Browsed by
Author: Rick Carruth

Summit – by Abstract Effects – A Review

Summit – by Abstract Effects – A Review

Summit – by Abstract Effects – A Review
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

This is the Ad Copy:

From the minds of Patrick Kun, The Other Brothers & Abstract Effects –comes a thought of card to Sharpie unlike anything you have EVER seen!

Even includes a routine and method for ONLINE performances.

At last, a thought of card to Sharpie that has NO card switches, NO sharpie switches, and a PRACTICAL yet mind-blowing method.

Your spectator THINKS of a card. You hand them a sharpie to write down what they are thinking of…but to their surprise, the sharpie doesn’t actually work.

You take the sharpie from the spectator, and WITHOUT ANY MOVES, and while keeping the Sharpie IN VIEW THE ENTIRE TIME…you open it up to REVEAL a card rolled up inside.

The spectator still HAS NOT SAID, OR EVEN written down their card.

Then the spectator is asked to name their card. With NO switches or moves of ANY kind, the card is turned over and is the EXACT card the spectator named – EVERY TIME!

NO card switches or sharpie switches!

The gimmick is designed for easy use with a super practical method and ability to keep the gimmick on you wherever you go so you’re ready to blow some minds at a moment’s notice.

Summit comes with everything you need to perform right out of the box, and can be reset easily so you’re always ready to perform! Great for beginners to workers & pros!

My Thoughts:

Don’t you love it when you get a REAL effect in your hands! There are so many downloads and videos it feels really good to get your hands on something tangable. In this case, something that is truly magical and unique, something that enables you to do a bit of magic unlike anything you’ve probably performed before.

I don’t want to get all mushy on you.. but I DO want to express my pleasure with SUMMIT and The Other Brothers.

I’m not going into detail about The Other Brothers and Patrick Kun.. if you are reading this review, you should be familiar with all three of these very talented magicians and some of the many effects they’ve created the past several years. Also, I don’t know who did what or who came up with this or that. I only know all three are credited and the Other Brothers present the video tutorial for Summit.. which runs almost fifty minutes.

The premise is explained very well in the ad copy.. and everything in the ad copy is correct. I have a tiny issue with one phrase and I’ll talk about it in a moment.

A spectator is asked to mearly think of a card. There is a bit of directing on your part, but if done as taught the spectator will never realize they didn’t have a complete choice. When the magician and the spectator have narrowed the selection down to less than a dozen cards, the ‘magic’ happens..

The spectator, without naming their final selection, is given the Sharpie to write down their answer. Unfortunately, the Sharpie doesn’t work. The magician tells the spectator the Sharpie sometimes gets clogged.. and proceeds to take it apart, VERY openly, and reveals a card rolled up insiide the barrel of the pen. The spectator is THEN asked to name their selection.. and the rolled up card is revealed to be a match. The ad copy says “..with NO moves of any kind.” There is a slight move, but it is not visible to the spectator. It’s not a point of contention.. but I didn’t want you to think the card ‘magically’ transports to the Sharpie, or is in the Sharpie beforehand.

HOW it gets in the Sharpie is the masterfull aspect of SUMMIT. Tools are used. But.. they are minimal and unobtrusitive. I think THAT is what makes this a unique effect. The ‘tools’ themselves are also unique. I am not aware of anything similar.

Up front.. this is the perfect effect for a Virtual Performance. It is somewhat easier virtually than in person.. and the overall effect is just as strong.

A couple of other side notes… The gimmick is made with a real sharpie. Should your gimmick ever go south.. you can create another gimmick on your own.
The video is typical Murphy’s Magic quality. This is not a highly stylized video.. but it doesn’t need to be. It will convey everything to you a good tutorial should.
This is rated as an Intermediate level effect. It uses a few basic moves to keep the audience focused in the right direction. Although I’m confident an advanced beginner can perform Summit sucessfully.. you will not perform this straight out the box.

You need to run through the handling and patter a few times to avoid hiccups. There are also a couple of minor moves you need to perfect behind the scenes to make everything copacetic. Would you try to perform a mercury fold for the public with no practice? No. But.. once practiced.. it’s not difficult. Same here…..

Is it worth $55.00 bucks? If you use it.. it certainly is. This is something that will become a staple in the routines of a number of performers. It’s easy to set up.. and only requires you to slip a little something in your pocket beforehand. If you visit the link below and watch the demo.. you’ll get a very good idea of exactly what YOUR audience will see.

I am recommending all my friends and readers buy this. If I get one email condemming me for recommending this product.. it’s OK.. because I’ll get ten more thanking me for recommending it. So there….!

