Before We Begin

Book by Asi Wind
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Before We Begin by Asi Wind
Before We Begin by Asi Wind

Asi Wind is a shining light in our industry, and his first book, Repertoire, was a true sensation when it was first published. We're delighted that Asi Wind has teamed up with us again for his brilliant new book, Before We Begin. This is one of the most comprehensive books to be released on a topic that very few performers understand: the art of the pre-show

Pre-show allows you to add miracles—showstopping, inexplicable moments—to your show. But, only when it's handled correctly. Asi realized that, shockingly, there are weren't many other books on how to properly conduct pre-show techniques. Before We Begin fills this void.

In this gorgeous new book, Asi Wind explores every angle of pre-show work: how to select volunteers, what to say, how to avoid problems, what to say onstage so that nobody realizes that you spoke with anyone before the show, and more. You’ll learn ways to enhance your current material, as well as explore opportunities to add completely new elements to your show.

Asi Wind is not only an expert on this topic, but also interviewed three other magic luminaries to provide more well-rounded insights: Luke Jermay, Max Maven, and Penn Jillette. While Asi performs mostly mentalism onstage, the information in this book is equally applicable to magicians and mentalists.

This book is the best in class and the only book of its kind. Wefirmly believe that, for years to come, Before We Begin will be regarded as an essential text for parlor magic and stage magic performers. This book is the key to unlocking the next level of your magic performance.

For magic collectors, we have also produced 300 deluxe editions of Before We Begin. These limited edition books come with a bookplate signed by Asi and are housed in a uniquely-designed kinetic slipcase that opens so beautifully, it’s like a magic trick in itself.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since shooting the trailer, we’ve been made aware that in fact this is not the first book devoted to pre-show. Mark Strivings’ Before The Curtain Rises was published in 2000 and is out of print. Thanks to our friends that pointed this out.

147 pages | Hardback.

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Before We Begin - Deluxe Edition

We went all out with this limited, deluxe collectors edition of Asi’s Before We Begin book. It is limited to 300 copies and comes with a signed and hand-numbered endplate and a custom kinetic display case that makes the book pop up into view when you open it. Once they are sold out, they will never be available again.

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Contents of Asi Wind's Before We Begin

  • First Impressions
  • Selecting Targets
  • Approaching Targets
    • Justification
    • Walk-Around
  • Tools
    • Obtaining Information
    • Forcing
  • Scripting
    • Pre-Show Script (Drawing Duplication)
    • Show Script (Drawing Duplication)
  • Camouflage
    • Pre-Show Script (Excerpt)
    • Show Script (Excerpt)
    • Randomness
    • Shifting Focus
    • The Challenge
    • Changing Your Mind
    • Have We Ever Met Before?
  • Assisted Pre-Show
    • Assistant’s Pre-Show Script
    • Mentalist’s Show Script
  • Unusual Pre-Show
    • Incomplete Pre-Show
    • Open Pre-Show
    • Half-Open Pre-Show
    • Candid Pre-Show
    • Expandable Pre-Show
    • Eavesdropping
    • Across Time and Space
    • Pre-Order
  • An Ounce of Prevention
    • Cue Sheet
    • Preventing Exposure
    • Overuse
    • Missing Targets
    • Unchangeables
  • Video & TV
  • Virtual Pre-Show
  • Scripts
    • Book Test (Pre-Show Script)
    • Book Test (Show Script)
    • Think of a Name (Pre-Show Script)
    • Think of a Name (Show Script)
  • A Brief History
  • Max Maven Interview
  • Penn Jillette Interview
  • Luke Jermay Interview
  • Final Words
  • Epilogue

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Community questions about Before We Begin

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Andreas asks: Hi. Can the material also be used in close-up settings with smaller groups? Thanks

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There are no routines taught in the book but rather the technique of Pre-Show. This can be applied for smaller, formal performances.
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Customer reviews for Before We Begin

Reviewer

Phil

Just purchased. This is a no brainer decision. Asi Wind is one of the very best performers and teachers today. I’m sure this book will become the year’s #1.

