1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Close-Up Magic (No Cards)

Close-up is magic that is performed with small objects for small groups of people. Sometimes the magic even happens in the hands of spectators. This section offers resources for non-card close-up magic that's performed with coins, cups and other objects. For close-up with cards, please visit the "Cards, Cards, Cards" section.

Review: Energy Bill by Andrew Gerard
Here's an apparent demonstration of telekinesis that quite frankly, seemed obvious to me. But if you like the way that the effect looks in its demonstration video, I'll offer my impressions to assist in your decision.

Review: The Gypsy Thread (World's Greatest Magic)
As the name implies, this DVD features a great compilation of Gypsy Thread routines from such magicians as: Daryl, Bob Read, Eugene Burger and more. If you're interested in learning this well known effect, this DVD is well worth the twenty bucks.

Review: Gecko by Jim Rosenbaum
If you're looking for a mechanism to vanish a variety of non-gimmicked and common objects that can include borrowed coins, cell phones, bottle caps, credit cards and more, you may like the Gecko.

Review: Ghost Ink by Andrew Mayne
Here's another clever trick from Andrew Mayne. This one lets you make a tattoo or small drawing immediately and mysteriously appear on your arm. The technique is convincing and not difficult to perform.

Review: Mirage Et Trois by Eric Jones
Here's a superb close-up three-coin routine that is as exquisite as it is baffling. And if you can master it, you'll have fun performing this one for lay audiences and magicians alike.

Review: Thread by Wayne Houchin
Here's an amazingly visual bit of geek magic. You place some thread in your mouth and then pull it from out of your eye. You can definitely freak people out with this one.

Review: CoinFusion by Chris Stickland
Something of a cross between "biting a coin" and "Karate Coin," CoinFusion offers an amazing effect where you appear to tear a borrowed coin in half into two pieces. The magic occurs through a well made gimmicked coin. This one looks great and is not difficult to learn and perform.

Scoundrels Touch by Sheets, Hadyn and Anton
To further your education on the classic shell game, Chef Anton, Whit Haydn, and Bob Sheets offer this excellent follow-up to their first rate "An Introduction to the Shell Game: Volume 1." This second two-disc DVD set offers some new moves, a powerful system that makes you virtually unbeatable, and in-depth discussion of the topic that includes outs, ruses and working the game.

Review: Psyche by Andrew Gerard
Here's a cool coin bending routine that happens in two phases. In the first, a borrowed coin bends in a spectator's hand approximately 20 degrees. In the second phase, the same coin is signed and bends to an angle of 90 degrees. This one requires no gimmicks and you can give the bent coin away as a souvenir. I was impressed with the effect's straight-forward approach.

Review: The Journey by Lonnie Chevrie
"The Journey" offers Lonnie Chevrie's excellent take on coins across. In four phases, four coins mysteriously travel, one at a time, from one hand to the other. The final coin seemingly vanishes as you place it into a spectator's hand and reappears in your other hand. The routine is visual and commercial and Chevrie does a great job of mixing up the action.

Review: Noted by Richard James
Noted offers a good variation on "pen through anything" where a pen passes through a dollar bill and doesn't leave a mark. However, in this case, the penetrating object is a rolled up dollar bill and not a pen.

Rubber Band Magic
Here is a collection of DVDs that will teach you tricks that you can perform with rubber bands. Also, look here for some of our easy magic tricks that we teach that employ bands. It's a complete resource for just about anything you can do with a rubber band.

Review: Banding Around by Russell Leeds
This DVD is practically an in-depth reference on rubber band tricks that comes with new ideas and techniques. Russell Leeds has come up with some clever variations on classic and well known rubber band moves and created some intriguing routines.

Review: Sankey's Best Magic w/Ordinary Objects by Jay Sankey
This DVD presents 20 of Jay Sankey's favorite close-up routines with ordinary household objects such as corks, silly putty, spoons, drinking straws, keys and more, and even one that involves Alka-Seltzer. The close-up effects are solid ones from his creative and fertile mind.

Review: Vanishink by Jay Sankey
Here's a quickie effect. You bring out a Sharpie marker, wrap it in a dollar bill or piece of paper, and make it instantly vanish. There's no palming or pulls and nothing to do with your sleeves.

Review: The New Coin Magic of Dr. Sawa Vol 1
The first DVD in a comprehensive six-disc set, The New Coin Magic of Dr. Sawa Vol 1 will blow you away with some amazing coin magic. I imagine that serious coin workers, even if they don't learn and perform the routines, will want to watch this DVD for its discussions of subtleties and technique.

