Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vernon Meets Bro. Hamman

A few years ago, I had an incomplete effect that utilised the idea from the late Professor, Dai Vernon. I am using his famous plot "Twisting the Aces" to work on with other effects but it seemed didn't work well and the dissatisfaction part was the handling. Due to that, I considered that was my incomplete project and today, I managed to combine this initial plot with Bro. John Hamman's famous effect which is a nice seamless effect.

I truly believe that the traditional "Twisting the Aces" effect has been a widely acceptance tool for every magicians in their impromptu card magic performances. Due to that, I refreshed some of the handling and adding some other plot to make this effect more interesting and powerful. Sometimes, we as a magician if we don't changed any current effect or to create something fresh that we usually do in our performance, there is a high probability that the spectators will feedback to you that they have seen this magic performed by other magicians. They will less impress by watching the same magic again and again. It all depends, you may vary the presentation too and sometimes a good presentation that you incorporate in an effect will create the impact as well.

Andrew Loh

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Ace-assembly Effect

This morning, I managed to come up an ace-assembly effect using non-gimmick cards. I am proud to be able to come up this effect as all these years, I always strive to come up at least one ace-assembly effect which base on my own version and ideas. I have read many versions but the disappointment part is, I lose interests quickly especially using gimmick cards to achieve this plot or there's ditching of cards at the end of the act.

I also dislike to bluff the spectators (I know as we always do), meaning that when you say you are using twelve cards, you really mean twelve cards you will use and not fourteen cards. If you do so, at the end, it seems this act will restrict you to perform other effects and you have to "ditch" the cards. Some versions using sticky-tape to achieve this plot which I think too much of hassle to take up this plot. In this version which I came up, I have to do extensive research whether my version is original or published elsewhere. If it's my own originality, perhaps I will reserve and include in my hardcopy for next year.

I believe my handling is very clean and each of the ace is travelled one at a time to join the leader ace (spades). At the end, your spectators can examine everything. Absolutely no ditching of cards and what I say is what you will get in my this effect.

Andrew Loh

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Forest Fruit Cake" as our Christmas Celebration

Yesterday was a wonderful evening. At first, we thought of going "Sunway Pyramid" which is located at Subang Jaya but we knew that there would be a lot of people to celebrate Christmas. So, what we do?

My girlfriend and I, we decided to buy a Forest Fruit cake to celebrate Christmas at home. So, without thinking much, at the end we bought the cake. It's my first time to buy a cake and celebrate together. The cake was so delicious until both of us couldn't resist the temptation of quickly enjoying the cake. The cake was finely made and best of all, I really like the cake which is not so sweet. I dislike to eat cake that is sweet and with too many icing sugar on top and the like. The only thing I found is, this cake only had two "baby" strawberries on top of the cake with chocolate.

On top of that, I wish I will have the chance to enjoy trying another cake with my girlfriend. I hope in the near future or before Chinese New Year, I will buy a cake for my parents to try and I believe they will like it.

Andrew Loh

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My New Ebooks - Coming Soon!

Recently, I toyed around with a deck of playing cards and somehow I did come up a few card magic effects.

I just have no time to put up everything in scripts but I do hope after my final Business Financial and International Human Resource exams, I would be able to back on track and move things up. I just would like to update my readers that, soonly my new ebook will be on sales.

Again, my materials are mainly cards and I focus in delivering impromptu card magic. As a cardician for all over the years, one thing I notice is that, impromptu card magic is still the best. I am not condeming other card magic that uses gimmicks or special set-up, what I am trying to say is, it is better to perform any magic that can be performed anytime and anywhere. My principle in card magic always aim that vision to create a powerful magic without the use of heavy card sleights. In my "The Loh of Attraction" ebook, I include three of my favourite card effects. There are "A Quick Sandwich", "Metamorphosis" and "Shift the Signature" which are my all-time favourites.

