(Close Window)
Topic: Connection by Jon Allen
Message: Posted by: Astrocity (Mar 2, 2013 05:39PM)
First of all,
Am I the only one who has noticed that P3 is putting out some dynamite offerings to the magic community??!! Dan Harlan, Kyle Marlett, Bizzaro, Jon Allen...that's just some of the people who have been releasing material through P3 as of late.

Connection by Jon Allen,
Has anyone bought this and if so can we get your impressions? Three things about this intrigue me:
1) It's Jon Allen sharing a TON of his material.
2) Dan Harlan "sits in" with Jon to share his thoughts on performing. I'm a fan of Dan "The Man" Harlan and how he approaches magic and preforming.
3) The title "Connection" refers to the connection made with your audience, which to me is the most important part of performing.


Very interested in hearing anyone's thoughts who has purchased this.

Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 2, 2013 05:50PM)
I had not even heard of this set coming out. I really enjoyed Jon's Penguin lecture, so thanks for posting this.
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 2, 2013 06:13PM)
Looks very good.
Message: Posted by: Astrocity (Mar 3, 2013 02:13PM)

Something slipped past the "Zombiemeister"??!! :)

I hope someone who has bought this can share with us here...
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 3, 2013 02:20PM)
On 2013-03-03 15:13, Astrocity wrote:

Something slipped past the "Zombiemeister"??!! :)

I hope someone who has bought this can share with us here...

lol. I was on the site and didn't see it. You have peeked behind the curtain and have seen the Zombie is no wizard after all.....

I like the premise of this set, connecting with your audience. That's something that needs to be taught ( and it can be ). One Magician performs a $500 trick and they couldn't care less. Another Magician vanishes a little red silk and they go nuts. There's a reason!
Message: Posted by: virtualwizard (Mar 3, 2013 07:03PM)
I'd also be interested in hearing from someone who has purchased these DVD's.
Message: Posted by: jcroop (Mar 5, 2013 11:11AM)
Does anybody have a link to the contents of these DVDs?

Message: Posted by: eric_e (Mar 5, 2013 11:37AM)
That's my question, exactly--has anybody seen contents anywhere? I have no doubt the material is terrific, but some details are always nice.
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 5, 2013 12:10PM)
THere is only a general description of the contents on Penguin site without any specific effects as follows:

What is it that elevates you from merely showing tricks to performing magic? Simple. It’s the CONNECTION you and your magic create with your audience. In this compelling set of DVDs you will learn how to create that connection. Jon Allen’s entire performing experience is crammed into 6 and a half hours of detailed instruction, invaluable advice and thought-provoking ideas. Enjoy 23 powerful effects and plenty of unmissable in-depth discussion with guest star and creative genius, Dan Harlan. Included on these DVDs are effects with cards, coins, rubber bands, bills, sugar packets, books, Post-It notes, photos and much more. Watch performances on stage, in close-up and on the street for real people giving real reactions. The amount of performance knowledge and commercial material on these DVDs is unparalleled. Whatever level in magic you are at, CONNECTION provides you with so much to explore. CONNECTION will not only turn you into a better magician; it will turn you into a better performer.
Message: Posted by: eric_e (Mar 5, 2013 12:32PM)
Thank you for posting that, Magicinsight. I'd found that, too, when I clicked through from the email I got from Penguin today about this set. I guess there are people who buy books, dvds, etc., based only on such descriptions, and I guess once in a blue moon, I have, too, but any more, I'm always just looking for tricks that might be useful in very specific contexts, so that approach to magic ad writing--basically just saying there's a wide variety of wonderful material in (or on) book/dvd/download xyz--now strikes me as telling me almost nothing that I really need to know to justify a purchase, even if lots of famous magicians vouch for it. I'm old enough that I remember when the Paul Harris books were coming out, to take one example, and the trick descriptions in the ads for those books were so well done that they were not only funny, but also able to make you feel like you'd just about die if you didn't order whatever book they were advertising that very day. I'm not expecting magic ads now to affect me the way the best ones did when I was a boy. But I really hope that something a little more specific about CONNECTION will pop up somewhere soon. I'll be surprised if it doesn't.
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 5, 2013 04:22PM)
Here is a more detailed list of what is on the 3 disc dvd set:

Disc One



•Forced Improve

•High Society


•1709 Walkabout


•Unique Coin Bend

•Learning About People

•One Trick Two Names


•The Creative Process

•Palm Up Bill Switch

•Signal Strength

Disc Two

•Asking "Why?"

•Grabbit Production

•Adlibitious Card

•Ring Off String Move

•Coming Full Circle

•Lucky Card

•Executive Decision

•Burning Rubber

•True Lies


•Citizen Cane

Disc Three

•What's the Point?

