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Review of Card College 1&2 by Roberto Giobbi

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Review of Card College 1&2 by Roberto Giobbi
Roberto Giobbi's well known Card College books are an all-encompassing reference on the art of card magic. This comprehensive four-disc DVD set contains some eight hours of material that includes in-depth explanations and discussions of card moves by Giobbi himself, as well as the performance of tricks. In all, it's an amazing foundation in card sleight of hand, and in addition to beginners, experienced magicians can benefit from it as well.

Beyond Moves

Throughout, the video has been professionally photographed and the techniques are thoroughly and clearly demonstrated with close-ups and reverse shots. Furthermore, you’ll discover the charm of Giobbi himself. He’s not only an expert, he’s a charismatic performer.

Giobbi not only demonstrates and explains the card techniques but shares a wealth of personal knowledge and experience with them. Beyond the bare machinations, there’s in-depth psychological insights to execute the moves under working conditions. I found these detailed insights to be incredibly worthwhile.

As an example, I studied the section on the double turnover and my jaw dropped when Giobbi offered a subtlety that I had never encountered or thought of before. I perform the move probably 25 times a night and in my routines, the move is strongly covered by misdirection and it’s shrouded during a “down time” in the routine. I’ve been performing it this way for years.

However, Giobbi’s subtlety immediately caught my attention as it was so logical and it assisted with the psychology of finishing the move. I immediately incorporated the subtlety the very next night and will employ it from this time on. I also learn some finesse on the spread cull that smoothed out my execution. Such advice is worth its weight in gold.

Techniques and Tricks

The title teaches basic techniques such as squaring, cuts, grips, dealing, breaks, spreads, shuffles, false cuts, card controls, forces, the glide, glimpses, key card handling, the double lift and flourishes. There’s also lessons on the Hindu shuffle, thumb count, buckle, palm, spread count, top change, crimp, classic force and more.

Beyond the moves, Giobbi teaches magic tricks and routines that employ them. There are lots of great effects - far more than those briefly described here. Belchou Aces Revisited offers a fantastic four ace (four of a kind) production. The cards are seemingly mixed and cut by spectators and randomly dealt to, yet four piles each render an ace on top of each. This trick is followed by an optional poker-related effect.

Employing the newly taught false cuts, Hat Trick offers a cutting segment that is interactive and powerful. Cards are mixed and then the magician asks questions of each spectator and then assigns them a single card, which are each pulled from the deck and left lying face up on the table. The deck is then cut and a card is dealt onto each face up card. At the end, the cards that have been dealt onto the face up cards turn out to be their mates. The Question Is? asks whether cards can ask questions. A card is selected and returned to the deck and lost. In the end, the card is found in a fun way that involves spreading the cards in the shape of a question mark.

Further Than That and Beyond employs the newly learned forces. A card is selected and based on the selected card, which the magician doesn’t know, all of the cards of the suit are produced, in order. This is followed by the production of the other three values to make a four of a kind, and finally, a royal flush. The Mind Reader involves a set of invisible dice that assists a spectator to select a card and count down. Despite shuffling and cutting by spectators, the selected card is found.

More Complex

As the techniques become more complex and sophisticated, they are combined into the more noteworthy effects on the later discs. In X Marks the Spot, a spectator deals cards onto the table and selects a card. The end result is a revelation with a second deck. In The Magic Phone Number, spectators touch cards to form a random phone number. In the end, the four “numbers,” actually the spectators’ selected cards that have been turned face up, locate the four kings. This one is based on a Marlo effect.

Time Machine is a great effect that occurs in the hands and it’s got an excellent theme that involves time. It’s essentially a transposition. Giobbi also teaches classic Twisting the Aces. And in the Lucky Coin, a spectator selects a card that is lost in the deck and then takes the magician’s “lucky coin” and freely drops it onto any card in a face-down spread. At the end, the magician shows that the spectator has indeed found his own card with the help of the lucky coin. This one is strong and offers a great way to gain confidence with the top change.

Card College 1&2 is pricey but it’s worth it. In fact, for anyone starting out in card magic, this DVD set is one of the most worthwhile investments that one can make. It’s getting a prominent place in my video library and I will return to it to gain insights and improve my own technique and execution.

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