Now in its third (revised) printing …
More Tools & Performance Pieces
For the Mystery Entertainer
Featuring the following …
- “The Real Thing” offers a new and much more deceptive approach to a wonderfully corporate-friendly plot first proposed by Bruce Bernstein. A number of participants are invited on stage, and handed an equal number of document-sized envelopes. They then clearly, thoroughly, and openly mix the envelopes, and distribute them among themselves as they stand lined up on stage. The final envelope positions are truly — and visibly — random, as determined by the participants themselves. And yet, when the envelopes are opened (simultaneously, by the participants), each is found to contain a single large letter; these letters have unpredictably been arranged into the precise order necessary to spell out some event-appropriate, customized message for the audience. The entertainer does not touch the envelopes once they have been initially handed out, the participants do all the mixing, and no switches or gimmicked props are involved.
- “Disjuncture” is a highly deceptive approach to a classic of mentalism: the venerable Bank Night effect. In this ultra-clean version, a participant and the entertainer alternately choose from a set of six or more envelopes, with the participant consistently going first. As envelopes are removed, the number from which to choose obviously decreases, but the participant is always offered both a free (unambiguous, unconstrained) and fair (identical to that of the entertainer) choice. At the conclusion, the entertainer is left with three envelopes, each of which is opened to reveal a large-denomination banknote; the three (or more) remaining envelopes—those chosen by the participant—all contain coloured slips of paper. The envelope contents (which are clearly visible inside the envelope prior to being removed) can be adjusted as desired, and the multiple-envelopes-for-each-recipient approach lends itself to a great variety of effective presentational premises. No extra (or gimmicked) envelopes or equivocal statements are used, and the effect can be repeated with no change in procedure.
- “Square, Circled” revisits the 4×4 magic square methodology pioneered in the highly acclaimed Mindsights, this time with a greater focus on platform presentations. As with the original, this version is free of difficult calculations, works well for numbers of different sizes (including three-digit values that total to chosen calendar years), and can be repeated for the same audience (even the same target number, with differing results). Each square adds to the chosen number in twenty-eight distinct and intriguing ways. Perhaps of most interest, however, is the introduction of new presentational concepts for this popular effect, ideas that maintain the interest level, increase the number of climaxes obtained, and are particularly well-suited to corporate and trade show venues.
- “The Polliwog Progression” is believed to be the first published full-deck Zener (“ESP”) card stack that (1) uses all 25 cards of the standard pack, (2) is cyclic, so can be mixed using any method that does no more than repeatedly cut the pack, (3) exhibits, even with careful inspection, no repeated patterns (or “clumping”) of any kind, (4) requires no arithmetic to determine succeeding cards in the sequence, and (5) incorporates an innovative mnemonic design, making it easily learned. A terrific tool for Zener card enthusiasts.
- Two different methods for the re-creation of classic parapsychological-research-style experiments using standard “ESP” cards, one making use of the aforementioned Polliwog Progression, the other exploiting a little-known characteristic of the traditional Zener deck.
- You’ll also discover an exciting new type of psychological force; an “anomalous motion” optical illusion (which some find quite disorienting); and more musings on the performance of mentalism, by a past President of the Psychic Entertainers Association.
