True Review

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Morgan B, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Thanks Flyspazz - I will try to do that from this point on - Bro Gilbert performs much of the stuff from disc 1 - 3, with the exception of a few (like Twilight Angels)
  2. Actually, I was referring to "Prisoners Of War" :D Thanks for pointing that out.

    I like to look at this thread and our comments from this side: There is something for everybody. There is a professional opinion from a guy who seek perfection and want to draw in even that guy from the back - aka Morgician. And there is a not so professional (but I like to think that it still counts) opinion from a guy who is relaxed (not that you are not), and have a more friendly (in oppose to a professional) approach to these effects and magic in general - aka Toby. Something like a good cop and bad cop lol (no, you are not a bad cop) ;).
    Oh, and because I see where you are coming from, the offer for perfecting these effects still stands, so if you think of something just PM me. I will do the exact same thing.
    Thanx again for the support.

    @Flyspazz: "Twilight Angels" is performed by Wayne Houchin, but is explained in silent manner with text (like the other 80% of the effects), and "Tubular" is performed by Matthew Johnson, and is explained in the same way as everything so far. Of course, "Cheng's Riser" and "Cheng's Change" are performed by Cheng himself, and he is the one who explains them, but that is not a good thing lol.

    Don't worry Morgician, best effects are yet to come, and they are working material ;)
  3. Oh, see I did'nt know that or at least I dont remember that being mentioned before. Not that it matters but I just assumed that whoever presented it was also instructing it. I should have known better. We all know what happens when one assumes.
    I hope so, were going for disk number four now.
  4. I already made a thread of pros and cons of TA, but maybe you didn't catch it, so here you go ;)
  5. Yeah Toby - I like the way it has been working - I will PM you some ideas. Talk soon. I think I am watching disc 4 today, after I work on some things from disc 3, wink wink.
  6. #46 steve haynes, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2009

    Glad you liked Casanova inc.

    I agree about the mixing of the cards and recomend not doing it (i don't)

    In fact no move is needed at all.

    Since they sign both cards and handle them freely and all the other cards are placed out of the way and it is clear my hands are empty, they know at that point that all you have are two cards and they know what they are(which is true) so i simply take one card in each hand, displaying them and then i turn them face down and assemble them is one hand, as i ask them to hold out a hand or open their wallet.

    At this point everything is so fair and honest, all they knoe is you have their two signed cards(which it is) and that is all that is needed, as they have no reason to feel they need to know which is which for the simple fact that in their mind your just getting started and thats why i don't like the mixing, as in my mind, all that does is tell the specs it's important you don't know which is which, and is a prime example of running when not being chased, so all i do is hand them a face down card (which they know is theirs) and then show which one i have a couple of seconds later which tells them which one they have.

    Simply put, the specs are not keeping up with which is which and simply seperating the cards with both hands is all that is needed and is natural, as both cards are theirs and you gave them one of them and thats all thats needed based on the full structure of the routine, so i take advantage of how open and fare the handling is since they don't know what the effect is yet anyway.

    If you had a spectator take a deck of cards and select two and remember them and tell them to place the two card face down to the side and then asked them to hand you a certain one, they would still have to look and see themselves which card that is, and you havent even touched thecards and that handling could be used for casanova ink also, as it's only important that you know which is which, so you could simply reach over and take one and have them hold the other card and the whole thing up to this point has been completely out of your hands.

    Here is a very old clip that shows how i handle the cards and is just as i described above.

    Bro did a great job on the explinations, but the mixing of the cards is something i would not do and think the way i do it is much better, as it's a non move while the mixing only forces the spec to wonder which is which, when it's not an issue to begin with.

    Here is the link with another link that will give you some other ideas as well.

    Hope you find it useful,

  7. Thanx for your help Steve, that really does simplify things. I also think that Bro does unnecessary mixing of cards at the beginning, and then show what card is he having just a second later.

    Thanx again
  8. Steve,

    Great effect - I have been using an in the hands monte move to ensure clarity of the effect when it comes to boy/girl position - even using "magician's choice" to have them select the boy or girl - I think this keeps it clear for the entire effect, and keeps things natural.

