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Review of Chardshark by Daniel Chard

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Review of Chardshark by Daniel Chard

Chardshark by Daniel Chard

“Chardshark” teaches ten sleight-heavy routines by Daniel Chard. In fact, this is Chard’s debut DVD. If you like card magic with lots of transpositions and color changes, and want to learn moves for your existing card routines, you may like this one. You’ll recognize some of the classic card magic themes, but Chard adds his own enhancements to each. Are there crowd pleasers here? Yes, there’s some good material with definite potential, but I think that many will play best to fellow magicians.

Sandwiches and Classic Biddle

“Sequential Sandwich” offers an enhanced sandwich style effect. You bring out the two jokers and the ace, two, three and four of a single suit, lets say “clubs.” The ace through four are mixed back into the deck and then you use the jokers in a sandwich-style manner to find and capture the cards one by one. This one isn’t a conventional sandwich routine with the jokers mixed back into the deck and then found with a card in-between them. This one features a fast capture where the intended card quickly appears in-between the jokers and the routine has some transpositions and other surprises. It’s strong.

Another sandwich effect, “Four My Mates,” features a selected card that rises up through the pack and ends between two jokers, and then you find the three mates of the selected cards with the jokers turning into the two of the mates. I like the card that apparently rises up into the sandwich as well as the control.

“Fiddle with Biddle” is a variation on the classic “Biddle Trick,” which is strong on its own. In classic “Biddle Trick,” a spectator’s selected card is shown among five in the magician’s hands and then found face up in the deck of cards that’s been sitting on the table. It’s a great effect that most magicians learn at some point in their magic education. What Chard adds is a few more sleights to enhance the presentation and vanish of the selected card. Something clever, he has the spectator hold the deck. I’ve always performed classic “Biddle Trick” by resting the deck on the table. Overall, it’s only an incremental improvement to a great effect.

Bonanza

In “Kickback Bonanza,” four jokers turn into four queens. The four queens are then placed in a pocket and a card is selected. In the first phase, the four queens are brought out from the pocket and the selected card is found between them. In the second phase, the selected card is lost in the deck and then the deck is held by a spectator, and the four queens then manage to sandwich the selected card. The last phase offers a transposition between the four queens and the selected card. This is a great effect with multiple phases that can work as an opener to a close-up set. It’s Chard’s favorite routine on the DVD.

In a “A Night with Hofsinzer” you produce four queens and have a card selected and lost in the deck. One of the four queens turns face down in the four-queen packet to indicate the suit of the selected card. To everyone’s surprise, a face down card that’s found in the deck turns out to be the “face down queen” and the selected card is the face down card in the packet of queens.

“Mouthy Transpo” offers a two-phased transposition between two selected cards. As the name implies, the final transposition occurs with a card that’s held in your mouth. Along the way there are phases where the pair of cards are separated and come back together and a cool color change. I can verify the power of a transposition and I find this one strong. On the downside, I wonder if the earlier phases may confuse lay spectators, particularly those who have been drinking.

Cloaked

“Cloaked Inversion” offers a three-phased routine where a selected card turns face up in the face down deck three times. The effect relies on Chard’s “cloaked reversal” move that’s taught on the deck. In the third phase, the entire deck turns over and the selected card maintains its orientation.

“Decompressed” will probably be a favorite among card magicians. It’s a cool progression where four aces compress into two deuces, then to a four before vanishing. And then the process is reversed. It’s a variation on Steve Beam’s routine.

In “Taking the Plunge,” you bring out two queens and a card is selected by the spectator. As the title eludes to, this one relies on the “plunger” principle - a move that I’m not fond of. A second card is selected and the selected cards change places. In “World's Fastest Threesome,” three selected cards are found in under three seconds, in three different locations, which includes your pockets.

The DVD wisely offers a Toolbox Section to offer more in-depth teaching on the sleights. The DVD features first rate and clear instruction. Be sure that you have a foundation in card sleight of hand before attempting to tackle this one.

With this debut, Daniel Chard displays a wealth of knowledge and a creative mind. I find the material on this DVD to be more for magicians than for the lay public, but there’s some great routines to be found within.

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