Detailed Reviews of Almost Every Murphy's Lecture

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. #1 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2015
    To make it easier to see what each Murphy's lecture has to offer I have laid it out clearly for you to see here in this thread.

    If you are not sure go ahead and take advantage of Murphy’s new feature where you can see the first 20 minutes of any lecture ou wish for free. This will be sure to help you make a better purchasing decision. Follow this link for the details

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    Click here to see every video review I have done for the Murphy's Lectures

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  2. #2 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Of course Michael Ammar is one of the great masters of our time. He studied under the professor and has influenced countless magicians. Most professionals use something of his and here you get a handful of his classic work as well as a couple of his other hats as a mentalist and magic theorist. Let?s get into it.

    Experience on Letterman: One of the best parts of this lecture format is their ability to cut into the feed and show video of other performances. In this instance Ammar breaks down his performance and shows you how to do all but one of the tricks that he performed on Letterman.

    Silk Thru Coffee Mug: If you are familiar with the silk through microphone effect published on Ammars DVD Easy to Master Thread Miracles then you will be familiar with the basic work behind this. A silk scarf is threaded through the handle on a coffee mug and pulled visually through. You will need an extra something to perform this.

    Pressure (Performance Only) In this Ammar pushes a phone visually into a balloon. It is Dan white and Daniel Garcia?s trick so he doesn?t teach it. He mentions that in Daniel Garcia?s lecture he will teach an unpublished version of the effect, In Danny?s lecture he does go over a new handling but he never teaches the method.

    Topit Work: Here you will learn how to vanish a phone using a topit. Ammar covers the basics on how to use a Topit and he talks about a few things pertaining to tailoring a jacket. Of course in order to do the cell phone vanish you do need a Topit, there are many resources for it?s purchase and construction available.

    Little Hand: A coin is placed on the magician?s hand and a little hand pops out and steals the coin away. You will need a little hand for this, which you can purchase on Ammar?s website or make up yourself. You will need a special coin for this. In my opinion this is not the kind of trick you would want to borrow a coin for anyways so providing this special coin should be very easy.

    Broken and Restored Screen: This is a fun quick effect that is easy to make up and easy to perform. You break the screen on a cell phone and then restore it. This has been taught previously online by Michael Ammar on at least one magic webseries.

    Pencil Through Coin New Gimmick (Performance only): This is a beautiful version of the pencil through coin that uses a brand new method. The coin can be shown on both sides and the penetration can be shown in very slow motion. Unfortunately, it is not completely practical yet and Michael did not feel like it was ready to teach.

    Pencil Through Coin Old Gimmick: He walks you through a couple switches that are very clean that you can use with both the old and new gimmicks. These are very nice handling tips that you may or may not be able to use in your own versions. You will need a gimmicked coin for this of course.

    Hardcore Card Jam: Ammar covers his go to card effect, how to do the side steal, get and retain breaks. He covers his view on jazz magic and performing for laymen. I don?t know if I would consider this hardcore at all but it is a nice jam.

    Leftover Credit: He shows how to snap off the corner of a credit card and turn it into a coin. This is a really nice off the cuff moment that I think many will skip over but it it such a wonderful moment.

    Serial Number Reading: This is a great piece of mentalism where a borrowed bills serial number is divined. Ammar uses a fun story here that fit his style that might not be great for everyone but the method is clever enough that just about anybody can do it. He really has made it as simple as possible, you do need to use a handkerchief or a napkin as well as a sharpie.

    Add a Number: Ammar reminisces about a couple ideas and a switch using a single card for an add a number routine. His thoughts are very nice here.

    Rubber-band Jam: Of course Michael Ammar is world famous for his handling on the crazy man?s handcuffs. Here you learn the classic directly from the master. He tips the method on the actual effect as well as the broken and restored rubber band. If you do not perform this then this is the place to learn it.

    So you get a handful of classics and a few new tricks. More of the value is in the thoughts and theory that Michael Ammar provides. Unfortunately this was advertised as a brand new lecture and the majority of it is actually covered in other places. I was also excited before hand to hear about this new handling on pencil through coin and his handling of the phone in balloon, unfortunately these things were not taught completely. For the beginner I would recommend this lecture without question, for the experience professional who is already familiar with Ammar?s work this could probably passed up. The theory could easily be worth price of the lecture.
  3. #3 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Of course Daniel Garcia is an incredibly creative magician and he is well known for his influence in the world of TV and street magic. He covers a lot of materiel here, some new some old. Most of it is either a card trick or a trick with money with a couple effects that you can do with your phone.

    Timeline 2.0: A card with a different back is inserted into the box. A card is selected from a pack, upon opening the box the card has vanished and is revealed that the selection has changed into the other card with a different back and everything. All you need for this is a card with a different back design and a box. You will need to practice the moves involved but they are not impossible to learn with just a little time. This is a nice nearly impromptu effect if you are familiar with Garcia’s work then you will know that this is one of his go to effects.

    Cigarette Through Bill (Performance Only): A fun part about this lecture format is that they are able to insert video footage from other performances into the the lecture. In this case they get talking about magic on TV and all of its facets, Daniel then talks about what it was like working with David Blaine and his creative team. He shows the raw footage of the cigarette through bill with him and Blake Vogt at his home.

    Twenty-One: Two bills are used, one is borrowed and the other is supplied by the magician. One is folded and placed in the spectator’s hand and the other visually changes into the other bill and can be shown openly. When the spectator opens their hand it is shown that the bills have transposed. This is one of my favorite effects in the lecture. The method is new and the change is super visual. It is not too difficult to make and perform.

    Red: This is another go to of his, the spectator makes a selection and it is the only red card in the deck. On the offbeat the card changes color to match the deck. This is nice, it reminds me of Paul Harris’ Overkill.

    Pressure (Performance Only): A phone goes off in the crowd and Danny pushes it visually into a balloon. He goes over a couple new performance ideas as well as a great way to leave your spectator with a souvenir. He does not tip the method at all as was mentioned in Michael Ammar’s lecture.

    Fraud (Performance Only): Here we get a very funny story and a clip of David Blaine performing Daniel Garcia’s fraud for John Mayer.

    Engage: A borrowed bill is folded into 8ths and with a shake it changes into an origami bill ring. You can then hand out the ring as a souvenir. There is some prep for this but it really isn’t that tough to do and it is very visual.

    Serial Shuffle: The audience shuffles the deck, 8 cards are dealt and it matches a serial number perfectly. This is completely self working the way that he explains it and is a great alternative to a pick a card routine.

    Yellow Phone: This is Daniel Garcia’s take on mental yarn. Basically you are able to guess a thought of object on a list on your cell phone. This is a great utility that you can really use to control a selection or divine a selection. Two methods are explained and all you need for either is a notepad app. Danny uses an iPhone but I have performed this for years with an Android phone.

    Deep Water: This is an Oil and Water routine where the spectator does exactly what the magician does. It really gives the impression that the magician never touches the spectators pack. All of the reds and blacks are interlaced and they separate magically in the magicians packet, the spectator’s packet and the deck separate by color. This has a great way of building for the final revelation of the entire deck. A good 1-2-punch.

    Plastic Wrapped Night Shades (Performance Only): This is a performance from Dynamo performed for an English musician. He takes the glasses off of a photo of his album cover. This looks great but the reaction is even better. Of course this is based off of Paul Harris’ Nightshades but the shades are taken off under cellophane and permanently change the photo. It is not taught.

    Emit: This is a high concept piece where you make the whole audience go back in time up to ten minutes. This will work on most iPhones. The idea is clever but it may not hit the whole audience as hard as you’d like. I’d like to do this but there are a couple things that I worry about while performing it.

    Dough Boy: This is Daniel Garcia’s handling on Jay Sankey’s effect Dough. While the effect might be similar the method has managed to get rid of the sticky notes that Sankey uses which to me is like doing a sawing in half without boxes. A borrowed bill is jabbed by a pencil, straw or stir stick and it is visually restored. This is 100% impromptu and ungimmicked, all you need is a bill and a stick of some type.

