There’s seven hours of video. Since there’s so much material, I can’t go in-depth into everything but will mention the highlights that appealed to me.
Oil and Water Mix
Rune Klan offers his entertaining “Impromptu Hit Man” where a coin disappears and trades place with a pen in several phases. This is a visual coin effect that cleverly combines two different effects. I really like this one.
A gem on this DVD set is Francis Menotti’s exceptional “Exdislycally Shunuffled.” This is Menotti’s excellent opener from his stand-up act where his speech gets mixed up in a hilarious manner as he mixes the cards in a deck. Menotti teaches the moves necessary to perform the effect, but viewers are discouraged from copying and using Menotti’s brilliant dialogue. Indeed, this intelligent and entertaining work is so closely tied to Menotti, no magician would probably want to perform it the same way.
This one is a welcome change from the usual ten-card poker deal tricks where you have to track a card. It’s not hard to learn and perform and I’ve been performing it for a couple of weeks already.
Jay teaches a series of moves. I was recently working on a move that required an Erdnase Break and wondered how to best get into it. I now have my answer with Larry Jenning’s “Erdnase Break Subtlety,” a beautiful method for setting up an Erdnase break that doesn’t require you to spread the cards in your hands.
I liked the complete “False Faro,” an in-the-hands faro shuffle that retains the entire order of the deck and that’s based on work by William Eston. Rune Klan offers a hilarious variation on that old gag where you pretend to spring cards behind your back (he makes it appear as if you really do). If you perform a push-through false riffle shuffle, Jay teaches a nice variation, “Divided Shuffle,” which makes the move more convincing. There’s also a nice twist, a convincer, on the tilt move in “Bebel on Tilt.”
I like Joel Givens’ take on “Karate Coin” in “Ninja Coin.” Givens is a virtual bionic man when his finger penetrates a coin in gorgeous slow motion. It’s a particularly clean approach that has none of the jerky motions of a typical “Karate Coin” routine. In “Across Coins,” Givens gives another strong routine, a coins across effect that blends the use of the typical gimmick with techniques such as “Tenkai Pinch” and “Pointy Transfer.”
Rick Maue offers a strong mentalism effect, a prediction that relies on input from a freely chosen audience member. As in many Maue effects, he effectively covers all the possibilities so it’s difficult for spectators to backtrack and carefully constructs his patter and suggestions for maximum setup and impact.
John Lovick performs and explains a visual routine where a slip of paper gradually turns into a dollar bill as it’s folded. In Lovick’s hands, the paper appears to develop, much like watching a Polaroid picture.
Choose a Beard
A stunning effect with some excellent theming by Jay is John Lovick’s “I Dream of Mindreading.” A spectator is asked to freely think of a card and then deal cards onto the table according to a pattern given by the magician. Without looking, the magician is able to identify the thought-of card, and when the cards are turned over, they are all blank.