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Are your performances unique?
"I have never seen anything remotely like that. I don't even know what to call it?"
The long awaited new ebook from the creator of Mitox is finally here!
I have always sought to open my audience's minds to new ideas, to help them see the world with new eyes. Picture an audience's reactions when they share an impossible moment so potent and powerful that it echoes into their normal lives and adjusts their perceptions of the ordinary world. Now imagine yourself being the one to deliver it, a unique act of mentalism that uses the illusion of our art to bring focus to those who experience it.
In my book Mitox I expressed my philosophy of mentalism, that each one of us should become something unique, that we should, through the characters we bring to life with the tools of our art, become something beyond real. In premise, I suggested that we mentalists had hit the mother-lode, the over-arcing lie that took mentalism from a chain of tricks bound together with charisma and chicanery and lead it into the realm of something completely different. Through your premise you could turn your back on the mainstream of mind readers and become someone that is as unrecognisably different from psychics and psychological illusionists as those individuals are from the people to whom they perform.
Now, with Yokai, it is time to take this roadmap and follow it to the next level. To illuminate the corners of the darkened room with new techniques and approaches, and to think again about what it means to become someone else. To think again about power and premise and to see what happens when the you follow the cutting edge right to the point.
Who are you?
Since the release of Mitox I have been deeply involved in researching and developing the next logical step, to try and bring mentalism out of the shadows of the unthinking tradition of crystal balls and the trappings of the psychic. With the same mindset of simplicity and organic design, I have developed and extended the toolkit that Mitox represented, to add to the set of techniques and ideas from which we all draw our inspiration. To throw something into the pond that will stir it up.
Yokai is the report back from the coalface. A snapshot of my findings, my thoughts and the new directions my studies have taken since the last die was cut. This year I have dug deeper. Feeling out new approaches to the premise sketches that littered Mitox, new ways to explore what it means to do what we do and how it feels to be someone capable of peeling back the layers of reality.
What it all means?
An undercurrent through so much of the communications I've had this last long year with many of the thinkers in mentalism's underground is the theme of what our field means, and what it means to be a mentalist. Yokai is more than just a book of killer effects, it follows this theme and I look at different ideas along the way. Can what we do be an art? Can we find a meaning even deeper than that of entertainment, and can the unreal world of mentalism shine an impossible light on the real world?
15 Powerful Effects
I still like things to be as simple as possible, and I still hate fussy gimmicks and gaffs. Strong effects are still the order of the day, but in Yokai I ask how this philosophy of organic mentalism can expand exponentially for serious performers who are ready to invest themselves in something truly impossible.
In Mitox I claimed anything difficult was out. Between the covers of Yokai every effect is accessible and straightforward, there are still no difficult sleight of hand manoeuvres, still no complicated or unlikely props. Every prop is cheap, ungimmicked or easy to make.
Yokai is the next step, and not every step can be as easy as the first.
In Yokai there are a few effects that have advanced methods. Difficult methods. For each of these effects a simpler method is presented, with minimum compromise and adjustment, but the pure method is there for those who are not afraid to open their minds. If you have read Thumbscrews, you will know exactly what I am talking about. In Yokai we find out exactly what is possible when we take that step. Turns out it's pretty incredible:
A simple solution to a fun one on one reading takes a turn for the strange as you predict the random outcome of the participants future choices.
The Mitox Deck
A powerful and fun mnemonic structure for building your own unique memorised deck.
After years of development the flexible Quinta force is presented in its streamlined practical form. A completely fair alternative to equivoque Quinta is the simple utility principle that your toolbox has been crying out for. Force anything!
A handful of fair dice are rolled and their totals summed, randomly selecting a number that matches the number rolled by a dice that has been in your spectator's pocket all along.
Transmission Control Protocol
An un-addressed envelope makes its way between audience members before stopping at a random helper, the same random helper to whom the letter is written?
An expanded solution to Mitox's Knowledge 3 with borrowed items.
A totally impossible card location using an under-explored and completely invisible principle.
With nothing more than a torn up daily newspaper you read the minds of up to twenty audience members, News Deck is an incredible piece of practical pared-down mentalism.
Not just an effect, SIRVA is an amazing, comprehensive paranormal experience. SIRVA gives you the ability to present a remote viewing workshop with an ending more incredible than anyone could have imagined. Including you, right now.
A chain of thoughts leads your spectators on a mental journey to an unlikely destination, which you easily pluck from their minds.
Control Zone Nail Bend
They pick a straight nail, you put it into their open hand, and it bends. Simple, clean and straightforward, with the Control Zone you give them a permanent memento of the paranormal experience.
You interview spectators for the role of helper, with an amusing series of mental puzzles before picking one through a random process, an applicant who is described in impossible detail in your contract.
You create an artificially intelligent system with three simple props, one that can itself tell what choices the spectator has made, and even reveal information that no-one, even you yourself, could logically know.
The WordLock solved! A comprehensive system for turning the letter-code WordLock into a mind reading device, no hardware modification, no strange props or superfluous cards and restrictions. They pick any possible word and input it, and you reveal it letter by letter.
Read Phill's thoughts on the power and potential of premise in performance, the impact of the moment, the art of mentalism and the potency of possibility, as well as a grab bag of unique and incredible premises that banish "I'm psychic" to the history books.
Yokai includes a bonus insight into Phill's exciting experiments in modernising an ancient performing theme...