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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..
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=65048

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

What Michael Carbonaro was like before all the Fame

What Michael Carbonaro was like before all the Fame

LOOPER just published a very informative article by Jane Harkness on the early life of Michael Carbonaro.. Read it…
Magicians might not have real powers, but their skill at sleight of hand tricks can make you wonder if they’ve tapped into Michael Carbonaro in The Carbonaro Effectsomething otherworldly. And since 2014, Michael Carbonaro has been creating illusions on The Carbonaro Effect, making bystanders question where the line between fantasy and reality really lies. As a professional magician, he can make the impossible seem possible.
There aren’t many famous magicians out there, so fans might be curious about how Carbonaro got his start. As it turns out, Carbonaro has always had a passion for creating illusions. His love of special effects, his personal struggles, and his family have all informed his craft, helping him create a truly entertaining TV show. But what was the man like before he stepped in front of a camera? And how has he changed over the course of his career? Well, prepare yourself for some incredible facts and impressive illusions as we find out what Michael Carbonaro’s life was like before all the fame.  READ MORE
Shin Lim is mastering his next trick: Stardom (Interview)

Shin Lim is mastering his next trick: Stardom (Interview)

A montage of Shin Lim’s winning season on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” might reel off in a series of stunned faces, dropped jaws, and baffled adults squealing in wonder.

Olivia Munn’s mouth agape as Lim appears to turn one playing card into three, two, then none. Spice Girl Mel B pounding a table with childlike glee: “No, no, no, no!” Simon Cowell muttering: “Bloody hell, Shin. That was spooky.”

The montage would end with Lim, a Waltham resident at the time, being awarded the $1 million grand prize as gold confetti is raining down, the runners-up are hoisting him into the air, and host Tyra Banks is screaming over the cheers, “Shin Lim! The sexiest magician on the planet!”

But where that 2018 montage ends, Lim’s career begins.

The Acton-Boxborough High School graduate has gone on to perform a run with “The Illusionists” on Broadway, landed a Las Vegas residency at the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas, married his sweetheart, Casey Thomas, in Hawaii, and returned to compete on the first-ever international “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” against a field of 50 past winners and fan faves, from Scotland to South Africa.

He won that, too.

He’s baffled Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show,” made Kelly Clarkson squawk, wowed Ellen DeGeneres, Henry Winkler, Wanda Sykes, Jay Leno.

Now on his own national tour, “LIMitless,“ Lim, 28, performs on “The Today Show” Tuesday before heading to Medford for a sold-out show Wednesday at the Chevalier Theatre.

We recently talked tricks with the mind-blower, now based in Los Angeles.  READ MORE

By Lauren Daley for the Boston Globe…

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Part Three in a John Bannon Trilogy.. from John Bannon and BigBlindMedia.. This is the Ad Copy..

After the best selling 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. Fuelled by Bannon’s inimitable style of easy-to-achieve, yet staggeringly powerful card magic, this is a project you NEED!

Over 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 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!

My Thoughts:

Typical John Bannon. Of course, ‘typical’ John Bannon is like saying ‘typical Beatles’.. or ‘typical Dali’. For what it is, this is about as good as it gets. This DVD is listed as for beginners, so you know you aren’t getting knuckle-busting card effects. But, just because it’s for beginners doesn’t mean it should be ‘card tricks 101’.. and it’s not.

This is a very intelligent collection of effects that virtually anyone can learn from. There is something for everyone. Yes, some of the tricks require more work than others, but unless you want to remain a beginner for the rest of your life.. just go with it.

Don’t be afraid.. regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on.. Everyone will come away happy and the proud possessor of at least two or three effects you’ll put to good use. What I like about Bannon is.. he wants every effect to look like something a very skilled performer would perform. Not a single effect in this collection is a dud. Not a single effect is something I’d be shy to perform for a table full of spectators. Several are magician foolers, which naturally get an extra star.. if I gave stars.

Run time is about 3 hours, and video and sound are typical BigBlindMedia. Nothing distracting or over-the-top, or less-than-expected. Just plain ‘ol good production qualities.

