4 Criss Angel Mind Reading, Mentalism and Magic Tricks

Here are 4 Criss Angel card tricks with explanations by the man himself. The first 2 are mind reading tricks and there’s a prediction and an easy magic trick too. All are suitable for beginners with a deck of cards and the willingness to put in a little practice. Good luck :)

1. Card Thought

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to cut a shuffled deck of cards and another audience member selects a card. Criss then deduces what the card is through mind reading.

While shuffling the deck Criss takes a peek at a card then shuffles the card straight to the top of the deck and makes sure it stays there. Then the cards are placed on the table and cut by an audience member. With misdirection Criss makes the audience member mis-remember what actually happened so he and the rest of the audience think the card in the middle is a cut card when in fact it is the top card which Criss has memorised. Then he gets another member of the audience to pick up this card and performs ‘mind reading’ on her. :)

2. Into the Mind

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to write a number between 1 and 100 on a post-it note then reads her mind to work out the number.

In this trick Criss gets a peek at the number ;). Criss prepares the post-it note with the sticky part in the right place and gets the girl to write the number on the pad. Then he takes the post-it back and retreats to the back of the room. Once at the back of the room Criss is able to stick the post-it to a chair, turn around, take a look, turn back and get the post-it back in his hand without anyone noticing. He does this of course, with misdirection. Once he has the note back in his hand he performs the mind reading on the girl then reveals the post-it note to the audience with the number written on it.

3. Double Card Prediction

Effect: The deck is shuffled by one audience member then Criss looks at the cards and removes 2 from the deck. Another audience member then places the cards at random in a pile. Next Criss takes the cards and deals them into the palms of 2 other audience members. The top 2 cards are revealed to be the same as the 2 Criss selected earlier :)

This trick relies on selling the fact the second audience member has placed the cards at random on the table (when in fact they have placed the first few cards where you want them). The first shuffle is done by an audience member then Criss takes the cards and looks at the top 2. He then searches for their pair in the deck and when he has found them places them face down on the table. The deck is then passed to a second audience member who is told to place the cards on the table. Once the first few are down Criss says, ‘place them at random, place a packet down if you like’ etc. and ‘stop when you want’. Criss knows the 2 cards on the bottom are his cards. Now the cards are dealt to another 2 audience members and the top cards are revealed to be paired with the ones on the table.

4. Four Aces

Effect: The audience member places the cards randomly on the table then deals 4 packets and an Ace is on top of each packet.

The secret here is to get the Aces on top of the deck before you hand them over to the volunteer without arousing suspicion. Once you have done this the trick works itself. Criss asks the volunteer to place the cards on the table and once they have placed 4 cards down tells them they can place them at random, from the middle of the deck, a number of cards at once etc. and to stop when they want. Now he get them to gather up the cards on the table and deal them into 4 piles. The Aces appear on top :)

I hope you enjoyed this collection of videos. Don’t forget to sign up for the free course if you haven’t already.

David Blaine Mind Reading

David Blaine is an undisputed master of magic, illusion and endurance. He has broken several Guinness World records, been entombed in ice and gone 44 days without food. He’s been ‘buried alive’ and ‘drowned alive’ and after his latest stunt he is lucky to still be alive as he was electrocuted by a tesla coil.

Still only 39 years old Blaine has achieved massively. He is the Houdini of our time. Before the feats of endurance he performs now, David Blaine was a street magician. He performed close up magic and mind reading tricks to strangers in the street.

Magic

Blaine first became interested in magic when he was 4 years old. He moved to New Your to perform magic when he was 17. His early street magic videos were remarkable because of his calm persona and the focus on audience reaction. At the time using the camera in this way was ground breaking. The next generation of street magicians such as Dynamo use similar techniques both in their magic and in the way they use the camera.

Many of Blaine’s early forays in front of the camera were captured in David Blaine – Street Magic [DVD] [2007]. You can view the whole DVD on Youtube, the first vid is below. It is well worth a watch for an introduction to David Blaine’s street magic.

