Mix N' Mingle is an outstanding two-disc DVD set that presents strong close-up material, mostly with cards. Shaun McCree is a UK-based entertainer who explains routines that are designed for real-world, walk-around conditions where you’re standing and surrounded.
Real World Close-up
I can relate to McCree’s approach as his conditions are very similar to those that I constantly work under in my restaurant and corporate strolling gigs. Like McCree, most of my close-up is performed standing up and without a table. McCree’s material will work under practical strolling situations and I found his routines to be visual, commercial and with lots of entertaining audience interaction. This is a great DVD, one of the best that I’ve reviewed to date.
” is McCree’s own one-handed flourish that is something of a spin-out cut that reveals a significant card. The move looks a bit like Daryl’s “Hot Shot” cut. In fact, McCree uses this move in place of “Hot Shot” to perform a flashy flourish and reveal a card, but not throw and spin a card that can potentially fly out of control as “Hot Shot” does.
In restaurant situations this can be important as a flung card can accidently fly into someone’s soup (this happened to me once with an out of control muscle-passed coin-very embarrassing). “Cold Cut” is not as flashy or impressive as “Hot Shot,” but looks good and does the job. Another thought, if you already perform “Hot Shot,” you can simply reveal the card without spinning and tossing it and obtain a similar effect as “Cold Cut.”
“Cold Cut Transpo” is a fast transposition effect that McCree often performs as an opener. A spectator chooses a card. The magician finds and displays the wrong card which is placed into the spectator’s hands. Another card is produced and the card in the spectator’s hand is now shown to be his selected card. This effect gets its name from McCree’s “Cold Cut,” which was mentioned earlier in this review. This one is fast and sweet.
” is a great “find the card” routine with a hilarious contact lense gag that plays into the end revelation and payoff. When spectators look closely for a detail on a card, they suddenly discover that their selected card is a jumbo card that’s held by the magician. This one is fantastic and commercial and a winner.
Something that McCree uses as a replacement for traditional “invisible deck, in “Imagination,” McCree allows spectators to peek at a card from a normal deck. The spectator is asked to pull out an invisible version of their card from the deck, fold it and place it back into the deck. The deck is then found to contain a folded card, which is, indeed, the spectator’s peeked at card. It’s a good routine that is almost as impressive as “invisible deck” but doesn’t require the gimmick. .
” is McCree’s version of a classic Himber effect that is practical for strolling. A card is selected and mixed back into deck and the deck is placed into its card box. The magician lets spectators select a razor blade that is placed into the card box. The card box is shaken and when the contents are dumped out, the cards are cut into tiny pieces with one exception, the spectator’s card. I’ve never considered performing this one before, but McCree’s version of this visual and surprising effect is workable in restaurant conditions and quickly resets. I’m trying this one out soon.
Another intriguing idea that I had not encountered before, in “Blendo Split” a spectator selects a card and the magician gives himself two tries to find it. The magician is wrong on both counts, but it’s discovered that the two wrong cards add up to the selected card, and then the two cards morph into the selected card. And an additional phase changes the cards back again. This routine offers built-in humor as the magician appears to be wrong, and then serves some stunning changes that play well.