•The World's Funniest Joke


•(untitled) Book Test

•Introduction to Heroes


•The Problem with Business Cards

•Introduction to The Wedding Trick

•The Wedding Trick

•Schrodinger's Card

CONNECTION will not only turn you into a better magician; it will turn you into a better performer
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 5, 2013 04:31PM)
Thanks magicinsight!
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 5, 2013 04:41PM)

No big deal. I just copied it from Penguin site. It looks like a very good dvd set. It is alwys good to mix effects and philosophy.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 5, 2013 06:03PM)
It's great to know what's on the set. For me, it's Jon Allen, so as soon as Astrocity posted the link, I was all in.
Message: Posted by: acortest (Mar 5, 2013 10:35PM)
I met Jon at the 2012 IBM convention and got to watch and participate in some of the effects that I saw demo'd in the trailer for this DVD set. All I can say is 'Awesome'! He really did make a Connection with me and now he is one of the magicians I am most eager to learn new material from. If you don't have his book, 'Experience', you should grab that as well. I think the softback version was recently released. I think some of the material in 'Experience' is explained in greater detail on the 'Connection' DVD set. Can't wait to receive this. Thanks for sharing these secrets with us, Jon!
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 6, 2013 05:49AM)
Hi Guys,

I've been laid out a bit with a virus (attacking me and not my Mac) but I'm now up and raring to go!

Thanks for all the comments so far about my DVD set. I am genuinely proud of this project. It is a major release and an set I believe is really different. Why? It's different from a vast majority straight off the bat because everything is created to do for laymen. No pointless card effects that solve a problem nobody cared about in the first place. No tricks simply done to showcase a move or sleight that's been worked on. Everything on these DVDs is on them because they deserve to be experienced by the general public. The trailer shows a moment I have never seen on any instructional DVD and sums up 'Connection' beautifully (but it's not the 'Dan' moment!).

The element that makes them really stand out is my assistant. The initial upset at not having the 'hot blond' was soon eradicated by having the one and only Dan Harlan accept my invitation. Not only does he join in with some of the explanations but we also chat a lot about the important things in performance. The 'what' and 'how' is important but 'why' is something not usually discusses. Well, on 'Connection', it is and Dan and I bring the best out in each other. The person who benefits from all this is YOU.

I've been on here long enough to know that this thread will, in time, contain many positive posts, probably some negatives, maybe some personal attacks on people with nothing to do with the DVD and possibly some 'off-topic' posts too. If you have any questions or queries, within reason, I'll do my best to answer them.

For those who haven't seen some quotes about the set, I set them out below for your perusal and consideration:

"Jon Allen's Connection is the ultimate magic instructional trilogy... it truly is one of the best I have seen in a long while. His presentations bring new life to many effects. Smart and fun concepts you will want to use." -Garrett Thomas

"Every time I work with Jon Allen I am reminded how magic can be used to form meaningful connections with audiences as well as entertain them. Not only are people amazed by his truly creative pieces, but they come away liking him as a person, not just a performer. That's the magic we should all be doing." -Dan Harlan

"Jon performs and teaches a variety of astonishing effects that have been expertly crafted to engage the audience in fun, entertaining ways while fooling the sh*t out of them. The Jon Allen Connection is one of the best releases in the past couple of years." -Wayne Houchin

"Powerful, practical magic. Jon explains not only the 'what' and 'how', but also the important 'why' behind his incredible, creative effects." -Chris Hannibal
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Mar 6, 2013 09:45AM)
This is in my wishlist and I look forward to some reviews.
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 6, 2013 10:16AM)
I just ordered it. It is going to take some time to fully watch and digest all the material.
I think it is going to be excellent.

Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 6, 2013 10:41AM)
Mine arrived. We have a surgery today and a few hours of "waiting" so I'll bring the laptop and watch them ( or what I can ).
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 6, 2013 10:59AM)
On 2013-03-06 11:41, Zombie Magic wrote:
Mine arrived. We have a surgery today and a few hours of "waiting" so I'll bring the laptop and watch them ( or what I can ).

I hope and pray everything turns out well. Don't bring the laptap into the operating room. You might distract the surgeon trying to learn how to do the ambitious card routine.

Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 6, 2013 11:18AM)
On 2013-03-06 11:59, magicinsight wrote:

I hope and pray everything turns out well. Don't bring the laptap into the operating room. You might distract the surgeon trying to learn how to do the ambitious card routine.


Oh... it's a small price to pay for learning a great way to present Ambitious Card :)
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 6, 2013 11:22AM)
"Oh... it's a small price to pay for learning a great way to present Ambitious Card."

For who? The surgeon or the patient?
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 6, 2013 11:27AM)
The surgeon can enjoy performing it; the patient can enjoy experiencing it!
(Oh wow! Off topic already. Must. Control. Myself.)
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 6, 2013 03:48PM)
First off, thanks for the good wishes. We'll be here for a couple of more hours, but All went GREAT! It was a simple procedure ( on paper )...in a tender area. OUCH!

In case anyone doesn't want to read through what I wrote below, I'll sum it up by saying I think many not only will love this set, but actually NEED this set. You will find gems to use and learning Jon's approach to connecting with an audience makes this a must have set if you actually perform for people ( either just as a hobby or get paid ).

Because I'm a geek and carry stuff....I was able to perform 1 of the routines in the Caféteria ( by request...I don't ambush people with magic ).

I performed Ghost because I had what I needed ( I always have a Thread Bullet or Web Spinner on me because I'm a Thread Head ). Ghost caused a crowd of nurses to gather and applaud ( which you will get with many IT routines ). The beauty of Jon's routine is that it prevents people form wanting to look above, down, all over for how it's being done. The crumpled up bill, isolated in a glass, is a visual stunner and all their attention goes to it.

Because of the lighting, I could not have done a traditional bill float. I think with the right IT ( John Haar ) and proper shirt pattern, you could do this in daylight, strolling, restaurants, anywhere. It's simple to do and dramatic.

....back to the set.

