Tag Archives: magic roadshow

ESP BY THE NUMBERS – A Review

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….

http://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=59208 

Reviewed by Rick Carruth

 

HOLE IN ONE – A Review

Hole In One – (DVD and Gimmicks) by SansMinds Creative Labs

HOLE IN ONE is one of the latest releases from SansMinds. I own several of the SansMinds effects and I can fairly say this is definitely one of the more visual of all their effects. You show a dollar bill, allow it to be examined, and state you are going to ‘change’ the bill… from a dollar to a quarter. Now, you don’t actually change it to a quarter.. but you DO give it a slight shake and watch as a hole suddenly appears in the center of the bill.. leaving a fully visible hole through the bill and a quarter in the hand of a spectator holding their hand below the bill.
Here is the sales copy…

” We honestly feel that good magic is magic that solves a problem. Modern magic is visual — people can not only see the magic happen, but it also visually puzzles them in a way where their minds simply can’t process the logic. Hole in One does all of this. It’s super easy to do, and waits in your wallet until you’re ready to blow their minds. A beautiful piece of visual magic that serves a purpose and answers an everyday question:
How do you break a bill?
With a Hole in One.”

I agree that modern magic is very visual. There is considerably less emphasis on sleight of hand and more on gimmicks and technology. HOLE IN ONE uses some of both. The dollar bill initially shown to the spectator is a normal bill, but not the one used to perform the magic. The DVD demonstrates a simple method for switching the bills.. one that beginners should master in short order. The performance of the effect is also something beginners should find very easy to perform as well. To get a good idea of the effect itself, I suggest clicking on the Murphy’s Magic link at the end of this review and watching the video. It will save me much explaining…

HOLE IN ONE comes ‘partially’ complete with everything you need.. including a gimmick and a 30 minute DVD of the performance and the secret. It does NOT come with the bills needed to construct the gimmick.. in this case, two $1 bills and a small portion of a third. It also does not come with the coin.. which could be a bit of a problem for some folks as the coin needs to be magnetic. I wish I could say the effect comes ready to perform.. but I can’t. It will be left to the user to construct the gimmick. I can guess one primary reason is so the purchaser can use any denomination and bills from any country. The directions are good and you ‘should’ be able to construct the gimmick without major problems, although it will require a little time and effort to get everything exact. Like most projects, some of you will breeze through the construction.. and some will take a little longer. I don’t consider this a deal breaker.. but I do want you to be aware the gimmick is a DIY.

The effect works much as it’s shown on the video. The hole appears very suddenly, the quarter is clean, and your audience will be quite surprised. You can perform it again after a very brief setup. You cannot allow close examination of the bill after the effect, but you can place the gimmicked bill in your pocket or wallet, and show an ungimmicked bill, with a hole, if the spectator asks..

Personally, I don’t shop at IKEA. I’m lazy. I don’t like putting furniture together. I like for my bed or dresser or whatever to be delivered to my home fully assembled.. or close to it. Then again, there are those who love to put together their essentials. If you don’t mind a little work, HOLE IN ONE will suit your purpose and give you an effect probably unlike anything else you’re currently performing.

Available at dealers selling the Murphy’s Magic line of products. $29.99

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=60633

Reviewed by Rick Carruth

OPENERS AND CLOSERS 3 – A Review

OPENERS AND CLOSERS 3
Paul Lelekis

Triumphs, invisible thread, invisible decks, change bags, nail writers, and almost impromptu mental magic… it’s all in Paul’s OPENERS AND CLOSERS 3. This book has a very decidedly mentalism / mental magic flavor.. which was fine with me, as I love to mess with people’s minds. Paul has also included videos and an abundance of photos in this edition, which is also fine with me, as I am a very visual guy.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is… I thoroughly enjoyed volume 3 of the Openers and Closers series. Paul’s writing ranks up there with the best of them, and his explanations ARE the best.
The 21 Card ESP Trick alone is worth the price. I am very partial to effects that look like big dollar effects and perform almost automatic. I literally went to bed last night playing this effect over and over in my mind and imagining how my fellow magicians will react when I perform it.

Writing about card tricks and magic in general is not extremely difficult. There’s a proverbial ton of material out there to offer fodder for the cause.. But writing about magic in a way that’s inspiring and insightful is very difficult.. and that’s why I respect Paul’s third contribution to the OPENERS & CLOSERS series.

(The parentheses are my thoughts on Paul’s descriptions..).

INTRODUCTION – An opener does NOT have to be a trick!
( Paul offers some seriously funny advice on winning your audience over at the start of your performance. Getting their support and earning their confidence is SO important, and cannot be underestimated.. You’ll learn a little biker humor along the way too.. )

The 21 Card ESP Trick – Show your version of the 21 Card Trick…but you seem to have goofed up! Then you not only deal out one card only, face down, but you also know the name of selection!
( This reminds me so much of an effect you would expect to find in Giobbi’s ‘Card College’ or Scarne’s ‘Scarne on Card Tricks’ – Very efficient, very rewarding and very much a mystery to your audience. There is NO sleight of hand, but you will fool the socks off your spectators..)

Above & Beyond – Three classics of magic combined into one fantastic card trick!
(Based on a Stewart James classic.. modified by three fellow magicians, and combined into a wonderful, sleight less effect by Paul. Above & Beyond does need a false shuffle or two, but I’m sure you guys can pull that off! Another effect you can add to your repertoire right away..)

Voodoo Reversal of Fortune – Here’s an EXCELLENT trick with the Invisible Deck!
( If you can manipulate an Invisible Deck.. you can perform Paul’s original effect with ease. Not only will you learn a convincer and a simple psychological factoid, you will also learn a cool move Paul teaches with an included video..)