    Open Coincidences: Here you learn a couple versions of Danny Garcia’s open prediction. This is great perfectly impromptu version of the open prediction that can be performed in the hands as well as on the table. A prediction is made and shown, the spectator deals to any card and that card is shown to be the prediction.

    Serial Shuffle-Bored: This was performed on David Blaine’s last special. The cards are shuffled face up into face down and flipped over a couple times and when they are spread the face up cards match the numbers on a bill. .

    There are a lot of effects here that are performance only. Credit through bill is advertised but it is not taught or performed. If you are interested in this trick it was taught on the online interview with Kyle Marlett but it is not touched on at all in the lecture. Michael Ammar made mention in the last lecture that an unpublished version of Pressure would be taught and it wasn’t.

    That said this is a good mix of material that it for the most part easy to do. If you like magic with paper money especially there is a lot here for you.
    milo299 likes this.
  4. #4 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Marcus Eddie is a super creative guy with some off the wall thinking. He really opens up here and shares some of his signature magic. If you are a close up guy there are a couple things on here that you will enjoy.

    Fresh: This is a simple to do refilling breath strip effect. No gimmicks are needed just some sweet sleight of hand. The packet is shown unmistakably empty and it audibly fills and then can be handed out for examination.

    You then take a quarter and with one finger you are able to push it through the container. You then take the quarter out and do it again, this time in a spectators hand. When they check it out they cannot remove the quarter. Everything can be examined before and after the effect

    Focus: You pop out a lens of your glasses, make it vanish and it appears back in the frames. This is a fun quick effect that you can do with a pair of glasses and no table. You can do it with sunglasses or prescriptions. You may be limited in the handling depending on what you are wearing.

    Something Borrowed: A borrowed ring pops onto a key tag, and you pull it off magically, and then toss it back on. He shows 2 main handlings using 2 different methods. One using extra gimmicks and the other is completely self contained. Everything is examinable at the beginning and the end.

    Jumbo Spellbound: A jumbo penny appears, vanishes and changes into a half dollar and back into a penny. There are a lot of cool things here, I am not sure if I'm sold on jumbo coin work but there is a lot of stuff that you could use in other situations here. You could use many of these moves with a phone, CD's or iPods instead of coins.

    Paper Cut: 2 Borrowed bills, folded by the spectator penetrate each-other slowly in full view. There is a slight angle consideration for this but other than that it is completely impromptu.

    Stairway: Based on travelling cash by Dan Harlan a borrowed bill jumps from strand to strand up a small rubber band ladder. This is one of Eddie's most famous effects. If you do crazy mans handcuffs or linking bands then you could easily work this in to your repertoire.

    Armband (Performance only): It is too bad he didn't teach this because it looked so great! A rubber band turns invisible and it is thrown onto your arm

    Color Changing Band: One rubber band is wrapped around your fingers, with a quick shake it changes color. This is a bit angle sensative and requires a certain set up and get ready. Most magicians who work with rubberbands will be
  5. #5 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Alex Pandrea is world renowned for being one of the best sleight of hand magicians in the world. He can do things with cards that nobody else on earth can do. I thought that I was going to watch this and walk away with nothing but an entertaining 2 hours but instead I walked away with tons of great magic suitable for almost all skill levels. If you are just starting out there is stuff for you, and if you like flourishy move monkey material then there is stuff for you too. I’ll walk through the tricks, just keep in mind that there are tons of thoughts and stories shared inbetween.

    Domino Effect (Performance Only): This is a teaser for a new effect that Alex recently put out. This is like a copper silver transpo performed with sugar packets. One is held by the spectator and the other by the magician. With a wave they visually change places. No explanation is provided for this effect.

    Arson: This is a worker and so much magic happens in so little time. Basically a card is selected and found with the help of a lighter. In detail a card is selected, a lighter vanishes, they go through the deck and the selection now has a burn mark on it, with a pop the lighter falls out of the playing card leaving the card completely un burnt. You can then reveal another selection on the warning label of the lighter. This is such a great routine, so much magic happens in just a silly pick a card trick and it is very easy to do. He combines some classic Jay Sankey, Kostya Kimlat and Daniel Garcia ideas to accomplish a complete routine. There are some aspects of this that aren’t original but all together it is very complete. The reset is almost instant and for anyone who is moderately good with cards you’ll probably be able to reset in front of an audience. This is also available on DVD for $25.00, it is almost worth the price of the whole lecture.

    Gambling Problem: This is a fun piece of mental magic where a card is selected and a location is named you then open up your wallet and show that you have a card from the named location inside, your prediction matches perfectly. This is a slick piece of magic using a himber wallet and a couple other gaffs. It could definitely be a worker as it is basically all contained in the wallet, it’s not too difficult, it tells a nice story and it resets immediately.

    As part of this trick he teaches some tips on the classic force. I’ve heard a lot of tips on the classic force but Alex shared a couple things I have never heard before and definitely help me. Of course you don’t need to use the classic force in the trick above.

    Elimin-ace: An ace is put aside at the beginning and a card is named the ace then turns into their card. This is not incredibly difficult to do, you will need a table but you learn a super cool switch that allows the trick to work. The way that Alex performs this is very entertaining and with any luck you will be able to translate that to your own performance. This is not self working but it is not a difficult routine to do.

    Mystery Card: A card is shown to have a different back then the rest of the deck, another card is selected and signed with a little bit of magic that mystery card becomes the selected signed card. This is very similar in effect to Daniel Garcia’s effect William Tell. It is completely different in method though.

    This all relies on a move caller T.O.P. which is an ingenious force and top control. The applications for this type of move are endless. This was originally sold as an $8 download and you get it here in the lecture.

    2 Card Reset: This is a tough flourishy mix between Reset and Dr. Daley’s last trick. This was one of my least favorite routines in the lecture. It is definitely for the hardcore card guys. It looks great in Alex’s hands but I can’t see myself doing this.

    5 Moves in 5 Minutes

    If you are not aware Alex Pandrea is one of the most talented card guys in the world. This section concentrates on 5 Advanced card moves and ideas.

    Spring Control: In the process of springing the cards a selection is controlled to the top of the deck. This looks very nice, it is very simple method wise but not easy to do. It has similar angle consideration to a side steal, of course this is completely performed in the hands..

    DPS: This is a quick flourishy cut that in-jogs a card in one fluid motion. This is a flourish so it won't be for everyone but it is a funky way to in-jog a card. No real angle problems here that you wouldn’t get from your basic in-jog, also you don’t need a table.

    Palm to Palm Transfer: This is a nice idea that provides motivation for a hand washing technique that takes a card from full palm to a cop position. You need to wear a ring in this.

    Second Deal Control: This is a great way to structure an “out of the hands” control. It looks like everything happens on the table. He covers the second deal here and teaches it just fine. This trick fooled Eric Jones in rehearsal.

    2 Card Transpo: This is a “cute” (as Alex calls it) 2 card transpo without any dupes or set up. This is not quite strong enough to perform alone but it is a good trick to do after a couple other transpo effects.

    4 Quarter Bill Switch: This is Magick Balay’s bill switch which Alex uses as an icebreaker. His tips on using this as an opener are great, and the bill switch itself is outstanding. If you already use the hundred dollar bill switch then this is probably not for you, personally I have had problems learning the classic switch and found this to be much easier. This can also be performed very quickly, it is so fast that they repeatedly say that you can perform this surrounded. I wouldn’t suggest you try that, at least not with my thumb tip. It is very good though and is available separately on DVD for $25.

    The last section covers Alex’s version of the ambitious card. His version has 3 phases and is almost completely performed in the spectator’s hands. His philosophy is definitely different to most magicians in this effect and his approach is very powerful. He goes over the Brick Pass and the turnover pass. briefly and explains where he thinks they work best. He sells a DVD teaching this for $18 on the Blue Crown and you get it along with this excellent lecture.

