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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From The Wizards Cave - by Bill Palmer » » Reviews -- how I write them (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
Some of you who are members of SAM know that I am now a reviewer for MUM. Recently, one of the members of the forum has cast some rather odd aspersions on my qualifications as a reviewer, so I'll explain how I go about reviewing a trick.

First of all, I read the claims of the manufacturer. Next, I examine the props. I check to see if anything stands out as being problematic. Then I read the instructions and see if they are easily understood. I also check for completeness of instructions and proper crediting.

For example, if a particular force is used, I look to see if it is credited by the originator's name (if known) or simply by a catch-all name that is known to the magic community. I also check to see if the originator's name is spelled correctly. If the instructions refer to a "Hofzinger bottom placement," I will point out the error.

Next, I practice the trick and see how well it flows. If the trick works according to the instructions, then I'm satisfied. Finally, I try it under fire. I have a ready and willing group of lay people who are fairly discerning that will watch new material for me. I listen to their reactions without prompting them for opinions.

With larger stage props, such as the ring in the racquetball, I did not go through the performance phase, because it wasn't necessary. The prop functioned precisely as it should, and since I don't do many stage shows any more, I didn't have a place to try it out. However, I could see from Lou Leventhal's DVD that came with it, that it would work well. I've done similar effects, so I knew how this would play onstage.

Now I write the review. Generally, I do not write a bad review of a trick unless it falls short of what I consider to be normal constraints. I bring into consideration the type of performer who will be using it. I don't let friendships or old conflicts get in the way. My friends know this, so they are careful not to submit junk!

However, one fellow whose material I reviewed posted here, "I wish there weren't as many or any reviewers of magic tricks." Well, if you don't want it reviewed, don't send it. That's a no-brainer.

I have never seen a dealer item that the dealer who sold it could not present well. But that does not mean that YOU will be able to present every dealer item well. A dealer may perform a routine 20 to 50 times a day. In a week, he will have gotten in more practice than most people do in several months. And he MUST sell them. If he doesn't he has to eat them.

Think about this.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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