 
Reviewer

Marc

I just ordered this in deluxe version. I have been looking for this type of book for many years . Finally thank G-D asi released this . I plan on giving a more detailed review once I read it. I’m sure it will be amazing
Asi trained me many years ago and his attention to detail is fantastic and made my show better. Enjoy

 
Reviewer

Mattia

I have been waiting for a long time, and finally make me happy, i love the study and the passion of asi wind for the magic world, definitely one of my favorite magician in the entire planet! thank you for this gift!

 
Reviewer

Matt

This is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone willing to read and think deeply about what is being presented.
I imagine some will be disappointed that there are no routines fully-taught that can be cut and pasted into their repertoire. Scripts are provided to illustrate method and strategy, not to be copied. If that is what you are hoping for, don't buy this book.

I greedily hope people will overlook the true value and opportunity this book presents to the performer open to raising the level of their magic and mentalism. A recipe book this is not, but more of a field guide for the adventurous performer who is content to enter uncertain territory.

I tend to read books that are heavy on sleight of hand and explain routines or the philosophy and theory of performance and magic. This book doesn't really sit into either of those categories comfortably. Methods and philosophy are discussed, but this felt more like an overview, a masterclass or lecture that can save you a lot of time and avoidable mistakes. Asi Wind has researched, practiced, adapted and delivered extremely successful performances based on this tactic, and now he is sharing it with you. He also shares his failures in the hope that other will avoid the avoidable.

If you think the price is high for the size of the book, imagine hiring Mr Wind to teach you pre-show for an couple of hours and be thankful he has put fingers to keyboard.

I'd never thought about using pre-show in my own performances and came to the book somewhat skeptical and uncertain of what I would get out of it. I knew Asi Wind could deliver ingenious routines and invisible sleight of hand. I wasn't sure what this book would offer me personally. I've not come away with revolutionary new methods to achieve pre-show, though there are certainly some nuggets of gold ( general tips, strategies and guidance for the complete newcomer are provided) in these pages that I will guard jealously. This book does something far more important, it makes the case for why you should consider pre-show as a tool in your arsenal.

On this last point his book has succeeded admirably. It has changed my mind about pre-show and made me want to explore it as a way to heighten my own performances. I think this is a noble achievement for a magic book. I hope Asi Wind continues to produce more thought provoking books on other subjects.

PS Read it with a pen and paper to hand. There are brilliant tips peppered throughout.

 
Reviewer

Dale

Asi Wind is one of the most creating performers in the world of magic and mentalism. Having appeared on Penn and Teller's "Fool Us" his presentation and technical skill are unsurpassed. His new book "Before We Begin" is a must for any serious professional or amateur performer. I highly recommend this book and would consider my own performing library incomplete without it. Vanishing wins again with its recent additions to the Asi Wind collection of performances, lectures, and books.
Pre-show allows you to add miracles—showstopping, inexplicable moments—to your show. But, only when it's handled correctly. Asi realized that, shockingly, there are weren't many other books on how to properly conduct pre-show techniques. Before We Begin fills this void.

Selecting the right volunteers: Asi Wind explores every angle of pre-show work: how to select volunteers, what to say, how to avoid problems, what to say onstage so that nobody realizes that you spoke with anyone before the show, and more. You’ll learn ways to enhance your current material, as well as explore opportunities to add completely new elements to your show.

Limited Edition: There are only 300 deluxe editions of "Before We Begin." These limited edition books come with a bookplate signed by Asi and are housed in a uniquely-designed kinetic slipcase that opens so beautifully, it’s like a magic trick in itself.

Great work Vanishing and Asi Wind.

 
Reviewer

Gary

Before We Begin is an excellent book. Asi Wind’s years of experience are distilled and presented in extremely easy to understand methods that provide the real work on Preshow. His insights eliminate the concerns and provide the necessary confidence for those of us just starting out or experienced in using this technique. Well worth the price! Thank you Asi!

 
Reviewer

Michael

The book is an interesting read, but after finishing it, it feels like only a few points hammered in over and over in different phrasings. It is also much shorter than I was expecting considering the price. I had a blast reading Parlor Tricks and Darkest Corners, and yes, this one doesn't contain any effects like those did, but the essays within seemed far more in depth. If this was $20 cheaper, it would be a good value, but at its current price point, I was underwhelmed with the surface level overview.

Before We Begin by Asi Wind