way unusual.
  13. There shall be no requirement for “careful” folding (i.e., no stepped edges, skewed folds, overly precise alignments, etc.); everything should be casual and require no special attention.
  14. Repeated actions must appear consistent (i.e., tears must look identical, unfoldings must open in the same way, rotations must be in the same direction, etc.), the way that a normal person would do them.
  15. There should be no significantly “unbalanced” tears: each hand should grip approximately the same amount of paper during each tear.
  16. There shall be no writing orientation issues: the peek(s) should display the information in its original, upright position.
  17. The post-performance detritus shall contain no unexpected shapes, disproportionate sizes, or any other evidence of trickery: the resulting pieces should be thoroughly examinable and unremarkable.
  18. Except for the moment and sightline of the actual peek(s), all billet actions should be clearly viewable from any direction, with no written portion of the billet exposed at any time.
  19. During the actual peek(s), no more than one quarter of the billet surface area should be exposed, to facilitate its concealment.
  20. No unduly special paper can be required, in size, shape, or composition (including grain orientation); it’s fine for the tear to be optimized for a particular type of billet, but it should still function properly when used with other types.

Fortunately, the R2-D2 billet tear is both easily learned and performed: given its many practical benefits, you’ll surprise yourself with just how “goof-proof” this actually is. If your current favourite method doesn’t measure up to these standards, why not consider this fresh, game-changing approach?

And the book offers much more than the methodology itself, with groundbreaking thinking contributed by some of mentalism’s busiest workers: new plot ideas, thoughts on justifying billet usage, and subtle strategies to elevate your game.

So if you’re intrigued by billet work, but have found existing methodologies to be complicated, convoluted, constraining, contorted, contrived, confusing, or simply less than compelling, you may well discover R2-D2 to be just what you’ve been searching for!

::   R e a d   B e f o r e   O r d e r i n g   ::
R2-D2 is more than a single billet tear, offering a new approach to the topic, and encompassing an assortment of solutions (of which eight were described in the original book). Over the years since its release, the majority of practitioners tended to favour one tear in particular.

The more recent book, Calculated Thoughts (which reproduces most of the original R2-D2 material and supplements), retains only the most popular version, with an improved handling (and a new name: “Quarto”), omitting the physical descriptions of the remaining tears.

Consequently, the original R2-D2 book has gone out of print. I am, however, making this special “CT” Edition available for research purposes (i.e., for those wishing to explore the six R2-D2 variants not in the new book). This edition does not teach the complete methodology, and assumes that you have access to a copy of Calculated Thoughts.

Some readers’ comments:

“An ingenious and well engineered addition to the center tear arsenal. Congratulations.” — [USA]

“… a technique that fulfils a big list of requirements … this new technique is just amazing… full of knowledge and subtleties. If you want to get an amazing idea that is highly underpriced, get this new work from Doug.” — [Chile]

“I enjoyed it immensely. Like everything [Doug has] published, it is very well written, far above the usual in the magical field …” —

“I have bought, tried, struggled with, and abandoned more center tears and billet peeks than I care to mention. I’ve been Busched, Earled, Corindad, PJed, and Osterlinded. Each author’s technique had its strengths, but also its flaws. I’d pretty much given up on the center tear.

So the prospect of yet another center tear left me cold, but for one thing. It was Doug Dyment’s centre tear. The stipulations Doug put on his tear seemed to address many of the problems with others I’d tried…

The R2-D2 tear is exactly as described by Doug in that it satisfies all the criteria he laid out. You can use any business card, which obviates carrying around extra and/or pre-folded slips of paper. There are two peek opportunities, which come during the completely natural tearing of the card. You see two different areas of writing on the card, which are properly oriented for easy reading. The spectator can burn your fingers and will see nothing untoward.

Of course, the tear requires practice to perform smoothly, and there are two stages of the tear that require one to acquire a ‘feel’ for the move. However, even those who eschew sleight of hand will have no difficulty learning R2-D2.

