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.
"...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
"As someone who reads and enjoys everything that Ben Harris releases, all I can say is Wow! A simple and beautiful idea that once again has me grinning from ear to ear!"
- Bro Gilbert
"Ben, you've got a real winner here. It has the three main ingredients that make for a magnificent routine: It has an entertaining plot, it is easy to perform, and it has a stupefying punch at the end. I think I'll use it as a closer - it really is hard to beat the strength of this routine. Congratulations, Benny! You've hit it out of the park!"
- Steve Shufton
"Today's audience is very demanding. This is exactly the type of magic that hits them "down under." Ben Harris' brand new routine is a most excellent hybrid of two wonderful card plots, cloaked in a method so simple, it's brilliant."
- Jonathan Friedman (Shades of Magic)
There are 2 classics in magic that magicians have sought to build upon/improve : Out Of This World and Any Card At Any Number. Ben Harris has taken these 2 classics and melded them into one effect and the results are devastating to an audience. Here's something I thought I would never say: "I'm dropping Out Of This World by Paul Curry after 30 years and replacing it with A Thought Well Stolen. That's how good this is. A Thought Well Stolen can make a beginner look like a seasoned expert and a professional performer live up to their reputation. It's frighteningly good. It's so clean, yet the payoff is gigantic. It will fit any performing persona. You can perform it to demonstrate your skills as a sleight of hand card technician or perform it to demonstrate your ability to read minds or make predictions. If you are a hobbyist ( like most ) you are going to be performing for friends and family. That's a big concern, because they know you don't possess secret powers. The more fantastic the trick, the more they want to look at the cards or whatever prop you use. You are always told "learn to manage your audiences" hen you raise that concern. It's true that you should learn to do that, but you don't have to worry about it with Ben Harris's A Thought Well Stolen as there are no gimmicks. Where you're done, they can examine everything and find NOTHING. The effect is so powerful, magicians that don't know it will also think you are using trick decks or other gimmicks. - Chris Kavanagh