    Anyhow - very clever - it was one of those - damn, why didn't I think of that moments. Actually, PH had his Phootenotes - would you mind adding a few of your own. How did you come up with this? How long did it take? Share some of the creative process or insight?

    Thanks for posting.
  9. #49 Morgan B, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2009
    Dr. Fun

    I found the idea of having someone re-live a memory that was meaningful a great concept – and Paul talks about that being the strength of the effect – even though it seemed like when the male that chose the name “Sarah” was reliving his moment – Bro wanted to put the F-U in FUN, as he sort of dismissed the guy discussing the moment Paul says is the strength, anyhow, living the memory may be the ONLY strong thing in this effect. I found the unmotivated concept of putting the card on top of the card in their hand put heat on the cards. It puts the dirt in their hands – and really, I don’t like this handling at all – the idea of linking a picture memory to a word – 9/10 – the actual handling 3/10 so the average 6/10 seems to fit.

    Name Dropper

    The effect is someone’s name printing letter by letter – ideally, you could use any word – but it has to be known before hand. Something I hate about effects like these, as you can’t make it part of your regular set list. I think the “rational” of wet ink making new letters is a bit childish in presentation, and the effect could have stronger meaning. However, I find the handling see through, another effect I didn’t overly love – but thought it was “neat” “cute”. 6.5/10

    Luber’s Lens

    This isn’t something I would keep in a set, but perhaps something perfect for an effect to carry around when put on the spot. Really neat applications, and a cool gimmick that they find a great rationale for using. 8/10

    Naked Strange

    This is a "look at card in this packet, that card vanishes and goes to another packet" – done exactly how you would imagine. The issues I have with this – if you do it for a group, and someone remembers a different card, their card will also appear in the other packet – making the question, how did he switch packets – not how did my thought of card go across – less magical right? Even if this wasn’t an issue, I am not sure it is an effect worth doing – WHY does the card go across? Because it can. I am seeing a pattern here. Anyhow, I don't hate it - but I don't love this effect either - I won't use it, but that doesn't mean it is bad. 7.5/10

    Stapled Warp

    After watching the Phootnotes, and the explanation to this effect - I realized that Stapled Warp did add something to the Roy Walton plot - clarity. It didn't change the focus, like Tyler Wilson's Scarred Warp, or take the heat off the cards like Dr. Strangetrick - but it does offer some great strengths to an already strong effect. Still - I hate carrying around a stapler...I stopped doing Gary Kurtz "Inside Outside" because of that...but it may be worth it. 9.5/10


    Osmosis by Sylvain Mirouf

    Alexander Slemmer teaches this effect really well – it is probably the best taught effect on this disc. The effect is a multistage linking card – the verdict is out on what I like more – giving the cards away linked, as in “The Linking Card” or having this routine where it links and unlinks many times, but ends unlinked but examinable. I will say this much – it may be bold, but – I think this is better than the Immaculate Connection.

    Unshuffling Rebecca - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation

    A good presentational idea – of one part of the deck being out of order – but the push through move where the cards come out the other side face down, I never thought was convincing. There are better triumphs...but hey, at least you finally get to use that guarantee card.

    Eric Mead Interview #2

    Great interview – so many gems of wisdom and thought provoking..umm..thoughts. Yes, thought provoking thoughts.

    Paul Harris Interview #2

    The audio on this sucked – but the message was worth straining to hear.

    Shuffling Lesson by Chad Long - Performance and Explanation by Wayne Houchin

    A great effect – I have been using this one for many years – however, I personally don’t like the build up to the effect – I play it off as I AM SO GREAT – to have the spectator discover that they beat me. I like them not realizing that this was part of the trick by spelling it out, I want them to discover it, as it is so strong – I find it better to not be told. So, it is if I am bragging how great I am for controlling the kings, they ask, “I wonder what I got", I say, "Oh, you would be lucky to get a pair by chance" – when they look – FLOORED, you still get credit, but how could you do it – you never touched their deck?! It is a great effect...that could only be messed up by...

