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CUTTING EDGE – A Review

CUTTING EDGE – A Review

David Jonathan, known for popular effects like Wrong Turn and Arbitrium, among others.. is the creator of Cutting Edge. Cutting Edge isn’t really an effect… it is three different effects, similar to an extent, but each with methodology different enough to give the performer a choice of difficulty. Each has a slightly different ending, varying in its level of impossibility.

I have published David’s ad copy below as a reference point. I’ve found I can tell much about a creator and his effects by his ad copy and its truthfulness…

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DESTINED – Predict a freely isolated card with a stunning revelation!
The Jokers are taken out of a deck and a spectator is invited to select a card. Their selection is shuffled back into the deck, then the cards are spread face down. The spectator is now asked to freely insert the Jokers face up around any card, isolating it from the others. This mystery card is now turned over to reveal that, incredibly, the spectator has found their selected card! If the effect ended right here, it would already be great… but in a jaw-dropping finale, the Jokers are then turned over to show the spectator’s card was predicted on the backs of the Jokers, proving everything was inevitable!

A CUT ABOVE – The spectator stabs a cut card into the pack directly above their selection, with a twist!
A selected card is shuffled and lost into the deck. A casino cut card is now introduced and handed to the spectator to insert anywhere in the pack. Incredibly, the spectator’s card is found directly below the cut card! For a kicker climax, the cut card is then turned over to reveal a secret written prediction of the spectator’s card! This is the most logical and direct effect to use a casino cut card.

THE FINAL CUT – The spectator cuts to their signed card from a deck they shuffled under test conditions!
The spectator points to any card, signs it, and it is lost in the deck. A casino cut card (double blank card) is now introduced and set aside. The deck is spread on the table and given a wash shuffle (as fair and genuine as they do in casinos) – the spectator can even help mix the cards. The cards are gathered and then ribbon spread across the table. The spectator now inserts the cut card anywhere they like into the spread. With no funny moves, the deck is cut directly where the cut card was inserted. The card right below the cut card is now turned over and, amazingly, it is the spectator’s signed card!

Key Points: Both non-gimmicked and gaffed versions are taught on Cutting Edge. Multiple handlings are also included that are suitable for any skill level. All the effects can be performed In-The-Hands (no table required) and you can easily change the outcomes for each performance.
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I spent a fair amount of time watching David’s videos. All three arrived in an email along with two PDF files. One was an overview of the three effects with a brief step-by-step of each of the moves – great to follow as you’re remembering the videos. And the second PDF contained the links to the Vimeo vids of each of the three effects. Although you can watch them online.. I downloaded the three videos to store them in the folder with the PDF’s and not have to revisit Vimeo to clarify a point.

The first effect, Destined, plays out exactly as described by David. The video quality is very good and the attention to details is all I would hope for.. No complaints at all.
This is the more difficult of the three effects, but the most rewarding. You’ll spend more time learning the timing of the moves, but most are basic. There is a point where a pass of one form or another is needed, but David has simplified the handling as much as possible. This isn’t a deal breaker.

Overall, Destined is a real fooler.. and one you can perform for both a lay audience and fellow magicians with equal aplomb. You will need to do a slight bit of simple artwork.. but it only requires a marker and two Jokers. Video length is 35 minutes.

A Cut Above is slightly easier version of Destined and uses a ‘cut card’ instead of two Jokers. ( Don’t have a cut card? Glue two cards face to face and you’ll have a cut card..) The effect ends with the spectator’s selected card directly below the cut card.. inserted into the deck by the spectator.. instead of between the two Jokers as in the previous effect. The handling is noticeably easier, but it still carries an impressive impact. Perform it for audiences -and- magic friends.

The Final Cut is the easiest of the three effects and, although similar in style to A Cut Above, uses a signed card as the locator card.

These two videos run 17 minutes and 16 minutes respectively…

I appreciate the time and effort David invested into this trilogy of effects. They work… and the end result is more than worth the effort. All three are very creditable methods of revealing a spectator’s chosen card. I’m convinced you’ll find a favorite and add it to your repertoire… maybe a couple even.

These effects are meticulously designed by a magician, for magicians, and I’m convinced you’ll appreciate CUTTING EDGE. It has my recommendation. ….. Price: $16.95

https://www.davidjonathanmagic.com/

Review by Rick Carruth..

The spell breaks for mentalists’ ‘pseudoscience’

The spell breaks for mentalists’ ‘pseudoscience’

Magicians are under fire for claiming they use neurolinguistic programming to read people’s minds…

Some psychologists are upset at the deployment of purported scientific techniques in magic tricks, according to the Times.

The newspaper cites a study (paywall) co-authored by Gustav Kuhn, a reader in psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, in which a group of people watched a magic trick. Those who knew that the performer was a magician were as likely to believe his false claims about being able to read a person’s mind as those who were told he was a psychologist. Yet according to Kuhn, the neurolinguistic programming (NLP) techniques claimed by some magicians – in which facial cues and body language can be read – iare “complete pseudoscience”. So how do magicians feel about this?

