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Christopher Taylor
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British Columbia Canada
2191 Posts

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Outside the conventional. My thoughts
Posted by: Sean Boon
Mon Aug 6, 2007 1:51 am (PST)
Innermind productions present :
Christopher Taylor - Outside the conventional DVD
Firstly as reviews go, I'm not going to break this down into
analysing each effect as some do.
However, I'll attempt to look at this DVD in an holistic way.
I don't know Christopher aside from perhaps having shared a few
discussions in mentalism groups and forums.
I've never met the guy.
Upon receiving the DVD and finally catching sight of him on the
cover I thought, "uh-oh, I've made a wrong purchase and have bought
something that centres on the bizarre."
Wrong, on several counts.
Christopher has a background in storytelling/bizarre magic yes. But
this only seemed to make his mentalism more powerful!
I found that I was getting sucked into his stories just as much as
the participants, truly hypnotic.
After my first viewing ( or should I say skimming? ) I'll admit that
I was a little dissapointed, some of the routines being almost too
simple that I felt cheated by the sales blurb.
BUT, after watching the interviews that feature on this two disc set
I began to understand Christophers way of thinking a little more and
went back and viewed the dvd with an open mind, taking each routine
for what it is. A performance.
Christopher shares a similar ideology to myself and that is clear in
the explanations of each effect. Keep It Simple Stupid.
Methods so simple, practical and direct that I am sure the educated
laymen will miss them.
There are routines in here that I know I will use, or adapt. Even
one routine which upon viewing I decided was a little too magickal
has gained my interest purely for an idea I have had for creating a
variation of the method to create a whole new effect.
A two dvd set priced at £24.99 containing some very pure,practical
and USEABLE routines is a bargain these days.
So I apologise to Christopher for judging his dvd before giving it
my full attention and now am keeping my eyes wide open for other
products of his.
An absolute pleasure to watch, a performer that I could watch over
and over.
Sean Boon
Christopher Taylor

Member P.E.A.

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Inner circle
Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

Profile of MagicSanta
Title: Outside The Conventional by Christopher Taylor
Medium: DVDs Two Disks in one package
Arena: Mentalism close up or parlor
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

First let me tell you this is the type of mentalism that most are interested in because it can be done close up or for small groups. I believe that is the most popular type of mentalism because most will never become a stage performer and this is the type of material they will do at parties, magical jobs where close up is performed, or in the halls of school for you hit men. The quality of the tape isn’t bad. I think that it is about time that Inner Mind, the producers of the DVD, get a bit better cameras and lighting and also consider taking shots from different angles. The image isn’t bad and I admit may be softer on my monitor, which isn’t new, but there were cases where parts of the presentation could not be seen well enough to determine what the spectators were reacting to. During the explanation in some of the switches a shot from behind would have been much preferred to those from the front. None of this is a deal killer because over all this is better than a lot of what is released but I expect better from Inner Mind because they have been stepping up in the last couple years with some very nice products and they deserve to be better filmed.

Christopher Taylor is a mentalist out of Canada. You now know everything I know about him. He is very soft spoken with more of a kind old hippie vibe going rather than a master of mystery. His only weakness is when explaining he is very detailed about things but because he is so gentle in his manner it can feel like a lot longer than the explanations actually is. I had to work at not being distracted to be honest with you. The thing that kept my attention was the simple facts that the routines are pretty darn good and are things that might interest a lot of people. The way the DVD is set up is you watch all the presentations then the explanations. You can hop around of course, such is the benefit of DVD. Christopher is joined in his explanations by Marc Spelmann who reminds me a great deal of the great British fighter pilot from World War One named Albert Ball. Christopher really is thorough when it comes to the explanations and at times I wanted him to kick it into a higher gear. I will admit I prefer too much to too little when it comes to instruction. He does a fine job though, even with the soft long winded explanations. Lets take a look at the material!

Disk One

Two Minds One Thought:
Two people, a couple, pick a card. First one thinks of the value, the other the suit, the mentalist then tells them the card they picked and wrote on a piece of paper, the magician never touches the paper at all. This actually played very strong and the secret, which blew past me, is very creative and has potential for other uses.

