Friday, 24 November 2017

Hidden Gems

The best magic that you're NOT doing!

This brand new eBook* is a road map to great magic you ALREADY OWN...

For several years, the last item in my occasional Newsletters was a 'Hidden Gem' - a killer, overlooked trick that's already published somewhere; a book, magazine, eBook, blog or very occasionally a commercial release. Never from a DVD or video download.

These are tricks that define the very concept of 'hidden in print'. In each entry I list the trick, where you can find it, why I love it and why YOU should look it up. I always describe the effect, occasionally the presentation, but NEVER the method.

Most are in books that you already own (or should!), some are in magazines that you can easily get access to and the odd one or two entries will send you on a major SHM/MagicWeek/eBay hunt. Happy days!

This new eBook collects 100 of these Hidden Gems - the 33 from my old Newsletters and 67 brand new entries that I've been collating for several years but never published. There is a mixture of card, coin and close-up magic, as well as plenty of mentalism, stand-up and cabaret material.

If you are on the look-out for great tricks that no one else is doing (and who isn't?!) then you will find a ton of them in this eBook.

To whet your appetite, here are a few samples of the kind of thing I'm talking about:

Hidden Gem #17: ‘Shock Treatment’ by Jackie McClements, Shock Treatment (p19). Jackie’s brilliant vanishing deck trick is a total an utter fooler. I was first shown it by Jerry Sadowitz, back in his heyday working at International Magic in London. When he performed it, I was so shocked I nearly fell over. I’m not joking! It is guaranteed to not only devastate laymen, but also give heart palpitations to any magician who doesn’t know it. It has remained in my repertoire from that day to this.

Hidden Gem #43: ‘Four Fisted’ by Gary Kurtz, Unexplainable Acts (p35). This was a staple of my close-up and walkaround repertoire for well over a decade and yet I’ve never seen a single other magician perform it. It is a beautiful, original coin effect (and plot) with visual and tactile coin changes, and surprisingly for a coin trick (although unsurprisingly for Kurtz) an engaging presentation. In effect, copper coins turn into silver coins and then into gold, in both your hands AND the spectator's! I may well dust this off to fry all my friends with at the next Blackpool convention. Pro Tip – for the gold coins use Danish 2 Kroner coins. Polish them up and they are perfect.

Hidden Gem #70: ‘Greetings’ by Chris Westfall, MAGIC magazine, July 2010 (p67). Occasionally I read an effect and think “I really wish I had devised this!” I thought EXACTLY that about Chris’ trick. It got massively and unfairly overlooked because it was published in a magazine, but trust me, this is possibly the best thing that Josh Jay ever published in his column. It is a wonderfully commercial card trick that brings the ‘nest-of-boxes’ completely up to date, it is a total laymen fooler and it allows you to give out your business card. What more could you want? If a big name had released this as a download we’d all be drooling over it...

Hidden Gem #87: ‘Eleven Bill Routine’ by Trevor Lewis, Routines Matter (p66). Caveney, Pitt, Bargatze and others all have handlings of Kaps' classic routine, but Trevor’s stands head and shoulders above them all. Immaculate handling, superior spectator management and some truly great lines all add up to make this one of the best packs-small-plays-big routines ever to see print. A MUST for any cabaret act. Even Kaps ended up doing it this way!

Appreciation for Hidden Gems:

“I confess that I would prefer to NOT recommend this ebook, purely for selfish reasons. It’s a treasure chest that will unlock your library and send you racing to fill in any gaps. And I just had to buy a book I didn’t have. This ebook is going to cost me a ****ing fortune!” – R. Paul Wilson

"Mark has curated a spectacular collection! I am like a kid in a candy store with so many effects and routines I haven't even heard of before. The knowledge and insight that has gone into Hidden Gems is incredible.” - Bro Gilbert

“In magic part of our daily ritual is to look for the hidden gems, the real treasures, the real magic. Mark Elsdon is one of the best read 'treasure' hunters I know of. When he points out a vein of treasure I explore. In this book Mark doesn’t teach tricks he’s created. Instead he points out sources and effects that you should explore. He’s got great taste in material, meaning you will skip a lot of fodder and simply find some uncovered miracles. If you love finding great magic this book will be a treasure map you will delight in.” – Tim Trono

“Let’s face it; we all know that some of the best stuff is hiding in plain sight. We have all missed a beauty that was staring us right in the face. Well...imagine a book that does the incredible job of giving the savvy magician a second look at that killer material. Mark’s Hidden Gems does exactly that! A collection of high-impact magic, cherry picked to only give you the best of the best. Polish up these Hidden Gems. They are a true treasure. And so is Mark’s ebook.” 

