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Topic: A Mental Playground Production: Reality Check by Michael Paul
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Nov 21, 2008 05:40PM)
The first official release by Mental Playground Productions. Reality Check from the mind of Michael Paul with special guest Matthew Mello. Shot in High-Definition for razor sharp instruction.


Reality Check

Three one on one private lessons that bring you into the creative mind of Michael Paul. You’ll learn three insanely visual (and practical) close up magic effects, along with several variations, moves and subtleties. Learn about proper timing, audience direction, context, framing and much, much more. Are you tired of single trick releases, that only show you how to do some trick you’ll never be able to actually use? Maybe it’s time for a Reality Check!

Atomic 2.0

A piece of candy magically appears in a flash of fire. Seconds later, it visually vanishes, leaving it’s wrapper behind (and your fingers empty), only to re-appear where it belongs… in your mouth! First learn multiple variations of the trick, then study the details that make it powerful. You’ll learn about attitude, context, framing and more.


With no sleeves or pockets used, a half dollar completely vanishes. Both hands are shown with fingers open, front and back. Then the coin is re-produced. No palming, pulls, or sticky stuff. Several mind-blowing vanishes are taught, including a “raven” like version that looks like trick photography.


A complete ambitious card routine like you’ve never seen before. Featured phases include an ultra-visual face up instant rise, and a test conditions animation of a card to the top of the pack that will blow you and your audiences away. The best part? No gimmicks. As an encore, you stand there, still in front of your audience and allow the spectator’s signature to vanish (in full view from a face up card) with no movement whatsoever. Later, Matt Mello joins the fun, and discusses the routine and its details with Michael Paul in a special jam session.

Individual Effects.....$9.99
Full DVD Download......$25.00
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Nov 23, 2008 09:08PM)
Until the other thread on this topic is unlocked, please feel free to post your comments and questions in this thread.
Message: Posted by: Michael Paul (Nov 24, 2008 09:38AM)
Um, why locked?
Message: Posted by: altrez (Nov 24, 2008 04:09PM)

A complete ambitious card routine like you’ve never seen before. Featured phases include an ultra-visual face up instant rise, and a test conditions animation of a card to the top of the pack that will blow you and your audiences away. The best part? No gimmicks. As an encore, you stand there, still in front of your audience and allow the spectator’s signature to vanish (in full view from a face up card) with no movement whatsoever. Later, Matt Mello joins the fun, and discusses the routine and its details with Michael Paul in a special jam session.

This is a LIE the ACR is Gimmicked!!! The Rise is not however to do the complet ACR you wil need a gimmick! I purchased this effect looking for a new ACR without Gimmicks. This one uses a gimmick! Stay away from this false advertising!!! Please do not make the same mistake I did!!!

Message: Posted by: altrez (Nov 24, 2008 05:05PM)
Guys let me be the first to admit I jumped the gun.. The rise is impromptu so please support Mental Playground Productions as they REALLY care about there customers! So much in fact that I have been talking with them for over 2 hours :)

I have a feeling that great things are coming from this group!

Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Nov 24, 2008 05:30PM)
Altrez -

Thank you for your understanding. We are happy we could bring a workable un-gimmicked card rise to the masses. Also, just so there is no confusion, other parts of the routine are not "impromptu", which need a little something extra, but it is something that you already have.
Message: Posted by: Judah Vee (Nov 24, 2008 09:29PM)
Thought I would copy this to here since the other thread was locked. ( Why was that?)

I downloaded the DVD and I have to say: As usual....Nice!! But anyone who read my post about this project knows I am biased about Michael. So my review will be short.

Effects: Nice and visual, easy to learn because of Mikes over abundance of teaching every nuance.

Difficulty: beginner to intermediate, which is not to say a pro wont use these. Just not hard to do. Which has been what Mike has offered to the magic world: simple powerful magic.

Download: Crisp and clear, no trouble downloading or playing. Love the Blooper reel, Mike!!!!!

Value: hmmm lets think ..One trick that might be usable for 25 bucks, or three that are usable for 25 bucks. No math needed there. In a land filled with one trick DVDs this is a refreshing call back to the days of VHS where the more was the merrier.

All in all I say a great investment. I have not had a complaint yet about what I have gotten from Mike, and cant wait for more. But, once again,(before anyone burns me) I AM BIASED!!!!!!!!!


Message: Posted by: Michael Paul (Nov 25, 2008 12:06PM)
Is there a reason as to why my other post on this topic got locked???
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Nov 25, 2008 12:20PM)
The thread has been unlocked. It was a mistake.

Thanks Judah for your support. Yes that blooper reel was a lot of fun to put together. It got pretty crazy during the shoot with Mike and Matt.
Message: Posted by: ted french (Nov 25, 2008 12:51PM)
Michael, looks great I'm glad you got that stuff out. That color change is really fun and great in a nightclub I did it the other night and it went over really well.
Good luck with the new projects Brian
Message: Posted by: Michael Paul (Nov 25, 2008 01:42PM)
Color change?
Message: Posted by: ted french (Nov 25, 2008 01:48PM)
Coming out dec. 1
Message: Posted by: Michael Paul (Nov 25, 2008 02:01PM)
OOOOOOH, yes... THAT ONE... lol.

It's coming out on pdf. Maybe on DVD soon. World's first no move, no misdirection visual color change. Yea.

Glad you like it.
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Nov 28, 2008 09:44PM)
On 2008-11-25 13:51, ted french wrote:
Good luck with the new projects Brian

Thanks Shaun! This is the first of many more great things on the horizon.
Message: Posted by: jordanjohnson (Dec 23, 2008 05:47PM)
I received this package of effects a few weeks ago and wanted to take my time and perform these effects for people rather than just my opinion of them without working them and on doing them for people other than parents or friends. So these are my thoughts on this set, after performing each effect for laypeople several times, from Michael Paul and Mental Playground Productions, so ENJOY, and I hope this helps with anyone on the fence of buying these effects. P.S. I am not biased to Michael Paul at all, I have never seen, or talked to Michael.

Title: Reality Check

Creator: Michael Paul

Produced by: Mental Playground Productions

Trailer: http://www.thementalplayground.com/realitycheck.html

Price: Reality Check DVD - $26.99
Reality Check Download - $25.00
DVD + Download Package - $31.99

Other Products by Michael Paul: Simply Devastating, Fed-Exed, Flicker, Real Mind Control pt.1, and soon to be released Urban Legend. These effects can be seen at http://www.theinvisiblethread.com.

Reality Check contains three effects from the working repertoire of Michael Paul and each one has been audience tested in various environments, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, etc.

Atomic 2.0:
Like many of you I saw this effect on the trailer and it completely fried me. I love the visuallness of the effect. It is also like three separate effects in one, a vanish of and object, and penetration of the object through the cellophane, and an impossible location of a mint to your mouth. Michael teaches two different approaches to the effect with various tips and advice for each method. The first method he teaches you produce a fireball candy from a burst of flames. You then proceed to vanish the fireball from within the wrapper and it transports to your mouth. The second method is a bit more visual and you hold a wrapped lifesaver in your hands and it instantaneously vanishes with no cover whatsoever, and appears in your mouth.
I have always loved Paul Harris’ Lip Smacker effect but Michael has taken Paul’s effect and transformed it into the 21st century. This is one of my favorite effects in the set due to the visuallness and the simplicity behind the effect. A bonus is that Michael teaches various subtle techniques that will enhance not only the effects taught in the set but your magic overall. I also like the way that Mental Playgrounds shows the references to techniques or ideas that Michael has studied and used to enhance his magic.

Michael does it again. This one really fooled me badly as well. I was sure he had some special pu** tucked away somewhere, but boy was I wrong. Michael takes a gimmick that magicians have been using since the late 1800s and again revamped it to the 21st century. I can see many people using this and enjoying the easy and visual vanish of a coin that Michael teaches. He teaches multiple ways of performing this and multiple convincers and cleanups for this. He also has a sort of Raven type vanish taught as well and is super visual. They also show the effect over the shoulder for easier learning. Now as for me I tried it and for my performing style and where I perform I don’t see myself using this much, but that is just me. A lot of the magic I do is surrounded and this effect has angle and well as some lighting restrictions (which can be eliminated with a tip that Michael gives). I still will carry this with me as it will fit easily in my pocket and not take up hardly any space and wont obscure what I already carry and it will fit right in, so in that case that I am in the right situation I will definitely pull this out and use it. One bit of advice practice, practice, and practice this to get the movements down so they are fluid and natural. As magicians we already get are movements and motions scrutinized when we are performing so if you don’t practice this and commit it to memory the movements can become very awkward and unnatural. So practice this even if you won’t perform this all the time as I will, but when the situation is right I can blow some spectators away.

This is Michael’s take on the classic Ambitious Card. It is very nicely constructed with a nice beginning and a good end to wrap it all up. It consists of a good number and very visual rises combined with some others that pad the routine. The only problem I have with his routine is that it is not completely impromptu and you have to carry a few other things with you. Now I have my own ambitious card routine that I have been doing for about six years that I use every time I perform, so I wont be picking this up, but for any of you that don’t have a set ambitious card routine this is a great one to learn and will serve you well. With a classic such as ambitious card you want to make sure and learn one that a professional has honed and mastered with years of performing as Michael has. So for those of you that want to learn ambitious card Michael teaches a great one.

Overall the set is great; you get some great material by a great teacher. Michael not only teaches the effects but he goes further to teach you the subleties that he has develop through years of performing. Also you get some great tips on framing misdirection from Michael. Definitely a good buy and whether a beginner or a professional I can both types and all in between getting a wealth of information as well as some great commercial effects.

Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Dec 27, 2008 09:51AM)
Great review Jordan. Glad you found things you enjoyed from this.
Message: Posted by: Michael Paul (Dec 27, 2008 08:41PM)
Thanks Jordan!
Message: Posted by: jordanjohnson (Dec 27, 2008 09:56PM)
No problem guys can't wait to pick up more quality commercial effects from you and mental playground productions
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Jan 16, 2009 11:17AM)
Just wanted to let you all know this is now available as a hard copy DVD.


Also, we have a few updates in the [url=http://www.thementalplayground.com/news.html]News[/url] section on up upcoming releases.