As to the book itself, it maintains Doug’s high standard of clear, concise prose, thoroughly footnoted. Even though R2-D2 is written in Canadian, it is a pleasure to read a magic book free of grammatical errors and typos…

[R2-D2] represents the highest order of evolution of the center tear and will become a permanent part of my mentalism armamentarium.” — [USA]

“I’ve never done very much billet stuff, but I’m busy mangling business cards using Doug’s marvelous new book!” — [USA]

“The R2-D2 tear is superb. This is the new standard in billet tears as far as I am concerned. I knew it would be good, but it turned out to be far better than I expected… The tear is quick and natural and easily done without looking, and the double peek area opens up a whole new world. I have been doing the Jakutsch tear for years, but have no hesitation is swapping techniques. R2-D2 is outstanding and brilliant … worth gold to me!” — [Australia]

“… best center tear I have seen … I am very pleased with my purchase!” — [USA]

“… easily one of the best CTs I have ever seen. Crystal clear instructions together with excellent illustrations also make this one of the easiest to learn. I highly recommend this.” — [USA]

“I just ran out of business cards! Not as a result of practicing really, cause R2-D2 is very easy to learn and perform, but rather cause I just like doing it. It’s so … it makes so much sense. A good purchase. This tear is all you need.” — [USA]

“ I can only reiterate the good things I’d heard about [R2-D2], it is extremely natural looking and simple to execute. The amount of surface area you are able to peek is huge! Special mention should also be made of the book itself, which is well written with very clear instructions & illustrations and, best of all, free from spelling and grammatical errors, something all too rare in magic and mentalism literature.” — [UK]

“I went in somewhat skeptically but when I saw the hot spots ‘blossom’ before my eyes after feeling like I’d done practically nothing, I knew this was something different. For many years I said that nothing would replace my … , but it looks like I’m going to eat my words. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the structure of the card, and the placement of the writing, both pull for creating effects using these positions. What were once limitations are now opportunities!” — [USA]

Wow!! [Doug is] a devious thinker, and I will be using this method for all things billet … nice going!” — [Canada]

“This is sheer Doug Dyment genius. As usual, well thought out and thorough. I’m still playing with it but know that this is definitely going into my impromptu repertoire.” — [USA]

Wow! This is exactly what I have always wanted! … honestly, I believe the biggest praise I can give R2-D2 is the complete lack of attention needed to pull off the tears and peek. Chatting with the crowd, joking, and deflecting interest while performing the tear completely removes all heat from what you are doing. I’ve had people try to burn my hands, and being able to simply delay the peek a bit while talking directly to them during the tear is perfect (thanks John Wells!)

So, I’d love to help you improve your product, but I’m not sure I could provide any critical feedback. The method is simply perfect and I appreciate the effort you put in to your work to explain the need for the method and the history of the tear. Thanks so much!” — [USA]

“… excellent … very clean and natural … which is a bit of a first in my opinion. I love [R2-D2] to pieces (pardon the pun).” — [UK]

“… when I saw David Gerard perform [R2-D2] I asked him where he learned it. … thus this is my first purchase in decades.” — [USA]

“Another winner out of the redoubtable Doug Dyment stable of champions. I did not do billet work before reading R2-D2, but this is brilliant, and very easy to do. This is the only method I will ever use. Highly recommended.” — [UK]

“The very first time I went through the moves, I smiled at how perfect this is.” — [USA]

“... my tear is, for quite some time, R2-D2. It is a wonderful technique, very natural looking, big peek area, and quite easy in execution... a ‘classic’!” — [Germany]

“This tear is a quantum leap ahead of other tears out there. Great job.” — [USA]

“I studied all of the various center tears I’ve accumulated (Bernstein, Busch, Cassidy, Cushman, Osterlind, Pink, Wells, and — of course — Dyment) and decided which one would serve me best. R2-D2 came out on top for my needs. I love that there are no sneaky moves, only straight tears down the middle. I love that the peek can be gotten either at the 3rd tear, the 4th tear, or — when needed — during both tears.” — [USA]

“I found I had audience members reacting much more strongly than normal. For the record, I have traditionally used a peek of my own, another popular billet peek, or one of the Outlaw wallets. They hit just fine, don’t get me wrong, but it was a different story with R2-D2.

