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Author: Rick Carruth

The Vault- BONELESS by Sultan Orazaly – A Review

The Vault- BONELESS by Sultan Orazaly – A Review

The Vault – Boneless by Sultan Orazaly – A Review
Video Download

The Ad Copy says:
The section of penetration of objects through matter in magic is one of the most popular. Visual penetrations through matter are few and they can rarely be shown live.

BONELESS is a visual insight that is great for live performances and social media. Never before has such a visual effect been so easy to implement.

My thoughts:

I have a soft spot for visual magic. If it happens quick.. and if it looks impossible.. I like to carry it on my person.

If you’ll visit the link at the bottom and watch the video.. you’ll get a good idea of the illusion created by Boneless. Watching the video is a much better way of getting an idea of what to expect. Basically, the magi begins by holding a card in front of his middle and forefinger.. and the card instantly seems to penetrate the fingers and reappear on the back side of the fingers. It’s a very nice illusion.. and not hard to accomplish as the gimmicked card does most the work. Once you have a gimmick created, you could perform Boneless in minutes.

This type magic isn’t for everyone. It’s not what you could call an effect, and it’s hard to find a place for it in a routine. Yet, it gets your spectator’s attention and draws attention to whatever else you may have in a pocket.

Sultan Orazaly has a number of effects on the market.. including Hallucination, Regeneration, ICM, Korobox, Nomad Coin and Elastic Bill. Most are quick effects like Boneless.

There’s an upside.. and a downside.. to effects like this. If you want to open the package and perform it immediately.. you’re out of luck. Since Boneless is an instant download and requires a gimmicked card, there’s a certain amount of DIY involved. Some folks enjoy creating a gaff. It helps to be able to recreate a gaff should yours wear out or break. I’m sure the cost of Boneless would be at least twice as much if the gimmick was pre-made.

On a scale of one to ten, I’d say making a gimmicked card is a 3.8 on the difficulty scale. It’s not too hard.. and is the essence of the trick. Everything is taught in an included video packet… one for performance (2 minutes), one for explanation (7 minutes) and one for construction of the gimmick (10 minutes). None of the videos include vocal instruction, but opt for written video instruction and performance video. You will have a full knowledge of everything you need to know after watching the videos. Nothing out of the ordinary is needed to construct the gimmick. No trips to the hardware store. 😉

Again, watching the performance video shows you precisely what to expect. There were NO surprises.. and if the gimmicked card is constructed as shown, you should have a quick ‘little something’ to create instant interest in what comes next..

I recommend BONELESS for the cost. $9.95 is a small price for a strong gimmick that’s a one-time cost. Learn the secret.. and make all the gimmicks you want….

$9.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

Reviewed by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow

The Vault – Juxtaposition by Devonte – A Review

The Vault – Juxtaposition by Devonte – A Review

The Vault – Juxtaposition by Devonte – A Review
Instant Download

This is the Ad Copy:

The spectator is asked to choose between a red deck and a blue deck of cards. Let’s pretend they chose the blue deck. The blue deck is placed inside their pocket (or handed to a friend to hold) until later. Great for walk around, as a different “thought of card” is possible every time.

The red deck is slowly spread between your fingers as the spectator is asked to merely think of any card they see. Keep in mind this is a 100% completely free choice!
Without ANY funny moves the card completely vanishes!

Next you ask them to remove the blue deck from their pocket, they are surprised to see that inside is one red card, the mentally chosen card. Strong enough for any Professional act, Easy enough for a Beginner.
Instant reset! (Really!)
NO Forcing Card Selections
NO Rough and Smooth
NO Misprinted Cards
NO Switching Decks
NO Sleight of Hand
NO Memorizing
NO Gimmicks of ANY kind and NOTHING is ever written down.
Use ANY style deck.
Instantly Resettable and Ready to Go, Could be a Different thought of card every time PERFECT for WALK AROUND.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy card effects that pack quite the surprise.. but require very little effort on the part of the performer. Now.. there’s a LOT I could say about JUXTAPOSITION, aside from the ad copy, but there’s not much I can say without giving away too many secrets.