It's beautifully filmed. I really only care about the magic, but it's a plus when so much effort is taken in the filming.

Jon believes there are NO Spectators and that is the point of this DVD set, how to make a "connection" with your audience. Dan Harlan joins Jon for explanations and interview segments. Dan KNOWS how to co-host. It's not usually done well by someone that is used to the lead role. Bravo Dan!

Portions are filmed in the Papercrane studio ( I recognized it from the Penguin Live lectures ) with what looks like an audience of laymen and there are performances out on the street and at a busy restaurant and bar area. Some DVD's show a Magician performing for people at a restaurant and...they have no drinks or food on their table. lol. Clearly they have been isolated just for the filming. Not so on this set.

It's is an education watching Jon perform for real people. He's funny ( and ad libs quick, funny responses ) and his magic on this set is SUPER strong. Not just "oh, that's clever or cool" but magic you will do and add his thinking on how you perform ( and make a connection ) using your existing magic.

There are small segments of Dan Harlan and Jon chatting about magic/methods, etc. and they aren't just "interesting" ( or worse..."how did you get into magic?" ) but chock full of tips on how to make the magic you perform much better by connecting with the audience.

Disk #1

1) Forced Improv: Filmed at The Papercrane Studio. An audience member chooses 4 cards from a deck of cards ( cards are face down and they don't know the value ). One at a time the participant puts them into 4 different pockets. Jon then shows the entire deck has all sorts of things written on blank faces: Lemons, dice, etc.

As they then remove each card from a pcoket, instead of playing card values, they are blank face with something written on them. If the card is in their front right pocket and says PHONE, Jon removes a phone from his right front pocket. As the audience member removes each card, whatever is written on it, Jon removes that object from his own corresponding pocket. It's a funny routine and I think an excellent opener.

Jon says if you do a watch steal, the last card could say "a watch" and you take out their watch from your pocket ( he doesn't teach a watch steal ).

2) High Society: Filmed at The Papercrane Studio. A "thought of" card on ceiling. The deck gets riffled and the audience member spots a card and Jon does a bit of mind reading to divine it. Throws the deck in the air....the thought of card is stuck on the ceiling.

I like a "thought of card" landing on the ceiling. I'm not big on every card ever chosen being signed, but some do. You could still have them sign the card, as long as you don't see the face. The next time I do Card On Celing, I'll use Jon's approach. I really like what he offers here.

3) 1709 Walkabout ( Jon doesn't share what 1709 means, it's apparently personal to him ): Filmed out on the street, we have Jon's handling of the Anniversary Waltz for two people in a group. If you do this trick, there may be some touches Jon has added that will be of interest ( when he was performing it...I didn't know where he was going with it. lol ). It's become a classic for a reason, so those that don't know it...WILL do it! I personally would suggest Jon's handling because I picked up some touches, even though I've done the trick for 20+ years.

4) DFKDFC ( Don't $%# Know, Don't $%# Care ). It's not a trick, but an explanation from Jon to Dan and us on making people care about what you're performing.

5) Unique Coin Bend: Performed at a bar. A coin bends in there hands. They are given a penny and dime ( they are clearly not bent ). They close their hand and Jon goes into the routine. Jon's presentation uses negative energy doing the bend ( it is funny ) You can use any presentation you'd like. Anyone that has done coin bending knows how strong it is.

You will need a gimmick ( you're using a dime and penny, so most will know what they need ). If you have the Capt. and Coke put out by The Blue Crown, you could use that. I have the dime and penny and will use this. Good, strong, magic in their hands!

6) Learning About People: Jon and Dan chat about that subject. And Jon tips a golden nugget on approaching a table to perform ( it took 9 years of performing restaurants for Jon to hit upon this ). With this one opening line, you will be able to know who is at the table and how to proceed.

7) One Trick Two Names: Performed at an outdoor patio of a restaurant. John has a red back card he's signed on the back. A young lady pick a card from a blue deck and signs the face. Jon gives a fun, sort of cold reading based on her sig.....Jon loses her card in the deck and....she turns over Jon's signed red back card and it's actually her signed card as well. VERY strong magic that I'm adding to what I do. I've performed Darwin's Dream Card, but this uses no wallet and I like Jon's routine and clever subtleties.

Ghost: Performed on the outdoor patio of a restaurant. A bit of this was shown in the trailer. A signed bill ( Jon gives an excellent reason for the signature ) is crumpled into a ball and dropped into a glass and does some spooky animations. It's a BEAUTIFUL routine ( and it's very easy to do ). I really like the idea of using the glass. I think this cancels out anyone thinking "string" ( which does happen ). Jon gives his preference of animation over levitation. I'll be doing this routine!

Jon also gives some wonderful touches to this routine that make it a showpiece. I would suggest getting a Fearson Thread Bullet or a JoeJoe Web Spinner, with John Haaar IT. They just make this type of work so much easier.

The Creative Process: Jon chats with Dan about...his creative process. Great food for thought!

Palm Up Bill Switch: Performed for a group on the street...SURROUNDED! One of the best I've seen. Jon changes a $1 into a $100. And he delivers a killer presentation for changing it back ( which has always been seen as a downside ). You could also do a mis-made bill.

Oh, you need more info? I happen to be one of the top mentalists in the world, so I know what you're thinking.

1) The $1 can be borrowed

2) No TT is used.

