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Steve Brooks
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Making his home in Berlin Germany, mentalist and magician Ted Lesley has earned a well deserved reputation around the globe as one of magic's finest performers of the art.

So I was very excited when Ted sent me his latest dvd offerings, asking me to have a look, and look I did! The following is a quick peek at what you can expect to see. I've written up both of the discs together, with some final thoughts at the end. Enjoy. Smile
Ted Lesley's Cabaret Mindreading Vol.1


Anyone who has ever purchased a dvd from L&L Publishing pretty much knows the style and quality that Louis Falanga and company put together on any given project. This disc is no exception to that experience. If you have never owned an L&L dvd or video, and you are contemplating making this your first purchase, you are in for a real treat, not only in quality, but in the stellar material presented. Smile

As one would expect from L&L, the video is shot before a live audience. This of course gives performers like Ted Lesley real folks to present the material too. The video is shot full digital, giving one a superb broadcast quality picture. No cheesey video shots taken in someone's kitchen here folks. The sound is generally good as well, with no real complaints here.

Once the disc is inserted, the standard menu appears, listing the various effects. You can watch just the effects, or go right to an explanation, handy when you're in a hurry.
I liked the way the effects were presented, one flowing into the next during the performance segments. This really gives you a good idea of Mr. Lesley's performing style, and, more importantly, showcases how these effects can look when performed in a set.

Here is a quick overview of the material itself:

Ace Duet: This effect has a spectator finding the four Aces, even though the cards have been shuffled. Nice effect, easy to do. Smile

The Spectator as Mindreader: Another effect using the spectator, who finds a card that the performer thinks of! Very cool, and like the previous effect, easy to do. Smile

The Working Performers Card Stab: A cool effect which has the performer using a knife, which he then uses to locate a card that was previously selected and signed! Nice.

Tossed-Out Deck: Mr.Lesley's presentation for a real classic of magic. Great audience participation, and a breeze to perform. You'll use this one. Smile

Black Magic III: A wonderful banknote effect, which is presented like a game, in which the spectator has the opportunity to win a prize. This has great audience appeal right from the start, and is not difficult to learn. I'll be doing this one myself. Excellent.

Booktest: This is a very convincing booktest effect, using items that are familiar to everyone, and delivering maximum impact. Cool.

Pro-Monition: The spectator thinks of a card, suddenly the card cannot be found in the deck. As a kicker final, the performer then has the spectator remove the selection from his pocket. Good stuff here, and oh so easy. Smile

Center Tear: The title pretty much say's it all. A great idea for using an age old technique. Not for me, but most performers wanting to do a bit of mindreading will appreciate this. Worth a look.

Teleportation: Spectator selects a page from a book, while a second spectator holds an envelope. Like magic, a piece of the selected page vanishes, only to appear inside the envelope. When the piece is removed and compared to the page, they match perfectly.
This is very strong stuff here! I like.

Decisions! Decisions!: The performer selects a card, then places same in an envelope for safe keeping as it were. Cards are then delt from another deck until a spectator calls out; "Stop!" The card stopped at matches the card in the envelope. It's a miracle! A classic that is fun to perform and easy to do. Very nice indeed.

Super Force: A great mental feat by which the performer is able to help a spectator locate a card chosen by another under impossible conditions. Very very nice.

Bending Wine Glass: This is probably the strongest effect on this disc bar none. The performer causes a wine glass that has been in full view to visually bend right before the eyes of the audience. But wait, there's more! Before the audience can catch its breath, the performer mentally and again visually causes two more glasses to bend - while the spectators are holding them! Ouch! This is hot stuff here folks, and could really be a reputation maker if presented correctly. Luckily Mr.Lesley takes the time to explain all the details. If this was the only effect on the disc, the price is still too cheap! Hot!

My rating:

Ted Lesley's Cabaret Magic Vol.2


While volume one focused on effects that highlight the apparent use of mental powers, this offering is more along the lines of plain old fashioned magic, though there is at least one mental type effect included.

As per the previous volume, the picture quality is excellent, and the sound is nice and clear. The dvd format is very helpful in learning, and L&L did a great job in giving us a real feeling of being there live!

Here is what you'll find on this volume:

Six Card Repeat: Obviously this is Mr.Lesley's take on yet another classic of magic. But, the method is ultra easy and is still a great audience pleaser. I like.

Borrowed Bill in Borrowed Cigarette: The title say's it all. I know that smoking is frowned upon in a lot of places these days, but there are still plenty of venues that this could be used. An old classic brought back to life. I like it. Smile

Comedy Rope Trick: This is essentially Mr.Lesley's presentation of the classic Professor's Nightmare trick, but with a few twists thrown in for good measure. Audiences appreciate good rope magic, and this is one trick you should consider adding to your program. Great routine. Smile

Comedy Mindreading: Okay, here's the so-called mental effect on the disc, but is a good one. The performer locates three selected cards using a variety of methods. Not difficult, and plays well.

The Fastest Card Trick in the World: Another great trick using an audience member. A selected card and the spectator's own credit card play an important role here. Magic that uses personal items is always strong, and effects like this one really drive the point home. You'll use this one I'm sure.

Coin Through Sleeves: This is basically Mr.Lesley's take on the old Winged Silver trick, as coins travel in mysterious ways. The addition of the spectator being involved makes this even stronger. Worth your consideration.

Bill in Lightbulb: A bill is borrowed from a member of the audience, then torn in half. Half of the bill vanishes, only to appear inside a lightbulb that's been burning bright through the entire performance! Strong magic here. Smile

Bill in Lemon: Okay, what can I say, this is a classic effect that is very strong, plays well, and has been known to change some people's religion.
Mr.Lesley presents a version that is not that difficult to do, and when routined and presented properly, will get you many repeat bookings. Excellent!

My rating:


There are a few things I would like to mention regarding these two dvd's. I've read a lot of different people's views and reactions to these discs, and judging from their responses, it was very easy (at least for me) to realize who the working guys are, and who the I wanna know a secret type people are. Smile

For the most part, the magic and effects presented here are not ground breaking or even brand new. If you are looking for those type of tricks, you may want to pass these by.
However, if you are looking for the kind of magic that plays well in the real world, is very easy to do, and has been tested over and over again, each time being refined until becomming a true piece of art, then you've come to the right place.

I have to say I liked these dvd's from the very start. I had previously never seen Mr.Lesley perform, and boy was I missing out. His work here is outstanding to say the least.

He is obviously comfortable in front of an audience, and it shows. Not only in his fluid interaction with the spectators, but with the confidence he shows in the effects he presents.

I want to also point out that Mr.Lesley does an excellent job in explaining the workings of the effects in the explanation area. Here, he is assisted by friend Charles Reynolds, who insures that matters are as clear as possible. No easy feat, considering English is not Mr.Lesley's native language.

I not only would encourage you to purchase these two volumes of magic and mentalism, but would venture to say that any good magic dvd library should not be without them. Highly recommended! Smile

Both discs are available through L&L Publishing or your favorite dealer.
Suggested retail is $34.95 each
L &L Publishing
P.O.Box 100
Tahoma, Ca. 96142

You can contact Ted Lesley directly at:
Be sure and check out Ted's website:
Click here!
Or visit the L&L Publishing site: Click here!
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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