Friday, April 23, 2010

Silent Running

I'm always on the look out for good mentalism effects that are big on presentation while not requiring days of my life in tireless study to accomplish. "Silent Running" sounds like the perfect fit as the spectator thinks of a card and the magician names it, causes it to disappear from the deck, or stabs it with a knife from an shuffled, covered deck. It's sort of a hit-and-miss project that you will either love or hate.

First of all, it's fairly simple to learn. There is a little bit of patter and action you must master (as in most mentalism) but you can get it done in perhaps 20 minutes of good study. After that, it's all in presentation. I applaud the author for giving us 3 very solid ways of telling the spectator what their card was, and I can easily see where they would fit into most environments. The card stab is very high on presentation, but limited in where you can do it. The best choice is the "Dissolving Card", where the spectator counts the cards and finds one missing one: the one they thought of. I prefer his other suggested method, and that's having a blank card in the deck so the spectator finds one blank card and it is supposedly their thought-of card.

None of the choices are necessarily impromptu except the "Direct Mind Read", and even that requires pen and paper. There is a huge bonus section, however, where several other magicians have included their suggestions for using this principle for other versions of the effect, and that practically ensures something for everyone.

The price works for what you get, and I feel I've spent the money wisely on this effect. I won't necessarily do it as the book lays it out, but I've learned a valuable principle I can use for other effects.

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