Geoff Williams’ first DVD, Miracles for Mortals Volume 1 was outstanding. And his second title, Miracles for Mortals Vol. 2 , is equally good. Volume 2 presents excellent and varied close-up and stand-up effects along with good explanations and solid advice. Williams is an engaging performer with a quirky sense of humor, superb technical skills and an ability to take effects and make them his own. There’s lots to like.
Williams creates a surprising ring production out of the old “sewing needle” rope stunt in Bachelor's Thread. He wraps a shoelace around his thumb and forms a loop, as in the age-old stunt where a performer quickly “threads” the end of a rope through an “eye” or loop without letting go. When the “eye” is threaded, a ring, surprisingly, appears. This is a great way to introduce a ring on string routine and is based on a method developed by Raj Madhok.
Thready or Not offers William’s handling for a specific phase that’s often used in ring on string routines, a variation on Earl Nelson’s classic move that’s described in "Variations." Williams offers his improvements and addresses a discrepancy-many magicians perform the move of threading the shoelace through the ring without letting go of the shoelace. I admit that I’m guilty of this, but I’ve never been busted by spectators for it. William’s alteration is a good one that is worth considering.
A close-up rubberband effect that is something of a cross between the “handcuffs” and “bill ladder” effects, Ready 2 Link links two, different-colored rubberbands in a visual way. This one is based on a Roger Klause's principle. I like this effect and plan to learn and perform it. I think it will be a great addition to my close-up rubberband routine that features the traditional elements.
The Magic Shuffle
William’s Shuffling Styles from Around the World is a comedy routine that showcases a variety of shuffles. Williams theme here is to present different shuffles as if they originated in different places-as he refers to it, a “National Geographic” segment. There are some good gags here and Williams uses the routine to control a selected card.
His shuffle routine features the popular “Sybil” five-way cut, which was created by Chris Kenner and that Williams explains. Diamond Jim Tyler offered a similar shuffling routine in his Pockets Full of Miracles DVD that features different gags and more shuffles. Diamond Jim’s routine formed the foundation for my shuffle routine, which I constantly use in my walk-around and close-up sets. I can vouch for the value of this type of routine.
Is it Hot in Here or Is it Just Me? is a quickie effect where the magician produces a seemingly lit cigarette from inside his shirt. This is a great gag with lots of comedic possibilities.
Devastation is an impromptu card effect that is performed in the spectator’s hands-based on a Tom Daugherty routine. The magician asks a spectator to shuffle a deck and create four or five piles. The spectator selects a pile and shuffles it and then remembers one of the cards in that pile. The spectator deals the cards face up from the packet and secretly remembers the number where his card appears. The piles are stacked together by the spectator and cut again. Amazingly, the spectator deals the cards to his secret number, and the card at that location is his selected card. This one is baffling and ultra-simple to perform. While it’s a mind blower, it has a considerable setup.