Bob Cassidy’s Mental Miracles – Worth Obsessing Over

Bob Cassidy?s Mental Miracles DVD: List Price $35.00 / Street Price (Penguin Magic) $29.95

This is a very long and detailed review. I am an obsessive person. How else would you explain staying up 22 hours a day working on Inside Magic (this website) and Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org? Magic is my life and combing the web for any possible mention of Kirsten Dunst is just a sideline. I am getting therapy to help me with the website obsession thing and so, soon, I?ll just be working on the Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org site.

(It is so ironic that there are at least two other webmasters named ?Tim? with the same Kirsten Dunst obsession; Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.com and Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.net were both taken. The Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.com site is primarily about forestry and the logging industry. The Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.net is really an anti Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org site. It?s basically a blog about how Ms. Dunst couldn?t fit in a tree and how I can?t sit because of my recent operation. It?s really kind of a nasty, immature site run by a loser. Anyway. I have no idea how I got on this tangent.)

The point of this article is to critically review Bob Cassidy?s Mental Miracles DVD.

Here?s my review short and to the point: Buy this video right now. Everything that follows in this review is essentially…

Bob Cassidy?s Mental Miracles DVD: List Price $35.00 / Street Price (Penguin Magic) $29.95

This is a very long and detailed review. I am an obsessive person. How else would you explain staying up 22 hours a day working on Inside Magic (this website) and Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org? Magic is my life and combing the web for any possible mention of Kirsten Dunst is just a sideline. I am getting therapy to help me with the website obsession thing and so, soon, I?ll just be working on the Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org site.

(It is so ironic that there are at least two other webmasters named ?Tim? with the same Kirsten Dunst obsession; Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.com and Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.net were both taken. The Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.com site is primarily about forestry and the logging industry. The Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.net is really an anti Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org site. It?s basically a blog about how Ms. Dunst couldn?t fit in a tree and how I can?t sit because of my recent operation. It?s really kind of a nasty, immature site run by a loser. Anyway. I have no idea how I got on this tangent.)

The point of this article is to critically review Bob Cassidy?s Mental Miracles DVD.

Here?s my review short and to the point: Buy this video right now. Everything that follows in this review is essentially the ravings of a lunatic who has not seen such fine film since he last brushed his teeth. You have been warned.

Channeling spirits is kind of a no-no in my church. And channeling spirits to gain material advantage or financial independence is even worse. So I have to tell you that I have not sought the opinion of any of the great but dead mentalists in formulating this review.

I do not channel with the dead for profit.

I mean, I could have risked eternal damnation to check with Dunninger, Corinda or Ted Anneman before giving this review but I don?t know that it would strengthen the recommendation.

But I do have the comments of my favorite magic reviewer, Joe M. Turner. Mr. Turner is not dead and to channel his high recommendation of the DVD would be appropriate. He gave it very high marks and suggested it would be a good purchase for someone interested in learning serious mentalism. Heck, that would be me.

I am the cheapest guy in North America. But I figured the $40.00 plus shipping would be worth it for the DVD if it was as great as Mr. Turner represented. I got it, watched it, watched it again, watched it a third time, and then ate dinner before watching it again. (The list price has dropped since I purchased the DVD).

It changed my magical life. I virtually stole two of the routines directly from the DVD to use in my brand new mentalism act. I had to mix in the Quinlan charm but the effects were basically as performed by Mr. Cassidy. The Quinlan charm was basically making rude noises with my hand in my arm pit while the volunteers wrote their thoughts on paper. With the new effects, I came in third at Abbott?s Get-Together and did well in other contests.

Mr. Cassidy?s teaching method is outstanding!

The film quality is not the best, the angles could be better but his method of telling you how and why you should do what you do is perfect for someone like me that who was not exposed to center-tears as a youngster.

It is clear from watching the DVD that Mr. Cassidy has done mentalism before. These are tried and true routines that apparently have served him well through the years. You are treated to his show in the first part of the DVD and it really is a treat. He knows how the audience will react, how to misdirect them from those moves that might be hot and how to get the effect you need when you need it.

Okay, now this seems obsessive. You don?t need to read any more than this if you still want to respect me:

I am a man of habit. (This is entirely different than my role in the ABC After School Special about a gender-confused man who thought he was a nun, ?Man in a Habit?). I eat the same food all the time. I drink 40 to 44 Diet Cokes every day, I brush my teeth religiously (by this I mean, I light a votive candle to warm my toothpaste) and I watch the same videos over and over.

I have seen Spiderman perhaps 20 times. I still cry at the end when Mary Jane says to Peter Parker, ?Just friends, Peter Parker?? and he says, ?That?s all I have to give.?

I have seen ?Let It Ride? with Richard Dreyfuss over 40 times and still laugh at virtually every scene.

Mr. Cassidy?s DVD has now been added to the Tim?s DVD Rotation from Hell. I have his patter memorized ? not because I want to memorize it but because I have seen it so often. I can tell you the order of the cards he has memorized in his memorized deck routine (the strongest non-mental effect I do), and can tell you why would want to use a different flap method for different effects in each of his routines.

