Red Mirror (Helder Guimaraes) Review by Irving Quant

Get it. You’ll be very glad that you did. (

Now in more detail….

Two thoughts before we got into the review:

First, I had heard from the Bucks a few years ago that they were working with Helder Guimares on a DVD. We saw the downloads, and the first thing that jumped into my attention was what I’ve come to call “the Spanish style of magic”. In case you don’t know, Spain is very strong in card magic and heavily influenced by Ascanio, Pepe Carol, Tamariz, Miguel Gomez, and many other great magicians. You can tell, by the handling of the cards, the style of the structure of the trick, and generally the way the trick is executed, whether or not the Spanish style is implemented. Just watch and you’ll catch it. Trust me, it’s there and it’s beautiful.

Secondly, I feel that the world of magic has too many people who are putting out nonsense tricks out there. I would rant about this, but you know what I mean.

That being said, I am incredibly happy to know that products like Red Mirror exist. This is no bull, this isn’t here to hype some cool new trick, and is something that I think we should use as one of the examples on “what you should come close to or surpass if you are putting out a product”. It has Helder’s style and techniques that card magicians will really appreciate. More importantly, it has the thoughts behind every single trick, focusing in the details that make magic powerful (again, something influenced by the Spanish school), and many funny moments that makes this DVD a must-buy.

If you get this DVD, watch it with time and study it well. There’s gold in here, but you have to take your time to consume it all as there is plenty of great things in it. Again, take your time.

So, let’s start:

The first thing that you get when you play the DVD is a note on the screen that basically says that this material is from Helder’s own show and that it is his wishes that you find inspiration in it but not do it exactly like he does. Personally, I think from now on ALL DVD’s should include that!

The second thing, is that the tricks in this DVD are set in a way that you could perform it all as a show itself. Starts with an opener and finishes with a closer. So you are going to get a bit of everything that you need! It comes with the full performance in front of an audience of the entire thing. But, like the first thing I mentioned above, you should do it exactly like he does. Instead, find the inspiration behind it.


4 for four: A single card (a four) changes into the four aces. This trick is a good opener. It is surprising, fast, and easy to do. I always felt that when a single card changes into more cards, or more cards into a single card, it really sends a big hit to an audience. It’s like two effects combined into one (the change of the cards and the growth in physical aspect). This effect has that without the need for a long trick to be involved in it.

Helder Skelter: A card is selected and inserted face down into the face up deck. The magician then displays four cards as all being the selection. These four cards then change into the aces. As a final kicker, the single face down card in the spread transposes with the four aces.

This trick has a lot going on. Personally, I’d slow this one down and try to create more gaps in between so that each effect settles in. Want something that packs a big punch? This is it.

First, there is a very cool touch to adding cards to a tabled packet. This is also being done while switching a card, which I thought was also nice structure. But that little tip in regards to how to position the deck vs the tabled cards is good.

Secondly, there is a very good thought behind the process of showing the four cards being the same and then changing into the aces. I can’t tell you what this is, but I am using it for sure. Usually four cards, all displayed as the selection are used in the context of “they will tell me what card you chose. The first one tells me your card is red, the second a diamond, a five, the five of diamonds!” In here, Helder presents an interesting way of ending this sequence.

The Sulpture: I really liked this one. It’s a very clean and good progressive sandwich. However, that’s not the best part of it all. The best part is how Helder designed the trick and the reason WHY he made it that way.

He starts by taking out two jokers with a face down card from his pocket and says “this is the image we are going to create.”

He gave one explanation, which I think is the basic one: A great way of introducing a double facer that is used. Don’t chicken out because I said that. It’s really good and you get rid of it at the end in a clean way…hence why he designed it this way.

The second reason, and I think the most powerful one, was unfortunately not on the DVD! The moment I saw that trick, I sensed that Helder had a deeper thought behind presenting the final image that he is trying to create (the card between the jokers) to the audience, and then the use of the progressive aces to get there. In conversations with Helder, he confirmed that indeed this was something that was in his mind. Basically, the idea is that you present the audience with the final image, the moment of magic, but first you are going to take them on a sort of journey so they can see what takes place in order to get to that moment. Much like when you watch a movie, and they show you a part of the final scene of the movie. It makes you wonder, it makes you curious, and in the end it all comes full circle and you go “ooooh…that’s what it was all about! That’s cool!”.