Review: The Complete Muscle Pass by David Kong
The "complete" in the title is an apt description of this thorough treatment of the muscle pass. On this DVD, David Kong offers a thorough explanation of the rather difficult move and offers some strong applications and routines. It's a definitely jump up from anything published in the past.

Review: Mirage - (DVD and Coin Set) by Craig Petty
"Mirage" is not only a powerful set of well made coin gimmicks, the DVD teaches equally powerful routines designed by Craig Petty. You'll pay handsomely for this set, but for those who are serious about coin magic, the kit is worth it.

Review: How to Make a PK Sharpie
If you want to make an object appear to move with the power of your mind, in this case a Sharpie pen, this DVD teaches you how to make your own gimmicked pen.

Review: Got A Light? by Matt Wayne
Applying some technical wizardry to the old three-shell game, Matt Wayne's Got a Light? offers a "find the pea" routine with three clear shot glasses and three LEDs - one glass contains a green LED while the other two contain red ones. All the audience has to do is follow the green LED as the glasses are mixed. Of course, they always fail.

Review: Close Up Magic #3 (World's Greatest Magic)
L&L's "World's Greatest Magic" DVDs compile routines from the instructional videos of famous magicians and each title follows a theme. As the name implies, this DVD features close-up, non-playing card routines taught by well known performers. This is the third in a set of three excellent titles.

Review: CashCard by Jesse Feinberg
You fold a dollar bill around a playing card, which traps the card inside. The card is then slowly pulled through the bill as if it is melting through it. This one is visual, convincing and easy to learn and perform, although it's a fast and single-phased effect.

Review: Close Up Magic #2 (World's Greatest Magic)
L&L's "World's Greatest Magic" DVDs compile routines from the instructional videos of famous magicians and each title follows a theme. As the name implies, this DVD features close-up, non-playing card routines taught by well known performers. This is the second in a set of three great titles.

Review: Close Up Magic #1 (World's Greatest Magic)
L&L's "World's Greatest Magic" DVDs compile routines from the instructional videos of famous magicians and each title follows a theme. As the name implies, this DVD features close-up, non-playing card routines taught by well known performers. This is the first in a set of three great titles.

Review of NEVERmind by Jon Maronge
Here's an easy packet card effect where four cards turn into four aces. ThereÂ’s no sleight of hand or tricky moves as the effect happens courtesy of gimmicked cards. Also, this one can play strong and work to different themes.

DVD Review: Shellraiser
This DVD with the clever title teaches you how to perform near miracles with coins with an equally clever and well known gimmick. This is the instructional DVD that I would have wanted when I was starting out in my coin magic. And the routines here reflect much of what I do with coins today in my professional work.

Review: Presto Pad
For table hoppers, the Presto Pad, by Hampels Magic Center, offers an attractive and useful portable close-up pad that not only provides a plush and soft surface to work on, but offers convenient pockets so you can carry cards, coins, pens and more.

Trick Review: Zero Gravity by Jay Sankey
Jay Sankey calls "Zero Gravity" the ideal opening effect when you walk up to a table. Indeed, he makes a compelling argument. The effect is fast and garners attention and there's no need to explain what just happened, it's quite apparent. Despite this, I find the effect to be offbeat and simply can't warm up to it.

Review: Accuracy by Andrew Gerard
As the name implies, "Accuracy" offers a solid, reliable mind reading effect. But with its method, you must be sure that you perform it under the right conditions. Furthermore, as written, this is a routine that you can perform for family and friends or may work in formal close-up shows under controlled conditions.

DVD Review: Protons by Chris Priest
Christ Priest offers a visual and stunning routine that uses sponge balls. Here you'll learn a powerful and commercial routine that slays and entertains lay spectators.

DVD Review: Color Changing Knives (World's Greatest Magic)
Color changing knives are gimmicked knives that with the right moves, change colors. The trick is visual and easy for spectators to follow. This DVD offers routines by well known pros.

Trick Review: Smashed by Jay Sankey
If you could borrow a quarter and then punch a pencil through the coin, it would look just like Jay Sankey's "Smashed." Like classic "Karate Coin," the pencil appears to completely penetrate the coin, and as in some versions, you can see the jagged and ragged edges of the coin where the pencil was forced through. This trick is a re-release of Sankey's like-named effect that was published in the 1980's.