Perhaps I will sell another effect of mine which I called "Collectors Card Case" which is inspired by Roy Walton. In this effect, this involves two selections. The idea is you place the three Kings inside the card case. Any two cards are freely selected and lost in the deck.

Instantly when the card case is opened, the performer tips out the contents and the Kings are seemed to interlace two face-down cards between them. When the face-down cards are removed, these cards proved to be spectators' selections. Spectators may sign their cards if you wish. There are no gimmicks involve in this effect and you can performed with a borrowed deck. There is no set-up, this effect is ideal for walkaround and table-hopping magic.

My next ebook the highlight effect is "Divide & Conjure" and this is my variation to "Spectator Cuts to the Aces" theme with a different climax at the end. I incorporated this effect with some transposition concept and the magic happens right in front of the spectator's face. The spectator cuts the deck and magically the four court cards will do wonders.

If your spectators have seen many versions of the usual "Spectator Cuts to the Aces" plot, in this effect, it will entirely different. On top of that, the "Divide & Conjure" meets the following criteria:

4100% no set-up or gimmicks
4Can be performed with any deck
4The spectators' selections can be signed
4Ideal for close-up or table-hopping magic
4Spectators can freely select any card in the deck
4Everything can be examined before and after the routine

Andrew Loh

Monday, December 22, 2008

Magical Tips

I will share with you the following tips when you perform magic to the public or friends. The tips below are just merely a basic or essential rules to obey in magic. I hope you find it useful and any feedback is much appreciated.

4 Do not overdo it! -- It is not a wise idea to do too many tricks in one session. Four or five knockout tricks should be quite enough for one session. Leave them wanting more.

4 Never divulge your secrets! -- If an audience asks you "how do you do it?" Just answer: "Very well!" or "It's magic!"

4 Never repeat a trick! -- You can repeat the trick unless you can create the same effect by using a totally different method or handling. Forewarned is forearmed - if an audience knows what is about to happen, there is high percentage that they will discover how it happens or you do the trick.

4 People will be watching your hands! -- It's wise to make sure that your hands are clean and well manicured if you are going to do a performance especially in close-up magic.

4 Know what you are going to say before you say it! -- Your patter has to be practised as much as your technique. There is nothing worse than a waffling magician. You could write yourself a script or record it on tape to help you develop a smooth flow.

4 Practise! -- It is essential that you practise until you know the trick backwards - until you can perform it in your sleep. The more you practise, the slicker you will become. Practise in front of a mirror so you can see how it looks from the spectator's point of view.

4 Do not try to make your audience looks foolish! -- Some people get annoyed if they cannot work out a trick. Explain beforehand that your objective is to entertain them. If they knew how you did your tricks, it would be worth doing them in the first place, would it?

4 Tricks sometimes go wrong! -- It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you will be able to disguise your embarrassment because you very seldom tell an audience what you are going to do until you have done it! If it is not possible, the best policy is to laugh off and go on to your next trick. Try not to be thrown off your stride by the problems. Find out what went wrong and at your first opportunity, get in some more practice so that you do not make the same mistake again.

4 Smile! -- Do not take your newly found skill as a wonderworker too seriously. You will not be entertaining if you do. Nobody likes a smart Alec.

Andrew Loh

Egyptian Magic

Egyptians were the masters magicians in the ancient world. It was said that "ten measures of magic" were given to the world. Egypt took nine, the rest took one. A few thousands years ago, the studies of religion, magic and science were intimately interwoven. The paintings on the wall and tombs, for instance, there were actually signify magical spells.

Sometimes, it also regarded as the "Book of the Dead", a source where it details spells, rituals, and incantations to ward off danger and evil in the soul's long journey into the afterlife. The first recorded magicians were in Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs. Magic was an enormous force in Egypt at the time of Exodus. It is known that in the past centuries, those people have the abilities to predict the future recognised as two different gifts. It is said that magicians were also skilled in phophecy at that time.

