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Dennis The Mentalist
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Hello everyone, my name is Dennis and, although this is my first post to The Café, I'm not new to mentalism. I've been doing mentalism for about 15 years now and, before that, I dabbled in magic. Occasionally, I visit The Café to stay on top of new releases, read the reviews, and see what's happening.

Recently, David Thiel, a friend to me and many of you, sent me a copy of his eBook -Secret Assistant: The Nail Writer Primer for Novices and Pros-. Honestly, I didn't expect it to interest me very much. I thought that it was going to be a beginner's guide to nail writing. While reading it, I discovered there was something there for everyone. I told David how much I enjoyed the book and, then he did the unexpected, he asked me to write a review for The Café. At first, I was hesitant because I never post here and, you have no idea who I am. But mentalism is a small world and, when you see a good thing, you need to tell people. Although I'm feeling some first post anxiety, here we go.

To quote David, "Secret Assistant is a PRIMER on Nail Writing. It starts at the most basic level and moves up from there. This book offers new takes on classic routines, outlines the many NW options available, and provides tips for using your NW confidently, and… SECRETLY!"

But it's more than that. Besides David's excellent presentation "By The Numbers," there are presentations from Richard Osterlind, Evil Dan,
Luca Volpe, Greg Arce, Marc Salem, Alan Arita, Satori, and Neal Scryer. Many of the ploys and tips go beyond nail writing. Such as advice on eye contact, music, and audience management. There is information on the different types of nail writers from, the swami to the Retractable Thumb Writer. Have you ever wonder what do other performers think of nail writers? What is their preference? Did they have any issues? How did they solve any problems? If so, you will want to read what Eric Samuels, Millard Longman, Richard Osterlind, Greg Arce, Luca Volpe, Joe Zabel, Jheff, Neal Scryer, Jamie Salinas, Paul Prater, and Christopher Taylor have to say.

Maybe you are not adept at using a nail writer and, you are tired of hearing all you need to do is practice. Well, Secret Assistant goes in depth on how to use a nail writer and gives you exercises to help improve your skills.

In the past, I've not taken advantage of the powers of the nail writer. But after reading Secret Assistant, I'm going to give the little guy a try.

You can find out more here:
David Thiel
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Dennis: thank you for this. I appreciate your kind words.

There's nothing sexy about a nail writer. In the beginning they are awkward to use and finding the one that suits you can be a long process. You can't use them right out of the box and even finding the right model for you is a daunting process. That's why I included advice from other performers as well. Richard Osterlind talks about his choice, for example -- and the one he uses is my least favourite of the lot. Different strokes...

So why write a book about them?

There is no more versatile device on the market. When you've put in a relatively short period of time working to master them (and let's face it: all you really need to learn for many effects is how to make an X or a checkmark) you're set for a pile of different effects: predictions, empathy, remote viewing, thought transference -- even 'spirit writing' and so much more.

A NW isn't like most props. It's not designed to do one effect. It makes dozens of effects possible!

Nothing defines 'packs small plays big' like a NW.

I won't do a show without one. Not stage...not close-up...not a trade show...not parlour.

I never expected this book would sell as well as it has. I just thought there needed to be a modern book on the topic. I am SO glad that so many newer mentalists including yourself are seeing how many options this one prop opens up.

Thanks again for your kindness in posting this, Dennis.

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.
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