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‘Make Do and Mentalism’ by Alexander Marsh

An unsolicited review by Andy Fisher


When I opened the manuscript of Alex’s new release ‘Make Do and Mentalism’ I was a little surprised by its brevity; at 29 pages I wondered whether it might be a little light on content. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Alex presents 6 solid, field-tested routines in this offering that do not patronise the reader by delivering possible patter outlines but instead focus upon the essential message of the book – that with a little innovation and routining, utility items can be made from what we already carry in our pockets which can be then be used to deliver knockout mentalism for every occasion.

For months now I been carrying around a marketed peek wallet which is conspicuous by its pristine condition and I still have to force myself to treat it as I would any other mundane piece of pocketware! I am sure you are guilty of the same thing – props can be so expensive and can become so cherished, that they can threaten to compromise the authenticity of an otherwise well-conceived routine. Alex comes from another angle entirely and asks two simple but powerful questions – what do I already carry around with me? How can these items be modified to replace the need for some of the ‘must-have’ props that are the bread and butter of the psychological entertainer?

The result is a treasure trove of real-world and workable material from a performer who never loses sight of the fact that a memorable performance is not about the adventure of the props in the wonder-worker’s hands (apologies to Eugene Burger for butchering his line!) but is about the effect achieve from an audience’s perspective.

Is this a worthwhile investment? Well I propose a little experiment to arrive at an answer to this question – go online to a number of magic dealers and estimate the costs of purchasing a peek wallet, a card to wallet, an add-a-number pad, a utility number force device, a set of pocket indexes and a gaffed combination padlock. Once you have recovered from the shock of just how much of our pocket money we blow on these wonderful gimmicks, look again at the modest sum Alex is asking in exchange for his manuscript – enough said!
'Reading people and bringing them together'

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I already have The Miser's Peek Wallet on the original Hybrid Mentalism book, a perfectly fine number pad, a gimmicked lock and totally great pocket index.
But I'm glad I bought this anyway!

I really like Alexander's thinking and writing. There's a cheekiness to the routines and even though I have many of the commercial versions of these effects (and sometimes several versions), there were all kinds of touches and presentational ideas and advice on handling that made this a great value to me.

This was a rare case where the Bonus effects and ideas really were Bonus!

If you don't have some of these things already in your arsenal, it's a no-brainer-- and if you do-- I still think it's a great value.

"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
Alexander Marsh
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You flatter me with your comments gentlemen
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