Signal Strength: Mentalism ( psychometry ) performed for the lay audience in the Papercrane studio. 3 audience members are invited onstage and directed to take out their cell phones and are given envelopes to place and seal them inside. Jon places a Kit Kat bar ( same size as an Iphone, etc. ) in his envelope and seals it. The 4 envelopes are mixed up by on of the participants and spread across a table. Jon gives his cell phone to one of the members on stage and they are going to call their own phone.....after Jon chooses an envelope he feels contains the cell phone belonging to the caller. The call is made and...Jon is correct. To the next participant for the same.....

For the last one...Jon adds some brilliant comedy/tension.

Perfect for for an intimate setting or stage and Jon gives two methods: simple and "deluxe". I think the deluxe method is not only easy, but will appeal to any working pro.

Well, that's it for volume #1. I'll do the other 2 volumes as well if your interested.
Message: Posted by: BMWGuy (Mar 6, 2013 03:54PM)


Please do a review on Vol 2 and 3, love your Vol 1. review.

Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Mar 6, 2013 05:13PM)
Thank you for such s great review. I look forward in getting my dvd set. I am glad the procedure went well.
Message: Posted by: Rogerstatonmagic (Mar 6, 2013 05:32PM)
So excited for this one...its a little out of my price range but I cant wait until I can get it
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Mar 6, 2013 06:31PM)
P3 released FAX by Loki too.

Jon is amazing - I will however miss his prior lovely assistant from the Flexion DVD - sniff sniff.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Mar 6, 2013 07:48PM)
Good review. More, please.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 6, 2013 10:04PM)
The ad didn't have descriptions, so I think that's what everyone would like to know. I watched the other two disks, but haven't performed any of the magic yet ( I was able to do Ghost from disk #1 because I was set up already, geeky magic person I am ).

Disc Two

•Asking "Why?" Dan and Jon discuss various ideas behind the motivation of asking a participant to do something ( think of a card, signing something, Booktests, etc. ). You WILL use these ideas.

•Grabbit Production: Performed in the Papercrane studio for an audience. Jon performs a bottle production ( wine bottle in this case ) from a burst ballon. It's a technique for...grabbing things, not just bottles, and producing them by making it look as if it just appears as opposed to other techniques where you're just displaying the bottle by holding it by the neck. Other objects can appear in a much more convincing fashion.

•ADlibitious Card: Performed outside on a restaurant patio. It' s Jon's take on this classic Ambitious Card. First there's a detailed chat between Dan and Jon as to why Jon uses this approach. Not just his handling, but with Jon's thinking of getting away from being on auto pilot by not using the same patter each time you perform the AC. Not only does it keep the routine fresh for the performer ( some guys and gals stop using the ACR because it gets old for them ) but it gets a group involved in the fun ( they all don't 'sign" the card to make this happen ). Also, it lets you know immediately as to what type of person/group you are performing for ( fun and outgoing or reserved,, etc. ).

I'm going to start using it. I think I'm a funny, quick thinker so I can just dive in. For those that stick to a strict canned patter, this will get your creativity flowing.

•Ring Off String Move: Performed from behind the bar at the restaurant. It's a borrowed finger ring and string routine. Jon only teaches the one penetration move he's known for, so if you do ring on string you may want to add this. If you don't have a routine, you''ll have to do some research and learn some standard bits to create a routine ( or just do the part that Jon teaches as most R&S routines are too long to begin with ).

•Coming Full Circle: Dan and Jon chat about routining a performance set.

•Lucky Card: Performed for the audience at the Papercrane Studio. Jon dealt down cards from a blue deck and an audience member called stop and that was their lucky card. Jon then tells a story about is lucky card and brings out a red deck to illustrate why. Turns out Jon's lucky card matches the other card.

It 'sounds" so-so the way I wrote it, but Jon makes this into a theatrical piece.

Oh...the card they choose is forced. It is deceptive and so simple a beginner could do this convincingly.

•Executive Decision: Filmed live out on the street. It's a red/black separation done in their hands. If you didn't have a table to do OOTW, then this may appeal to you. A shift is needed ( pass, etc. ), but is done at a perfect moment to take heat off the cards.

•Burning Rubber: filmed live on the street, it's Jon's multi phase rubber band routine. First on the street for two young lady's. Jon has yellow rubber bands on his wrist. He ask one girl to take a rubber band off his wrist. He then shows another way to do it and pulls the rubber band THROUGH his wrist ( thank you Dan Harlan ). They bug out. lol.

He is about to go into CMH and we then get several shots of Jon performing CMH for them and in the restaurant and bar area. It's CMH, so of course...they are amazed. He does some classic variations and a beautiful broken and restored band that happens around their wrist. This looks fantastic.

Jon offers some great touches to the entire routine and I can see many Magicians adopting this set

•True Lies: Jon and Dan continue the rubber band magic. An audience member ( Dan ) breaks a rubber band into pieces. Jon starts to drop pieces into his closed fist and even invites the participant to drop a piece in. Magic takes place and it's restored. Yes, it uses a device we all know to accomplish it. Jon gives great detail on how to make it look magical. You already carry rubber bands, so you get this extra great kicker to any rubber band routine(s) you do.

•Spielbergism: Dan and Jon have a chat and Steven Spielberg's films are the subject and how it relates to the magic we do.

