This booklet is “the first collection of close up magic from the East Coast Super Session held in HIckory, NC” in 2006. There are ten contributors and thirteen effects. Here is what is explained:
The Dousing Card (Don England)- The magician promises to find a signed selection with the help of a joker that has been formed into a Dousing Card. The Dousing Card is held over the spread deck and is noticebly attracted to one card in particular. This card is flipped over to reveal…the joker. The Dousing card is turned over. It has changed to the signed selection.
This effect is simple in both its method and construction. At its heart, this is simply a two card transposition, but yet it is something that laymen find completely impossible. It reminds me of Paul Harris’s “Card Cuffs” in that the card is left in an altered state that reminds the spectators of the magic that took place.
Two Step, Two Step (Kostya Kimlat)- “Do as I Do” effects can often seem convoluted. This is not the case with Kostya’s exceptionally clean and straightforward version of the classic plot. The magician holds a blue deck while a spectator holds a red one. They each select a card from the other’s pack. The cards match. That’s it; there’s no awkward handling or switching of the packets. For the kicker, the cards are replaced in their proper packs. A second later, the cards transpose with each one appearing in the middle of the opposite deck.
While this routine is certainly powerful enough to impress laymen, it is structured to really kick fellow magicians in the teeth. Let’s say you’re walking around a convention with your blue deck and you see a guy with a red deck in the corner of the room. Walk over to the guy and slay him with this effect, because Kostya’s method doesn’t require you to set up his deck at all. Even better, it’s possible to use this effect to set that same magician up for something later in the convention. I won’t explain the details, but Kostya’s thinking is great.
Predecktion (Steve Beam)- A prediction card is removed and placed face down on the table. Two spectators are each dealt a small packet of cards. After reversing some, the packers are repeatedly shuffled face up into face down. Finally, the cards are spread. Let’s say six cards are face up. The prediction card is turned face up to reveal a six.
You can always count on Steve Beam for interesting principles in his now famous Semi-Automatic card effects. This routine is no exception. However, I fear the method may be more intersting than the routine. That is something you’ll have to decide for yourself. If the effect appeals to you, the method is certainly a fooler. For me, however, the effect lacks the punch of some of Steve’s other work.
Touche is What You Say (Lee Asher)- This is Lee’s method of performing Paul Cummins’s classic “Counting On It.” While the effect is killer, Lee’s handling doesn’t really bring anything new to the dance. It is adequate, but I’m not convinced this variation makes the original routine any easirer or more direct thatn other version in print. At any rate, if you don’t know the effect, Lee’s technique isn’t a bad way to go about things.
Zoso Change (Doc Doherty)- This is a color change that can also be used as a triple color change. I don’t like to review card moves themselves, so I won’t say much more. Doc mentions in the introduction, however, that he developed the move while playing with Larry Jennings’s Optical Add On and Robert Moreland’s Cloud Change.
Subwich (Rich Aviles)- Two Jokers are set aside. A card is selected and left outjogged from a packet on the table. The Jokers are inserted partway into the other half of the deck. A moment later, the selection is found face up between the Jokers. The outjogged card in the tabled packet is removed: it is the mate of the selection. Finally, the Jokers morph to the other mates to complete the four of a kind.
The ending is surprising, but the effect requires a set up that some may find difficult to get into on the fly. Of course, experienced performers will devise their own handlings, but most experienced performers already have a favorite four of a kind production. Does this mean that Rich’s routine won’t find an audience? Of course not. There will always be magicians who can never collect enough handling variations of classic card plots. If you belong to that group, “Subwich” will be a nice addition to your arsenal. However, even if you don’t perform Rich’s routine, you may find a use for his clever merging of a standard riffle force with Wesley James’s Coming Up In The World Move. It allws you to force a card and switch it out in one move, making it applicable to many other effects.
Invisible Sandwich (Rich Aviles)- “A selected card is invisibly transferred from the deck into a set of jokers. Next, the selection is made to appear between the jokers on the table; however when the cards are picked up, the jokers are now invisible. To end, the spectator places the two invisible jokers into the deck where they immediately become visible and have trapped one card in between them: the third selection.”
This isn’t a groundbreaking new effect, but it is an entertaining impromptu item. The bit about the invisible jokers is a little out there, but if the effect is made clear to the audience, the business of handling invisible cards can be fun for laymen.
Logical Probability Sandwich (Scott Robinson)- A King sinks through the deck multiple times with seemingly no manipulation on the part of the bperformer. Finally, the two Kings trap the selection using Reinhard Muller’s underused Three Card Catch. This is one of my favorite effects from the booklet. The presentation is interesting, the handling is direct, and the construction is superb. Everything occurs at the exact right moments. When the audience is ready to look for a move, the move has already taken place. In short, the routine flows.
Shrink and Drink (Joel Givens)- This has been the most talked about effect from the booklet on internet magic forums. It’s an offbeat, memorable card in bottle effect. The spectator places his selection face up on the deck. With a wave of the magician’s hand, the card visibly shrinks. With another wave, the card shrinks again. Finally, the mini card is dropped into a straw. The audience can see the card falling into the bottle, where it visually morphs into a regular sized playing card.
Obviously this is best when performed in a casual “impromptu” situation as this would seem to preclude any kind of setup or gimmick. While there is some preparation involved, Joel has created a worker. This is not a revolutionary new method; it is simply a well constructed, workable routine that your audience will never forget.
*I won’t pretend to be a coin expert. As a result, I’m not going to review the coin items from the book. I will, however, give a brief description of the routines…
Da Vinci Coin (Scott Robinson)- Coin enthusiasts will recognize this as a version of David Roth’s “Wild Coin.”
Over The Hills and Far Away (Scott Robinson)- This is a three coin vanish and reproduction sequence with no gaffed coins.
Bic A Chink Transpo (Robert Moreland)- An offbeat routine where four coins are produced using an ordinary Bic pen. A short “Chink a Chink” sequence is performed along the way. Finally, the coins are pocketed. The pen is held between the magician’s hands where it visually morphs into the four coints. The pen is prodced from the pocket.
Scamming The Silverware (Jason Mauney)- This is another favorite of mine from the booklet. Jason has dressed up an old principle that we all know and rarely use to build a strong, entertaining stand up routine. He mentions in the introduction that this is a variation of Jim Steinmeyer’s “The Great Silverware Scam” from the December 2003 issue of MAGIC Magazine. Since I have never seen the original Steinmeyer version, I can’t comment on what Jason has improved. However, I can tell you that this routine is certainly a fooler. Since it uses silverware, it won’t clash with anything else already in your stand up act.
Overall, the book is well produced. The pictures are clear, and the effects are well explained. There are a few small typos and errors but nothing that will distract from your understanding of the material. Most close up workers should definitely find something they like. Only five hundred copies were printed, however. So if you’re interested, you better buy this sooner than later. Recommended.
-Available from http://www.magic.org/store/product_info.php?products_id=5086