    Besides the effects you get a ton of Alex’s ideas, personal stories and approaches to magic. He was really fun to watch and very talented. There is something here for just about any close up magician and if you went out and purchased all of the DVD’s that it would take to learn this material you would have to spend at least 3 times as much as this lecture.
  6. #6 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Of course Jason England is one of the foremost experts on card magic and gambling cheats. He has performed as a hand double in many settings and lectures regularly on cheating techniques. In this lecture he covers classic card magic as well as entertaining gambling demonstrations.

    The Classics: Jason covers 3 basic tricks here from Vernon and Charlie miller. If you are a student of card magic chances are you know all of the tricks he teaches here but if you are new to card magic these are three need to know effects that he teaches, if you don?t already own Stars of Magic, Expert Card Technique and Vernon?s Inner Card Trilogy then this is a great video representation of 3 of their most legendary tricks.

    Triumph: A card is selected, the cards are shuffled face up into face down, but magic all the cards right themselves. For those who are familiar with Jason England you know that this is one of his all time favorite effects. He performs it as good as anyone else and his touches involving a crimp, and his version of Daryl?s triumph display really go a long way to elevate this effect. He touches on the difference between what Vernon actually performed and what is explained in Stars of Magic as well.

    He covers the Zarrow shuffle as well. His thoughts were interesting but I felt like he was concentrating on the wrong aspects of the shuffle and it harms the effectiveness of his shuffle.

    Twisting the Aces: One at a time the aces turn over without any obvious sleight of hand by the magician. This is almost completely what is taught in Vernon?s Inner Card Trilogy with the adition of an excellent sleight in the last phase and a visual kicker courtesy of Derek Delgaudio. If you perform twisting the aces by Vernon then you should look into England's touches.

    Dunbury?s Delusion/ Fingerprint: These 2 tricks in Jason?s book are virtually the same in effect. The magician seems to have made a mistake and then it all works out anyways. Both are offbeat methods to find a selected card. England takes his cue from Vernon here and performs Fingerprint for ladies and Dunbury?s Delusion for gentlemen. For those familiar with Charlie Miller?s version of Dunbury?s Delusion as outlined in Expert Card Technique you know that it requires repeated second deals, Jason has eliminated the seconds without disturbing the main effect.

    Grand Slam for Brother Jon: This is a wonderful demonstration of cheating at bridge that works for bridge players as well as those who don?t play bridge. After the spectator shuffles and deals you are able to control every spade in the deck to your hand. This is almost self working, of you can do a Zarrow shuffle There?s a lot of dealing here.

    Poker Tells: Jason presents this as a way to read ?tells? in a game of cards. He has added a kicker where he ends up with the winning hand even when all those involved get to chose their hand. This is a very cool effect with a large set up, he says that it would work well as a closer.
    Instant Full House: This is a complex way to stack 2 hands on the fly, and it looks like the spectator has you beat till the last moment. Jason developed this as a way to deal with difficult spectators. There are some false shuffles and riffle stacking required.

    The Gathering: I didn?t really see the point to Jason?s handling in this. This is a classic Marlo idea and if I remember right it is almost completely self working in its original state, however when Jason performs it you now add a few bottom deals, riffle stacking and false shuffles. Basically 5 hands are dealt, each spectator selects a card in their hand and they are shuffled back in the deck, the cards are re-dealt and the dealer ends up with all the selections.

    For those of you who are familiar with Jason?s DVDs and downloads you know that he is great at a lot of very difficult card sleights and moves. During this lecture he really didn?t go over too many of these sleights. He touches on the Zarrow, shows a drill for the second deal and gave some tips for shuffle stacking.

    Mostly what he covers is the old classics and newer gambling related routines. For many this will come off as dry old fashioned magic but for those close up workers who do magic for an older crowd, this may be perfect for you. Personally I really enjoyed the mix of different card effects taught here.
  7. #7 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Karl Hein is widely known to be an expert with a deck of cards. He has published some great DVD’s in the past and here you really get a look into his approach to magic and his depth of knowledge on the subject.

    That Would Be a Freakin Miracle: Three cards are selected, they are lost in the deck and the rest of the deck turns into jokers. He gives some good tips on adding and changing this routine and improvising. He goes over a handful of hat loads as well, so that you can perform a card from either the magician’s or spectators hat, he also touched on a couple different hat loads.

    Transformer Triumph: This is a flourishy version of triumph. A card is selected, lost in the deck and it is shuffled face up into face down. The card is found, the deck is sorted out to be all face down and it is revealed that the deck has been returned back to its original order. Here you are going to learn a handful of in the hands shuffles that retain the entire deck. I especially liked the Heinstein shuffle, this is an in the hands riffle shuffle that is completely false and fairly deceptive.

    Pathways: Here he has 4 objects on the table, three items are selected and it is shown that he predicted exactly what the selections would be. This really fooled me, he has combined some classic mentalism principles with his Heiny 500 gimmick. He never completely explains how the gimmick works but you do see it and he gives you the references you need to create it yourself.

    Heiny 500 Jam (Performance only): He shows a whole bunch of applications that all use

    Give me 5: This is a fun gag where you produce a 5 dollar bill in the middle of a high five. This is based off of a classic move and you may find that you have played around with this concept before.

    Out of your mind: This is Karl’s version of out of this world, where the spectator separates the face down red and black cards. There are some great upsides here it is unpublished, so this, for the moment, is an exclusive. It is completely impromptu and you use a small portion of the deck that makes it a lot more commercial than most of the classic handlings. The downsides here are that not all of the sleights used are completely original so he does not teach each part of the effect and it is definitely more advanced than Paul Curry’s original trick.

    He spends a good 15 minutes fielding questions about restaurant work, his take on tips, openers and his approach. This was interesting and it is always nice to see another magicians thoughts.

    Grandmother's BLT: This is a three phase sandwich effect using a King and Jack as the sandwich cards. The first phase is fairly classic, the selection appears in the sandwich. In the second phase the sandwich cards slide down the fan visually picking up the selection as they slide into the spectators hand. In the last phase the spectator goes to retrieve the selection and it turns into the sandwich cards in their fingers. I don’t love sandwich effects but to get that final effect I may have to start performing this.

    So to sum it up you learn a couple good effects with a lot of Karl’s theory on performance. I appreciated his opinion a lot. In this lecture you have a lot less material covered then in some of the others put on by Murphy’s. The highlights for me were learning Heinstein’s Shuffle, the hat load and his ideas on restaurants.. He didn’t delve into all of the moves necessary to perform all of his effects so you will need some background knowledge or you will need to go make a few extra purchases to actually perform the magic covered.
  8. #8 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    This lecture is worth its wait in just the magic philosophy that is discussed. Hannibal is a thinker and a good teacher. Even if you don?t like his presentation or his style I would still check this out. The things that he teaches apply to everyone. Hannibal is a real working magician and what he performs is a show that he has perfected over time. This lecture is not full of brand new magic that will fool your magic buddies, instead it is a look into why we do magic. Let?s touch on the tricks taught.

    Lethal Weapon: A spectator names a celebrity and it was perfectly predicted on a large banner. This has some great lines built in and some great chances for comedy. It is a fun piece of mentalism and will fit many. Because of the pre show preparation this would be best performed for a large audience. It would work great for an emcee.

    Road House: 10 cards are counted and placed in a womans blouse. This is repeated for another woman and a number of cards transports from one to another. This is basically a classic cards across with a some different handling tips and a specific presentation. He doesn?t break any ground method wise, you still have to do the dreaded moves many magicians fear, but he does break it down in a way that anyone could learn it if they invested enough time.

    Mystery Card: A card is selected and lost in the deck. Another card is placed face down on the table. The magician tries to guess the card by having the spectator lie and name anycard in the deck. The named card happens to be the card on the table and the magician is able to divine the selected card. The magician then makes them change places. This is a fun take on the mystery card and allows for a kicker ending for an already good routine.

    The Pringles Act: A card appears repeatedly under a Pringles can. Another card is selected and it appears under the can as well. The card vanishes from the deck appearing on the magicians forehead and the deck appears under the can. The signed card then is shown to have been hiding clipped inside the can the whole time. This is a combination of card under glass and card under box with a great kicker ending. This is a fun piece and if you are interested in card under glass this is a nice routine.

