12+ish astounding effects with essays covering the Mythology approach to contemporary mentalism (2nd edition Paperback)
Imagine a performance that doesn’t stop when you step off stage, but endures in the audience’s minds. Something that they keep coming back to in quiet moments, a delicious snack of the impossible that they can draw out and examine in their mind’s eye.
Mitox and Yokai were about creating a new and unique mythology, telling a story that your performances illuminate and inhabit. In my new book, Mokele, I have dug into this concept much deeper, examining techniques and concepts that help extend this world, tips to create a performance that immerses your audiences, ways to draw them into your act and new ideas for building a bridge between the fantasy of your show and their own ordinary lives.
Mokele is a collection of effects, games, essays and of course a sprinkling of unique premises, that you can pick up and build into your own unique performances, or step out from to create something completely ‘you’.
Your own mythology
Mythology is a powerful concept, an archetype that describes the intersection between an impossible world of the fantastic and the ordinary world of people’s everyday lives. In Mokele there are new premises for a new mythology of mentalism. New inter-disciplinary techniques that teach you to lock your mythology into the audience’s lives. New effects and utility pieces to manifest this mythology and present your audience with the paradox of the possible impossibility.
Mokele is filled with powerful tools to elevate your routines and effects into this realm of mythology.
This sounds like an abstract idea, so let me spell it out: simple practical ideas that you can incorporate into your existing routines. New approaches that will help you create your own unique niche in the commercial marketplace. Stronger effects. Better responses. More entertainment. The road I’ll show you down in Mokele takes in a few obscure stops, but believe me, it ends in a very real place where you can give your audience something spectacular and unique.
Effects in Mokele
The Mokele approach. I like things to be as simple as possible and no simpler. I’m not a fan of expensive and unreliable gimmicks and gaffs. Strong organic effects with powerfully deceptive methods are key to building the mythology of your performance so in Mokele there are a dozen straightforward pieces of impactful impossible. Accessible and extensible, ready to rock right out of the box, or ready to roll your own unique pieces, Mokele is a toolbox for serious students of the unbelievable:
A practical low tech peek wallet solution that costs next to nothing and affords direct, live access to the information, right beneath the spectator’s noses. Plus, a powerful approach to name divination that is so strong, you have to reign it in.
A refined and simplified alternative solution to the Quinta force that cuts out much of the bother involved in enacting this brilliant utility method. if you looked at Quinta and thought ‘Nice idea but not for me.’ this IS absolutely for you.
A far-too-straightforward card effect – they look at a card and you instantly know what it is, as they do. A throwaway piece that proves you are a miracle worker… you’ll see what I mean.
Three people draw three different images and you use your unique skills to intuit not only who drew each piece but what exactly it was they drew in minute detail. A strong piece designed for stage and cabaret that introduces a super-effective (and super cheap) utility prop that can simplify a great number of existing effects.
You detune your brain and focus on another world where your spectator’s deepest dreams are a reality, then relay this impossible information back to them in an event that is more than just an effect. Just one approach to turn a new twist on a standard trick into a powerful piece of impossible new mythology.
A ring hanging from a black string around your neck is telekinetically controlled under experimental conditions by the focussed power of the audience’s minds. Ready to go at any moment with no prep.
DBag Drawing Challenge
Under impossible conditions you challenge your victim with a foolproof prediction that looms over their own completely free actions. You will carry this with you… and you will use it.
Emotions that transcend language are invoked in an effect that draws out the best in your audience. Rebuilding an existing effect from the ground up with a new presentation and a new method turns an old chestnut into a shiny new diamond.
Predictions marked on the cards themselves pick apart the spectator’s seemingly random actions… OK, its a card trick, if you like that sort of thing then this may be the sort of thing that you like.
A complicated proposition bet that you will not like, and that’s if you even understand it. Why did I include it? Sheer self-destructive masochism.
Lure in your audience with an engaging, exciting and very funny on-stage game that you subtly control from start to finish, defying fate itself to ensure that you alone are exposed to the terrible booby prize.
A new utility prop that will unlock hundreds of new and old effects, washing away the whiff of magic and imbuing some of your current favourite pieces with a rich and vivid meaning. A simple prop and a clean technique to create meaning where there was none, and to lure your audiences into understanding and caring about something impossible.
CDC Drawing Duplication
A wide open drawing duplication that plays for laughs but contains a solid seed of baffling impossibility. Draw your audience into an engaging challenge then bat them away with a solid hit that is as impossible as it is funny.
The backbone of Mokele: An extensive range of essays built on the application of important universal principles. How and why to make your routines accessible, how to streamline and clarify your performances, ways to build the experience for the audience and even routine out the possibility of mistakes from your act. All this plus an in-depth discussion on the impact and application of props in mentalism that will make you think again about everything you take on stage with you.
All this shot through with Phill’s trademark quirky premises and his hectoring suggestion that you stop ‘being psychic’ and start being something far more uniquely strange…
More dealer hype?
No. If you know Mitox or Yokai you know Mokele can follow through. New plots, simple methods, straightforward and accessible props and fiendish thinking. Every prop for every effect in Mokele could fit into a large envelope and what props you don’t already have you can buy or make for less than a tenner.
This stuff is engineered to be more than ‘tricks’. The material in Mokele is designed to be a key component of a unique and original mythology – yours.
