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Of course you already know that Joshua Jay does an article for Magic Magazine called "Talk about Tricks":

So he decides to publish a "best of" dating from 2001'ish to now of his favorite effects, move subtleties, etc that he's seen. Nice collection too, considering probably the mountain of material he's sorted through in the past 5-6 years. Most of the stuff is not his, but contributions from other professionals.

I bet he's received THOUSANDS of submissions, so Josh's "best of" is definitely the top of the line.

On the DVD he has 90 items. Most of the effects are jaw-dropping, strong, and sometimes stunning pieces of magic. Almost no filler. In fact, I have probably 250+ magic DVD's and out of those I get maybe one effect out of every 3 DVD's that I'll actually sometimes USE. Kinda like a CD where one song is great but the rest bore you to tears.

However this DVD contains such a wealth of exciting new ideas, inspirations and original handlings of old techniques that I was almost ecstatic with anticipation as I put in the next one. I literally watched the whole thing in one sitting. What drew me in even more was how much of this is suitable for street card magic.

$67.46 at Penguin after discount

And best of all the DVD's are firmly attached to the cardboard/plastic packaging, so they don't flop all around and get horribly scratched like my last 10 DVD's.


VOLUME 1 (4 hours, 23 minutes) VOB files total over 6 gigabytes

The Tricks

Oil and Water (William Eston, Ed Marlo, Yannick Chretien)
Kicking Ace - Easy Oil and Water - Outjogged Oil and Water - Reflipped

3 phase oil and water routine, beginning with Joel Givens' ace production, then a jack production. Instead of red/black, Josh uses the huge visual difference between the Jacks and Aces.

First phase: cards are combined, then tossed to the table separated
Second phase: jacks are outjogged, shown several times very fairly then shown to be separated
Third phase: cards are peeled as they're displayed and fairly counted, become separated again. Highly visual, ends with an ace transforming into a jack during mid-air flight.

In the hands triple shot routine that's a sure winner. You could easily adapt this to walkaround or street magic.

Difficulty: 3, elmsley and very minor sleights
Rating: 9.5, just a beautiful routine

Change for a Twenty (Adam Ryan)

Variation for the oil and water final phase. The aces are wrapped in a twenty dollar bill, then as they're shaken visually transform into the jacks.

Impromptu Hit Man (Rune Klan)

Multi-phase coin and pen sleight effect. Pen tranposes with coin, vice versa, reminded me a lot of Greg Wilson's Recapped routine with an added coin.

Difficulty: 7, requires classic palm, good misdirection and an excellent retention pass
Rating: 5, cute routine I guess, would require serious practice

Punken Droker (Paul Cummins)

Interesting multi-phased Triumph, where the top few cards are still out of order (some reversed), but in a way to allow poker dealing hands to five people, and have the magi's hand the only one face down. Magi then shows the entire remainder of pack face up (like it should be).

Climaxing as the magi holds a royal flush in his face down hand. Cards are examinable at the end.

Difficulty: 5, some intermediate moves, mostly beginner
Rating: 8, Triumph has always been one of my favorites, and I like the examinability of the cards plus the poker theme

Ten for Ten (performance only) (Yves Doumergue)

Magi lays down a prediction card. Spectator shuffles, then deals face up, face down cards and stops where they want. Then repeats, so four packets are on the table. Magi turns over all four top cards to reveal they are the same number (aces for example), which match his prediction.

Rating: 7, nice prediction routine - I'll email Yves to see how much it costs.

Exdislycally Shunuffled (Francis Menotti)

Magi claims his mind is linked to the card order. Spectator selects a card and sets aside. As magi shuffles the cards, his words jumble and become disoriented. At the end, magi's words regain normalcy and cards magically are back in new deck order.

Difficulty: 2, almost self-working, super simple effect however he uses a prepared script for the word jumble. Assuming you can do that impromptu and still be entertaining, a very easy card effect
Rating: 7, creative and unusual routine

Gold from Straw Elevator (David Solomon)

A Peter Duffie idea from "Effortless Card Magic", called Hellraiser 2:

And "Diamonds from Coal" by Peter Duffie & Robin Robertson:

A beautiful self-working Elevator effect where a game of blackjack is heralded, then four aces are clearly outjogged, and laid in four places on the table followed by four jacks. The aces rise to the top of all piles, and a royal flush appears as a finale. Although Josh didn't do it, cards can also be riffle shuffled (within limitations) before beginning.

Difficulty: 0, no sleights
Rating: 10, GORGEOUS blackjack routine. It's super fast, cards can be shuffled, and highly visual (you SEE the jacks and aces begin outjogged, and slowly laid on the table, very stunning). Can be modified for walkaround or street assuming you have four people's hands to lay cards into, or a small surface for four cards.

Sweet Straw (Joel Givens)

A sugar packet is selected from many on the table, then a coffee straw appears from inside after opening, even though the straw is twice its length. Obviously trying to stuff the straw back inside is impossible. For a finale, the straw shrinks to 1/4 its original size.

Difficulty: 1, can be learned in 5 minutes
Rating: 9, quick, cute, impromptu and easy to remember little miracle for next time you're having coffee with friends. I'm definitely using this.

242 Deal (Richard Vollmer)

Magi pulls 10 cards from the deck, then allows the spectator to choose any four he wants. For a finale, the spectator gets to see the last two cards, examine his hand and choose which fifth card would help him the most. Magi ends up with four aces, winning the game.

The biggest influence to this was Dave Solomon's The Power of Poker from John Bannon's Dear Mr. Fantasy (page 189). But although that ends in two possibilities, this only has one.

Difficulty: 1, self-working, no memory involved, no jonah (sp?) card, no tracking of cards
Rating: 10, outstanding poker routine, and the spectator actually getting a peek at their hand and choosing the last card is genius. The dealing looks as fair as possible, stunning routine.

The Interview

Josh discusses Magic magazine and submissions.

The Moves

Erdnase Break Subtlety (Larry Jennings)

A method of improving angles for left hand machanics grip break that's transferred over to a biddle grip break.

Full Palm Change (Rune Klan)

A single card is held at the fingertips, and as you wave your palm over it, the card changes.

