The valuable and insightful essays, the essence of the original columns, cover topics such as: connecting with audiences during performances, handling and reaching for props, refining one’s verbal presentation, body position, prop management, involuntary body language, selecting volunteers, dealing with nerves and sweating and lots more. I enjoyed the way that McBride served many of the topics in the form of a medical diagnosis with symptoms, causes and remedies, along with bad puns. Still other topics are written in response to a reader’s request. The book is not only a useful read, but a fun one.
I enjoyed the card effect that has spectators traveling back in time and reminiscing about their childhoods and that ends with a fun revelation. In particular, this effect appealed to me because of its interaction with spectators. There’s a fun coin vanish with some ideas that will appeal to close-up workers. Still others touch on manipulation (with Chinese “health balls”) and there are some diabolical mentalism effects. (I was downright giddy about the subtle double meaning that forms the basis of an effect called “Perfect Match.”)
A Must Read
“The Show Doctor” immediately earned a prominent position on my main magic bookshelf and I plan to regularly consult with it to refine my own show and presentations.
Editor's Note: "The Show Doctor” offers an innovative companion app for Apple iPads that provides linked information and videos for demonstration. While I had every intention to install and evaluate it, alas, I allowed this aspect to delay my review of the entire project. As a result, I have chosen to only review and write about the book. (Purchasers of the book are given full access to all the embedded materials created for the digital version of "The Show Doctor" which includes some 30 minutes of new video content, plus pop-up materials and essays.)