All of this in a well illustrated, generously filled 56-page, softcover, saddle-stitched book — plus 8 pages of on-line supplements — and packaged with a set of necessary materials for making a tool used in one of the effects, for only US$35. Order directly and safely—with a credit card if desired—via PayPal:
“I still can’t take the smile off my face. … Let me just say that [Stimulacra has] broken the ‘it-doesn’t-get-any-better-than-this’ barrier. When the quality of the material is this outstanding, one should be required to take a qualifying test to even be able to purchase it. … I know I can work ‘Disjuncture’ and ‘The Real Thing’ into my performance, but [Doug] hit a home run with each of the effects in Stimulacra. And I have to say that ‘Verbiage’ is a little piece of gold.” —Robert Aiello [USA]
“This is one of my best magical purchases ever!” —Joan Monse Amengual [Spain]
“I am usually satisfied if I get one thing that I can use from a book. So it’s a bonus when I get three!” —Peter Arcane [UK]
“Doug puts a devious spin on everything he touches. He seems to put out small books that are filled with true workers. His ideas and routines can easily find their way into many acts … from close up to walkaround to stage. He’s got it all. Great stuff! Keep it coming!” —Greg Arce [USA]
“The Real Thing gets my vote as worth the entrance fee. Thank you, Doug, for a real keeper with that one. I can think of many, many ways to use its principle(s).” —Dave Arch [USA]
“I just finished reading [Stimulacra]. Amazingly comprehensive as usual. I suspect that—due to the amazing material in his publications—some day he will put out a hardcover much like Water’s Mind, Myth, and Magic. But that will be ‘someday’, if ever.
His credits are meticulous as is his attention to detail in each and every effect. These are not pipe dreams and you can certainly tell that from his writings, as Doug includes details that can only be discovered via intensive repeated performances and life experience in our art.
The amazing thing is that, for those who have never read any of Doug’s writings, it is so hard to point out where to start, as each book is as solid as the last.
I do suspect that when it is all over with, Doug will become the end-all resource for magic square work. Not to confuse anyone and make them think this is a book on magic squares. However, it does start out with some very important and breakthrough thinking on this area of our art.
Well done!” —Banachek [USA]
“[Stimulacra] is the first thing I’ve read in a long, long time that started the old wheels turning again. Excellent, thought provoking material. Thanks for being so generous.” —Larry Becker [USA]
“… very fine, exceptional stuff” —Stefan Behrens [Germany]
“[Stimulacra] is great. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. [The] bank night routine is worth ten times the price of the book … a must for everyone’s library.” —Nick Belleas [USA]
“… very interesting thinking, and quite unique in [its] approaches to some of the ‘classics’ … the verbal psychological force [is] the hidden gem in the book that will probably be passed over by those not paying attention. [Stimulacra] is clearly laid out, well produced, and [Doug’s] thinking and philosophies … are well and clearly delivered.” —Bruce Bernstein [USA]
“Stimulacra is The Real Thing. Thanx for sharing your creativity and insight. Now burn the rest.” —Moshe Botwinick [USA]
“Wow. All the reviews were correct. Great stuff and [Doug is] an expert at explanations and overall form. Very nice presentation. I would have to really think about the last time I received such a well produced mentalism book.” —Kevin Carmean [USA]
“Excellent work!” —John Cesta [USA]
“Get this book. Doug’s insights and direct application of well thought out routining makes [Stimulacra] a must read.” —Ken Chandler [USA]
“The Real Thing is IMO too good to be published… Congratulations for this excellent book!” —Didier Chantôme [France]
“This book is a must have. I found the information in here very valuable.” —Nick Compise [USA]
“Love the book.” —Gerry Costello [USA]
“… clever thinking. Together with Mindsights, [Doug has] made available some exceptional ideas.” —Brian Davey [USA]
“Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant! The best airplane reading I’ve had in a very long time!” —Scott Deming [USA]
“[Doug’s] intellect is stainless steel support for [his] methodology. [He] writes with such brevity and clarity …” —John Doyle [USA]
“… great … pure gold. Very clever and [Doug’s] thinking is insightful and right on target.” —Gil Earl [USA]
“This book should be kept underground. :)” —Gabor Fejes [Hungary]
“[Stimulacra] is excellent, full of very strong mentalism and essay comment, meticulous research of credits, and above all great value for money. If you thought Mindsights was good, wait ’til you read this one! Any PEA member would be a fool not to order this. Highly recommended.” —Roger Ferriby [UK]
“Stimulacra is wonderful! I am so glad I ordered it! Thank you for writing it.” —George Frega [USA]