•Citizen Cane: Filmed at the Papercrane Studio using 4 people at a table that would be representative of a restaurant ( it uses...sugar packets ). Two participants each choose a sugar packet from a caddy and sign them. One packet is brown ( raw ) sugar, the other white. They sign them and cover the packets with their hands. Magic takes place to make them switch places. They lift their hands and nothing seems to have happened. BUT...tearing open the packets, the brown sugar packet gets white sugar poured out and the white sugar packet has brown sugar poured out.

A little arts and craft prep is needed of course. But, getting their signed packets to pour out the sugar of opposite colors is a mini master class in good solid magic ( think Tamariz and jinx. ). It would be interesting to hear from restaurant workers that adopt this.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 7, 2013 03:03PM)
I'll post about disc 3 today. But I'm serious when I say this is one of the best DVD sets I've ever seen ( going back to the first VHS's put out ). You will use much of this material and re-evaluate what you do now, to NOT have "spectators" ( there, I said the bad word;-)

I've actually always called them that. After watching Jon's set, it does feel like a dirty word. I "get it" now.

Here's my thoughts on The World's Funniest Joke. I think, IMHO, this is the BEST version of Bank Night I have ever come across. No sucker envelopes, etc. Everyone is a star in making this happen.

Bank Night has been known for the audience getting zero and the Magician getting the big bucks. Or a little better, the audience gets lotto tickets or coupons and...The Magician Gets a $100 bill.

I think this only serves to make the Magician look clever, that they never had a free choice, etc. What Jon has done here, I feel it's going to have performers everywhere doing it. Hobbyists like myself can use it at family parties, gatherings, picnics. Professionals could use it in their shows, that's how strong this is.

It is brilliant in method ( Jon offers 2 ) and how it plays.

More later.

Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Mar 7, 2013 03:30PM)
I have Jon's "Penguin Live" lecture. Is some of the footage from that lecture?

If so, how much of it is duplicated on this dvd set?

Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Mar 7, 2013 09:29PM)
Thanks for the review of disk 2.
Message: Posted by: Iain Moran (Mar 7, 2013 10:04PM)
On 2013-03-07 16:30, Tim Hannig wrote:
I have Jon's "Penguin Live" lecture. Is some of the footage from that lecture?

If so, how much of it is duplicated on this dvd set?
From my memory of that lecture, I'd say about 3 or 4 items at the very most.

Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 7, 2013 10:13PM)
Disc 3 descriptions ( and some comments from me ). I didn't written this much in college. lol.

•What's the Point? Jon and Dan chat about making your magic having a point and meaning something.

•The World's Funniest Joke: Filmed with the Papercrane audience. See comments I made above in a separate post.

•Oralgami: Filmed at the bar. It's a routine that involves the audience..orally, with origami. You can let them keep it as a souvenir, yet...they will never figure out how you did it. So what starts as a cute/funny gag...turns into an impossible puzzle for them that they can keep.

•(untitled) Book Test: Filmed for the Papercrane audience. Audience member joins Jon on stage for....a book test. I thought I caught the method in play, but then the participant did something that had me stumped on how it was done. Punters would have no clue. I feel, the way Jon has constructed this, the participant is actually helping you because Jon has them holding the book and turning pages ( as opposed to many methods where the performer holds the book and riffles the pages until they call stop. ). I think many performers that do a book test will be interested in what Jon is offering here.

Jon also goes over what happens...if things goes wrong ( in the trailer you can see Dan drop the book, which can happen ). You should always be able to recover from the unexpected ( people get handed stacked decks and...drop them. lol. ).

•Introduction to Heroes: Jon and Dan chat about the upcoming trick, Heroes.

•Heroes: filmed on the restaurant patio. It's based on the show Heroes. 9 Photo Cards ( you find those on the internet and print them off and laminate them ) with the characters from the show. They are displayed and the spectator makes choices that end up with a final card matching a prediction in an envelope that has been on the table the entire time ( yes, they can open the envelope ).

I don't know the Heros show or characters and if that's the case with you, don't pass it by when you start to watch it. The prediction matching is what this is about and the clever way to make it happen. You can use any film/TV show, etc. you like and know best. It could be sports figures/teams, Harry Potter, Super Heros, etc. I'd pick whatever the most popular film/Tv show that the most people would know.

The way Jon constructed this, it doesn't look like a procedural elimination trick. The participant is making choices and it's there team vs. yours. I want to use the Marvel characters so I made up cards from the Avengers film. Even if people didn't see the film, most everyone knows the Hulk, Ironman, etc. I'm really looking forward to using this.

•The Problem with Business Cards: filmed for the Papercrane audience. Jon removes 9 business cards from a stack and hands them to an audience member. While Jon turns away, she writes down the name of ANY playing card. Free choice. She then, with Jon's back turned, spells out, using 1 card for each letter, what the card is. BUT...Jon tells her that no mater what she wrote, she can spell out a different card if she'd like. lol.

Jon then hands out one card each to 9 audience members, face down. He then divines who has the card. Baffling. And....that's 9 people that get to keep his business card at a paid gig. You could carpet bomb an event with your business cards, but it would never look like you were handing out your business card!

It's not over yet. Another audience member has been holding a pack of cards. Jon removes them from the case and there is only one card face down in the face up pack. It's the freely chosen card!

It uses 9 business cards, so those that still read magic books might guess the genesis of this ( no, not the Magic For Dummies book:- )

•Introduction to The Wedding Trick: Jon and Dan have a chat about asking "why" as it pertains to methods.

