Ekaterina is one of the few consistently popular women in magic today. With her regular performing schedule, breakthroughs in cardistry and various television performances she can definitely keep up with the guys in her field. This was a different type of lecture and was a bit disjointed and difficult to watch. Layers Signature Version (Performance Only): This is an incredible effect that Ekaterina performed on TV and happened to fool Penn and Teller with. A card is selected and signed. The signature then vanishes from the card face and the magician splits the card in two showing that the signature has penetrated the layers of the card. I have seen this multiple times and I was completely fooled each time. I think that this is a cool trick but I’m not a huge fan of the actual effect. Layers Concept: Here Ekaterina explains how to print information inside of a playing card. She does not teach you how to make a spectator's signature appear inside of the card but gives various tips on how to make personal information appear inside of their selected card. She teaches a new method to split cards as well. It is more difficult than some of the methods usually taught but you can do a good portion of it without a table. I was able to split a card just fine before the video ended. Ring Routine: The magician tries and tries to take off her ring but it repeatedly jumps back onto her finger. The big finish is when the ring is tossed up into the air and lands on the magicians finger effortlessly. This is a combination of fairly classic moves with a single ungimmicked ring to make a very nice routine altogether. This may be my favorite routine on the lecture. Rope Escape: This is Ekaterina’s version of the Keller rope escape. An audience member ties her up and she immediately escapes. I didn’t really like this. We used to get a small piece of rope and tie each other up as kids and escaped in the same way that she does here. I don’t feel like she has added anything presentation wise to make the effect more engaging and it feels very flat to me. The Biddle Trick: Ekaterina has taken this classic effect made it a little fancier and maybe even a little awkward. A card is selected and lost. The magician is able to narrow down the selection to one of 5 cards. In an awkward move the magician rubs the selected card into the spectators shoulder causing it to completely vanish and appear face up in the deck of cards. I didn’t like the addition of rubbing the audiences shoulder at all. Her spectator looked uncomfortable and I felt uncomfortable. Basics in Cardistry: Ekaterina has really made her reputation as a card manipulator and she covers some good stuff here. She covers many basics including the charlier cut, revolution cut, thumb cut pressure fan, thumb fan smear fan and sybil cut. She also covers what she calls the Russian pyramid and the candle arm spread. All of these moves are fairly intermediate moves for well versed card manipulators. I was able to do everything that she performed according to her instructions but for magicians that are unfamiliar with this tough stuff you have a big challenge ahead of you. Agape: This was produced as a download with Paper Crane Magic and she teaches it as a single card production, double lift and color change. This is a very pretty move but it is very challenging. I think this move is very deceptive and versatile and could do quite a lot. I really like it. Slate Writing: As seen on Wizard Wars Ekaterina teaches us how to make writing appear on a piece of slate. This is a really great effect that could be used to create a modern version of the spirit slates. It is fairly inexpensive as well to make. Everything you need would be found at Office Depot with the exception of one key ingredient that you can get free. Overall there is some good magic here but there were some funky problems. Ekaterina repeatedly left the frame of the camera for no reason turning the time over to our host Mike Hankins. This caused a lot of dead time. In places the organization was very hectic and the explanations were difficult to follow at times. I have a ton of respect for Ekaterina and her creative approach. I do not feel like this was one of the better lectures Murphy’s has put out.