So, why is it that the reactions were so much better? I think there’s a lot going on here. Some say that how you get the info doesn’t matter — that it all comes down to the reveal — but I think that’s totally bonkers. Especially in my case, where I’m mixing magic and mentalism — if I just got your card to jump to my pocket, seeing what you wrote on some index card isn’t all that impressive. I imagine some people seeing my other peeks just thought I looked at it, or thought it was a trick wallet. But with the R2-D2 tear, I was massively surprised that people truly didn’t think that I could see it. There’s a lot that’s right with R2-D2 … how delayed the peek is, how I can do the whole thing with my head turned, etc.

I’ll be using this a lot.” — [USA]

[R2-D2] is brilliant!! So simple, easy to do, practical, and most important — it is invisible to the spectator.” — [Canada]

“[Doug’s] R2-D2 method is so simple and so brilliant! The upper and lower peeks cover almost the entire card! It almost seems impossible to me that I can tear a business card so many times and still have multiple clear views! Kudos on a job well done!” — [USA]

[R2-D2] is quite unique and allows much more freedom for the writing… truly a new departure and keeps the promise of its hype. This is seriously underpriced. I don’t know how you came up with it, but thanks for releasing it!” — [USA]

“Absolutely 100% thrilled. Great, fantastic work.” — [USA]

“I have finished reading [R2-D2] and have only three words to describe it: ‘I love it.’ … your technique now makes my life so much easier!” — [Singapore]

R2-D2 is just out of this world ... it has opened (no pun intended) an unlimited number of effects that I have been reluctant to do because of the peek. It doesn’t get any better than this, especially for impromptu effects.” — [USA]

“Thanks for putting out such a good product as R2-D2! It is also refreshing to read something that has not been ‘dumbed down’ — or worse, dumb to begin with... I really see no flaws in the thing of wonder that you have created. It makes all others obsolete.” — [USA]

“Not only is it perfect for two pieces of information, if you happen to only need one bit of information, this peek is unbelievably fast and sure.” — [USA]

“What a delight!” — [Switzerland]

“It’s great. Get it! There, ’nuff said. Seriously though, this is really, really good. As with some others I prefer the ‘alternate’ handling given in the book, but either one is amazing. It’s completely natural and the amount of space you see in the process of the tear is amazing. I love it.” — [USA]

“Great innovation … a real improvement.” — [France]

“… a delight to work with and all the moves are so natural and clean. You can get such a large clear peek and not miss any of the information you need. The nice thing is you can get two different pieces of information. If you want to ask a couple to write down the name of the cities where each were born, first the woman and then the man, you will not only know the two named cities but you will know which belongs to which. Nice … this is a tear that you will use again and again.” — [USA]

“Great work! … one of my best investments …” — [Israel]

“In a word, perfection. In two words, absolute perfection. It’s genius … this is now going to be my ‘go to’ centre tear!! … It honestly sets a new standard.” — [UK]

“… this is by far the best damn tear I have ever seen.” — [USA]

“I can already see how excellent an investment [R2-D2] is! Congratulations!” — [Canada]

“The R2-D2 billet tear method is great! Easy, logical, streamlined, and very powerful. I will use it for sure. Thanks.” — [France]

“I love R2-D2! Thanks for taking the time to give this center tear (and all its variations) the thorough and detailed treatment necessary to push new boundaries. Bravo!” — [USA]

“I’ve always been a fan of the center tear but never felt comfortable with the previous methods, and I’ve tried a few. With [R2-D2], there’re no worries; it’s simple, natural, and a joy to practice & perform.” — [Canada]

“Colin Mcleod actually recommended [R2-D2] to me, and I’m glad I got it. It’s the only CT I’m going to use now.” — [USA]

“I must say that I am very impressed! I think R2-D2 is the best billet/center tear I have seen, ever. No disrespect to any of the other creators of tears, many of which are very good, but R2-D2 is easy to do and reveals most of the billet during the tear. It is very practical. R2-D2 has my highest recommendation!” — [USA]