DVD Review: Voracity by Corey Burke
This first rate DVD by Corey Burke offers an eclectic mix of close-up effects with coins and bills, and a routine with miniature (4-inch) linking rings. The tricks are commercial and visual for lay audiences and will also impress your magician friends. There's lots to like.

Trick Review: iKnow by Jason Palter
With the popularity of iPods and MP3 players, it's a natural to perform magic with these ever present devices. With iKnow, Jason Palter has created a solid mentalism effect that allows you to determine the exact song that a spectator has selected at random and is listening to, without looking at the iPod.

DVD Review: Heiny 500 by Karl Hein
If you could really perform real magic, it would look like that in Heiny 500. You count and hold five one dollar bills in your hands and then simply fold them in half. Right in front of spectators' eyes, the ones have turned into $100 bills, which you show and count. Fold the bills again and they turn back into one dollar bills.

DVD Review: Loops Vol. 1/2 by Yigal Mesika & Finn Jon
On Loops Volume 1 and 2, Yigal Mesika and Finn Jon share some of their thread-based effects. For anyone who wants to animate and suspend objects in air, this DVD set offers useful information, but this set should have probably been sold with Mesika's Reflections DVD.

DVD Review: Reflections by Yigal Mesika & Finn Jon
If you want to perform animations and levitations with thread, Yigal Mesika and Finn Jon are two experts that you want to learn from. This DVD has some useful information and intriguing effects, but it should have probably been sold with Mesika's Loops DVD set.

Review: Inner Change by Steve Shufton
With "Inner Change," a marked coin vanishes and reappears in a nest of envelopes that a spectator was previously holding. While the vanish of the coin may make novices nervous, the method to load the coin into the nest of envelopes is innovative and brilliant. I'm not much for the marked coin to impossible location plot, but this one is good.

Tricks with Pens
Tricks with Pens

Trick Review: Sponge Eyeballs by Alan Wong and Steve Marshall
It's a brilliant idea. Create a set of sponge balls that look like eyeballs and the possibilities are seemingly endless. While the sponge eyeballs look great, I'm not sure how durable they’ll be under constant use. And while the eyeballs come with a full comedy presentation, the routine is almost painful to read.

DVD Review: Water To Beer
Hardly a trick of Biblical proportions, as the title implies, "Water to Beer" lets you take a glass of water and turn the fluid into real beer. The ads ask, "What would it be like if you could perform real magic?" However, the method and technique hardly look like "real magic," and the resulting beer may or may not taste great (less filling?) or even be all that appropriate for consumption.

DVD Review: Fabulous Three Ball Trick (World's Greatest Magic)
Another in L&L's series of "World’s Greatest Magic" DVDs that compile lessons from noted magicians and their earlier videos, "Fabulous Three Ball Trick" presents various three ball routines. The moves and routines are similar, but it's helpful to compare routines from the likes of Johnny Thompson, Flip, David Roth and more and glean the techniques that you want to learn and apply. If you've always wanted to perform this trick, this DVD offers a powerful reference.

Trick Review: Bunko! by Jim Steinmeyer
Here's a great routine with a theme that's not performed very often. It's all about "shortchanging," that con man skill of making change and stealing money in the process. Jim Steinmeyer's "Bunko!" provides an excellent routine that requires no sleight of hand, all you have to do is memorize the sequence and the bills do the dirty work. The trick also comes with two first rate and entertaining presentations.

Trick Review: Compression by Daniel Lachman
You show a common, everyday Bic Pen, and in less than a second, it's smashed down into half its normal length. You then pass the mini-pen for everyone to see. It's entirely normal, that is, if Bic were selling pens that were half their normal length. Daniel Lachman is definitely onto something here with a fast and visual effect that practical to perform just about anywhere.

DVD Review: Incredible Dancing Paper Napkin
This DVD explains a visual dancing paper napkin that you can perform anytime and anywhere. It uses a real napkin that has been examined by a spectator or has just come out of a restaurant dispenser. And there are no strings, threads or wires. This one is absolutely fantastic.

DVD Review: Sleight Of Hand With Coins by Jay Sankey
For beginning and intermediate magicians, Jay Sankey offers his "Sleight of Hand With Coins" DVD that explains lots of vanishes, productions and coin switches, along with splits, a matrix with playing cards, classic coins across ("Winged Silver") and more. In all, there are 17 effects and 24 sleights.

