It has been one hectic month. Apparently March Madness applies to magic shops as well! We’ve been swamped with work and frankly the days seemed to slip by faster than a buttered bullet. (Did I really just write that?) This month’s picks may be coming in under the wire but that doesn’t make them any less amazing. In fact, this month’s choices are among some of my absolute favorites for the year. So start reading and get clicking...
- The Mark: As I’ve already said on our site, this has been a long time favorite of mine. I have used it in my personal repertoire for many years and I can attest to the impact it has on every audience. I was so pleased to finally obtain the rights to this amazing effect and I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to offer it with my personal handling. The DVD covers ever detail of the effect as well as many additional ideas. There’s even an application for a mentalism effect covered that seems to be flying way under the radar. All in all, my highest recommendation.
- But Not Here: This is another big winner for me. As is often the case I wish there was a way for me to show each of you this effect live and in person. In a live performance, this is strong – VERY strong. There’s something about that post-it note that seems to fry minds! Keep in mind that this effect uses a thought of card and the prediction can be customized for any event. For example, if you we’re working an even for lawyers - it might say something like, “Why do lawyers always choose the Jack of Hearts?” or it could even include the guest of honor’s name. It’s VERY easy to do and there are lots of possibilities here – two thumbs way up!
- Dean's Beads: Dean Dill has a way of taking ideas and making them better. Dean’s Beads is his approach to an age old effect called “Pop Beads” or “Gyp Necklace”. The effect can be very strong and it creates an eerie moment when the spectator is left holding the beads. This is another effect that I think play much strong in real life than the video coveys. He has two GREAT ideas on the DVD that use pennies and a memorized deck. These are necessary to perform the basic routine but they are certainly worth checking out. One final note, there has been a bit of buzz surrounding phase three of the routine on the video demo. That phase does require a small bit of pre-show to accomplish the effect but it could easily be done with a peek wallet and be done in real time as part of routine.
- Mind Ball: David Regal has done it again! I love this thing – its fun, magical, easy to do, and very entertaining. All you need is the ability to force a couple cards (taught on the DVD) and you have a ready made routine for your next show. I think this plays big enough that it would even make a great addition to a parlor show. I should point out that there is a “jazz” aspect to this. While you do always know who took what card and what the card was, you DON’T always know what gag lines will appear. Personally, that’s my favorite part of the routine! It keeps is fresh and spontaneous. Regal covers EVERYTHING on this DVD including possible retorts for all the gags and much more. Another great one!
- Add-Ict: Wayne Dobson and Mark Mason have teamed up once again to bring a simple and direct card prediction. This has a very fair feel to it and the selected card can be different each time. It also provides a nice moment to introduce your business card as well. In some ways this reminds me of a reverse version of a great old Tannen’s item called Synchronicity III by Michael Pizzolla, another great trick if you can track one down! If you want to do the blank deck handling (my personal favorite) you’ll need to pick one of those up as well.
- Extended Stay: The latest from Shawn Farquhar is actually a collection of effects using hotel key cards. The effects vary from card effects, mind reading revelations, cell phone chicanery, and psychological fun. All of the cards allow for some pretty cool magic but my personal favorites include the Super 7 Card and the stretching card effect. One side note, the DVD gives a lot of crediting information but oddly it gives no nod to Mark Jenest’s MagiCard which is pretty darn close to one of the cards in the set. This isn’t a knock nor is it meant to detract from Shawn’s work; I just wanted to offer a little credit where credit is clearly due. This really is a great set of cards that you can carry in your wallet all the time, which means you’ll always be ready to deliver some strong magic at a moments notice.