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Picard
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My review of Cinco by Alexandre

Let me begin by saying it immediately before it's too late: DO NOT buy this! It's almost worthless.

This short e-book contains 5 effects, each briefly described in less then a page.

Alexandre's Phone Experiment #5
Surely, one can expect phone effects to be mostly based on some self-working mathematical principle, but there are some strong routines that successfully hide the math behind it with great presentations and the elimination of illogical and unnecessary moves.
This one definitely doesn’t belong to that group. It’s a very boring - “remember the number your object is at, move that many times, then move some more bla bla…” kind of effect.
I give it 1/10.


Alexandre's Fantasy Phone Experiment
Even though the name applies so, this is not phone effect, but you present it as such and say that you’ll now try it in person even though you are not sure if it would work.
First of all, Alexandre forgot to mention an important detail here. I did realize what was wrong relatively quickly but it just goes on to show how much time and effort he really put it in creating this 5 page e-book.
Then you give the deck to a spectator who is to insert the 2 bottom cards of the deck face up somewhere in the deck and you try to guess the 2 cards that are face-to-face with those inserted in the deck. Alexandre’s method requires setup which means spectator doesn’t get to shuffle the cards after they are given to him and yet is asked to take 2 bottom cards, which you might have known in advance and place them in the deck (so you have to choose your spectators wisely here). Also, with the method that Alexandre provides you will be able to guess only one out of the 2 cards correctly, you’ll have to resort to guessing the second one. Alexandre reasons: “Hey, that’s how mindreading works, it’s not always perfect … but still impressive’’. I do believe in ‘’too perfect theory’’ and I have nothing against intentionally making a mistake sometimes in order to make it look more like a ‘’real thing’’ and not pure trickery but here you guess correctly only 1 card out of 2, which although still unlikely, doesn’t really produce a miracle, at least in my opinion. Those spectators who aren’t really aware of the odds of finding even a single card will simply think that you half-failed.
I give it 3/10.


The King/Seven Experiment
Are you kidding us Alexandre? I would be ashamed to publish something like this. This one is so blatantly obvious that I have to seriously doubt the intelligence of anyone who would get fooled by it. I won’t even say anything more, it’s just weak.
I give it 1/10.


The John Lennon Experiment
We don't have dimes and pennies here so this effect was worthless to me. But even if I had the opportunity to do it I highly doubt I would ever try it on someone. I admit - it does produce a surprising result at first sight and might fool people at first, but the method of this self-working trick could be backtracked fairly easily.
I give it 3/10.


Tarot Connectivity Demonstration
In this effect, you find 4 matched pairs out of the supposedly mixed packet of 8 cards consisting of 4 queens and 4 kings. Spectator actually only gets to cut the deck a few times, and even though most of them would think that the packet is mixed at that point, I have found out that there are surprisingly lots of people who know that cutting doesn't really mix the cards.
This one will fool people if presented properly but it's a very simple effect, nothing impressive at all. Even though this could be done with the ordinary deck too, the effect would play much better with Tarot cards.
I give it 5/10.



Overall I give Cinco 2/10.
ALEXANDRE
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Picard, what can I say....

For instance, the King/Seven Experiment and The John Lennon Experiment (you don't need to exclusively use American Dimes and Pennies, I use TenP pieces and pennies from England for instance) worked extremely well during my last lecture here in Hollywood Florida, they loved the presentations with the "Number 9" John Lennon album cover conspicuously hanging on the wall and the jumbo King and Seven cards with the wonderful story associated with their meaning ... though I'm sure the crowds who visit my lectures aren't nearly as sharp and intelligent as you. The Fantasy Phone Experiment is based on Callahan's great Fantasy Phone Experiment routine (discussed with Jim and permission granted, haters) of which this is merely a variation. I think you missed a few things while glancing through it. Give it another go

I wish I had the time to go on and on but I love simple, very simple, routines in methodology and I usually do very well during the presentation of these simple routines. I love presentation. I think the effectiveness of the routines in CINCO come in how you present the effects, though I'm fairly sure you tried none of them.


For the record I no longer have the time to sell eBooks from my website, so they are all on Lybrary.com. That's where I buy my eBooks, too. There's great stuff there. Don't forget to check out my new Target Card in Painting! An idea sparked through conversation with my good friend C. Gould. Also, an ALEXANDRE performance/instructional dvd will be coming out sometime next year with major distribution.

