Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reorder - My Review

This is the second Cameron's pdf that I went through recently and my instinct tells me that this might be another great and strong item.

Basically, this routine is inspired by the "Wild Card" plot and I anticipate that the author must be working something powerful. So, without wasting time by doing other things in the morning, I went through the pdf just after my breakfast because am so excited about the routine.

The pdf contains 6 pages, pdf size is less than 1MB with colourful photos and has a link to watch the author in performance. Before I watched the clip, I decided to give this a good read because I believe by doing so, this is to somehow induce my mind to visualise how the routine looks like in a performance.

So, what's my final verdict? I think you will be thrilled by the author's performance as well as the nature of the routine. I have one word to describe this routine, it's just pure "Awesome!" I really like the construction and flows of the routine. The message is so simple to comprehend and straightforward. You show a few Jokers, one Ace, and each of the Jokers magically transforms into Aces! At the end, you show the Aces have different backs and the Jokers have different with bold letters appear on the backs too! This is quite a shocking revelation! In addition, this routine also ends with a nice display and doesn't take very long to perform.

In a nutshell, this routine is really, really nice and I believe it plays well to any layman. In addition, it's surprisingly easy to do and with just a few cards and sleights, you can start to impress people in no time.

Highly recommended!


ALSH

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fit for Kings, Too! - My Review

John Gelasi is a very young magician and recently, I received a reviewed-copy of his "Fit for Kings, too!" pdf. Basically, this is the second volume of "Fit for Kings" which you can check my previous review in this blog as well.

The pdf contains 18 pages, 6 effects, the size of the pdf is less than 1MB and each of the effects has a video link that you can watch the author in performance at Youtube. There are more than 10 colourful photos to support the explanation.

Most of the routines are not very difficult to do and work with regular deck. Just like his previous volume, the main theme is using the four Kings in all the six effects. I think the author has done a wonderful job in the explanation on each of the routines. So far, I found four items to my liking.

I'll start off by reviewing the four of my favourite items.

Almost Perfect 
This reminds me of Martin Nash's "Title Bout" but the author's approach in this routine is different. This routine focuses on the visual approach in terms of producing the Aces in a rather surprise manner with a transposion throws in for good measure. I like the flow of this routine and basically, it's not very difficult to do. Nice!

Funny Assembly
This is a nice transposition routine between two packets of cards without dupes. This is an excellent piece as I usually like a simple transposition between two packets of cards. This item works with four vs. two as this creates a good contrast during the transposition, which I think it's excellent. I really like this!

Walton-ing Around
I think most of you familiar with Roy Walton's "Oil & Queens" and the author has done a wonderful in applying this concept (very clever!) to determine a spectator's card. The initial handling basically remains the same and somehow at the end, the selection appears in the centre of the deck! It's not very difficult to do and I think it's very effective to layman.

Kangaroo Kings
Another of my favourite items that can be done with more than one spectator. Basically, this routine requires you to engage your spectators and they will do all the work in finding the Kings. The first two Kings are found by the two spectators. However, the author uses a different method for the third phase and I think the last phase is interesting. At least, the spectators think that you ruin the routine but in fact, it's an indicator card and at the end, the performer successfully locates the fourth King to end the routine! It's a nice routine that you can do especially if you have a group of friends, etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed the pdf and as I mentioned earlier, the author is still very young and I really impress of his work. The good thing about this pdf (as I mentioned earlier) is that each of the effects has a link to Youtube and you can watch the author in performance! You may just view the clips and have a clear picture on how the routine looks like in real time. The price of the pdf is $7.50. I think you'll find some items that you'll use in your performance.

In short, very simple but effective card magic!

Available at: http://gelasimagic.weebly.com/

ALSH

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chop the Monte - My Review

Cameron Francis offers his latest pdf "Chop the Monte" with a big knife on the front cover! Well, I think this justifies something in this pdf and as the title says it all, you know what to expect from the author as well as the first routine. The second bonus item is "Self Explanatory", yet another excellent item!

Anyway, I should say that I really enjoyed the two card routines. The pdf contains 9 pages and the file size is less than 1MB.

The overall layout or presentation (as usual Cameron's work) of the pdf seems excellent and the author understands when to include helpful colourful photographs to show the work.

Let me start off by reviewing the first item.

Chop the Monte
This routine requires some set-up but that doesn't bother me because in the effect itself, it sounds excellent and how it plays to lay audience. I give this a try and I should say the flow and construction are really nice! Honestly, each of the phases are much magical than another and at the end, four Aces suddenly emerge out from nowhere and this happens between the performer and spectator's hands! Give this a try and you'll love the reaction from layman. If that doesn't enough, the author also includes a link where you can have the chance to watch the author in performance.

Self Explanatory
This is a very nice and surprisingly easy routine with a built-in great presentation. I read the author's previous works before and one thing I can conclude is that he has the knack of incorporating wonderful and crazy ideas into blank cards! Yes, this routine requires a few double blank cards and the preparation is so easy to do. But I can attest that this is another powerful routine that you can do that will cause layman turns crazy! You'll definitely love performing this because it's so easy to do and believe me or not, it's just one card sleight that does all the work! The revelation of the Aces is just pure mind-boggling! I really enjoyed and this item has gone straight into my repertoire! Again, there's a link to view this routine at Youtube.