“For my needs, Doug’s extremely clever R2-D2 offers two great virtues: it reveals more information than any other tear, and it is exceptionally easy to access that information.” — [USA]

“Doug has taken my idea to a new level. I’ve scrapped my method and now use his.” — [USA]

“I did it this afternoon and filmed myself on my laptop’s webcam — looked very ordinary! I was shocked that a man with ten thumbs could manage it so smoothly! smile!" I love this tear and would recommend it wholeheartedly to others in the ‘my fingers are thumbs’ club. smile!"” — [UK]

“I don’t, of course, have need of such things, but if I did use a real-time read, this would be it! smile!"” — [USA]

“If you want to use a centre tear — this is the very best I ever saw.” — [France]

“This is an amazing billet tear. It’s easier to do than Osterlind’s PCT (which I have now retired), more natural-looking, and reveals twice as much of the written surface. My new favorite!” — [USA]

“When I first learned about Doug’s R2-D2 tear I was more than a bit leery about a ‘new’ tear method. In the past I have found that tears appear to be idiosyncratic to the creator, making them frequently difficult to use effectively. I was hoping that Doug’s tear method would be different. [It is.] The method is pure Dyment. Unique, brilliant, practical, easy, natural, and above all, workable.” — [USA]

“I love it. Doug is one clever fellow. This is simple, direct, and just lovely.” — [USA]

“All I can say is ‘Wow’! … Thanks!” — [USA]

“I like it very much. [R2-D2] expands my world… opens up a nice array of new effects.” — [USA]

“I am incredibly pleased with my purchase. Even the genesis of the name made me smile: it’s so very clever. As well as the history of the centre tear itself being very informative and interesting. As for the actual tear … Love it! I think it provides many great opportunities with how much space you get and the idea of using two different spectators or two different thoughts really has me thinking …Thanks greatly for releasing this to the community.” — [UK]

“… elegant, easy to learn, and the way the peek sections pop up in succession seems magical.” — [USA]

“Doug Dyment does not investigate fields of information, he attacks them. His latest target, the ‘Action Peek’ has received the same treatment as the Memorized Deck, Cold Reading, Magic Squares, and Suitcase Packing: Doug tore it apart, analyzed the parts, and rebuilt everything from the bottom up. As usual, Doug’s results are fresh, insightful, and valuable.” — [USA]

“Over the years, I must have tried almost every version of the center tear that has ever been published. It was like seeking the Holy Grail, as none of them was perfect. Some were pretty good, but until now I hadn’t found one that suited my needs perfectly. Doug Dyment has taken a completely new look at the billet tear, and created the easiest and most natural looking tear I’ve ever come across. I can’t imagine anyone coming up with a better version. R2-D2 is the Holy Grail of billet tears, and the only billet/center tear I’ll be using from now on.” — [New Zealand]

“If, as many believe, billets are the cornerstone of mentalism, and if, as I certainly do believe, the billet tear is one of the most effective techniques with the medium, R2-D2 will establish Doug as one of the best thinkers and creators in our midst. I’ve tried more than a dozen instant-read center tears, even developed a couple of my own, but I would deem R2-D2 superior to them all.

Read the ad, and take some time to think about the conditions. Consider that all have been met, very nearly perfectly. Consider that it is easy to do. Consider the reviews and recommendations by the brightest lights in mentalism. Then ask yourself, ‘Why haven't I ordered this?’ There isn’t a good reason if you make any part of your living doing mentalism, especially mentalism with billets… Don’t let the yellow cover fool you. It isn’t gold; it’s platinum. Very, very highly recommended.” — [USA]

“it’s absolutely brilliant, by far the best centre tear I have ever come across … I’ve not stopped using it since I learnt it.” — [UK]

“I have been against tears and peeks for a long time, yet now see the light! I am converted because the actions are so darn natural. I performed the effect for my wife — she is savvy in regard to these things — and she didn't notice a thing… the first time in years that she was actually impressed. I have found [R2-D2] not only useful, but the strongest tool in my arsenal.” — [USA]

… Doug Dyment