Nate Kranzo has made quite a name for himself on the magic scene with his unique form of creative and visual magic. He is the star of three DVD’s and his material has been published in many places including Magic Magazine, Genii, Penumbra, Channel One, and The Linking Ring. He is now offering a number of instant downloads from his website www.HisMagic.com. If you are unfamiliar with his material, this is the perfect place to start.
The Heat of the Desert is actually an electronic copy of Nate’s lecture notes for the 2004 Las Vegas Desert Magic Seminar. While the routines will impress any group of magicians, it is obvious that these are pieces that Nate designed to use for real audiences on a regular basis. The material is top notch. Here’s a look at the effects explained.
Trey Tip- Nate has taken an old idea and turned it into something that many will actually use. In effect, the spectator selects a card (which can be signed) and returns it to the deck. The magician removes three cards at random and stands them upright on the table. Two of the cards fall face up revealing that they are indifferent cards. The card in the middle, however, remains standing. When turned around, it proves to be the selection.
This is great bit that will definitely catch any lay audience off guard. Trust me, the card’s suspension looks plain weird. The routine is easy to do; most will be able to add it to their repertoire after just a little practice. The best part is that it does not require the magician to carry any extra gimmicks that he would not usually carry to a magic performance anyway.
Flash Fold- The spectator selects a card from regular size deck. The magician then reveals that he predicted the card in advance. Removing a jumbo card folded into fourths, he asks for the name of the selection. Let’s say the spectator says “the King of Hearts.” The card is unfolded and shown to be a Joker. “Jokers are wild, right?” Groans, of course, follow until the magician makes due on his promise by turning the card around to show that “You will select the King of Hearts” is written on the back. This, in itself, is a very strong trick for laymen, but Nate takes it one step further. He removes a lighter and waves it under the jumbo Joker. In a flash of fire, it changes into the King of Hearts, the spectator’s chosen card.
This is a neat idea for a card change that could also be used with regular sized cards. While the routine is simple, laymen will be completely fooled and entertained. This is yet another example of how Nate has taken simple plots and twisted them into something much more spectacular than they were in their original form.
Smells Like Aces- This is probably the most difficult effect in the notes. It is hard to describe without seeing it performed. Basically it is a straightforward four Ace production that happens all at once. Those who have never seen the production may feel inclined to skip over this when reading the description because of its difficulty. On the other hand, those who have witnessed its visual impact will be much more willing to put the time into perfecting this feat. I should also qualify my remark that this routine is difficult by explaining that, while this requires more dexterity than other routines in this set of notes, it is also not completely out of reach.
Funtac Inflation- A penny is borrowed from a spectator. When the magician rubs the coin, it grows to half-dollar size and his hands are seen empty. Next, he smashes the coin between his hands causing it to grow into a jumbo three inch coin. Again, his hands are shown empty; he is holding nothing but the jumbo coin. Nate describes this effect as “easy and fun.” I agree. The title of this routine should give you some indication of the clever method used. While the use of this principle makes the changes more disarming, it also makes the routine less practical for walk around. Working pros may prefer to use standard sleight of hand techniques to achieve the Inflation effect when performing the routine more than once per night. Still, in many situations or for those who are willing to sacrifice practicality for effect, this routine may be the perfect fit.
Match’s Coins- A book of matches is introduced. A match is removed and lit. Suddenly it morphs into a coin. Another match is lit and dropped into the magician’s hand. Flames shoot out of his fist and a coin is removed. Finally, the magician closes his fist and smoke pours out as the final coin is produced. Those familiar with Nate’s previous work may recognize some of these ideas from routines such as Hot Sauce and Volcanic Coin from his Outside The Box DVD. He has blended the best components of each to form a three coin production that looks unreal. Those who have never experimented with these ideas are in for a treat.
Homing Tie- “At the end of a marathon card routine, the signed selection finally ends up folded up and tucked behind the tag on the back of your tie!” Practical and powerful. There’s not much else to say. It is a brilliant idea that is absolutely perfect for those times when you don’t want to carry a card-to-wallet but still want to finish with an impossible location. The handling is simple and easy to do making this another routine that you can almost instantly add to your performances.
Overall, the material is great and Nate’s teaching is clear and straightforward. Also, his writing style makes the notes an easy read. He doesn’t get bogged down with drawn out explanations of standard moves. Instead, he opts for a conversational style that assumes the reader is familiar with the basics. For example, when asked to force a card, Nate directs the reader to use his “favorite method.” While this is often regarded as a flaw in magic writing, in this case, Nate’s casual presentation seems to be the best approach. His explanations are short and to the point, yet he takes time to credit others who helped inspire his routines.
Finally, I should mention that the format of the PDF document is different than that of many magic e-books. Nate has designed his product in such a way that, when printed out, the pages are in perfect booklet form. (Imagine a standard sheet folded in half.) All in all, the lecture notes are a great investment. $10 for strong, commercial material from a working pro like Nate is not only reasonable; it’s a steal. Highly recommended.
—Available from www.HisMagic.com