I don?t repeatedly watch every Magic DVD in my collection. For instance, Bobby Randell?s ?Magic with Body Fluids and Dandruff? never made the list. Van Movin?s ?Easy to Perform Bullet Catching? and ?Easy to Perform Emergency Brain Surgery? are not on the list. I did have a thing for Wendy Harilman?s ?Classic Forces Using a One-Way Forcing Deck? but after a while it seemed like over-kill.

The DVD is worth every dollar I paid for it. How can I say that? I bought two at $40.00 each. I broke the first one jamming it into my computer?s DVD player and then dropping the computer. At $29.95, this is a great deal at Penguin Magic. If you have any interest at all in performing mentalism or a memorized deck routine where four spectators are able to shuffle the deck immediately before you memorize the deck?s order, you need to order this DVD.

The advertisements for the DVD say you will learn:

Chronologue: A predicted card matches what is written in a diary on a freely selected date. New work and psychology including stage and close-up versions.

Name/Place Routine: A couple of spectators think of a person and a place and you divine their thoughts.

Psychomatic Deck: A spectator looks at a card in the deck and you read their mind, telling them what card they are thinking of.

Fourth Dimensional Telepathy: You reveal the name of a childhood friend, the name of a pet, and reproduce a previously drawn illustration.

Card Memory: A rapid memorization of a shuffled deck of cards.

That?s not entirely true. You will not learn the technique or secret to Psychomatic Deck. Mr. Cassidy shows the routine he uses but does not expose the secret because it is a commercially available item made by someone else. So my brief review of each effect below does not include the Psychomatic Deck.

Chronologue: is an outstanding effect and is different than the version formerly sold by Rich Bloch and now offered by George Robinson through Collector?s Workshop. Mr. Bloch credits Mr. Cassidy with the invention but has produced the apparatus of the trick differently. Mr. Cassidy gives us the creative history leading up to his invention. His intent was to create a mentalism effect that did not use playing cards. He explains how to make your own Chronologue and two methods of revealing your prediction.

I love this effect and I love Mr. Cassidy?s handling. It is clean, fair and so simple to perform. The work comes in the presentation. This is a staple of my act.

Name/Place Routine: gets the audience involved by asking two volunteers to help in your experiment. One thinks of a name and the other of a place ? my guess is that is how this got its name. The name and place are written down on two different billets, and one is randomly selected to be burned. At this point, no one, not even you, know whether you have burned the name or the place and yet you are able to reveal both.

If you have been intimidated by billet effects, this will relieve you of your intimidation. If you have been intimidated by Bounty Towels and their super-absorbency for fear that just one roll of this miracle fabric could suck up all the moisture in your body and leave you like a raisin on the kitchen floor, the Name/Place Routine will be of no help.

Fourth Dimensional Telepathy: gives you material sufficient to perform an entire mentalism set. You correctly divine the thoughts of three audience members. You reveal one spectator?s childhood friend, the name of another volunteer?s pet, and ? most impressively ? reproduce a drawing made by the third assistant.

The pacing and build-up of the Fourth Dimensional Telepathy is fantastic. There is something special about duplicating the drawing created by your volunteer.

Sure, you could accomplish this by using a stooge and agreeing on the drawing before the show but why bother? As my late teacher, Billy Rubin, told me immediately before his untimely and still unsolved murder, ?Two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead.?

In Michigan we have a Stooge Union and while I support unions generally, I find the Stooge Union gets in the way of a great show. Maybe it is just our Local of the United Stooge and Confederate Workers of America but they demand recognition as a ?stooge? in the show and I think that defeats the purpose. ?Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the amazing mental miracles I have offered for you today. I?d like to thank Susan McCarthy for acting like a regular member of the audience when I called on her to help.? But that?s me. Maybe it works for you.

I have saved the best for last and so did Mr. Cassidy. His Memorized Deck Routine is without exception my favorite effect to do. Watch his performance of it and then watch it again before going to the part of the DVD that explains the method. I challenge you to discern how it is possible that a person can memorize an entire deck of cards in 18 seconds. The effect allows you to hand a quarter of the deck to four people in the audience to shuffle, examine, shuffle and then assemble with the other parts of the deck. Once the deck is made whole, you review half of the cards in less than 20 seconds.

You invite two of the spectators to the stage and hand each half of the deck. You explain that you really only needed to memorize half of the deck because you know that if you saw a card, it would be in one half of the deck and not in the other.

In the Carnival World we like to say, ?And Here?s the Beauty Part!? As you correctly identify which half of the deck contains a particular card, the spectators are instructed to pull each card as you name it and toss it into the air. So if you correctly state that the three of clubs is in the half of the deck held by spectator number one, he or she is to remove the card and toss it. As you go through the entire deck, correctly identifying the location of every card, the volunteers? actions make for a spectacular display.

You end the effect with cards all over the floor, your volunteers with empty hands and a perfect moment to close your act.

The Memorized Deck routine is not mentalism, obviously, but as Mr. Cassidy points out, it does fit within a mentalism or normal magic show.

So, did I like Bob Cassidy?s Mental Miracles DVD? Uh, yeah. I liked it a lot. Is it the basis of my entire mentalism routine? Yeppie. Have I thought about giving up the Tim-N-Kirsten-Sittin-In-A-Tree.org site to stalk Mr. Cassidy and worship him full-time? Not really. That would be weird and I may be obsessive but I?m not weird.

Inside Magic Rating: Five out of Five

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