I became familiar with David Corsaro through his Time To Be Awesome video podcast where he interviews other magicians about their thoughts on sleight of hand, audience management, and a ton of other topics. His guests have included Steve Beam, Eric Jones, Joshua Jay, Asi Wind, and Boris Wild among many others. I’m a big fan of the show, so I was excited when I heard that David had released a DVD of his own material. Let’s take a look at the routines taught in The Magic Of David Corsaro.
Getting To Know You- This was my favorite routine on the disc. A spectator is asked four personal questions of which they have a free choice of answering. The magician deals one card for each letter of their answer leading to one card at random in the deck. The other cards are each shown to have different names written on them. The spectator’s card is turned over to reveal his own name written in bold letters.
This routine has a few things going for it. First, it is easy to do but is extremely commercial. Second, you do NOT need to know the name of the person before you get to the table. David provides a handling that allows you to go into this routine immediately after learning their name for the first time. Third, you can completely customize the questions depending on your performing situation and audience. This will provide a very memorable experience for your volunteer.
Baby Gag- This is David’s small addition to the standard baby gag. The magician introduces an envelope containing a prediction. Someone in the audience names any actress. The performer explains that inside the envelope is a picture of the named celebrity…at age 6 months. A picture of a baby is shown. This will get a laugh (or groan). “Last week someone named Whoopi Goldberg… I’ve got that covered too.” The picture is turned over to show a picture of an African American baby. This gets another laugh.
In some instances, the routine ends right there and is played off as just a gag. However, David has built in a significant possibility for a real stunner where you prove that you really did know which celebrity the audience member would name. His idea is a good one, but you will probably have one of two reactions: “Why didn’t I think of that?” or “I’ve already thought of that.” Either way, it’s a funny piece for the audience with a chance of hitting upon a real miracle.
Mallrats- Based on a Peter Duffie idea, this is a mathematical effect that doesn’t feel like a mathematical effect. As a result, it was right up my alley. The performer introduces a map of his local mall. The spectator seems to move around the mall freely and stops at a random location. Before the magician reveals his prediction, maps are passed out to other members of the audience to try the same experiment. Everyone stops at different locations proving that there is no force. The prediction is opened and revealed to be correct.
On the back of each map is printed the magician’s contact details which provides a nice giveaway at the end of the effect. I would recommend printing this map onto a large board and doing this in a stand up show. I really like this trick!
Can I Call You Sometime- This is a unique presentation for John Bannon’s Play It Straight Triumph (recently renamed Bannon’s Triumph). The performer mentions that whenever he gets a girl’s phone number in a bar, he jots it down along with a brief description of her on a bar napkin. He pulls out a shoebox and dumps out a large number of these napkins. This could obviously be played for laughs. All of the napkins contain different phone numbers. A volunteer selects one of the napkins and shuffles a deck of cards face up into face down. When the cards are spread, the face up cards match the freely selected phone number.
Bannon’s Triumph has been applied to phone numbers in the past by a few different performers but not in this exact way. There is no sleight of hand required for this trick as the spectator does the shuffling himself. You will require some table space both for the shuffling and the laying out of the napkins. This makes the effect better suited for a formal close up show rather than for walk around situations. The working is very clever. Even magicians who are familiar with Triumph sequence will be confused about how you set it up for the correct number.
While these routines were designed for a close up environment, at least two of them could easily be adapted for stand up work. This is always a plus for professional performers who are looking for effects that pack small and play big. The explanations are clear and the routines are extremely commercial. You will notice that none of these routines can be done “out of the box.” You will need to do a little work getting the props printed up or made. It’s not a lot of work, but it’s something that you might want to be aware of.
The only negative is that there are only four routines included. However, there are no filler items like you find on most DVDs in the marketplace. Each effect is obviously something that David has been working in the real world for awhile now. It is definitely worthy of your purchase.
-Available for $29.95 from www.DavidCorsaro.com