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Trio Review

Official Review

March 4th, 2008 12:11pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Unless you are a well read mentalist, you have probably never heard of Jack Kent Tillar. You probably also don’t know him as the inventor of the classic “Blister” effect from Tarbell #7. Prior to reading “Trio” I didn’t know his name either, but based on the contents of this book, Mr. Tillar is a man who knows a great deal about the difficult to pull off world of the professional mentalist.

According to the author’s note, Mr. Tillar has been performing mentalism since the 1940’s. His writing reflects this extensive experience. “Trio” is filled with not only solid performance pieces, routined together into a well paced shows, but also includes countless bits of advice that could only have been gleaned from thousands of performances. Unlike most magicians and mentalists, he also has an extensive background in psychology, theater and production. Put this all together and you have a man worth listening to.

“Trio” is a collection of 3 of Mr. Tillar’s previously released manuscripts, each one an act unto itself. You will find no new, edgy principles or methods, but what you will find is a survey of some of the most useful and effective methods used in mentalism. Further, Mr. Tillar combines these methods in intelligent and deceptive ways and couches them in interesting and varied presentations. He even goes so far as to include much of his script, which is fast paced, clever and motivated. This is a particularly useful addition as mentalism can be very difficult to script effectively.

“Trio” begins with the “The Naked Mentalist,” a stage show composed of 7 effects needing no pre-show work, special props or gimmicks. I particularly liked his clever pseudo psychometry reading couched in a handwriting analyis presentation and his strong design duplication where audience members do both the sending AND receiving.

This is followed by “The Intimate Mentalist,” a set of 6 “close-up” mentalist routines again needing no special props or gimmicks. This was my least favorite of the 3 sections, though it did have a nice dictionary test and another entertaining pseudo psychometry routine.

Lastly is the “Fund Raising Mentalist,” my favorite of the 3 sections. In this part, Mr. Tillar goes into an in-depth and complete explanation of how to do a classic Q&A act, complete with warm ups, subtleties and a stunning climax. He leaves no stone unturned, covering everything from how to handle the pre-show work to tips on negotiating fees. My guess is that the fund raising market is relatively untapped and Mr. Tillar covers a lot of valuable information that would come in very handy for anyone trying to enter this field.

My only complaint is that the book ends with a description of how to do post-show readings and pitch book sales. This is a very volatile issue in the field of mentalism, and has been for some time. Whether to include this kind of material in your show is a personal choice, but I personally find it offensive, insulting and a bit slimy. That is, of course, my opinion, and it does not diminish in any way the quality of the preceding material.

If you’re interested in a broad range of strong and varied mentalism effects, using tried and true techniques, explained by a man who has performed the items countless times, look no further. There is a great deal of quality information to be gleaned from this book. And as the original manuscripts each originally cost $35, combining all three for $60 is quite a deal, especially in the overpriced world of mentalism. If you want a survey of some of the best methods found in mentalism, “Trio” would be a good place to start.
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Product info for Trio

Author: Jack Kent Tillar
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $60.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Three complete acts for the solo mentalist:


A Complete 30 Min. "No Prop" Mental Act Using No Gimmicks!

This remarkable act consists of 7 powerful impromptu effects which play BIG and build to an exceptional finale. Each routine is strong enough to stand alone, so--mix or match, use one of more, add your pet effects, but USe this great material!
Note: Nudity Not Required.


  • No Nail-writers!
  • No Center Tears!
  • No Copies
  • No Switches!

Six classics of mentalism make up this beautiful act - in the style of the great Dr. Stanley Jaks. Each effect has been carefully restructured with fresh twists and turns. These are subtle NEW METHODS and SETTINGS. This is a NO CARDS and NO PRE-SHOW act you carry in your pocket.


  • NO Confederates!
  • NO Carbons!
  • NO Palmed or Pocketed Slips!
This is the EASIEST and possibly the BEST version ever released of the famous Thought Reading part of Dunninger's act. It is trouble-free and highly polished after years of performances at charity and church affairs.

This is the two-part FULL EVENING'S ENTERTAINMENT that also led to numerous private and TV appearances. NOTHING is being held back!

Also included! The REAL SECRETS of the lucrative after-show readings and sales.

Pages 104 - Softbound

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