“… great material and ideas … please let me know as soon as your next work is published.” —Tim Gaffney [USA]
“Disjuncture was my main reason for purchasing this and I can tell you I’m so glad I did. Lovely method. The Real Thing really surprised me with the method. I was expecting gimmicked envelopes of some sort to be involved but instead was surprised and excited to see such a hands-off and clever method. A great read from start to finish.” —Brian Gallagher [Ireland]
“[Doug’s] style of writing leaves me breathless and I am so jealous that I do not have his gift … Stimulacra is a worthwhile addition to any mentalist’s bookshelf. Well done!” —Charles Gauci [Australia]
“Doug has to be one of the more intelligent mentalism writers around. Not just the effects that are worthwhile here but the many thoughts shared along the way. I’ve already tried out The Real Thing and I know that once again Doug’s magic square thinking will be utilized by me … If you enjoyed Mindsights you will without any doubt wish to add this to your collection.” —Paul Hallas [USA]
“I love [Stimulacra]. Thank you!!!!” —Thorsten Havener [Germany]
“The Real Thing [is] an extremely commercial effect that is perfectly suited to the corporate market … another great collection of very fine effects that are all very well thought out.” —Derek Heron [UK]
“The Real Thing was immediately appealing to me… I could not believe how deceptive [the] method is… perfect for those entertainers who wish to reinforce/force a message or theme in their performances. Thanks, Doug, for giving us another wonderful book of your clever ideas.” —Chuck Hickok [USA]
“I knew The Real Thing would go straight in my repoitoire the moment I read it, but have only just had a chance to run it last night at a big financial services conference I’m working. It killed.” —Timothy Hyde [Australia]
“Very enjoyable. The Real Thing in particular brought a big smile to my face. Disjuncture … would surely have baffled me if I’d seen it performed before reading about it.” —Lewis Jones [UK]
“I have now received and devoured Stimulacra. I really, really like it!!!! Many thanks for making this available.” —Todd Landman [UK]
“I am enjoying [Mindsights and Stimulacra] immensely. Very thought provoking. I love the ideas presented, and I know that I will be replacing my current magic square formula with [Doug’s] fine ideas. I love the fact that they can be repeated… Thank you for the brain food.” —Karl Miller [USA]
“I was blown away by Stimulacra. … I started reading “Square, Circled”, and found it so inspirational that I didn’t progress past that first effect for a week or so. I had so many ideas going round and round in my head, and I’ve never really been taken with performing a magic square routine before. … Many, many thanks!” —David Minton [UK]
“ I like Stimulacra — a lot! First of all, it’s extremely well written. On top of that, the material is exceptionally strong. It was exactly what I was looking for — and even more than that. So, many thanks for publishing your ideas and wisdom. I’m very pleased [and] impressed.” —Felix Nischik [Germany]
“Must say how much I enjoyed reading Stimulacra. My personal favorites include Square, Circled (which is why I purchased Stimulacra) & The Real Thing. Musings IV encouraged me to re-evaluate my thinking … the real hidden gem is Verbiage.” —Richard Paddon [AU]
“I really enjoyed [Stimulacra]. Thanks. I was basically interested in The Real Thing. However, … the whole book is really good and is definitely a great investment. I’m a hard person to please when it comes to mentalism … [Stimulacra] gave me exactly what I like.” —Flavian Petrulio [USA]
“Stimulacra does not disappoint! Great stuff!” —Mark Piazza [USA]
“One of the best investments in magic I’ve ever made.” —Andrew Pinard [USA]
“More excellent material from Doug. For me, Verbiage is the prize of the book. Brilliant!” —LP [Canada]
“… really interesting material!” —Nico Reuter [Germany]
“You are some genius! Square, Circled is worth a lot of money for someone who’s doing a platform program … Disjuncture appeals to me a lot. Such a clear and good writer. Fascinating … very, very good.” —Barrie Richardson [USA]
“Doug’s book is excellent! I really like his approach to the magic square (brilliant). The Real Thing and Disjuncture are worth more than the price of the book.” —Tony Razzano [USA]
“This really is an excellent little book. I’ve never been one to jump on a bandwagon, but I read Stimulacra last night, and I thought that Disjuncture was something I could and would perform. In fact, a presentation immediately entered my head. But for me, the delightful moment was …” —John Riggs [USA]
“Doug Dyment is a past president of the PEA and this book shows that he is in tune with mentalists… I performed The Real Thing for a Ring fundraising show. Since then, two magicians have contacted me for the source, and at least one purchased the book. This one effect is truly worth much more than the asking price.
