Tony Corinda, 13 Steps to Mentalism, Introduction to Step 6
In the spirit of non-exposure and the purpose of this site, I will assume that you know what a billet is, and I will continue to call it this. I list here various published sources for works on billets - books and DVD's. Along with this, The Centre Tear and related techniques will also fall under this chapter.
13 Steps to Mentalism and Annemann's Practical Mental Effects both have chapters on billets and the switching of billets, but they're both pretty short and not very inspiring. Some of the great routines with billets are included in these books, but personally I've never felt motivated to really learn these routines. Maybe because they're not packaged and presented in sexy MTV editing, magic shop newsletters and demo videos with quasi rock-'n-roll backtracks. But, we all always hear and read that these routines have always been the back-bone, the foundation of real mentalism. I guess (most of us coming from magic and card tricks) we feel that a 'simple' switch of papers cannot really have the impact that they all talk about. I mean, these techniques are so old...
The main book (without all the supplements) do not contain many tricks or routines, rather applications for these techniques (and where you can find these routines). Although, the tricks described in the main book are all just as meticulously explained as the switching techniques themselves. One of the best applications is for Annemann's classic "A Question and the Answer", where Mr Bresler takes us down different paths to accomplish this effect. Along with this, there are applications for the switches as 'Outs' or Forces. Also a whole range of direct mind reading applications, close-up. Mr Bresler also describes a aroutine he calls Epic X - a close-up triple-prediction effect, with variations. At the end of the book, he goes over some ideas for Pocket Writing as well, and finishes the book with a list of books and sources for the billet student.
I have to repeat, this book is very well researched, with references almost on every page. Every effect and technique is explained in complete detail. There are even tips on Dual Reality uses and Equivoque. The book would have been great on its own, but then Mr Bresler also included MANY updates and 'Supplements' to the original, and this make it shine even brighter.
The Supplements I received started with what he calls 'The Billet Machine' - billet techniques for mass mind reading. This spans a good 30 pages, just as meticulously explained.
SwitchCraft is one of the best buys I have ever made, and it really suits to demystify billets and their applications. It is also WAY too cheap - $20.00
SwitchCraft is available here.
- Stuart Cumberland also has a very comprehensive discussion and a CLEAR explanation on billet switching in his treatise on the Annemann One Man Psychic and Mental Act.
- Another wonderful, albeit more expensive opus on billets, is Stuart Cumberland's package, King of the Billets. Be sure to check it out.