Of course, I’m always going to say it’s great, but you don’t have to trust me. A thousand thanks to all who have given me such kind feedback. (Most of these comments culled from The Magic Cafe and Talk Magic forums):
“Mitox,Yokai, and now Mokele are all innovative, imaginative, funny, erudite, and beautifully designed books on mentalism.Filled with pithy quotes, cool drawings, great vignettes, and really cool practical methods, gimmicks, and full routines,Mokele picks up many of the themes introduced in the first two books and takes them even further.
I am really keen on Sirva and Quinta in Yokai, and now in Mokele, you get further applications of Quinta that are dynamite. I think one of my favourites at the moment is Bluke, a great routine for after dinner or when the gauntlet has been thrown down.
I also love Kit Kat, Sawklip, and Trapezoids….Kit Kat and Trapezoids give you two very powerful peek devices for under a pound each…no need for the fancy wallets folks,just Phill’s mind and stuff you have in your collection already.
Sawklip might cost you more than a pound at Staples, so bring an extra 10p. Like my good friend Roni Shachnaey, Phill simply sees the world differently and finds uses for things in what I am certain are little Eureka moments like when Watson and Crick thought of the double helix! Ok that might be an overstatement Very Happy but you do find your self gasping and laughing at his ingenuity throughout the book.
This is stuff that can be done as written or modified for your own style. There is definitely something for everybody here.
The added bonus for me is the collection of face furniture,which is so good I will not even divulge what it is,but some of our illustrious crew here have now become members of a very elite group!
Phill also uses the insights from the world of design as metaphors for mentalism,which I think work really well throughout the book.
So, go find the Mokele in your world and enjoy this great book from one of the best minds in mentalism!”
Dr. Todd Landman
“I have been looking forward to this since the second I finished the last one. I honestly believe that Phil is one of the rising lights in mentalism and from the few dealings I have had with him I can tell he is also a very helpful and encouraging fellow.”
“I just got this today. I have read a few effects and let me say this. Phill Smith is a genius. I am so pleased I have this book! Phill, thank you. It is another treasure.”
“As with Mitox and Yokai I can see this is destined to become one of the must reads for mentalists. Not only are there some very clever and practical ideas but some wonderful insights into the performance, structuring and impact of mentalism.
Thanks Phill. This is a quality production and in more ways than one. ”
“Phill, has once again, put out a book with some very creative ideas and routines. Each of his books has several items that make me stand up at attention. Great thinking!!!”
“As part of my therapy for not spending any money on stuff for the next 89 days… I thought I’d live vicariously through other people by encouraging them to spend money on some good stuff.
*hype mode = on*
I can’t believe there isn’t more buzz about Mokele. Or maybe it’s just workers who have it and they don’t want to share. That I can understand.
First of all, it’s great to read something well written. And Phill’s prose is not only easy to understand– which is a feat unattained by too many manuscripts this days– but it’s clever and filled with humour. PLUS the guy illustrates the book himself!!!
But that doesn’t even talk about the effects, principles and thinking that is shared. Now I know Quinta was shared a couple of books back but there is some awesome applications of this principle including a super hands off Bank Night that deals with that effect’s main drawback in a fun way. There’s gizmos and gimmicks and self-working stuff… and stuff that requires some commitment on your part.
I don’t want to mention one thing that went directly into my act because I don’t want anyone else to use it. Or the other thing that I want to use ASAP.
And the I know that Essays are usually the filler we put up with to get to the next effect but Phill’s essays are must reads. And in this book particularly the essay on design is fantastic and not to be skimmed over. There was an interesting thread on the Paul Vigil visit earlier this month which was about what we can do to become artists rather than hacks. I think there’s a lot very practical advice in Mokele to take any performer a couple of big steps in that direction.
*hype mode = off*”
“What can I say, I really enjoyed the two previous volumes. I’m only halfway through this wolume and I canalready tell you that a few of this idea are already worth the price of the book. So grab your wallet, buy it, enjoy it and perform it (because in this book, you can qnd should use the effects described).”
“It’s great stuff that has been in my bag whilst I’ve been travelling the UK. Phill’s ideas are top quality. Grab it and see why Phill is one of my mind Reading heroes!”
“I have all three, and each one has gems, and then stuff I think nah! not interested. But the value is that each one has great stuff (I am now an affirmed Quinta addict), but the performance thinking around it is phenominal. I now pre-order as a matter of course. Phil does great stuff. Highly recommended. I use equifinger as my light hearted opener, and journey using a BCS deck as my closer. Love his stuff!”
“These days I tend to look for performance and presentation over effect. There is so much to be learned from looking at old material in new lights, and from new angles. Even material that perhaps you use, or have used, where on reflection from a new presentational point of view it is brought back to life.
Mokele is FULL of presentational and performance based vistas. Forget the super effects, the presentations are strong and frequent throughout the pages. Of course, the majority of you mob hungry lot don’t give a tiny rats ass about presentations so I better talk about effects.
DB Drawing Dupe – I’ve instantly modified this so that it gives a strong theatrical impact and pacing to an existing drawing dupe.
CDC Drawing Dupe – Love the bold nature of this effect, and can imagine it playing really well on stage. Lots of laughs!
Sawklip – A wonderful utility device that can be carried around in ones pocket.
Reader’s Digest – Just for the moon gag loved it
They are just a few of my favs, there are other wonderful effects that will no doubt be loved by many. As always with Phill’s books they are stunning to look at and a pleasure to read.
I know I am Phill’s friend, BUT, in honesty I would say the same about this book if I were his enemy.”