The ad copy is correct…

You would think, based on my statement, there’s a little hyperbole going on.. but there’s not. What happens is this…

You’re armed with two decks.. a red back and a blue back. You politely insure the spectator gets the red back deck and a second spectator holds the blue back deck. You open and remove the cards from the red deck, face up.. and ask the spectator to secretly note a card as you begin to fan through the deck. You now perform the only ‘move’, if you want to call it that, during the entire effect. It’s not a sleight.. only a move.. performed right under the spectator’s nose. A little small talk.. and you show the spectator her card has most likely vanished from the red deck. They’re convinced.

The performer takes the blue deck, removes the card, and after the proper patter.. begins to fan through the deck, showing the backs. About half way through everyone see’s a red backed card among the blue backs. The magi asks the spectator the identity of her card.. and sometimes flips this card to reveal a match. Other times he creates ‘drama’ by turning the cards face up, asking her to remove her card, and allows her to flip her card face down.. revealing the red back.

There are certainly more subtleties than written here.. and they are well taught by Devonte, in detail, but this is the actual handling of Juxtaposition…

The video itself is 36 minutes long and includes a couple of live performances, the handling details, setting up the decks, and a detailed handling for the viewer. Although the video is filmed with a hand-held camera.. I had no problem keeping up with the instructions.

If there is a downside.. and it’s NOT a downside to me.. you need three decks to perform successfully. There is a setup and you do not want the spectators thumbing through your decks. I call this ‘audience management’…

The cost is $30.00.. and I do think that’s a tad much for a single effect, without props, cards, or gaffs. I’d be more comfortable paying fifteen to twenty bucks.. If you use Juxtaposition regularly.. you can justify the cost.

This is a very good rendering of a classic effect. It’s something that, with a little practice, will serve you well. Devonte also teaches a couple of sleights that add to the overall effect… but they are not needed to perform the effect.

$30.00 .. Available at Murphy’s Magic and their associates..

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow

The Vault – Illusory – by Ziv – A Review

The Vault – Illusory – by Ziv – A Review

The Vault – Illusory by Ziv – A Review
Video Download

They won’t believe their eyes! Illusory is an incredible new system that makes vanishes and appearances look like a special effect only seen in movies!

Level up your social media channels with effects that look truly impossible!

Make playing cards and other objects vanish into thin air and at whatever speed you choose. Illusory is under your control at all times.

Easy to perform.

Easy to make.

Limited only by your imagination.

My Thoughts:

This is different.. When I first watched the demo video I was sure it was simply black art. Cards are disappearing and reappearing against a dark background, and I’ve been around too long.

I’m not familiar with Ziv.. but he seems like a dedicated young man, willing to step out with a new method of performing old magic. He has, I assume, created this effect himself using something other than black art. Without giving away too much.. black art IS a factor in the vanishes.. but not actually the central point.

Playing cards, held in front of ones chest, vanish and reappear at the control of the magician. This is a very simple method, but not a common method. Something some might consider ‘high tech’ is used to facilitate the vanish. It’s actually a product normally used for another purpose.. but is being repurposed to achieve the magic.
That’s all I can tell you.. without giving away too much.

I have to admit, in all fairness to my readers, I have not performed ILLUSORY for a social media audience… which seems to be the target market. I did not perform this beforehand because I did not have the secret sauce. I AM familiar with the secret sauce.. and have no doubt that, under the right conditions, it WILL work. The ‘stuff’ needed for a successful performance can be purchased on sites like Amazon for around $17.00 for enough material to create a number of gimmicks… and the gimmicks can be used over and over. So, your initial purchase will last for a long time.

I’m confident enough in my knowledge of the secret material I was willing to go ahead and write the review. I have used this material for it’s intended purpose, and I know it works as promised. That said… no promises in the world of magic.

