The Surprise – Think Nguyen – A Review

The Surprise – Think Nguyen – A Review

The Surprise – Think Nguyen – A Review

Exciting new variation of CAAN from Think Nguyen. This is the ad copy:

Every once in a while, a magician comes up with a trick so good, they refuse to share it with anyone but themselves. Enter Think Nguyen’s masterpiece, The Surprise. After months of our begging and pleading that this needed to be shared with the magic community, Think has finally allowed us to publish his most closely guarded secret.

Using a borrowed and freely shuffled deck, this is the most impossible Card At Any Number we’ve ever seen. Describing it in ad copy just doesn’t do it justice, so we’re not even going to try.
Seriously, go watch the trailer.

What you get:
No gimmicks
No magnets
No difficult sleight of hand to learn
No arts and crafts
No stack or memory work
Nothing to add or take away
And definitely NO MAGNETS

If you’re the type of magician that relies on self-working gimmicks as a crutch, this effect is definitely not for you. Yes, Think reveals all the secrets to performing The Surprise, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When you combine Think’s methods with traditional sleights, congratulations, you’ve just discovered the formula for creating genuine magician foolers.

The most hands-off Card At Any Number, this is The Surprise.

My Thoughts..

This is one of the more unusual effects I’ve reviewed in the past year or so. I must admit the ad copy is correct.. There are NO gaffs, magnets, or difficult sleight of hand involved.. and that’s the truth.

There IS a certain method to the madness. I may be the wrong guy to review The Surprise because I knew the secret the moment I read the ad copy. I knew the secret because I use the same method to perform an ACAAN I created several years ago. Like Think, I’ve guarded it like the Queen Jewels.. not wanting to share it, but knowing once the secret was revealed there’s no do-over.

This is ALL method and jazz magic. If you’re worried about complicated sleights.. don’t. If you’re concerned you won’t be able to do it.. don’t worry. And if you’re anxious to learn a new method that will give you a new super power.. do buy it.

Watching the video will show you the true look of the effect. There’s nothing left out, nothing hidden, and nothing that needs to be done other than what you see. That said, there IS a moment when the magic is done you are not aware of on the video. It is so quick and, usually easy, no one knows what you did… although ‘did’ is almost a misnomer. Buy the video and you’ll understand my cryptic message.

For those of you looking for an instant miracle.. keep looking. There is a little ‘work’ involved in making this complete. Think of it more like forcing a card using a classic force. There is a point where you need to make the effect work, as opposed to it working out itself.

Although my effect differs very much, performance wise, from Thinks.. I hate to see the method made available. But, all is fair in love and war, and the magic community deserves The Surprise. There are so many great magicians out there, I see this being re-worked by fertile minds and transformed into something greater and more startling.

I would be foolish to not recommend The Surprise, as it is, in fact, a Surprise… a new secret, that will leave you alone in your bed at night.. thinking of the possibilities and confounding your friends over and over. Although this is quite the stunner for the public.. it is also a true magician’s fooler.

The Surprise is an instant download. The running time is almost 50 minutes and the video itself is typical Murphy’s Magic quality sound-wise and video-wise.

$14.95 At Murphy’s Magic and their magic associates..

EVANESCE By Eric Jones.. A Review

EVANESCE By Eric Jones.. A Review

EVANESCENCE – By Eric Jones – A Review

Eric has created a stand-alone sleight for coin workers that looks like true magic. This is the ad copy:

“Master of Coin Eric Jones offers an amazing new IMPROMPTU coin vanish that is as insane as it is beautiful. Imagine causing a coin to vanish at the fingertips in the most incredible way possible. You can even do this one naked!!! Based on the work for Shoot Ogawa and Apollo Robbins, Eric teaches and novel and unique technique that is just as much fun to practice as it is to perform. This 13 minute download is chock full of excellent technique, professional performing tips that you can add to your arsenal immediately.”

You will learn:

JW Grip
Coin Selection
JW Grip Muscle Pass
Evanesce: The basic technique
Professional performance tips

My Thoughts..

Eric has put his own twist on a popular vanish first created by Shoot Ogawa and Apollo Robbins. He has taken the basic move, improved it, added a unique carry-away, and created something very visually appealing.

Eric readily admits this is not for the faint of heart. He tells us up front that it will take practice to master.. but.. afterwards, you will have something very unique.

Based on a simple false transfer, Evanesce retains the coin in the original hand in a position that is slightly angle sensitive, but not from the front, and will definitely fool anyone other than someone to the extreme side or rear.

