Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready by John Bannon – A Review

After the bestselling smash hit releases ‘Bullets After Dark’ and ‘Bullet Party’, John Bannon is finally ready to close out his ‘Bullet’ trilogy. The third and final entry is Fire When Ready, a veritable feast of card magic delights. Fueled by Bannon’s inimitable style of easy-to-achieve, yet staggeringly powerful card magic, this is a project you NEED!

Over two packed discs and an immense 180-minute running time, Fire When Ready will arm you with some of the strongest card magic imaginable. From Bannon’s go-to opener for more than a decade ‘Line Of Sight’ to the impossibly clean think of a card ‘Proxy Shock’. The ten featured routines are audaciously constructed and require only the most basic sleight of hand, yet, they are tricks that are destined to be in your arsenal for EVER!

Proxy Shock – They think of a card. The deck is shuffled. It looks like you miss… then BOOM! They realize they were just being set up for the sucker punch.

Rock The ‘Voque – A spectator reads your mind, bit by bit, nailing the card you thought of… and you can prove it!

Mundo – All the impact of ‘Out of This World’, but in a small packet, and with a twist that will fool EVERYONE!

Cut & Run – Produce the four Aces from a deck repeatedly shuffled and cut… by your SPECTATOR! This is a killer utility!

Hybrid Holdout – Your participant shuffles and cuts. Top stock: Controlled?!?

Stealth Aces – A classic Ace Assembly, that combines easy handling with a devious construction!

Big Fat Bluff Aces – John’s hidden gem. This assembly is a showpiece, and features several astonishing kickers, and will leave EVERYONE reeling – laymen and magicians alike!

Blues Alley Jokers – Truly shocking appearance of Jokers sandwiching a selected card.

Clean Out Of Sight – Vernon’s classic gets the Bannon treatment – a spectator shuffles and thinks of a card, without you touching a thing. Then, following the spectator’s intuition, you zero in on a card they’ve genuinely thought of, and never named. BOOM!

Question Zero – A borrowed, shuffled deck. A thought of card. Zero questions, maximum bang for minimal buck!

Line Of Sight – What does John open his card sets with? Line of sight. And you will see why! John teaches all the tips that make this shocking moment of mental card magic work, with the pack in the spectators’ hands.

My Thoughts:

You have to like John Bannon. Oh.. I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere who doesn’t… but some folks don’t like Santa Clause or the Cadbury Bunny either. Regardless, John’s style and timing appeals to my inner magician and I have a preconceived admiration for his work. Perhaps that means I look for the good instead of the bad. So be it….

FIRE WHEN READY is one of a three part series John calls the ‘Bullet’ trilogy. All three have one thing in common: They are a series of fairly rapid fire effects that are extremely practical, never convoluted, and get straight to the point. These are effects that are perfect for that moment when someone wants you to ‘show them something’. You don’t want to drag them, secretly crying and screaming, through a six or seven minute monstrosity.. when you can Bannonize them with a beautifully constructed two or three minute gem that makes them beg for another…

Will I use everything taught on Fire When Ready? No… Like all DVD’s, I have my favorites. (Thank goodness there ARE favorites.) I have four I am rewatching to gather all the specifics I’ll need to add to my performance list. I have one other which I am making a permanent part of my repertoire. I can’t ask for more than that out of a twenty five dollar DVD.

Like many of John’s DVDs, I’ll say this material is on the advanced beginner level. Nothing is really complicated and every move is taught. If you are a beginner, don’t be afraid to make this purchase.. it will help you immensely.

Here’s a list of effects and a few quick thoughts…

Proxy Shock – Uses a Bob Farmer move to switch in a card. A deck is spread and a spec thinks of a card they see. You make a guess, and miss… or do you? Very smooth handling and requires a double undercut and a weave shuffle… both taught.

Rock The Voque – Mental magic effect. Equivoque. Relies on ambiguous instructions and context to reveal a spectator’s mental choice. A Touch force is used like an index. Very Sharp thinking… Another personal favorite.

Mundo – Intuition effect. Small packet version of Out of this World. Spec deals into two piles using the Ace of Spades as a key card. One move .. taught. One of my favorites..

Cut & Run – A nice four Ace assembly. Similar to a Ben Earl effect. A Three pile false cut and a few packet cuts get it done.. Uses a Frank Thompson false cut, which is very simple. Look like a pro on a poor man’s budget.

Stealth Aces – Ace assembly. A false count achieves all the magic. John Carey effect. Very streamline. You WILL do this. Another personal favorite.

Big Fat Bluff Aces – Four Ace effect disguised as an assembly. Uses an Elmsley Count and Jordan Count Exchange. Four Aces turn to four Kings, and the Aces turn up somewhere they shouldn’t.. Nice, visual effect.