The video is filmed on an iPhone. It is also filmed with sub-titles, with English being the language in print. Generally, I am not a fan of sub-titles, but the secret to this effect was revealed rather quickly and I didn’t have a problem following the instructions.. which were just over 6 minutes. Truly, it’s all about the secret. Handling and secondary instructions are clear watching the promo.

I think it’s safe to say you’re paying for a secret. Watch the video and see if it’s for you.

$15.00 .. Download at Murphy’s Magic and through their Associates.

Review by Rick Carruth for The Magic Roadshow and Murphy’s Magic

Harry Houdini And The Great Copyright Escapade..

Harry Houdini And The Great Copyright Escapade..

(The following is a guest blog post by Marilyn Creswell, Librarian-in-Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office.)

Magicians do not always reveal their tricks, even when they register their copyright claims. The legendary Hungarian immigrant Harry Houdini registered three of his famous illusions as “playlets,” or short plays, with the U.S. Copyright Office between 1911 and 1914. The playlets were registered as dramatic compositions, which have been eligible for copyright protection since 1856. Houdini’s deposited playlet scripts are now held within the Reader’s Collection, Library of Congress Copyright Office Drama Deposits.

Houdini demonstrates his water torture cell trick

Houdini and the Water Torture Cell. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Houdini’s first American copyright registration is for the playlet “Challenged: or, Houdini upside down” that features his famous Water Torture Cell trick, also known as “The Upside Down.” The trick, shown here, is an escape from a water-filled cabinet while Houdini’s ankles are in stocks and the lid is locked. The registration describes the work as a “magical dramatic playlet” in sixteen typewritten pages. The first act depicts a group of men talking about Houdini’s amazing abilities, integrity, and willingness to take on challenges. By the second act, Houdini (played by himself) accepts their challenge and, according to the script, “*HOUDINI MAKES HIS ESCAPE*” and the crowd gives “Three cheers for Houdini, Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah.” He kept doing the trick through his 1926 tour when the foot stock broke and he fractured his ankle.

In 1914, Houdini registered his “Walking through a Brick Wall” trick as a playlet in two scenes. The plot of this playlet involved a father who constructed a brick wall to keep the son of his “mortal enemy” from being able to look into his garden. The father states, “The day you can walk through the brick wall that separates our houses, I’ll give you my daughter.” The next day, the father wakes up to see the young man made it through the wall. To his new fiancée, he explains, “Alice, whether I did or not [walk through the brick wall], everything is fair in love and war.”

This playlet includes a note after the curtain, which explains the illusion. It reads:

Poster for Literary Digest Houdini Master Mystifier

A poster advertising Houdini’s Buried Alive illusion, calling him the “Master Mystifier.”

From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“To attain the above practical effect of walking through the brick wall, the wall proper is laid across the center of a trap door, on opening of which gives an opening in stage on both sides of wall through which the person playing the part gets from one side of wall to the other the dirt and grass mounds acting as screens for the trap.”

Soon others began selling cheap blueprints of the apparatus Houdini used to perform the trick. Even though the copyrightable words and script of Houdini’s playlet were not necessarily infringed, the act lost its appeal once its illusion’s methodology was well-understood. Houdini only performed the trick a few times, and then sanctioned his younger brother, Hardeen’s, use of the trick.

Houdini registered his last playlet, “Buried Alive,” in 1914. The premise of this play involves two tourists who try to one-up a local priest by performing a surprising “miracle.” The stage directions describe the tourist in a straitjacket, who is put into an empty box and lowered into the ground with dirt shoveled atop him. After a few chants and incantations, the tourist is revealed “relieved of his bonds, and appearing just as he was before.” The locals treat him as supernatural, but he insists he is a mere man. Houdini died on October 31, 1926, and was buried in the same custom-ordered bronze casket he used for Buried Alive.

Houdini bequeathed many of his magic tools to his younger brother, Hardeen, with instructions to burn and destroy them after Hardeen’s death. Some tools survive, some of his tricks have been figured out, and some people may have learned from Harry himself, yet other mysteries died with him. While his playlets are now in the public domain, Houdini’s magic mechanisms may remain a mystery forever.