DVD Review: Daniel Garcia Project #2
Daniel Garcia continues to publish first rate effects in his Project #2. The effects are varied and intriguing and include Garcia’s take on shadow coins and haunted pack, and there’s a stunning sandwich effect. You heard it right, a stunning card sandwich effect. Close-up aficionados are likely to find something to like here.

Trick Review: Tap It by Rodger Lovins
This is a new take on a classic that most magicians will probably have owned and performed, particularly when they were kids. Lovins has updated the props so they look like real, everyday objects and adds a routine that is a transposition and not just a coin change.

Fingers of Fury Vol.1 (Weapons Of Choice) by Alan Rorrison
The seemingly mild-mannered Alan Rossison proves to be a creative magic talent. His "Fingers of Fury Volume 1" offers some fresh effects, one of which involves the video capabilities of a cell phone. While there are hits and definite misses, I found his effects to be different as well as commercial.

Tricks with a PK Ring
If you own a PK ring, here are reviews of products that teach you tricks with the popular gimmick.

DVD Review: Flying Matches by Randi Rain
As the name implies, "Flying Matches" offers a routine with paper matches that employs a PK ring. Matches magically move from place to place and vanish and reappear. Randi Rain teaches the moves. If you'd like a routine that is something of a matrix effect with matches that has a logical start and end, you may favor this one.

Resources for Cups & Balls
If you want to perform tricks with cups and balls, here are resources at Magic.About.com.

DVD Review: Jigger Not! by Randi Rain
In "Jigger Not!" Randi Rain teaches a chop cup routine that employs a mixing jigger. In the routine, Rain employs a PK ring that results in some clean handling and a few moves that would be impossible without the use of the gimmick.

DVD Review: Bill Shift by Randi Rain
On this DVD, Randi Rain offers her version of the classic bill switch, which relies on a PK ring. This method has some advantages, however, if you already perform the classic method or already have a favorite one, you’re not likely to switch.

DVD Review: Repeal by Randi Rain
Here’s an effect that plays better than the text on the packaging and ads would indicate. It’s a cap in bottle routine, but instead of the usual plastic water bottle and cap that is so popular these days, the effect uses a heavy metal cap and glass bottle. And the use of the PK ring offers clean handling and excellent control when compared against other methods.

DVD Review: Traverse by Calvin Lauber
A fast and stunning coin matrix that uses two bare hands and only four coins, Calvin Lauber offers an impressive, impromptu routine.

Coin Magic Resources
If you want to improve your coin magic, here are resources that you can tap.

Coins and Other Objects in Bottle
If you want to put anything into a bottle: a coin, label or other object, here are DVDs that will teach you how.

The Razor Blade Trick
If you've always wanted to swallow razor blades and thread and bring it all back up, strung together, here are resources to get you started.

DVD Review: Trespass by Dan Army
In “Trespass,” Dan Army offers three good versions of coin into bottle. In the classic effect, a coin is shown to a spectator - sometimes it’s borrowed - and then the coin is slammed against the bottle - usually on its bottom - and is found inside of the bottle.

DVD Review: My Ideas - Vol. 2 by Fantasio
With “My Magical Medicine Cabinet,” Fantasio presents an intriguing concept. A single box that looks like a medicine cabinet, but allows him to perform an entire show. The adaptations of classic magic effects using medical props are clever. However, clever doesn’t necessarily translate into great magic. This doctor’s kit is a mixed bag.

DVD Review: Muscle Pass by Jay Noblezada
I wish this DVD had been around years ago when I was trying to learn and master the “muscle pass.” Here, Jay Noblezada walks you through the steps necessary to learn the muscle pass and cause a coin to seemingly fly up out of your hand with no means of propulsion and without relying on gimmicks such as magnets or threads. I know the power of the muscle pass as I use it often in my stand-up Miser’s Dream routine.

“Refraction” by David Penn
Here’s a demonstration of psychic power. Instead of twisting a spoon or fork into a mass of mangled metal, how about causing a delicate wine glass to bend at its stem?

DVD Review: International Collection by Jay Sankey
Jay Sankey’s latest “International Collection” features 14 strong close-up effects with coins, cards, twist ties, straws and more. As far as I know, most of these have been explained on his earlier videos. He offers some great material here and there are a couple that learned from his earlier videos and already use in my strolling sets. What’s unusual about this DVD is that Sankey, in an uncharacteristic way, doesn’t talk.

Trick Review: No Chance by Spelmann and Nardi
A powerful mentalist tool that leaves no outcome to luck, “No Chance” offers a set of gimmicked dice that work with a variety of effects. The dice also come with an indepth DVD that explains some of the many routines that you can perform with the dice.