Ciao.
rowdymagi5
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Has anybody else purchased this that may offer a review as well? Maybe a few different view points would tilt the scales somewhat?
Picard
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Alexandre, it's just my opinion of your product.
I agree with you regarding the importance of presentational factor, but can it be enough to turn such simple and evident principles that you employ in your effects into miracles? I have my doubts on that one.
Also, anyone looking for such «simple» and mostly self-working effects that require enourmous presentational effort to make them baffling would get much better bang out for their money by getting for example any book by Rufus Steele, also from lybrary.com, which I agree, is a great website to buy e-books. For the price of Cinco you can get 2 of his books, each with over 50 simple effects, some of which actually are quite strong.
meyegr
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Quote:
On 2008-06-12 05:08, rowdymagi5 wrote:
Has anybody else purchased this that may offer a review as well? Maybe a few different view points would tilt the scales somewhat?

Here's your chance.
rowdymagi5
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I think I will save my $15.00 and see some more reviews first. I try to make an informed buying decision before making a purchase, after all that is what these forums are for. It would be silly for me to purchase every single effect that I am curious about. However, the ones that get good reviews I am more than happy to purchase (and even that does not guarantee that I will like them)

The Magic Café has saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars (by avoiding bad products or products that would no fit "me").
JohnWells
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I have yet to buy an Alexandre product that was better than mediocre or fairly priced.
ALEXANDRE
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Rowdy, let me put it this way, if you, for instance, like Jim Steinmeyer's Impuzzibilities books, you'll like this as these routines are right up that alley. But if you're lazy and don't like to add presentations to your routines, even Steinmeyer's Impuzzibilities will suck.

Also, no one needs to be convinced here, if you have any doubts whatsoever, don't buy it, why risk it when you can put a couple more gallons of gas in your car?

I never mentioned CINCO contained "miracles", these are routines I've performed, had much fun with, and been successful with as a performer. As mentioned above, specifically the King/Seven Experiment and The John Lennon Experiment have gone very well for me during lectures, but perhaps it had something to do with the presentation of the routine, I didn't just stand there hoping to wow them with the power of the effect on its own. Which reminds me, you can't just take the above routines and do them without presentation. Don't be lazy, work out a presentation for every effect you have. Never allow any effect to stand on its own power, always add your presentation. Always. That's what will make you a unique performer, yes, even better than the magician or mentalist your friends saw on TV.

And as far as the Café saving you money, it has saved us all money, but one person's trash can end up being another person's treasure. Let me tell you a brief story. I was getting ready to buy a new computer chair, any day now, mine was getting old and the seat uncomfortable, so a couple of months ago I go for a nice walk with my lady and a neighbor had rested by the trash area a black leather computer chair. Though I'm not into dumpster diving, I walked over to look at it since I was in the market for one. After a brief inspection, there was nothing wrong with it other than being terribly loose and a little unstable in most joints. It appeared to me that someone was just too lazy to tighten the darn thing up, so I took it home to my girlfriend's horror (though now she thinks I got lucky). I cleaned the chair up a bit, tightened the screws and now I own a very comfortable leather computer chair, much better than my last one and I didn't have to pay a dime for it, just because someone was too lazy to use a screwdriver, or maybe they were gifted a better one, who knows, but what I'm sitting on right now was someone's trash when I got it.

Moving on now. Have a great day, guys (except John).
rowdymagi5
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I do like some of the stuff in "Impuzzibilities". Maybe it is psychological, but after reading a good review on here, it sure makes hitting that "pay now" button a little easier!

That's why Im hoping to read a few more reviews. One person may have a completely different view on this one. If I werent strapped for cash right now, I would buy it to review it here.

Thanks for your post Alexandre!
Bill Cushman
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OK, I may be accused of bias because Alex and I are friends and he has been a great help with my putting together Mirabill and Mind Index (he's my PDF maven!) but I have to speak my piece. Alex was concerned about my doing so and even discouraged me knowing I have a new product out and not wanting to put my sales at risk. But I value friends more, so I want to address this even if it costs me sales of Mind Index.

I was at a lecture where Alex performed effects from Cinco. I especially recall The John Lennon Experiment and the great response it received. What made it great was what Alex put into the presentation.

And I think that is where some may read Cinco and find it a bit thin. Alex lays it all out concisely and clearly (and as I have learned, not at all an easy thing to do). He could have gone a different route and tipped his presentations in detail and made it a longer book. He could have padded. But he just gives you the meat; you are responsible for all the fixings and side dishes and what is that quote about a good meal since I'm using dining metaphors? Something like "Presentation is everything."

That is what I think might get lost in just a quick read thru of Cinco (or a book like Impuzziblibities) without putting together a presentation consistent with your own style and actually trying it out. I know we have all, at one time or another, been amazed at how a simple trick can garner terrific responses. And the reason is almost always the quality of the performance.

