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Getting Started in Magic

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 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

Is Magic Disrupting the 'Tempest' Narrative?

Sunday April 13, 2014
In a Los Angeles Times review descriptively titled "Magic breaks the spell of 'The Tempest' in Vegas," the writer indicates that the production's magic is disruptive to the presentation. This production is notable to the magic community because of the involvement of Teller.

"The legerdemain (Johnny Thompson is the wizard behind the magic design) is thankfully a good deal less hackneyed," says the review. "Actually, the populism eclipses the poetry, but then lyrical imagery hardly stands a chance when every few minutes agog spectators are clapping at some levitating mystery."

I think it's the age-old issue of whether magic can be incorporated into a theatrical narrative to enhance it without calling attention to itself and taking audience members out of the moment. Having not seen the show, I don't know if the reviewer dislikes magic and reacted negatively as a result, or if the employment of magic was truly jarring in its use in this production.

You can read the entire story here.

More Reading:
Three Magic Shows to See in Las Vegas: Copperfield, Mac King, Penn and Teller
Las Vegas Magic Shows

Review Follow-Ups: Voucher, M-Case and The Romero Box

Friday April 11, 2014

Reader response has been positive to the videos that I have been posting on my YouTube channel to supplement my reviews. Here are some follow-ups with information on some new reviews and answers to readers' questions.

Vouching for Voucher

I can describe Sansmind's Voucher in print, but nothing compares to a video to show you what the fake coupon book looks like in practice. As a result, you can watch my new video of Voucher here and read my review here.

Switching Bicycle Boxes
A reader asked about my comparison between the two switching card boxes disguised as Bicycle boxes: M-Case and The Romero Box. After watching my video, the reader rightfully pointed out that I didn't show the boxes after the switch.

The inside of both boxes may be casually displayed, just as they were at the beginning of their videos. The Romero Box looks identical after the switch as it does before. The M-Case is actually more convincing after the switch is made. You can read my review here.

Also, via Facebook, none other than Justin Miller kindly reminded me not to forget his marketed Legend effect that features its own, powerful switching card box.

Keep those questions and comments coming via Facebook ("friend me at "Wayne Kawamoto"), Twitter and GooglePlus.

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