Blues Alley Jokers – A Sandwich effect. Jack Carpenter effect. Uses a shift to achieve the end effect.

Clean Out Of Sight – Packet effect.. uses about half of the deck. Relies on spectator ‘intuition’ to find their selected card. Mathematical based. Out of Sight Out of Mind based. Take the time to learn this.. and you’ll have something special.

Question Zero – Regular shuffled deck effect. Spectator picks five cards and remembers highest card. Cards are placed back in deck. Magi uses multiple shift and a swing cut to move the five back to the top. Well taught and only takes a little practice.

Line of Sight – Great premise. Quick and simple. Links back to Dear Mr Fantasy in 2005. Uses a Marlo glimpse and a little finger friction move to achieve the magic. This is based on an Alain Nu premise, and is my favorite effect. Fits right in with what I’m working on.. routine wise.

Line of Sight – Other glimpses. Three other glimpses are taught..

This is over three hours of card magic on one DVD. Everything is exactly what you’d expect from Bigblindmedia. Cameras, lighting and sound are more than adequate. Camera angles are precise and well-placed.

I am recommending FIRE WHEN READY to my friends and readers. This is sort of a no-brainer…

$25.00 From Murphy’s Magic and their associates..

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

Dealing With It – Season 1 by John Bannon – A Review

Dealing With It – Season 1 by John Bannon – A Review

Dealing With It – Season 1 by John Bannon – A Review

This is the Ad Copy…

Bigblindmedia presents – John Bannon’s Dealing With It Season 1

Love card tricks? Well then, you’ve come to the right place!

Dealing With It Season 1 features ALL the routines from John Bannon’s acclaimed Genii Magazine column throughout 2017. Utilizing John Bannon’s patented blend of clear and engaging presentations with easy but hugely effective methods, Dealing With It Season 1 is a feast of playing card chicanery. Six beautifully constructed card routines are featured, and each one is a powerhouse that will decimate any audience. Even better, all the featured tricks are easily achieved without resorting to difficult sleight of hand or complex moves!

The project features full, in-depth tutorial instructions on how to perform each of the routines – along with presentational tips, handling advice and Bannon’s invaluable insight into construction.

Sit back, grab your cards, and get ready to spend some time with John Bannon… time to start DEALING WITH IT!

Heart Of Glass
Well Tempered Aces
Cross Eyed Jacks
BONUS – also learn:
Hybrid Holdout
The Double Dutch False Cut

My Thoughts:

You can’t help but like John Bannon. Watching him on one of his many videos.. he seems like one of the most amiable guys in all of magic. Low key and concise, you get the impression he spends every waking moment perfecting some obscure double backflip fingertip lateral move… You’re wrong. John is actually a highly respected Chicago lawyer.. someone who, when not sitting behind a card table, would be equally at ease in a conference room with ‘The Good Wife’ crowd…

John produced this DVD from season one of Dealing With It, a popular column he wrote for GENII magazine. This is the first of three DVD’s.. covering the 2017 year. The other two DVD’s cover 2018 and 2019.

The six effects on this DVD are all a complex mix of card effects, but not requiring complex handling. If you’re familiar with any of John’s other DVD’s, you know he is very careful and deliberate.. but doesn’t require difficult sleights to achieve the impossible. A couple of his latest releases are actually self-working effects, as it’s becoming clear to distributors and magicians alike that the easier, but well-constructed effects are better received by the magic community. That’s what they seem to want… and that’s what John delivers… over and over.

The six effects on this DVD are:

Heart Of Glass – A Jack Carpenter and Peter Duffie transposition effect that is extremely visual and uses either a drop sleight (taught) or a standard double lift. Quick.. but definitely one of my favorites.

Uprising – A small packet elevator effect. You will need a bottom deal, but it’s performed off a small packet.. and easily concealed. You also use a simple block push off. (taught)

Well Tempered Aces – Maybe my favorite effect. A type of Jazz Aces.. You’ll learn a nice JK Hartman upside down Elmsley Count.

Cross Eyed Jacks – Another smooth transposition.. John uses his variation of Harry Lorayne’s One Eyed Jack.

Queenpins – Yet another transposition built around a Chris Mayhew effect.. John teaches a sharp pickup move..

Rendezvous – Very interesting Mystery Card effect.. Learn John’s Conflection Control and another Drop Sleight. Another of my favorite effects.