To Egyptians, words were magical and in order to preserve them, hieroglyphics were created. One of them is the "Eye of Horus", which is often used in magic. Horus was the son of the two chief deities, Osiris and Isis. Osiris's brother Seth killed Osiris out of jealousy. Horus avenged his father by attacking Seth, but during the battle, Seth gouged out Horu's eye. The eye was considered a symbol of the soul in ancient Egypt, so without it, Horus would be denied entry to the afterlife.

Thoth, the bird-headed god of reckoning, returned the eye to Horus in the form of amulet. To guarantee entry into the underworld, ancient Egypts used to place precious amulets featuring the eye on their dead. Haitian, Wiccan, Voodoo, Obeah and Indian mystical traditions inherit the symbolism of the eye as the "all-seeing eye" or the "third eye".

Andrew Loh

Buatier de Kolta

Buatier de Kolta (real name Joseph Buatier) is perhaps the greatest inventor of stage tricks and illusions in the history of Magic. From his brain came, among others: The Vanishing Bird Cage, The Handkerchief Pull, The Multiplying Billiard Balls, Spring Flowers, and The Human Cage. He had a patent for Black Art and, according to some authors, introduced the use of silk handkerchiefs in Magic.

He was a Frenchman, having been born in Lyon the 18 of November, 1847. He gave his first magic performance as an amateur in 1868 and became a professional magician in 1870 when he partnered with an excentric Hungarian showman named Julius Vido de Kolta, from whom he took his stage name. Bautier de Kolta is a world famous illusionist. He developed a very famous trick known as "Expanding Die".

The magician walks on the stage which carrying a satchel, de Kolta states that the satchel contained his wife. He opens the satchel and remove a die which the size approximately 6 inches on a side and it is placed on the table. However, the die grew in size until it was a cube measuring two and a half feet on a side visibly. Then the cube is lifted to reveal his wife.

Another illusion known as "Vanishing Girl" which considered very astounding. A plain metal bridge chair is placed in the center of the stage. Then, a few sheets of newspapers are spread and placed under the chair to eliminate the idea of trap doors.

Next, the magician's assistant is sat on the chair and covered with a cloth. The magician make a conversation with the assistant, whose voice still can be heard and in a sudden, the sheet was whisked aways to show that the girl has vanished. Since this illusion performed at the center of the stage and free from fancy props and in a strong light, this appears that there are no answer as how the girl vanished.

Andrew Loh

Ching Ling Foo

Ching Ling Foo was born Chee Ling Qua in 1854, Beijing, China. He studied traditional Chinese magic and he moved to United States which he became a headliner in vaudeville following a successful career in his native China.

In his performance, he breathed smoke and fire, produced ribbons and a fifteen foot long pole from his mouth. He caused a sensation when he took an empty piece of cloth, produced a huge bowl, which the bowl full of water, and then pulled out a small child!

In New York, he was offered a reward of $1,000 which a great deal of money in those days to anyone who could produce a bowl full of water like he did. He did it for publicity and he never actually meant to hold a contest, but American magician William Robinson didn't know that.

On the other hand, Chung Ling Soo was the stage name of American magician William Robinson. He was inspired to take the name by the work of magician Ching Ling Foo. William Robinson was a New Yorker which he came from a Scottish family who sometimes worked by himself as a magician, but also worked on-stage and built props for other magicians such as Harry Kellar, Adelaide Herrmann and Alexander Herrmann.

Not long after that, Ching Ling Foo refused to let William Robinson try for the $1,000 reward, Robinson went to Europe with a new Chinese-style show of his own and recreated himself as Chung Ling Soo, a Chinese magician. Robinson called himself as "The Original Chinese Conjurer." Even offstage, he was also known as Chung Ling Soo. When the press wanted to interview him, he brought an "interpreter" because he claimed not to speak English.

From the newspaper stories, many European believed that he was a Chinese. However, after a few years later, Robinson's make-up was removed at the hospital due to a fatal performance of the bullet-catching performance. Since then, the public found out that he was not a Chinese.