Being There:
You have a spectator close their eyes and imagine a scene. They imagine an old Chinese man walking up and ringing a bell. The spec tells you how many times the bell was rung, and a billet on the table the entire time is opened and shown to have the number of times stated. The presentation was a bit too bees and flowers for me but in the explanation a very cool index is shown and you are told how to make it. It is so cool that even if you are likely to never use one unless you do a routine like this you’ll want to build it anyway.

Qi Coins:
This was a victim of the camera not moving in at the right time and the lighting being bad keeping you from seeing what is really going on. The spectators sure reacted to it and when the explanation was given I could see why. This routine requires a gimmicked coin set that I’ve never heard of but it is worth getting. I’ll just tell you that the spectator ends up with an altered item in their hand and that always plays big, I liked this one.

Drawing Duplication:
A spectator draws a simple picture on a billet and the mentalist reproduces the image. This is very interesting because not only does something like this play well it is a very good example of billet management being used to sell the routine. The explanation is a bit drawn out and you’ll want to pay attention and not zone out because they drift into other areas of drawing duplication which is interesting.

There is also an interview with Christopher on this disk.

Disk Two

There and Back Again:
I had to watch this twice because I didn’t quite follow what was going on. In this routine another journey is taken by the spectator, note you will not want to combine a number of these routines together because they are similar in performance, but this time they take with them an American half dollar and a Mexican centavo. The spec is given a choice of three countries and they don’t reveal their choice but when they get back, mentally, they find the centavo is gone and in its place is a coin from the country they selected. I’m a bit torn on this one because I think it is kind of a weak presentation and based on the lack of response by the spectator I think she also didn’t quite get the whole thing. All isn’t loss because I do think it can be salvaged and the basic effect is interesting and shows promise. I think this was the weakest of all the routines.

Mirror Mind:
This is a routine where a card that is picked by the spec is found in a haunted mirror, The kicker is a spectator is picked to see if the mirror will work for them, it does, and they get to announce a selected card…this is the instant stooge method. I really liked this routine and the ending with the instant stooge was very good. Well thought out and I think this will be a popular piece, can be played very spooky.

Room 7:
Another strong routine. The basic effect is a person is on another imaginary trip, this time to a hotel, where a fire occurs in a room which number the spec has secretly written down. The mentalist pulls out a vial of ashes and the room number is revealed on the hand of the spectator. The method uses is one I concluded years ago was the only clean way to do this but I never developed a routine. I have to hand it to Christopher, he has everything set up beautifully and logically and I can appreciate that. There will be some pre work to prepare, once, but well worth it. Few will make the effort, which is too bad, because this routine and Mirror Mind can devastate spectators if done well.

Additional interview…..

There you have it. The camera work could have been better, it wasn’t real bad, but considering who made it I have higher expectations, but overall they did a better than average job. Christopher Taylor, who looks so tough on the cover of the DVD for some reason, is a very clever and creative thinker and this is a very solid set of mentalism routines ranging from the very simple to the ones you’ll need to prep for in advance. My only problem with Christopher is he is about as un-dynamic an individual as you’ll ever encounter on tape. His voice is such that you start to drift away but don’t because he really has some interesting thoughts. Marc Spelmann saves the day because he is clearly an edgy guy and it helps, there are points where I think he is on the verge of goofing on poor ol’ Christopher. All being said I think this is a very good DVD and one those interested in doing small group mentalism will really benefit from. I know I’m going to put some of these routines together for those times I just want to do something and make people wonder…..and wonder is good.
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Inner circle
The City of Ithobaal I son of Hiram I
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Profile of pkg
Room 7...IF in a smoking environment, no need for a vial, burn some papers in an ashtray, added "scent"...
I am just rambling, I am definitely getting this DVD has been quite some time, I have a lot to catch up to!!!
Double posters should be shot!

No really!!
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Profile of luxor07
Thanks for the reviews. Great job. I ordered my set and can't wait for it to arrive.
The CiscoKid
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Loyal user
Manassas Park, VA
268 Posts

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I just finished watching this DVD and again, I am inspired.

Great routines with magical stories to go along with it. I am going to be adding a few routines to my show.

The video quality was great,the presentations were great and explanations were very thorough.

Great buy.

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