Hybrid Holdout – You’ll see how this can be immediately employed to UP your effects. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these bonus moves..
The Double Dutch False Cut – Looks SO good. You have to go back and watch it another time or two to see what you thought you saw…

There is one last section that is a collection of several performance-only videos from other DVD’s. If you’re in the mood to gloss over this…. don’t. The first performance is actually a self-working effect I’ll be using in a future ZOOM meeting. It works perfectly.

I have yet to see a Bigblindmedia presentation that wasn’t a quality DVD or effect. This video is filmed with professional equipment, by professionals, and lighting and sound are equally as good. Props to whomever chose the music. I couldn’t find a listing for the total time of the DVD.. only individual little segments. I’ll take a guess and say total time is about one hour. I have no complaints..

Season 1 is $25.00.. and is available on either DVD or as a download. Season 2 and 3 are priced at $20.00 each.

I will recommend DEALING WITH IT to all my friends and readers. Although it’s listed as a beginner DVD, I would say it’s probably on the advanced beginner level as it’s not self working. The sleights aren’t complicated. Beginners, with a little practice, can perform everything on this DVD. John is an excellent teacher, and will make you want to buy other of his DVD’s or downloads. Enjoy !!

$25.00 From Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of products..

Review by Rick Carruth

Expose by SansMinds Creative Labs – A Review

Expose by SansMinds Creative Labs – A Review

Expose (Gimmicks and DVD) by SansMinds Creative Labs – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

A piece of nothingness slowly turns into a memory that will never be forgotten.
Instant visual changes are great for getting quick reactions, but slow CGI-like visual changes can imprint the moment of magic into your spectators’ brains for rest of their lives.

As the card changes, you will notice their eyes get bigger and they’ll stop breathing for a few seconds. At the end of the change, they will thank you with loudest WTF reaction you have ever heard in your life!

Expose by SansMinds Creative Lab will get you exactly what is described above.

You can go out and make the quietest people scream out loud as soon as you get Expose.


Expose is incredibly easy to do, and you will receive fully constructed gimmicks.

If you have your particular favorite decks to perform with, then you can also make your own version of Expose because the DVD also teaches you how to make the gimmick in no time.

Get that jaw-dropping reaction with Expose today!

What you receive:
1 Instructional DVD
1 fully made gimmick (Blue Bicycle gimmick)

My Thoughts:

First.. I want to congratulate whoever, (SansMinds I assume), created this effect. There’s a ton of thought here. It’s one of those effects that’s hard to imagine being created during a sit down with a fellow magician.

The best way to understand what happens is to visit the Murphy’s link and watch the video performance. Basically, a card is selected from the deck by a spectator. The card is revealed to be blank. A corner is torn from the card and spit-stuck to the deck. In a moment of clarity.. the blank corner of the card slowly and visually transforms to a court card corner. This corner is then peeled off the deck.. and shown to be a surprisingly missing corner from the card held by the spectator. Whew… There are actually two selections involved.. but for my sanity I have kept the description simple.

All this is achieved via a heavily gaffed card(s).. supplied with the instructional DVD. Thankfully, almost everything you need is provided. I did have to cut a corner from a card to make everything work. Also, you will have to score two cards to perform the effect in order to make the corner tear effective.

Aside from the gaffed card provided, they go into detail on the DVD teaching you how to make your own gimmicked card should you ever need another. The only thing not entirely true in the ad copy is you can make your own gimmick ‘in no time’.. It may take slightly longer.. but, it’s all spelled out in detail.

If you perform EXPOSE publicly, you will have to be aware of your angles and lighting. In the right light.. you’ll totally fool your spectators. In the not so right light.. you won’t. There is a principle involved here where a card, moved across another card, appears seamless if the movement is toward the spectator. If not, then a seam, or in this case an edge, will be seen. It’s not a deal breaker.. but it is a consideration. It’s difficult to explain these things without revealing too much.

The DVD was roughly an hour in length.. and mostly good quality. There are a couple of times when you have to double the volume to hear the speaker. Not sure why this wasn’t cleaned up pre-production. Otherwise, I understood everything I needed to understand.

I recommend EXPOSE to anyone wanting a great visual effect.. who isn’t afraid to tackle the public on their turf. There is very little to learn performance wise. You can master the handling after a brief period of practice. Get your angles right, get your lighting right, ( which can be controlled in part by your own shadow ) and you will have an effect that looks like real magic.

These type effects are hard to come by.. It reminds me of Katsuya Masuda’s wonderful WOW gimmick, which is one of my all-time favorite effects. Yes, EXPOSE is a bit of a challenge.. but unlike WOW it does NOT appear to be a gimmick.. and the audience assumes you are achieving your magic with pure skill.

