Reviewer: Madame Curator
Paul Brook’s Networker Deck is a dream come true for the professional corporate entertainer. I’m sure many of you will agree with me that this is the Svengali Deck for the 21st century! Regardless which country you’re based in, which self-respecting professional wouldn’t own or recognise these innocent “everyday objects” right?
You receive everything required – a pack of 30 business cards inside a sturdy plastic card case, along with an instant download link for the included PDF – but before you dash out to amaze folks at cocktail parties and such, you’ll need to spend a bit of time to grab a Sharpie marker and customise the pack to make it uniquely yours.
There is so much to LOVE about the Networker Deck. Firstly, a lot of thought and heart has been put into this. The printed business cards are well designed and come in thick yet flexible card stock; quality stuff that should last you a very long time (the usual logical amount of audience management would come into play …obviously you’d not want to let a spectator with greasy fingers from finger food at the reception laying their dirty hands on these cards).
Brook’s generous 54-page PDF (you receive a card with the private download link, be sure to keep that aside and leave it in the pack during your gig) comes with a nice range of good ideas that allow extensive possibilities so you can effectively use the same cards to present different mentalism effects to the same crowd you have previously performed for. For instance, nail their astrological and D.O.B. details, mindread a famous personality they’re thinking of, etc.
It also goes without saying that you can also revisit your favourite Svengali classics (books or vids) for other presentational ideas that would work for your performance style… including the creator’s own 2009 manuscript, Double Blank Svengali Deck, which I intend to check out 🙂
Now, I highly recommend taking some time to think about how you would like to creatively customise your very own deck and not rush through it. Is there a certain theme you’d like to use? Perhaps consider investing in two more sets so it expands the possibilities of items/ people/ places you’d like to force and you can also keep one as a back up/ spare.
One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the inclusion of the plastic card case to house the props. Brook could have very easily rubber banded the lot together, but much detail and pride was given to this project unlike magic effects that still come shipped in plastic baggies like from the 90s. LOL.
Personally, I’d been shopping around the last couple of days and still haven’t been successful in finding that perfect business card holder that can effectively store the pack. I purchased the thickest one I could find, a metallic card case (pictured above) from a Japanese store, which was about half an inch thick, but I wasn’t able to close the lid easily so I’ll just be using the original plastic case provided in the package.
Networker Deck by Paul Brook is a clear winner- smart, beautiful, effective, diabolically simple yet super clever; a mentalism gem that I really enjoy and will use in a corporate walk around setting. You can also easily engineer it into a marketing tool that works for you, when you include your very own business cards in the stack for giveaways after each performance. SCORE! This pocket mentalism miracle gets full marks from me 🙂