$55.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates.
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=66618

Review by Rick Carruth

Magic Inside Out – Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review

Magic Inside Out – Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review

Magic Inside Out by Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review
Theory and Art of Magic Press

This is the Ad Copy:

ROBERT E. NEALE is an international treasure for magicians who enjoy mind-bending magic and powerful presentations.

Magic Inside Out collects fourteen of Bob’s astonishing routines-twelve of which appear here for the first time. In keeping with his trademark style, they employ a range of simple props and provocative themes to delightfully twist the perceptions of audiences.

Magic Inside Out also includes a major interview in which, for the first time, Bob tuns himself inside out, sharing the powerful story of his creative life and inspirations.

EUGENE BURGER: Bob Neale has created so many presentations that point us to life-our real lives with all their joy and sorrow, their confusion and clarity, their doubt and faith. Bob’s work is very powerful.

MARTIN GARDNER: Bob Neale is a wonder. How Neale manages to think of such things is a mystery hard to fathom.

JEFF MCBRIDE: Bob Neale is my hero. He takes on challenging topics like death, racism, religion, and other taboos. It astonishes me how he can transform even some of the darkest situations into light, humor, and inspiration.

BARRIE RICHARDSON: Bob Neale is a softhearted human being and a hardheaded philosopher of life. His brain is wired unlike anyone else I know. Bob’s insights make you shake your head with awe, wonder, and respect.

Hardcover; 176 pages. Release Date: January 15, 2021
Theory and Art of Magic Press

My Thoughts:

There are magicians.. and there are master manipulators. Robert (Bob) Neale, PH.D, is one of the latter. I could go on and on detailing his life and career in both magic and education.. but I don’t know what I could say that would make someone unfamiliar with Robert want to run out and buy this book.. and I don’t have to say anything to make those familiar with Bob instantly buy this book.

This is a gentleman who has co-authored books and DVD’s with Eugene Burger, David Parr, Michael Weber, Jeff McBride and Lawrence Hass. (co-author of this book). He is also the author of a number of extended essays related to magic, creativity, and magic and performance theory. Robert was a monthly columnist for THE LINKING RING, as well as a recipient of a Special Fellowship from The Academy of Magical Arts. Bob is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York as Professor of Psychiatry and Religion. Honestly, I could go on an on.. but I think I’ve made my point.

Lawrence (Larry) Hass, PH.D, aside from being a highly respected artistic magician and writer, is the Dean of the McBride Magic & Mystery School. Larry is a former Professor of Philosophy himself, and had his creative magic featured in or on publications like the New York Times, USAToday, and The Discovery Channel. Larry is one of a tiny few who has taught magic and the magical arts at the college level. In addition to serving as a co-author of MAGIC Inside Out, he is also the publisher of this book.

I think we can actually thank the pandemic for this masterful book. Larry and Bob corresponded throughout 2020, with Bob sending Larry effects.. one by one.. until the two decided it was time to publish. I’m so glad they did…

This is a collection of fourteen very different effects.. each one totally different and unique from the others. There are effects with paper, plastic, currency, cards, a cigarette lighter, a modified magic square, fortune cards, and of course.. a pair of underwear. Seriously…

Bob is not a ‘presenter’ of magic. He is a performer who not only presents magic, but brings it to life with well-crafted patter and intelligent handling. Reading this book, one of the first treats you notice is how he teaches readers to present his magic just as he himself would present it to an audience. He goes into great detail explaining to both the readers and his audience WHY a piece of magic is more than just a moment of amazement. He wants to create a memory his audience will take with them.. and he does exactly that.. with a wonderful combination of aplomb and modesty.

Bob is quite well-known for his Borromean Rings. One of my personal favorites in MAGIC Inside Out is an effect featuring the rings, his script, performance and complete routine. I am easily entranced by items like the Borromean Rings, and it didn’t take much to draw me in. As Bob and Larry write.. it is difficult to relay the mystery of the rings in print. This is one of those effects you need to see. So, they have published a video of the complete five phases of the Baffling Borromean Rings and include the url in the book. This effect is a more compact version of the original, but you get to see/read about both versions.

Another of my favorite is Dream Door.. which is a close up version of Trap Door. The handling of this small miracle is very well taught, along with all the psychological and emotional aspects. You will like this…

The Nun Who Saw Strangely is another personal favorite. This is a nine-square magic square.. that isn’t a magic square. It is a very poignant story of a group of nuns from many years ago.. and tells their tale of great loss and how a small square that isn’t what it seems to be.. is actually something much deeper and complex. The working isn’t complex.. but the story is quite a drama.

