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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » KINGS NEVER DIE by Fraser Parker & Ross Tayler (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Craigers
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Anyone ??
Magidoc
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I believe you do NOT have to own the originals in order to understand each effect. I only own Ouija and not ECROF but I felt like they gave plenty for ECROF for me to understand the workings and psychology behind it. When I originally read it I felt it was very similar to something Peter Turner tipped in his second penguin lecture which I have been using since it's air date to much success and ECROF is no different. A very nice impromptu way of having someone change their mind on, say, a location and being able to reveal with comfortable accuracy. Ouija from KND doesn't go into detail about the psychology behind the method but that's because they had more than just Ouija to talk about. Ross' update to the routine was much appreciated and is now the way I perform it (if I'm not performing Rose). They go over everything you need to perform Ouija but if you wanted to know the finer details (which I don't think is necessary since this updated version is much better IMO) then buy the original. Other than that, I very much enjoyed the O/Circle Force and use it as a sort of KK routine and what's nice about their script is that if they don't go for the card you wanted them to, you are still able to narrow down their selection which makes it easier to fish for and guess what they're thinking. I also am experimenting with the birthday reveal which albeit relies on participant involvement, can be very direct and clean.

This release will be a highly valued piece to my collection as these methods are reliable and just a blast to perform. After reading and understanding the routines I performed for someone that is practically impervious to psy forces and the like since I have practiced almost every method under the sun to. But when I performed a handful of effects from this release for her I hit everything with 100% accuracy. I highly recommend this release to anyone that is as enthusiastic about the psychology behind propless mentalism as I am.

Michael
Craigers
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Thankyou for the detailed response Magidoc
Magidoc
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No problemo
Martin Pulman
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I'm surprised that this release hasn't received more attention. Of all the material that has been released by Fraser Parker and Ross Tayler this is by far the best value for money, in my opinion. It is an entertaining introduction to prop-less mentalism for those who want a thorough and detailed grounding in the approach. It includes a mixture of effects -some that were previously released and some that are unique to this release.

One of the most interesting things about 'KND' is that, rather than an e-book, it is a two hour recorded conversation between Fraser and Ross. The recording sometimes veers from the sublime to the ridiculous but is always engaging and informative. There is a slightly awkward, uneven balance between the two hosts with Ross apparently extemporising while Fraser often sounds, oddly, to be reading from a prepared script. There is also a definite slight competitive edge in the air -at one point Fraser talks about a Ross effect that he has "cleaned up and made simpler", while Ross describes Fraser's "adjustments" as "tinkering". There is a very distinct sense of a master/apprentice dynamic going on, with more than a hint from Ross that he is preparing to usurp the master and seize the prop-less throne for himself. It makes for a very entertaining listen.

In the past I've not really been a massive fan of Fraser Parker's approach to mentalism -it seems to me his work lacks either the sheer creative spark of inspiration of a Peter Turner or Michael Murray or the attention to detail and guarantee of real world testing of an Atlas Brookings. It is also very often over-priced -Utsukushii being the most egregious example. My opinion hasn't really been totally changed by 'Kings' -too much of the material relies on momentary spectator confusion followed by 're-framing" -but you get a wide selection of effects here, and you're sure to find something that, even if you don't use it as is, will spark some ideas of your own. And I applaud them both for their dedication to trying to simplify the process in prop-less.

And you get a LOT of effects for your money, including:

OUIJA: a billet-less name divination. Here the hosts acknowledge that they received some negative feedback from this effect when it was first released. It relies on the confusion/ reframe principle and struck me as rather weak compared to other prop-less approaches to this plot. But there are some nice subtleties included in the presentation.

CIRCLE FORCE/'O': A thought of card routine using principles explored by Michael Murray and Russ Andrews among others. You get to follow the evolution of the effect from an unfinished idea in 'True Mysteries' through Ross's update to Fraser's cleaned up and simplified version. Lots of nice ideas to ponder here.

ECROF: An evolution of the principles used in the previous effect to non-card effects. This may possibly be a strong concept but it is very poorly served by the examples here. 'Alaska' is oddly given as an example of a cold country, while I'm not sure naming a "sport played by old people" is ever going to win the "restricting without seeming restrictive award".

There is however an interesting version of the effect using a childhood memory that is topped and tailed by Fraser and Ross debating the ethics of including the effect on the recording. Happily, they include it, and it is the most fascinating and entertaining ten minutes on 'Kings'.

RE-FRAME CARD FORCE: A card force using a physical deck of cards. Ironically this may be one of the strongest effects here. It doesn't really seem to fit with the concept of the project but it does illustrate the possible uses of the re-frame outside of the prop-less genre.