The first line or two in these descriptions are from the Ad Copy. I have added my comments to the bottom of each effect…

Proxy Shock – They think of a card. The deck is shuffled. It looks like you miss… then BOOM! They realise they were just being set up for the sucker punch.
– This uses a regular deck and no setup. All the magic happens during the effect. This does use a sleight, taught carefully by John, and something that virtually anyone can do with a little practice. As with several of John’s effects, he uses a double undercut during the effect, which is something you probably already know or can learn quickly. This is one slick trick when done at speed. It’s also something you can show your magician buddies and they won’t know how you did it.. unless they watched this DVD.

Rock The ‘Voque – A spectator reads your mind, bit by bit, nailing the card you thought of… and you can prove it!
– Equivoque. Nice example of a technique familiar to magicians but not familiar to the public. You may not fool a lot of magicians with this.. but you WILL fool the dickens out of lay folks. Easy to do, if you can remember a few simple steps. No sleights, but may use a ‘move’ of sorts to help with selecting the right card. I can see myself adding this to a table hopping lineup as it’s easy to set up and keeps cards off wet tables. One of my most favorite effects..

Mundo – All the impact of ‘Out of This World’, but in a small packet, and with a twist that will fool EVERYONE!
– Bannon adds a personal touch to this Out of this World plot that gives it a unique look. Not hard to do.. most of the work is done beforehand, and the only ‘sleight’ is a false shuffle. My personal opinion.. a few folks may discern a portion of the effect, but the vast majority of folks will be totally fooled. It’s up to you to sell the improbability.

Cut & Run – Produce the Four Aces from a deck repeatedly shuffled and cut… by your SPECTATOR! This is a killer utility!
– Another effect with a slight bit of prep.. but you can actually achieve everything needed with the spectator watching you. Sort of a ‘Ben Earle move as interpreted by John Bannon’ makes everything possible. You will need to practice this to make it work properly, not because of difficult moves, but just to be able to perform the moves swiftly and convincingly. Another of my personal favorites.

Hybrid Holdout – Your participant shuffles and cuts. Top stock: Controlled?!?
Additional instruction on a fairly simple sleight…

Stealth Aces – A classic Ace Assembly, that combines easy handling with a devious construction!
– Ace Assembly. A John Carey effect with a John Bannon move. Although this effect has been around awhile.. it’s still a winner. It reminds me of something I’d normally have to get from Paul Gordon. If you’ve bought packet effects from Paul, as I have, you’ll know what I’m talking about..! You think cards are at one place, and discover they’re someplace different. Everything is accomplished with one move, and NOT a shuffle or count. Slick…

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!
– An Ace Assembly.. without the assembly. Uses an Elmsley Count and a couple of variations. This is the most commercial of all the effects.. and will require a little more practice than most effects.. but it will be well worth it. Learn to do this effect with pace and confidence and you’ll be performing this for years to come.

Blues Alley Jokers – Truly shocking appearance of Jokers sandwiching a selected card.
– Sandwich effect. Jack Carpenter inspired effect utilizes a shift to move three cards from one known location to a seemingly impossible location. Everyone will love this one if you’re willing to put in a little work.

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 spectators intuition, you zero in on a card they’ve genuinely thought of, and never named. BOOM!
– A little Vernon.. a little Martin Gardner. Math is the secret, but no worries. Everything is self working up to a point. Then, you need to perform a gentle sleight or two to get the final outcome. This will fool anyone, including most magicians.

Question Zero – A borrowed, shuffled deck. A thought of card. Zero questions, maximum bang for minimal buck!
– This is, technically, perhaps the most challenging effect on the DVD. But, with a little work, will offer the most reward. The deck CAN be borrowed, there is NO setup, and you do NOT ask any questions. Yet, you know their selected card and can reveal it in any number of ways.

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.
– Inspired by a Alain Nu effect, Line of Sight uses a very casual glimpse, taught by John, to obtain a freely selected cards identity. This effect relies on a story to sustain the mystery, and the spectator will never figure how you knew their card, leaving them with no choice but to believe your improbable story. This is a quick opener.

– Additional instructions on getting a glimpse..

I will recommend this to all my friends and readers of the Magic Roadshow. It’s a good, quality instructional DVD that impressed me with all the strong effects you wouldn’t normally expect from a DVD with so few sleights. NOT a self-working video, but some of the effects are darn close to it. Others will require you to get your hands slightly dirty.. but it will be well worth it…

$25.00 From Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of products..
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=65048

Reviewed by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow..