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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Richard Osterlind - Mind Mysteries 1 - Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

revelation77
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Hey guys,
I wrote this review a little while ago, in fact it was my first review ever so it might not be up to every one’s standards but I tried to go really in depth, so do enjoy, comment and all constructive criticism is welcome. Also, I’m sorry about any grammatical errors, I ran a spell check but it sometimes doesn’t work. Enjoy.

Richard Osterlind – Mind Mysteries #1 (the act)

*The DVD*
Every couple of months, I believe, a product comes along that is just a gift to the magic community. This series is a gift from Richard. I guess from that statement you can tell that I like the product. You’re right. Here’s the review.
The DVD is well put together and is in the standard L&L publishing format. It is easy to navigate and it gets you were you want to go quickly (if that makes sense). It starts with Richard Osterlind’s full stand up show which runs for around 45 minutes and is performed for the traditional annoying and over-reacting L&L audience but that doesn’t take anything away from it. It is then taught with Jim Sisti by his side (just like Scott Wells in the Banachek PSI DVDs). It was really great to see a true professional do his thing and just mould one trick into another and just solidly entertain. I will go through each trick with a description, method/explanation and rating.

Description – What the trick looks like.
Method/Explanation – Is the method good and is it taught well.
Rating – A rating out of 10 for both difficulty and awesomeness.

**Bank Night**
The traditional ‘bank night’ routine has been in magic for years but Richards handling is by far my favourite.

Description
The performer shows 5 envelopes and asks who would like to participate in a game and that inside one of the envelopes is a $100 bill and you can keep whatever is inside of your envelopes. 4 audience members are chosen and each take an envelope and 3 of them open it...empty. The 4th spectator is asked whether or not they would like to switch envelopes with the performer. Every time the performer finishes with the $100 bill in their envelope. And the spectator is left with a little surprise inside their envelope. This completely gets rid of the traditional “I win, you lose” aspect of the trick which is a fantastic thing.

Method/Explanation
This is a fantastic safe method that makes it impossible to lose. It makes use of a magicians gimmick that I would say that most of you have and if not you can buy it really cheap from any magic store. The trick is such a great opener and I love what Richard has done to better the end of the classic effect. Richard teaches it extremely well and shows some tips on how to make the handling more clean and goes through different variables making sure that it hits hard every time. He also gives you some tips on how to stop nerves right before a show and going into your opener.

Ratings
Difficulty – 4 - making some moves look natural
Awesomeness – 8 - Great opener

**The Perfected Centre Tear**
This is an awesome variation of the classic centre tear, where there are no tricky steals or peeks and you gain the information

Description
The performer takes out a ‘billet’, index card or business card and folds it in half and writes the spectator’s name on the outside. They unfold it and draw a line in the middle of the card. The performer asks the spectator to think of someone and write it down on the card and fold it back up. The spectator does this while the performers back is turned. The performer then tears up the card and places the pieces in the spectators hand and names the person they were thinking of. Simple as that.

Method/Explanation
The method is brilliant! No stealing and at the end of the trick the spectator can piece the pieces back together and see the name torn into pieces. You don’t need to burn the card or unnecessarily go to your pockets. You gain the information while you’re tearing. You can do this naked and surrounded (for all those nudist shows on a circular stage that I know you guys have got lined up). In the extras, Richard shows how the PCT can hold it’s own as he does it 4 times in a row followed by a swami prediction, completely surrounded and still has the audience scratching their heads. Richard’s explanation is brilliant and in depth with an ‘over the shoulder’ camera taking you step by step and giving you tips on being surrounded. This is also marketed separately and can be found at Osterlind’s website, I do not have this booklet, but I have heard that this DVD is the best way to learn it.

Ratings
Difficulty – 7 ½ - Some things are a little tricky there is a fair bit of heat on one move.
Awesomeness – 9 – I think you can tell that I really like this.

**Radar Deck**
I used to think that cards belonged in magic and shouldn’t be touched by mentalists. This trick proved me wrong.

