by &

Downloadable Video




The Blurb

[The following is a description of the booklet.  The downloadable video contains Bro Gilbert performing and explaining the routine as well as a bonus routine mentioned below.]

A Thought Well Stolen combines two of magic’s great card effects – Any Card At Any Number, and Paul Curry’s Out Of This World – into a wicked hybrid; morphing them into a mind-blowing frenzy. Can you even imagine what this resultant offspring would look like?

As in Any Card At Any Number, the performer reveals the identity of a freely thought-of card – and its position in a deck – without asking a single question. Seriously, this is solid and gripping mentalism; there is no force, the card is a free MENTAL SELECTION and NO questions are asked. Having read his spectator’s mind, discerning his card and its position in the deck, the performer follows with a visual display rivalling the wonderful separation of colors in Out Of This World. Your audience is left reeling by:

1. Your amazing ability to read minds.
2. Your insane skill with a deck of cards.

The combination of effects is mind-boggling and capable of closing any show – be it one-on-one, at a party, on T.V., or in a theatre of hundreds. U.K. card expert Michael Vincent has chosen to perform A Thought Well Stolen during his “Champions Of Magic” season at the Jersey Opera House. That’s how strong A Thought Well Stolen is. Here’s what Michael has to say:

“As someone who has built a reputation on hard core sleight of hand, I am always ready to welcome an effect into my program at the opposite end of the technical spectrum. A Thought Well Stolen is that sort of effect, it fits perfectly into my modus operandi of mixing up my methods – an effect like this can steal your show.”,

In the book’s introduction, the author sets out his goal clearly:

“A quest of mine – lasting decades – has been the search for a perfectly rendered illusion of mind-reading with a deck of cards. As a close-up performer – who loves cards and mentalism – this effect would be something where the performer identifies a freely thought-of card without any questions; without the spectator uttering a single word. Achieving this, or even getting close to it, creates a profound effect on the spectator. It’s also one that ripples through your entire audience, no matter what its size.

“A Thought Well Stolen is 100% pure as regards its intention: the identification of any freely thought-of card without any questions; without any prodding, probing, dual reality or ambiguity. And, without any limiting procedures. None at all. The result is a selection process about as fair as it can get:

‘Do you have a favourite playing card?’ the performer asks.
‘Yes, yes I do,’ the spectator replies.
‘Okay, that’s great,’ the performer confirms. ‘Don’t tell me. Keep the identity of your card secret, okay?'”

Is there an approach any more fair? I don’t think so.

The author fully explores the effect(s) in a detailed and friendly manner. Even a beginner can master A Thought Well Stolen because it requires nothing more than “basic card skills.” Advanced versions are discussed in the various appendices, but if you can do a single False Cut, or a False Shuffle, then you are in business; ready to astound audiences of any size.

A Thought Well Stolen requires the use of no gaffs or gimmicks of any kind, just regular playing cards. The book runs 40 pages of detailed text covering the simple and beautiful series of almost self-working procedures that bring about the amazing results.

DIRECTOR’S CUT BONUS from Mentallica

Ben Harris’s Director’s Cut — leaves the impression that only ONE DECK has been in play. The refined handling enhances the ACAAN portion of the A Thought Well Stolen effect, ditching the flashy finale. It also leaves the spectator with a little gift. Routined for the serious mentalist.

“…an effect like this can steal your show.”
– Michael Vincent

“This is simple, direct and strong! I love it”
– Luca Volpe

“I’ve always been a fan of Ben’s work and this is another great routine from one of my favourite creators in this art.”
– Rus Andrews

“Self-working routines rarely pack as much punch as this. The way you describe it is so captivating!”
– Andi Gladwin (Vanishing Inc.)

“I think you might just have created the Holy Grail of Card Magic! As a magician this is the perfect routine to show off any card skills without actually having any, and for a mentalist it’s the perfect routine where you don’t need to do any of the skilled work. Perfect for both worlds.”
– Paul Romhany, Editor (VANISH Magazine)

“A Thought Well Stolen is by far the easiest – and most elegant – giving the audience the impression the performer has a high-level of skill and mind reading powers.”
– Jason Messina

“The thoughtfulness that nurtures A Thought Well Stolen is how it cunningly reveals what is unknown about what is supposedly known, putting emphasis on what spectators will ultimately deem important, memorable, and impressive. In short, besides providing a terrific presentation piece per se, this treatise induces you to rethink what is and is not essential about methodology.”
– Jon Racherbaumer

The "Jheff's Judgment" column below is a brief summary of a longer, more detailed version. For the longer and more in-depth version, and to get news and information about other mentalism products, please visit the Marketplace of the Mind Forum or subscribe to the free newsletter.

Jheff's Guide

Booklet or downloadable video

The actual presentation isn’t specifically described.  Basically, a participant chooses one of two decks.  Then the person names a freely selected card and the deck is dealt face up one at a time.  The participant remembers the position the thought-of card is at.  The performer picks up the other deck, shuffles it, and rearranges it.  The performer asks for the position of the thought-of card and deals his or her deck down to the corresponding number as the participant does the same.  The participant’s thought-of card is shown to be at the same position in the performer’s deck.  For a kicker finale, the rest of the cards in both decks are dealt to show they are in the exact same order.

Close-up, Parlour

The kicker ending makes this more of a mental magic routine, but those who have been successfully performing this and getting strong reactions from it tell me that they just don’t do that part.  Still, in comparison with other routines, I find it too procedural, but if this plot intrigues you, then this will definitely be worth checking out for you.