Other effects, including Vietnam Zippo and Private Underpants, are just as interesting. I think, I hope, I’ve created enough interest in MAGIC Inside Out you’ll hurry on over and reward yourself with a book you won’t be able to put down until you’ve read every word and every effect. This is magic you won’t find anywhere else…

The last 40 pages are reserved for an in-depth interview with Bob.. by Larry. It’s only fitting. You NEED to understand the mind behind the magic, the mind behind the creativity and presentational matters in Magic Inside Out. This is truly rarefied air.. and I don’t doubt for a moment you will enjoy this as much as I did.

$35.00 .. Available from Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=68830

Review by Rick Carruth

The Vault – Distant Assembly – by Alejandro Navas – A Review

The Vault – Distant Assembly – by Alejandro Navas – A Review

The Vault – Distant Assembly by Alejandro Navas – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

Alejandro Nava’s brings us an Incredible Aces Assembly effect that happens in the spectators own hands!
Three of the Aces disappear from the spectator hands and reappear with the selected Ace in an impossible location even with the spectator’s on the other side of the world.

You can perform this:

– On virtual and live performances
– To more than one spectator at the same time
– With or without gimmicks

Once you see the power of this effect, Distant Assembly will stay in your repertoire forever!

My Thoughts:

There’s no way to deny the emergence of virtual performances. A recent article in a major publication declared virtual magic is here to stay.. regardless of when we once again revive live performances. I can’t argue with that…

Alejandro Navas, creator of The Evolution Project and Evolution Project 2, is one of the foremost innovators of interactive card magic. Both of the above projects feature several different effects for live or zoom presentations. DISTANT ASSEMBLY is an individual effect that requires somewhat more instructions.. and, I assume, the decision was made to offer it as a stand-alone effect. I certainly don’t have a problem with that…

I have sought out virtual effects for months. I meet online with friends every two weeks and am constantly looking for something I hope will give them reason to pause and ask.. ‘..how the hello did you do that?’. So far, I feel I’m batting .000 with my magical buddies. I did get an ‘ooh’ or ‘ahh’ once.. but I think they just felt sorry for me.

Thank goodness for DISTANT ASSEMBLY…

I will say, up front, this is the BEST virtual effect I’ve seen in my months of looking. There is a psychological aspect to this effect that will fool the dickens out of 95% of all magicians AND the general public. I am going to recommend this effect to any and all readers of my reviews and the Magic Roadshow. It’s a $15.00 download.. and worth every penny.

What happens is this… The magi takes four aces out of his deck. The audience, also equipped with their own deck, does the same. The Aces are laid out in a certain order and the audience follows suit. The cards are put face-down on top of each Ace. After a brief series of moves, the magi and the audience each place an Ace and three random cards under their .. uh.. derriere. Now, the other three packets, which were each shown to contain an Ace, are all shown to now contain random cards only. Finally, the Ace and three odd cards under your rear end are revealed to be all Aces. This not only happens for the magi.. but for the spectators as well. Because of a number of convincers along the way, this final outcome appears impossible.

The instructional video runs just over 21 minutes.. and includes a full performance and detailed instructions. I’m not going to say this is a perfect video.. but it is well suited to present one effect. The sound is slightly unsteady, but not annoying. Camera angles of the audience members could have been more inclusive of their hands, but this is remedied before videos end.

Three gaff cards are needed. You may already have them. If not, you can easily make your own with cards and glue (or double face tape). Despite the magi using three gaffs, the audience doesn’t need anything other than a regular deck to achieve their magic. One thing about virtual.. you can get away with these home-made gaffs rather easily on camera..

Again, I think this is a very unique effect. The affect on the audience WILL be dramatic. I don’t normally go all in on a single effect.. but I think this one is worth it.

Check out the video demo on Murphy’s Magic site to get a better idea of how it plays out… (You’ll see a number of big name performers, like Dynamo and Dani DaOrtiz, who have some very good comments about DISTANT ASSEMBLY..)

$15.00 .. Available as an instant download from Murphy’s Magic and their associates
https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=69655

Review by Rick Carruth

Social Print by Juan Alvarez and Twister Magic – A Review

Social Print by Juan Alvarez and Twister Magic – A Review

Social Print by Juan Alvarez and Twister Magic – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

Twister Magic and George Iglesias are proud to present the new Social Print routine by Juan Alvarez designed for virtual and live shows!

It’s more than a trick. This is a full routine created for the amateur or professional magician. During the past 10 years, Juan Alvarez from Colombia, has been presenting Social Print with great success in-person, on television and recently through Zoom virtual shows. This routine easily adapts to any situation and is themed around social media. Packed with entertaining moments, it’s a proven worker that’s very easy to do.