Well, that's the end of my review. As I said above, this is an excellent pdf with the two routines alone, I think you'll definitely have a wonderful time with them as they are highly practical and entertaining. To date, I have no idea how much the author would sell this but I'm sure, it's definitely worth to get a copy.

Highly recommended!
ALSH

Friday, August 26, 2011

Card Tricks for the Fractured Mind - My Review

I'm very excited to read Peter Duffie's latest card magic eBook "Card Tricks for the Fractured Mind" (love the title!). This eBook contains excellent collection of entertaining card effects.

It's a 47-page pdf and the file size is less than 1MB. I always enjoyed the author's presentation of his work particularly in terms of each of the effects that is hyperlinked at the table of contents for ease of navigation and there are plenty of colourful photos throughout the eBook. There are 12 card effects and all using a regular deck.

Most of the routines that the author explains are based on his previous refinements that can be found in many sources with excellent credits. You also will find some very clever construction and ideas as well.

Without further ado, let's start off by reviewing some of my favourite or delicious card effects.

K.F.C.
A very nice and novel way of revealing a spectator's selection in the deck by using a ribbon! The handling is very simple and efficient. I really like the revelation where the performer pulls the ribbon and the spectator's selection is attached to the ribbon. This item has gone straight into my repertoire! Everything can be examined!

Misdirection Monte
I really like the neat construction of this routine as well as each of the phases. The key surprise moment is that the performer somehow causes the winning card to transpose with the spectator's selection! In addition, lots of magical happenings in the phases. I really enjoyed this as the handling is very simple and direct! 

From Beyond the Veil
Another excellent routine which is a hands-off approach in finding out two spectators' selections whilst they are doing all the work! This is another great addition to my repertoire. I really like from the beginning until to the end of the routine, everything seems fair and the cards are shuffled by the two spectators. This is one of my favourites!

Dance Steps
This is another great routine inspired by the classic Hofzinser plot. This is my favourite two-phase routine where each of the phases seems entertaining. I really enjoyed the last phase where you show they are mis-match and at the end, with a snap of fingers, the Kings and Queens become match with each other. Again, nice flow and construction! 

Numberville
This is essetially an almost hands-off version of Card at any Number plot. I consider this routine worth the price of the entire eBook! Everything seems very fair and it's a nice addition to my current repertoire.

Populace Revisited
This is a surprise and sudden revelation of three selections in between the face-up Aces! The handling is very easy and again, one of my favourites! 

Post Production
I consider this another invaluable gem that I really enjoyed performing this recently! Basically the plot is inspired by "Chicago Opener" and I really like the idea of using the post-it note to create a wonderful miracle on locating two spectators' selections. I think the author has put the post-it note for good use in this kind of effect! The first phase relies on presentation and the last phase seems more magical. I really like this!

Safe Cracker
This is another visual eye-candy item where the performer shows a four-spot card and you magically separate or crack it open into four Aces! Very nice and I really enjoy playing around with this one!

I didn't realise that I have found 8 items that I personally consider as my favourites! In other words, more than 50% of the material that I will actually use! The card effects in this collection are excellent and highly practical. Most of the routines are not very difficult to do. The price of the eBook is $14.95! I think it's well worth to get a copy and start exploring some nice and entertaining card effects in this collection. By the way, don't miss out the "Summer Madness" that the author is offering at the moment!

Highly recommended!

Available at: http://www.peterduffie.com/

ALSH

Some Things with Cards - My Review

I just read John Holt's "Some Things With Cards" and I would like to say, I enjoyed some of the items in this eBook.

This eBook contains 17 pages (less than 1MB) and with some colourful photos to support the explanation. In addition, the entire presentation or layout of the eBook is neatly done. Most of the routines can be done with a regular deck but only two effects you'll need to make some minor preparation but none of them are difficult to set up.

The credit sources seem excellent and I think the author has done a wonderful in listing the respective sources. Since this eBook contains 7 effects, I will review each of the items based on my liking.

Let's start off by reviewing the first item.

Fourbearers
This is inspired by Roy Walton's "The Collectors" plot. The author also shares an additional handling which is a much bolder approach. I have no much comment on this routine because I prefer a direct approach such as the cards are lost and instantly trap the selections. This version seems a little unique as you cut the three cards and later show the cards are not the selections. Next, you show the Kings trap each of the selections between them in the deck. I think perhaps other reader may fancy this little unique routine.

Fight
A wonderful two-phase routine. This routine has a nice built-in presentation where the performer reveals a spectator's card twice; first as a mind reader and then as a magician! I really like the construction as the author uses an old and familiar method for good use! After the revelation of the selection, the performer is able to perform an impressive stunt by throwing the pack up into the air and produce the spectator's selection, which is a nice finale. This routine uses a normal deck of playing cards and no dupes!

