The Imagine Nation Project - Review

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Brett Hurley, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. I always find it interesting to watch or read about a particular magicians working repertoire. Its interesting, peering into the mind of another magician. What's best is that there are always hidden gems amongst their work.

    Enter the work of Michael O'Brien, in the form of The Imagine Nation Project.

    Before I begin, I will say that when Mr. O'Brien first announced The Imagine Nation project on the boards, I could have sworn he said it was going to be 17 pages with routines he hasn't released in the Marketplace. Needless to say, when I came into possession of The Imagine Nation Project, I surprised to find that not only was I dead wrong about it being 17 pages, I was 111 pages dead-wrong.

    So what we're looking at here is 111 pages of Mr. O'Briens working repertoire--in BOOK form! My favorite!

    Now, if you are curious as to what some of Mr. O'Brien's magical work entails, check him out on the Marketplace, as some of those tricks show up in the book.

    The book itself is organized very nicely with great quality pictures and very detailed explanations of how to perform his works. Everything from what the effect is, the set-up, and the explanation. Each effect ends with notes from Mr. O'Brien detailing inspirations and how the particular trick came into being.

    Now, what kind of magic would The Imagine Nation Project have for us?

    The answer: a bit of everything....and then some.

    Let's start with this: If you love card work. Boy are you in for a treat. Right off the bat, I was surprised to see how many tricks actually utilized blank gaff cards. You don't see too many tricks using blank gaffs, and the book provides a few of them.
    Another couple favorites of mine happen to be a version of the 'Oil and Water' plot inspired by one-handed magic legend Rene Lavand. Another trick I thoroughly enjoyed was 'Do As You Want', which has an interesting plot to where the magician selects a card and a member if the audience predicts THAT card by snagging the matching card from a separate deck.

    Now, if you want some variety, the book features tricks using: coins, rings, a chop cup, Pokemon cards, rope, sponge balls, and even (get ready for this) a rose.

    Yes, an actual rose with petals and thorns type of rose. And it's a fun one.

    All the tricks have quite a lot of 'imagination' put into them and definitely worth the read.

    The book can be picked up on Michael O'Brien's website for $24.95
    Justin.Morris, Mr.Book and Gabriel Z. like this.
  2. Thank you sooooo much for this fun review! :) It is such a humbling and fantastic experience to know people appreciate your work. I really hope everyone can gather some form of inspiration from this, expand on their own magic, or even create new effects themselves! We all have that inner child who wants to do something fun, and magic should be about the spectacle and wonder it creates.

    I hope these routines help you to gather some ideas and inspire you in some way shape or form. Feel free to ask any questions you want about any of my work, and I will gladly answer! :)

    Here is a quick trailer for the book if you guys wanna check it out!

    Thank you so much!!!

    -Michael O'Bien
  3. Thanks for the review, I am going to buy that book. I also want to say that O'Brien's web site is one of my favorites.
    obrienmagic likes this.
  4. You are too kind my friend! Thank you so much!
  5. Ok here is a list for the contents of the book as well as a small description of each. After each effect, I have a small "notes" section talking theory or discussing the effect more in depth. The Book is 111 pages long covering 31 effects with full color photos! So without further ado... here is the list!

    -Drawing a Blank: Blank deck routine (blank on both sides) in which a blank card continuously rises to the top (obviously as a gag.) Then the blank card is set aside from the rest of the deck. The spectator is asked to name a card and without any switches or funny moves, the magician picks up the blank card and prints the named card. He then sets the blank card onto the deck and with just a snap the rest of the deck magically prints as well. The deck can then be used for your next affect. Ends clean.

    -Ambitious Ink: An ambitious card type routine with a kicker ending. The magician visually peels the spectator's signature off of the card and drops it back onto the card. A spectator even signs a different card, the signature is peeled off and dropped onto the first signed card so that it now contains signatures on the face and back, creating an impossible souvenir to hand out to the audience!

    -Earl of Triumph: A standard Triumph type effect where the two jokers sandwich the selection. There are some cool convinceres in here that have not really been widely explored that you can add to your own Triumph effect if you like!

    -Tu Tu Transpo: A fun two card transposition type effect featuring a slick multiple card control called "The Double Dribble Control"

    -Boxed Reset: two four of a kinds are removed from the deck. One set is placed into the card case while the other is used for demonstration. One at a time each card turns face-down (including a hyper visual slow motion change) after all four cards go face-down, the magician turns them over to reveal that they have actually traded places with those inside the card case. The cards are removed from the case and shown to be the cards the magician was working with initially. Everything can be examined. No extra cards or gimmicks needed!

    -Chicago Closer: A fun version of the Chicago opener featuring a sweet deck changing gimmick called the "Switcheroo Deck Hold-out." This three phase routine begins with a color changing deck, then continues with the standard "red hot mama" transposition, then ends with the magician producing a deck of blank cards that can be handed out for examination! Some great convincers in here and worth it even if only to learn the deck switch!