    Shuffling Lesson by Chad Long - Performance and Explanation by Jeff McBride

    ...changing the effect so you make the participant have the lesser hand. I can see how this would work for Jeff McBride, as he has been “in” Las Vegas for 20 years – however, I think having the spectator have a lesser hand, where you one up them, isn’t made up for by shaking their hand like you are a team. The concept of Blackjack is not normal outside of Vegas, and not at all during this effect, so I don’t see this presentation working. Actually, if shaking his hand makes up for things as a “team”, why not STILL give the participant the better hand still – as the magic isn’t your ability, but theirs. Theatrically, this doesn’t build the same way – as we are supposed to believe that the magician getting a better hand is theatrically more riveting than the participant finding four of a kind? That is like doing sponge balls in the participant’s hands, then believing that doing it in yours, as long as a third one appears, is better. Don't forget the killer ending of "teaming up" with a hand shake! I know after I get one up'd, nothing makes me feel level than a scripted high five! However, what do I know – I am not Jeff McBride – and for that, I am thankful.

    Well – outside of “The Shuffling Lesson” (which I learnt out of the A of A books and already do) and “Osmosis”, I didn’t really find anything that I felt would make the cut on this disc. I am starting to see that magic that gets a reaction is becoming more influential than magic that has meaning and rationale while it is happening. We now do tricks, just because we can...and we wonder why magic starts to appear just as tricks where the moral is “I fooled you”. It is surprising that PH is so focused on creating memorable moments with magic, and wants to transcend magic that just fools – but many of the effects seen on this DVD are demonstrations of magic moments that are detached from an emotional hook beyond the actual requirements of the effects (ie. Name a personal moment, your name is on the card, etc.), when that even exists. I am starting to see the major flaw in this set is that it was an opportunity to lead by example with strong magic – having demos with magic that had meaning, rather than commentary style “patter” that just gave instructions and an explanation of what the magician was doing...which could be seen by watching.

    I know that magic needs to speak for itself, but if this is true – the message is I FOOLED YOU – and the role of the magician is that of a DVD player – you just play the plot, you don’t add to it. I am not sure this is the best example to youth, when the most revered magicians (outside of Blaine) are known for their personalities and ability to connect with the magic, while not overshadowing the magic.

    Anyhow, onward to disc 5.
  10. Jeff mentioned that he did the black jack thing so it was more of a win/win situation.
  11. If that is true - why would he not cut to the Jacks - and still give the glory to the participant? Talk about EGO...change.

    Which reminds me of a quote I actually just heard this weekend - CLASSIC:


    You should come to "named small town" because there are a bunch of stupid red necks in my town, you would blow their minds!!

    (Feeling bad that the guy felt "dumb" and hate this cliche that you have to be stupid to fall for magic, when we know the opposite is true - I kindly try to educate him)

    Actually, in magic, the smarter you are - the harder you fall. In other words, smart people like magic.


    Yeah - but DUMB people appreciate it.


    I got nothing.
  12. Also with Dr. Fun the emotional hook is that you KNEW what they're happiest moment was. As for the clean-up. You can simply do it when they are looking at the other cards like "*&^%". Then palm the card into your pocket and viola, you are clean.

    Name Dropper seems more like something that you do it, because it's fun and just weird. Al tho the set up is a one time thing unless you happen to carry around 6-20 decks on you. Cuz I don't see any reason after the effect to keep the cards with the letters.

    I am sure you could come up with SOME sort of reason or story for most of the other effects. The problem with effects that have you put the cards in there hand is that unless you are doing an hour show for a private party. They take too much time and sort of slow down your presentation. They do add to the deception "how did he deal a perfect poker hand when I shuffled the deck!" but like I said, unless you're doing a longer show and have the time. A lot of this stuff isn't for table hoppers. Cept maybe a select few like twilight Angles which is a quick one on one effect.
  13. I generally like the TA set and felt I got a lot out of watching them. That said, there are effects I like and effects I don't, and on many I totally agree with you. I felt that the only reason "Stapled Warp" was on the set was because Paul misunderstood the final display. I doubt that many others will see it his way. Also, thought-of-cards-across isn't my favorite either for the reasons you mentioned. Even given that, there are better versions out there then "Naked Strange." And when it comes to the second explanation of the mostly self-working "Shuffling Lesson," Jeff McBride's version, I just can't figure out why it was included. The high-five handshake moment is totally cringe-y and awful.