Miumph (Reinhard Mueller)

A on-the-table Triumph shuffle, where cards are spread and shown to be face up in one pile, face down in the other, then are FAIRLY shuffled together yet all turn the same way. THIS IS HOT! No jogged riffle shuffles then stripping cards out, no cuts needed at all afterward in fact. Cards are spread to show face up/down before the shuffle.

False Faro (William Eston)

In the hands "push through" false faro shuffle that looks really good. Spectator sees the cards interlaced, then pushed through and squared. Excellent for street magic or walk around.

Bebel on Tilt (Bebel)

Cute Tilt subtlety where the spectator actually pushes in the card, and it still ends up second from the top.

One Back Up (Rune Klan)

"Enhanced gag" if you will. Bleh.

Psyboards (Tom Frame)

Psychological subtlety where five cards are handed to spectator, and they'll overwhelmingly choose one particular card (which is revealed to be a different colored back).

Divided Shuffle (Luis Otero)

Push through false shuffle using four packets that are combined.

Box Balance (Chastain Chriswell)

Balance an empty card box by the end (not middle). Impromptu, box (and finger) can be inspected before and after.

Kissing Up (Gregory Wilson)

You produce a Hershey's Kiss from a slip of flash paper, then transform it into two.

Squist (Bob Farmer)

Method of turning over a small packet of cards while appearing to merely be straightening them.

Bonus: Overlap (Joshua Jay)

Hey look, I wonder where Steve Morrison got his idea for Hijacked? It's a gimmick that was shipped with Magic Magazine Vol 11, number 11:

Issue and gimmick is $9.17 with first class USPS shipping to the USA.

You can also get "7 overlap card gimmicks" with a book and DVD from Josh's site for $35:

Speaking of which, I think someone just pasted the whole Overlap performance section DVD onto the end of "Talk about Tricks", considering this message at the end: This DVD is included in the Overlap package. It is not sold separately.

Overlap Homing Card - Jumbo Overlap Homing Card - Overlap Hitchcock

Homing Card - four jack trick, but has an ace. Ace is dropped to the table, to make it a three jack trick, but with another ace. Etc until only a single ace is left.

Jumbo Overlap - jumbo card version performed for the L&L audience

Overlap Hitchcock - four jacks move from the magi's packet on the table to a packet chosen by the spectator (out of three other possible packets).

Assembly and Reverse - Scatter - Overlap Twisting

Assembly and Reverse - four brothers (jacks) are placed in a packet of four cards near the magi, and three other four-packet stacks are placed on the table. The brothers vanish from the three extra packets and end up in the magi's packet, but then finally visually return to the three extra tabled packets.

Scatter - All four jacks are placed outjogged face up in a face down deck, then repeatedly come to the top. Ends with all four jacks being clearly and fairly shown (both sides) before they're outjogged in the deck. Then transforming into the four aces. My favorite of the barrage of gimmicked effects.

Overlap Twisting - quick color change type effect where three face down cards and one jack transform into four face-up jacks.

Overlap Jacks to Kings - Overlap Jacks to Aces - Overlap Jack Cutting

Overlap Jacks to Kings - four jacks are shown, which transform into the Kings. Standard "Hijacked" type effect, minus the thought of card to pocket.

Overlap Jacks to Aces - four jack packet is shown, one face up, the others face down. With a shake, each jack turns face up in the hand but as a finale, all have become aces.

Overlap Jack Cutting - spectator riffle stops at any card, a jack. Spec then cuts the deck into three more piles, the top of which happen to be the other jacks. These are fairly inserted into the deck, then rise to the top.

Overlap Gambling - Overlap Open Travelers - Overlap Hofzinser

Overlap Gambling - four poker hands are dealt, spectator chooses which he wants. Those become the four jacks. After dealing another hand, spectator's chosen stack contains the four queens, and magi gets the four jacks.

Overlap Open Travelers - Invisible palm effect using the four jacks.

Overlap Hofzinser - spectator picks a card, holds four in their hand. Magi's jack is the suit of their card, and the other three are the same number.

Deuces are Wild - Overland Transposition - Four-Card Tunnel Change

This section contains a modified gimmick.

Deuces are Wild - Overlap Jacks to Kings, but with deuces and a poker theme.

Overland Transposition - duplicate of the others, but the way he handles the gimmick makes it kinda obvious what it is, IMHO.

Four-Card Tunnel Change - cards are pushed through the deck at a perpendicular angle (ala Converter by Kreis Magic:


But instead of one card it's four cards spread out evenly.

Collectors and Back Again - Shrunken Revelation

Yet another modification of the gimmick.

Collectors and Back Again - Another transposition change of cards to aces using the gimmick, but inside the box.

Shrunken Revelation - Four packets are placed on the table, as the magi hovers his hand over them, kings appear face up. With another wave, the kings transform into miniature card kings.

Bonus: Contributors’ Footage plus Behind the Scenes

"Let's roll cameras!". Why the heck is that guy holding a huge pic axe? Note: This is the same footage from all 3 DVDs.


VOLUME 2 (3 hours, 11 minutes) VOB files total over 7.5 gigabytes

The Tricks

Open Perception (Raj Madhok)

Magi writes down a prediction (8 of hearts), hands to spectator, who then deals cards face up and stops at any time (can really be ANY time). Prediction is shown, and deck is spread across to hunt for the 8, which is not found. Face down card is turned over to reveal the 8 of hearts.

Difficulty: 0, almost impromptu, self-working, no memory involved, no sleights
Rating: 10, WOW! A definitive magician fooler, and the audience looked dear-in-headlights before finally applauding. Best trick on the DVD set. Can be modified for street magic quite easily.

Any Card at Any Page Number (Joshua Jay)

Josh presents an ACAAN using a book. Cards are spread across the table, spectator pulls out a random one and inserts back into the deck. When the number is chosen, card is not at that location, but it's found at that page number in the book.

Difficulty: 1, self-working, no memorized deck
Rating: 5, this ain't "the grail" so don't go there. But it is an interesting twist on ACAAN with the addition of his hardbound book. Overall I didn't like it because examination is ruled out, and there's an extra prop to carry around (heavy book). Plus the setup will take a while, and "contents may shift" type of deal.

Ninja Coin (Joe Givens)

Magi shows a coin, does a quicky one-coin routine, then slowly pushed his finger through it multiple times. Coins vanish at the end.