    -Tour de Force: This is perhaps my cleanest effect to date. A slick in the hands triumph that is so clean, it fools magicians!

    -Queens: The four queens are removed from the deck along with a "mystery card" which is set aside. A card is chosen and signed then lost among the queens. The card jumps to the top, bottom and even vanishes completely, only to be revealed as the mystery card that was set on the table in plain view sonce the beginning!

    -Do As You Want: My take on the "Do as I do" plot. The magician allows a spectator to chose a card from one deck as the magician choses a card from the other. Both cards end up matching with no trading of decks or any funny business. This effect is extremely direct and to the point. Features a move called the "Pocket Utility Switch" featured in the February 2016 issue of Genii Magazine.

    -Shootin' Blanks: A blank deck is shown (blank on both sides) and 4 random blank cards are removed. One at a time each blank card is printed in an extremely visual way. Then the entire deck is printed. Everything ends clean and can be handed out to be examined.

    -Vista Print: A quick blank deck production in which cards are shwn on both sides to be blankc, then instantly print themselves. Can be handed out to be examined afterwards.

    -Dicewave: A completely self working color changing deck routine using a set of dice to find the selected card. For the kicker ending every card is revealed to have a blue back except the chosen card which has a red back.

    -Lavand: A 4 card oil and water effect with some interesting convincers. The magic happens in the spectator's hands and they are even allowed to deal the cards themselves!

    -Be mine: the magician draws an image of a ring onto a chosen card. The ring then drops off of the card into the spectator's hand and the drawing vanishes!

    -Sleeve up Subtlety: Learn how to use the act of sleeving up to vanish a card, produce a card, control a card or even make the card appear in your mouth!

    -Matrix Production: A fun magician in trouble type effect that ends with a beautiful 4 ace production.

    -Spell Check: A completely self working spelling plot in which the spectator choses a card and it is lost into the pack. The card is then found by spelling out its name.

    -Regressive Sandwich: A comedy-like "Progressive Sandwich" routine in which the two jokers trap a named card.

    -Card to Poket: A fun card to poket routine using pokemon cards! The selected card ends up appearing folded up inside of a pokeball for the final reveal. Great for kids shows because you can still perform high quality card magic, using items kids are already familiar with!

    -A lesson in Misdirection: A multiple phase routine in which a card flips over in the deck, jumps under the card case, jumps to the magicians mouth then vanishes the deck! For the final reveal, the signed card is shown to be folded inside of the card case!

    -Blank Triumph: A standard triumph effect using blank face cards. The climax ends with the cards spread showing every card face up except one. The magician asks the spectator to name a card and the card is revealed to be the named card! Everything can be examined at this point.

    -Twisted Mirror: A fun color changing deck routine in which four cards turn over one at a time under impossible conditions. Each card is then shown to have a mirror on it's back which is how the illusion is created!

    -Liquid Currency: A coin is heated up with a lighter to its melting point. The magician can bend the coin and even visually melt his finger through it. The routine ends with the magician visually bending the coin in half and handing it to the spectator as an impossible souvenir.

    -Merlot Coins to Glass: A very visual and convincing 3 coins to wine glass routine in which the magician then produces a full bottle of wine form his sleeve and pours himself a drink!

    -Three-Gone-Jinn: Three coins visually vanish one at a time and re appear inside of the coin purse. Some great subtleties here for anyone who enjoys coin work.

    -Strolling chop cup: A 3 phase chop cup routine that can be performed without a table. The featured move is one in which the cup is placed into the spectators hand and yet the ball still appears under the cup IN THEIR HANDS!

    -Sponge: An invisible purse frame is introduced as the magician magically produces a spone ball from inside. Each time the ball is placed into the purse it vanishes and everytime it is removed it becomes visible again!

    -Veronica: A ring vanishes and jumps to different locations only to end up vanishing completely at the end and appearing inside of the ring box.

    -Knot Another Rope Trick: A fun quick cut and restored rope routine that starts with only one piece of rope and ends with only one piece of rope. This way you do not need to worry about adding anything during or before the routine begins!

    -Rose: A rose is produced from a handkerchief. The magician then makes rose petals appear, vanish and even jump into the spectators hands. The petals are placed back onto he rose at the end and the rose is handed out to a spectator to keep.

    -Hatline Prediction: The magician makes a prediction, seals it into an envelope, then hands it out to a spectator. Bills are collected from the audience. A spectator choses a bill from the stack (no forcing, and they can change their mind if they want.) The envelope is opened and reealed to match the serial number on the bill. Features a move called the "Pocket Utility Switch" featured in the February 2016 issue of Genii Magazine.

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