In ‘Street Magic’ Blaine performs a number of mind reads, here is a compilation of some, its worth watching the whole video to see them all though:

He does card predictions, predicts names and makes images and names appear on his skin. The reactions he gets from the mind reading and mentalism tricks are some of the strongest in ‘Street Magic’. Just check out the kid when a 4 of Hearts appears on Blaine’s shoulder :)

Tricks

David Blaine has released his own set of mind reading marked cards which are available with instructions:

Performers of magic and mentalism have different interests and peruse different paths. It would be nice to see Blaine performing more mentalism feats in future, however you can’t deny he is a master of endurance and has indeed set world records to prove it. Think about where your strengths lie. Work on them and you too can be a great performer.

If you want to learn 10 mentalism tricks for free make sure to sign up for the 10 part free course.

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 2 Review

Everyone’s favourite young street magician is at it again. Here’s the Mentalism Skills review of Magician Impossible Series 2:

Magician Impossible Series 2 is a 4 part series which was recently shown on Watch. In a similar vein to Magician Impossible Series 1, Dynamo travels the UK, Europe and the Americas performing magic on the street and for celebs. He mixes close up magic, mentalism and large scale illusions, always bringing an element of surprise and fun.

The show was integrated with social media with the hashtag #WatchDynamo and Dynamo answered questions after each show. There’s also an app with exclusive content.

The Shows

Ep 1

Episode 1 sees Dynamo in London. He hilariously makes his hands too hot to touch so people won’t shake hands with him. Then he uses his ‘hot hands’ to melt glass in a clothing warehouse. He’s also up to his old tricks doing crazy coin magic and putting phones in glass bottles.

Over in Venice Dynamo performs at the World Poker Tour where he meets a group of fans and blows them away with some card magic. He then does a series of card predictions on a top poker player demonstrating why he’s not allowed to enter the world series.

Dynamo’s big illusions in this show were flying through the air like superman in a club and disappearing out his tracksuit in a sports shop.

My favourite trick is the prediction in the pub though. Back in Bradford Dynamo is in his gran’s local. A woman from the pub throws 3 darts at a dartboard and Dynamo reveals he has predicted the throws with 100% accuracy on the next dart board. Great stuff :)

Ep 2

During the filming of show 1 Dynamo’s Grandad sadly passes away. Dynamo needs to get away so for episode 2 he heads to Rio after a bit of a break from magic to mourn his Grandad’s passing.

No-one knows him in Rio and the added element of surprise makes this a great show. He is vanishing things and making them reappear in some seemingly impossible places. He does a lot of tricks for kids on the street and in the favellas like making popcorn appear in his hands and passing coins through kids’ hands.

The stuff in the favellas is quite touching as Dynamo has grown up in a rough area himself so has a connection with the people there in that respect. He does a really cool prediction here too making a girl win at bingo :)

Dynamo is enjoying his levitations in this episode. Standing near the beach he levitates off a bench, he floats a football off the ground and for a big climax he levitates, Christ-like in front of the Christ The Redeemer statue.

Ep 3

For episode 3 Dynamo is up to his old tricks in the US. There is quite a bit of mentalism type stuff in this episode. The highlight for me is when a couple rip a bunch of postcards in half. They then choose 1 each randomly, they’re the same then, Dynamo re-seals the postcard and also makes it written to a friend of the girls.

He also does a prediction involving a table, some salt and Elvis and does some crazy stuff to some guys involving playing cards that are seemingly as heavy as a car.

Ep 4

In episode 4 Dynamo does some cool magic for legendary musician Damon Albarn. Put it this way I hope he had a light lunch. His time prediction is absolutely brilliant getting clocks on a main square to change to the exact time 2 girls both choose on their watches.

That’s one impressive illusion. Others include passing through a solid steel fence, and for the finale making a 10,000/1 prediction.

Thoughts

Dynamo has a number of problems going into this series. He is now a celebrity in his own right in the UK and a lot of people have seen his best effects. He addresses the problem of people recognising him by getting away and the episode in Rio was my favourite episode. The other problem he addressed by coming up with many new effects and interesting variations of previously performed material.

In terms of his mind magic and mentalism type stuff he is really impressive. Especially in episode 3 there is quite a bit of mind magic. I am not so much a fan of some of the levitations like walking down a building. While it looks good it is obviously done with wires so its more the technical expertise that’s impressive rather than Dynamo’s skills. Having said that his ability to perform big illusions in the blink of an eye like when he vanishes is fantastic.