Difficulty: 4, some sleight of hand with coins needed (false transfer mostly). If you the skip the quick one-coin routine at the beginning, Difficulty: 2
Rating: 5, gimmicked coin routines with no examination or spectator involvement just don't turn me on

Riding the Wave (Rick Maue)

Magi holds an large envelope, and asks spectator to pick a number between 1 and 10. Something is pulled out of the envelope that contains their number.

Difficulty: 1, self-working, no memory involved
Rating: 1, a lot of psychology principles involved to narrow down their number, however the routine could take a long time based upon spectator's choices. Whole effect seems contrived, relying too much on luck for my tastes. Plus Josh keeps fidgeting in his chair, interrupting the guy's long explanation and looks away a lot. Boredom city, even for Josh.

Llasser Open Prediction (Manuel Llasser)

Magi openly tells the group that spectator will stop at the 10 of diamonds, then counts cards face up until they say stop (no forces, no talking whatsoever). Spec is then given a choice of changing their mind for a few cards down. Card is turned over to reveal the 10 of diamonds.

Difficulty: 7, uses a weird sleight that you've probably not practiced much (if at all), plus you need to nail the sleight very well if not perfectly or it's obvious what happened
Rating: 10, amazing effect, looks like real magic

Mates Prediction (William Eston)

Another open prediction, but this time the card is face up throughout the counting of the deck. At any time (no forcing), spectator can say stop and that card is revealed to be the mate of the prediction.

Difficulty: 4, easy sleight, does require some good timing
Rating: 8, looks very clean, having a prediction face up is a nice change

Tap a Lack (Paul Cummins, performance only)

Spectator chooses a card by spreading the deck themselves, cuts the deck and buries it in the remainder of the cards. Then they select a random card and place it face down on the table. Magi pulls out spec's card, and spec's prediction turns out to be magi's thought of card.

This "your card, my card" effect is in several marked deck books, already. Bleh.

Across Coins (Joel Givens)

Heavy sleight, gimmicked version of 4 coins across, ending with all four coins traveling at once to the other hand.

Difficulty: 8, needs a lot of practice and some heavy sleights
Rating: 8, looks great, many things similar to 3/4 Across by Gregory Wilson (On the Spot DVD)

Kickback (Ryan Swigert)

Magic shows two jokers, puts face up on the bottom. Spectator 1 holds his wrist, jokers appear in his pocket.

Spec then 1 holds the two jokers in their hand. Magi tries to misdirect them, but fails. Spec 2 and 3 select random cards from the deck, which then appear between the two jokers spec 1 has been holding. This is repeated again, but jokers transpose with the 2 selections.

Booklet version has many more versions from various authors here for $14.95:

Difficulty: 5, need to rehearse heavily, many things happening at once
Rating: 10, great magic and transpositions that happen in the spectator's hands. Perfect for walkaround or street.

Switch (John Lovick) / Illegally Yours (Gregory Wilson)

A blank piece of paper is shown the size of a dollar. As it's folded, a dollar image slowly appears (ala Foreign Affair also by Gregory Wilson), then a real dollar is unfolded and handed to the spectator.

Difficulty: 3, requires some practice to get everything angled correctly
Rating: 7, cute, seems like a rehash of Foreign Affair with a tipless switch. You can cut out the gimmick from the magazine, or create a new one via your favorite graphics editor (Photoshop) and a scanner. He obviously discourages method 2 due to the legalities involved.

I Dream of Mindreading (John Lovick)

Card trick for a blind person presentation. Spectator deals 1 card for a heart, 2 for a spade, etc, then deals their number of cards for what number they want. Magi reveals the thought of card, and reveals the entire deck to be blank.

Difficulty: 1, self-working, no gimmicks (other than the blank cards obviously)
Rating: 10, great presentation, and the ending has three powerful moments that build on each other

Beard Book (Rune Klan)

A large book is flipped through showing a variety of beards. Spec picks one, and it appears on the magi.

Difficulty: N/A
Rating: N/A, more of a gag

Coins through Floor (Rune Klan)

Four coins travel through a close-up mat.

Difficulty: 3, some sleights
Rating: 4, even Rune says he doesn't perform this much

My Lady’s Other Ring (John Lovick)

Lovick's version of Michael Close's version (in Workers vol 3) of Cornelius' ring trick (whew!)

Spectator comes up and reads magic instructions. A ring is borrowed, and placed on a piece of velvet cord, then a knot is tied around it. As two other spectators hold both ends of the rope, the ring vanishes. Magi pulls a ring box from his pocket, and it contains the wrong ring.

Another ring is borrowed from spectator reading the instructions. Rings transpose, final reveal of second spectator's ring inside the ring box.

Difficulty: 2, easy sleights, some really odd ones dealing with ring boxes and such
Rating: 10, WOW! Second best routine on this DVD set. The jokes are perfectly timed and actually funny, lots of audience participation, spectator posessions in action, plus almost no dead time. This is an absolutely perfect effect in every way (should be for a third generation of revisions), sure to please your audience and keep them on the edge of their seats.

The Interview

Josh was asked if he wanted to include any material, but couldn't. His answer:

"Among the discards" (Sessions With Simon, DVD 1)
"Random sample shuffleboard" (Sessions With Simon, DVD 2)
"The lineup" (an issue apparently, couldn't find it on the site, sorry)

The Moves

Ace Location Routine

Eerie Spinout Subtlety (Salvador Sufrate)

An card in the middle of the pack rotates slowly out of the pack.

Dribblocation (Joshua Jay)

During a full deck card dribble, the card is suddenly yanked out of the deck.

Finger Flip (Patrick Stenberg)

Card shoots horizontally out of the middle of the deck during a cut.

Benzais Spinout Subtlety (Julius Chan)

Spinout move, with the cards in between named.

Breakless Aces (Patrick Stenberg)

Spectator cuts the pack into four piles. Aces are immediately revealed on top of all four piles. Like Josh says, the explanation is complex but the actual method is simple. Excellent little ace reveal, and easy to perform.

Cutting Off Colors (David Jade)

Another ace reveal from spectator's four packets, but they are shown to be different colored backs. Not as flourishy sa "Breakless Aces", but the back change is a nice kicker ending. Simple sleights.

No Use Aces (David Jade / Damien Vapereau)

Named as such because it uses an angly, difficult sleight to produce aces on top of 4 spectator cut packets.

