Subtle – Steven Palmer – Book (AKA Advocatis Diaboli)


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“Steven’s new book is excellent. If you do any kind of mentalism with playing cards whatsoever then you really ought to read it. It’s full of smart, practical and fooling magic. I love the fact that instead of flitting around from idea to idea, he concentrates his efforts on a small number of tools and techniques and really drills down to extract the gold from each trick and plot. If you don’t find several things that you want to use immediately, I’ll be stunned. Highly recommended.” I can email the AD copy and effect details of you like? I don’t have an official supplier so you would have an exclusive if you were interested. I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for your time.”Mark Elsdon

Stevens Magic is excited to exclusively release the first commercial work of Steven Palmer, an underground UK performer  who has been thoroughly vetted by Steve Drury.  For the mentalist, and magician both, this book is just as much about routines as it is the powerful effects within.  Including within this softbound book are 8 powerful routines.

Void:  My reputation-making thought-reading effect “Void” has fooled both laypeople and performers alike and created the illusion of direct thought reading. This update features new handling and performance ideas not previously released. In effect, a boxed deck is removed and shown to the spectator before being riffle shuffled, even by the spectator if you like. The spectator chooses a number of cards from the deck, thinks of one of the cards and then pockets them all. The performer asks the spectator to imagine sending him the identity of his selection and then proceeds to reveal it. A simple and direct mind-to-mind connection I’m confident will find a way into your repertoire.

Subtle: A routine that displays how far ahead you can get using psychology in a routine. In fact, this demonstration of thought reading is almost complete before the deck even leaves the box. With this routine I am now giving away my pet handling and effect for the psychological subtlety used. I have gone deep into the explanation and taken it to new levels. Briefly, the spectator shuffles the deck, following which, small piles of cards are shown to him while the performer has his head turned away. The spectator just thinks of one of the cards shown. The rest of the face-down deck is dealt off on top of the potential selections, losing the thought-of card in the process. The spectator is asked to focus on the selection and the performer proceeds to reveal it. The astute reader will see multiple possibilities for the linguistic technique at play here to be used in other routines, not just cards. Also included in this routine is a favourite card control of mine, that is completely invisible to the spectator.

Empath: One of my most guarded and favourite effects is revealed here for the first time. The routine is a demonstration of telepathy with playing cards, suitable for both close-up and parlour performances. A deck is introduced and the cards are given a fair mix by the spectator. The spectator proceeds to deal cards face up as you have your head turned away. Whenever the spectator deals himself a court card he has to stop dealing and imagine sending the identity of the card to you. The performer reveals the card, sight unseen. This is repeated multiple times until the performer states that he has built up a suitable rapport with the spectator and now feels it’s time to move on to a more difficult phase. For the second phase, the spectator takes the deck back in his hands and selects a card himself before losing it again and shuffling the cards in his hands. For the finale, the performer reveals the spectator’s card that was selected and lost under the fairest of conditions. This routine is a real signature piece, requiring almost no sleight of hand.

Schematic: A stunning three-phase routine based on a person using thought reading at the card table. Perfect for the strolling performer, the routine is direct, devious and requires very basic card handling ability, as the majority of the routine is hands-off, with the spectator doing most of the work. The routine starts with a blackjack demonstration and then moves into revealing a poker hand from a spectator-shuffled deck. After these phases, the performer states he feels he has built suitable rapport with the spectator, so much so, that he can predict the spectator’s actions before he commits them. The routine finally climaxes with a display of precognition that will leave the spectators shocked.

Void 2.0: My penultimate work on my favourite effect that looks like direct thought reading using playing cards. The conditions sound impossible and the effect creates something that previously would’ve been done with a gaffed deck. In effect, a boxed deck is removed and shown to the spectator before being riffle shuffled together, even by the spectator if you like. The spectator then chooses a number of cards from the deck. He thinks of one of the cards and pockets all of them. The performer asks the spectator to imagine sending him the identity of his selection before proceeding to reveal it. The effect is clean, direct and a reputation maker. This updated write-up features new handling and performance ideas not previously released.

Drift: This routine takes an old, often underused idea and adds new technical depths. The methods in play here have a myriad of applications and potential and are varied enough to suit any performing style. After teaching the system, I give you two of my personal routines using the described techniques. However I am confident you will have many of your own ideas as you read the content. This is a go-to routine of mine due to its fairness and flexibility. Anyone not familiar with this concept will be fooled badly.

Kuniva Holdout: A devious and fooling technique that allows the spectator to overhand shuffle the deck freely while maintaining a large setup of cards. This technique has fooled knowledgeable magicians, so your spectators won’t have a chance. When you read this I guarantee you’ll smile at the cleverness and see how versatile the techniques in play are. I also include a personal favourite handling of the ‘think stop’ routine idea with the Kuniva holdout.

Dead Cut v.3:  My final approach to my work on dead cutting to a card thought of by a spectator. Reputations have been made with this routine! The routine’s premise is based on the underground technique of cutting to named cards in the deck. This version is incredibly fair and logical and contains my unreleased handling for this premise as well as allowing more spectator involvement. They say that if you want to keep something secret then put it in a book, so that is what I have decided to do, knowing that each of these routines could have been a stand-alone release and that they will find their way into the hands of those who appreciate such things.

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