Saturday, December 28, 2013

Episode 9 "Vortex"

More Review

I would lie to you telling you that this trick is the second coming of Dai Vernon. It is not. However this is great filler. Really great filler. There is just magic filler and then there is great filler. The difference is simple. Great filler is something people remember. And this weird image of two cards twirled together, as brief as it is, will be remembered.

My core group (commonly referred to as "friends") loved that trick. They have seen me doing card tricks for many years. And they loved it. That gave me a lot of confidence to actually do this for...

...the "stranger" group. All see me doing magic for the first time. The reactions were this "what the bloody shitty fuck just happend"-face among colorful language. Man they begged me to repeat this. Begged me. And it was tough not doing it. But I'm getting told that the guys still talk about it, whenever magic, or cards come up. And that is a really good thing. If I were to leave my business card there as well they would have been future clients.

And the third group was done in my theater. Which is the perfect setting for this. Even among all the strong stuff (the cups and balls, rope magic and even the sponge balls) this stood out. Not as a strong piece of magic, but as a memorable piece of magic.

Watch the demo:

Even More Review

You can put this in several existing routines. It can be done as a mere optical illusion or even be sold as some sort of hynotism. In fact the fact that only one side of the cards in the hand has the weird twirling thing and the other side looks regular can work to your advantage if you do any dual reality stuff. I'll leave you at that to explore the possibilities.

The next thing is a rather simple fact. If you have the gimmick in the deck, it can be used as a locator card, as a slight bevel of the deck will allow you to edge read the position of the gimmick and therefore the location of the selection and/or stack.

Here is an idea that I think already exists. It must, as it is so obvious. Make yourself some of your business cards with that design, allowing you to do that Vortex effect with your business cards. After the examination they can keep the business cards. I hope you see the opportunity that lies within the idea? If the back side of you business card is white and of standard size (as most of the client's cards are) you can even fuse your business card with their business card. After the trick they keep yours and you keep theirs. If you have any sense of business you know what to do from thereon.

Episode 8 "Freaky Body Illusions"

More Review

There are a ton of things taught on the DVD. Like making your thumb travel, stretching your thumb, switching fingers, pulling off your finger, breaking your fingers, pushing your thumb through your ear and so on. All of those don't need any of the supplied gimmicks. So I'm not concentrating my review on them. Just the stuff that you need the props for.

The box can be used to store all the needed props, which is a good thing. The living hand illusion can be set up in there. And you can get rid of the gimmick in there as well. However if you do that you cannot use the box for the twisting the head illusion. I mentioned it in the video, but I feel the need to say it again: The ins and outs are not taught and the suggested order of the tricks do not make it obvious how to get in or out. In fact the suggested order of the tricks make it downright impossible to get rid of a few of the things. I wouldn't mind this fact if this was a product intended for the magic community. This is clearly not. The target audience are kids. And they would have a hard time to figure that shit out.

But I decided to show some of the bits to my core group. My friends. They have seen me succeed and fail with magic many times. I did the levitation, the living hand thing and some of the finger things. The reaction I got was mixed. But one thing was very apparent. It is highly entertaining. The finger stuff was a good opener, the hand thing was a solid piece of funny, but not a convincing piece of magic. And the levitation, well they had no clue, save for the fact that I really didn't levitate.  One said: "It looks like you float, looks like and illusion" Looks like an illusion means it doesn't look like the real thing.

The second group was the "stranger" group. All see me doing magic for the first time. In this case I have tried it for a few different audiences. Kids, adults and a mixture of both. I started with the finger tricks, which in every case got nice reactions, but far from a magical experience. The hand thing got a strong reaction from the kids and initally from the adults as well. However the later group really understood it as a gag and not as a magical thing. The mix group was the weirdest. The adults had more fun enjoying the kids reactions than anything else. I didn't do the levitation thing, as the setup of the show didn't allow for that.

And the third group was a formal booking. I felt weird doing anything with the green gloves, so I didn't do it. I did the finger thing as "my personal warm up" and there it went great. I did the neck breaker and then actually did the head twister to "fix" the break. It went okay, but I'm used to much stronger reactions.

Watch the demo:

Even More Review

I really think that for a product for kids this spoils way too much. I especially don't like the fact that the third hand gimmick is exposed like that. I think that this is a really good principle if used sparingly. Then again the thumb tip is over exposed and pros still use it. But it makes life harder than it has to be.

So this is certainly nothing for a professional magician. For an amateur maybe, as he gets a lot of material which if you really put thought into this can be used to enhance existing routines. I don't recommend it, unless you have money to burn and some kids who would love it.