Rating:

Derren Brown, Tricks of the Mind Extracts. Audiobook Review

This audiobook is taken from the fantastic book Tricks of the Mind and teaches the basics of hypnosis, a couple of magic tricks and some powerful memory techniques.

Disk 1: Hypnosis

Derren says he thinks hypnosis is very safe but gives 7 rules to bear in mind just to be extra cautious:

  1. Don’t try to hypnotise someone who is clearly disturbed or has epilepsy
  2. Don’t attempt any therapeutic change unless you are suitably qualified
  3. Treat hypnosis as a gentle tool
  4. Everything you do contributes to the hypnosis. Don’t get flustered
  5. At end make sure person is completely out of belief that they are hypnotised
  6. Take it slowly and only try in a controlled environment
  7. Treat it first as a relaxation tool and move slowly into administering suggestions

What you learn:

  • In its simplest form hypnosis is pacing someone’s experience then leading them to behaviours you want.
  • Use presupposition. This means you presuppose something to be true eg. as your eyes get heavier/ you can wonder how deeply you are going into trance
  • Use double binds where the only options are 2 you have suggested.
  • Tone of voice – gentle and relaxed
  • Use imagery to involve all the senses
  • Don’t contradict yourself and don’t be specific

Framework:

  1. Prepare subject and induce light stages of trance, this may include eye closure
  2. Deepen the trance through a metaphor such as going down the stairs
  3. Carry out your hypnotic work
  4. Fully awaken the subject

Disk 2: Magic

Coin Trick – A Coin Slide

The trick involves sliding a coin off a table, pretending to pick it up and pulling it into your lap.

The trick is enhanced by using another coin for misdirection and placing the coins on the table in advance.

Card trick – A Sucker Trick

  1. Get someone to shuffle cards (need someone with basic overhand shuffle)
  2. Look at cardface then immediately turn away and spread the deck in your hands, showing everyone faces of deck
  3. Turn face down and place squared up on table
  4. Bottom card is key card
  5. Get person to cut deck in 2 and place top half to your right
  6. Turn away and remove card he cut to (top card of bottom half) and look at it
  7. Pick up bottom half
  8. Tell him to replace card
  9. Get person to shuffle cards again
  10. Say you will put cards face up on table and he is not to react if you see his card
  11. Turn over 1 at a time, card after key card is his card. Carry on after chosen card appears but make sure index of chosen card remains visible to you
  12. Stop then ask to bet that next card turned over will be the card
  13. Then reach for the card in pie and turn over

Magic tips:

  • Most of the magic is created after the trick
  • A state of amazement leaves spectators more open to suggestion
  • To make them look less foolish people will trick themselves eg. Think they definitely saw card in magicians hand
  • Magic is helped by people watching closely and using the off beat when both you and they relax
  • Conjurer creates false trail of events
  • Best to be simple and direct

Disk 3: Memory

No such thing as photographic memory. A few people have an idetic memory and can hold the image of a scene in their minds but it typically can’t be held for long and is prone to distortions. Individuals with great memories use rich mnemonic strategies.

Memory is a set of processes. We can remember 7 or so units after which point we instinctively want to break it down into smaller chunks.

Linking System:

  1. Use vivid images and attach strong emotions
  2. Elements should interact
  3. Picture should be unusual

Uses of linking system – shopping lists, tasks, speeches and for actors

Drawback – if stuck on 1 word system breaks down

Loci System:

  1. Use a route you know with locations on the way.
  2. Take a list of things and relate an item to each location.
  3. Place a strong visual representation at each location.
  • Memory palaces – Expand number of loci eg. In your house
  • Its better to have action take place inside something
  • You need to go through things in fixed order eg. Clockwise
  • You can use for permanent memory.
  • Expand loci – have a door from your house lead to another familiar building. Use places from real life eg. museums you have visited

Remembering Names

  1. When you meet with someone immediately think of someone you already know with the same name
  2. Imagine person in front of you has been made up to look at bit like the person you know

or

  1. Connect name with another image eg. Mike becomes a microphone stand, bill becomes an invoice
  2. Find something memorable about the person’s appearance. Better to be a physical feature
  3. Link the 2 together
  • Its best to make image as efficient as possible
  • Can put other info into scene
  • Importance of reviewing

Rating:

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Magic And Mentalism Festival King’s Arms Salford

Eggs Sausage Peas (ESP)

I arrived at the King’s Arms to be welcomed by a silver faced man organising the Ghost tour!