He uses a unique muscle pass to move the coin from the concealed position to a position totally invisible to the spectator… either the opposite elbow joint or your shirt pocket. This is one of those sleights you will crave to learn.. and can learn with practice.

If you want a move that will fool not only your audience, but fellow magicians as well, EVANESCE is the perfect instant download. Inexpensive and very well filmed, Eric Jones has created a couple of moves to add something very different to your routine. I truly wish my fingers were twenty years younger… I’d be all over this..!

As usual, I highly recommend visiting Murphy’s site and watching the video. There’s nothing like the visual treatment to give you an appreciation for the techniques.

$6.95 From Murphy’s Magic and their many associates..

Review by Rick Carruth

From Avocation To Vocation: “How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career” With Magician Daniel Chan

From Avocation To Vocation: “How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career” With Magician Daniel Chan

Take less gigs and focus on quality. When first starting I tried to take all gigs and do all gigs, but ended up sending myself on a fast track to burn out. One Halloween weekend I ended up booking six gigs in one day. That day ran from 9 am to nearly 4 am — driving hours included — and although I did a good enough job to get hired again by these clients the next year, I was so worn out because I had gigs the day before and the day after. The next day gigs were way less energetic and I probably looked like I didn’t care all that much. Burnout is a real thing — it’s really important to pace yourself or your work will start to suffer.

As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Chan of owner of and

Thank you so much for doing this with us Daniel! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

I grew up in San Francisco, CA. My parents divorced when I was very young, and I was picked on a lot while growing up. Looking back on the pictures I was a bit of a goofy looking kid. It didn’t help that I was a pretty nerdy Asian kid who acted goofy as well. In Middle School I really didn’t want to be known as just the nerdy little Asian kid so I started lifting weights. I was probably the most buff kid in high school. I also started dabbling around with magic and juggling for fun because no matter how hard I tried fitting in “with the crowd”, my inquisitive nerdy side never quite went away.  READ MORE….

The Vault – ALTER by Kelvin Chow and Lost Art Magic – A Review

The Vault – ALTER by Kelvin Chow and Lost Art Magic – A Review

The Vault – ALTER by Kelvin Chow and Lost Art Magic – A Review

This is a very visual card/color change from a highly skilled performer. It’s available as an inexpensive instant download and looks as much like real magic as you’re apt to see. To quote the ad copy:

“Kelvin is an underground sensation in card magic. His magic is so prolific that it has found its way into the repertoires of award-winning performers such as The Illusionist Star, Yu Ho Jin. Kelvin recently performed for over 2 billion people at China’s 2015 New Year’s Spring Festival on CCTV. Needless to say, when Kelvin performs, people listen.

Kelvin has created another brilliant masterpiece with this new and breathtaking color change. Over the years, the move utilized in this change has been deemed too difficult and intimidating, so many have not been able to explore the unlimited possibilities and applications involved with it. Now, through crystal-clear instructions and multiple camera angles, Kelvin demystifies the move and will thoroughly teach you the most visually striking application to date. It’s time to ALTER!”

– No gimmicks. Pure sleight of hand.
– Perform completely surrounded.

My Thoughts..

Kelvin Chow is the creator of two other commercial effects you may be familiar with.. Quiver and Revolver. He was also one of the standout performers on Penn and Teller’s FOOL US during season 5. One of the effects he performed was ALTER.

This is specifically a color change, although to me it is as much a card change as a color change.. Am I being too picky? Call it what you may, it’s a very good and extremely visual color change. Nothing in the ad copy is misleading. The magic happens so quick it’s possible to perform ALTER from any angle safely.

Simplified.. a card projects from the end of the deck, almost magically, and as the magician takes one finger to spin the card out of the deck, the card changes to another card. It is very visual and you would be encouraged to go to the Murphy’s link and watch the video. It’s short, but it gives you a perfect idea of the visual quality of ALTER.

Although the handling is not overly complicated, I would still classify it as probably more intermediate than beginner. It will take some practice to perfect the handling. It is definitely within the range of the average card guy.

I see this as a handy tool to be used during an effect – and not simply as a demonstration. The magic is so quick the spectator is guaranteed to not have a clue what happened. Watching the video doesn’t give you a clue to the method and the low cost for the instant download is money well spent if you take a little time to learn it.

For the cost and versatility.. I recommend it..

$7.99 From Murphy’s Magic and their fellow retailers..

Review by Rick Carruth