A Thought Well Stolen by Ben Harris combines two of magic’s great card effects — Any Card At Any Number, and Paul Curry’s Out Of This World
Fused 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 rivaling 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.
Ben Harris has a knack of releasing very strong material with clever principles that make you think, ‘well why didn’t I think of that!’ A Thought Well Stolen is no exception!
A Thought Well Stolen is a beautifully structured routine that is as impossible as it gets. A freely thought of card is revealed in a manner that is so fair, no one could argue with it! Not only do you reveal the thought of card but you also are able to predict ahead of time the position of that card in the deck!
This is not just a card trick, this is a theatrical display of card magic, a VERY different thing. The subtleties applied in A Thought Well Stolen elevate this routine to the status of card magic effects like Out of This World. It could close a show it is THAT STRONG!
With a foreword by the renowned classic card magician Michael Vincent you know that this is going to be a special piece of magic.
The simplicity of the method is pure genius and the process to divine the spectator’s freely thought of card is so deceptive as it is completely fair!
“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.
Here is a detailed account of what the spectator will see when viewing A Thought Well Stolen.
- Two decks of playing cards are displayed and the spectator has a free selection of which deck they wish to use.
- The spectator thinks of their favourite card and tells no one. They cut the face down deck multiple times moving their freely thought of card around to different positions only stopping when they wish to.
- The cards are dealt one at a time face up onto the table and the spectator secretly notes at which position their freely thought of card is at. Something ONLY the spectator will know. Remember, nothing is said and nothing is written down.
- The cards are squared on the table and left for a moment.
- The performer then removes the deck that was not chosen from its box and gives it a quick shuffle and a few cuts. He then asks the spectator to think of their favourite card again and stares deeply into their eyes.
- The performer runs through the deck and removes one card, placing it face down on the table so no one can see its value, why waste the surprise at this moment?!!?
- Asking the spectator to think of the number in the deck that relates to the position of their favourite card the performer places the face down card on the table onto the deck and cuts it inside.
- Now is the time for the reveal.
- The spectator is asked to deal down through their deck, one by one, stopping at the position before their favourite card, lets say it is the 21st card in this instance.
- The performer also deals down through their deck one by one in unison with the spectator, also stopping on the 21st card, to build suspense.
- Before the spectator's card (the 22nd card) is turned over the performer spreads the dealt cards out face up and asks the spectator to verify that their favourite card is not in this pile. It of course is not!
- The performer looks the spectator intently in the eyes one more time and names their favourite card!
- The 22nd card of both decks are turned over to show they do indeed match!
- The remaining cards in the performer's hand are given a couple of more shuffles and cuts and the performer now states that he has organised the rest of the deck to indeed match the spectator's order.
- The remaining cards are dealt one by one face up to show that they match perfectly building the applause into a riotous standing ovation!
40 pages printed edition.
“…an effect like this can steal your show.” Michael Vincent
"Ben Harris has a knack of releasing very strong material with clever principles that make you think, 'well why didn't I think of that!' A Thought Well Stolen is no exception!" Ben Williams
“Love it. You're such a good writer that I found it really captivating to learn the effect…” Andi Gladwin
“This is written in such a way that you can almost feel the effect performed as you read…” Jeff Sanders.
“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
“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
“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
“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
"Whether you are a sleight-of-hand card performer, or one who prefers non sleight-of-hand card tricks, you will want to add “A Thought Well Stolen” in your card repertoire. The effect is so strong the audience can only attribute it to your clever card handling skills! Highly recommended with two big thumbs up!" - John Teo
"You do not need to be a sleight-of-hand artist but when performed and presented well, A Thought Well Stolen (ATWS) will convince your adoring crowd that you possess the gambling skills of a professional card shark and the dexterity of a mind-reading magic ninja." - Ning Cai