The book includes ten chapters. Six are effects. The first is a … Magic Square presentation. If you currently perform this or plan to add it to your act, you need this book. Even if you don’t do Mr. Dyment’s version, just knowing his thinking behind it is invaluable… This is another effect that is truly worth the price of the book.
Disjuncture … can be performed close up or on stage. Best of all, you end completely clean.
My favorite is The Real Thing… This one really packs small and plays big…
The final effect Verbiage, … is something you will remember and use often.
The remainder of the book is devoted to several musings of the author, and will be left as surprises to the purchaser, as the effects alone are worth much more than the asking price of the book.
Highly recommended.” —Fred Rosenbaum (“The Linking Ring” magazine) [USA]
“I have [all of Doug’s books] and am very happy with them. I’d shied away from magic squares until I read the Square, Circled routine in Stimulacra.” —Shad Schroeder [South Korea]
“A very good book.” —Haim Schlesinger [Israel]
“… for the last three banquet shows I’ve used [The Real Thing] to close and it literally got gasps from some and sustained applause from others.” —Robert Siepielski [USA]
“I really enjoyed the book! The combination of worthwhile effects and ‘musings’ and [Doug’s] articulate writing style made the book a pleasure to read. … I see The Real Thing as the real deal. … such a wonderful book.” —Dick Steiner [USA]
“Square, Circled … is the best yet approach to the non-mathematical (read: performer-friendly) handling of the magic square! Congratulations!” —Norm Van Tubergen [USA]
“This is a fantastic book, full of workable routines and ideas. Highly recommended.” —Sean Waters [USA]
“Really really enjoyed Stimulacra!” —Michael Weber [USA]
“Stimulacra is equal to the high standard Doug set with Mindsights and is a valuable addition to any mentalist’s arsenal. In this book, Doug continues his exploration into magic squares and ESP cards, and ventures into different areas as well. Much to my surprise, I fooled myself, and then my wife, with Verbiage, an extremely clever psychological force. I’ll be using it often.
He teaches a wonderful full-deck stack with ESP cards and follows it up with ESPerimental, a brilliant routine that you would swear was genuine mindreading. I’ve already started practising this.
The Real Thing is a highly practical and mystifying way of delivering a message with mentalism. Considering the number of times the envelopes are mixed, this should be impossible, but Doug’s method is deviously simple.
Disjuncture is a highly direct bank night effect. The selection of envelopes could not be cleaner, yet the outcome shows the entertainer has triumphed again.
Lovers of magic squares will love Square, Circled, which is aimed at platform entertainers. Doug’s unique slant is emphasizing the difficulty of what he is doing as he creates the square. The audience think they’re following what he’s doing, but are dumbfounded at the outcome. A very clever, elegant and highly entertaining routine. Doug has simplified the mathematics involved, and also provides a clever tool to eliminate any memory work.
Shades of Gray is a fascinating telepathy effect with ESP cards using two principles that mean the entertainer can be well away from the participant when they choose the card to transmit.
No book by Doug would be complete without his musings, and this one includes fascinating articles on playing cards in mentalism and the problem of dry hands. Stimulacra is full of fascinating effects and good advice.
Highly recommended.” —Richard Webster [New Zealand]
… Doug Dyment