What I've Been Studying Lately

What I've Been Studying Lately

As well as entering in as many books as I can to my site, I have also been reading some that I've never known about.  Here are some of my recent studies, along with my thoughts on each one.

First, I've been reading Mark Chandaue's TOTALLY FREE WILL, a book all about the "freewill" plot originally released by Deddy Corbuzier (I have two of them currently on my site), titled FREE WILL. Basically, you lay out three objects in front of a spectator.  You turn away, and they mix them around, placing one in their pocket, and holding one in each closed fist.  You turn around and are able to tell them where each item is.  Very reminiscent of the Hummer Three Card Monte principle, but with many variations and changes that disguise the mental system you use to locate each item.  The copies I currently have are the Collector's Edition, and worth every penny of the current price. I also have HARPACROWN by Mark Chandaue, but only one copy.

Another magician that I have been learning more and more about is Steve Cook, out of the UK.  I realized how many of Steve's effects I own (Volition, ESP Test Kit, Symbol, Symbol PRO, etc.), but hadn't paid enough attention that these all came from the same person.  His routines are very straightforward, easy for participants to understand (not always true with mentalism), and pack a nice PUNCH with each one.  The methods are so well hidden within the routines, no one CARES how they're done, just that they remember how amazed they are.  Steve has a new book out, Fake Genius, but I have not had it in my shop yet.  If you want a copy, please let me know (it sells for $125.00!)

A small booklet that has peaked my interest again is Thomas Riboulet's "The Invisible Choice". A demo can be seen HERE, but there are many variations in this 50-page booklet.  Basically, it is a method to force certain things within a range, but never will the spectator suspect there is any outcome other than the one they experience.  It is a great book, available HERE.

Finally, some of you may know the name, Ariel Frailich.  I heard about a book of his titled, Sub Rosa, but had little knowledge of what it was made up of. So, I contacted him directly, and purchased some copies of it. The subtitle of the book reads, "A wide variety of magic and mentalism effects for stage and close-up based on an easy-to-master utility move." It is a switching move that allows you to switch one item for another in the guise of swapping items in both hands.  It is simple, direct, and effective. The 170-page hardcover book teaches 12 variations, or uses, for the switch, 54 effects utilizing it, and another 42 pages of uses that incorporate other items, such as envelopes, billets and other gaffs.  It's a beautiful hardcover, copyright 2019 in Toronto, Canada.  A good book, eh?  Absolutely.

Finally, I have been accumulating technology information about presenting my first online, live ZOOM Show, asked to do so by a small company in Minneapolis.  So, if you have some knowledge that you think would save me a lot of trial and error (good cameras, switching devices, proper lighting, software, etc.), please contact me.  I'd love to know which direction to go.

Until next time, keep on reading.

Your faithful magic book addiction counselor,


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Thanks to a good friend in California, he told me about an open source software (Windows & MAC) for broadcasting your streaming presentations. It is Open Broadcast Software OBS, found here:
https://obsproject.com I have it loaded onto my laptop and will testing it out for my needs this week. Anyone else with experience using this software, please let me know what you’ve learned from it.


One item that was suggested to me by multiple sources, was a PIVO Red , or PIVO Silver, a mount that you put your camera on, and it follows you when you move. I ordered one, and will let you know if it accomplishes what I want it for.

You can see one here: https://getpivo.com/?ref=5rhejvofcvt3

Don Bursell

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