It was a 1 hr show based on the Egg Sausage Peas show which is 2 hrs.

I have checked the web for Jonathan Royle and some of the comments on forums are less than complimentary but I hadn’t checked before and this hadn’t coloured my view of the show.

I thought the show was great. The audience was not that large but was attentive and enthusiastic.

The Show

Got started with some comedy warm up tricks eg. ‘can you guess what word I am going to predict?’ No – pulls out card with No on. A lady picked a celebrity which was Simon Cowell and Jonathan Royle pulls out 3 cards with pictures of babies on then picture of Simon Cowell, which was an impressive prediction.

A guy was asked up on stage for a card prediction. A deck of cards tied by an elastic band were thrown out and 3 members of the audience including me looked at a card each. I had 10 of clubs.

Jonathan chose 1 card to write down and the audience member rang a friend who chose the other 2.

Jonathan wrote 3 numbers on a card and read them out then asked us each to sit down individually if our card had been read out. One by one we all sat down.

5 stars: 5 members of the audience were chosen to get up on stage and they had to choose masks with celebrity faces on. The faces were then matched up with favourite colours but in the reveal we saw the trick had gone wrong.

Next was a trick on the power of positive thinking. Quite a big guy was selected to sit on a chair and the other 4 members of the audience tried to lift him with 2 fingers put together. They tried with signs around their necks on which was written at first negative emotions then positive emotions, and with the positive signs the man was lifted off his chair.

This was followed by a trick where one of the audience selects a number 1-6, a spike is placed on that number under a cup and a dice is rolled to decide which cups were to be smashed using only bare hands. After one of the earlier tricks had gone wrong this one was a bit nerve wracking!

There were a few more tricks which went well including predicting a cartoon character from a book and predicting a date written on the bottom of a tray.

Luca Volpe

The Show

  • A member of the audience had to choose between 2 cards, one with a 50 euro note in. The one with no money in was chosen
  • The assistant guessed the amount of money I had in my pockets
  • He predicted who had drawn which picture out of 4 volunteers
  • He revealed some writing and numbers on a scroll at the end of the show which matched a newspaper cutting a lady made on stage

 

Mentalist Profile: Derren Brown

Derren Brown is the best mentalist of his generation.

He is constantly advancing his skills, innovating with his performances and calling out fake psychics and other frauds too.

Seeing Derren Brown perform it can be hard not to believe he possesses psychic abilities.

This guy knows what is going on in your mind, often because he has created the thoughts himself!

Early Career and TV

Brown started out at university as a hypnotist then started learning and performing close up magic in the cafe’s of Bristol.

Developing his skills over the next 7 years in Bristol Brown hit television in 1999 with 3 specials which later became the ground breaking series Mind Control. >>Derren Brown – Inside Your Mind [DVD]

Derren Brown Trick of The Mind 1 [DVD] [2004] followed on from Mind Control and the 3 series were very much a natural progression.

Trick or Treat (2007 – 2008) surprised applicants with Derren appearing out of the blue to give people a trick or treat. He hypnotised one guy and dropped him of in Marrakesh and dropped one girl, tied up, in a sack into a lake!

In The Events (2009) Brown stuck people watching at home to their seats using sublimnal messaging and bet £5,000 of a viewers money on the spin of a roulette wheel, and lost :(

Also on TV we had Derren Brown Investigates (2010) and The Experiments in 2011. In one episode of In The Experiments Derren got someone to ‘assassinate’ Stephen Fry and in another got someone to admit to a murder they didn’t commit.

TV Specials: Russian Roulette, Seance, Messiah, The Gathering, The Heist, The System, Hero at 30,000 ft, Miracles for Sale.

Live Shows

Watch some of Derren’s live shows and see his masterful control of the audience. 2011-12 he is touring Svengali.

