The Graduate by Aaron Fisher

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Michael Kras, Dec 24, 2010.


    The Graduate is Mr. Fisher's contribution to the world of visual ambitious sequences. Ten years in the making... you would assume this to be a piece of great quality. You would be right.

    A few weeks ago, Mr. Fisher released a demo video of The Graduate... a slow motion, in the hands visual ambitious sequence that looked absolutely perfect. I watched it numerous times, every time no less blown away and virtually clueless to the method. Many people had guessed a Top Card Cover Shift... they were wrong. I scrutinized the demo, looking for some sort of tell. Nothing... the fingers were completely motionless, and I was baffled.

    Now, I've had the good fortune of winning a free copy of The Graduate. Aaron graciously sent me the package, which includes a full 30 page ebook describing the effect as well as a video download for visual learners.

    First of all, I must commend Mr. Fisher for what he's done with the video download portion... He'll no doubt irritate the lot of "visual learners" who are too lazy to flip a page and read, since the video download is less than 4 minutes long and a minute and a half of that is devoted to a performance of the effect. Essentially, the "explanation" is a silent, exposed view performance of the effect at half speed. Aside from being a visual guide for the reader of the book, this video is essentially useless. If you try to learn the effect off this video alone, you will face extreme difficulty and the chances are you will not be able to pick up the sequence from it. This forces the visual learner, who buys the package solely for the instructional video, to read the freaking book and do some work for his art for once. If this was Fisher's intent, and I have a feeling it was, then bravo.

    Anyways, besides that, the main event... the ebook itself. The ebook, for a single minute-long ambitious sequence, is 30 pages long. You read that correctly. Thirty pages for an effect that takes a minute to perform. Again, bravo... this ebook is fantastically detailed without dragging or becoming redundant. There are clear, black and white photos aplenty that will leave you questionless... no stone is left unturned. Aaron covers every single little nuance of the effect to make sure you get it working to the visual perfection he has managed to obtain after ten years of work.

    With that, I bring you to the difficulty of the effect... I was shocked at the ease of it. Not to say it's entirely simple, I'm nowhere near ready to perform it, but it's surprising how easy it is to pick it up. It won't take you long to grasp the technique, provided you follow the text exactly. The move to accomplish the effect is very nuanced and precise... you must be pretty exact in order for the move to work to its full effectiveness... or work at all. For instance, Aaron spends literally five pages of the manuscript describing how to position the outjogged card in the deck. Yeah, it's that precise. However, if the directions are followed, Aaron teaches how to get these fine points dead-on every time. He's an excellent teacher who covers everything with great detail and clarity.

    All in all, I'm extremely excited about The Graduate. The manuscript itself will make you think about your own card magic and it WILL improve you as a card magician in general. This is no overstatement... it really makes you appreciate attention to detail. Aaron Fisher understands how to construct a great card effect. With this manuscript, you will not only learn a fantastic effect, but walk away with tools to improve your card magic in general.

    I've seen and learned a lot of visual ambitious sequences... Shigeo Futagawa's, Ray Kosby's, Chris Kenner's, Dan and Dave Buck's, and Chris Mayhew's to name a few. All of these are excellent utilities, and my intent is not at all to undermine them when I say that Aaron Fisher's "The Graduate" is THE best contribution to the visual ambitious card plot I have ever seen. It is visual, nuanced, and visually perfect. The move to accomplish the rise requires virtually no movement and there will be NO finger movement visible whatsoever. It is also the most angle-efficient version I've ever seen. You will NOT be disappointed with The Graduate. Card magicians will find an excellent effect, and serious students will take away that and so much more.

    Congratulations, Aaron. Ten years have paid off.

    Purchase The Graduate by Aaron Fisher at

    Michael Kras
  2. Nice review. The reason that I am hesitant to get this is because in the demo his hands almost completely cover the deck except for the outjogged card during the rise. The ambitious card routines by the people you mentioned above are more open. A spectator might not be as impressed with The Graduate as Uzumaki because when seeing The Graduate they might think, "Oh, he just did a move when he covered the deck with his hands."

    The Ninjew
  3. Good point above...and nice review BTW...but I have both and here is my thought. The Graduate is a worker for guys who want bombproof angles. I think it will work better for restaurant and walk around guys. The moment of coverage will likely go unnoticed by the laiety(they don't scrutinize this stuff as much as we do.)

    Uzumaki is almost more of a "magical flourish." Uzumaki will take a lot more time to perfect good enough to avoid flashing and even then the large motions involved give you a good idea what is going on. Where it may not seem as "magical" it is much more attractive to watch.

    In short, Both are great. Of all attempts at this plot I think these two have gone the farthest. If presented right they will both get good reactions though I think spectators will be reacting for different reasons.
  4. If fugatawa's is performed correctly, it is virtally angleproof, and, imo, the most visual. The graduate seems like "the magician fooler" of the elevator plot. While the method is clever and well taught, i just don't get the visual aspect of astonichment that I get with fugatawa's. I thikn more magicians will be impressed with the graduate than spectators.
  5. I wasn't really referring to uzumaki specifically i was just using it as an example of another slow motion riser. Also, that is true what you said about specs not scrutinizing stuff as much as us. So I am interested in knowing if you have performed Graduate what reactions you got.
  6. The Graduate is just as strong if not stronger. Yes, the deck is masked, but it is done under the guise of reaching over the deck to riffle the front edge of the pack. And if done at proper speed, it is not suspicious.

    It's extremely strong for lay audiences... I've only performed it here and there for friends and family, as I'm still working on perfecting the technique, and reactions are unanimously strong. The fact that this is more or less an implicit effect is what makes is so strong. That I feel is the main weakness of effects like Uzumaki... they are explicit, but based on methodology cannot afford to be. No matter how good your Uzumaki looks, it will always look like a move. In saying this, please don't take it as though I am bashing Uzumaki... it's just a different approach, and it's visually stunning, but I feel it is not as magical as The Graduate... it looks too technical. The Graduate, if done properly, looks like NOTHING... there's no finger movement and no reason for the spectator to believe there's any sort of "move" going on.

    If you don't buy The Graduate as an effect, at least consider looking into it as an important treatise on shift work, and card magic in general.

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