Reviewer: Maarten Bosmans
I’m sitting here relaxing at a pool in Bosnia reading the excellent book, The Ostrich Factor, by Gerald Edmundson. You have probably as did I, never heard of book, but it is in my opinion a book that should be read and studied by every magician out there. I came in contact with this book by buying a second hand lot of books and purely by chance i decided to bring this with me on holiday.
First of all who is Gerald Edmundson? He is a magician who has performed over 50 years and has analysed his performances. He sometimes noticed that even though his actions and performance were excellent, he was not getting the reactions he wanted. He decided to study every angle of his performance and look at what basic things he forgot… thus the book was born.
I often make the mistake of getting a prop in magic, learn the workings and then think i can do it. I aim for my performance to be excellent. Often i am honest they are just great. With this book Gerald teaches you how to make it memorable. It is a mistake most magicians make as we are too eager to show new tricks too fast. In this book Gerard teaches you how to use a trick straight out of the box and incorperate new material in your show with his procedure.
In 8 chapters, Gerald will teach you the workings of getting a great performance. One of the many highlights of the book is the storyboard approach. This is an ideal way of learning your patter, moves,.. with your script. He also teaches you about scripting, misdirection, thinking about your character, etc.
He also talks about how to plan your patter, which approaches are best for you. What things not to do when you are talking. What are the best ways to make your patter meaningful and delete all the objections the spectator has about the props you are using. He uses a really fun routine with an egg bag. He makes the props less important in his patter because this lowers the expectation, then kills it with (you have guessed it) disappearing the egg. Every sentence he uses in his script must eliminate all the questions the spectator has about the props you are using and keep their mind focused on the things you want them to be focused on.
I really think these tips will be invaluable to you because creating a show and a good persona are more important than a bag of tricks. The true greats of magic do not need as many effects as the regular magician to create an engaging show because they rely on their character to get through the journey with the audience. The do not only rely on the mystery both to keep the audience engaged.
This book is one of the most important books out there. You do not need more books about magic or mentalism because this teaches you how to study the tricks, create your persona and fitting patter. If you have this book and if you are interested in mentalism and just study the classics like 13 steps and Practical mental effects you can become a genuine and original performer. Something i assume we all strive for… I surely do.
This book get a 10/10 from me. The only problem i have with this i so wished this was a hard back book because it is something you will treasure.
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(10 / 10)