Reading a Thought – Here’s is the REAL method for using a Nail-Writer and two different ways to reveal the thought-of selection!
( Not much I can add to this description.. Paul discloses HOW he uses a nail writer to fool his spectator. If you’ve ever used this extremely powerful weapon then you already understand the power. All the psychological aspects are discussed and explained..)

Invisible Thread Ideas – A 5-page treatise on the use and handling of Invisible Thread!
( This is a highly informative tutorial on the intricacies of invisible thread. If you’re afraid of invisible thread, welcome to the majority. It’s my personal experience the only guys swearing by IT are the guys who use it regularly… and they are probably NOT anxious for you to read Paul’s thoughts. He talks about floating bills, napkins, playing cards, and other inanimate objects like glasses and silverware. Paul also includes his thoughts on sellers of IT and the best thread to use. Good, solid thoughts.. )

See-Through Change Bag – Construct you own change bag for pennies and make it in 5 minutes.
( Not trying to direct you too far away from card magic, this is an ideal compliment to your routine, that will allow you to add a bit of mental magic to your already-stellar act. You can create this, as Paul aptly notes, in minutes. The KISS principle personified…)

A Quickie Triumph – Explain to the audience how difficult it is to practice when you drop the cards all the time. Make the cards “right themselves” in a flash…except the selection!
( You’ll need a couple of not-too-difficult sleights to complete this effect. Paul includes a video of Steve Draun’s Midnight Shift to make the process very do-able for even beginners. I am a big fan of Triumph, and this version has the impact… without the mess..)

This is the final version of Paul’s three part Openers & Closers. I think this one might be my favorite. I’m partial to mental magic and this ebook includes several very nice effects that are ideal for any skill level. The most productive $10.00 investment you’ll make in your magic this summer. Openers & Closers 3 will be available for sale at Lybrary.com on 7/24/17..

http://www.lybrary.com/paul-a-lelekis-m-163788.html

(Reviewed by R.Carruth for the Magic Roadshow..)

———————————————————

Columnist Mike Weatherford Says Goodby to Las Vegas Review-Journal

Maybe I just don’t like to leave a party that’s still raging. But I’m giving up this column and full-time work for the newspaper. And while the show scene I cover isn’t really one of the reasons for doing this right now, it does seem easier to leave during this lull on the Strip, when concert headliners are replacing investment in original shows.

Does anyone really feel like another “Ka” is in the pipeline? I’ve been battling repetition, though I hope it hasn’t shown up too much in the writing. There’s full-circle pride in having covered Celine Dion’s opening night in 2003, her closing night four years later, and her return in 2011.

But if I’m going to try some creative writing and things I’ve been talking about for years (including a February 2016 podcast of ‘Matt & Mattingly’s Ice Cream Social’)? The little voice is saying, “Run, before she closes again!”

The first column with my face on it, announcing I would follow my friend Michael Paskevich, ran this same month in 2000. Part of it addressed the pending destruction of the old Circus Maximus showroom at CaesarsPalace.

At least I got here in time to close the book on the old Vegas, and even to write a book, “Cult Vegas,” about it. I rolled into town on the same day in October 1987 that Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. last stood on the same Las Vegas stage together.

A flat tire intervened somewhere around Mesquite, I wasn’t actually on the job yet (just apartment hunting), and anyway, I was the young guy hired to cover rock concerts, not the old Vegas cats. So I missed Sinatra’s old pals surprising him.

But the old Vegas reeled me in anyway. I later got to shake Davis’ hand, and to better know Sam Butera, Claude Trenier, Marty Allen and other workaday heroes of the classic-Vegas era. Blackie Hunt and Sonny King came to my book release party, and I’ll never forget Robert Goulet calling my mom to get the answer to a crossword puzzle clue. Neither would she.

Still, “Cult Vegas” was mostly research and interview recollections. My real-time experience was the Cirque du Soleil era and the reinvention of the Strip.

I covered the opening night of The Mirage and would later venture into the tent that sprung up behind it to meet the Cirque du Soleil folk bringing us “Nouvelle Experience.”

 “A lot of people are going to be very surprised that Cirque is going to do so well here,” then-Mirage (now MGM Resorts) executive Alan Feldman said in that 1992 story. To assume Cirque was too artsy for Vegas “suggests that people can’t get enough of the old Vegas stuff. If all those shows were doing turn-away business every night, that might be true.”

I chronicled every Cirque show since. But now, doesn’t it seem like Cirque is the “old stuff” and we’re waiting for some new tent full of fresh imagination to pop up somewhere in town?

Throughout this era, I always tried to write credible show reviews and to delve into the business behind the shows. If a mediocre one endures, perhaps it has more to do with the mechanics of ticket discounting. If a Broadway musical didn’t perform, maybe it wasn’t that a “Vegas audience” didn’t get it, but that it toured too much before landing here.

Everyone’s a critic now when it comes to an internet jammed with consumer opinion. But believe it or not, Paskevich was the first Review-Journal staffer to write objective show reviews. (The town was just too small, and those who say it was better when the mob ran it didn’t labor under the threat of someone digging a hole for them in the desert.)

As the second one, I hope I prodded local producers to push forward and aim higher, even if it was sometimes awkward to do both reviews and news columns about the same people. But I needed material, they needed the ink, and with very few exceptions, we all got along.

The Strip seems to have moved beyond loopy self-parodies such as “Nebulae — The Life Force,” and I kind of miss those days. But my snark level toned down over the years as I got to know the people involved, how hard they worked, and how many ways something can go off the rails.

While Las Vegas was just another stop for concert tours, reviewing the unique-to-Vegas shows “seems to be more appreciated by consumers, who likely respect a little straight talk on these pricey attractions,” I wrote in that first 2000 column.

All these years later, I hope you did.

Entertainment columnist Mike Weatherford says farewell to RJ