Skymember Presents Isolated Red – by Mr. Xuan – A Review.
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)
The following is the Ad Copy:
In 1950s, David Berglas created the “Holy Grail” of card magic, known as “The Berglas Effect”. The Berglas Effect:
The performer shows a shuffled pack of cards, then a spectator is asked to think of ANY card in the deck. Next, the spectator is asked to name a random number between 1 and 52. Amazingly, the randomly thought of card is found at the exact number the spectator had thought of. In later years, this effect was known as “ACAAN” and is still regarded as one of the most impossible card effects in magic.
Skymember Presents is proud to introduce you to Isolated, the very first instalment to our PRO SERIES.
This ultimate version of ACAAN was created by Mr. Xuan. He will be going over every detail on not only how to perform this super-clean effect but also goes into the psychology, patter, and routine structure.
With Isolated, you can perform multiple imperceptible mind-blowing routines that under insane fair conditions.
Have you ever wondered why; when some magicians perform an effect, they seem so professional? Or maybe they always get standing ovations? Or maybe they just have “that special thing”? Have you ever wondered how can YOU overcome these uncertainties? Well, now you can. Therefore we have decided to release our PRO SERIES!
Many things are to be taken into account when designing a professional routine. It’s not just about the moves and techniques… there’s psychology, patter, routine structure and so much more. We’ll shed light onto all the minute details from start to finish. Isolated is not just a trick, it’s a masterclass, come on inside for we have so much to share… in isolated.
3 powerful routines.
Designed for TV and stages.
Perform like a Master in no time.
An hour Masterclass. Taught expertly by Avi Yap, Ryan Goh and Zach Ng.
Available now worldwide.
Every now and again a new effect comes along that truly stretches the borders. I consider ISOLATED such an effect, and am very pleased to be in a position to review it.
No, everything is not perfect. It is not a 100% sure fire winner.. which, unfortunately, is true with most advanced Any Card At Any Number (ACAAN) effects. There is always an element of danger, as I group most ACAAN lovers/performers with sky divers and race card drivers. I think it’s safe to say most of the best ACAAN performances I’ve ever seen were on video.. (except Charlie Frye’s performance at a SCAM convention in 2008). Don’t take that statement wrong. It’s just that it’s much easier to ‘clean up’ a video.. and real time ACAAN’s can be finicky. I’ve seen more than one well-known magician have to back up an punt during performances.
Yes, there are a few performers with flawless ACAAN’s.. but they are not generally marketing their effect. Most of the effects that DO make it to market are not magician foolers, which shouldn’t be a consideration… but it is.
Enough negativity! I am a BIG fan of ISOLATED.. and it’s time for me to tell you why…
ISOLATED is complete with two video tutorials and four different effects. It uses a gaffed deck.. a VERY gaffed deck.. and a fair amount of psychology to accomplish about as fair an ACCAN, from the audiences’ perspective, as you’ll find on the market.
It is well taught, in a 50 minute tutorial, by Avi Yap and Ryan Goh (creator of Anarchy). Both are well versed and very articulate, and explain everything you need to know in an impressive manner. Unfortunately, the second video, which covers only one of the four effects, is not as clear, as it employs sub titles, fast sub titles, but provides enough clear visuals you should be fine. This isn’t a sticking point.. just an observation.
If you’re a lazy magician, ISOLATED probably isn’t for you. As with most well-constructed effects, the performer has to be able to control the deck AND the spectator. This is not an extreme.. just being able to prevent them from turning cards at the wrong time and maintaining your own deck orientation to prevent revealing moments that are unrecoverable.
ISOLATED has a number of gaffed cards and regular cards.. and requires a one-time setup. Despite the setup, the deck can be table spread and shuffled as a real convincer. After the spread and shuffle, the magician again spreads the cards, face down, and asks the spectator to point to any card. They do… but this is a moment that requires spectator control. There are two small areas, about 5-6 cards each, that the performer needs to block via the spread. If performed as taught, you should pull this off the vast majority of times. It’s a small blip, but a consideration, in an otherwise superb effect.
The performer shows the spectator the card they picked. It is buried and cut into the deck. The performer ask the spectator to name a number.. and the magi fairly deals down to that number. The card is turned… and revealed to be the spectators card. An acrylic card sleeve can be used to deal the cards in a super-fair manner. There are so many convincers used along the way, despite the construction of the deck, the spectator, (magicians included), are left to ponder the impossible..
A second effect with the same setup, referred to as a Russian Roulette type effect, is extremely effective in it’s own way. Six piles are dealt after the spec selects a card, and the spec slowly eliminates each pile, and is shown its content in the process.. until one is left. He then selects one of the remaining cards.. and it is his selection. Pretend the piles are potential spikes, and have the spectator slam their hand on individual piles.. avoiding the one ‘spiked’ pile that contains their card.. Good stuff…
A third effect also uses the same setup and a Mexican Turnover (taught) to again find the spectator’s card… which matches a card given to him beforehand by the performer. It is a very good prediction effect and looks quite good on video.
An additional portion of the first video is a masterclass type production, displaying various ways to use ancillary devices to strengthen the effects. Card dealer/sleeves and tweezers are the two primary examples.
The second video, the Lottery effect, stage version, is similar enough to the Russian Roulette effect you shouldn’t have a problem with the sub titles. I also noticed a commercial rights clause that prevents the effects from being used on TV and web shows without permission. I am not a fan of these clauses.. but it is what it is…
Quickly put… ISOLATED is roughly an hour and ten minutes of instruction . Both the video and sound are typical Murphy’s Magic quality. Everything works.. aside from the sub titles on the second video, which scroll too fast for these eyes to follow. (Again, I don’t mention this to disway you from purchasing Isolated..)
In all.. I think ISOLATED is a very sharp, very intelligent use of gaff cards to achieve one of the classics of magic. The additional effects are icing on the cake, so to speak, and add to the value of this specialized deck. I definitely recommend ISOLATED to all my readers and Roadshow subscribers. I realize forty bucks is a serious purchase, but I believe it is well worth the price if you, like me, are a big fan of ACAANs.
$39.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their associates.
(Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic and the Magic Roadshow. I am not paid to represent this, or any, product I review.. unless otherwise stated.)