Hindu Control (Martin Gardner)

Hindu control to the bottom of the deck (cool!). Josh demonstrates a couple ways to use this.

Breeze Coins (Gaston Quieto)

Four coin routine designed for places where no mat is available.

And the Other Two Follow (Rune Klan)

Cool method of dropping two coins into a coin purse and transporting them to your hands.

Rub a Dub Subtlety (Bruce Kinsey)

Interesting variation where a small piece of the card is left behind.

Prediction Wand (Eric Buss)

This is the running gag that Rune keeps throwing around in the other effects.

Behind the Scenes


VOLUME 3 (2 hours, 21 minutes) VOB files total over 5.5 gigabytes

The Tricks

Time is Money (Asi Betesh) (performance only)

I own this DVD, and it's just a variation of card under watch but using a bill. However Asi recommends you have the spectator sign their bill, and he also milks the watch portion a little more than Josh does. If you're googling for this effect, try Asi Wind or Asi Betesh (he changed it).

Laser Aces (Joel Givens)

Ace production x 4, ending with the spectator pointing a laser at the cards as they transform into four solid blocks.

Difficulty: 2, almost self-working with only minor sleights required
Rating: 10, stunning revelation of the four blocks. The audience was confused and wanting to check them out. You have some serious preparation to do beforehand, but once you have your cards setup, then you're good to go for a long time. I love all the subtleties in this routine, very well thought out and performanced by Joel.

Kings Face Aces (Adam Ryan)

Spectator selects a card, inserts it face down between two kings. All three cards become aces, then in the middle of the deck lies their card between two different kings.

Difficulty: 4, a weird knacky move for the ace production, but otherwise pretty easy
Rating: 7, a spectator leans in after the transformation, a little obvious what happens at this point IMHO. It's a nice effect, can be done walk around or street as well but just didn't blow me away.

Muck You (Derek Delgaudio)

Magi stuffs an ace up his sleeve, showing the audience how to cheat at blackjack. He then switches his 6 card with the ace. After showing everyone how to flat palm, a spectator does the 6/ace switch himself.

Difficulty: 3, simple sleight involved, remainder is self working.
Rating: 5, simple transposition with a gambling theme.

Here and There (Ken Garr)

Spectator selects a card, inserts back into the deck. Magi picks up four cards that will "give me clues what your card is", then turns over the spec's card three times, ending with an ace. Aces transpose with their card for a grand finale.

Difficulty: 3, fairly simple sleight, again
Rating: 7, cute trick with a nice kicker ending

Coin and Bottle (Rune Klan)

Gregory Wilson style one-ahead coin and bottle routine where the coin keeps moving around, under the bottle, napkin, etc.

Difficulty: 5, simple sleights, one of which you may not have mastered quite yet
Rating: 8, can be done impromptu at a restaurant, assuming you have the large napkin, coin and bottle. This does have potential, and I want to try it out.

Proof Positive (David Parr) (performance only)

Magi places an invisible object under his hand, then three invisible coins on the table. Spectator freely eliminates two coins, leaving one behind (no forces), then chooses heads or tails. Magi lifts his hand to reveal the spec's coin in the head/tail position.

This one got a GASP from several audience members, followed by a standing ovation. I'm definitely picking this up.

Available from the October 2005 issue:

Issue is $9.17 with first class USPS shipping to the USA. I didn't see it listed on David Parr's site.

Piano Seance (Raj Madhok)

A variation of the Piano Card Trick (Scarne on Card Tricks, page 187), but with business cards.

Difficulty: 1, self working
Rating: 5. Eh, Piano Card Trick with a couple extra features. The presentation theme is original, and does give some logic to some of the moves, especially a bunch of cards between their fingers.

The Trick that Wasn’t (Paul Cummins) (performance only)

Triumph variation, where the cards are separated into red/black, then the top card of both stacks placed on bottom. Those cards magically appear back on top of the packs, then all cards turn face down when spread, and the reds/blacks have been mixed together somehow.

Is this his site:
No clue if it's available there, didn't bother registering.

Palm Prick (Felipe Abreu)

Spectator selects a card, returns it to the deck. Magi removes a Pocket PC, shows a display of cards flashing by, then visually stabs a card on the screen using the stylus. From behind the Pocket PC comes a miniature card - same one the spec selected.

Difficulty: 3, easy if you have the handheld device.
Rating: 8, very visual moment when you see him stab the card through the handheld screen, then it appears from behind. They provide a download link for the necessary "gimmick" on the DVD.

Overlap Hofzinser (Mark Aspiazu / Joshua Jay)

Spectator selects a card, returns it to the deck. Four jacks laying on the table will supposedly find the card, and one is already turned face up in the face down packet - their suit. The other jacks then transpose into their card's numerical value, then as a finale the extra jack becomes their card.

Difficulty: 3, simple sleights
Rating: 8, nice transposition with a kicker ending. The overlap gimmick makes a comeback!

Paper Balls (Peter Lentini)

A spongeball type effect using a paper napkin where they go into the pocket but keep re-appearing in the opposite hand, combined with a torn and restored napkin ending. Minus the corner the spectator possesses.

Difficulty: 3, fairly easy and impromptu at a restaurant or cocktail situation
Rating: 6, cute but seems to have too many features crammed into a single effect, IMHO. If you're huge on napkin restoration however, definitely a trick you'll use.

Threesome (Jason Dean)

Card box is laid on the table, and three spectators choose separate cards then return to middle of the deck. Prediction is shown written on card box for spec #1. #2 is found inside the box, then written prediction on box suddenly matches #3's card. Box is examinable.

Difficulty: 3, fairly simple, you'll be up and running quickly
Rating: 9, writing on the face of a card box changing is impressive. "It's a weird trick, you know?" as Josh says. Which is to be expected from Jason Dean who created the Card To Nipple (yes I'm serious). They also discuss a John Born modification that's fairly cool.

Matches All Gone (Joel Givens)

Spectator holds a sealed straw and a matchbook, then wave the straw over the matches and they vanish. Leaving an empty book. The straw is opened and dumped out to reveal all the matches inside.

Difficulty: 3, a little prep and you're ready to go
Rating: 4, screams "already setup", IMHO

The Interview

Josh discusses submissions to Magic magazine.

The Moves

Slip Shift (Joshua Jay)

Original shift for four of a kind (eg aces). Fairly easy to pull off too, DEFINITELY adding this to my practices.