Even if we disagree, I think it is important we do so civilly. Picard, whether or not you meant it to be insulting your post came off that way to me as well. Nuance gets lost on the net so it is even more important to attend to in this context. I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that sounding insulting wasn't intentional and perhaps this reminder to pay more attention to how something might read to others will be heeded.

One last thing. I like and use Alex's Fantasy Phone Experiment. I love knowing I'm only going to get one card for sure but in a way that is totally mystifying to the audience. I love going for the risky hit. Played correctly with the miss, you'll have the audience working to convince you of your mysterious powers.


I wish everyone could see Alex perform these and other similar effects that he has created. You'd have a much better idea what is going on. The effects may be simple but that doesn't mean you don't have to put a lot of thought into the presentation. Presented as I have seen Alex do, most lay people will not try and reverse engineer an effect like those in Cinco because they have just had an engaging experience, not simply seen a trick.
Picard
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Bill, I think we all agree that presentation is important, etc., etc. I wouldn't really say that it's everything because no matter how hard you try and no matter how well you present something not everyone will find it as entertaining and as engaging.
A good TV show or theater play can also be an engaging experience, but nothing more than that. Good magic should also be a mystifying experience.
Why would I want to take any chances of some smart-head trying to re-engineer the effect? There is so much stronger (and still simple) material out there for someone to waste their time with mediocre (and for what you get - definitely overpriced) stuff.
JohnWells
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It amazes me to compare say Mirabill and one of Alexandre's comparably priced products. From Dr. Cushman, you receive pages of detailed presentations and a free supplement. Alexandre provides a bare bones sketch of a few throw aways. Something seems out of joint.
ALEXANDRE
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John Wells dealer of magic and spells ... nothing is out of joint, the thing is Bill drives a nice sensible car and I, on the other hand, with the proceeds from my latest eBook entitled "Target Card in Painting", have picked up a 2009 Hummer H2. I need to gas it up, man. It costs me over $100 to fill 'er up. Not to mention the utility bills I pay on my mansion in Cocoplum, thanks also to the proceeds from "The Black School" and the "Ex Nihilo" ebook. All this reminds me to mention that I'll be releasing a new eBook very soon called "How to Make Your First Million Writing Magic and Mentalism eBooks". It works! I'm living proof of it.
DT3
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100 dollars to fill up the H2?

Sheesh Alex, are you that Masochistic?

Cinco and Target are both only available thru Wassbrary? Because as much as I love Lybrary.com I want to make sure you get full profit.

D
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2008-06-26 17:24, ALEXANDRE wrote:
John Wells dealer of magic and spells ... nothing is out of joint, the thing is Bill drives a nice sensible car and I, on the other hand, with the proceeds from my latest eBook entitled "Target Card in Painting", have picked up a 2009 Hummer H2. I need to gas it up, man. It costs me over $100 to fill 'er up. Not to mention the utility bills I pay on my mansion in Cocoplum, thanks also to the proceeds from "The Black School" and the "Ex Nihilo" ebook. All this reminds me to mention that I'll be releasing a new eBook very soon called "How to Make Your First Million Writing Magic and Mentalism eBooks". It works! I'm living proof of it.

If I had your money, I'd throw mine away.
Jon Hackett
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Quite frankly this is disgusting, Alexandre, what on earth are you doing reacting in this way? Picard's review was bad, everyone has done bad stuff, even John Lennon, but just because one person doesn't like it allow it to be seen by others, or if you agree with him take it off the market, don't act like a stupid little child.

I agree entirely with what John Wells said, that I find it most surprising that Mirabill and Mind Index could even be considered comparable to what you release Alexandre, but much respect to you for acideving such a wonderful stature.

I don't understand how you, or to be fair Dr Cushman, can go on, no bang on like your teaching a small child manners, at us in the Café about how important presentation is, of which everyone knows, and yet you decide to release an ebook of 5 pages long and not include the real work.

So what are you really telling us Alexandre? You cantr be bothered to release actual substance you just want to sell us... the easy bit? And I think the price is high.

Picard, Alexandre has put out some work, and it is your choice how you react to a product, this is capitalism. Do not feel pressured into any action others want you to take purely because someone doesn't like what you are saying. I respect the fact you have paid for a product that you feel was nothing like up to scratch, been honest and tried to help others in the fraternity, and still apologised to the writer in case he was offended. Bravo.