    Pringles Chop Cup: A small potato is placed under a pringles can, it jumps to the magicians pocket and back under the can. The can is placed on a spectators hand and a tomato appears. The routine ends with the production of an onion and a parmesan cheese shaker from the can. There are no gimmicks per se in this routine. There are some extra props that you will need but you use a normal potato, tomato, onion, shaker and a can. Everything in this routine is performed with sleight of hand. It should be noted that Hannibal prefers to perform this with an apron, the type you might see a street performer use, and he is sitting down. You could easily perform this from your pockets and standing up with some modification.

    An Idea From Juan Tamariz: He quickly covers a very difficult way for a spectator to find their own card. They name a card and then cut to that card. This is for the experienced magicians out there, he touches on it briefly. You may need to purchase a copy of Pneumonica to replicate this trick.

    Elves Shoes (Performance Only): Telling the story of the elves and the shoemaker the magician slowly folds a bill into an elf boot.

    Silver Memories(Performance Only): This is a version of coins and cylinder that is beautiful to watch. For all of the performance only magic you can check out his DVD.

    Along with those pieces you get tons of info regarding restaurant work, branding, and how to improve your magic. You get a lot of good information here, a few fun stories and I think that most will enjoy what they get.
  9. #9 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015

    Rick Merrill is a FISM champ and in this lecture you learn a lot of what it took to make his act and what his perspective is on competition magic.

    Fism Performance: You get to see a big chunk of his FISM act here. If you’d like to see it entirely you can check it out on Youtube. Basically a marker and coin change places again and again in a very visual way.

    Multiple Selection: 6 cards are selected and found in 6 different ways. This is fun to watch, his routine is very entertaining. He touches on the classic force here as well as a very cool gaffed card called a double agent. He has some interesting work on card in mouth as well. The only thing he glazed over here was the control he used.

    Ricks Restaurant Opener: This is a routine with a gimmicked deck. It is a way to routine an ambitious card and a triumph. So a card comes to the top of the deck repeatedly as if my magic and then the cards are shuffled face up into face down and they magically right themselves. With this deck the spectator can shuffle it a couple times if you wish. For me I didn’t feel like this really added to either routine. His ideas on restaurant magic were sound and helpful.

    3 Change: 3 coins are produced and slowly changed into a chinese coin, an english penny and a mexican centavo and then change back. This is a coin routine that with time became part of his FISM act. This looks very nice but it is very gaff heavy. There may be some magicians out there who already own the gaffs needed but for most of us we’d have to invest in some new gaffed coins. Coin gaffs can be really expensive so I’m not sure how practical this routine would be for the average magician.

    A Trick for Your Magic Buddies: 4 Cards are produced, they happen to be the aces, you then perform a sybil cut and produce a royal flush in spades. The set up for this is hilarious and it makes it easy to do a sybil cut as well. I will never use this in the real world but it is a nice way to practice some card moves.

    Rune Klan’s Coin Routine: In this routine you wave your pen over a coin and it vanishes. The coin comes back, and you change it into the marker. Man this is gold! So many magicians could easily put this into their repertoire and it plays fairly big depending on the size of the coin. All you need is a pen and a coin, you don’t need any clothing requirements or a table and it’s not terribly difficult either.

    Sleeving: Rick touches on his thoughts for sleeving. He goes over what shirts are best for him as well as various other tips and tricks that he uses.

    Kick Back: This is an extra kicker to Rune Klan’s routine. The marker turns into the coin and teleports under the magicians arm. This is a good addition to Rune’s original routine. The clothing requirements are the same, you don’t need any!

    Convincing Vanish: This Ricks take on a Gregory Wilson idea. It uses a small hand washing sequence and a sleeveless complete vanish of a marker. This has some clear angle restrictions but it is a fairly creative take.
    Pencil Change: Without going to your pockets you can vanish a marker and make a pencil apear in its place. This is completely surprising, and it is very creative. The way it meshes with the marker vanish is brilliant.

    Marker From Coin: He reaches into the coin and pulls out the marker, giving the impression that the coin slowly dissolves leaving a marker in its place. This is another slow magical moment.

    Knee Tap: At this point he throws the maker at his knee kicking it in the air, it then changes into the coin, giving the impression that it changes in mid air. He then repeats it turning it back. This is tough but it looks great for sure. This is another place where Rune Klan inspired a sequence. To perform Merrill's version you do need to be wearing a shirt similar to what he is wearing.

    A good chunk of the FISM routine could be done by just about anyone to great effect, the other magic is fine but I think the real gold in this is the coin and pen magic.
  10. #10 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Jon Armstrong is very entertaining and he is an expert with a deck of cards. In this lecture you will learn some unique rubber band effects as well as a whole 20 minute stage act with just a deck of cards.

    Tiny Plunger Meets Malini: He opens by teaching a handling of Tiny Plunger that is framed as a Malini style card stab, performed by the spectator. A card is chosen the deck is mixed in a heap on the table, a handkerchief covers them and the spectator stabs the cards with the plunger finding their own card. He teaches this effect in full and if you have a plunger or something sticky then you can perform this immediately. One of the great parts about this is that it uses a plunger rather than a knife and would be perfect to perform for children and families.

    Plunger Jam: If you own the tiny plunger DVD then he shares some extra tips, ideas and presentations using the plunger including a vanish where it looks like the plunger sucks up the card and a new stick no stick handling with the plunger. He does not explain this effect in full detail as advertised unfortunately.

    Band Through Neck: This is a great idea that can be used on stage as well as close up. You pull a rubber band over your head and visually through your neck, of course this is completely impromptu and very visual. This is almost a geek effect performed with a rubberband.

    Rubber Band Melt: This is Armstrong?s take on the classic crazy man?s handcuffs unlink move. In this version the bands are clearly interlaced and without any strang movemnts they instantly unlink. This is a great alternative to the original move.

    Magic Castle Fooler: This effect was a lot of fun to watch but it didn?t necessarily fool me as described in the ad copy, I really don?t think that this will totally fool most magicians. In this effect he uses a selected card to determine how many cards the spectator will stop at. He covers his take on jazz magic, and the timing force.

    He shares his thoughts on the Zarrow, unfortunately because of the angle of the camera we never got to see what his Zarrow looks like to a spectator, but his tips seem to be sound. He covers some of his thoughts on a marked deck the classic force as well as the top change. His work with a marked deck has to be seen to be believed, it is phenomenal!

    Sandwich Effect: This is a quick sandwich effect where the sandwich cards find the selection as they are dropped on the table. As far as a sandwich effect goes I don?t know if this groundbreaking but it is a fun alternative to a classic sandwich load.

    The second half of the lecture is Jon?s take on stage magic, he performs a small set with just cards and explains each trick in detail.

    He talks about the importance of audience management on stage and gives some good pointers on keeping your energy up as you select a spectator. Here he goes over a classic pick a card trick, he covers a side steal, a rising card and a change. There?s some fairly basic magic here but some great tips with cards on stage.

    Repeat Card Under Watch: Here he uses an old game to mix a Paul Harris effect and card under watch. He is able to load it multiple times with the kicker of making a personalized signed card appear under the watch as well. This is a fun trick with a nice single card vanish that completely fooled me.

    Open Change: Here, the spectator takes the deck and places one card in their pocket. The magician is able to divine the exact card even before the spectator knows what it is. This is okay, in my opinion there are better ways to present this trick using the same method that would play just as big.

    10,000 Dollar Closer: A spectator is asked to just think of a card and you are able to show that you predicted it. I?m not crazy for this as a closer it is a simple prediction effect with a lot of set up and work involved. This is definitely not something you would do if you were not performing for a large audience but the method was very interesting and it looks like a very free choice.