Andrew Loh

Dai Vernon

Dai Vernon was born on June 11, 1894 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His real name is David Frederick Wingfield Verner. He got the nickname of "Dai" when a typo in a newspaper gave him Dai instead of David. His last name "Vernon" came from the dancer, Vernon Castle, who with his wife was a dancer in the 1920's. While in New York, his name Vernon was carried over since most New Yorkers could not pronounce it correctly. Vernon is the most influential conjuror of the 20th century.

Magicians know him affectionately as ‘The Professor’ because of his apparently endless fountain of magical knowledge and also regarded as 'The Man Who Fooled Houdini.' Harry Houdini boasted that no one could fool him if he saw a trick performed three times in a row. In 1919, in Chicago, Vernon took up his challenge. He performed an old version of 'The Ambitious Card' eight times in a row, and Houdini had no idea how it was done. He also known as the man who "fooled" Houdini.

At the age of 12, Vernon learned and mastered all the sleights of hand tricks in the classic book on card handling - The Expert at the Card Table. Vernon fell in love in magic and he spent his rest of his life baffling everyone with his great ability. He spent the last 30 years of his life in Hollywood, as a mentor for many great close-up magicians.

Conjurors, amateur or professional will immediately have their undivided attention if you mention his name. Vernon improved known tricks and created new ones such as Twisting the Aces. He knew old magicians like Max Malini and Harry Houdini. He had friendship with magicians such as T. Nelson Downs, Allan Shaw, Manuel, and Welch Miller just to name a few.

In 1963, Dai Vernon visited the Magic Castle for the first time to see Jay Ose. Vernon is probably the most notable resident magician of the Magic Castle. Magicians from all over the world came to the Magic Castle to learn from the him. His clinical mind was responsible for many modern classic routines adopted by numerous magicians today. He set new standards, and elevated the art of conjuring more than almost any predecessor.

He is probably the greatest contributor to the art of close-up magic. However, he was a modest person blessed with indescribable charm. He was a true gentleman and everyone loved him. It was very rare to hear Vernon say anything unkind about anybody. Even if the person deserved it, he would always find something positive to say about them. He had the rare ability to fill anyone in his company with renewed enthusiasm for their art, magic. There was only one conjuror that he spoke of negatively, and that was Harry Houdini.

Many of today's great magicians such as Michael Ammar, Bruce Cervon, John Carney, Larry Jennings, Ricky Jay, just to name a few came to learn from Dai Vernon and many of their ideas are came from Dai Vernon. In October 1965, journalist, and amateur conjuror Richard Buffum recorded a series of interviews with Vernon.

This amounted to seven miles of tape. An edited transcript of these interviews appeared in the book, The Vernon Chronicles - Dai Vernon a Magical Life, published in 1992, and edited by Bruce Cervon and Keith Burns, both very close friends of Vernon. It is sad that ‘The Professor’ passed over shortly after the publication of the book. He died at the age of 98, in Hollywood, California in 1992.

Andrew Loh

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Card Magic - Terminology

In this section, I will list the important card magic terminology that a cardician uses in their language. I will update this section often if I have the time and feel free to drop by if you are a magician. I hope this section will somewhat help you in your exploration of the magic art and any feedback is much appreciated.

Act -- The collected tricks and routines that you present at a single seating or performance.

Break -- A break is a small space between two cards, or two sections of cards in a deck. The function of the break is to control or locate card.

Clean -- As used by magicians, a method or technique is clean if it's straightforward without complicated distractions or free of gimmicks. A trick finishes clean if everything (including your hands) can be examined at the end.

Close-Up Trick -- Any trick that can be performed at close quarters to an audience. Coin and card tricks are generally regarded as Close-Up tricks.

Court Card -- Also called as a royal card, picture card or face card in a deck of playing cards: a Jack, a Queen, a King of any suit.