Jonathan Friedman

“Whether you are looking for unique new pieces for your pro working repertoire or killers for your next magic session, Mark has done the hard work for you! There’s gold in these pages from some of the greatest minds in Magic. I’m equally thrilled and annoyed that this collection has been put together; it’s a must-buy.” – James Went

“Choosing new material is a tough process as you have to wade through lots and lots of garbage, to find even a single piece that's worthy of your time and effort. But not anymore - Mark has done all the hard (and expensive!) work for us so we can only focus on the fantastic, overlooked effects that nobody else is doing! Hidden Gems has my highest recommendation!” – Iain Moran

"Mark Elsdon is my regular source for hidden gems ... he scours magic literature and finds ideas that inspire me to look harder, and closer." – Andi Gladwin

“I have mixed feeling - I suspect Mark has made things a bit too easy. The reader is guided painlessly towards material that many performers have painstakingly researched in order to add it to their repertoires. It's all there on a plate for you! This is a terrific repository of great magic. Hidden Gems is offered at a great price for what could turn out to be a lifetime's worth of killer material! A MUST BUY!” – Dave Jones

Hidden Gems is priced at £20.

*PLEASE NOTE: eBooks can take up to 12 hours for delivery. Usually much sooner, but no guarantees.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Limelight - The Real Secrets

Limelight - The Real Secrets  

For Speakers and Trainers

In 2015 I released Limelight, my favourite routine that I have ever used, created or released. Developed over more than a decade and honed to perfection (or as close as I'll ever get!) over countless performances in every environment imaginable I was thrilled to see that it was immediately welcomed into the working repertoires of hundreds of performers around the world.

But there was one secret about my Limelight routine that I never mentioned - how the routine can be used by performers who are also business speakers or trainers.

Until now.

One of the most powerful aspects of Limelight is that it affords an instant control of someone who knows nothing about magic or performing and over the course of assisting you with the routine they are taught to model your behaviour and performance. And the ability to apply the embodied principles, psychology and language (spoken and non-verbal) to situations outside of the trick affords one a very powerful set of communication tools.

The entire morning session of my one-day communication workshop is based around my performance and analysis of Limelight. After performing the routine for the attendees, I then break down how the language and psychological techniques used in the performance can be utilised by anyone who wants to become a better communicator, in any corporate/business situation or environment whatsoever.

Of course, what I don't teach them is how the trick actually works! Rather the whole session focuses on the bigger secret: how to model the skills of a powerful performer in order to communicate more effectively and successfully. And Limelight provides the perfect framework to do exactly that.
So this new book - Limelight The Real Secrets for Speakers & Trainers - is designed for one purpose only: to explain exactly how to teach a group of business people to improve their communication skills using Limelight as a model of how to use language psychological techniques to make a real difference to their interactions with clients, competitors and colleagues.

Whether you already do any kind of corporate speaking or training, or would like to, I think you will find this new book to be truly invaluable.

Limelight - The Real Secrets is being released on a very limited basis and in the first instance I am making just 20 copies available. It is a printed booklet and will ship on December 1st.

The price is £150 including worldwide postage.

UPDATE: The first edition is SOLD OUT. The second edition will be available later in 2018.

If you have any questions, no matter how specific, please email and ask.

If you don't already have Limelight, it is available here.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Peculiar Tales Volume 2

Peculiar Tales Vol. 2 -  More Stories To Freak People Out

Following on from the incredible success of last year's first volume (which sold out within just a couple of weeks) this new collection offers a brand new selection of weird tricks and stories that can genuinely unsettle people! All of them are practical and fooling. 

Peculiar Tales Vol. 2 features eight eerie and mysterious photos that enable you to perform some very odd magic and mentalism indeed! The accompanying printed book fully explains the tricks, the methods and the stories.

Whether you prefer to focus on the stories, just perform the tricks or combine the best of both worlds, this material is perfect for this time of year. Long, dark Winter nights will never be the same again!

