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Architect of the Mind By Drew Backenstoss (Strongly recommended)

Architect of the Mind
Strongly recommended
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Architect of the Mind By Drew Backenstoss (Strongly recommended)
I'm very excited to announce that my first major release to the community is finally available. 

This is a 326 page hardback printed in beautiful quality by Haresign Press. The contents cover 18 fully scripted routines and 10 essays ranging from stagecraft to best business practices. 

Click HERE for a complete description of each chapter.


​Because this is my "debut" book I feel a need to give potential purchasers as much assurance as possible that this will be a worthwhile investment of your time and money. To that end I would be happy to send you the chapter titled "The Usual Suspects" as a free preview. Click HERE to add the sample PDF to your cart.

As I said - I want you to be happy with your decision to invest in my work. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out.

You can also visit the Magic Cafe thread on Architect of the Mind to see a variety of other reviews from those who have taken me up on a special offer I ran there in preparation for the book launch.


I will personally fulfill all orders being shipped to North and South America. My friend in the UK will handle all others. This arrangement helps keep shipping costs down and reduces the amount of time your order will take to arrive. Please contact me directly at if you'd like me to sign your copy and you live outside of North and South America. 
"I've only recently made the acquaintance of Drew, but I would already rate him as one of my favourite mentalism thinkers and creators. We share so much in common about our views of what performance mentalism should be that it's almost as if our minds are really linked! I love ALL of his ideas and routines. Every single effect is a worker, he absolutely understands how to get the most entertainment and audience interaction out of every routine. Architect of the Mind is undoubtedly one of the most valuable mentalism resources that you will ever buy. Do yourself AND your audiences a favour - buy this now and make sure you read every word, I can't recommend this highly enough!" Marc Paul

"I know I wrote the foreword, so that this with a grain of salt if you like, but I've read this book and fully expect it to be the Tarbell book of the year. I tried to get Drew out to the last MINDS but logistics prevented it. I think if he'd been able to attend, word would have spread and this book would be the most hotly anticipated thing in mentalism. 

This book will be a classic and a resource to performers for years to come." Atlas Brookings

"I am also obviously involved in this project since I wrote the afterword for the book but I can objectively say that this book is destined to be a classic. Drew has definitely been the best kept secret in mentalism so far but this is about to change.

In a time that everyone is looking for the next best thing and 'cutting edge' methods that sometimes have questionable results, this book offers a combination of classic methods that have stood the test of time combined with clever subtleties to produce stunning and entertaining routines.

I can recommend this book to everyone who is seriously interested in the art of mentalism with my hand on my heart. Great material from a creator who is not only a brilliant thinker but an amazing performer as well." Manos Kartsakis

ALL are 5 stars review:
1. I very rarely write reviews. However, I believe Architect of the Mind by Drew Backenstoss is destined to become a classic alongside the writings of Annemann, Corinda and Cassidy. Drew is clearly well read, and he takes great measure to credit the many who have influenced him. I was impressed with his thoroughness of thought. His true contribution is his ability to combine methods into routines that have a gestalt effect. In the style of Barrie Richardson from Theater of the Mind, Drew starts off each segment with a well written script that is both wonderfully crafted, and audience tested. I also really appreciated his transparency, including his thoughts about respecting and even encouraging volunteers to shine. Overall this is an outstanding book and I highly recommend it.

2. This book represents the comprehensive work of a very promising, careful and inventive thinker in mentalism. There is a point in life when one appreciates the nuances and stops chasing the short-term goals. When one values the merits of good ideas rather than coveting things. This work is of special value to those mature performers. But it is also of value to the less experienced in much the same way as the work of Bob Cassidy in that it based in comprehensive, real world experience-based thinking.

3. This will not be long-winded or overly-detailed. For details, run, don't walk, and purchase a copy of this book. It is worth many times over its price. On that statement alone, you can surely guess how this review will go. 

Drew's book is among that rare set that make me want to say "Don't buy this!" so that I can have the wealth of insight to myself. However, that would defeat the entire purpose of what Drew has so graciously gifted our community. Yes, there are wonderful routines in this book - workers, all. The real value in this tome is to be found between the lines of script and direction. Drew has provided a masterclass on entertaining an audience with mentalism (no easy task, as evidenced by just how few entertaining mentalists there are). Drew's real gift is one of elevating this craft and everyone performing professionally along with it. 

Drew immediately connected with me through his writing, as we have very similar inspirations (I suspect this is true of many readers of the book) and a similar approach to material. As a professional performer for many years, it's always nice to meet other professionals who, like me, are not particularly focused on attempting to create completely original material, but instead taking great established ideas and re-shaping them; building on their foundations to suit us. 

This is one of the very best books I have ever read on the subject, and I have read a lot (Corinda, Annemann, Cassidy, Richardson, Jermay, etc., etc.), and it will take its place on my shelf among them.

4. I love this book. 

Not just for the material, which is good, but for the way it's delivered. 

Every routine is well considered, but more than that Drew really shows his workings. He explains the pieces that he's drawn inspiration for, how he's combined different parts of other routines, why he's made the decisions he's made, and how that impacts on the delivery. He gives you all the cues so that you can understand how and why he got where he got - which makes it easy to use the same pieces to get to a place that is your own, not a direct clone. 

Nothing in here would be amiss in any pro's act, but it's not just the strength of the material, it's the clarity of the thought process that really shines. Drew is clearly well versed in the current themes and practitioners of mentalism across the world, and he shows how to synthesise all that cutting edge knowledge into straightforward, practical, hard hitting and untrackable mentalism. 

More like this, please! This should be the benchmark for a book by a worker - not a collection of tricks, not a set of routines, but an exploration of thinking that opens those tricks and routines to a deeper understanding.

5. Where do I start?...

At the time of writing this review, I haven't yet met Drew and that is something that I want to change ASAP!

Having read the preview chapter for AoTM, I was blown away by his clever thinking and excellent writing style and at that moment, I KNEW that I had to buy the full book.

Having waited for what felt like YEARS (when in actual fact it was just a few months) this book landed at my doorstep and I began reading it that same night. 

The very first effect, R.M.R, drew me even further into the book - No pun intended...

Having gone through the complete project several times over now, I can safely and securely say that it is worth AT LEAST double it's RRP and is in the same league as the other classics of modern mentalism.

It wasn't long into my first read before I realised how thoroughly Drew had considered each routine, each moment and each line to maximise the impact it had for his audiences. Many of the routines shared in this book will see a performance from me and I will do my absolute best to perform these just as strongly as Drew has been because I know that his audiences will have loved being a part of them.

But it's not just the 'tricks' that Drew has shared here.

He's shared some brilliant theatrical and business related ideas in here, even being so generous as to share his own Performance Agreement with a specific breakdown of WHY certain clauses are included and the importance of elements we would never have considered before - How many other performers have dreamed of including anything like this?

If you're in the position in which you are considering buying this, I could not recommend it more highly. You'll learn valuable information from every single page of this incredible project.

On that note, I think I'm going to have another look at one of my favourite routines in the book - I'm bound to have missed some more gold!

Thank you Drew!

Average rating: 5.0 based on 15 reviews
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