DVD Review: Chop Cup (World's Greatest Magic)
This DVD combines chop cup routines from the DVDs and videos of several artists that include: David Regal, John Mendoza, Gary Ouellet, Dan Tong, Steve Dacri, Larry Jennings and Jim Swain. The DVD allows you compare routines from various pros and it’s fascinating to watch the different approaches to the effect as well as their presentations.

DVD Review: Bill In Lemon (World's Greatest Magic)
L&L has combined bill in lemon routines from the DVDs and videos of several artists that include: Bill Malone, Doc Eason Fielding West, J. J. Sanvert and Ted Lesley. It’s fascinating to watch the different technical approaches to the effect as well as the presentations. If you want to perform a bill in lemon routine, you will find this DVD worthwhile.

DVD Review: Link! by Nabil Murday
If you’ve always wanted to perform “Crazy Man’s Handcuff,” the classic rubber band trick where two bands pass through each other, or already perform the trick and want to learn some impressive variations and convincing subtleties, check out Nabil Murday’s excellent “Link!” This could well be the ultimate authority on a fantastic trick.

Review: Street Cups DVD and Book by Gazzo
Gazzo, the legendary street magician, demonstrates and teaches his famous cups & ball routine. It’s the money-making routine that he uses to close his street shows. If you’ve always wanted to learn the cups & balls and work it on the street, Gazzo’s DVD and book are required watching and reading.

DVD Review: Magic With Dice (World's Greatest Magic)
L&L has combined dice effects from the DVDs of several artists that include: John Mendoza, Daryl, Steve Dacri, Mark Leveridge and James Zachary. There are two "dice stacking" and two "Chinese Assembly" routines and Daryl teaches a version of the popular "Sack’s Dice Routine." If you want to perform with dice, you may find this DVD worthwhile.

DVD Review: Crazy Ball by Bruno Copin
“Crazy Ball” is an apt title for Bruno Copin’s amazing cup and ball routine that combines the capabilities of chop cup and invisible thread. Balls and other objects not only vanish and mysteriously appear from under a cup, as well as pass through its bottom ala traditional chop cup, but jump from the cup, move on their own and levitate on the sides of the cup. It’s an innovative and original routine that is based on some clever concepts and brilliant technical design.

DVD Review: “Covert Coins Part 1" by Charlie Justice
“Covert Coins Part 1" offers a powerful collection of coin sleights and subtleties for intermediate and advanced coin magicians. Watching Charlie Justice in action is reason enough to purchase this DVD and here, he offers some excellent moves.

DVD Review: “You Ring?” by Ed Ellis
Ed Ellis performs and explains his quick ring off rubber band effect and an equally fast thumb off rubber band. And to round things out, there’s a routine where four aces switch places with four selected cards, and again, a rubber band plays a key role. If you would like to add a rubber band-based effect to your routine, you may find something to like here.

DVD Review: Folding Coin - Coin In Bottle (World's Greatest Magic)
This DVD offers versions of "Coin in Bottle" by such notables as Johnny Thompson, Karl Norman, David Roth and Michael Ammar. It's indeed nice to watch these pros in action and pick and choose the techniques that can work best in your own routine.

DVD Review: Acting Naturally - Elemental Coin Magic by Allen Zingg
On “Acting Naturally - Elemental Coin Magic,” Zingg shares his in-depth thoughts and useful advice on performing coin magic. Unlike most instructional DVDs about coins, Zingg’s approach is far more methodical-he treats coin magic as a science that’s to be analyzed and dissected, as well as competently performed. While this is not a typical instructional DVD, I think that magicians of all levels can learn from Zingg’s approach.

Trick Review: “Phantom Band 360" by Brian Rodgers
A close-up bill penetration effect, this time, it’s a rubber band that passes through a folded dollar bill. This visual effect requires no gimmicks and can be performed impromptu and surrounded. If you can use an “object” through bill effect that isn’t a pen, or if this one sounds like it can fit into your close-up or restaurant repertoire, it’s worth the look.

Trick Review: Lady Bug
Here’s a fresh, shocking and stunning effect. You bring the crowd in close, open a small pocket knife, pierce a fingertip and then squeeze out a single drop of blood. You press on the drop of blood with your fingers, which to the crowd’s surprise, turns into a living, breathing ladybug. Yes, the ladybug is real and alive and can actually fly away at the end of the trick.