All of the stories use just a single photo that can be easily carried in your wallet. Some are perfect for walkaround gigs whilst others are best saved for those times when you REALLY want to mess with someone's head and leave them with an image they will never forget...

Peculiar Tales Vol. 2 is a numbered limited edition of 150 copies (and fewer than half the copies are left...)

The price is £55 plus postage.

Postage Options

Friday, 4 August 2017

Storytelling & Mentalism Workshop - London


On Saturday September 16th I will be running a brand new Workshop focusing on Storytelling Mentalism.

The Workshop will be from 1:00pm to 5:00pm and the venue is in central London, just north of Covent Garden. The fee for the Workshop is £85.

"The greatest art in the world is the art of storytelling." - Cecil B. DeMille


This is a a brand-new masterclass exploring how to combine the two incredible art forms of Mentalism and Storytelling into a cohesive whole which is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

It will cover the fundamentals of storytelling, how to weave a story into and around mindreading and mentalism effects, and how to really affect people with your words and presentations, leaving your audiences with the memory of an experience they will never forget.

If you are interested in creating experiences rather than just performing material or tricks, this is the Workshop for you!

There is a specific mind-set you need to be in to deliver storytelling/mentalism pieces to their full potential and I will teach you the techniques that allow you to plug directly into that mind-set.

You will learn the necessary elements of all great storytelling and the specific tools needed to learn, create and deliver stories that can elevate your mentalism performances to another level entirely!

Finally, you will learn some incredible story/effects that you can add to your repertoire immediately. All of them have a powerful mentalism effect at their heart and allow you to practice your new storytelling skills straightaway. This means that you can start honing your delivery skills even before you have written any stories of your own.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”
 - J. K. Rowling


In this instance we are talking about stories that complement, enhance and amplify a mentalism effect. Stories that you don't just tell, but share. and Over the last two years I have released several effects and routines that exemplify this beautiful combination:

An Endless Journey 

Lost And Found 

Peculiar Tales 

The Mysteries 

Of course, this kind of deeper, more immersive material is perfect for those occasions when you have both the time and opportunity to present them properly and fully engage your audience

However the majority of the story/effects I'll be teaching in the Workshop are short, sharp shocks! Snappy little stories that deliver a killer effect and don't require either a lengthy performance window, involved set-up or special props.

"People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around." - Terry Pratchett


The Workshop is intended for magicians, mentalists, mindreaders, psychic entertainers, public speakers and storytellers who want to add some depth, meaning and resonance to their performances.

Performers and entertainers who enjoy delighting their audiences with something unique, interactive and memorable.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” - Phillip Pullman


You will also receive an exclusive booklet that has been specifically written for this Workshop. It will contain a primer on storytelling, details of the stories told and the 'performance' material that accompanies them. The booklet also contains a select Bibliography of some of the great storytelling mentalism material already in print.

You are also encouraged to take copious notes through out. In fact not just encouraged, it's mandatory! No audio or video recording will be allowed.

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” -Hannah Arendt


You will NOT be able to attend this event unless you have paid in advance. You CANNOT pay on the day or leave it until the last minute.

Places are strictly limited and are likely to sell out very quickly, so please click the Paypal button below to guarantee your place now.

The Workshop fee is £100.

If you can't make the London Workshop, the good news is that most of it will be recorded!

The price for the Storytelling Workshop DVD and Notes package is the same - £100.

They will be shipped on Monday September 18th. 
Only 12 copies are available. (*Update 2 copies are left.)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Simplex Square

The Simplex Square is the super easy and direct Magic Square that I have been using for close-up, walk-around and casual performances for the last 12 or 13 years. 

It uses something that you already have in your wallet: business cards.

The effect is simplicity itself: someone secretly chooses (and writes down) a number. You take out a business card and draw a square, filling it with numbers. You ask which column their number is in. 

Of course, they reply that it isn’t in any of them. You ask them to choose any one of the 4 columns and whichever they indicate, you show it to add up to their secretly chosen number.

You then show that the other 3 columns also add up to their secret number. Then all four rows...Then both diagonals... Then all four corners... The four middle numbers, etc, etc.

Almost zero memory work and the although handling is super easy it is also very deceptive. And because you are apparently unaware of the number it elevates the effect from being a clever maths demonstration to an absolutely impossible brain‐boggler!

I promise, you'll learn this in 10 minutes and use it all the time. It is also the PERFECT way to hand out your business card.

If you already do a Magic Square, then you don't need this. But if you've been meaning to learn one, or did learn one and then forgot the maths, or always been put off by the thought of having to remember a complex formula, then this is the one you need!

Reviews from early purchasers:

"I've been using James Biss' Magic Square for years, but this is much easier, the tiny little bit of maths is simpler and follows a more logical progression, plus Mark tips some great resources for anyone wanting to explore and expand this plot. 10/10." - Elliott Watson

"Mark this is such a worker. Thanks." - Tony Hawkins

"Awesome stuff Mark, thanks again." - Ryan Fricke

"I'll be adding it to my wallet very shortly." - Dean Odell

The Simplex Square is fully explained in an eBook*.
The price is £11.

Monday, 29 May 2017



1. a circular symbol depicting a snake swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness, infinity or self-reference.
2. a very, VERY unusual card trick.
3. an absolute miracle!

"I absolutely LOVE Ouroboros! No one else is releasing material on this level. Conceptually brilliant AND a total worker. My fave thing Mark has put out alongside Limelight."James Went

I think this might well be a brand new plot in card magic!

You show a deck of cards which is completely unlike ANY your audience has ever seen: every single card in the deck has something written on the face of it - exactly how it should be revealed! E.g. the Ace of Hearts has "Inside the box" written on it, meaning that should a participant pick the Ace of Hearts, it will appear inside the card box.

And all 52 cards have a different message: "Face-up in the deck", "Rise out of the deck", "Folded up in a box", "In a wallet (and an envelope!)", "Under your watch", "At a named number", etc, etc.

The deck is shuffled and the participant selects a card and reads the message, so that he knows how it will be revealed. The performer turns his head away so that he sees neither. The card is very cleanly shuffled back into the deck which is placed on the table. The performer never touches it again (oh, and nothing is palmed out of the deck at any time!)

The performer now asks how the card should be revealed and the participant responds: in the performer's pocket. The performer is dubious and shows his pocket empty. He then asks what card the participant chose and the participant says the "Three of Diamonds". The participant counts through the deck to find that there are only 51 cards and that the Three of Diamonds is missing.

The performer reaches inside his pocket again... and it is still empty. He asks the participant to tell him the EXACT words that were on the card. The participant replies that it said "In his pocket." The performer is incredulous as he explains that no one has ever picked the Three of Diamonds before and that the has always wondered how it would work! 

He says that since HE owns the deck, it means that the message is referring to the participant's pocket! Unbelievably, when the participant reaches into his own pocket he finds his own selected card!!

The good news is that Ouroboros is not just the killer trick described above, but a complete system, which means that the effect can be repeated with a different card and a different outcome. 

All of my preferred outcomes are 'card to impossible location' effects for reasons I explain in the instructions, but once you know the system you can adapt it to your own needs. It can also be very easily incorporated as the climax of any multiple selection routine that you might already perform.

Ouroboros is so strong that it has to be used as a closer. In fact it might be the ONLY card trick you include in that particular set. Certainly nothing can follow it.

And one of my beta testers has been astonishing with it at weddings, with the bride finding her selection inside the groom's pocket whilst you are stood on the opposite side of the table!

Comes will full instructions and all the required secret stuff. Supply your own Bicycle deck. I decided to let you write your own deck (which is fully explained in the instructions) so that Ourboros can be performed in any language.

Fantastic! Love the plot, it’s totally unique. And the effect seems completely impossible. This also opens up SO many avenues for workers. Jazz card magic just took a giant leap forward. Highest recommendation.”Gary Jones

The price is £25 plus postage.

Postage Options:

Digital Ouroboros

This eBook is an adaption of the original Ouroboros effect, discussing the effect in terms of its use with the Digital Force Bag app released by Nick Einhorn. 

Ouroboros is a brand new effect in card magic: the very act of choosing a card decides how the trick will end and the card will be revealed, since the revelation is physically written on the card itself. The Digital Ouroboros eBook provides a thorough conceptual background, without which I believe it is impossible to truly do the effect justice.

The Digital Ouroboros handling has some trade-offs in terms of concept, presentation and effect, but it allows you to perform something quite similar to the original using nothing more than the DRB app and a regular deck.

The price is £15.