Riffle Force Finesse (Joshua Jay)

During a riffle force, you give the spectator an extra choice (bottom or top card where they stopped). Easy to do, Josh designed this for his table hopping, where a break was inconvenient.

Riffle Force Variant (Ernesto Melero)

I have mixed feelings about this. Matthew Dowden in Party Animal I think has mastered the slip force (which this is), by presenting the top packet "Obviously not the five, I've already seen that one" and pushing it forward. Literally from the spectator's angle it looks flawless. You could frame by frame it, and still see nothing.

However Ernesto's variant does look REALLY clean too, especially the grasping of the top packet, and the angles are hot. Dunno, I'll try it for a while.

Turnover Pass (Eric Leblon)

I fell in love with this pass on my first viewing of Darwin Ortiz doing it in his Ambitious Card routine, but like Josh says I've shyed away from it a long time due to the huge-arse FLASH you get from almost every angle. This subtlety does look awesome, and I'll be working on this.

Hold ’Em (Jason Alford / Paul Cummins)

Interesting method of adding a gimmicked card onto the deck during a tabled spread.

Stairway to Heaven (Reynold Alexander)

Stepped cards little effect where the card goes from bottom onto each step and finally to the top. Eh, will anyone really use this?

Cloud Change (Robert Moreland)

Cute color change with a teaser.

Erdnase Variant (Ernesto Melero)

Interesting horizontal Erdnase type change designed for chest height presentation, that deposits the card in the middle (or selected card during a riffle) to the bottom of the deck.

Skinner Monte Handling (Caj)

Method of bending the cards for a superior Monte handling at bars or places where the gimmicked cards get turned around.

Behind the Scenes


My thoughts and conclusion

Joshua Jay has created a tour de force of card magic with over 19 gigabytes of video, 90+ goodies with his 8 friends. For pure value you won't find a better deal. Why? Because this contains such a powerhouse of USEABLE effects and sleight subtleties, which is rare in magic DVDs today. All for sixty bucks.

Josh's charisma, charm and niceness flows through the video screen, and you indeed feel like you're sitting with him at his house as he shows you these concepts and effects. Plus he does haunt the forums, so he's available for questions or comments. And best of all the L&L crowd is not quite as over the top as previous videos. Rune seems good in small doses, but several hours of him gets a little grinding, but hey you can fast forward.

This DVD set has taken a spot in my top 5 videos I own, and I look forward to repeat viewings. The idea of getting "the best of the best of the best" from thousands of effect submissions to Magic magazine over the past 5 years is just downright appealing (and exciting!).

If you only buy one DVD this year, make it Talk About Tricks with Joshua Jay.

The official spam:

3 disc set - over 7 hours of Magic!
Over 90 items!

Guest Stars:
Felipe Abreu
Paul Cummins
Joel Givens
Rune Klan
John Lovick
Raj Madhok
Rick Maue
Francis Menotti

From the pages of MAGIC Magazine to your TV screen, the "Talk About Tricks" DVD Box Set is one of the most eclectic, unexpected collections of magic and magicians ever captured on DVD.

The concept is simple: Joshua Jay writes the critically-acclaimed "Talk About Tricks" column every month in MAGIC Magazine, and this set is the column come-to-life! Every month, Joshua Jay features original effects from the world’s greatest magicians. There are hundreds of fantastic tricks buried in those pages. Now we can finally see how great these tricks look at performance speed.

This box set boasts over seven hours of close-up magic from the industry’s leading thinkers. Hosted by magic performer, author, and lecturer Joshua Jay, you don’t want to miss out on the most comprehensive, exhaustive DVD release of the year!
Mike M
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Now that's what I call a review! It must have taken you forever; thanks, Doug!
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DougNicols, thanks for taking the time to writer a thoughtful review. I've always admired Joshua Jay's magic and Talk About Tricks by Joshua Jay is certainly a feat of grand achievement, magnum opus of what magic currently represents.
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
My favorite part is putting the gaffs in the spectators gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside! - Bob Kohler
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Wow. Thanks a lot. Great work.
Jeff Haas
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Paul Cummins' website is:

Instead of that other "Paul's Magic" you turned up.
Sean Macfarlane
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Great review!!! what are your top five DVD's then?

Richard Evans
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Wow - that was a thorough review. Great job - thanks Doug.
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three. Elayne Boosler
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Thanks for the detailed review. I have these DVD's too and I can't recommend them enough.
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Wow. Doug! I'm SOOOOO honored and impressed. That is high praise indeed. Thanks for such a detailed review, and for all your kind words.

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I also am interested in "Session," and plan on getting it soon. I wonder if the stories are actually true, or simply a novel? Either way it gets the point across I guess. It is especially appealing to me because there are no other magicians in my local area, so sessioning is a rare thing. I only know one about 60 miles away, and he is too busy usually.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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Great review! I recently purchased this DVD and watched the first disc over the weekend and found your comments to be dead-on accurate. I'm planning on saving your review to accompany me for the rest of the journey....this DVD set is absolutely a steal at $60.00.

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Doug, what a great review. You obviously spent a lot of time on it and I know we all appreciate it.

And you're absolutely right - this is a fantastic DVD set. Worth easily twice even the non-discounted purchase price considering the number of effects that will enter the permanent repertoire.
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Best DVD of 2007? I havent recived my copy from Josh yet.
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
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Thanks again . . .
Cards never lie
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This may break the record for overall reviews. I'm still working on mine and am at the fifth page.
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Ridiculously good review. Very much appreciated! Will pick up this dvd set next.
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I vote for best review of 2007! Thanks alot.
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I just wanted to chime in and say that this DVD is one of the best I've seen in a long while. You can tell that a lot of thought and work was put into the making of these DVDs. Some of my favorite effects include Josh's Oil and Water routine, 242 Poker Deal, and Laser Aces. The effects are presented very well, and are enjoyable to watch. Watch John Lovick's "My Ladies Other Ring" and you'll see a very comedic and magical piece; a true lesson of how to entertain an audience! For those of you looking for something to fool your magician buddies, Raj Madhok's Open Perception will leave them scratching their heads.

