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Christopher Taylor
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Mental Index by Bill Cushman
Mentalism Effects using index cards (or business cards).

Forward by Millard Longman


Reviewed by Christopher Taylor

I found this to be a collection of very inspiring, well explained and very useable mental effects. The only props involved are index cards and a pen. (one effect does require the use of dice and a pack of cards). Business cards can be substituted for the index cards in most of them.

Below are some details on several of the effects. The first two effects use Longman’s Acidus Novus. Bill includes here the original instruction Mr. Longmann wrote 30 years ago on that venerable technique, along with a 30 second video clip of him performing and explaining the technique, which is a surprise bonus.

Song and Dance
A version of Bob Cassidy’s Name and Place using a participant’s cell phone ring tone and the number
• I like this! Having the participant’s phone ring as a simultaneous revelation of the fact that you have telepathically discerned both the number and the ring tone is very appealing.

Bill gives us some great subtleties here as well. They include the use of self deprecatory humor; when to get the peek when your hands are being burned; and the use of a silent script. In fact, the subtleties which he includes with each effect elevate this ebook to the realm of must-have for any mentalist who enjoys simple and direct mentalism.

Heart To Heart

I like this one too due to the great emotional involvement. As in all of Bill’s routines, there is lots of commonsense justification for each step involved in the method. For example, “……. now fold the card in half so your hearts are touching. And fold it again the other way, insuring his name stays secret.”

This effect is an example of an aspect of Bill’s work that I find very engaging. I am referring to the way he subtlety evokes the power of ritual. If you are thinking this might make these effects too esoteric or weird for your taste, rest assured, it is far from heavy handed. Bill’s application of the concept of ceremony is completely congruent to the effect’s theme and only serves to increase the participant’s sense of involvement while also further justifying the use of billets, drawing, clear writing, folding and, as in the case of the next two effects, tearing.

7 Deadly Sins

This and the next effect require some skill in centre tear technique. 7DS is “… a contribution to mentalism transformed and transplanted from the psychological approach known as Solution Focused Therapy, which developed from the work of Dr. Milton Erickson.” Bill is referring to an approach from his field of therapy which can enable you to describe what the participant is imagining happening to him in the future. This is a thoroughly intriguing concept which he terms, “solution-focused mind reading”. I hope we see much more of this idea in greater detail from Bill.

The next effect, Free Willy, is actually a version of the classic A Question and The Answer and the subtleties Bill includes here have many applications to billet work in general. Both 7 Deadly Sins and Free Willy clearly demonstrate that Bill’s presentations have emerged from his perspective as a therapist; that is a good thing as it provides many of his readers with new solid hooks to hang effects on; hooks that can catch the audience on the fact that they are having interesting facts revealed about themselves in the spirit of developing self-awareness. Bill makes it clear that these approaches work for him and we need to adapt them to our own styles. Because the presentations are so embedded in the therapeutic model however, I occasionally found myself wishing for a few hints and examples of how that might be done.

The remaining effects are just as good as the others I mentioned. They include the title piece, Mind Index, a method of creating an instant stacked pack of image stimulating words, School Dazed, a force free version of mental epic co-created with Millard Longman and Mentalink, a fantastic performance piece dealing with ESP symbols applying the Frixion Pen that you will want to carry in your wallet at all times.

Christopher Taylor
June 2008
Christopher Taylor

Member P.E.A.

www.taylorimagineering.com

MAKING MENTALISM MORE IMPOSSIBLE
darkdean
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Greetings Christopher

Where can this jem be found?

Thank you

Dean
Tony Iacoviello
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Dean:

More information on MIND INDEX can be found here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=159&33

Purchase information can be found here:
http://outlaw-effects.com/outlaweffects/......temid=87

Tony
Ringo
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I absolutely love Bill's thinking, but why does it have to be an e-book ? Smile Now I'll have to consider putting my old fashioned aversion for those things aside !
bahamagician
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Again, I have to say that I was really pleased with the material in Mind Index. I have been thinking of applying Bill's thinking in the 7 Deadly Sins routine to Kenton Knepper's Completely Cold process or any cold reading process for that matter. Instead of writing down a sin, you could have the person write a problem they are having and you could use "The Cognitive Shift" to really turn it into something special. Just a thought.
pduffie
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Mind Index is a tremendous book. As Christopher Taylor said, it's full of inspiring material. A must-have for anyone interested, or even remotely interested, in mentalism.

Peter
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DT3
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I agree with Mr Duffie's post directly above mine.

I won't go into each effect as Mr Taylor did a fine job of that already, but let me just say...

