Great advice from Jay Sankey. Watch it.. and take it to heart.
Great advice from Jay Sankey. Watch it.. and take it to heart.
CARDIO – Liam Montier and Big Blind Media
Reviewed by Rick Carruth
Liam Montier’s CARDIO is a follow-up to Liam’s PDF by the same name. Unlike several of Liam’s newer DVD’s, this one is not geared toward beginners and self-working card trick aficionados. Although this DVD is classified as for Beginners.. I would say more like advanced beginners to intermediates. There is nothing self-working, and most effects require sleights or combination of sleights. Don’t let that scare you. Everything is taught in detail, and most sleights are easily learned with a little desire and practice.
I am not a reviewer who cares much about video and audio quality, unless it’s noticeably bad, and don’t review those aspects. I also don’t review a product based so much on my personal likes and dislikes. I look at the effects from the standpoint of the typical magician, and consider whether or not I think YOU will like it. I honestly think I have a good grasp on what’s current and sellable.. and what’s not. That said, here’s a brief description on the 7 effects on CARDIO.
Back Hand Slap
A type of gambling trick where the magician helps the spectator select a moderate poker hand, which changes into an unbeatable poker hand with the Slap Revelation. This is one of those ‘sudden’ tricks that doesn’t give the audience time to assimilate what’s happening.. and will lead to.. “.. hey.. do that again!”
A twisting the aces type trick.. 2 cards are chosen and brought to the top. Four Aces are introduced, twisted, and the two selections are revealed. Liam teaches a couple of nice controls and the effect itself is well taught. One of my two favorite effects on the DVD. Probably a little more complicated than the others, but nothing you can’t do with a little practice. I like the handling of the Aces, as there is.. as described in the ad copy.. “… no displacements or discrepancies”. This will probably be the first effect you’ll want to learn.
Partially based on a Dave Forrest effect. Involves a little culling, and is basically a packet effect with 4 cards and a little hypnosis. Nice lift sequence and well taught.
An effect with four Aces and a selected card, based loosely on the classic ‘Hofzinser Ace Trick’. The magician reveals the spectators selected card with the four Aces. This is a very good ‘filler’ when you already have the Aces available from another effect.
The Other Thing
The deck is divided into four packets.. and the four Kings are inserted.. one into each packet. Like most well designed card tricks, the Kings ultimately vanish.. and reappear in various locations around you.. One in your pocket, one under the card box, one IN the card box, and one lying face down on the table. Cameron Francis based. Actually, like all the other effects on this DVD, this is an impromptu trick that can be performed with a borrowed deck.. as long as your deck has two Jokers.
Uses a pendulum to find a spectators card. This is one of the more commercial type effect, and Liam calls this a One-Move Wonder. Uses a unique, but easy, double lift, and has LOTS of potential.. depending on how you play it. I like this, and will definitely find room for it.
Another effect with four cards. Begins with a nice loading move and ends with the Aces changing into the spectator’s selection. A very good effect to conclude a very good DVD.
You’ve probably noticed most effects use a packet or use four cards. I didn’t have a problem with this, as it’s simply another way to perform good magic. I found myself liking several of these effects after I had time to watch them, think about them, roll around in my noggin’ what I would do with them, and then re-watch them with a new intensity. There are sleights taught that you’ll use for sure.
I think TWISTED alone is worth the cost of the DVD. I’m particular about how much time I’ll put into learning an effect, and I was excited about learning Twisted in a fraction of the time compared to similar effects.. but it LOOKS so good.
I recommend CARDIO. I think it’s an excellent investment in your magic.. particularly if you’re to the place where you want to ‘up’ your performance and your material.
$22.00 at dealers who sell the Murphy’s Magic line of products.
MAGIC OF MICHAEL SKINNER – Paul Lelekis
‘Magic of Michael Skinner’ MAY be my favorite of all the many ebooks by Paul Lelekis. I’m not ready to make the final call.. yet… but I’m certainly leaning that way. Why? Because I have a profound respect for the magic of Michael Skinner, and an equally profound respect for the writing of Paul Lelekis. If you have a love of card magic, you’re familiar with Mr. Skinner and his unique style and presentation. He was a magician’s magician. Like Dai Vernon, someone who other magicians both respected and admired. I think a small portion of the magic communities respect stemmed from the fact Michael was forever fighting inner conflict.. and yet still managed to perform at the highest level. The fact Michael was a very unique individual probably contributed to his thinking processes, and resulted in his constantly looking at both magic and the world through different glasses. Paul did a very good job of leading into the effects with an extensive treatise on Michael’s life. If you purchase this ebook, please take time to read it. It’s both informative and real. John Carney, a long time friend of Michael’s, contributed the very fitting foreword..
There are nine effects.. and each is very different in method and culmination.
‘Business Card Prediction’, ‘Thought Projection Pack’, and ‘James’s Miracle’ are all distinctly mental magic with cards. ‘Business Card Prediction’ is not only a great way to give out your card, but it allows you to perform a seemingly impossible bit of mental magic. ‘Thought Projection Pack’ was Michael’s way of reading the mind of TWO spectators.. Although this effect is probably the most simple of all the effects, I think it might be my second personal favorite, right behind ‘James’s Miracle’. This is based on a mathematical principle first published by Stewart James, but it doesn’t seem to be mathematical.. it seems to be pure ESP. There’s nothing to ‘figure’.. just perform it and amaze your spectators.
‘Altman’s ‘7’ Location’, ‘Mona Lisa Card Trick’, and ‘Invasion of The Body Snatchers’ are all Skinner’s handling of card effects that are both original and clever.. in a Michael Skinner way.
‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ is a sort of tour de force with an impossible conclusion. If there is one effect that stands out as both original and genius.. this is it. It’s NOT a knuckle buster, thank goodness, and Paul provides two videos to guide you. Both ‘Mona Lisa Card Trick’ and Altman’s ‘7’ Location’ were two of Mr. Skinner’s personal favorites. They have a degree of sophistication you’d expect from Michael, but explained in an easy-to-grasp manner by Paul.
In addition, ‘Torn & Restored Paper’, ‘Giant Coin Production’, and ‘Fechter’s Hanky Force’ are all very interesting effects and a force in and of themselves. Each uses props you have on-hand. Each can also be performed in a brief performance and are ideal for walk around or table hopping. I particularly liked the ‘Giant Coin Production’, since I’m always searching for a coin effect I can actually perform. I’m not Bobo.. more like Booboo.. and I appreciate an effect I can DO.. ‘Torn & Restored Paper’ is another very performable effect that’s performed in the hand. Like the coin production, it too is a real fooler.
The ONLY thing keeping me from officially declaring this my favorite of Paul’s ebooks is that I don’t want my enthusiasm to taint my judgement. Right now, I’m going to let THE MAGIC OF MICHAEL SKINNER rest right there at the top while I try to master all the sleights and effects, and then in a month or so I’ll show these effects to an audience.. and to fellow magicians.. and I’ll know for sure. That said, I can read an effect and KNOW INSTANTLY whether it will work for me.. and ALL these effects work. Rightly so. Nothing is utterly simple.. aside from the force, and nothing is overly complicated. Just wonderful magic theater from someone considered highly unique and gifted. 34 pages and still $10.00
Review by Rick Carruth