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Wayne Kawamoto

Review of The Mirage by Dani DaOrtiz

By October 29, 2013

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Oftentimes, when employing gimmicked cards, one expects the deck to perform most of the heavy lifting in a routine. But with "The Mirage," Dani DaOrtiz has brilliantly combined the strengths of a heavily gimmicked deck with ingenious sleight-of-hand and subtleties to create a bewildering experience. The result is an amazing multi-phased effect that is the best of two worlds.

According to DaOrtiz, "The Mirage" is one his favorite routines and a part of his own act. The effect employs a special deck of cards that combines elements of Hofzinser's "Transformation Pack" and Robert-Houdin's "Protean Pack." In this kit, you not only received the deck but detailed DVD instructions.

Everywhere and Nowhere
In the vein of Hofzinser's "Everywhere and Nowhere," the basic plot is that of "pick a card," but with stunning revelations that arrive in hard-hitting waves. Two spectators each select cards and then the magician reveals three aces, which then turn into one of the two selections. This is followed by the entire deck turning into that selection. This is repeated with the second selection as the "aces" transform into the second card and then the entire deck changes again. At the end, the deck is found to be fifty-two different cards.

At the core of "The Mirage" is a brilliant gimmicked deck. The routine requires lots of detailed steps that must be memorized to properly arrange, adjust, orient and display the deck. The effect requires no knuckle busters, but you will need to possess fundamental sleight of hand skills. DaOrtiz has given this routine lots of thought and it's a pleasure to view his many brilliant subtleties.

At the Table
This one, as taught by DaOrtiz, is performed while seated at a table, but one can probably adapt it to other situations. Because of the in-depth nature of the routine, it's best for formal shows. You don't end clean as the deck can't be examined by spectators, but this will probably not be an issue.

The routine will take lots of practice and rehearsal to perform confidently. But invest the time and you'll have a crowd pleaser for both lay spectators and magicians that's filled with surprises, twists and turns. In fact, you can close your act with this one.

More Reading:
Magician Robert-Houdin
Book Review: Essential Robert-Houdin
Magician and Escape Artist Harry Houdini


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