    It bothers me a little bit that when we say card trick we often mean a pick a card trick. There are thousands of plots in card magic and half of them do not require you to select a card and the magician will find it. On this lecture though you learn a whole bunch of ways to basically find a selected card and in the stand up routine that is all he does. I feel like laymen would think that they were all the same, even if they were different in presentation. So I wasn?t a huge fan of much of the magic. I did enjoy his rubber band work and his thoughts on card sleights and techniques but it was lacking in variety to some extent.
  11. #11 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    John Gustaferro looks like such a nice unassuming guy but his magic uses devious methods and he has some wonderful touches. The magic here is very card heavy but you get a handful of different types of tricks. They are not all pick a card find a card tricks rather you get a twisting the aces routine, a gambling routine, some in the hands magic and a multiple card find all in one place. It’s card heavy but there are some cool touches on effects with straws and rings as well, check them out below.

    In the Dog House: A card is selected, 2 Jokers are placed in the box, the card turns over in the deck, it changes into the 2 jokers and ends up in the box. What a fun way to do a card to box, there are a couple silly jokes here that work together with the premise of the cards being some sort of dog. This only requires a table a box and an ungimmicked deck.

    Club Sandwich: Two selections are chosen and found one at a time in between the 2 jokers and at the end they change positions. This is a classic of John G’s and is a nice sandwich routine with a nice kicker ending. I don’t love sandwich routines but this is nice.

    Dr. Daley With Selections: The 2 Jokers and selections change places while in the spectators hands. This is a basic handling of the classic effect, nothing is super new here besides the routine in which it takes place. John performs In the Dog House, Club Sandwich and Dr. Daley’s Last Trick all in one seamlessly woven together to make 5 minutes of solid magic.

    6 Card Charlie: This is a fooler! The deck is clearly mixed by you and the spectators. It is shuffled like crazy. A spectator is then able to deal exactly 20 in a game of blackjack and a straight in a game of poker and of course all of it is predicted by the magician.

    Little White Lie: 4 queens are given to a spectator mixed up and one is chosen. They continue to mix them up and the magician is able to predict which card would be chosen. He then makes all of the cards turn blank. John has a few versions of this out there and he teaches the most complex version on this lecture. He shows how to make a gimmicked wallet that switches out gaffed cards and your prediction, and he uses black cards. He mentions that you could do this with a regular deck as well without a problem. It is generous of him to show the complex one because it is very easy to simplify.

    Spectral: A card is selected and lost in a small packet, it vanishes and the spectator choses where it will reapear in a ribbon spread. This is similar in presentation to the classic Biddle trick. This is based on an effect by John Carey and John G. shows how he has added that one degree difference which he has got so famous for. It is fun to see how all the pieces come together to make a very magical effect.

    Ballett Cut: A simple flourishy false cut. After learning it I have been surprised at how good it looks. It is a super simple 2 packet cut that can be performed at any time without a table and retains the whole order of the deck. John goes over a few applications including using it as a force, a production and a control.

    Proximity Peak Control: You get a spectator peak, have a few people shuffle the cards and you are able to know the identity and location of that card. This is a nice thought, the handling and choreography needs to be fairly specific in order to pull it off, but it is not very difficult and gets a lot done.

    Zen Bend: A straw held by the finger and thumb bends. This is probably best for a casual performance given the set up. All it requires is a straw with or without the wrapper on,

    Ring on Straw: With the wave of a straw a ring magically appears in the magicians hand. The straw then vanished appearing behind the ear (just like in the classic gag) and the ring visually penetrates the center of the straw. This is a very natural routine, if you wear a ring then it could be a very strong impromptu piece.

    Clifton’s Ring Transpo: The spectator’s ring is threaded onto a string, it melts through the string and changes into the magicians ring. It is then revealed that the magician is wearing the spectators ring. This is a quick ungimmicked addition to a ring on string routine using an updated version of a classic move.

    Ring on Necklace: The magician makes an impromptu necklace using a shoelace or string, he then pops a borrowed ring onto the necklace worn by the spectator. This is a fun piece that leaves the spectator with an impossible object and a great souvenir. It is surprisingly easy as well.

    Stress Test: A card that you buy in a novelty shop to measure stress is held by the spectator they then select a card and the stress test has morphed to match the card. John makes these cards specifically and has an extra kisker included on his but you can use your own if you find a card that changes color according to your mood. The way that he controls which card is selected is very cool, and you just need a table.

    Color Blind: The spectator names a color and the magician cuts to an ace of that color, he cuts to another and the aces change color.

    Tail Spin: The spectator names a four of a kind and those cards slowly turn over just like in the classic twisting the aces routine, they then turn into all double backers and then into the aces. They are handed to the spectator and they change to his original selected four of a kind. There’s nothing too difficult about this routine and with fairly little skill you get a handful of magical moments.

    Hide and Seek: The jacks are hidden in a handful of different places all chosen by the spectator with one in the spectator's pocket. It’s kind of a version of open travellers where all 4 jacks switch places with the aces. It does require some minor audience management but it isn’t incredibly difficult to do.

    Multimental: In this version of the multiple card find 6 cards are selected and as they are found the magician is able to name them right before they produce them. The great part about this is that there is no memorization and no forcing of the cards, so you can do a part mental part magic routine that you can do just about anywhere from a shuffled deck.

    So on this download you learn a ton of new magic that can be performed in any venue. Like I said before the card effects are very diverse and you learn about various different plots with a deck of cards. This has been one of my favorite lectures.
  12. #12 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Kostya Kimlat has made magic into a business. He has created teams of magicians and sold their services to huge corporations. He has worked to develop his magic and his team?s magic into a much needed and desirable package that businesses seek out. On this lecture he gives all sorts of tips on how to go full time in magic, how to break down your current skills as a magician, how to find your brand and how to market yourself. He explains how he invested in his magic and came out on top and goes into the details of how he did it. In this lecture, which was a couple hours long, he covered only 2 tricks. The majority of the lecture had to do with magic business.

    Warning: In this effect the magician rips off the warning label on a lighter then in a burst of flame it reattaches itself to the lighter. You learn how to do this but you will need the specially manufactured gimmicks sold with the DVD for this marketed effect.

    Who Killed the King: This is an interesting trick using regular playing cards that you may be able to do with a normal deck. Explaining the effect would spoil some of the secret so sufficeth to say that this trick will have you looking closely at your playing cards for all sorts of mysteries.

    So that?s it. If you are looking for magic tricks or knuckle busting sleight of hand you will not find it here. You will find a whole lot of sound advice from real world experience.

    I expected more magic and was kind of frustrated that in the case of Warning there is no way to perform it without purchasing the product. The advice was sound so a professional would probably get a lot more out of this than a hobbyist.
  13. #13 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Shin Lim is a young guy that has really drummed up a name for himself among the competition circuit or young magicians he has already made a name for himself. During this lecture you learn some of Lim’s classic magic as well as a handful of new ideas.

    FISM Act #1: I believe this is Lim’s act titled 52 shades of Red. Later in the lecture he explains most of the act, not play by play but you get the main idea. This act looks nice on camera, which is what it was designed for, but it may have some difficulties when performed close up or live. At one point he uses his SSS smoke gimmick, he does not explain it. Most of the deck is gimmicked in some way and you learn most of the various techniques Lim uses to gimmick it up.

    F*** Cards: Shin’s version of this classic gimmick is solid and deceptive on stage. He warns against using this in a close up situation but after you put the work into making the gimmick you have an almost self working color changing card that could be used on stage.

    Tips and Tricks on Silent Acts: Lim covers various tips and the theory behind his competition acts. He explains some of the history behind his competition acts as well.

    Twirl Change Variation: This is a variation inspired by Kevin Ho on the classic change. It cleans up and fixes some problems with the actual classic version of the change.

    Thoughts on B**** A**: This concept has been used on stage by many but Shil Lim has applied this to a closeup performance. He covers a handful of vanishes and appearances using this concept. Some of the moves used here could be applied to an act with a normal deck of cards.

    Gimmicked Vanish: Using some very cool technology you are able to make a card vanish cleanly or perform an impossible tabled color change. You will need to perform some heavy duty arts and crafts to make the gimmicks but Lim has some great applications throughout the lecture using this item.

