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The Collection Review

Official Review

December 19th, 2014 11:46am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
The Collection is a collaboration by prolific mentalist, Kenton Knepper and his student, Luca Volpe, who is a top-notch mentalist in his own right. The book contains four effects and touches upon the philosophy of and approach to mentalism and its underlying psychology. Although the book is very short, some of the topics covered are deep and potentially powerful material with the right presenter and spectator.

The first routine, “Headline Prediction”, is more of a standard magic trick compared to rest of the book. In Headline Prediction, the magician meets with a spectator a week before the show (in a corporate event or private party) and hands him a sealed envelope. The spectator signs the outside of the envelope and on the day of the show, the performer has the spectator deliver the sealed envelope to him. The performer then takes a newspaper, from the day of the show (and one week after the envelope is sealed and signed) and has words from a randomly torn piece of the newspaper selected. When the envelope is opened during the show, it contains a non-gimmicked DVD, which is played on a real DVD player. The DVD contains a recording of the magician speaking to the camera and he names the randomly selected words and describes the headline on the newspaper from that very day, even though the DVD was removed from the sealed envelope that the spectator signed the week before. The ad copy incorrectly states that “the performer never touches” the envelope. That is not accurate, but the audience will believe that to be true. There is an interesting discussion about the effect, its psychology and why the audience cannot fathom the method behind the effect.

The next routine is “Psychic Vision.” The authors indicate that this effect is not for everyone and I believe that comments also applies to the third and fourth effect as well. This effect is a different and more serious act of mentalism that requires a keen understanding of the psychology of mentalism and how to read a spectator. If this effect works, it places the performer in a position of power as he is truly believed to have been able to foretell the future. In this routine, the performer gives the spectator a letter in a sealed envelope and instructs the spectator to open it in one week, at which time the spectator will speak with the performer and then give the spectator something of importance. This effect discussed Hoo Doo and Mojo bags and non-mainstream magical methods. The next two effects, “Divinatory Message” and “Symbol Cubes” are more similar to Psychic Vision than Headline Prediction in that the effect, when successful, has the spectator actually believing that the performer has occult powers. Both effects again require the performer to have the honed ability to read spectators and respond to their cues, which is a talent and skill that is discussed. In Symbol Cubes, dice with images (not dots) are rolled by the spectator. The performer then explains how the images are relevant to the spectator in a tarot card-like reading “ but with dice instead.

Although the book has some typos and at times it is a bit wordy, it has some interesting ideas and effects for mentalists. Volpe offers his personal email to the reader asking for feedback and in fact when I emailed him a question and a suggested adaptation to the Headline Prediction, he responded within a few hours and commented on my suggestion, which was a method to turn the Headline Prediction into more of an impromptu effect, without the need to mail the envelope a week in advance.

Although the price tag is high for such a small book, the material is provocative, challenging and thought-provoking. If you have an interest in mentalism from some current authorities in the field, this book is a worthwhile read.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for The Collection

Author: Volpe, Luca; Knepper, Kenton
Publisher: Titanas
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $60.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

A collection of rare collaborative work between Luca Volpe and Kenton Knepper, including material only available in this volume. This material will make you appear to be a REAL mentalist, not just a trickster. This book is for people who want to be seen to legitimately read minds, make actual predictions, and assistant in creating positive futures for those fortunate enough to meet a real mentalist.

This Collection 1 Contains:

Headline Prediction
An important audience member brings on stage an envelope signed a week before, along with a newspaper or magazine. This person chooses a few words from their magazine. The signed envelope is opened by the spectator. The performer NEVER touches it. Inside the envelope is a DVD which predicts not only the main headlines, but also the words chosen moments before the envelope is opened. Neither the DVD or DVD player are gimmicked. The person with the envelope is amazed as well as the audience. No stooges. The envelope is not switched. The person in charge actually signs the prediction a week before the envelope is opened.

Psychic Vision
Psychic Vision combines psychological and readings principles turning them into a perfect prediction of someone's present and future as well as a little of their recent past. The prediction is so startling it gets prospective customers or people of interest to call you! Then you help this person change their future for the better. You predict details of someone's week, so it is entirely verifiable, and then make their lives better. That's why people keep coming back for more.

Divinatory Message
Simple, direct, and so believable you should save this for when you want people to believe real synchronicity is taking place. A person concentrates on an issue they are having and selects a message card from one of the popular divination decks. Incredibly, the message they take relates precisely to their issue, without any doubt whatsoever. They get a truly "guided" answer. This bit caused someone to believe in Kenton so much at a magic convention that they refused to believe he was performing an effect. A classic principle in magic is turned into realistic mentalism so easily, you'll wonder why you didn't think of doing this before.

Symbol Cubes
This has never been published. The only way you can get this effect and method is in this book. A set of popular toys or story cubes are shown and examined. A participant chooses a number of the images on the cubes and sets the rest aside. Instantly the performer is able to give a very accurate and astounding psychological reading without memorizing meanings, or having to guess at what to say. This system allows you to KNOW what to say, and you can rest assured of giving accurate and memorable readings of a psychological nature without hard work or memory. A highly visual, accurate and simple to do reading, without having to claim you are "psychic."

Pages: 76 - 9" x 6" - Softcover - Black and white photos

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