The Act Series - Mick Ayers (the first four acts.)

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by D ICE R, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Basically Mick as a ridiculous performing contract in which he performs more than anyone, and the strength of his performances ensures that he has kept this contract for many years. What is truly amazing is that Mick writes his retired acts up for the community to use as they see fit. Whilst you could take any of these and with the right amount of work present them as is and have a very successful show. The true value (at least to me) is when you read the act and read between the lines as to Mick's thinking and apply it to your own work.

    I assume that most of this paragraph will go over the heads of most people. In mentalism it is a fairly general conciseness that you only demonstrate one ability throughout the show. This is not to say you can only do one type of effect but the rational as to how you achieve the effects should be consistent throughout the show. It can evolve and take on new directions. Another idea is that you should only do one effect with one type of prop, I can understand the rational behind it, and for a long time I accepted it. The more I thought about it the less it made sense to me. If you look at a 'standard' mentalism show it comes across as I will demonstrate something with these envelopes, now I will do something similar with a book then a watch. I personally found it very hard to justify changing the props for each new demonstration. Contrast this with the overall feel of Mick's acts of I will show you something with cards, then I will show you something similar but more difficult and so on. I feel that by using one primary prop it is much easier to demonstrate the growth within your act. This also helps keep the show with a consistent theme so the audience will not be saying I liked the effect with the watch and the book but hopefull I like the whole show.

    I am not going to talk about the effects within the act. I may mention them however I believe if Mick wanted to have the exact effect listing he would have supplied it.

    This is the shortest of the acts and is one of the weaker aswell. I am not saying that it is a weak act by any means, there is definitely one or two pieces I will be using in my new show (I could definitely see people using this too help them develop their own act.). It is a very good act and the closing effect is a sort of Mental Epic type thing, which I will be modifying the method and adding it into my show.

    This is my least favourite of the four acts, and that is no way a bad thing I just personally do not like it as much as the other ones. In this act there are two pieces that use cards but as a secondary idea and I personally do not like that. I suppose that due to reading Mick's later works where a new presentational ploy takes these effects and heightens them. With that being said there are three very very good effects in this volume. I would use each of these effects however I would not use them in the context of this show.

    This one is an interesting book the act is very strong as a whole I just do not see myself using it. In this book I feel that I will be taking something from each effect from the book but I will not be using any of them (well I may use one and the stack aswell). I like the stack a lot and it is only used in two of the effects, however I have better effects that use a stack deck in my set. Also the OOTW effect is very nice however I have spent a few years developing my own which I personally like better. I will mention that the stack is very easy to use that is like a halfway point between the BCS (Osterlind's stack) and Si Stebbins. The deck looks random however there are a few points that Mick addresses that under the closest examination someone may notice however it would take at least an hour to notice these issues. The stack though more than makes up for it in the ease of learning I believe it would take no more time then learning Stebbins (okay it may take 3 minutes longer), but the stack looks very nice.

  2. This is my favourite act hands down, there are four effects that I could definitely see myself using and the others are nice, one is a presentation of a standard peak and the other is a very clever use of Joker as almost a book test. Of the other four effects two are nice and defiantly build on the themes of the show. The last two effects could very easily be sold as stand alone pieces the second to last piece is my effect of the book and could easily stand alone for 10 - 20 minutes at the same time selling for 20 - 30 dollars (based on other effects at the price point.) It is a completely impromptu demonstration of how you can influence the audience and it is completely scripted using the entire audience. The last effect this is a real killer effect, actually it is similar to an effect that costs 22 times what the entire booklet is worth. And truth be told the audience would not really be able to tell the difference between the two. Whilst I have seen both methods and presentations I can say that the more expensive one is better, but not by much and the laymen will not appreciate the differences between the two. Not to mention that this book also includes the Ayres Shuffled System, and a bonus effect.

    So there you have it if you are interested in doing mentalism in a formal stand up type of venue for audiences up to 200 people with nothing more that a deck of cards and some basic stationery these books are for you. If you want to put the work into make an amazing show of your own these books will also be hugely beneficial. If you are to get one book I would definitely recommend S'lie however you cannot go wrong with any of them.

    If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
  3. Thanks for the review mate. I've heard nothing but good things about Mick Ayres' work...

    A question about Noetic Licence. Given that I currently use Mnemonica, and am perfectly comfortable with it, do you think that there is enough to learn from Mick to justify the price regardless? Are the effects tailed to his stack, or are they usable with any other?
  4. The two tricks that use the stack are not stack dependent, any stack would do.

    I would recommend the other books over Noetic License if you don't want to learn the stack. The OOTW is nice but its not for everyone. I would still recommend S'Lie as it is head and shoulders above the other books, and the last three effects in Predict-Abilites are amazing.

    The whole series will teach you something and the lessons you learn from reading the act as a whole is worth the cost even if you don't use the effects.

    For you Prae my suggestions is you should buy them in this order; S'lie, Predict-Abilities are must have's Hoodwinking and finally Noetic License.
  5. Thanks man. I think I'll take that advice. Appreciate it :)
  6. I shot you a PM
  7. D ICE R, would you recommend an amateur like me to get S'lie? Or should I focus my efforts elsewhere?
  8. It is a tough question there David. Would you benefit from this book than the answer is yes, do I believe that you could pull off the whole act honestly I do not believe you could just yet. You have to remember that this is a 60 minute act, and now I don't believe that you could hold the audience for that long. On the other hand you could easily take either of the two last effects and put on a great 10, 15 or 20 minute piece and from there you could build it up adding different pieces.

    Is it worth the money and would you take a lot out of the book yes, are there better things that you could spend your money on yes. David the choice is yours. If you want I will PM you more of a detailed effect list.
  9. I got S'lie right when it was released a few days ago. It was my first intro to Mick's work. It is fantastic. It is a true lesson on structuring your act. I am a very serious hobby magician and I learned a lot.
    The shuffled system is the best stack I have seen. Not memorized deck, but full deck stack. A huge upgrade from Richard Ostrrlind's BCS.
    A regular hobby magician would probably pass this up at first site. But there is structured material here that will enhance your performance if you give it the time and theatrics it deserves. I got a lot out of this ebook!
  10. What's your favourite effect in the book? Personally I like the Four Card Influence to the point it is my new on the spot effect it is just so versitile.

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