by Barrie Richardson
When Barrie Richardson's Theater of the Mind was published in 1999, it drew immediate acclaim from mentalists and magicians, professional and amateur alike, and quickly became a bestseller. In it, Richardson, a longtime professional performer and speaker, exhibited an unerring track record for fashioning astonishing effects and routines, dressed in powerful and engaging presentations and supported by ingenious, practical methods.
In Act Two, Barrie Richardson shows that he has lost none of his gentle thunder. His new book features 54 tricks, ideas and routines, with all the attributes for which his work has become known and admired. Most include full presentations that use humanity, humor and an unfaltering sense of drama, that culminate in feats that are clearly impossible and thoroughly amazing.
Along with some of his most prized routines, Richardson includes valuable examples taken from his professional repertoire of motivational talks for public and business audiences.
The scenes in Act Two amount to what might be called a modern "miracle play." Here is a scant sampling of the action:
? Spectators name any card and a position in the deck. They count down to that position in an isolated pack and find their card at the precise number they chose. The performer never touches the cards, there are no forces or switches, and the deck is ungimmicked.
? Remarkable new billet techniques are applied to ordinary business cards and Post-It notes to create astonishing effects of mind reading.
? A deck of cards, shuffled by two spectators, mysteriously separates into reds and blacks in their hands, while the performer tells of mysteries experienced on Mt. Kenya at the equator.
? Various feats of superhuman memory and rapid calculation convince audiences of the performer's extraordinary mental powers?and their own.
? A strange solid form materializes under an ungimmicked cloth napkin, and then just mysteriously melts away.
? The true and complete method is revealed for the ancient Jar of Rice Suspension, presented to a tale of training and accomplishment in China.
? Ground-breaking methods are explained for the divining of one or several mentally selected cards.
? Also included are three new deck-switches, done while standing, that require no sleights or use of pockets; a deck that secretly unshuffles itself after being mixed by a spectator; and many more mysteries using coins, bills, magazines, marbles, rope and more.
Frequently, sequels fail to live up to their predecessors. That is not the case here. You won't want to miss Act Two. A quality hardcover, 382 pages of baffling and practical material, loaded with full presentations.