Illusion Does Not Belong in a Beginner's Magic Kit
Is "Head Twister," the visual stage illusion, going the way of D-Lites, Hummer Card and other tricks that are sold in magic shops, kiosks and tourists destinations and can no longer be performed by magicians?
I was shopping at my local "big box" Costco and noticed a new Fantasma magic set for sale. What caught my eye was that the prominent trick (and I assume the "hook") being sold with the kit was "Head Twister." The front of the box featured a picture of magician Ed Alonzo apparently performing the illusion. To adequately check it out, I bought the kit.
This exploitation of "Head Twister" concerns me in two big ways. First, by selling thousands of these magic sets to kids, the secret is now being learned by many who will never become serious magicians. The visual and stunning effect is apparently no longer a magician's secret, but a commodity to be sold to the public.
Second, the version of the illusion that's provided in the kit, which is made of cardboard, makes it difficult for anyone to adequately and convincingly perform it. Even the presentation on the accompanying DVD is not very persuasive, and this is a performance by a notable, trained pro. As a result, kids that attempt to perform the trick will probably expose its secret for all to learn and see.
Magicians are all too accustomed to magic exposure from various media. But magicians don't expect exposure to come from within from those who promote and sell magic.
If an illusion takes too much time and practice for a kid to learn to do well, and the provided props are too flimsy to adequately execute the effect, it simply doesn't belong in a beginner's magic set.
And the result, in my book, is that including "Head Twister" in a beginner's magic set was an unfortunate choice that borders on plain old magic exposure.