    Tic Tac Box: This is a very cool prediction trick, similar in effect to David Regal’s clarity box. A card is folded up in a Tic Tac box from the beginning, a card is chosen signed and vanished. It is then found to be the card in the Tic Tac box. This requires a lot of prep and is similar in method to Shin Lim’s Switch.

    Coin Matrix: This is similar to the gimmicked vanish mentioned above. Shin uses the same method to vanish a coin. Personally I’m not a huge fan of this, on video it may work but I feel like a coin is too much to conceal using this method.

    Ace Production: This is an easy, flourishy 4 ace production. There’s nothing outstanding here but it is a fine production. It works well routined with the 4 for 4 change and Shin Splint.

    4 for 4 Change: The 4 aces are placed face up on the deck and with a wave of the hand they visually change into the 4 kings. This is a tough move with some angle sensitivity but when performed well it looks really nice. With a snap you can make the cards turn back into the aces if you’d like.

    Shin Splint: This is a very visual, one handed twisting the aces routine that happens at the fingertips. It isn’t as easy as the classic routine but the tradeoff is worth it in many conditions. You can’t be completely surrounded but it is a great update to the classic.

    Card Shintrol: This move was based on a color change, it has been changed to be used as a top control. This isn’t groundbreaking but it is a nice simple control that definitely gets the job done.

    Reverse Snap Change: Shin has taken this to the next step. A card changes and changes back repeatedly. It is crazy difficult. I’m not sure how real world this change is but it looks really cool. He also uses it as a sandwich vanish.

    Multiple Snap Change: Shin has become well known for his handling of the multiple snap change. He touches on a couple things and jams for a bit on the Snap Change but does not go into depth on the move.

    Fism Act #2- The Dream Act (Performance Only): This is may be released at some point but he does not explain the routine in its entirety. Basically a card is selected and signed, and teleports to the magicians mouth. It is then placed in a bag and changes in the bag to another signed card. There is a fun bit with a Sharpie Marker as well as a card and deck transpo. It is all performed with a bunch of smoke effects and many magical, impossible moments.

    To close up he covers a few pieces of theory as well as his tips on the mercury card fold.

    Overall, you will get 2 basic types of magic here, very difficult magic and very gimmicked magic. I found a handful of things that got my mind going, but over all I was not a huge fan of the lecture. It seemed kind of unorganized and in a few spots I feel like he breezed through an explanation so quickly that it will be extra difficult to learn. I found that Lim’s style is very niche oriented and does not necessarily help out my style of magic. His teaching also left something to be desired.
  14. #14 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Gregory Wilson is a veteran magician and lecturer and on this lecture he shares some great magic. I had the chance to watch portions of this live, I found the interface to be easy to use and many of the questions I asked were answered throughout the lecture.

    Party Time Opener: A paper bag is pulled out of the magicians pocket, a streamer is pulled out and a full bottle of wine is produced. This is a great, somewhat organic, production of a bottle. This does have some angle and wardrobe considerations but would work great on stage.

    Sugar Change: A packet of Sweet and Low is dropped through a coffee sleeve and changes color. This is a new clever application of a J.C. Wagner effect that can easily be set up on the fly.

    Pitch ?n Ditch: A coin changes in mid air then vanishes multiple times. He jazzes a bit here making the coin vanish in a handful of different ways all using the pitch and ditch. This is a utility move that is best performed in a stand up cocktail situation. It is knacky and requires heavy audience direction but it is a fun move to do.

    Pick Pocket Basics: On a whim Greg decides to start pick pocketing his spectator. He explains a couple routines and techniques. He goes through the credit card steal in detail, stealing a credit card and wallet in succession. I love this routine, I feel like Greg milks it a little bit too much but I like the cleanliness of the credit card and wallet steals. He also shows a way to steal glasses. There are some classics mixed in but a lot of good tips and tricks from really working.

    Ring Side: This is a 3 phase ring and coin transpo with a surprise ending. All you need its a quarter and a ring. This is a fun effect for stand up situations but it?s not really my cup of tea.

    Repeat Watch Steal: Under the guise of guessing which hand a coin is in he steals a watch twice. Even if you don?t want to steal a watch you learn a fun way to guess a coin in a spectators hand.

    Pocket change: A number is named and it is revealed to match the exact change in the magicians pocket. He shows a couple handlings for this as well as the gimmick but you really don?t get the whole picture. You will still need to purchase the trick from Greg to perform it.

    Copper Silver: This is a fun impromptu penny and dime transpo that happens in the spectators hand. This is a very cool transpo that I can see myself using, I love how easily it can be performed. Because this was impromptu it can easily be routined with other effects using pennies and dimes.

    Stick Shift: 2 pieces of a toothpick penetrate each other over and over. He then restores the toothpick in a very magical way. This uses a classical method for the penetration but finishes in a unique way.

    Lighter Change: A lighter is shown to be out of gas, the magician changes its color and it now works. This is a fun color changing lighter with a nice twist. You can also make it a kind of transpo where the lighter appears in your sock.

    Revelution (performance only): Using the OCD deck from Sans Minds. Greg shows a mixed deck, he spins it on his finger and it rearranges itself into new deck order. He only teases the deck spin, but it really looks like he?s spinning it just like a basketball spinning on his finger.

    Poker Peek: Gregs touches on the spectator peek. There?s very little new here but he gives a couple strong pieces of misdirection that you may find to be helpful.

    Card Under Box: This is a very bold handling of the classic effect. A card is selected and appears under the box over and over again. This is naturally a very bold effect but Greg has managed to make it even more so with his simple additions.

    Video Performances: In this section Greg watches himself perform on camera and really tries to rip his performance apart. There?s a lot to learn here in real world situations. I enjoyed this a lot. He talks about hecklers and his ideas on how to deal with difficult audiences.

    Overall, this is a strong lecture for those interested in pick pocketing and stand up cocktail magic. It is very entertaining but I can?t see myself doing much of the magic taught.
  15. #15 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Darwin Ortiz is a master at cards. I was especially excited for this lecture as I love gambling premises and difficult card moves. This lecture is full of tough stuff.

    Fast Company: This is a triumph effect. All of the cards are shuffled into each other face up into face down. The spectator is given half of the deck and the magician takes the other half. The magician immediately turns all of the cards face down before the spectator gets a chance.

    He then has a card selected, he shuffles the cards face down to face up and magically turns all of the cards in the same suit as the spectator face up in numerical order. I like this effect but I?m not crazy for the presentation. I think a more engaging performer could make this a real gem, in Ortiz?s hands it is very puzzling but doesn?t feel magical to me. There is some preparation involved but you have the luxury of performing 2 effects with one set up. The psychology he adds is interesting as well.

    Jacks are Better: Here he gives a clever way to deal thirds fourths and fifths, as well as teaching the spread cull very well. You need to deal 2 second deals in this but it gives the idea that you are dealing 3rds 4ths and fifths. It culminates with the magician in trouble and fixing the problem magically.

    Hard Target: This is a repeat sandwich effect using 2 selections. The method is very clever but I feel like it is overly complex. The presentation on the other hand is very nice. I?m not a fan of sandwiches in general and while I love how clever the method is, there are a lot more concise ways to achieve this.

    Faro Notes: Darwin covers the faro shuffle here, that is a perfect one to one interwoven shuffle. If you are new to this technique this may be helpful to you.

    The New Back Offs: This is a packet version of an all backs routine. All the cards are shown as double backers and are then changed into regular cards. As Mike points out it stands out from other all backs routines because the spectator handles the double backers seconds before they are printed. There is a clever clean up as well that allows you to give away all of the cards in the packet.

    Zen Master: This is a nice routine where Darwin impossibly divines multiple selections as they are placed face down on the table or in the spectators hand, or in the middle of a pile. This really seems impossible and the effect and method really get me going, I like both. This is one of my favorite effects on the lecture.

    The Appointment of Samaro: This completely fooled me. A card is placed in an envelope. It is sealed, the envelope is signed and placed in a wallet that never leaves view. The spectator selects a card and it is shown to be the ace. The envelope is shown to be completely empty. What a great effect!

    Strip-out Shuffle Master Class: For those who are familiar with the push through or the strip out shuffle Ortiz gives great advice concerning these moves so that you can master them. He does not teach the moves from the ground up.

    Doppelganger(Performance Only): A spectator and the magician each sign four cards. The spectator puts the magician?s cards in 4 places and it is revealed that the magician has magically made the spectators cards appear in corresponding pockets.

    I don?t mean to be harsh at all but I didn?t much like this lecture. I understand that Darwin is a master with cards and a top class magical theorist. I felt like this lecture was boring and involved complex methods for no reason. In more than one spot I was confused as to what the overall effect was supposed to be in any given trick. It was confusing for me as a magician, I can?t imagine what it would be like for a laymen.

    If you want to learn card magic with a gambling theme check out either the Jason England, Jon Armstrong or John Guastaferro lectures. You will find stronger magic, with more entertaining premises.
  16. #16 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    The magic of Dan Hauss has been performed by many magicians around the world including David Blaine and Dynamo. He is a crazy creative. This lecture is a little all over the place but it fits Dan’s attention span. There’s some good magic on here.

    Ring Magic: With a slow wave a ring appears on the performers hand. He takes it off and a spectator spins it on the table. The performer then smashes his hand on the ring and it melts through flesh and bone onto the performers finger. He places the ring on his pinky, and it slowly floats earily up the finger. The ring is taken off one more time and a spectator is asked to name a finger, the ring is then tossed and caught on the finger named.

    So that’s a four phase routine without any gimmicked rings per se. For the smash through you will need something extra to make the trick work but everything else can be performed with a normal ring. None of the magic is incredibly hard. The main struggle will be to find the right ring for the trick.

    Ring Bottle: A ring is balanced on the lip of a regular glass beer or soda bottle, it is then smashed down the bottle expanding as it goes down. This is a new use for Dan’s growing ring gimmick. Dan messes it up multiple times during the lecture but this is very doable and should with a little bit of practice. It should be mentioned that the ring and bottle can be closely examined before and after, even after the ring has expanded to fit the bottle neck.

    Coin Ring Thing: A ring turns into a coin and the coin turns back into a ring repeatedly. This uses a gimmicked coin but some of the moves could be performed with a normal coin and a normal ring. There wasn’t anything crazy groundbreaking here and with the gimmicked coin you do have a certain clothing requirement.

    Ring Jump: A ring pops from the right hand to the left in a very visual way. This uses an old gimmick that is rarely used and an extra something. It may look good on video but taking the preparation and cleanup into account it is probably not very doable in real life for most magicians.

    Shugar Block: A borrowed quarter is placed in a sugar packet and a pin or toothpick is pushed through. The packet is opened so that you can see the actual point of penetration, it is then removed and the coin is returned to the spectator completely restored. This uses a gimmick that can be purchased at most magic stores in a brand new way. It looks very good and fooled me badly.

    The Strike Change: A penny changes into a dime and back into a penny as it is struck by a sharpie. This uses Williamson’s striking vanish to some extent which he doesn’t teach with a small gimmick. He shows you how to do the change in your mouth as well as a version without any gimmicks.

    Redline: A chapstick lid is removed and in the action of a toss it is caught right where it should be on the chapstick. This is a classic of Dan’s that is sold on Theory 11. This is very versatile and the gimmick is very simple to make. Mike teased Redline 2.0 but unfortunately Dan does not teach it. He does show some of his work with a jumbo chapstick that will be featured on Redline 2.0 but there wasn’t anything that really blew me away.
    Chameleon Change: This was taught on Free Trick Friday with Murphy’s. A sharpie changes color 3 times and can be examined afterwards. This is nice but it isn’t completely groundbreaking either, fairly simple to do though.

    Sandwich Trick: This is a multiphase sandwich routine where the selection repeatedly finds itself sandwiched on the top of the deck. I stuggle with most peoples version of the ambitious card as well as sandwich routines. This is an unoriginal combo of the two with an extra gaffed card required.

    Jumping Jacks: This is a faux sandwich where the spectator thinks that the Jack will sandwich the card. in reality they visually change places with the selected card. The last move could be applied to other effects but it is gaffed.

    Visual Sandwich: This is another sandwich routine, I love Dan but I don’t see the appeal in most sandwich routines. I also doubt that this is completely original.

    Color Change: This is a tough visual angly color change. It requires a mat but it looks good, if you are at the perfect angle. You may be able to do this on camera but it would be tough live.

    Sonata Restored: This is the bare handed production of four pieces of a card that immediately heal themselves. This is cool and it is a rare torn and restored card that can be performed with the same gimmicks over and over.

    Flow Performance Only: The water in a bottle defies gravity when it is turned upside down. This is one of Dan’s best tricks and you can purchase it from Paul Harris. He does explain how to make the gimmick work for glass bottles as well, which is a nice bonus but you will not learn the trick.

    Rubb-er Thru-hand: This may be my favorite thing on the download and probably the best place to purchase this effect. Basically a rubber band penetrates finger by finger totally uncovered. Dan Hauss’ and Blake Vogt’s Rubber Thru Hand may be the best piece of magic that you can do with a single ungimmicked rubber band. There was some problems with the cost when it was first released but this is easily remedied if you purchase this lecture.

    Broke Band Mountain: A spectator breaks a rubber band and with a snap the magician heals it. This is alright but you do have to break a rubber band to do it. Dan has some ideas for routining and gives sources for tricks with broken bands.

    Sleeping Queens: This fooled me so badly, a queen in a set of cards is hypnotized and she closes her eyes, with a wave of the hand she opens her eyes. This is amazing, there is a gimmick, but the deck is normal and there are no gaffs involved. There is a short prep but really it is insignificant. This looks great on camera and has no angle restrictions, I hope it looks as good live.

    Card in Box: This is a move where a card vanishes and appears in the box where ever the spectator decides in the deck. In my opinion, this is kinda weak, but it may fit some magicians.

    Metamorphosis Performance Only: This is a 2 card transpo using a rubber band. It will be released as a download soon so he only teased it.

    Giving the Finger: This is a new handling for a Mier Yedid piece of magic. The ring finger is removed with a crack and placed back on. I’m not crazy for this but it’s more that it doesn’t fit my style rather than it being a bad trick.

    Dan ends the lecture with a couple miscellaneous ideas including how to make a ring out of a rock. I really enjoyed this lecture. I do think that it is worth the money especially if you haven’t seen any of Dan’s magic.
  17. Doc Dixon is talented when it comes to handling a deck of cards and is fairly funny as well. In this lecture one of the best parts was how well he and Mike Hankins played off each other. Let?s get into it.

    Pull My Finger: This trick is broken down into two pieces, one made specifically for magicians and the other made specifically for laypeople.

    In the first effect he has his finger signed, makes it vanish and appear in a box that has been in full view the whole time. This was a trick for magicians, it was just funny. There wasn?t any special method or selling point, in fact it wasn?t even explained. It was just full of magician, in jokes.

    In the second trick the spectator is made to catch the magicians finger and to their surprise they pop it right off. This is a fun opener and probably would play really well if it was performed by the right guy. Dixon relates the feeling to the spider on the hand effect except that it is a little less terrifying and a bit more fun.

    Name a Card Gag: I really liked this, it is his idea for a think a card trick. I think I may use this in the future, although I?m not sure what kind of venue would be best. I can?t give much away here but I can say that it involves exposing a trick deck that magicians rarely use in serious situations.

    Prequel to the Tossed Out Deck: This is his take on David Williamson?s classic 52 Cards to Pocket. After performing some classic bits with a selected card and it being propelled from the deck the deck ends up in his pocket with only the selected card left in his hand. This is fairly classic but he has added a nice bit that allows you to very cleanly ring in a cooler.