Cut, Complete the Cut -- To magicians, a cut consists of removing the upper portion of cards from the deck and setting them beside the lower portion of the deck. The cut is completed by placing the lower portion of the deck on top of the cut-off portion.

Double Lift -- This is very well-known to most magicians. The idea is you show the top card as one but in reality, you are actually flip the top two cards as one. Normally, a fingerbreak is held between the two top cards before the sleight is executed.

Double Undercut -- To control a selected card to the top or bottom of the deck.

Effect -- What you intend your addience to perceive when they watch a magic trick performed.

Face Card -- The face card is the bottom or lowermost card of a face-down deck or packet of cards, so called because its face can be seen. Court cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) are also referred to as face cards.

False Cut -- A deck is cut several time and the deck still retained in the same order.

False Shuffle -- A shuffle that leaves the deck in the same order.

Free Choice -- Legimately free selection of a playing card from a deck.

Gimmick -- Gimmick or "gaff", is a secret device that's been specially prepared to allow you to accomplish a magic trick.

Glide -- This sleight has been used in many card tricks. The idea is to show the bottom card to the spectator and unknowingly to the spectator, you actually deal the second card from the bottom of the deck to the table.

Glimpse -- It is a technique to note a card secretly during the deck is held or shuffling the pack.

Handling -- The moves, methods, and techniques (not limited to hand movements) used to achieve magic effect.

Jog -- A playing card is said to be jogged when one of its edges is deliberately extended out of the deck, usually a quarter or an inch. An out-jog protrudes from the outer or front side of the deck; an in-jog sticks out of the inner or back side; a side-jog protrudes from either side of the pack.

Key Card -- A card that is used as a "locator."

Legerdemain -- A French term for magic of the hands or sleight of hand.

Misdirection -- Distracting the audience's attention from one place to another during crucial portions of the magic presentation.

Palming -- A method of concealing a card(s).

Patter -- It is a presentation or talk that a magician uses in presenting their magic or trick.

Ribbon Spread -- A long, ribbon-like display of playing cards on a table, or the move to produce such a spread.

Self-Working Tricks -- Tricks that don't require sleight of hand.

Switch -- It is a move in which an object is secretly substitued for another.

Andrew Loh

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fred Robinson Book - The Wait is Finally Over

I have just visited Martin Breese's website and I was very excited that finally, the Fred Robinson book is going to release. I have been waiting this book for so many years and I am going to secure a copy.

If this book is available, I think I would like to say a big "thanks" to Peter Duffie which he had done a wonderful job in writing and compiling Fred's materials. There is no doubt about that.

Just like Peter's previous book on Dave Campbell, I think this book is truly excellent and Peter explained all the effects or routines in great detail. In most Peter's publications, the thing I like to read his manuscripts or books are he is very organised in his writing and plus, the credits are covered in vivid detail. To be honest, throughout the years, I learned many things in terms of broadening my magic crediting or knowledge by reading Peter's eBooks and books especially his writing style to be included too.

Well that's all I can say and I am now waiting for the arrival of my order.

Andrew Loh

My New Gadget

I just started to use a broadband connection today. I am using the Celcom's service and I am quite satisfied in terms of the service provided. The speed is 7.2 Mbps and the surfing time is fast.

Previously, My girlfriend and I we share the internet connection with someone. To tell you the truth, I am not so fond of sharing things with other people (except my loved ones) even though we pay or share the costs. I just hate some people (without using their brain even though they are genius or whatever) just because of a small matter, we end up being scolded in a rough manner. The thing is, there was no sincere apology and still would like to show their ego. I think they behaved that way due to childish attitude is still imbued in them. I really have no respect to this kind of people and my reputation would be tarnished if I continue to befriend with this person.

I have no regret to opt for this new option. My girlfriend and I, now both of us can surf the internet anytime and anywhere. Well, I guess now I have more time in using the internet and spend my time in web portal to access more useful information in my study.

Andrew Loh

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scotland Up Close - My Review

I am very excited the new ebook as I am a big fan of Scottish card magic.

