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If you are just starting out in magic, here's where you can find easy beginning tricks and read tips on how to learn and perform magic.

Magic & Illusion Spotlight10

Review of Simplex Monte

Monday April 21, 2014

While "monte" is part of the name, Simplex Monte is not just another magic version of classic three card monte. Like many of the marketed packet effects, this one relies on gimmicked cards, but it offers the means to make some visual transformations that just can't be done with the other methods out there.

Follow the Face Card
In classic Monte tradition, you invite a spectator to follow the "different" card - a face card among two jokers, but it just can't be done. And at the end, the "different" card vanishes and appears in another location. It's a strong three-phased routine with the first two in the hands and the third on table.

You can watch my video of the trick where I perform two of the three phases.

This one is not difficult to learn and perform, the cards do most of the work. The gimmicked card can't be examined but it hides itself nicely. There's one routine that leaves you clean. The effect relies on a well constructed gimmicked card. The gimmick will no doubt wear out with use and the kit provides no materials to create new gimmicks.

There are lots of Monte routines out there that rely on gaffed cards: Bob Sheets' Killer Kitson Miracle (based on a Pat Page gimmick), Michael Skinner's famous version and Garrett Thomas' Stand-Up Monte.

Perhaps all have equal impact on lay spectators. But none look like and play like Simplex Monte. Again, check out my video to see the effect in action, here.

Ballet With Classic Manipulation

Saturday April 19, 2014

I just came across this fascinating video. Here, a dancer combines ballet with classic magic manipulation. (The routine starts at 0:34.)

Is it a winning combination or simply a gimmick? It's innovative and definitely worth watching.

You can watch the video here.

More Reading:
Book Review: Theatrical Magic by John Pyka
DVD Review: Incredible Dancing Paper Napkin

Review of Twisted Queens by Sansmind

Wednesday April 16, 2014
"Twisted Queens" sounds like a "twisting the aces" type of packet card trick, but it's actually a torn and restored playing card with an unexpected kicker at its end.

You have a spectator freely select a playing card from the deck. Let's say that it's the queen of hearts.

In the classic "torn and restored" process, you tear up the card and place the pieces into the spectator's hands, which he covers. When the spectator opens his hands, the card has restored itself. But wait, the queen couldn't see what she was doing and has mismade herself in the process (see picture).

This is not a piece-by-piece restoration of a playing card, the type that is so popular these days. Obviously, this one works by switching the torn pieces for the different card that features the warped image.

This one is not difficult to learn and perform and the DVD teaches a routine with a lighter that is used as able misdirection. You can give away the restored card and you end clean. Also, this one can be performed under a variety of conditions and the angles are wide.

Queen for a Queen?
The kit comes with ten cards for ten performances. However, to perform the trick, each time, you'll have to tear up a queen of hearts of your own. I think that these should have been provided with the trick. Be warned.

I think that this one can play strong. It's definitely something different from the typical torn and restored card.

More Reading:
Review: Make Amends by Wayne Fox
Trick Review: Ripped-Up by Peter Egglink
Torn 2 Pieces by Shawn Farquhar
DVD Review: Treasures Vol 2 by Alexander De Cova

Review of Last Prediction by Kneill X and Big Blind Media

Tuesday April 15, 2014

This is not only a "last prediction," it's an open prediction with playing cards - one that you clearly make before any proceedings. And the process is seemingly fair and practically self-working.

The Last Process
You bring out a deck of cards and openly write a prediction of a single paying card. Everyone gets to see and acknowledge it. This is left in plain view. You hand a deck of cards to a spectator who mixes it and openly deals cards face up onto the table until he wants to stop.

At the stopping point, the chosen card is not revealed and is attached face-down to a card box with a rubber band. After dealing through the remaining cards face up, it's noted that the prediction card has not been dealt. The selected card is released from the card box and it is the predicted card.

Self Working
This one relies on a gimmick that is included. Once you know the secret, you can easily create gimmicks out of your own cards and decks.

This is a good effect that is easy to learn and perform and that should play well. It's great for beginners. The accompanying DVD instructs you on everything that you need to perform the effect and also teaches a triumph effect.

Is it indeed the "Last Prediction?" It may not be the final word in predictions but should serve you well.

More Reading:
Review: Spot On
Review: Inside Thoughts by Haim Goldenberg
Trick Review: Mind Twister

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