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DVD Review: Examining The Thumbtip - de Cova

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DVD Review: Examining The Thumbtip - de Cova

I’ll never forget the time that I was talking with a clown at an event that I was working. The clown--a low-end performer who makes all clowns and entertainers look bad--said that she did magic and listed off the usual coloring book, ball in vase, coin in tiny sliding box and more. What caught my ire was her mention of "the stupid trick with a handkerchief and a thumb thingee."

I managed a small smile and nod--I wasn’t going to waste the effort of an explanation–I could only think about how this well known trick is only “stupid” in the hands of an incompetent hack. There’s a reason why this “stupid” trick appears in lots of professional acts. In competent hands, it’s a good one. It’s a shame that the prop is so openly sold to the masses.

Master of the Prop

And if you think you know how to competently perform with a thumbtip, if you’re like me, you still have lots to learn from the work of Alexander de Cova on his DVD, Examining The Thumbtip. While this DVD only offers three effects, de Cova’s discussion of the prop can change the way that you think about the thumbtip and use it. It’s worth the price of the DVD.

The best of the tricks, Rosediction, is an astounding prediction effect. The magician brings out a rose and sets it on a table. A spectator is selected from the audience and asked to name a dollar amount and a date, which the magician writes down on a pad. When the price tag is removed from the rose, the spectator’s amount is found to be written on it.

Rosediction completely fried me and if I didn’t know that the trick used said prop, I wouldn’t have suspected its use. This one is not difficult to perform. The only issue I have is that the secret and workings rely on a European convention, and while I didn’t have an opportunity to actually adapt the effect for American conventions, I think that it will work just fine with a little thought.

Money in the Purse

In The Scottish Purse, a spectator draws a picture on a silk that’s held in an embroidery hoop. The artwork vanishes and is found inside of a purse that has been sitting in plain view. While magicians will immediately recognize the workings and secret behind the effect, it’s de Cova’s handling that removes the usual telltale signs of the thumbtip’s use.

In the third effect, Vitamin E, a signed bill is vanished from the center of a handkerchief and found inside a pill bottle. Again, most magicians will know how this is accomplished with said prop, but de Cova offers brilliant handling that mask the use of the prop. Both The Scottish Purse and Vitamin E are mindblowers for lay audiences.

The Discussion

The most interesting portion of the DVD is where de Cova explains his innovative approach to using the thumbtip, which will change how you see and use the prop. In the hands of most magicians, there are telltale signs when the prop is put into play. De Cova destroys these conventions and offers some fresh ideas, variations, palms and vanishes. The short discussion, which is hosted by Martin Lewis, is enlightening and informative, and worth the price of the DVD.

While Examining The Thumbtip only offers three effects, the DVD is innovative and thought-provoking. I give this one two thumbs-up.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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