Inspired by the trick “Silk,” by Lewis Davenport, Juan has reshaped everything, created a full script and audience tested the routine hundreds of times. You will receive everything you need to perform: A card box, 26 specially printed cards, two custom-printed silks, a Facebook hand accessory, and even Juan’s script. Of course, you are more than welcome to create your own routines, gags and lines!

1 special card box printed with FaceBook logos
1 special printed handkerchief – White and Blue (Made from heavy silk, great printing definition, high durability and also washable)
1 special printed handkerchief – Leonardo Di Caprio or Angeline Jolie (depending on the trick you purchase) (made from heavy silk, great printing definition, high durability and also washable)
1 Facebook hand (made of thick cardboard and plastified for high durability)
1 instructional online video card
1 Link to download: sound effects and a PDF with a written routine.
1 special set of 26 printed jumbo cards:
Containing:
– 10 different cards: Jennifer Aniston, Will Smith, Lady Gaga, George Clooney, Whoopie Goldberg, Sofia Vergara, Angelina Jolie, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump.
– 1 blank card (To add your own picture or any other picture you wish)
– 15 repeated cards to force: Leonardo Di Caprio or Angelina Jolie (Depending on the trick you purchase)

My Thoughts:

SOCIAL PRINT is released by Twister Magic and George Iglesias. I reviewed two effects by George in late 2020, Airplane Mode and A Letter To Santa, and both were two of my favorite reviews/effects of the year. So.. I had high expectations for Social Print.. knowing my prior experience with Twister Magic was a good one.

Juan Alvarez’s effect, just like my two other reviews, are all very heavy on the performance aspect. The first thing you notice when you take the products out the packages are their extremely durable manufacturing. It’s like they go overboard to make sure the props are useable for years and years. No exaggeration.

The other thing is the nature of the effect. SOCIAL PRINT is NOT a flash-in-the-pan type effect. You don’t wow your audience with gun powder and take a bow. This is a detailed and lengthy effect that builds to a climax. It’s not a complicated effect… Everything can be easily memorized by the performer as the effect tends to flow along from step to step and provides the magi with ample opportunity to talk and interact with his spectators.

The premise is this.. A heavy handkerchief is handed out for examination. It’s white, with a border, and blank.. The cloth is folded with the help of the spectator, and a rubber band is placed around it. A stack of large cards are introduced, each card with a picture of a famous celebrity. (Some listed in the ad copy). After several are shown and named, a spectator picks one of the cards and the rest are put aside. The handkerchief, after reasonable by-play, is unraveled.. to show it is now printed with a large picture of the selected celebrity. The name, Social Print, comes from the magi referring to the celebs as his FB friends, the use of sound effects created to resemble online sounds, and the use of a large FB Thumbs-Up as a prop during the effect.

Physically.. a beginner can perform this effect. The sleights are very simple, really, but with all the spectator interaction, I would recommend this effect for someone who has some degree of experience.

Actually, if you go to the Murphy’s link below.. there is a video demo AND a script of the bulk of the conversation between the magi and the spectators. This will give you a good idea of how the effect plays out.

The instructions are via Vimeo. The instructions are available in both English and Spanish.. but NO subtitles (Thank You Juan!) The English tutorial is one hour and 17 minutes, and teaches everything you would want to know. There is, aside from the instructions, a full, live performance in English. The first couple of minutes of the video are a live performance in Spanish. It scared me at first.. but not to worry.

Juan actually spends extra time showing how to perform Social Print on virtual performances and ZOOM meetings. This method is super easy and much appreciated by this reviewer.

The video sound and quality are very good, and you shouldn’t have any problems learning Social Print. Juan is from Columbia, South America.. but his English is quite good. He has trouble pronouncing Whoopie Goldberg.. but all is OK..!

There is also a link to a PDF.. if you prefer to learn the routine that way. There is also a sound file available that lets you reproduce the social media sounds.

There are two different versions of Social Print. One reveal is Leonardo Di Caprio and the second is Angeline Jolie. They are separate versions and you can order your choice of celebrity..

SOCIAL PRINT is intended for performers. If you enjoy engrossing your audience in your performance.. this will be a very good purchase for you. Fifty bucks is probably more than you pay for a typical effect.. but once you handle the props and watch the instructions, you’ll agree you made a smart choice. You’ll get LOTS of miles out of Social Print.

$50.00 .. Available at Murphy’s Magic and their associates.
https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=69202

Review by Rick Carruth