Some of his other live shows include: Derren Brown Live (2003-04), Something Wicked This Way Comes (2005-06), Mind Reader – An Evening of Wonders (2007-08), Enigma (2009-10)

Skills

Derren Brown uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”

He is a master reader of people’s body language, he uses NLP to put thoughts in peoples minds, he uses lots of psychological tricks like perception without awareness and his memory techniques are something to behold!

He is a master of conjuring and hypnosis and teaches some of his tricks in his books.

Derren Brown emphasises the importance of showmanship and involving the audience.

 

 

Dynamo’s Concrete Playground Review

Dynamo’s Concrete Playground is the magicians first DVD release and its a cracker!

Starting off in Dynamo’s home town of Bradford, Dynamo performs tricks for the locals before taking to the road with his 2 best mates, dazzling the people of Birmingham and London with his modern style of magic.

Tricks include levitation of a £50 note, smashing bottles with his mind and Dynamo’s signature polo through the neck trick.

Dynamo’s slight of hand is impressive with him being able to place coins under peoples’ watches without them noticing and seemingly dropping coins through solid glass tabletops.

He is masterful with the cards, making the deck disappear, putting cigarettes through cards, and making cards appear out of his top pocket…. when he has no top pocket!

Mentalism Tricks

It has to be said there is not a great deal in the way of mentalism tricks in the DVD however the mind reading in a shop/ gallery in London gets one of the best reactions on the whole DVD.

As a modern magic DVD I would give Dynamo’S Concrete Playground (Dvd) [2006] 5* every time.

Rating:

Mentalist Profile: Dynamo

Dynamo AKA Stephen Frayne is a magician and mentalist from Bradford in the UK. Born in 1982, Dynamo grew up on the deprived Delph Hill estate in Bradford.

Dynamo says:

‘It helps to have a skill growing up around here (in Delph Hill), for some its breaking and entering, for me it’s magic’.

Starting Out

Dynamo began learning magic at the age of 11 to get school bullies off his back and started devoting more time to magic when he moved in with his grandparents at the age of 15.

His grandpa Kenneth used to perform magic in bars around Bradford and showed Dynamo some magic. Dynamo would spend night and day practising and reading every magic book he could lay his hands on.

Starting out he couldn’t even shuffle a pack of cards. If you see his skills now that’s hard to believe!

Early Career

Fastforward to 2004 and Dynamo was loaned some money by UK Charity the Prince’s Trust to buy a video camera. He moved to London and began shooting videos.

This was right around the time Youtube was starting to get popular and soon Dynamo’s street magic videos were getting 100,000s of views; millions of people around the world were watching him amaze people in the capital.

Dynamo’s increasing popularity gave him the opportunity to perform on the celebrity circuit, performing for such celebs as Coldplay and Paris Hilton.

Magician to the Stars

Now Dynamo bills himself as magician to the stars, performing at red carpet and other celebrity events around the world. He says playing to celebs like Pharell Williams, Paris Hilton and De La Soul is a dream come true.

Dynamo has also made numerous TV appearances. His first TV appearance was on Richard & Judy and he has since appeared numerous times including charity events, adverts and panel shows.

He has released 2 DVDs, based on his TV shows Dynamo’S Concrete Playground (Dvd) [2006] and Dynamo: Magician Impossible [DVD].

Style

Dynamo brings elements of bodypopping, breakdancing and MCing to his magic to give a modern urban style.

He performs up close magic and mentalism as well as larger pieces like the ‘walking on the Thames’ trick seen in Dynamo: Magician Impossible [DVD].

He still loves the energy of performing magic on the streets and the power it has to bring different people together and says that is the greatest buzz.

Dynamo incorporates mentalism into his performance using mindreading and hypnosis for some of his effects.

Interesting Facts

The stage name Dynamo was adopted after a magic convention at the New York Hilton in 2002. He was performing to a group of magicians when a member of the audience shouted out ‘That kid’s a Dynamo!’

Dynamo was diagnosed with Crones disease when he was a kid and was hospitalised several times with it.

Dynamo’s favourite place is Miami.

Quotes

‘Sometimes I wonder if my life has all been an illusion but if there’s one thing I’ve learned its that reality is only what you make it’

‘Everybody has the power to be extraordinary, no matter where they come from or what their circumstance, its just a matter of belief’

‘Some people think its impossible to change the future but in reality the future is only what you make it’