As soon as I read the descriptions and the number of contributors involved in this ebook such as: Peter Duffie, Roy Walton, George McBride, Euan Bingham, and other contributors, this ebook really made me eager and excited to read all the effects. Just read the names of the contributors and the contents, my instinct tells me that this ebook is a "gem". Without elaborating much, please allow me to give my review on each of the effects as follows:


Autograph Hunter (Roy Walton)

Effect:
Roy causes a spectator's signature to jump from one card to another. You'll love this!

- This particular effect has added in my list as the effect itself is practical. It's just visual and has a great element of surprise. I like this effect very much!


The Hands of a Surgeon (Gordon Bruce)

Effect:
Gordon compels an unwitting spectator to cut to the four Aces. It's not often Gordon publishes material, so this is a real treat.

- This is a very nice version of spectator cuts to the Aces using "suspense" patter in the presentation.


The ESP Shuffle (Gavin Ross)

Effect:
In this first routine, Gavin creates an incredible coincidence with an ESP deck despite the cards being mixed by a spectator.

- This effect is easy and self-working. Just follow the steps, and you will amaze this works every time although the spectator has the free choice of cutting, mixing and turning the cards.


Hot Flush (Gavin Ross)

Effect:
In this 2nd routine, a randomly cut deck results in a Royal Flush in Spades!

- This effect is very easy and the ending, it's totally a surprise. At first, it seems like you screw up the effect, but in the end, you produce Royal Flush in Spades! I like this kind of effect especially it has the element of surprise.


Justice is Mine (Jim Boyd)

Effect:
Jim explains how he deals from the Bottom - then he fools you!

- Exactly the effect sounds as above, you may want to read and try this out. Very clever!


Hofzinser 2001 (Peter McLanachan)

Effect:
Peter revisits the Hofzinser Ace Problem and dispenses with the deck, using only four Queens and a freely selected card.

- Another easy yet nice transposition effect. It's practical and I will perform this whenever I have the chance.


A Hobbit's Tale (Euan Bingham)

Effect:
In this 1st routine, Euan vanishes the black Aces. When he tries to produce them again he finds the black Queens instead! This is no problem because the Queens suddenly change into the missing Aces. The black Queens are now found reversed in the middle of the deck.

- This is a nice transposition effect. There are 2 handlings for this effect. I like the way the Aces vanish from top and at the bottom of the pack one at a time. In the end, the Aces and Queens changed places.


Phantom Aces (Euan Bingham)

Effect:
In this one, Euan causes Four signed aces to magically pass from inside a wallet to a deck of cards; he then makes the Aces travel from the deck back into the wallet. All without the use of duplicates or palming!!

- This effect requires you to use a very well-known wallet in order to perform this effect. It's very nice especially the transposition of the cards.


Diamond Snatch (Gary Middleton)

Effect:
Gary makes the four Kings magically rise to the top of the pack, one by one, in search of a Diamond haul - the last King finds it!

- This is a very nice effect, completes with nice patter and presentation. I think Gary's patter goes very well with the routines and spectators would definitely enjoy the routines as well.


King for a Day (Gary Middleton)

Effect:
Gary loves the Hofzinser Ace problem; especially when the rest of the cards change to the mates of the selection. And this is precisely what happens here!

- Nice effect and visual. I like Gary's idea of incorporating the Hofzinser Ace problem with element of surprise.


Captives of the Cranium (George McBride)

Effect:
The is an impossible card discovery where one spectator helps find another spectator's card.

- This effect is very effective. There are some setup required and the effect is just brilliant. There are no difficult sleights involved. I just like it! Awesome!


Stebbins Prediction (George McBride)

Effect:
A terrific prediction effect where you will also admire the ingenius methodology!

- Well, I think this effect from George McBride is a true "gem." I thought that was a KILLER and worth the price of this ebook. I am sure you will DEFINITELY love this - it KILLS people when you perform this effect. Just awesome!


Veeser Meets Steranko (George McBride)

Effect:
A spectator cuts the deck and finds the four Aces. Just like that!

- Just as the effect stated above, this is another nice and neat version of spectator cuts to the Aces, the handling is different with other version of this which can be found in this ebook too.


Thanks to Collins (Steve Hamilton)

Effect:
A professional mind-bender from the late Steve Hamilton. Clever stuff.

- Another powerful routine. It's just excellent and brilliant thinking. I just love this as soon as I read and tried out this routine. For those who loves restored card in lemon or sealed envelope, you will definitely love this one.


Big bank Hunt (Scotty Johnston)

Effect:
A sandwich trick that fooled the a**e off me!

- This is a neat and nice version card sandwich. At first, I thought the method is difficult to do but after I tried out, it's very clever and not so difficult to do. I would say the sandwich process is very visual and fast. This is one of my favourites.


Stranger (Richard James)

Effect:
Richard uses two Kings to cause the back of a freely selected card to change colour, then it changes back to normal again. You'll love the simple direct method here.

- Very nice! I am very surprise that the method here as the effect is easy and practical. I would say if you like colour changing effect, I think you may like this one.


Total Recall (Iain Girdwood)

Effect:
Iain memorises the colour order of a deck of cards after it has been shuffled by a spectator. 100% every time. Combining a system with a principle, you really do memorise the cards!

- I have spent huge amount of time and tried to understand the principle which applicable in this unique effect. At first, it was very difficult to understand the principle but as you keep on trying, you will soon understand the principle. I am extremely surprise that Iain came up this amazing principle.

- After you understand the princple, I would say it's a KILLER. I think the principle is very useful and maybe can be applied to other effects. Excellent!


New Wave Oil & Water (Val Le-Val)

Effect:
Val's lovely Oil & Water routine using cards with O & W printed on them. So easy, yet so effective.

- As soon as I read the effect, I just would like to say, it's excellent! The effect is very easy to do and does not depend on heavy sleights.

- This effect also added in my list as it's a packet trick. I showed this to my friends even though I did it in a very slow manner, but still managed to fool them. I carry these cards in my card wallet and if anyone requests me to perform a trick, I definitely will perform this one. Brilliant!


Walkaround (David Walsh)

Effect:
David tips his full walk-around card routine - a lot happens! Ambitious Card / Repeat Card to Pocket / Deck to Pocket / Card in Wallet. A 4 minute entertainment.

- As the effect above said it all, the routine is well-constructed and with a nice flow on each of the effects. Excellent!


Eight of Two Kings (David Forrest)

Effect:
David presents a showy production of Four Kings and the Four Aces appear as a stunning kicker!

- I always love four of a kind productions. For this one, I just like the way Dave's approach and I am sure you will like this one.


Skinned (David Forrest)

Effect:
A selected card appears folded inside a packet of cigarette papers....in a flash!

- Based on what I read, I think David came up a neat idea. I think the effect is very cool.


Finishing Touch (Peter Duffie)

Effect:
Peter allows a spectator to choose any four cards at random - then he changes them visibly into four-of-a-kind as they are dealt to the table - or onto a spectator's hand!

- This is my favourite as the effect at first, the spectator randomly chooses four cards and you instantly cause the random cards to change into the Aces as you deal them on spectator's hand. Very nice and clean. I really like this!


52 Minus 1 (Peter Duffie)

Effect:
A demonstration of psychic powers where only the audience touch the deck.

- I think you will like this one. I regard this effect as one of my favourites.


Thinking Cap (R. Paul Wilson)

Effect:
Paul lets a spectator just think of a card, then he finds it - no set-ups, and no difficult sleights!

- Just as the effect exactly stated above. For those of you favour to reveal thought of card genre, I believe you will like this one.


ConCam Cards (R. Paul Wilson)

Effect:
Paul's rendition of the classic Cards Across. Three cards travel from one packet to another, despite both packets being enclosed inside envelopes. No Palming! But if you like Palming, Paul offers a method with that, too.

- This is a nice version of cards across effect. I really like the approach and you will surprise its simplicity in this effect.


L.K.D. Monte (Dave Robertson)

Effect:
Dave places a Queen between the two red Aces. So, the Queen is in the middle? No it's not. An easy and deceptive move that will enhance any 3-Card Monte routine.

- Yes, I truly agree with the above description; it's fooling and effective. The move is valuable to add into your card Monte effect. I think this move alone can be applied into many areas. Excellent!


In a nutshell, I am really enjoyed this ebook very much as there are quite a number of effects that I will actually use in my act. There are many wonderful effects in this ebook to explore. In addition, the contents and the presentation of this ebook is awesome and fully illustrated. Highly recommended!

Andrew Loh

Monday, December 1, 2008

Effortless Card Magic - My Review

Effortless Card Magic was first released in a hardback format and now it's available in electronic version. You can purchase this electronic version at Peter's website.

This book is one of my "gold" list and is my favourite card magic book. The reason is simple; sleights free and crammed with excellent card magic.

To perform the card effects in this book, all you need is a few basic moves or subtlety. This book has opened the path way to many readers whether their levels are beginners, intermediate or advance card workers. This book is worth of your investment and most of the materials you will use in your repertoire.

The materials are simply using a deck of cards which associate with the use of small diary, dice, coins and you are ready to do wonders with a deck of cards. Peter has created a vast amount of great card tricks that will astound your audience anytime, anywhere.

Best of all, the materials most of them can be done in impromptu situation. A spectator hands you a deck of cards, you can immediately show a couple of card effects without worrying the use of heavy sleights or moves. Some of the card effects require a stack or little setup. There are more than 60 card effects to explore which most of them are explained in vivid details and fully illustrated. Peter also covered some useful and convinving card moves, controls, false cuts as well.

This book covered quite a number of spelling card effects, some are very interesting number principle, predictions, card sandwich, Ace-Productions and etc.

If there is a favourite trick, it would be "We Can Work It Out" trick. The effect is a real miracle and this miracle seems like quite similar to Dean Dill's "Blizzard Deck".

I think effects such as "Short Deck Baffler", "Dream Machine", "Torn, Folded, and Sealed" and "Clear to the Point" are very strong card magic. You will like to check out "Vanished or Gone" effect which many claimed that this effect alone worth the price of this book.

In a nutshell, if you are a magician that does not have ample time in practising and would like to show off a few great card effects in no time, then get this book.

I highly recommended this book.

Andrew Loh

Card Secrets Unlocked - My Review

Card Secrets Unlocked is an excellent ebook. There are more than 20 card effects and fully illustrated. Majority of the card effects can be done without the need to special set-up the deck and some required set-up in advance.

There are a few card effects require to use the Faro Shuffle, Himber Wallet, business cards, glass tumbler, etc. All in all, there are many great card effects in this collection.

The ebook also has a section that specifically devoted to stack deck, Orbital Stack & Magnum Stack. For those of you that favourite stack deck routine, perhaps this might interest you.

Below are some of my favourites:

Crystal Clear Transpo
A wonderful little effect and one of my favourites. For those of you card transposition lovers, I am sure you will like this. It's very simple and very eye appealing. There is no duplicate card used in this effect.

Here Lies the Truth
I find that almost every magicians love Lie Detector plot and I am one of them. In this version, believe it or not, there is no heavy card sleights used and it's just self-working. This is one of my favourites.

It's in the Stars
This effect is quite strong and I love this effect. There is no setup and you are able to find two spectators' thought of cards in an amazing manner.

The Problem with Hofzinser
I like Hofzinser's Ace Problem and in this version, it's very easy to perform and this effect is just sounds great.

There is a bonus section and Peter providea his great effect "Miracle Thot" for free which marketed in the 1990's. It's a great effect I would say.

Highly recommended!

Andrew Loh