Description
The Performer shows a pack of cards and 4 audience members volunteer. A quarter of the deck is fanned in front of each spectators face and they are each asked to mentally note a card. The performer then names each card. He even names the cards they changed their minds on! Don’t believe me? Here’s Richard’s performance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wSEenzsKPY

Method/Explanation
This is SO good. It requires a gimmicked deck that cannot be examined but Richard teaches you a simple deck switch so you can hand it out for examination. The deck is available for purchase at a few stores, I got mine here - http://penguinmagic.com/specialorderproduct.php?ID=3239 or Richard teaches you how to make one for around $12 or so. I would however recommend the marketed one for reasons I will soon discuss. There is a small about of memory involved and you will have to memorize a bunch of cards but this does not take more than an hour. There is some fishing involved as you can see in the video but it is not obvious as fishing and Richard recommends in the explanation that this be pulled off as “you are getting a few cards in your mind and you just need to sort them out”. Richard explains it well but not perfectly, he goes into the history of the effect which is quite interesting but to be honest, I bought the marketed deck and it came with a 20 page booklet that I learnt more from than the video about how to perform and it goes into some ‘what ifs’ and what to say if you have certain types of spectators. It is a fantastic trick that is in my performing set and just works.

Ratings
Difficulty – 3 – Small amount of memory but mostly in the presentation.
Awesomeness – 8 – This is more than just a card trick...it’s mind reading.

**The Watch Routine**
This was my favourite effect on the DVD. This really demonstrates how Richard creates ‘moments’ in an effect.

Description
The performer states that he wishes to do an experiment in time. A spectator comes up and is asked to think of a time that is important to her and to write it down on a business card or ‘billet’ of similar size. The performer then writes something on a chalk board while staring into the spectators eyes. He then takes off his watch (analogue) and shows that if you twist the stem the time changes and the arms move around in circles. A second spectator spins it, the performer spins it, then the second spectator holds it face down and just spins the stem until they feel like they need to stop. They then push the stem in. The first spectator then names the time and the performer shows the chalk board and the times match, he then asks the second spectator to turn the watch over and say the time aloud. All the times match. Incredible.

Method/Explanation
This is just amazing. It is just a powerful effect that can be done close up or on stage. There is SO much thought put into this. Richard teaches the Acidus Novus Peek and teaches it well and how to cover the angles and for those who already know the Acidus Novus, Richard covers the only flaw in the Peek. The empty space. Richard creates a perfect reason for the spectator to write where they need to write. Richard explains it all with an ‘over the shoulder’ camera and gives tips on technique. The watch is not gimmicked but some watches will work better than others. Richard lays a number of watches on the table and teaches you how to use a spectator’s watch for the effect making it even stronger.

Ratings
Dificulty – 6
Awesomeness – 9 – I really like this one.

**Thought Scan**
Originally marketed for $250- http://osterlindstore.com/catalog/produc......ts_id/38 , a modern Q & A routine. John Edwards, watch your <edited>...

Description
A number of small cards are handed out to the audience and they are asked to write down any sort of information; names, numbers, dates, anything that is significant to that spectator. They small cards are then collected up in envelopes and the performer places them aside and takes out a clipboard to record certain data or things as they come to him. He then calls out things like “Who went to LA on a holiday? You? Okay, you thinking of a boy, do you have children? Yes? This boy is your son, Jason?” and continues to do this until the audience’s brain is totally fried.

Method/Explanation
Richard goes into details on the history of the effect and what he does. He goes into steals and some easy methods. He shows the workings of his marketed “Thought Scan Board” and how you could make your own or use other folders to acheive the same effect. He teaches a small amount of cold reading and really recommends that you look into some material. It really works well. It personally doesn’t suit me as a performer but who knows? I may end up doing it one day.

Ratings
Difficulty – 4 to 8 – It really depends on circumstances.
Awesomeness – 7

**Magazine Test**
I know I said that the watch routine was my favourite on the DVD...this is too. There are some book tests marketed for $100, $200+ this just wipes the floor with them.

