Things With Cards focuses on Nate Kranzo’s card material. Included in the book are false cuts, card routines, utility moves, and four of a kind productions. According to Nate, “The material is anywhere from dead easy, to very difficult. It’s all visual.” Here’s what is explained…
In the Hands Freeman- Four Aces are produced in the midst of a riffle shuffle. Not much else can be said. This is a quick, practical method for producing any four-of-a-kind.
Stick 4- This is another visual four-of-a-kind production that is pretty simple to do. I will not describe the exact effect for fear of tipping the method, but I will say that this is one of the only effects in the notes that cannot be done with a completely straight deck. However, the gimmick involved is minimal and allows for a ultra visual appearance of the Aces (or whatever.)
For Instant- One card explodes into four. This is a bit knacky, but I imagine it would look very good. Unfortunately this seems to be one of those things that would be easier to learn from seeing it in action on a video.
Trans AM- This is a visual two card transposition between a selection resting on the back of your hand and a card placed in your pocket. It feels risky to perform but everything is surprisingly secure.
Invisible Elasticity II- This was my favorite effect from the notes. An invisible rubber band is wrapped around the deck. A signed selection is slid beneath it. When the selection is pulled to the right is snaps back. Next, the magician drops the cards into the spectators hands where a rubberband visually appears encircling the deck. Finally, the selection is placed face up into the center of the pack and is visually pulled up through the deck and rubberband. A demo video of this effect can be seen at Nate’s site (http://www.hismagic.com/?page_id=15). Scroll down to the Things With Cards section and click to play the embedded YouTube video.
Standing Up to Ray and Bill- Nate’s handling of the classic Triumph effect has a few things going for it. First, everything can be performed completely in the hands without the need for a table. Second, it is relatively simple to perform. Finally, Nate has managed to change the effect by altering the revelation. Instead of the cards magically righting themselves after being shuffled face up into face down, Nate causes the cards visually right themselves before the shuffle is completed. Best of all, the change happens with the cards held in only one hand. Believe me, this looks really cool.
Thumb Variation- This is Nate’s touch on a color change inspired by John Cornelius’s “Winter Change” and Steve Draun’s “Starfish Change.” As I’m not familiar with the aforementioned changes, I cannot really comment on Nate’s additions.
Unnecessary Cut- This cutting sequence that does not alter the order of the cards, but I do not prefer it to most other false cuts (including the other one included in this book). I have a feeling that I might like this better if I could see it in action as it is another piece that would be a little easier to grasp from watching a video.
Small Packet Reversal- In Nate’s words, “I do not plan on explaining any routines using this sleight because I feel that it is versatile enough to be used in just about any small-packet routine.” Unfortunately, this is once again something that would be easier learned from a video.
Sekel Tuc and The Dancy Revelation- Luke Dancy’s false cut is fairly simple to perform compared to most other fancy cutting sequences. It can also be used to produce four of a kind in a quick, visual manner. This was featured on Luke Dancy’s Magic For The Eyes DVD. Those who have witnessed it can attest to how visually shocking the production can be.
You will notice I have mentioned that a few of these effects would be easier learned from a video. I make this comment as a warning to readers who have difficulty learning from the written word. This is not a bash at the author for not explaining things clearly. The effects are explained clearly and can be learned in this format; my assertion is just that things would be easier to understand if they could be seen in action.
My only complaint with the explanations of the effects is that there was a little less attention to detail than I would have wished for. For example, the instructions may call for the Aces to be set up on top of the deck. However, later in the explanation, the author may reference the Kings. This is a minor mistake that will not interfere with your understanding of the material.
Overall, the material is good but not for everyone. If you are in to slick card moves and fancy productions your money will be well spent. Others may feel more satisfied from Nate’s other tremendous material available for instant download from his website. (Check out my review for his In The Heat of the Desert Lecture Notes.) While you don’t have to be a finger-flinger to enjoy this e-book, Nate’s other offerings are more suited for the magician looking to quickly add a few things to his repetoire.
-Available from http://www.hismagic.com/?page_id=15