    Gambling: This is a fun little gambling demonstration where you deal the spectator the winning hand and then show that in fact you have the winning hand. The deck is shuffled before and there are various clever pieces of business that give the idea that the spectator has the control. This is nice, there is a lot to remember and it requires you to secretly perform a few false deals.

    Copier Card: A card is selected and it apears in various parts of the deck. It is found on top and placed aside, it is found on bottom and placed aside, it is found in the middle and placed aside. The cards that were placed aside are changed into the aces and the selected card ends up in the magicians mouth. To warm up to the trick he uses the aces in Dr. Daley?s last Trick as well as some effects from Erdnase. He breezes through the explanations for these effects, as they are available in many other places besides this lecture.

    Bits of Buisness: Here he runs through some rapid fire ideas on coffee containers, prop management, torn and restored newspaper, misers dream and so on. There are a few things here that some may like but not everything is for everyone.

    Comedy Magic Q and A: Dixon has worked many venues as a comedy magician. He shares the ins and outs of his scripting process as well as the type of material he uses and how to handle hecklers. There?s some good information here.

    Carpe Cajones: A card is selected and month is named, both of which were predicted on a playing card by the magician at the outset of the trick. This is a strong effect, I?m unsure on some of the points on the handling but I do like the main effect. You will need to learn some tough sleights and gimmick up a deck of cards but you are left with a strong trick.

    Memory Drill: 4 cards are shown and memorized, they then change into the 4 aces. You learn a neat move here called the Dixon drop and it is could be used in many scenarios. You do need a table, as you may with many of the other effects mentioned above.

    So that?s the lecture. I found it to be entertaining enough. I would have liked to see more original magic that would be suitable for a comedy club as it seemed that that was the subject of the majority of the lecture. There were some good things discussed here though.
  18. #18 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Mark is a quiet, unassuming guy, and I am always surprised by how clever and fooling his magic is in method and premise. The lecture is generally on creativity and how he approaches magic creatively. For a good part of the lecture he uses a deck of cards that is designed to prompt creativity, each effect prompts a small discussion on creativity.

    Triple Impact: The spectator selects 3 cards and puts them in their pockets randomly. It is then revealed that the magician has the exact same cards in the same pockets as the spectator. A gaffed version is taught but as an in studio spectator points out it could be performed without any gaffs at all.

    Poker Prediction: The magician predicts the year, day and cards that he will use to win a fictional game of poker. The spectator is able to guess them all. This is nice, it is a bit transparent for most magicians but the kicker ending makes a good piece of mentalism based on poker.

    Rubik's Race: He gives a spectator a small childrens puzzle and he takes a rubik's cube and they race to see who can finish first. Of course the magician wins. This is the kind of trick that you may be able to work into a situation where the audience feels like they have something against you. It may be a good way to make hecklers calm down. For me I guess it was magical but I don't see it as a magic trick per se.

    Rubik Predicted: A handful of Rubik?s Cube practice cards are pulled out. A card is selected in a very fair way and it matches a very clean prediction made by the magician. I love Rubik?s cubes and this is a very clever very fooling piece of magic.

    ACAAN #1: From a borrowed shuffled deck a card and number are selected. The selected card is found at the number. This is a fun trick but it is not a purist version of the ACAAN plot, Mark touches on this. I do believe it is a strong trick though.

    ACAAN #2: This is an ACAAN using a deck with numbers written on the backs. A back is chosen and a card is chosen it is then revealed in a photo that that exact card was at that exact place. This plays well, and while it isn?t an ACAAN in the strictest sense it is a very strong effect that starts in the same place effect wise.

    Heirloom Redux: I personally wasn?t a huge fan of the original Heirloom. For those of you who aren?t familiar with the trick, a card is named by a spectator and it is found in a picture of your great uncle that has been in your wallet. The problem with the first is that you had to have a very specific wallet, which I could never get ahold of, and you were likely to end with a less than desirable revelation. Mark has taken this and freed it up, you no longer need a special wallet and the revelation at the end is much cleaner.

    Bottle Capped: The spectator selects a bottle cap from a pile and the magician was able to predict it. The selection process is very clever and very fair, no equivoque is used.

    Little bunny?s Card Trick: This is a version of Aronson?s Shuffleboard using a children?s book. I didn?t really like this presentation or the way he performed the shuffling sequence. He changed the method slightly from the original and I don?t think it helped out that much. He shuffles all the cards here but he could easily have had a spectator shuffle the cards. He also touches on a version using a mentalism presentation.

    Conversation as Mentalism: Here he goes into 3 tricks that are in his newest book of the same title. All of these effects can be performed almost completely without props.

    Game On: You win every time, all you do is roll a couple invisible dice and you always get to the goal first. This is a clever game but it isn?t magic specifically, I will be using it.

    Bet On L.A.: Using a fun puzzle a spectator is able to come up with a clever answer that was predicted by the magician. This is very fun, it?s not completely fooling but the puzzle is very clever.

    Pre-Fingered: Using only a spectators hand you are able to predict what finger they will chose. This is very cool and I think I will be performing it.

    Red Envelope: An invisible envelope and letter opener are selected very freely by the spectator and it matches a prediction that has been in full view the whole time. This is nice, it isn?t the craziest prediction in the world but it is strong.

    This is a very good lecture. There is lots of magic here that you can perform with very little. Some of the magic was very clever as well. Most will get something out of this lecture.
  19. #19 Josh Burch, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    John Archer is one of my favorite magicians. He is very funny, and very sharp. You will walk away from this lecture with some new ideas for sure.

    Balloon Swallow: A long sculpting balloon is blown up and then swallowed like a sword. John explains every detail in this classic circus stunt. It is not incredibly difficult but it stil will take some practice and may be a little dangerous.

    Stage Waltz: A husband and wife are called up, the wife selects a card and the husband is able to divine the selected card. This is very fooling for both the audience, husband and wife. This is very clever and completely fooled me and it is a good card effect for the stage.

    The New Billet Envelope: This is a nice idea for a billet peak in an envelope. The spectator writes something on a billet. It is placed in the envelope and the spectator holds it the entire time. Even though they can feel the billet the entire time you are still able to divine the info on the billet.

    Mind Reading School: This is a fun version of Kenton Knepper’s Kollassal Killer. A spectator names a card and it is revealed in a wallet, or in Archer’s version he mentions that you could do it with an envelope as well. This is a very funny version of the classic and he gives a nice way to streamline the effect as well.

    ESP Prediction: It’s too bad but during the performance he flashes slightly, I think it would have completely fooled me if he hadn’t. Zener cards are used here, the spectator deals down and wherever they stop the card they stop at matches the predictions.

    Blank Night: YES! This is the trick that fooled Penn and Teller! 5 Envelopes are displayed each envelope is eliminated by different spectators and the last envelope contains $100. This is a very fun routine full of funny lines and gags. What I love is that this could easily be performed on stage without the help of any assistants. He really didn’t hold back here, he teaches you how to make up your own gimmicks and everything.

    Laura Buxton: Archer explores crazy coincidences here with a very nice impossible prediction. 2 decks of cards are used, handled by the spectator and each time a card is selected it impossibly matches a card selected by the magician. At the end the magician displays a beautiful impossible prediction bringing the story full circle.

    Faux Confabulation: Three pieces of info are asked for 2 pieces the prediction misses and the last prediction matches a card that was freely named. This is definitely a fun little trick with more built in comedy from John’s routine. This is just a little bit harder than all of the other routines taught in this lecture.

    The Streets: John uses a few map books and a road is selected from one of the books. He is then able to name the exact road that was selected. This is a fairly clean very logical book test. He explains how to make the gimmick here but it is so intense that you may need to just purchase his books.
    There are so many great stage pieces here. If you are looking for effects that you can perform on stage this is the lecture for you. I loved all of the small pieces of information he gave on comedy and writing just as much as all of the magic. This was an excellent lecture.
  20. Surprised there have been no other comments yet... Great reviews - I got the first season of At The Table and really liked the lectures so I'll have to check out some of the newer ones. Thanks for taking the time to write these up.

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