Description
The performer picks up a chalk board, holds it at his chest and writes something down (audience cannot see), he then stops puts a line through what he has written and says “No, do you ever change your mind? I just changed mine, I’ll go with this” and he writes something else. The performer holds a magazine as a spectator slips in an ad card (the ones that come in the magazine) into the magazine and open it up where the ad card is. The spectator initials the corner of the page and then holds the magazine and a pen behind their back and the performer asks them to draw a circle around the size of a dime towards the centre of the page. The spectator then is asked to name aloud how many words the pen has touched “five or six” is the common response. The performer then says “If I was to shoot an arrow at the circle, what word would be ‘bullseye’?” The spectator says “Weinstein” (it can be any word, this is an example) The performer then says “Are you sure? I mean, is it really in the centre because I can see another word there.” Then performer then says “Yeah, the word ‘Abroad’ is there but that’s not exactly centre” “Would you be impressed with ‘Abroad’ though?” “Yeah, I guess” “But Weinstein is the word you want?” “Yes” The performer then turns the chalk board around and on it is the word ‘Abroad’ with a line through it and the word ‘Weinstein’ below.

Method/Explanation
The method is genius and works really well. Richard takes you in-depth on where to stand what angle you should stand at. He teaches with Jim Sisti being the spectator. I don’t really know what to say...it’s brilliant. It does require a bit of setup but other than that it is fantastic.

Ratings
Difficulty – 7 – There’s a few things that might not come without practise.
Awesomeness – 10...maybe a 9 – I don’t believe in perfection but it comes close.

**Linking Finger Rings**
Why is this on a Mentalism DVD? It is an experiment on ‘mind-over-matter’.

Description
The performer borrows three finger rings from three different spectators. He then slides them onto a pencil and then pulls them off...they are linked. Each spectator is then called up to identify that their ring is really linked and really is their ring. One ring is then separated and given back to the first spectator. There are now two rings linked together and both spectators come up and identify their ring and the performer grabs one ring and you hear the snap of metal as he yanks the two apart. He then gives the rings to each spectator, the rings ar completely fine.

Method/Explanation
This was probably my least favourite effect. It requires a gimmick that can be purchased for around $30-$50. Not to say it’s not a good effect it just didn’t have the power and astonishment factor that the others had. I also questioned its place in a Mentalism show because it looks like a trick. Just a trick. There is also too much covering up and clenched fists and it just looks messy. Richard does a good job of explaining it and also goes into the history of the effect and talks about the legendary Al Koran.

Ratings
Difficulty – 8 – Knacky moves
Awesomeness – 3 – a bit on the ‘dull’ side, I thought.

-Extras-
On the extras there is a really interesting interview of Richard talking about disclaimers. He has some really interesting views and ideas that have really helped me in my thoughts of adding disclaimers to my show.
After the interview there is the performance, this is the one where Osterlind performs the PCT again and again for the same audience and they are still befuddled, that’s right....befuddled.
There are also some trailers of other L&L Publishing material; Dan Harlan, Michael Ammar etc.

-Overall-
This is an insane DVD that I would recommend to anyone. I think that this would help the beginner to the pro, if they are all willing to put in the work.
Price - $35 or so – I would have payed $150 and still would have given a glowing review.
For what you get, $35 is a small price to pay.
Overall Ratings
Difficulty – 6/7
Awesomeness – 9
M Sini
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Agreed. There is a wealth of information packed in this DVD.
ElliottB
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Thank you for posting such a well written and detailed review. I agree that Mind Mysteries #1 is a "must own" video. Richard Osterlind’s other material is also quite excellent. I am especially fond of his "Easy to Master Mental Miracles" series.
revelation77
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Thanks...it was a bit of a long review but I hope it convinces you to get this incredible DVD!
Mentalist Sam
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Mind Mysteries # 1 is a must have for one reason - to study a pro's solid act. I have all of Richard's DVDs and Volume 1 of the Mind Mysteries series is the best of all of them. Volume 2, which covers the Breakthrough Card System is excellent too if you want to learn the system, however just from studying "an act", you can't beat this. I would also recommend getting his Mind Mysteries Guide Book Volume 1 which is Richard's written work of what appears on the DVD.

Personally I feel that Richard's material is harder to do correctly than it initially appears. There is a lot of work going on there although he makes it look easy. The companion guidebook gives you a lot more insight to the act.
in flames
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When Mind Mysteries came out, I was completely blown away.

Volume 1 is sick. As are the rest of the volumes.

These DVDs (for me) still sit on my top 10.

Thanks for the review
will4gzus
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Great review. I have this DVD and it is still one of my best all time purchase. Everything I have bought that Richard has put out has been a true gem. I feel priveledged to get such great information from a true master of the art.
Turk
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Thanks for the nice detailed review. Although I have had the series for years, it was nice to read such a detailed review and one where you justified your opinions for each effect.

Like some of the other postrers on this thread, I think MM, volume 1 is the best in the series. It is really informative to sit back and analyze Richard's act (that he had been doing for years) and see how and why he put these items together into a set act. Also, his "bits of business" and his audience interaction/repartee was worth the price of the video. And, I agree that purchasing his guidebook for this (and for his other MM volumes) is a very valuable thing to do and to have. In the guidebook(s), you will learn things that Richard either considered and/or used in his presentatins and then later took out--and why.

Between the video and the guidebook you have a crash post graduate course in effective mentalism and performance presentation.

Mike
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This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Mentalist Sam
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Here's an important detail that hasn't been discussed regarding Volume 1. As mentioned, it's basically Richard's bread & butter act. A couple of substitutions have been made, which he discusses in the Guidebook, however the main material is there.

Now what is important is that most L&L DVDs don't have complete shows. The Hilford DVDs are great, however it's edited with one effect after another without transitions between effects or a proper running order. Banachek is the same way.

The Falkenstein & Willard DVD may show their act, but I'm not sure as it's been a while since I've seen it.

Everyone seems to gravitate towards Volume 1 because of this reason. I'm not saying the other material isn't good, but it's not as smooth and polished as what we seen on Volume 1.

It seems that Richard does try to put the material into sets so there is a beginning, middle and end. Even with the Easy To Master series the material is presented that way.

Personally I think this makes a big difference.
Pauldela
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Hey Rev, nice review.
bond19
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Great review.. reminded me why it is my most valued DVD in my (100+) collection
TheMag1cian
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Getting my hands on this one ASAP!
NFW
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You won't be disappointed, great to watch and learn both for the effects and Richards act.
maxnew40
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It is an amazing DVD for sure, and is just full of usefull workers that everyone should be able to find a use for.

-Max
TheMag1cian
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I agree whole-heartedly with basically this entire review. I'd like this person to review every magic product that comes out. Fantastic. Few things. I want to try out the magazine test but can't seem to find the props used in this effect (those who have seen the DVD know what Im talking about). Anyone have a source/link, etc? Also, while we're at it, where can I find a watch that does what Osterlind's does? Searched every watch at Walmart and couldn't find one like this. Next .. anyone have issues with spec's calling to the Radar deck? Would it not be advantageous to deal the cards face down and ask the spec to say when to stop? Although I trust Richard's subjective account that it's extremely rare if not nonexistent that a spectator will notice anything, I've always been one to eliminate any possibilities. I'm knee-deep in mentalism. I used to stand in front of the mirror and have that innate passion for fooling my eyes. Now I have this innate passion to tap in to peoples cognitive faculties and I have Richard to thank for this. This guy's my hero. Thanks for being such an influential figure in the magic/mentalism community Richard. Your footprints will never be forgotten!
Olympic Adam
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I posted my thoughts on this in my blog today, I know it's an old one but how does it fare today?
thementalcoach
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I own Mind Mysteries 1, I think it is great both for learning the effects AND how to present them. What I find especially valuable with the Mind Mysteries dvd's (I own several) is watching Osterlind's interactions with the audience, pre, during and post-effect. I also agree that buying the guidebooks adds a lot to the dvd. I'm a big believer in overlearning, and combining the dvd, guidebook, and pad of paper to make notes really helps with that.
David Kenward - The Mental Coach
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The Mysterious One
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99% of ideas that come from Mr. Osterlind is solid gold. I love his thinking, his approach, and his mentalism. Mind Mysteries 1 is an excellent DVD . I have used several of the routines professionally combined with my own touches.
Ashton
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Got Mind Mysteries # 1 for Christmas and it's so great! Seeing an experienced professional like Mr. Osterlind perform and then teach what he does, how he does it and why he does certain things was so valuable to me. Now I want all of the other DVDs in this set!
Sh9bum9
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I agree with the other previewers. Even though I may not do some of the effects, I love how nice they're explained and written up. What a thinker!
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