As mentalists we tend to be on a constant search for ways to get information. Well there are already plenty of ways to do that. (Even so, Dr Bill concisely describes proven methods for stealthily getting the info needed.)

More importantly, Dr Bill outlines the real important parts of quality mentalism routines. Namely, the before and after.

Firstly, the presentational framework shared in MI gets you off to a great start and pulls your participants (guests) in emotionally. It is refreshing when a book comes along that puts the necessarry amount of focus on presentation.

My favorite thing about MI though is how Dr Bill shows the reader how to proceed with the info after it is obtained.

This book really opened my eyes to the lengths one can go if they take the information gleaned and apply real life psychological techniques to create a journey that really does resemble real mindreading.

One such technique, the Cognitive Shift, has me rethinking the structure of many other routines.

I highly reccommend Mind Index and thank you Doc for releasing your very valuable ideas. I look forward to exploring your future offerings.

DT3
Bill Cushman
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Thanks again folks. Chris, I'm this close to just giving in and changing the name to "Mental Index!":) That may save some confusion. Smile

Everyones feeback is helpful to me in so many ways. It helps me "take the pulse of the public" and see how in synch as creators and performers we are. Some of my material can get off the wall even by my own standards Smile and I often need to be reined in. Yet these are sometimes the more popular!

As Christopher Taylor points out, my routines aren't so ritual bound that anyone should worry. References to ritual are brief and usually done in comparison to psychological counterparts. Plus, overall my hope is to share certain models with you, ones that you can arrange in many ways and put to many uses. Many such arrangements could state, "Rituals need not apply."

I think the effects are top notch, but of course I'm biased and have a special relationship with each. So forgive me.

I think it is more the focus on how to apply "inspiration" to the psychological movements that transcends the material. And can be applied to your existing mareial with sometimes startling results. I can't wait to hear stories, some like BhamaChris has shared with me, about performing effects from Mind Index.

So much of what I wanted people to understand has been communicated via this thread. I want to thank each and everyone of you for the thought and time you obviously placed into your words. You all did a great job balancing words and meanings, something that can be difficult in cyberspace.

One again, my great appreciation.
Dr Spektor
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My mind is melting - isn't this MIND INDEX Smile

I would love to see a f/u called MENTAL INDEX as MIND INDEX had such great material in it - I can't wait to see what Bill will unleash next!

And as I've posted before, the best parts are how to make emotional hooks for the participants that elevate these mentalism pieces into a 1-2-3-mind-kaboom for them!

Yowsa!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Jack Maxwell
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Yo! I've been lucky enough to watch Dr. Bill develop and perform this material for years. Not only does it devestate laymen but many of these effects are real magician foolers too.

My favorites include Mentalink, which is just too cool for school (and hands down the best thing I've ever seen done with a Frixion pen), 7 Deadly Sins which leaves the participant feeling the Doc was right there in their head and Heart2Heart which is a real panty melter!

Highly recommended!!!
It's not knowing which bridges to cross. It's knowing which ones to burn.<br><br>www.WizardsApprenticeMagic.com
Bill Cushman
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You know Bruce, when I first read F/U, I thought your post was going in an entirely differnt directcion! Phew! I really appreciate what you wrote rather than my initial fears.

Thanks Jack and it is nice to see you at the Café. Treat Jack well guys, we go way back and he is a good friend. And a completely unbiased reviewer Smile.

Who knows, maybe Christopher Taylor has just named my next ebook or effect! That should really keep people on their toes.
Dr Spektor
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Heh, sorry! I'm used to medical shorthand and when I really start typing fast, then its all a series of contractions sometimes worse than internet shorthand!

(For those who didn't get it f/u = follow-up)

I want more gold from Bill's Brain! And if it doesn't come soon, some Mi-go's from Yuggoth mind put that brain in ye olde Brain Cylinder and start recording all they can...
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
muse
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There have been a number of people over the years who have been telling me to "follow up" in that case. Doesn't explain the hand gestures they made as they were saying it though.
mindhunter
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I have finialy been able to get a couple in-depth reads of this in.

There are things in here I will certainly USE!

Mentalism with "little scraps of paper" and index cards are right up my alley, and I strongly suggest that anyone on the fence about getting this do so.

Good work, Bill!

Bryn
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darkdean
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Thank you Tony

Dean
Bill Cushman
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Bryn, I almost missed this thread being resurrected with all the craziness right now in South Florida. Your recommendation means a lot to me. Thank you very much.

As for Dr. Spektor's: "I want more gold from Bill's Brain! And if it doesn't come soon, some Mi-go's from Yuggoth mind put that brain in ye olde Brain Cylinder and start recording all they can..."

