Tyler Wilson is a new force on the magic scene, and, if the quality of his book is any indication, he is here to stay. I honestly can’t find much bad to say about it. His attention to detail is nearly unparalleled; every element of every routine is completely thought out; and he is careful with crediting which, unfortunately, seems to be a dying practice in the magic world.
With regards to his writing style, he has continued in the tradition of authors such as David Acer and Paul Harris in that his explanations are clear, concise, and downright entertaining. I will admit I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. Tyler’s write-ups make me eager to see him perform in person. Perhaps the greatest compliment I could give this book is to say that you will want to read it in one sitting. That is not true of most books in the magic literature.
With the praise I have given the Dominatricks so far, you are probably wondering about what is explained.
First, Tyler uses his creativity to breathe a little fresh air into a few standard moves. Most notable are…
Rub’n’Tug- Besides being the first of many innuendos found in Tyler’s chapter titles, this move looks really good. In effect, this is a face up Rub-A-Dub Vanish. For those not familiar with the original version from Expert Card Technique, a card is placed under a performers hand only to vanish when the hand is lifted.
Tyler Insults Tilt’s Totally Inexplicable Elegance and Simplicity- Tyler explains several Tilt convincers and subtleties that really impress upon an audience that the card is inserted into the middle of the deck. It is obvious that he has put a lot of thought into improving the weak points of the classic Vernon/Marlo technique. While some may argue that these ideas take too much effort for such a simple move, Tyler has no mercy on his audience. His routines strive to leave his spectators with nowhere to run. His efforts to improve even the most mundane aspects of his performance speak volumes about the standards he sets for himself.
Pitching a Tent Vanish- Again, Tyler vanishes a card, this time in the context of supposedly palming it off the deck. The technique may be used to “vanish face up cards on a face down deck, face down cards on a face up deck, red backed cards on a blue backed deck, a single card on a card box, ad infinitum.” It could even be done with a credit card on top of a wallet. Also included in this section is a nice tip to improve the standard Tent Vanish that may be of interest to those who do not want to learn Tyler’s new version.
Now to the routines…
Compost It- Tyler has a knack for updating standard plots with a new approach. This time he attacks the venerable ambitious card routine with Post-It notes of all things. Luckily, Tyler spares his audience from merely watching a signed card come to the top nine thousand times. Instead, he provides a goofy, entertaining presentation that justifies why the magic happens. For the finale, the deck slowly vanishes leaving only the signed card.
Release the Chocolate Hostage- A spectator signs a card. Let’s say it is the Four of Hearts. The card is left reversed in the middle. Another card, let’s say the Three of Hearts, is introduced. One at a time, two pips visually jump off the Three. This causes the card to change into a Two then an Ace. When the deck is spread, the signed selection is seen to have caught the two pips. The spectator’s name is now across the Six of Hearts. Keep in mind, the routine is fairly easy to do and requires no gaffs.
Dirty Stinkin’ Ape in the Middle- Before you dismiss this as just another sandwich trick, look at what Tyler brings to the dance. He combines a loading sequence that will even catch magicians off guard with a clever presentation to form an entertaining sandwich effect that can be performed at any time with any shuffled deck. Don’t believe me? heck it out for yourself for free at www.AndiGladwin.co.uk.
Clean Sanchez- Tyler uses the same loading sequence from the previous routine for a totally different effect. It is clever and commercial. What more could you ask for?
B52 Shooter- I am tempted to describe this routine with one word: wow! In short, this is perhaps the most refreshing addition to Dai Vernon’s Triumph plot in years. Sure there are a hundred in-the-hands versions and even more with a color changing deck kicker, but Tyler took the plot in a totally new direction. A selection is returned to the deck and the cards are shuffled face up into face down. The performer claims that he will sort out each individual face up card from the face down deck with one shuffle with one hand. Amazingly, he delivers on his promise as face up cards shoot out of the deck across the table. When the shuffle is finished, the face down cards are spread to reveal only one face up card. It proves to be the selection.
Coke Inhabit- I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what happens, but this is definitely not your standard coin-in-bottle effect. I say this both to intrigue you and to warn you. If you are looking for the newest method of slamming a coin into a solid bottle, this is not what you are after. However, if you are looking for a quirky, off-beat trick to seriously screw with you spectators, this may be right for you.
Matrimoney- Tyler describes this routine as a “Celebrity Death Match between Coins Across and Ring Flight.” After a quick Coins Across routine, the spectator’s ring changes into a quarter. Later the ring is found in the performer’s wallet. The routine requires no gaffs or special wallets. It does, however, take a bit of guts to pull off the somewhat bold method of loading the ring. I should also mention that this loading sequence can be added to your existing Coins Across routine as it is independent of Tyler’s routine.
Stick It To The Man- This is truly a “packs flat, plays big” mentalism routine that leaves plenty of room for improvising with the audience. The effect is direct and powerful. Best of all, it uses Post-It notes. (Tyler really has a thing for those, doesn’t he?) At any rate, the CD-Rom that accompanies the book includes the graphics needed for the trick. I will say that the drawings from the disc look homemade while still looking professional. By this, I mean that they look like something you could make on your home computer with clip art. This makes the trick seem a little less like it came from the magic shop. That’s always a plus.
Paul Mase’s Trick- At its roots, this is just a Technicolor version of the classic Open Travelers plot. His justification for creating this variation is sound: he demonstrates not only how to palm the Aces, but also how to find them in the deck. In Tyler’s words, “This creates an additional three magical moments for the plot without deviating from its core concept.” This is one of the more difficult routines in the book, but if the plot interests you, it may be worth the work. However, even if this effect is not you style, the unique presentation is worth a study. I won’t spill the beans here, but suffice it to say that any magician that can logically integrate the Konami Contra code into a magic routine is my kind of guy. Nintendo Power!
Scarred Warp- Probably the most talked about routine from Dominatricks will be Tyler’s addition to Roy Walton’s classic Card Warp. Again Tyler does not just offer a small variation to the standard handling. Instead, he adds to the effect. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I will tell you that the effect looks super weird. It is the kind of thing that is fun to perform in front of a mirror. For the finale, the cards are handed out to the spectator after being formed into a nice souvenir. As a side note, since Card Warp is still a marketed item, Tyler had to be careful about revealing too much of its inner workings. Kudos to him for still explaining his version clearly.
Sven Who?- Using a principle that will convert your deck into a pseudo-gaffed weapon, Tyler causes the faces of the cards to change twice before revealing that the selection has a different colored back.
Sloppy 30 Seconds- Tyler’s strength lies in creating effects that go beyond where most magicians usually stop. In other words, most magicians stop thinking too early; Tyler does not. For that reason, I feel I must keep you in the dark about yet another routine. Let’s just say, Tyler turned the standard two card transposition on its head.
Finally, the CD-Rom included with the book contains videos of a few of the moves as well as a left-handed version of the book in PDF format.
With all the positive things I’ve said about Tyler’s work, I must mention the two problems I have with Dominatricks. First, the book’s layout and cover design are awesome, but I found myself a little frustrated at times that the book wouldn’t lay flat when opened. In other words, I had to hold it open with something while trying to learn a move. This isn’t a huge deal, but it was a bit annoying.
My second complaint is perhaps a little more serious. Quite frankly, I’m a little upset that Tyler won’t be able to publish material as fast as I can read it. Darn you, Tyler! Highly recommended!
-Available from http://www.andigladwin.co.uk/