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DVD Review: No Camera Tricks by Richard Osterlind

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DVD Review: No Camera Tricks by Richard Osterlind
Copyright Murphy's Magic
On "No Camera Tricks," an excellent three-disc DVD set, Richard Osterlind proves that mentalism is alive and well suited for television. Here, Osterlind demonstrates powerful mentalism for television that requires no camera tricks or editing, and no stooges or pre-show work.

Show Format

The effects here are intriguing, amazing and entertaining and each disc is setup like a show with Jim Sisti acting somewhat as a talk show host. Some explanations could be more detailed, but there’s bound to be something here that you will like.

In Zodiac Revolution, which is based on Bob Farmer's classic zodiac sign revelation effect, Osterlind guesses the zodiac signs of six audience members. The revelation is stunning, but I think the method is rather obvious, even to lay spectators. Perhaps the performance segment turned up the least favorable scenario, but there's quite a bit of fishing.

In Swami Birthday/Steno ESP, Osterlind relies on the classic mentalism tool that's mentioned in the title to correctly guess a person's exact birthday and predict the thoughts of three audience members. Beyond the use of the well known gimmick, Osterlind offers a setup that subtly narrows the choices, which applies the gimmick’s use in an effective manner.

Osterlind demonstrates some amazing spoon bending in Liquid Metal. Some of Osterlind's methods are revealed here for the first time. There's an amazing bit where a spoon is bent and appears to turn into liquid, molten metal (thus the title).

While the spoon bending is fantastic, in the explanation, Osterlind tends to gloss over some basic moves and doesn't teach the routine as it was performed. Here, he chooses to emphasize and teach the new moves. It’s still worthwhile material.

It Adds Up

In the incredible and impromptu Digital Feedback Extraordinaire, Osterlind uses a legitimate calculator and after asking several spectators to enter numbers of their choosing and apply a mathematical function to a running total, shows that the end result was known ahead of time. This one is really good and you can perform it with a borrowed calculator.

One of Osterlind’s all time favorites, in Pegasus Page, a selected page vanishes from a book that’s held by one person and reappears between two pieces of cardboard held by another spectator. This one is a stunner and is explained here with permission from Art Emerson, the effect’s creator.

Ride the Brainwave

Disc two kicks off with Richardwave, something of a “Brainwave” style playing card prediction. Here, a freely named card turns out to be the only red-backed card in a blue deck. At the end, there’s a secondary climax.

In Rubik's Cube, Osterlind is blindfolded and solves a legitimate Rubik's Cube that’s been mixed by the audience. This one will take lots of time to work up and requires the purchase or construction of a gimmick beyond the legitimate Rubik’s Cube. While this one is a stunner, I have to wonder if the performance is too lengthy for a television segment.

A slick mind reading act with a diabolical method, Clearly Mind Reading allows audience members to write down and place “thoughts” into sealed envelopes and Osterlind tells them what they’re thinking.

What's the Deal?

Not classic mentalism but a gambling effect, in The Poker Deal, Osterlind plays a game of poker and deals himself the winning hand. This effect relies on Osterlind’s “Breakthrough Card System” that is not explained here. He only talks about how to put it to use.

A powerful book test, in Seafire Sequence, Osterlind not only reads the thoughts of a spectator who is looking at a freely selected page, the routine offers five more revelations. This one is excellent.

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