•The Wedding Trick: Filmed on the restaurant patio. John hands a couple there own stack of post it notes that are shaped like hearts ( I got mine at Target after watching this ). They each are told to write down one thing that attracted to them to the other person. A deck of cards is introduced and Jon takes a ordinary card trick and turns it into a magical, emotional moment for the couple. Perfect for weddings, anniversaries or just for a couple out dining.

•Schrodinger's Card: No performance ( it's not needed ). It's Jon and Dan having a chat about Jon's card to envelope. An actual method/routine isn't taught for loading a signed card into an envelope ( There's plenty of resources for that ). What Jon brings to the table is how to reveal it.

Many of us have done signed card to envelope. It's a GREAT trick. When they open that envelope and their signed card is inside, it's a magical moment for them and ourselves as performers.

Here's my feeling after watching: It's going to be VERY difficult for anyone that does that trick NOT to use Jon's thinking. The magic has the potential of lasting far longer than the trick.

Well, that's the descriptions of all 3 volumes. The ad said "CONNECTION will not only turn you into a better magician; it will turn you into a better performer".

That's a BIG claim, but I think it's accurate. The set is not just "tricks", but has a philosophy behind it to make you think about the magic you perform and making it have meaning to an audience.

And...here's a big plus...there is no filler ( IMHO ). "Most" multi DVD sets could have been trimmed down to 2 discs ( except Bill Malone's first DVD set ). I didn't see one trick on Connection that I thought should have been left off.

Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 9, 2013 05:41AM)
Hi Zombie,

Thank you for the reviews. Even though it's my DVD set, I'd thank you for taking the time to out it all up on here for everyone.

I can't say too much as people might think I'm ever so slightly biased ;-) What I will say is that I am glad to see that you absolutely 'get it'. I hope other people feel the same as you with about set. It is absolutely not a collection of 'answers to problems that didn't need solving'. The one thing I will add is that the title not only refers to the connection you have with your audience; it's also the connection they have with the magic effects.

For those interested nearer these shores (UK) the set is available on my website (www.onlinemagicshop.co.uk). There is a deal for those who purchase the DVD set and my book together. Also, the first 100 people who buy 'Connection' will receive a special gift from me. I won't tell you what it is but it relates to something on the set. All I will say is that it might be worth a fair bit of money... or maybe not ;-)

I'd love to hear your view of 'Connection' and as I said before, if you have any questions within reason, I'll be happy to answer them for you.

Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Mar 9, 2013 09:56AM)
Thanks for the review of all three disks.
Message: Posted by: jcrabtree2007 (Mar 11, 2013 10:44PM)
Thanks Zombie for the review. Looks like a great way to improve some of my existing routines. And learn a few new ones.
I think the biggest mistake people make (myself included) is to not make that connection with their audience. You can do great tricks and have great skill but with no connection- there is no magic.
Marc Mason once said (something like) "if you do great magic and your audience doesn't like you-it doesn't matter. you can do not so great magic ,but if the audience likes you- it doesn't matter. what matters is the audience likes you."
So a DVD about how to make that connection by Jon Allen with Dan Harlan. I'm in.Jim
Message: Posted by: TheTableTopTrixta (Mar 14, 2013 06:20PM)
My word guys this is one of the greatest magic DVDs produced..... And I'm not one to big something up unless I really believe in it!

I might add I'm only on disk one!

Full review to follow BUT heads up get this ordered, you will love it!

The production quality is epic, the tricks are fantastic but the real worth lies within the thinking!
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 15, 2013 10:46AM)
Wow! Thanks TTT. Appreciate the comments and look forward to your full review.

One thing I will mention is that the title refers not only to the connection between you and your audience but also between the effects you do and you audience. I chat to Dan about this during the 'DFK/DFC segment. In a nutshell, why should the audience care about the tricks you show them? They can be shocked and amazed but after that.... so what? None of the items on the set are tricks where I show them what I can do in isolation from them whether it's the presentation or the premise. Nothing sums up having a connection with the effect better than what I feel is a unique moment for a magic DVD captured on camera. You can see it at 1:35 on the trailer.

I look forward to hearing some more feedback, good or otherwise, from those who have seen the DVDs.
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Mar 17, 2013 03:54AM)
I recently received this DVD. This is probably the best DVD I have seen in years, perhaps ever! I'm still on the first DVD, but I have gone through several routines and they are all simply great! I also really like the discussion with Dan Harlan. The discussion really adds value beyond the effects and routines in discussing the importance of, and how-to of connecting with an audience instead of performing to them. I really like the concept of avoiding, and I'm paraphrasing, DKDC, or "Don't know, don't care". He talks about how many performances challenge the audience with things like "How many balls are under the cup now?... Wrong!" This sort of approach leaves the spectator thinking "Don't know, don't care."
Message: Posted by: learachel (Mar 24, 2013 06:54AM)
Buy it! Fantastic DVDs
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Mar 26, 2013 01:37PM)
Thanks '1KJ' and learachel. I appreciate the comments. I hope other take note :)

1KJ, have you had a chance to watch the other two DVDs? Thoughts?

I agree that the chats I had with Dan are what really make these DVDs stand out. I think we both brought out the best of each other.
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Mar 26, 2013 01:52PM)
When did Dan join the Hare Krishnas?
Just Kidding Dan.