Talk About Tricks is one of my favorite DVD sets that I own. It's ranked up there with John G's Brainstorm set and Bill Malone's On the Loose DVD set. This DVD has material for all skill levels, and whether you work close-up, stage, bar, etc., you'll find something on Talk About Tricks that YOU WILL use. Thank you Josh for releasing this to the magic community!
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Okay, I'm late to the party, so I just did a lil' review should any one want to read it.

Title:Joshua Jay Talk About Tricks
Medium: DVD (three Disk Set)
Arena: Close up and parlour
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Joshua Jay is one of the brightest young men in magic and a fellow who I think will spend the next fifty or sixty years as a major force in the art. I couldn’t be happier since he has worked hard to get to this point. Josh writes the tricks column for Magic Magazine, which I admit I don’t read, and has done so for the past few years. What this DVD set consist of is some of Josh’ favorite routines from that column either presented and explained, for most routines as some are performance only, by either Josh or the creator of the routines. Often a routine will play better than it reads so this is an interesting idea and one I was looking forward to seeing. Some of those joining Josh for the project are Paul Cummins, Joel Givens, Rune Klan, Rick Mau, Felipe Abreu, Francis Menotti, and John Lovick. Not a back collection of magicians. Not only do you get a number of very good routines with cards, coins, and other objects and also a bit of mentalism you get interviews with performers and work on various sleights. The running time is over seven hours, pretty good for a lil’ magic project eh?

The production level is very high, as one expects from L & L. They trotted out the lovelies for this one and as is expected from magicians the fellows seemed to not notice, after all, their were cards in the room. The camera work was very good, after all the videos done by L & L they know how to film magic, and the sound is as good as it gets. Josh is a very pleasant guy and his understanding of magic as well as his recall of sources is amazing. He doesn’t suffer from any of the delivery problems some other ‘name’ magicians have against them, no strange laugh, no egomaniacal view of himself, Josh just goes out there and shows the magic and explains it in a real clear manner and ignores the beautiful young ladies around him. Focus is good Josh but dude! I believe once the camera was off ol’ Josh was working the ladies, ah to be young again! So for production fans you’ll like the work done with these DVDs. I have to say I’ve never been involved with a project like this but it must have been exhausting getting the material done and edited. Congrats on a fine job to all involved.

Disk One:

The tricks section opens with a nice collection of effects that build into a pretty darn good oil and water routine. I was fooled by the Marlo work and I think the sections all work very well together. The routine opens with an ace production and then some clean card separations. I think this will be a set that most will learn to do. The switch with the bill is also very good

Rune Klan, who is very funny, does his pen and coin routine. It is a nice routine and I enjoyed it.

Paul Cummins, a magician I’ve always liked, does his Punken Droker routine and it is a good one. Gambling themes are popular and this one combines elements of Triumph with a poker deal and the routine is logical and has the prerequisite kicker at the end. I did have a problem with the fact that the second trick shown by Paul wasn’t fully explained. They showed the ‘at a moment’ set up but not the entire routine. This is an instructional DVD, instruct. I think had they not shown the setting up and just dropped off the explanation it wouldn’t have bothered me but to show just a bit and not the rest looked to me like an editing problem.

Ten for Ten, which looked good, wasn’t explained. Exdislycally Shunuffled by Francis Menotti was very entertaining in his hands. I say this because while Francis reluctantly explains the routine this is one that will require a lot of practice in presentation to make it work for you. This type of routine is pretty personalized and Francis does it great, most of us wouldn’t do it as well and for that reason perhaps we shouldn’t do it. If you want to perform it make it your own and have it down before performing it.

Gold from Straw Elevator by David Solomon is very nice and is a lot easier than it looks. This is another routine I think everyone will be doing.

Sweet Straw is one of those impromptu looking effects from Joel Givens and I liked it in the book Session The Magic of Joel Givens by Josh Jay and it looked good here. In this trick a stirrer is produced from a sweet and low packet and then the stirrer is shrunk down to about an inch. This one will be popular.

242 Deal by Richard Vollmer was presented in a very entertaining manner by Josh. This is a cool ten card poker deal you will do where the spec makes the choices and you end up with the winning hand even though the spec thinks he is a shoe in to win. I have to admit I do a version of this dating back to the 50’s that is very, very, similar but I end up with either a royal or straight flush to win rather than the four of a kind in this routine. This type of quick routine plays really well with spectators and I like how Josh takes the sting out by saying in advance that he is going to win. This is one of those tricks that has a questionable background. Josh says, and I’ve heard this before, that it goes back to David Solomon. The version I do which is very close goes back to Bro. Hamman. I don’t know the origin but it is a killer little routine.

I liked the interview with Josh conducted by the non-dynamic John Lovick. The topic was people who release material on DVD or e book that really isn’t ready for the market and that it may be better to have it go to a magazine such as Magic Magazine and get their name known that way. I fully agree with this and have received some flack for my belief that everyone wants to release material and not all of it is worth releasing.

The Moves section had some pretty cool ideas in it including a quickie Triumph effect called Miumph. There is some great ideas on the Tilt that I think are very good and also a bit on the Erdnase Break that I think people will find of value. Rune Klan shows a killer color change move I’ve not seen and from my pal Chastain Chriswell a very cool way to balance a card box that you will be doing. The other moves are pretty cool too. I know some will be upset that none of these moves include quad cuts with a behind the head semicircle card reveal but these are designed for magicians not jugglers. Josh, bless him, even comments that he doesn’t think magic is a good way to pick up women. He’s right and it is about time some of you out there learn it yourself, well, realize it at least.

Last but not least we have Josh going over his overlap card which he released in a very nice book with the gaffs….look for it. To see the work in Josh’ hands you see how strong the material is you can do with the overlap card and I think it was a nice addition to the project.

Disk Two:

I am going to try not to hit every trick on this disk, believe me, they are all strong and while not all will fit your style I’m sure you’ll find some that will. Let’s take a look at what we find on disk two:

Open Perception by Raj Madhok

I’ve not heard of Raj but I really like him based on what I’ve seen. This is an excellent routine that mixes mentalism with cards in a very nice way. The magician, that is you, writes down a prediction and gives it to the spectator. The spectator takes a deck of cards and puts the cards down face up one at a time until they feel a sensation and put a card down face down. The spec opens the prediction and you check the cards and none of the face uppers match the card and when you look at the face down card, that never left any ones view, and the card is the one predicted. This type of routine kills and plays better than I described.