By using the progressive aces, starting with the jokers at the top and bottom of the deck, you are creating “the large image”. As the cards start to come together, you start to get a visual focus that comes closer and closer to the final image. In the end, because of all of this process, the audience will be able to remember the moment of magic even more because of this!

This reminds me of some of the thoughts that Aaron Fisher has in Search and Destroy. It’s about creating that final image, that process, that makes this effect powerful. Showing the final image before everything starts, to me, was just brilliant. My favorite thing in the whole DVD!

Again, this whole thought wasn’t on the DVD. Because I told you about it, you now owe me $5.

Sloth: No comment. It’s a cool trick with nice touches, but not my thing really. Maybe I’m just lazy (sloth) and don’t want to review it :)

An Invisible Thread: Four aces and four kings transpose three times in different ways.
There is really beautiful switch of four aces for four kings that Helder came up with. The reason I say this is because the trick, with three transpositions, feels to me like “it’s jumping too much.”
The second part of this trick is a very beautiful variation of Reset. The technical structure of this trick is really cool. I liked it. If I do reset, this is how I’m doing it.

The other thought behind this is that all three transpositions happen in a nice rhythm, and with the presentation of “balance in either side of the invisible thread”, it works out very well. I feel that without the presentation he gives it, the trick might be a bit hard to follow (the first sequence in particularly). However, I liked this trick. It has a very beautiful structure like I mentioned, and it’s going into my repertoire now!

Aberto Court: Invisible palm routine with four kings. In the end the cards change to aces. The kings are in the jacket pockets.

Making kings change into aces is something that I first saw Bob King do. Later Mike Powers showed me a nice transposition type of effect with an invisible palm into it. Who was the first to do it? Well…you’ll hate me for saying this but I’m not sure! But those two are the ones that I’ve seen this with. However, the way Helder does it here is a structure that I’ve never seen before. His routine only has two “invisible palm” sequences.

The main difference in structure that I noticed comes in the “third invisible palm sequence”. Usually, at this point, you only have one last card to vanish and reappear in the packet. Method wise, most of the time a double is placed on top of the deck and a rub-a-dub vanish is done to do the third invisible palm sequence. Another way is to lap the card.
The third one, when you have the last card vanishing and appearing, is where Helder structured it in an interesting way. You’ll have to see it to know what I mean as I don’t want to give it away here.

His thoughts behind the structure are good reason for doing it this way. Again, that one change is good enough of a reason to study this trick!

Cardesian Coordinate: This trick and Aberto Court go together beautifully. Again, the way the structure was constructed for both of these (Aberto Court with or without Cardician Cordinate) is great. Worth putting your time into studying. That all that I’m saying about this, without much detail, as you really have to see this way of ending a routine. I’d use this as a closer for sure too.

The DVD includes interview questions with Helder. His thoughts on structuring, his advice in magic, his history in magic, rehearsing, theater, classic plots in magic, and why he got into card magic.
It also has extras, such as footage from his lecture and Easter eggs. The eater eggs are really nice and one is just absolutely hilarious.
Last edited by a moderator:
Irving- you can post it on these forums. Here is what to do:

-Make the first post the required amount of characters (ie- however man it says you need to get rid of, get rid of them)

-Then copy whatever wont fit into the original post, then click "post a reply" and paste whatever didn't fit in the original post

Do I really have to say that the production is fantastic? I mean, it’s made by Dan and Dave. That’s like a given that it will be great! However, this has to be their best so far! Multiple cameras, which is absolutely great. Something I noticed was their use of colors. Helder’s clothing and the backdrops are very well combined. Very good attention to those details on this DVD indeed! (Take note of that Magicians…that’s how you should combine things color wise in your own shows to accent interest and energy…just like Matisse did!...he’s a painter. Look him up)

Overall, this is a DVD you have to get. It’s really good, and one of my favorites right now. If you don’t’ get it, I’m afraid you are missing out in one of the best DVDs out there today.

Jul 13, 2010
What´s the overall difficulty level ? Knuckle busting magic or within the reach of the average performer?
That question is hard to answer really because it depends on everyone's own skill level. Compared to say Ray Kosby's work, this is way easier. Of course there is some handling involved, but I think the average performer should get it (if not, God save "the average performers" because they would suck so much!)
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results