From a practical side, I find that I often agree with Shaun McCree’s knowledge of the topic and recognize him to be speaking as a voice of real experience. I also find his approaches to be logical and practical.
“Paper Money” offers McCree’s handling of the well known Pat Page gimmick and the effect works as his opener. While there are lots of versions of this effect where a set of bills quickly morph into bills of another denomination, I appreciate the way that McCree creates a humorous approach that works great as an opener.
Another interesting angle, McCree doesn’t work the gimmick as a seamless transformation as in effects such as Karl Hein’s “Heiny 500" and Tom Isaacson’s “Prophet,” but instead, McCree wants spectators to view the effect as the result of some slick sleight of hand to get attention. It all works wonderfully.
“Everywhere & Aces” is another worker effect that I was impressed with. In finding a spectators card and using other cards to represent the color, suit and value for the selected card, the magician continually shows the spectator’s card, which become humorous. After removing what appear to be four versions of the spectator’s cards, they turn out to be the four aces, and the spectator’s card is pulled from the magician’s pocket. I really like this one and as you can see from the title, it’s based on a concept by Hofsinzer.
In “Daley Rainbow,” McCree does his version of “Dr Daley's Cavorting Aces” – black and red aces switch places between the middle, and tops and bottoms of the deck. The twist here comes in a color change at the end – the deck changes into cards of different back colors. Unlike most color-changing deck routines that have to be performed as openers, this version works mid-set or even as a closer. And it’s a natural to follow McCree’s “Everywhere & Aces.”
McCree says that “Expert Away from the Card Table” gives him the opportunity to display a gambling/cheating style routine without the need to deal cards onto a table. After starting with a bad poker hand, you quickly turn it into a winning hand with a four-of-a-kind. At the end, McCree employs a “travelers” style effect where the cards from the four-of-a-kind end up in the four different pockets.
Coins and "The Fix"
“Norrin Radd” if McCree’s coins across routine that has strong angles and can be worked under a variety of conditions. It’s a good routine that is performed with the hands below the waist (and not 3-Fly) position and McCree adds interactions with spectators so some of the magic occurs in their hands.
Despite being the most touted routine in the set, McCree’s “The Fix” was not my favorite of the bunch. The effect is unusual. Here, the back of a spectator’s signed card escapes from under his hand and forms quarter by quarter on a blank card held by the magician. Overall, however, I didn’t feel that this one was as strong as a good torn & restored signed card, ala Guy Hollingsworth or Chris Kenner, and the gimmickry of the quarter by quarter transfer, muddled the power of the transposition.
”Chopped or Diced” is McCree’s cup and dice with ungaffed props. It’s similar in plot to Paul Gertner’s hat and dice routine. Here, you ask spectators to figure out whether you are keeping a die under a cup or in your hand. At the end, the die grows in size and the final load involves a pool ball. I generally like this routine as it’s well suited to strolling and McCree’s ungimmicked cup has advantages for performers with limited pocket space.
”Rainbow Poker” is a packet trick where a bunch of jokers convert, one at a time, into cards that make up a royal flush. At the end, the backs of the royal flush are shown to be different backs. This is a good solid packet effect.
”Global Aftershock” is a coin routine where coins from different denominations vanish one at a time and appear under a single playing card that’s laid on a table. At the end, the coins vanish from under the card and appear in the hand. This is a baffling and entertaining effect and McCree teaches several practical and useful coin sleights along the way. This one is very sleight heavy.
My favorite was McCree’s “Devil's Card,” a story about a gambler vs. the devil. A signed card, the “devils card,” is folded inside of the devils contract. The spectator freely deals cards onto the table and stops. At the end, the card is shown to have vanished from the folded paper and is the very one that the spectator dealt to. This one is strong and McCree dresses it with a compelling and powerful theme.
The last routine, “Odd One In,” is McCree’s jumbo monte routine in the vein of the well known “Sidewalk Shuffle.” It’s a stand-up version of the monte with three cards, but the magician eventually exposes the scam by showing that the practitioner is using four cards. However, at the end, the fourth card is shown to have a different-colored back. McCree says that this effect is one that he uses in his tradeshow work.
I’m a fan of Shaun McCree and I was pleased with the material on his latest “Stand & Deliver” that offered strong routines for experienced close-up performers. I recommend this one.