Any Card at Any Page Number by Josh Jay:

What a great trick. The spectator pulls a card out of a spread, you have already pulled a card from the spread to show them what you want done, and the spec shows others the card so it will be remembered, the card is put back in the deck. Another spec picks a number from one to fifty two, you count down to that card….it isn’t the right card. You show other cards, none is correct, and you toss down the cards in frustration announcing that it is a very difficult trick. You pull out a book and tell the specs you should have looked up the trick to make sure you had it down. You decide to go to the page number that matches the number selected, the book is shown that no cards are in the pages except for the page number called and that card is the selection. This is a great stand up routine as well as a close up for a formal show. No sleight of hand is involved and it is just very well thought out and well taught by Josh. The only problem is lots of young guys will shy away from this trick because they won’t understand how strong it plays.

Ninja Coin by Joel Givens:

Read by many in Sessions this is something you really need to see to appreciate. Basically a finger is pushed, slowly, through a coin. It looks great, Joel does a great job explaining the routine, and I think this will be popular among those that can find the coin to use. I have to say that I like Joel Givens. As a lost Southerner it is nice to hear that accent again.

Riding The Wave by Rick Mau:

Very interesting stand up routine with a mentalism slant. Presentation is the key here, well thought out. The big question, was josh bored, tired, or distracted during the instruction phase?

Llasser Open Prediction by Manuel Llasser

Open prediction, looks very good but will take work to get right.

Across Coins by Joel Givens

Very nice coin across with interesting moves. I liked this one as well and I’m not even a coin guy.

Kickback by Ryan Swigert

Ryan got one in! I like Ryan, good guy. This is a very cool packet trick. Fooled the heck out of me. Ryan is a good thinker and this is a good trick.

Switch by John “Chuckles” Lovick / Illegally Yours by Greg Wilson:

This is one of my favorite bill switches, sans thumb tip, that I learned in one format from a Mexican Clown and details from Reel Magic Episode One also taught by John “Dr. Excitement” Lovick. This switch is one I’m very comfortable with, much more so than the usual method. Illegally Yours is a routine of Greg Wilsons using a specially made bill that can be obtained from one of the issues of Magic Magazine, the issue number is given in the DVD instructions.

I Dream of Mind Reading by John Lovick

This is a routine where the presentation, which was attributed in part to my old pal I’ve not seen in awhile, Seb, carries the day. It is a nice routine and one I had to ponder but I doubt I would have done it straight up, with the presentation it works for me. This was a nice example of how the discussion format of this DVD really is nice in that Josh, John, and Raj discuss the routine and their different views of it.

Beard Book by Rune Klan:

I really like this Rune Klan, I’ve never heard of him before now but I think he is very funny. This routine is one that I would use, and plan on using, in my paid shows. This is very funny, would play huge. I’m not even going to tell you what is this routine is because I want those of you yet to get this DVD to be surprised. Tip of the hat to Rune for coming up with this funny, commercial, routine….may be the most commercial item on this whole freakin’ DVD!!!

My Ladies Other Ring by John Lovick

Okay, maybe I lied, this may be the most commercial routine on the DVD set. This is one of the best ring on string based routines I’ve ever seen, no, it is the best over all routine because it works for large groups as it plays very big. A spectator comes up to help you do a trick by reading the instructions to you. A ring is borrowed and tied to a cord, it not only comes off the cord but vanishes. You show the ring giver a ring in a box that is in your pocket, that isn’t her ring. You borrow a ring from another spec, hopefully the one reading you the instructions, the second ring turns out to be the first persons ring, you are left without a ring for the second person. The ring box is again pulled out and the ring in the box is the second persons ring. From a magical aspect this is a very simple routine to do, if you know anything about ring on string. The routine is beautifully put together, the comedy is strong, and this is one the guys who work will be doing if they do stand up at all or maybe for a large group at a function. Really good magical entertainment.

The Moves:

In this set of moves you get some pretty cool methods on producing four aces and also what are more routines than moves using coins or cards. Lots of very neat things are here so make sure you don’t miss it. I like different ways to produce cards in a kind of neat looking way and there are some good methods presented but the one thing I really liked was the Hindu Control, good stuff. The Rub a Dub Subtlety is fun as well. Also look for the photo of Josh flexing for his wand program. He’s very butch.

Disk Three:

Time Is Money by Asi Wind:

I was going to not mention the ‘performance only’ pieces after I mentioned the one from the first disk because, to be frank, this is an instructional tape not a performance tape and if you don’t want your work on it then don’t be on it. That is my humble opinion. I mention this because Asi did release it on DVD and I love the look of the bills and the routine in general. Basically you have two bills, put them into a specs hand, and one bill vanishes only to appear elsewhere. The Asi handling is the best I’ve seen as far as the look of the bills.

Laser Aces by Joel Givens:

I wonder how Joel is going to handle being popular among magicians as his book and this project are sure to make him. I can picture hundreds of blooming magicians trying to contact him at this moment to tell him of an improvement they have made to a handling, such as using a red deck rather than blue, or a different color glue stick. Poor guy. This is a very nice routine, in fact it is an excellent routine that is based around ace productions. The kicker at the end is the aces are part of blocks of cards that cannot be taken apart except by vandals. Joel will fool you with this, if you learn it the right way you will fool people. The handling and subtle ‘proofs’ given throughout are very strong, one of the premier pieces in this set.

Kings face Aces by Adam Ryan:

The performance is interesting because you see Josh flash a move and it is like he is in mid move and it strikes him as if he is thinking “why am I doing this?”. In the explanation he brings it up saying he wasn’t sure why he did the move at that time as it wasn’t necessary and what he wanted to do was a cut. I thought it was interesting, might just be me. This is a really nice trick and the kind I love to just sit around doing and if asked to do something it is what I’ll likely do. A card is selected and put between two face up cards and the cards turn into four aces and the selection and face down cards are found in the center of a spread deck. Nice trick.

Muck You by Derek Delguadio

Derek Delguadio is a very talented card guy who I met when he was about 15 and Jason England, who is a monster with cards, introduced us. Derek is an example of what happens when someone has real interest in a subject and knows the best in the world at that subject and they take him into their fold. He is destined for the top of the field in gambling card moves. This routine will be of interest to spectators because it is gambling themed and that is always interesting if performing outside of the Amish community. This routine is on mucking cards and it should be practiced until smooth but it will be worth it. I liked how the spectator is drawn into the routine. John Lovick performed and explained this routine, it should be noted by the way that if I say that a trick is ‘by’ someone it doesn’t mean they perform it, and while John does it well I’d love to see Derek do it.

