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Mokele - By Phill Smith - Book



Imagine a performance that doesn't stop when you step off stage, but endures in the audience's minds. Something that they keep coming back to in quiet moments, a delicious snack of the impossible that they can draw out and examine in their mind's eye.

Mitox and Yokai were about creating a new and unique mythology, telling a story that your performances illuminate and inhabit. In my new book, Mokele, I have dug into this concept much deeper, examining techniques and concepts that help extend this world, tips to create a performance that immerses your audiences, ways to draw them into your act and new ideas for building a bridge between the fantasy of your show and their own ordinary lives.

Mokele is a collection of effects, games, essays and of course a sprinkling of unique premises, that you can pick up and build into your own unique performances, or step out from to create something completely 'you'.

Your own mythology

Mythology is a powerful concept, an archetype that describes the intersection between an impossible world of the fantastic and the ordinary world of people's everyday lives. In Mokele there are new premises for a new mythology of mentalism. New inter-disciplinary techniques that teach you to lock your mythology into the audience's lives. New effects and utility pieces to manifest this mythology and present your audience with the paradox of the possible impossibility.

Mokele is filled with powerful tools to elevate your routines and effects into this realm of mythology.


This sounds like an abstract idea, so let me spell it out: simple practical ideas that you can incorporate into your existing routines. New approaches that will help you create your own unique niche in the commercial marketplace. Stronger effects. Better responses. More entertainment. The road I'll show you down in Mokele takes in a few obscure stops, but believe me, it ends in a very real place where you can give your audience something spectacular and unique.


The Mokele approach. I like things to be as simple as possible and no simpler. I'm not a fan of expensive and unreliable gimmicks and gaffs. Strong organic effects with powerfully deceptive methods are key to building the mythology of your performance so in Mokele there are a dozen straightforward pieces of impactful impossible. Accessible and extensible, ready to rock right out of the box, or ready to roll your own unique pieces, Mokele is a toolbox for serious students of the unbelievable.

Kit Kat

A practical low tech peek wallet solution that costs next to nothing and affords direct, live access to the information, right beneath the spectator's noses. Plus, a powerful approach to name divination that is so strong, you have to reign it in.

More Quinta

A refined and simplified alternative solution to the Quinta force that cuts out much of the bother involved in enacting this brilliant utility method. if you looked at Quinta and thought 'Nice idea but not for me.' this IS absolutely for you.

Corner Shop

A far-too-straightforward card effect - they look at a card and you instantly know what it is, as they do. A throwaway piece that proves you are a miracle worker... you'll see what I mean.


Three people draw three different images and you use your unique skills to intuit not only who drew each piece but what exactly it was they drew in minute detail. A strong piece designed for stage and cabaret that introduces a super-effective (and super cheap) utility prop that can simplify a great number of existing effects.


You detune your brain and focus on another world where your spectator's deepest dreams are a reality, then relay this impossible information back to them in an event that is more than just an effect. Just one approach to turn a new twist on a standard trick into a powerful piece of impossible new mythology.

String Theory

A ring hanging from a black string around your neck is telekinetically controlled under experimental conditions by the focussed power of the audience's minds. Ready to go at any moment with no prep.

DBag Drawing Challenge

Under impossible conditions you challenge your victim with a foolproof prediction that looms over their own completely free actions. You will carry this with you... and you will use it.

One Heart

Emotions that transcend language are invoked in an effect that draws out the best in your audience. Rebuilding an existing effect from the ground up with a new presentation and a new method turns an old chestnut into a shiny new diamond.


Predictions marked on the cards themselves pick apart the spectator's seemingly random actions... OK, its a card trick, if you like that sort of thing then this may be the sort of thing that you like.


A complicated proposition bet that you will not like, and that's if you even understand it. Why did I include it? Sheer self-destructive masochism.


Lure in your audience with an engaging, exciting and very funny on-stage game that you subtly control from start to finish, defying fate itself to ensure that you alone are exposed to the terrible booby prize.

Concept Deck

A new utility prop that will unlock hundreds of new and old effects, washing away the whiff of magic and imbuing some of your current favourite pieces with a rich and vivid meaning. A simple prop and a clean technique to create meaning where there was none, and to lure your audiences into understanding and caring about something impossible.

CDC Drawing Duplication

A wide open drawing duplication that plays for laughs but contains a solid seed of baffling impossibility. Draw your audience into an engaging challenge then bat them away with a solid hit that is as impossible as it is funny.


The backbone of Mokele: An extensive range of essays built on the application of important universal principles. How and why to make your routines accessible, how to streamline and clarify your performances, ways to build the experience for the audience and even routine out the possibility of mistakes from your act. All this plus an in-depth discussion on the impact and application of props in mentalism that will make you think again about everything you take on stage with you.


All this shot through with Phill's trademark quirky premises and his hectoring suggestion that you stop 'being psychic' and start being something far more uniquely strange...

More dealer hype?

No. If you know Mitox or Yokai you know Mokele can follow through. New plots, simple methods, straightforward and accessible props and fiendish thinking. Every prop for every effect in Mokele could fit into a large envelope and what props you don't already have you can buy or make for less than a tenner.

This stuff is engineered to be more than 'tricks'. The material in Mokele is designed to be a key component of a unique and original mythology - yours.


“Mitox,Yokai, and now Mokele are all innovative, imaginative, funny, erudite, and beautifully designed books on mentalism.Filled with pithy quotes, cool drawings, great vignettes, and really cool practical methods, gimmicks, and full routines,Mokele picks up many of the themes introduced in the first two books and takes them even further.

I am really keen on Sirva and Quinta in Yokai, and now in Mokele, you get further applications of Quinta that are dynamite. I think one of my favourites at the moment is Bluke, a great routine for after dinner or when the gauntlet has been thrown down.

I also love Kit Kat, Sawklip, and Trapezoids....Kit Kat and Trapezoids give you two very powerful peek devices for under a pound need for the fancy wallets folks,just Phill's mind and stuff you have in your collection already.

Sawkilp might cost you more than a pound at Staples, so bring an extra 10p. Like my good friend Roni Shachnaey, Phill simply sees the world differently and finds uses for things in what I am certain are little Eureka moments like when Watson and Crick thought of the double helix! Ok that might be an overstatement Very Happy but you do find your self gasping and laughing at his ingenuity throughout the book.

This is stuff that can be done as written or modified for your own style. There is definitely something for everybody here.

The added bonus for me is the collection of face furniture,which is so good I will not even divulge what it is,but some of our illustrious crew here have now become members of a very elite group!

Phill also uses the insights from the world of design as metaphors for mentalism,which I think work really well throughout the book.

So, go find the Mokele in your world and enjoy this great book from one of the best minds in mentalism!”

Dr. Todd Landman

Author of The Condemned and Cogito Ergo Sum