Digital Graffiti (2 DVD Set) by David Peck
Prior to reviewing this DVD, I was unfamiliar with Canadian magician, public speaker, and lecturer David Peck. After watching the material on this two-DVD set, I’m impressed. Peck offers superb sleight-of-hand skills and fantastic, well-designed routines. He is a magician’s magician.

Ice Coins by Christopher Congreave
A clever transformation that provides a fitting finale to a solid coins across routine, Ice Coins offers four clear plastic gimmicks that are the same size as standard coins. With Ice Coins, you are not only purchasing the gimmicks, but can learn Congreave’s excellent coins across routine that is taught on the accompanying DVD.

Stuck by Greg Rostami
A visual coin through the hand routine, actually, it’s more of a coin vanish from the back of the hand and a reproduction on the under side in the palm of the same hand, Stuck offers a good effect that is impromptu and may be performed with a borrowed quarter.

DVD Review: Magic Up-Close by Shimshi
Shimshi only offers four close-up effects on his DVD, but there are two killer effects: a levitation of a borrowed credit card and a version of the haunted pack where a pack of cards mysteriously cuts itself to reveal a spectator’s selected card. These flashy and visual moments are definitely worth the price of this DVD. And Shimshi adds a couple of good card tricks for good measure.

DVD Review: Standing Room Only: Vol. 1 - Steve Draun
Steve Draun’s Standing Room Only - Volume 1 is the first disc in a great three-DVD set. Here, Draun offers his take on classics such as ambitious card, bill switch, linking rings and more. He offers a particularly good 3 Card Monte routine that is fresh and different (I’m working this one up). When Steve Draun performs and explains magic, you’ll definitely want to listen and take copious notes.

Trick Review: Any Ring by Richard Sanders
Not a trick in itself but a useful prop, “Any Ring” takes the well known ring-vanishing handkerchief and makes it far more flexible. “Any Ring” integrates a tapered gimmick, which, depending on how it’s held, can act as a delicate lady’s engagement ring, or a man’s bulky signet band. It’s a brilliant idea that greatly improves the traditional prop.

Easy Magic: Vanishing Coin With Rings
Here’s a great way to vanish a coin. Two rings and a playing card are shown on a table. The rings and coins are stacked on top of a coin. When a ring and the card is removed, the coin has completely vanished. The rings and cards are stacked back onto the coin and removed, and the coin returns. There’s some preparation to perform this one, but it’s visual and ultra-easy to perform.

Write Angle by Jesse Feinberg
In this trick, the magician displays a Bic pen and then causes it to slowly bend by itself, until it’s turned in a 90 degree angle. This one is easy to learn and perform and at the end, you can hand out the pen for examination. It is truly stuck in a bent position.

Iced Over by Russ DeSimone and Ed Bedrick
As the name implies, “Iced Over” allows a magician to produce some ice cubes from seemingly thin air after showing his hands empty. While “Iced Over” provides an effect that allows you to produce ice or turn water into ice, you’re actually purchasing a set of realistic-looking fake ice cubes.

Underground Jam by Jay Sankey
On this DVD, Jay Sankey recreates a late-night magic jam session where he and three other entertainers perform and explain their pet close-up effects to each other. This DVD offers some 20 effects, a majority that use playing cards, but there are others that use coins, keys, film canisters and more. This DVD offers a good mix of effects and among the 20, you’re bound to find one that you can use.

Maynia by Andrew Mayne
In Maynia, Andrew Mayne offers five offbeat, but visual effects. I particularly liked his production of a lit lightbulb from a sketchpad and finger stab of a selected card from mid air. You may find something to like among Mayne’s effects, and for twenty bucks, you probably can’t go wrong.

Bubble Gum Magic by James Coats and Nicholas Byrd
As the name implies, this DVD, which is the first of two, focuses on tricks that use chewing gum. Some tricks require a glob of gooey gum straight from the mouth (yuck) while others are adaptations of classic close-up effects that have been applied to gum packs.

Bar Magic Resources
Bar magic is just as the name implies. It's close-up magic that's performed patrons at a bar. Here are resources for bar magic.

Geek Magic
A distinct, if unofficial branch of conjuring, "geek magic" is just that, performing offbeat, crazy-looking magic. Here are resources for geek magic.

DVD Review: Thumb Tips (World's Greatest Magic)
Another in L&L’s great series of “World’s Greatest Magic” DVDs that compile lessons from noted magicians and their earlier videos, “Thumb Tips” presents various effects that use the well known prop. It's a worthwhile DVD, particularly if you like any one of the effects. You can learn your desired effect and then pick up a few tips for others that use the same prop.

