Psycho by Daniel Madison


Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
Psycho by Daniel Madison
$15.66 (10 gpb)

Psycho is an eBook of simple and subtle ideas and performance effects based on psychological suggestion and pseudo-psychological magic, written in 2007 and released in 2010. These notes offer a way of thinking and a refreshing approach to the art of using psychological suggestion as both a tool and an illusion within itself.

Psychological Forces
An insight into the idea of psychological forcing and 'pseudo-psychological suggestion'.

Playing Card Psychological Forces

Four of Clubs
Jack of Spades
Jack of Hearts
Queen of Hearts
Four of Diamonds

There are also 7 effects laid out using either genuine psychological forces, or at least seem like psychological forces. The website has a description of each effect and copying it over would just take up space. I will simply offer some insight into each effect.

Psycho - I like this one because it uses several principles that I find very satisfying. There is basically no sleight-of-hand skill necessary, but the ability to misdirect and manage an audience is important. I can see myself using this one frequently.

Fifty Second - I like the idea of this, but the ability to pull off the sleight of hand (though it is quite simple, it is outside my skill set) will probably prevent my from doing it. Those who have worked with Mnemonica will be able to add this more or less instantly.

Pairs - Essentially a version of 'Do As I Do' but presented in a very clean manner. The trade off is that this version is not quite as self-working as DAID. The 'sleights' used are not difficult, however, and I can see myself using this one with great success.

Blind Spot - This would be a good one to help give the spectator some of the lime light, since they are apparently exhibiting a feat they probably didn't think they had. Anyone that's read The Berglas Effects will be able to come up with an impromptu method to this easily.

Rainman - Another simple method used to create a powerful effect. I'm not sure when I'll get to use this, though, as the optimal performance would mean leaving someone with an incomplete deck. Still, I will be finding ways to make this work, as it's right up my alley.

Crossover - Another do-as-I-do style effect. This one plays on the idea of mirroring, but I honestly just don't really know if it's a method I'd use. It's an interesting concept and a way to force multiple cards, but it's got far more steps than I usually prefer. The thinking is clever, though, and I think I'll probably use the idea behind it for something else.

The Psycho Deck - This is a nice deck trick. The blurb says that each card is signed by a different personality of a psychopath (which doesn't make sense by definition - he means someone with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder) and that the deck is what tells someone which is the 'true' personality. I like it. It has a subtle nature to it that appeals to me, and the simple mechanics allow for the performer to focus on the presentation.

Overall I think this is a pretty solid ebook. The psychological forces are obviously not 100% (As none are) but they are workable. Someone wanting to work with them will want to pick one and keep trying it until they've gotten steady results by honing the delivery. Aside from the forces themselves, I think the effects are worth the price. The Psycho Deck is something I'm sure I'll find a use for, and several of the others were setting off sparks in my brain as I read. Daniel Madison's got an offbeat way of thinking which won't work for everyone, but it can't be denied that he comes up with interesting material. I think a lot of that has to do with his unconvential introduction to the deceptive arts, but that's another thread for another day.

All in all, I recommend Psycho to anyone looking to put a psychological twist to their card magic.
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