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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Ravina's Shocking - a review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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truthteller
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This is my review which is also posted on mylovelyassistant.

I have mixed emotions in writing this review. Part of me doesn't want to do it. Why? Because this offering is SO BAD that my stomach literally churns at the thought of it. But, I also fear that some of you out there might end up sharing this gut wrenching experience, so I will persevere.

There are times when I believe that the stuff marketed to magicians has truly hit rock bottom. But after reading Vincenzo Ravina's Shocking I am convinced we are still fully plummeting headlong into the abyss.

First, let's talk about the outright theft:

Vincenzo has lifted Mac King's fork in eye stunt and the punch line to Jim Pace's the web, both without credit or permission. He has not varied either effect. What we have is pure plagiarism.

This is wrong and should not be tolerated.

He also has included the bit where one eats a goldfish by switching it for a carrot. This is currently in use by Mac, though has a history. Does Vincenzo credit either? Of course not. Perhaps one day he will buy the Matt Schulien book and see where "his" ideas came from.

AND he includes a "swallowed" worm to spectator's pocket. Seen this idea before? Worm swallowing? Wait, that's ALSO from Mac King's act. And again, the idea has a history. Check out Steve Beam's Trapdoor for the genesis of the effect. Did Vincenzo? Of course not. Why research when you can steal?

Then we have age old ideas, with again, nothing new offered:

Switch your thumb for a carrot under a hankie and cut it. Thank you, World's Greatest Magic Special.

Make your neck crack with a plastic cup hidden under your armpit. Just how old IS this idea?

Slice your arm with a protractor. Exact method as described in Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft but with a protractor. A protractor?!? I guess protractors are scarier than knives.

The bending and broken spoon as written up by Randi in Bascom Jones' Magick. Again nothing new, and no credit.

An impromptu Bongo Bender made from another key is offered next. Again, does this man not know how to READ?!? This effect is currently marketed by Richard Mark, now stolen for Ravina's money making scheme.

And then there is the classic pulse stopping trick. Has Vincent added anything? Of course not. How creepy.

Then we have just stupid ideas:

Push a pen into your arm by removing the point. But what if they ask to see the pen. Don't worry Ravina has the answer, "They will ask to see the pen. As you are about to give it to them, slip it behind your ear and it will seem to vanish as they grab onto it."

Wait...ok..no....wait...ok...no, wait. All right I'm through laughing now. Whatever dude.

How about pulling out your own wallet and trying to convince someone else that its theirs so they will chase you. Now there's a classy piece of magic.

Or sealing broken glass and nails inside a bag of potato chips for someone to open. (It's in here.)

The razor blade routine with paper clips and floss. Now that's suspense if I've ever seen it.

Or a knock off of the Criss Angel coffee to bugs which a knock off of the Fitch-Blaine Coffee to Coins. Do you think placing your OWN cap onto someone else's coffee cup would be above suspicion? Please. Who ARE you working for and where does the SHORT yellow bus they ride to school on stop in your neighborhood?

Or a trick whose method consists of "accidentally" dropping something on the floor and switching it under the table. ( Check out Slydini's sugar tricks for a REAL method. Oh wait, I forgot, you don't read. You know, there were magicians on this planet before Blaine. Some of them wrote books. Try to find one.) The only deception occurring in that effect is that the magician deceives himself to believe he could actually fool someone with something so asinine.

And speaking of which, allow me to post a few quotes so you know the kind of person you are dealing with:

"Watch a look of horror spread over their face."

"Need to get out of class before a test? Fake a nosebleed."

"This one is cool. It makes people cringe and scream. I've even made someone cry before. It is great."

And "[He'll realize] you didn't steal anything but his dignity."

Somehow I don't think I want my art presented in a manner that these quotes reflect. I mean, I love a scary, suspenseful trick. But people distrust magicians enough as it is. We don't need to run around squirting them. The material presented here is immature, childish, and without an ounce of creative or original input.

Could someone with the experience of Mac King take an idea like swallowing gold fish and make it special. Of course. Does Ravina? Of course not. Instead he takes other's ideas and *****izes them into the lowest and most base of practical jokes, jokes that are neither deceptive, clever, or even all that Shocking.

Production quality is laughable. Single stapled pages. One sided printing. THis is BAD!!!

Can I give zero stars? I guess I'll have to settle with 1/2.
Robert Sixx
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So let me go out on a limb here! I'm guessing -- you didn't like it?
Smile
Catch me on Twitter @RobertSixx or Facebook -- Robert Sixx
Donny Orbit
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Its sad really. Every time our artform takes a step forward, it also seems to take 2 steps back. I hope that this review has been insightful to some of the magicians just coming into the art who want to imitate Blaine. This manuscript should have never been released. For an alternative to the above mentioned manuscript, pick up Andrew Mayne's Shock FX.

XX
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truthteller
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I have heard great things about Andrew's work. I'm glad someone out there is trying to be original.
ritty360
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the only shocking thing is that someone would try and make money off of someone else dishonestly.....
thehawk
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I don't believe many will buy it that read this review.
truthteller
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Yes, Xander and Ritty, I completely agree.
eebie376
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It's funny you never posted before Caffeine Rush about the quality of Vincenzo's products. Vincenzo really isn't proud of this piece of work anyway, and tries to hide it behind him Smile .

By the way... he released Caffeine Rush by request...

Ian
truthteller
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Actually, both reviews were in process before I had heard of caffiene rush. Cranial Contortions review was posted a couple of weeks ago on mylovelyassistant, and this current review was released to them a few days before my posting it here.

It was the abysmal quality of both works which caused my attention to be turned to Ravina's most recent creations.
eebie376
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Lol
truthteller
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I don't see what is funny. Mylovelyassistant sends me material to review each month. My last shipment had the 2 Ravina manuscripts among others.

Though check out the review of Ravina's material in the Linking Ring should anyone think that my opinions are in some way vindictive or do not adequately reflect the quality of the works.
boblinds
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Quote:
"They will ask to see the pen. As you are about to give it to them, slip it behind your ear and it will seem to vanish as they grab onto it."


I adapted this a bit to my performing style. At the same time I'm handing them the pen, I point behind their back and yell, "LOOK! A baby wolf!" This really helps cover the sleight to the back of your ear.

Smile
eebie376
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I don't see what is funny. Mylovelyassistant sends me material to review each month. My last shipment had the 2 Ravina manuscripts among others.

Though check out the review of Ravina's material in the Linking Ring should anyone think that my opinions are in some way vindictive or do not adequately reflect the quality of the works.

I see what's funny ... try some of his new material now truthteller.
truthteller
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And why should I? His two previous releases were lousy. Ravina has a history of publishing other creator's material under his own name. And, his current release is based on an unpublished effect concept which is proprietary to another magician (hardly qualifying as "HIS" new material). Further, there is no evidence anywhere that this pattern has or will change.

If Ravina wants someone to buy his latest release, maybe he should have thought twice before forging his reputation with the awful works he has so far produced.
eebie376
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Ok. Then don't buy it. Don't cry to me about it, Just. Don't. Buy. It. Then.
Maestro
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Quote:
Ok. Then don't buy it. Don't cry to me about it, Just. Don't. Buy. It. Then.


Eebie376: You seem to be the only one that is "crying" in this thread. Truthteller was just responding to your comments.

I'm glad truthteller is warning us about the poor quality of these products as well as the theft that they are based on, aren't you?
eebie376
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No. Vincenzo was well aware before that this manuscript was a mistake. You should have seen the Caffeine rush thread.
truthteller
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eebie, The SHocking manuscript was not mentioned in the Caffeine Rush thread.
highmagic
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Thanks for the honest review truthteller. Not that I was going to buy that booklet, after having read "Cranial Contorsions"
Hengky Ciptanegara
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So...,

Where I could find this booklet???

Hengky
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