Easy Trick: The Rising Ring
A ring that’s threaded onto a rubberband mysteriously rises on its own accord. This one is super easy and all you need is a rubberband and a ring. There’s almost no preparation.

Easy Magic: The Banana Buster
By executing an ultra-secret ninja move, you magically cause a banana to separate into pieces while it’s still inside the peel. This trick is an easy one that only requires a little preparation. And be sure that you’re hungry so you can eat the banana when you’re done.

Easy Magic: The Jumping Paper Clips
This classic trick is great for young kids and just about every magician has played with it. In the effect, a pair of paper clips are attached to a dollar bill. After pulling the ends of the dollar bill, the paper clips link and jump from the dollar.

Trick Review: Subterfuge
Subterfuge offers a gimmick and system that can vanish a small object or coin that is resting on a spectator’s hand and quickly ditch it. The clever system doesn’t rely on a traditional pull or string. It’s an intriguing and competent system that vanishes small objects in a manner that can’t be recreated by sleight of hand alone.

DVD Review: Official Poker Chip Tricks Vol 1
Instead of releasing a second volume of his excellent "Chip Tricks" DVD, Rich Ferguson re-releases the first DVD with lots of variations and new tricks. He has taken a great DVD and made it even stronger. Whether you want to twirl, stack, toss, shuffle or roll poker chips, Ferguson’s first rate DVD shows you how.

Trick and DVD Review: McAbee Rings
The McAbee Rings offer an intriguing set of women’s bracelets that mysteriously link and unlink. Martin Lewis' amazing trick and routine can now be purchased with an excellent instructional DVD that explains everything you need to know. The routine offers a different style linking ring effect that looks more natural than conventional linking rings and leaves you completely clean at the end.

DVD Review: The Secret Art of Coin Manipulation
If you want to learn an excellent stand-up coin routine, Eric Evans’ teaches an entertaining and bewildering one on this DVD. Here, a silver dollar goes through a series of mind-bending productions, vanishes, transpositions, penetrations, and transformations, and the routine climaxes in a seemingly-endless, barehanded production of jumbo coins.

Trick Review: Sharp-Ring
Using "Sharp-Ring," you can cause a spectator's ring to vanish out of your hand and appear on the clip of a Sharpie pen that is in your back pocket. The effect offers the potential to update the classic "Ring Flight" effect and relies on an object that spectators recognize and know. On the other hand, there’s more to the prop that calls for other considerations.

Trick Review: Holey Shirt by Joe Russell
“Holey Shirt” is a burnt and restored effect that’s performed on a spectator’s shirt. You wander over to a spectator and grab a bit of his or her shirt. You then take out a lighter and visibly burn a smoldering ragged hole into the cloth. You then rub the burnt hole with your fingers to transform the shirt back to its original unburnt condition.

Easy Trick: Cold as Ice
You pour some water into a cup. You utter some secret words and when you turn over the cup, all that comes out is a chunk of ice. This one is super easy with the secret and a little setup.

Book Review: World-Famous Bowl Routine
Combine a great close-up routine with an exceptional teaching tool, and you have a winner. Lance Pierce’s “The World-Famous Bowl Routine” explains a powerful “bill in lemon” act that provides a climactic moment to a strong “Benson Bowl” segment. Every move and word has evolved over thousands of performances, and Pierce thoroughly explains his routine in its entirety.

DVD Review: Examining The Thumbtip - de Cova
Of all magic props, the thumbtip is perhaps the most misused by hacks. In the hands of accomplished performers, the thumbtip is a fooler. And in the hands of Bavarian magician Alexander de Cova, the thumbtip is an artform. The three effects on this DVD may or may not suit your style, but the thought and handlings by de Cova are worth the price of this DVD.

Book Review: Think Pink-Ran Pink
If you want to secretly discern a thought or message, there’s always the reliable center tear. Ran Pink offers his version of the center tear that works with an index or business card, allows you to precisely tear the card without looking at it and results in torn pieces that are seemingly too small to contain any useful information.

Trick Review - "The WiZ"
Promising a "revolution in magic," "The WiZ" is a prop that can be used to produce and possibly vanish small items such as silks and sponge balls. Unfortunately, while the prop itself is clever and well made, the prop’s productions look nothing like competent magic and in no way replace the conventional means for accomplishing the traditional effects.