    For me, one of the big ironies about the TA set is that $300 later I bet the thing most people are having fun with is "Lubors' Lens," which once sold for about $15. I think that's a totally fun and strange little effect, and the only problem I've had with it is people demanding I do it again.

    While I've watched the whole set, I'm enjoying your critical perspective on the disks and will look forward to the rest.
  14. Randy - you don't get it - your inexperience is shining through with your half backed opinions. I am not OVERLY concerned with being dirty, as much as the unnatural add on that happens in Dr. Fun.

    The rest of you post is as far off as thinking that you saying, "Ladies - I am Randy for you" is a great pick up line.

    Bugjack - thanks - you get it, and I am glad the set is treating you well. If I were new to magic, perhaps this would be a gem - but so far, I am a bit disappointed. A quality set, with a little above average effects on it...but, time will tell.
  15. #55 Randy, Mar 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2009

    saying my opinions are "half backed" is rather immature and childish. I offered a way for you to clean up. You can take it or leave it. But please refrain from acting like an immature brat.

    Like I said, What isn't emotional about knowing somebodies happiest moment? Now YOU may not like it, because it doesn't YOUR style and that perfectly fine. Not everybody has the same likes and dislikes. This effect may not work for YOU, but it may work for others.

    One Mans trash is another mans treasure.

    Also they probably put Jeff McBrides version in it because he is a Jeff Mcbride. Essentially his version is exactly the same as Waynes, just with a minor touch that just about anybody could come up with. So I didn't see why they had that in their.
  16. 1. Dr. Fun: Morgician basically said it all. I would just like to add that, if you want to perform this trick more effectively, you really need to sell the fact that you predict their happy memory. I think that Bro could build up the presentation more than he did. I will not discuss handling, because everyone should have their own. I didn't put much thought into handling of this effect, but if I find that I'm not comfortable with the one presented, I will change it.
    So, powerful effect which brings spectators to their happy memory, and it can be even stronger if you can sell the fact that you predict their happy memory (which ever way you want: you dreamed about it, you had a vision, you can read minds; or basically, just leave it be, and don't explain how you knew... be mysterious).

    2. Name Dropper: This effects is half "magic" and half "look at this interesting thing". So you can go half-half, or lean completely to one side. I wouldn't do this trick to guys, because it is more of a "cute" trick, and lady's will have more fun with it. Or you can completely turn the tables, and present it as dark as possible, and say that ghosts or spirits are writing the letters, as you spell them with a spooky voice...
    But yeah, really "fun" and "cute" and "friendly" trick. Not a astonishing miracle, but a fun effect nonetheless .

    3. Luber's Lens: Great gimmick effect, with whom you can make things disappear and reappear or even twist and change shape, in spectators hands. I am still having trouble introducing a gimmick. I can't call it "credit card protector" because I don't have a credit card. And if I say that it is a door to other dimension (and because of that you can change shape, and appear and disappear stuff), people would look at me really weird. Maybe I can just say that it is this little magical thing that I made...
    So, with decent presentation, this can be a killer.

    4. Naked Strange: Well, a guy from this forum has a thread in Card Magic forum, about how he performed this effect couple of times, and he got great reactions. And, on the other side, we have Morgician. I agree with the latter one. The issues are if they remember more than one card, and why did you do that in the first place.
    I have this idea for a character who is "Shadow Master/Controler/something", and can do crazy stuff with his shadows. Or he can make his shadow become real, and can move stuff with it (Naruto? Anyone?). If I can make it work, than yeah, I can say that my shadow moved the card (as well as in LVL$). But other than that, it is just another puzzle.

    5. Stapled Warp: One of the "Giants" of TA set. There is nothing much to say about it. You all know it. It is even on Ellusionist "Street Magic" DVD. The only difference is staple, to prove the fairness and impossibility of this effect. So yeah, HIGHLY recommended. And there is one interesting moment in the explanation of the trick. I just didn't believed it when I saw it :)

    I know that I don't comment on Easter Eggs, but I will have to do that with Shuffling Lesson.
    Best presentation of this effect is on Benjamin Earl's "Past Midnight" Vol.2
    It is more convincing and more impossible than the ones on TA. But from the two on the TA, I would go with Houchin's any day. McBrides presentation just doesn't make sense, specially the high five.
    I just don't see his "win win" situation at the end, as a "win" for the spectator. So definitely go with the presentation where spectators gets better cards. You are getting credit for it anyways.
  17. Yeah I didn't really get why they kept in the high five part.. Which could have easily been edited out after the explanation of the effect. Also didn't really see why they TWO version's of it as well.

  18. Randy - I was just tired of trying to clarify points you are missing - but to prevent this thread from becoming polluted I will clarify.

    Dr. Fun has a handling issue - it is secondary that you end up dirty - but it is still an issue that cleaner handlings of similar effects don't have - the real issue is not that you are dirty, but the heat bag way you place the card down. I would rather sell drugs in a cop shop then do this handling - as I might have more of a chance of getting away with the drug selling, then the unnatural placement and removal of a card I just wrote hide, then show?

    I know many other effects better than Name Dropper - the effect is "INK TRANSFERS FROM ONE CARD TO ANOTHER - after the first letter is written - TO CREATE THE PARTICIPANT'S NAME (or other word)" - the thing with this is that the effect is not that great if you don't know the word. So, the real effect is "how did he know my name/word" - and the way the cards are chosen and used - I find weak. Sure, you would give the cards away - but really - there are other effects that do the same thing, that don't waste cards and are more magicial.

    Saying "You can come up with SOME sort of presentation" is not a solution - it is like saying - I am sure I will eventually meet you...hmm, maybe, maybe not. However, I am looking for something more concrete - name a time and place to meet...or in other words - come up with a presentation, rather than assuming someone else could.

    You don't have the experience to say this - I even said, I have used this effect for years with great success - it is NOT that long of an effect and it doesn't slow down your magic...acutally, maybe it does - which would make me say to you, "SLOW DOWN", because you are doing stuff so fast, people are missing it. Sure, much of this stuff isn't made for table hoppers, but didn't I already state that? Also, who is it made for then? The one effect I use as a table hopper, you think is too long and slow paced?

    Please share Randy - how many restaurants have you worked? Where can I see you perform?

    I think you are missing the critical thinking neccesary to analyze these effects, oh and I didn't mean half backed - that was a typing error - I mean half baked!

    There - so I wrote out what I meant to say on your last post - I bet you are glad I wrote this, instead of "half backed" - because now I can show your gaps word for word, rather than trying to dismiss your ideas junior.

    If you have an issue - PM me - we don't want to fill this thread with immaturity.
  19. Hey Toby - nice review - I didn't watch the explanation of the Stapled Warp effect, the only one I didn't - but I will now. You got me curious!

    Where can I find Benjamin Earl's - Past Midnight vol 2?


    You should come to "named small town" because there are a bunch of stupid red necks in my town, you would blow their minds!!

    (Feeling bad that the guy felt "dumb" and hate this cliche that you have to be stupid to fall for magic, when we know the opposite is true - I kindly try to educate him)

    Actually, in magic, the smarter you are - the harder you fall. In other words, smart people like magic.


    Yeah - but DUMB people appreciate it.


    I got nothing.
  20. Why would you want Paul to the work for you? Didn't you say that you should come up with your ideas and presentations for whatever effects you use. I believe the term you used was "Robot" or "Clone". You seem like a smart guy, so I am saying that you could use that gray matter and come up with a presentation for the effects if you wanted to.

    And thank you for calling me Half baked. You are darn nice guy with a charming personality and good looks to match. I wish I could give you a hardy hand shake and a pat on the back.

    Anyways, this isn't a black and white subject. It's a matter of opinion and we are two different people who have different opinions.

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