You scare me! I guess I'll just have to release something new ASAP to save the remains of my brains from the Mi-go's Smile.

Coincidentally, I had an interesting idea that I was considering releasing about a week ago until Alain Nu called me and requested I hold off as it "would be a disservice to you and the art of mentalism not to develop it a bit further." Then he asked permission to perform it in some upcoming shows, which was quite flattering.

The original two pages (apparently good things DO come in small packages), at the time known simply as "The Fource," have snowballed into quite a bit more. Any impulse I had to release it as it stood was put in check when Alain bribed me by offering two effects from his own repertoire to include in the final project.

I also am a strong believer in vetting my material (a big part of why it went to Alain, who remembers most everything, in the first place) so was waiting on just a bit more confirmation. Then I received this from the Dean of Mentalism himself, Larry Becker:

"Hi Bill. Eureka! Why the hell didn't I think of that!!!! Well we all did, but never as (deleted so as not to give the game away quite yet). It's positively brilliant. An opener par excellence.

Great thinking Bill. Just my cup of tea. Simple, powerful and memorable. You newest admirer – Best always- Larry"

This put any remaining fears to rest and to add icing to the cake, Larry also gave me a show stopping presentation to include. Though above he refers to The Fource as an opener, his take has closer written all over it.

To do a bit more name dropping, Rick Roth, Sean Waters, Tony Razzano, Millard Longman, Alexandre, Don Theo, Gabe Gabelson, Lior Manor and Enrique Enriquez among others have also provided input, routines and advice. Seriously, these are good friends who are very enthusiastic about The Fource and generously contributed a variety of presentations to apply different meanings to my basic idea. While a routine unto itself, it is also a tool that can be used in many different ways as you will soon see given Ike is merciful to South Florida.

And, again as per Alain's wise words, I have asked for and received some excellent contributions that have nothing to do with The Fource per se but are presentations that tap into the same kind of group dynamic. One or two of my own unpublished routines of this genre will also be included.

If you tend to perform one on one, or for just a few folks, The Fource will include things for you too. Much to my own surprise, despite being conceived for audiences of at least 10 people, I’ve had incredible success performing it for one person at a time. This doesn’t even make sense to me but such is the power and versatility of The Fource.

I know I'm being a big tease, but this is as much as I can share on an open forum for the time being. A lot of wonderful people are being EXTREMELY generous and I want to honor both their generosity and their discretion.

Given the approaching weather, I may be willing to share just a bit more in response to PMs or email but get to me while the electricity is still on. May The Fource be with those of us in the paths of Hannah, Ike and Josephine.
Roth
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Dr.Bills The Fource e-book is one of those "OMG why didn't I think of that moments!"

He built a better mousetrap that you guys will love. Several top names in our field, inspired by what Bill came up with have contributed to The Fource book.

You will have fun performing one on one, two on two or best yet, in front of an audience.
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muse
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Quote:
On 2008-09-06 01:15, Roth wrote:
He built a better mousetrap that you guys will love. Several top names in our field, inspired by what Bill came up with have contributed to The Fource book.


Here's my take for free. Four mousetraps are set (humane ones naturally), each with a different type of cheese as bait. You come down in the morning to find a mouse in one of the traps. You call the family round, and ask your son to open the envelope he's been keeping under his pillow all night. You point to the traps the mouse avoided, noting that the bait they contain is, from left to right, cheddar, stilton and emmental. You ask your son to open the envelope and read out, for the first time, the note it contains. "Gorgonzola" he says. Slowly, deliberately, you reveal that the mousetrap the mouse chose is baited with the very same cheese.

But now you say there's a way to force it? So much for marketing my 'It's a Moustery' effect. And it looks like my three years spent training that darn mouse have been a complete waste of time.
Bill Cushman
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Muse, remember it is the journey not the destination that is important. I'm sure your three years with the mouse taught you some valuable lessons. And just think of what you brought to the little guy's life. Smile

Another addition to the line-up; Jerome Finley: "It's wonderful!!! The Fource is JUST my type of thing and thinking I love. Well done! I'll get my contribution written up and sent to you by tomorrow afternoon."

Knowing Jerome, I'm sure we can expect some very tasty cheese!

Rick, thanks for the comment about building the better mousetrap. No one need get worried about "advanced mousetrap technology." This is one of those cases where better is easier.
Greg Arce
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Stop talking about The Fource!!!! It's too good!!!

It's definitely one of those things that is going to have everyone saying, "You mean I had the ability to do this all the time and I never thought of it!? What was I thinking!!!!?"

Thank you, Bill, for finally putting two and two together... pun intended.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
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