RE-FRAME PSYCHOMETRY: Ross shares a natural principle that he has added to his table-hopping psychometry. This is almost Geller-esque in its brazenness.

CENTRE TEAR JUSTIFICATION: A nice surprise as billets suddenly appear on the menu. Ross outlines a method for placing your written prediction on the table before you perform the tear. This is genuinely brilliant thinking.

DATE OF BIRTH REVEAL: A very thorough and useful investigation of binary cues. Ross divines a month Fraser is thinking of then explains some ideas for arriving at an exact date of birth proplessly.

STRUCK DUMB NAME GUESS: Ross rather clumsily performs an effect derived from True Mysteries where a spectator is apparently unable to speak a thought-of-name. The performer then reveals the name. An improvement on the original effect, but I found it equally underwhelming.

The recording rather abruptly ends at his point. it's a shame they didn't record a nice final statement to wrap the project up. There is however a bonus 'Which Hand" routine on the pdf which comes with the MP3. This is a purely psychological version of the effect and includes a spectator as mindreader variation.

The true worth of 'Kings Never Die' is not so much in the effects,however, but in the discussion of audience management, spectator rapport and various principles and subtleties as they relate to prop-less mentalism. It's not all great: Ross sometimes betrays his youth and inexperience -he tells us he only fully realised his psychological forces may not have been universally applicable when he travelled a few miles away to go to university and started mixing with a wider variety of people -and there is evidence here of the slightly embarrassing tendency some mentalists have of naming every minor adjustment and thought as a pretentiously titled "principle". But Ross and Fraser definitely demonstrate here that they have a deep knowledge of their subject.

I apologise for going into so much depth in this review, but the churn of effects is incredible these days and I think good releases can fall off the radar far too quickly. For £30 this is a very worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in the principles of prop-less mentalism. And the idea of presenting the material as an audio recording in the style of 'Wonder Words' is a great one that should perhaps be explored more often.
Ross Tayler
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Hey Martin,

Thanks for the review, its very honest and I certainly agree with many of the criticisms (particularly pertaining to my performance of Struck Dumb, which I agree on listening back was awkward as arse.)

The Alaska point tickles me. I remember in the Ecrof PDF making a point of this part of the scripting being illogical, but using it because I found spectator's to make the mistake. Unfortunately I forgot to include this clarification in the audio, and have thus ended up looking something of a muppet. (BTW, if you're interested, give me your email and I'll shoot over the original PDF. It contains a few other forces and a more detailed breakdown of some of my thoughts - which should clarify why I think the process itself creates the result of "restricting without seeming restrictive" - despite the apparently narrow categories.)

That I'm youthful and RELATIVELY (I wish it was possible to use italics, or apply emphasis to that less aggressively than via capitalisation) inexperienced is also fair. With it made clear that I've been doing paid performances for around 5 or 6 years, and been intensely involved in magic for more than twice that time. I'd fully concede that this is inexperienced compared to many, but still sufficient to have formed clear understanding and perhaps even some insight. The point on psychological forces was less to do with a theoretical understanding of altering forces for demographics, and more to do with the move from the Midlands to the South West being the first personal experience I'd had of that, due to my performances having been geographically confined.

The "Principle" thing is an amusing observation, which I share with you. I think so far as it goes in my work, I find breaking even the smallest subtleties down into principles to be creatively useful, as creating new effects, methods and routines is simplified into a process of combining principles and seeing how they work together. I agree however that it can appear to border on the ridiculous. Hands up!

I also agree that the ending is clunky, and if we pursue a project like this again in the future, we'll be sure to heed your advice.

Overall, I'm glad that you seem to have enjoyed the product in at least some aspects. That you found it to be entertaining listening particularly satisfies me, as I know that this was a large part of the goal going in. Any further advice you could give on improving the format in the future would be appreciated.

I'd be very gratified to hear of your experimentation with the reframe card force. This is something of which I'm particularly proud and have received a lot of great feedback on. I use it very often, and getting to see it performed by someone else for the first time recently was a real treat!

Thanks both for the kind compliments and constructive criticism, they really are appreciated.

Best wishes,

Ross.
Martin Pulman
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No worries Ross. 'Kings' has got me through quite a few rainy, autumnal drives around London recently. If you are a fan of prop-less it's a must buy, in my opinion.
NeverMind
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Hi Ross,

No black friday for us? Smile

Even kings should celebrate black friday/cyber monday
It is better to be trusted than liked.
Under promise. Over perform.
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