Tom MacKay is a mentalist, magician and NLP trainer who also has a master’s in psychology. “When NLP is claimed as a pseudoscience, it is really a misunderstanding of what it is,” he says. “NLP was developed as a way to model successful thinking.” He works with athletes, for instance, to improve performance.

The confusion arises, MacKay says, because “a lot of people who say they are doing mentalism claim to read body language and facial cues. Which hand is the coin in? That’s a classic magic trick. I might be able to predict which hand it is in through observing physiology with quite a few people, but it wouldn’t work 100%. In magic, you want things to be 100%. Magicians say it’s NLP when it isn’t.”  Read more….

GUARANTEED WIN – A Review

GUARANTEED WIN – A Review

Guaranteed Win – A Review

This is the ad copy from Murphy’s Magic:

Guaranteed Win is a visual packet effect with a really cool gambling theme.
IMPACT MOMENT ONE!
Four Jokers (The Wild Cards) transform to match a selected card!
IMPACT MOMENT TWO!
The duplicate cards visually change in to a Royal Flush in SPADES!

Andy has created the perfect multi-phase transformation effect that is not only easy to do and easy to follow, but has an instant performance hook and quick reset. With its gambling theme and the awesome visual changes, this will be a GUARANTEED winner in your close-up set.

Comes complete with:
Custom printed gimmicked card on Bicycle stock
Training DVD
*Just add your own ungimmicked cards

My Take…

Brought to you by Alakazam Magic and Andy Smith, GUARANTEED WIN is a multi-phase packet trick that results in a guaranteed win poker hand, despite what your eyes tell you.

After a brief introduction, the magi shows a packet of four cards he’s holding to be all Jokers. The spectator is given one of the Jokers to examine as the magi gathers the other cards. The spectator is asked to select a card from the deck, assisted by the magi of course, and the selected card, a Ten of Spades, is added to the packet held by the magi. Despite having shown the packet as four Jokers.. the magi now shows the packet to consist of four Tens.
The magi places one of the Tens on the table, introduces a Guaranteed Joker and explains its significance to the spectator, and adds it to the three remaining cards in his hand. With no apparent handling, the magi shows the four cards in his hand have changed to the Jack of Spades, Queen of Spades, King of Spades, and Ace of Spades… all of which are placed with the Ten of Spades on the table to create a Royal Flush… A Guaranteed Win.

I encourage you to go to Murphy’s site, at the below link, and watch the video. You get a better idea of the visuals of this effect watching Andy perform it..

You’re supplied with a gaffed card that makes the magic possible.. that and good handling instructions by the creator. You honestly wouldn’t think the range of visual changes were possible with only one gaffed card. It is…

There are a couple of fairly unique handling ideas that took Andy several years of experimentation to perfect. He didn’t want the magi to hold a hand full of cards. He finally settled on a method that enables the performer to hold, at most, five cards at any moment. But, the fifth card is never visible thanks to the gimmicked card.

The only point where I might have a very minor disagreement is saying the effect is ‘easy to do and easy to follow’. It is NOT difficult, but it will take a little practice to remember the proper orientation of the cards. Remember though.. we’re only talking four or five cards here.. The total running time of the DVD is just over twenty minutes, and you’ll learn everything you need to know in that short a time.. so it can’t be very hard, now can it? All I’m saying is.. you’ll have a short time of watching the DVD with cards in hand as you learn the handling. It’s not self-working.. but it’s definitely not more than 30-40 minutes of work.

You’ll be taught a very basic flustration count and a simple card force. That, along with the gaff card, is all you need to perform Guaranteed Win. This effect WILL fool your audience. It’s well-suited for table hopping and walk around.. as long as you have a small surface on which to place a couple of cards. I recommend it to my friends and readers… Well worth the cost.

$19.99 at dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=57670

Review by.. Rick Carruth

Houdini’s Last Secrets…

Houdini’s Last Secrets…

Prepare yourself for a new tv show on the Science Channel featuring the great nephew of Harry Houdini.. Here’s the details…
PHOENIX — Growing up, George Hardeen never thought too much about being related to arguably the most famous magician of all time, whose Arizona man finds magic moments in TV show on uncle Houdininame is synonymous with great escape.
But at 66, the Arizona man is delving into the history of his great-uncle Harry Houdini in a journey at the heart of a new series on the Science Channel.
“We spoke to many collectors and historians. These guys live Houdini all the time,” Hardeen said. “They know more about Houdini than I will ever be able to.”
“Houdini’s Last Secrets,” which begins airing Jan. 6, follows Hardeen as he and escape artist Lee Terbosic explore the engineering behind some of Houdini’s most legendary feats.
The Hungarian-born illusionist, who came to the U.S. as a child, generated headlines in the early 1900s for escaping from handcuffs, straitjackets and even a milk can.
Each of the four episodes focuses on a different stunt, including being buried alive and the water torture cell, in which Houdini was lowered upside down into a water tank with his feet locked in stocks. A stunt builder constructs the props, and Terbosic re-enacts the stunts.
“No one knows how Houdini did the tricks. So, we pondered it and came up with our own methodology so that Lee could perform the trick,” Hardeen said.    Read More…