You can't go wrong touching your audience! Their hearts I mean.
Great work Jon and Dan
I could really care less about learning new tricks. Its the lessons these two teach during their chats that is the real value.
Message: Posted by: MR Effecto (Mar 26, 2013 02:34PM)
I really need this. Sounds great. On my list for sure. Top of my list. Next thing I get.
Message: Posted by: ted french (Mar 26, 2013 03:32PM)
These reviews are great AND well deserved. So much good info and the tricks are really fun. Jon's magic is perfect for close up and the reactions on this DVD prove it.
Message: Posted by: DanHarlan (Mar 28, 2013 11:39AM)
On 2013-03-26 14:52, Chad Sanborn wrote:
When did Dan join the Hare Krishnas?
Just Kidding Dan.
Actually, I look a lot more like Ragnar Lodbrok from the new Vikings series on the History channel... or (more precisely) he looks like me!
Message: Posted by: doktorp (Mar 29, 2013 07:47AM)
Let me tell you, that this is the best set of DVD’s, I bought in the last few years. And there were many!

Why? The effects shown on the DVD’s are all very practical and real world workers. But far more important is the theory behind it. I wish, that more magicians out there would think like Jon. Then, maybe, magic would have a better reputation all over the world.

Thank you, Jon, for this great set of DVD’s and sharing your ideas and secrets with us!

Patrick, Switzerland
Message: Posted by: magicHart (Apr 2, 2013 07:19PM)
Comments and praise for this set is pretty unanimous!

Gotta put some more stuff on the Café so I can purchase this!
Message: Posted by: Dr. Eamon (Apr 2, 2013 08:49PM)
My complements on the DVD's
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Apr 9, 2013 09:49PM)
I LOVE this set of dvds. It's one of the most fun I've had going back to ( it's amazing what you pick up when you revisit a great book or dvd on magic ). They really nailed it on the filming. I know the actual magic presented/taught is what really counts, but when a producer takes such care to capture an artist's performing style with such good camera work, it makes it more enjoyable to re-watch multiple times.

One Trick Two Names has people simply not able to grasp what happened because it seems impossible. It's also fun to listen to people discuss what happened. I've done similar routines, but Jon's plays better for me.

ADlibitious Card got me away from the canned patter/auto pilot I had been on for too many years with the ambitious card. I'm a spontaneous, off the cuff person and this was perfect for my personality and lets me play off whatever vibe the person or group has.

GHOST is just bloody good fun to do. Even though I've been carrying the Spider Pen Pro, I still have a Fearson Thread Bullet on me ( with John Haar IT ). It's perfect for this routine. Restaurant workers should take note of this routine because you won't have lighting issues you need to worry about with traditional anchor points.

I don't do a formal show ( make money;-), but I will go to open mic nights and have even hosted a few. One of my favorite routines to do has been Bank Night. After performing Jon's "The World's Funniest Joke" I would never do Bank Night any other way. I've done it 3 times since getting the set and people love it.

I'd be interested in hearing about anyone's experiences with 'Heros" from disk 3. I made it up using character from Joss Whedon's The Avengers because of it's popularity. Everyone knows The Hulk, Ironman, etc.

I hope Dave and Craig of The Wizard Product Review should do a review of the set. I think they will be gobsmacked over the worker material on the set because much of it applies to the venues they work.

Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Apr 13, 2013 05:50AM)
Thanks again guys!

magicHart, get rid of stuff lying in your drawers that you never do and swap it for a load of stuff you will :)

Zombie, Paper Crane did a really great job. They definitely know how to produce top quality DVDs. What a great idea to update Heroes to The Avengers! As I say on the DVDs, take something and change it to create something different. It may not be a huge change but subtle differences make big differences. Btw, who wouldn't go for The Hulk? :) Also, out of curiosity, which joke do you use for TWFJ?

I'm surprised there is no review in the DVD section of 'The Good, The Bad & The Garbage' section on here....
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Apr 13, 2013 10:15AM)
Seriously, if it has either of these names (Harlan, Allen) then you should buy it. But this has BOTH names! I hear SAM/IBM are thinking of making this products purchase part of the bylaws
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Apr 13, 2013 11:25AM)
On 2013-04-13 06:50, Jon Allen wrote:
Also, out of curiosity, which joke do you use for TWFJ

You would hate it, but it was a knock-knock joke. Corny, stupid and silly. And they laughed!

How'd you know I went for The Hulk?
Message: Posted by: Astrocity (Apr 13, 2013 12:10PM)
[quote]How'd you know I went for The Hulk? [/quote]

That's easy..."Hulk is strongest one there is!!!"

Or as my 5 year old twin boys say, "Hulk SMASH!!!"
Message: Posted by: Gaz_Japan (Apr 14, 2013 12:08AM)
The Avengers idea is great!Do you still use 9 characters?

I was thinking about using Game of thrones or x-men.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Apr 14, 2013 01:35AM)
9 characters and of course you have the prediction.
Message: Posted by: Gaz_Japan (Apr 14, 2013 02:26AM)
Do you use the same presentation as Heros?
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Apr 14, 2013 02:47AM)
On 2013-04-14 03:26, Gaz_Japan wrote:
Do you use the same presentation as Heros?

No, I wrote my own script/presentation to fit The Avengers film. Unless people REALLY know the film, they would probably only know 4 of the characters, which have become part of the culture ( much like Houdini ). So I took liberties to bring in other well known Super Heros. What I have really doesn't have much to do with the film. It really just gives me a starting pint to introduce the effect.

The clever method to achieve the outcome is the star. The film/TV show you choose is just the window dressing.
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Apr 16, 2013 05:17AM)
Chad, you are too kind!

Zombie, you are right the show/film/them is just the dressing for the routine. It allows for any type of presentation but preferably one that people can 'connect' with as opposed to having a group of non-relevant objects where all but one are eliminated.

Oh, I asume you included Spider-man?
Message: Posted by: Grippo's Wish (Jun 18, 2013 01:07AM)
A couple of questions:

In what specific way Mr. Allen "connects" to his "participants" more than other performers "connect" to their audience?

This whole "connection" thing seems to me no more than an imaginary mental construct of some performers. How could you know if you "connected" more or less with the audience (sorry, participants)?

In my personal opinion, Mr. Allen comes across as a little shy and insecure performer (a little), and generaly not too engaging. Personally, I think that if someone would like to learn about "connection" - whatever that means- you have only to watch a Derren Brown performance - or better yet, all of them. Also, David Copperfield is great on stage IMO.
Message: Posted by: Gaz_Japan (Jun 18, 2013 01:20AM)
Do you have this DVD set??
Message: Posted by: Grippo's Wish (Jun 18, 2013 01:22AM)
In my opinion, the secret of really connecting with an audience, and so far I can't exactly define what that is, is something that occurrs when you are "holding" on the artistic level. Over there people subconsciously perceive they are in presence of an ARTIST, and that's probably the connection thing that I couldn't define a second ago. But so far you are not "over there" you will never connect with people.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 18, 2013 01:24AM)
On 2013-06-18 02:07, Grippo's Wish wrote:
A couple of questions:

In what specific way Mr. Allen "connects" to his "participants" more than other performers "connect" to their audience?

This whole "connection" thing seems to me no more than an imaginary mental construct of some performers. How could you know if you "connected" more or less with the audience (sorry, participants)?

In my personal opinion, Mr. Allen comes across as a little shy and insecure performer (a little), and generaly not too engaging. Personally, I think that if someone would like to learn about "connection" - whatever that means- you have only to watch a Derren Brown performance - or better yet, all of them. Also, David Copperfield is great on stage IMO.

Café Members ( and Staff )....... it's Mark Lewis with another ID!

Mark, we see you're not actually asking a legitimate question, but covertly "attempting" to slam Jon Allen. You're not very clever about it. I wonder why someone at your age plays these childish games?
Message: Posted by: Gaz_Japan (Jun 18, 2013 01:50AM)
How can you pass judgement on a DVD if you don't even have it ?
Message: Posted by: DanHarlan (Jun 18, 2013 12:20PM)
On 2013-06-18 02:22, Grippo's Wish wrote:
In my opinion, the secret of really connecting with an audience, and so far I can't exactly define what that is, is something that occurrs when you are "holding" on the artistic level. Over there people subconsciously perceive they are in presence of an ARTIST, and that's probably the connection thing that I couldn't define a second ago. But so far you are not "over there" you will never connect with people.
The SECRET (which you can't define) is composed of many elements... all within the grasp of ANY entertainer (with or without a huge budget). What you "can't define" Jon Allen has. On the DVDs he and I discuss these critical aspects of "connection" and give coherent, concrete examples of how to incorporate them in one's own work... if you're interested in such things.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 18, 2013 02:23PM)
@ Dan Harlan

:applause: :applause: :applause:
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Jun 19, 2013 07:27AM)
Well said Dan :)

There are two forms of 'Connection' that Dan and I talk about and are evident on the DVD set. The first is between the magician and the audience; the second is with the audience and the tricks. One example is Heroes but the best example of connecting with an effect is with The Wedding Trick, which you can see on the trailer. The reaction between the two people is extraordinarily powerful! That connection was not with me, but with the emotion that the effect generated.
Message: Posted by: carlwag (Oct 24, 2013 07:47PM)
I have watched this DVD set and it is fantastic , there's no need to carry out a review as zombie has said it all , some of my fav effects include Jon's take on the anniversary waltz , Jon's rubber band effect and his wedding trick is just wonderful , I bought heart shaped post it notes straight away , not only is it well produced but Jon and dan's banter produce some fantastic points and information .
If I get just something from a DVD I'm happy however you will get lots from this I can tell you .

Do yourself a favour and get it .

Regards Carl
Message: Posted by: carlwag (Oct 26, 2013 09:23PM)
I just like to add Jon's take on the ambitious card is also a very clever method and should keep every performance fresh and different .

Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Jan 6, 2014 11:51AM)
I loved Jon's book, so I'm thrilled to finally have these dvd's.

Every routine I've watched has been fantastic.

I love his thinking with how he involves his audience in his rubber band work.
I've been doing CMH's & broken/restored band for years, but am definitely switching over to Jon's great routining with his multiple band effects.

Great, great set of dvd's.
Message: Posted by: Jamie Ferguson (Mar 16, 2014 02:21PM)
This is a fantastic set that should be in everyone's library.

The only thing that Jon forgot to do was put a contents listing on the dvd case, so it's a nightmare trying to navigate your way around the three dvds. It makes it harder to 'connect' with this great set.

A minor gripe though for a worthwhile product.