Trick Review: Shaker by Rodger Lovins
In "Shaker," a magician causes a ball to vanish in a salt shaker. After bringing the ball out from his pocket, he takes the ball and makes it penetrate through the glass to the inside of the shaker. The easy trick comes with all of the gimmicks necessary to perform the trick.

Trick Review: Ghost Vision-Andrew Mayne
Andrew Mayne brings paranormal phenomenon, and more specifically, spiritual photography, to the modern day. By simply borrowing a camera cell phone, the magician can take pictures that reveal strange ghostly images and premonitions that seemingly come from beyond. This is really cool.

Trick Review: Hot Knife-Rodger Lovins
You show a pocket knife with six different colored spots on both sides. The spectator names a number between one and six which is used to select a color on the knife. Suddenly, the spots on the knife magically change into the selected color. Of course, Rodger Lovins “Hot Knife” is a variation on the classic “Hotrod” effect. It’s a quality pocket knife that you can always carry with you.

Trick Review: "Labelled" by Ben Williams
In this astounding effect, you show an unopened and sealed soda bottle and sign the label. You place your hand over the signed label and remove your hand, and spectators will find that the signed label is now inside of the bottle amidst the soda. The ads make lots of points that are generally true.

DVD Review: Celebration Of Sides by Robert Neale
Robert Neale, artist, topologist, philosopher and trickster, performs and explains a series of unusual and offbeat effects that are refreshingly different. Based on mathematical principles, geometry quirks, optical illusions and more, Neale’s take on semi-reality is always fascinating.

DVD Review: Coins Across (World's Greatest Magic)
I wish this DVD existed four years ago when I was learning and trying out different versions of “coins across” for my strolling sets. This DVD combines “coins across” routines from the collections of several artists. It provides an education in coins across with various methods, philosophies and approaches. The routines here require strong sleight-of-hand fundamentals and use no gaffed coins.

Easy Magic Trick: The Jumping Rubberband
A rubber band mysteriously jumps from your pinkie and ring fingers to the first and middle fingers of the same hand and then back again. All you need is a rubberband.

Easy Magic Trick: The Ball and Vase
The magician displays a small vase, takes out a ball and places it in her pocket. With a wave of the hand or other incantation, the ball appears back in the vase. And with another incantation, the ball disappears from the vase and reappears in the pocket. This one is easy to perform and is perfect for young kids.

Basic Technique: The Coin Vanish
This basic magic technique allows you to make a coin seemingly disappear. It’s a basic sleight-of-hand move that is well known among magicians.

Easy Magic: Sawing a Lady in Half
Alright, this is not a version of the big stage illusion where a magician appears to saw a lady in half. But you can make this version out of an envelope and paper and it won’t cost you thousands of dollars. And you won’t even need a brave volunteer.

Trick Review: Mind Twister
In this amusing close-up effect, you appear to "twist" a disposable lighter right in front of spectators. The routine starts as a prediction, but ends in a visual metaphysical feat. It's easy to perform, requires no sleight of hand and offers a surprising conclusion.

Easy Magic: The Best of the Predictions
Who hasn’t fantasized about being able to tell the future? In this compilation, we’ve put together the best of our prediction tricks. In these effects, you ask a spectator to make a decision and somehow, you have predicted the outcome. We offer lots of effects and diabolical methods.

Easy Magic: The Coin Vanish-2
In this easy trick, a coin is placed into a handkerchief where it mysteriously disappears. You can perform this one just about anytime, anywhere. All you need is a quarter and a handkerchief, and that special secret.

Easy Magic: The Calendar Trick
Here’s a quirky trick that relies on a little known fact. You show a spectator a piece of paper and ask them to name a month. After naming the month you refer to a yearly calendar, find the month’s page and select a column. You ask the spectator to add the numbers in that column. When the spectator opens the piece of paper, they find that their total matches the number that you have predicted.

Easy Magic: Telephone Predictor
Here's one of those mathematical oddities that somewhat masquerades as a magic trick. Your spectator, with calculator in hand, performs a series of calculations. And surprise, at the end, he or she is looking at their telephone number. We walk you through the steps and at the end, display them all on a single page that you may print out.

Easy Magic: That Thumb Thing
Here’s an age-old trick that you can do anytime, anywhere. In an instant, you seemingly pull your thumb apart and then put it back together again. If you’re an uncle or grandpa, you almost have to learn this trick to tease the kids. And if you want to truly torment a professional magician, show this trick and ask him if he knows how you did it.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.