ESP BY THE NUMBERS –  John Bannon & Big Blind Media  

ESP BY THE NUMBERS is a new self working prediction effect by John Bannon. John is currently on of the more popular purveyors of magic effects around, well known for his card magic and congenial style.

This is an extremely easy-to-perform effect that comes with everything you need to perform it … after a short while watching the instructional video. The video link is provided with the effect and is actually a password protected location on Vimeo. Although the instructions imply downloading the video, you can watch the video online.

ESP BY THE NUMBERS comes complete with the necessary Zener cards, and not the inexpensive cards one often receives with ESP effects. Rather than try to explain the working, I encourage you to go to the link at the end of the review and watch the performance video on Murphy’s Magic website. To quote the creators ad copy:

You display your ESP ability testing deck to your spectator, explaining that the symbols and random numbers featured on the cards are used to gauge the extrasensory abilities of members of the public.
For the initial test the spectator freely selects five cards from the pack. Despite the hands off, uber clean selection process you clearly demonstrate that you predicted not only which five cards they would select… but in which order too!

So far, so incredible, however that is just phase one. The true moment of astonishment is about to land!!!  You draw attention back to the random numbers printed on each ESP card and ask the spectator to look at the five cards they selected and add their numbers together. The spectator has now created a totally random number. Indeed you clearly show the remaining ESP cards and highlight the fact that had they picked ANY other card, the total would have been different.

ESP By The Numbers is totally self-working. No sleight of hand. No gimmicks. No sticky stuff. Just a brain frying piece of magic that you’ll want to perform again and again and again!

I appreciate that everything needed is included. No DIY stuff here. The effect itself is so simple you’ll have a thorough understanding of its working in a matter of minutes. The learning curve is very small.. and very quick.

Actually, it’s based on a mathematical principle familiar to many magicians. Some magicians will recognize the ‘method’ during the performance. I did.. but I don’t consider that a negative..  unless you’re buying ESP to perform solely for fellow magicians.

This is a two phase routine, and the second phase is perhaps the kicker.. as it should be. I have to admit, I recognized the mathematical principle in the second phase as well, but I’m a big fan of Martin Gardner and I’d be more surprised if I didn’t recognize it. I will say I’ve never seen the first phase and the second combined in this manner. The public will NOT grasp ESP. That’s the one disadvantage of being a magician.. we sometimes fail to experience new effects like our audience.

The video teaches a second effect.. MATRIX RELOADED, that uses a regular deck of cards. You furnish the cards and Bannon furnishes the magic. I liked this.. and I’ll use it.. as it plays well for several spectators, much like you’d encounter table hopping and during walk-around. It’s a prediction effect where a card pre-selected by you matches up with a card freely selected by the spectators.. after a very fair series of cuts and eliminations.

The only negative I’ve heard is that the ESP cards don’t come with a case.. but they DO come with a solid cardboard box that keeps everything contained and secure.

Reset? It will take a minute or two. All the cards are in a particular order, and rearranging the cards to that order will take a brief time. There’s nothing to remember about the order, as each cards markings will tell you where it goes.

One quick suggestion.. the second phase involves a prediction of sorts. The predicted number comes on a pre-printed card. Perhaps you’ll agree after receiving your set the predicted number would be more effective if you write the prediction on a slip of paper and have one of the spectators hold it until reveal time. Just a thought.

ESP BY THE NUMBERS will work for you. It’s simple, easy to set up, easy to remember, and very easy to perform. The overall success WILL depend on your patter and selling ability. You can leave your audience shrugging their shoulders.. or scratching their heads in awe.
I recommend the second…  And I recommend ESP BY THE NUMBERS…
Run time 28 minutes..  $25.00

Available through dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of quality magic…. 

Reviewed by Rick Carruth