$34.95 Available at Murphy’s Magic and their associates…

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

EVOLUSHIN MAGIC SET – by Shin Lim – A Review

EVOLUSHIN MAGIC SET – by Shin Lim – A Review

EVOLUSHIN MAGIC SET – by Shin Lim – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

The EVOLUSHIN Magic kit by Shin Lim is the most innovative and exciting Magic Kit on the market!

Most magic kits put focus on the “toys” in the kit and not the person performing them. Shin Lim has developed a magic kit focused on the beginner, which makes YOU the star of the show!

Shin did this by creating and adapting SECRET TOOLS that will make you look like you have spent years learning difficult sleight of hand. The EVOLUSHIN kit will make you look like a professional Magician because all the tricks are professional level! Each trick has been handpicked to bring you the MAXIMUM response from your audience!

Everything is Easy to Learn and Perform!


You will receive all the SECRET TOOLS and SPECIAL APPARATUS to perform AMAZING MAGIC!

All the teaching is taught by SHIN LIM! This is just like getting a one on one private lesson from one of the world’s greatest magicians. Shin goes over all details of each trick so you will not only know the SECRETS but how to preform them properly.

BONUS! Shin Lim will be teaching 2 close-up acts! This way you will have plenty of magic to perform and will be able to create your own versions of these great tricks!

If you have ever dreamed of becoming a magician, then the EVOLUSHIN kit is for you! Learn magic the right way and start on your path to becoming a magician today!

My Thoughts:

You can’t deny the popularity of Shin Lim. After winning Americas Got Talent, and then winning the Champions show of AGT, Shin Lim climbed to the very top of the magic world. Penn and Teller called him the best magician to EVER appear on their popular show, which is saying quite a lot. Right now, Shin has the name recognition.. so all that’s lacking was for a manufacturer to partner with Shin to create an advanced product, much like his magic, to appeal to a wide sector of fans.

Yes, he’s created a number of commercial effects for magicians, but what about the young magician who has more than a passing interest but doesn’t have the age or skill to master the more difficult effects? Also, how do you create a kit NOT full of plastic ‘toys’ and self-working tricks that you could just as easily purchase in a dollar store?

This is where Shin paired with Murphy’s Magic to create, easily, the most impressive magic ‘kit’ I’ve ever seen. Shin notes on the first page of his instructions his goal was to create a kit that made the performer the star of the show.. and not the gimmicks. His thoughts were.. lets take professional effects and revise them in a way so they are performable by young performers.

Looking through the kit, you see effects, many card type effects, that are sold to professionals. You also find props you would not find in other kits. Props for vanishes and levitations are featured throughout.. in addition to a number of card effects with gaffed cards.

If I have one negative.. it’s that Bicycle cards were not used. The cards used are well-suited bridge size cards with a Shin Lim design, created with smaller hands in mind.. I’m sure. I don’t have a problem with these cards.. it’s just we all understand the natural suspicions of the public. I’m sure young adults can get by with more than us old codgers..

Shin also includes, in addition to the 30 plus page instruction book, an online portal where he personally teaches all the effects.. plus 2 full close-up routines designed to get the performer in front of an audience. This is only ONE of the features that makes EVOLUSHIN totally unique and justifies the slightly higher price. If you’re going to charge more.. that’s fine -if- you provide true value. Shin does….

I’m not going to list 100+ effects. Sorry. But I am going to list some of the effects many of you will recognize by name. Remember, all the props and/or gaffs are provided. Everything is ready to perform out-the-box..

Jumping Jacks, Turn Over and Color Change, Slam The Card Through The Table, (glide technique and double lift technique are taught), Your Card At Any Number, Forcing With a Handkerchief, Phone a Friend, Am I Wrong, Prediction From A Wallet, Your Choice My Mind, Order Chaos and Order, Changing Card in Glass, Card in the Bag, Shrinking Pack, Ghost Writing, Smarty Pants, Aces Together, Funny Finger, Vanishing Deck (props included)…

These are just a few. If you go to Murphy’s and look at some of the photos, you’ll get a grasp of some of the props provided.

I know some of you are wondering why I would review something you’re not likely to buy. Well… magicians don’t always perform magic. Sometimes they actually get married.. and.. gasp.. have children! And some of these children may have a liking of Shin Lim. So…..

I could actually see some of you guys and gals buying these wholesale from Murphy’s and selling them during your backroom sales..(assuming we somehow rid our venues of this virus).. or selling these on your website. Think outside the norm and take advantage of Shin Lim’s popularity.

I highly recommend EVOLUSHIN to ‘kids’ everywhere.. and a few magicians I know. Hey, there’s a kid in ALL of us..!

$49.95 From Murphy’s Magic and their special associates.. (product page) (teaching portal and videos)

Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow..