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Topic: Bill Malone, the Man, the DVD's
Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Sep 15, 2002 01:10PM)
I finally received Bill Malone's "On The Loose" DVD set a few weeks ago. To say that they are absolutely fanstastic would be a dramatic understatement! Before commenting on the material itself, I'd like to recount a story that explains why I'm so jazzed about this DVD set, and Bill's magic in general.

I waited quite sometime for these DVD's to come out, having received a tip from Bill himself last year. I met Bill last winter at a gig I was working (with MagicCafe member Cardguy). It was Samatha Bettman's Bat Mitzvah (her dad is the chair of the NHL). As it turns out, Bill is a good friend of Mr. Bettman and the NHL (after all, he is the world's greatest corporate magician), and he was asked to come down and do an hour for Mr.Bettman and his friends, while Cardguy and I worked the younger crowd (We didn't know this when we were hired).

After working for three hours (I have a lot of material, including freestyle yo-yo and contact juggling, in addition to close-up magic) Cardguy and I were relaxing. He looked behind me and, in an awe-struck mumble, said, "Its Bill Malone!" Figuring that Cardguy was just trying to fool me (as usual), I wouldn't turn around. Then I heard, "You guys wanna show me something?" It was the man himself. I was floored.

After showing him a few of my favorites (including, of course, some of his own material that I have worked into my repetoire), he took the deck from me a proceeded to floor everyone (Cardguy and I included) with his version of the 11 card trick (p.s. look at the Complete Works of Derek Dingle for a great handling of this trick, similar to what Bill performed that night), complete with a standing deck vanish (sans topit) at the end.

It was an amazimg sight to behold. The audience was mostly young children, and he handled them in a way that utterly impressed me.

Once the dust had settled, I coyly approached him for an autograph. He obliged, and summerily invited Cardguy and me to a private session once he was done working. We graciously (and obsequiously) accepted. When Bill was done table-hopping, he found us, and we found a quiet, secluded corner of the catering hall, where Bill proceeded to tip technical details for about 40 minutes. It was overwhelming.

He told us that most of what he was showing us was slated to be on his upcoming DVD set. At that moment I knew I had to have them.

After the session, we stepped outside for a smoke (kids, don't smoke), and Bill shared some 'words of wisdom,' until his cab arrived. This was the most memorable part of the evening. I remember him nonchalantly peforming some top-notch cigarette magic before lighting up his Kool (He said, "I used to do cigarette stuff," as he dextrously manipulated that cancer stick in ways I had never seen before). He was sincere and forthcoming, a consumate professional and great man.

My approach to professional magic changed forever that night. There is one thing that Bill said to us that still rings in my head whenever I prepare for a gig, "No one hires a deck of cards." It was succinct and profound, irrevocably shifting my performance paradigm forever. Whenever I think of those words, I picture him performing the 11 card trick for those kids. He was so relaxed, but still very energetic. He handled both the deck and the crowd with aplomb. And it wasn't merely the trick that amazed us, it was the man. I get it now, Bill. I get it.

I eagerly awaited the release of his DVD's (since he tipped so much we couldn't absorb it all at once), and spent the next 10 months studying material had influenced his magic (based on the tips he had given us). After several delays the DVD's were released. And I was ecstatic.

You might think that on a 4-DVD set there is bound to be some weak material. This is absolutely not the case with "On The Loose." There is, quite literally, a lifetime of real-world knowledge on these DVDs, and viewing just one of them will invarialbly improve your professional work (even if you're not a cardician).

And there is more than mechanics on these DVDs. Bill passes on some of the most pragmatic professional wisdom, from patter suggestions to business advice, and everything in between.

Every handling on these DVD's in incredibly elegant, and despite Bill technical mastery with a deck of cards, there is nary a finger-numbing routine among them.

Bill has a knack for rejuvinating moldy oldies. I never used the Mental Photography Deck (I shy way from gaffs/gimmicks), until I saw Bill's take on Mike Skinner's handling ("Direct From The Factory" DVD #3), which elevates the effect from clever to miraculous. He has succeded in re-working some real snoozers into very powerful effects (e.g. 'The 4 Robbers', DVD #4, and 'Standing Ovation Invisible Deck', DVD #3).

For all of the effect on these DVDs there is a significant disparity between effort and impact. You'll get MUCH MORE out of these effects then you put in. What more could you want?

Moreover, these DVD's capture the essence of that night at Samantha Bettman's Bat Mitzvah. Even on video, his consumate professionalism and good nature shine through. Bill explains everything, sharing a big piece of his professional repetoire with the magic community, while offering insight that only comes with vast experience. Now everyone can have a private session with a man who has mastered professional magic performance.

So, let's hear it for Bill Malone!
Message: Posted by: Lance Pierce (Sep 15, 2002 02:08PM)

What a great post! I've taken the liberty of forwarding this on to Bill; I know he'd appreciate your kind words.


Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Sep 15, 2002 02:10PM)
Thanks TCR! Please send him my warmest regards, and deepest gratitude. :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: cardguy (Sep 15, 2002 03:02PM)
Ah yes, I remember that night Matt. I couldn't of put it better myself. Well said :bigdance:

If you really want to know how to ENTERTAIN with a deck of cards, these DVD's will teach you so much. You'll see that it's not really the cards that make a lasting impression on your audience.
Message: Posted by: mikkpe (Sep 15, 2002 03:43PM)
Freestyle yo-yo... that sounds cool but what excatly do you do? do you "just" impress them with insane tricks? I was really serious about yo-yoing when I was younger but I kinda gave up on it again because I wasn't able to get hold of a better yo-yo.

Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Sep 15, 2002 04:01PM)
I've sent you a private message, since my thoughts on freestyle yo are out of place on this thread.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Message: Posted by: rnr00 (Sep 15, 2002 04:57PM)
I have those videos and i have to agree, they are awsome!! i highly recommend them. I just wish i could meet Bill Malone. He is one of my favourite performers.
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Sep 15, 2002 10:19PM)
So when is he going to be Guest of honor? It's got to be possible!
Message: Posted by: Lance Pierce (Sep 15, 2002 10:35PM)
Hmmm, yes, but the problem is that he'd have to be available for a solid week, and that doesn't happen very often, since he travels over 150 days out of the year -- and that's just the out of state shows!

Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Sep 17, 2002 09:07PM)
If there is any way possible that Bill could be a guest of honor, that would be SO AMAZING! I wouldn't go to work! I'd be posting all day! :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: Crandash (Sep 17, 2002 09:13PM)
I was wondering about the dvd's, the post was great thank you for the info
Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Sep 17, 2002 09:15PM)
You're welcome, Crandash! :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: UNREAL (Jun 30, 2003 05:00PM)
For Mattpuglisi and Cardguy...i've noticed you both live in NewYork City...as do i as well(bronx). ive been interested in magic since i was 10. but i actually started "researching" things last year. The problem was i would see an effect i liked and then jump to it. ie mirage wallet and invisible deck and packet tricks. But i soon realized i want to master the mechanics and get slights downpacked to entertain a crowd.

I don't own any books/videos but i HAVE seen Malone on TV and demos in online sites and youre right matt. he's sleight of hand is just as good as anyone elses but his style makes him a miraculous person to watch.

Anyway i now have a job this summer in manhattan and am making enough money to start investing in some real material as oppose to gaffed decks/packets which im staying away from until i become a sleight of hand expert :cool:

Im only 16 and honestly don't know ANY peers that do magic. I think the only thing that motivates me to persue card magic is the magic Café and online demo videos. :pout:

So you guys seem pretty young and from the same place as i am. How do you think i should start off? What are some places in the city where i can meet people who meet my interests and where do you guys purchase your material?

Your comments would be gladly appreciated

Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Jun 30, 2003 08:10PM)
Bill's DVDs have the best material I have ever spent my money on. Very cool story Matt, I would kill to meet Bill in person.

I cannot recommend these DVDs the most.


Evan Williams
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 30, 2003 09:34PM)
Hey unreal, Pelham Bay here!!

I love these DVD's. They are the only ones I will keep forever ( and my Ammar material ).

Killer magic that is entertaining with clear explanations. Bill came through!!!
Message: Posted by: UNREAL (Jul 1, 2003 08:23AM)
Pelham Bay that's pretty close to me. Im on CastleHill just a few stops on the 6 train away from you.
Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Jul 1, 2003 09:48AM)
I live in Bayside, Queens.

Cardguy lives in Whitestone, Queens.

We session regularly in my apartment, and we try to get out to magic-related events in the area as much as possible.

We (occasionally) hang out at Rogue Magic Shop on Queens Blvd. (near Grand Ave.) in Flushing, where we also obtain some of our material. Rogue has a huge selection of material - props, gags, costumes, DVD's, etc. We have stage shows there every Saturday night at 9, and the last Friday of every month we have a night of close-up (usually mixed with some stage magic). We've also been adding Sunday afternoon shows for the Summer. Occasionally, a few of the guys from Monday Night Magic (which everyone should check out) come down to hang out and perform. Simon Lovell (!!!), Michael Chault, and Carl Mercurio were there last Friday. Carl performed, and it was awesome! If you're ever in the area, you should check it out.

A great place to get magic books is Michael Cannicks Booksellers in Manhatten. If you run a search on Lycos, you'll find his website.

If you'd like more info on any of this, PM me.
Message: Posted by: Palle (Jul 2, 2003 09:12AM)
Great post Matt, it couldn't be said any better. Bill's DVDs are fantastic, and he comes across as a super nice person. I am a big fan. Thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: mattpuglisi (Jul 2, 2003 04:52PM)
You're welcome, Palle.

With any luck, I'll be making my first trip to Malone's Magic Bar this weekend. (I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale, but might take a trip to Boca).

If I go, I'll post a review . . .
Message: Posted by: bjsantiago (Oct 14, 2003 08:46PM)
This series is worth every penny.
Message: Posted by: thehawk (Oct 15, 2003 07:00AM)
His four dvd set will go down as a classic of sets released by any magician.
Message: Posted by: thk5353 (Oct 15, 2003 01:51PM)
For those who do not own any of the volumes, don't hesitate you won't regret it. This was by far the best investment on dvds to date.
Message: Posted by: adamjames (Oct 15, 2003 05:13PM)
I've got Volume 1 arriving tomorrow.......judging by the comments on here, I won't be disappointed!
Message: Posted by: magicfabien (Oct 16, 2003 05:52AM)
These are the best tapes you can buy 1-4.