Slippy Sandwich
This is a nice little eye-candy item that incoprates a card transposition between two spectators' selections without the standard loading move. A nice flow between the phases with an excellent control by Troy Hooser. I personally change my handling slightly in terms of the featured control.    

Psychic Mystery Card.... Of Death
The title really scares me! At first I thought it has any linkage with the Tarot Card but I was wrong. Anyway, this effect basically inspired by Frank Everhardt's "Chicago Opener" and I really like the approach as well as the construction. The presentation of this routine is nice and the author is very kind to share additional ideas to make this routine interesting. 

The World's Greatest Card Vanish
This is the most simplest routine in this eBook! A very simple yet effective routine with additional interesting ideas that you can use. I think this effect plays well with lay audience and it's very easy. This routine depends entirely on your presentation that uses a very simple sleight and best of all, the card can be given out as a souvenir.  

One Hand Palm Handling
The author's approach in executing a fair looking one hand top palm. It's not very difficult to do especially if you already know how to do a one-hand top palm. The nice idea on what the author explains is that because of the action in terms of executing the palm that looks strained and cramped. The solution to this is very simple and I think it's well worth to give it a try. 

P.D.S. Transposition
This is a great little gem that uses Gregory Wilson's "Pitch and Ditch" and to be honest, this is my first time to come across this move. I'm not sure how it looks like in appearance but basically, I think John did a wonderful job in explaining the whole move. However, being as a card guy, I believe this routine requires some practice and I can attest that the coin (or any small object) changes to another coin in mid-air is simply great. The great news is that no duplicates required.

Overall, I think the eBook has some interesting card effects, ideas as well as food for thought. If you consider yourself as intermediate card worker, you shouldn't have much problem in learning the material. I also believe that you will actually perform some of the routines as most of them are practical. I think you'll certainly enjoy John's approach in his magic. 


ALSH

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shoot Ogawa Lecture

The Shoot Ogawa lecture was held on 30-07-2011 (Saturday) at 11am. Unfortunately a heavy downpour had caused some delay (lots of vacant seats) and the lecture started around 11.30am. There was quite a number of audience turned up and everyone was so enjoyed throughout the lecture.

Both the magicians and the audience were quite engaging with each other in the performance as well as during the Q&A session. Shoot started off by performing a few card and coin effects. Most of the effects he performed were very visual in nature. He also talked about the importance of timing in magic.

It's interesting to get to know about the history and facts about the limited quantity of "The Ninja Rings". For those of you who might be interested to get the Ninja Rings, worry not as Shoot and Charlie informed that they may manufacture another batch of Ninja Rings this year.

As you know being a cardguy, I handle playing cards everyday and I think it's great for me to indulge myself with this mystical linking rings. Judging the fact that Wizard's Inn produced such high quality rings, I definitely will purchase another 3 sets in the future. It's excellent!

I also managed to learn some important insight from Shoot and Charlie. Charlie was very kind to share his insight on the Chinese Linking Ring.

He described on how he developed, proposed the how-and-why that a magician should do or avoid for these rings in terms of the techniques, linking and unlinking moves as well as the timing and psychology.

It's interesting to get to know him in terms of his young days on this craft and his upcoming competition. Honestly, these guys were quite funny throughout the lecture.

The lecture ended around 1.30pm. I managed to buy a few items such as the Ninja Rings and three DVDs directly from Shoot. In a nutshell, I really enjoyed very much throughout the lecture. Thanks to The Magic Annexe for conducting a nice lecture.

ALSH

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tri-Wave - My Review

I just read Andrew Galanter's first work on his new "Tri-Wave" pdf. This is a three-phased effect inspired by Phil Goldstein's "B'Wave" and the good news is without the use of gimmicked cards! I should say I'm impress in terms of the approach and great routining. This pdf contains 12 pages and with ample of colourful photographs to support the explanation.

The great strength of this routine is that, as mentioned earlier, this can be done without any gimmicked cards and with a great three-phased built in  routine. Each phases seems stronger than another. And, there is no magician's choice or equivoque involved in this version.

The first phase is where a packet of Queens is placed on the table and the spectator is asked to freely name any of her favourite Queen. After she has done so, the performer picks up the packet and shows the freely named Queen is the only face up in the face-down packet! This first phase alone is quite strong as the performer managed to nail the freely named Queen!

For second phase, the freely named Queen seems to vanish in the hands of the performer leaving only three Queens on the table and the named Queen is removed from the performer's pocket. I really like the vanishing premise as well as the revelation of displaying the three cards which is very convincing.

For the final phase, the performer challenges the spectator to name another Queen of the opposite colour. No problem, the performer removes the prediction cards from his pocket and he shows three Queens are similar colour except the named Queen! This is a great finale and I really like this!

In conclusion, I really like all the phases and I think the author has done a wonderful job in his methodolody and approach in tackling this wonderful plot. As mentioned earlier, this is a great piece of work based on the "B'Wave" premise. If you enjoy this kind of plot, no doubt you would like to give this a look and I think it's worth to invest a copy which is $3. I'm really impress the author in spite of his young age, he has come up something that is worth for magician to explore. I look forward to reading his work in the future.

ALSH