Here and There by Ken Garr

Ol’ Josh got me on this one. It is a transposition and ace production that plays really funny done the way Josh presents it. This is another of the many tricks on this set of DVDs you’ll be doing. Josh has changed the handling for the better, which is nice to see since too often people ‘improve’ effects in the opposite direction. Maybe it isn’t an improvement but just to me I like the way Josh does it while others may prefer the original handling, and there is nothing wrong with that…..

Coin and Bottle by Rune Klan:

Note to Rune, American girls love accents. You can be a psychotic killer and get American women with the right accent. Yours is too light, thicken it up and you will be a chick magnet.

This is a great routine for the bar or at a party situation. A coin is caused to penetrate a bottle so it is under the bottle. You then pick up the coin and cause it to penetrate the bottle and a cloth napkin. The kicker is the bottle and coin do a transportation. Again we have an entertaining piece of magic that isn’t difficult but plays big. Rune is getting further up my list of favorite performers.

Piano Séance by Raj Madhok

The Piano Card Trick, which I learned many years ago, was always more of a puzzle, to me, than a card trick. While a neat puzzle still a puzzle. Raj has taken this to a really nice business card based routine that is interesting and a worker. Basically a card travels from one stack to another and while the thing is self working and it really doesn’t make sense that it would fool people it floors them. Sure if they think about it later they’ll figure it out but most will not and even some of them won’t put the pieces together right. Nice routine and one I’ll be doing.

Note to Editor: I saw the flub at this point in the DVD and it just irritated me more because you once again put in my face a trick I think should have been taught. I know everyone is rightfully raving about this set of DVDs but I knew I’d find something, it confused me on disk one cuz of the editing flub on the same thing, now I understand what happened….I’m watching you.

Palm Prick by Felipe Abreu:

Very interesting card stab that uses a palm pilot/blackberry type device. Will take timing and practice to make it look as good as Felipe did but for you techies this is a winner. You also get a link to a free download to make the whole thing come together.

Overlap Hpfzinser by Mark Azpiazu and Josh Jay

Another nice routine that uses the Overlap Card, as is discussed and gone over on disk one. This is visual because the overlap card really makes for a surprising change.

Paper Balls by Peter Lentini

This is the kind of routine you don’t do at the magic club because guys like me watch it and think “two ahead, switch, oh that is a restored piece….”. For lay people this routine would play great in the bar, restaurant, or party. In fact if you want an ‘impromptu’ piece, and do note I view impromptu to mean using regular items seemingly unprepared and not what some think in it meaning absolutely unprepared, this is the routine for you. It starts as a basic paper balls routine but it ends in a restoration that I really liked. This is one you’ll want to learn and prep for at any function where you might do magic and there are paper napkins in use.

Threesome by Jason Dean (with an additional handling by John Born)

Josh thought this was a weird trick but I actually liked it. Three cards are selected and one card is show to have been predicted by being written on the card box, the second card is found in the card box, and the third is shown to be known as the writing on the box has change to the third card. Gee, that does sound weird. I did really think it was a cool trick and the John Born work makes for a quicker effect that also is pretty neat.

Matches All Gone by Joel Givens:

Another of the great ‘looks impromptu to me’ tricks also found in Sessions. In this neat lil’ routine a book of match is given to a spectator who uses a straw as a magic wand to make the matches vanish from the book. The paper around the straw is opened and, viola, the matches are found inside. This is great for the bar or party scene where matches and covered straws are found. I wouldn’t suggest it for places that don’t have matches and the straws don’t have covers, it would look odd….

The Moves:

This is a very nice collection of moves. Josh’ Slip Shift looks great, I’ll have to work on it to make it look passable though. The tips on the riffle and slip force are real aids in improving these forces, in particular to those of us who shy away from the classic force in actual performance. The Cloud Change looks great in Josh’ big hands, not so great in my tiny chubby hands, and the Erdnase Variant shift is a winner as well. The other moves also are good.

There you have it. L & L, I want to add, does a very good job at using split screens and multiple screens to show moves at different angles. I like it because I don’t have to search for angles as some DVD require, though I rather look than not have a split available at all. With the exception of the editing problem from disk one that is resolved on disk three it is a really, really well done project. The magic is overall outstanding and most are items I would perform and a great number I’m already working on. Josh is the real deal and he brought together a good team to do this with and for Session fans they will find some of the best work from Sessions, though not all of it, here on this project. This set gets a highly recommended from me, which I don’t give often. This absolutely goes onto the ‘watch often’ stack, which isn’t very tall, rather than the “watch if you need to check something” box.. Lastly thank you to L & L for bringing out the young lovelies for this shoot and for those with a different opinion of what a lovely is they brought out one dude for the front row too.

Let me close, for those who hung in with this review, with a quick story about Josh Jay that is pretty much unknown. He, just by reputation, saved or altered greatly a life. A magician out of New Jersey wanted to see Josh Jay lecture in New Jersey somewhere and the lecture was starting at six or seven at night. This fellow, who I won’t name, didn’t want to miss the lecture and as such called in sick to work and went back to bed, the idea being if he went to work in New York City he would not be home in time to get to the lecture due to commute and all that good stuff. The magician slept until mid morning and woke up rested and ready for the day and the lecture. You may be wondering how this effected his life. The date was September 11, 2001 and this magician worked at the World Trade Center, not in one of the towers but a smaller building, and his building was destroyed in the collapse. Had he not wanted to see Josh lecture he would have been at his desk when the attack occurred and may have been there, thinking it safe, when the collapse occurred. At the very least he would have been at ground zero at the worse time to be there. So in an odd sense Josh Jays reputation as a lecturer and individual forever changed this guys life.

This DVD set may not alter your life like the fellow mentioned above but as a magician I think you’ll find this set to be of value in both content and in some of the comments made during discussions. Excellent work.
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Off to buy this right now, Nice reviews guys. Nice work Joshua!!

Jeremy Hanrahan
I get to gaff some cool stuff for some cool people
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