Jon Hackett


P.S. I am sorry if any of the opinions I state in my post cause offence.
It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities and progressive ideas. Doystoyevsky
ALEXANDRE
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My point was that NO ONE makes any decent money putting out eBooks. Perhaps you might Jerome because your eBooks are up there, but usually, people don't. It's a little money that goes right back into the community to buy other people's material, not to pay bills, buy a Hummer, etc.

So to make it clear, I do make good money, but it's not from selling eBooks, or even the Black School. Don't hate me because I make a good living. I work, and have worked hard, for it.

I thought all you guys would get the sarcasm, but this is after all the Magic Café, so....

Usually I offer presentations in my eBooks and especially the Black School:

"I really like the way you break effects down to their basic elements ... these are direct, compelling performance pieces!"
-BANACHEK-
College Performer of the Year
Psychic Entertainers Association Creativity Recipient

"Thought Provoking and Intriguing!"
-TED LESLEY-
World Class Mentalist/Magician

"ALEXANDRE has put together a book that should be in the hands of anyone serious about entertaining with Magic!"
-BROTHER SHADOW-
Bizarre Magic Performer & Creator

And of course Bill Cushman who posted here (for the record I pay him to say nice things about me - by the way, the preceding comment about Bill Cushman is to be taken as sarcasm)

... but what do these guys know....

The introduction to THE KING/SEVEN EXPERIMENT goes like this:

After more than 800 years of recorded history, the origins of Playing Cards remain a mystery to the scholars of antiquity. While centuries have passed, this mystery is still being bought, sold, and collected by the millions every day, all over the world. Always 52 cards, always the 4 suits, 2 colors, 12 faces of Nobility, and that odd and seemingly useless Joker. To this day, the cards remain wholly intact! For this experiment we need to remove any King and any Seven from a deck of cards and place them side by side, however you want. Why the King and Seven? The King was often represented in a deck of playing cards by great leaders in our world’s history, and the Seven a symbol of spirituality and inner knowledge. Both cards exude incredible energy and are ideal for this experiment.

The effect is simple (and effective) but this presentation (included in the eBook) is what makes it even more interesting (if you present it with some personality rather than just memorizing and regurgitating of course).

On the JOHN LENNON EXPERIMENT I have a "Revolution Number 9" 45 album cover reveal which is pretty cool and unique, it's usually passed around and people love it, but anyway (and I give a couple of brief presentation ideas in the eBook) here's what I did on YouTube (for those of you who think 15 bucks is too much, no need to buy the eBook to learn this one) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX46nGZcLck - as mentioned in the eBook, you may also use TenP Pieces and English Pennies.

As a heads-up to those of you who dislike me, I warn you that since this post has gone up I've sold a few more Cinco eBooks, a slight bump up in sales, if you will ... but don't be too angry because a good part of the money went to support Lybrary.com ... so at the very least, that's cool.

One more thing before I go ... there is no eBook called How to Make Your First Million Writing Magic and Mentalism eBooks because it's an impossibility, unless I charge $100 an ebook or something....
Jerome Finley
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Selling any books or product is hard work and for the record, I don't hate you or anyone, especially not for 'working hard.' Writing books isn't how I make my living and you don't need to worry about the $$$ I make doing it.

Normally I get sarcasm but with you, wow, I never know what to expect. An ebook about how to make 1M off writing ebooks is something I can easily see you involved with, no offense.

Regarding what the above performer's know . . . what do they know? I'm sure Banachek DOES appreciate that you've broken some things down into their most basic elements and Ted DOES find you 'thought provoking.' Do what works for you, I'll ALWAYS support THAT (and thanks for the clarification).

-Jerome

P.S. How's Annabelle? Doing good I hope.
"Join my update list here!" http://eepurl.com/uE3Jf
ALEXANDRE
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Jerome, if Banachek, Ted Lesley, Brother Shadow and many others (please don't make me pull out my dusty "quote list") didn't like my work, they would've never allowed to me display their quotes on my book.

And I have no idea why you would say it wouldn't surprise you to see me involved in writing a scam like Making Your First Million ... when I've never put out a scam in the past.

If most of you guys find that 15 bucks is a rip off for five routines I've performed successfully and enjoyed over the years I have to disagree. You may not like it, but to suggest I'm ripping people off is a cheap shot many on the Café excel in.

People in the business tend to tell me my work is generally underpriced, mainly The Black School book with over 50 routines in it. Anyway, I will not compromise my friends by mentioning names, but before I put something out there for sale I always ask around for how much I should charge for such work. Not one of my eBooks have gone up for sale without this brief research amongst friends in the business.

I've spent more than enough time on the Café today, guys. It's been fun (sarcasm), we'll be in touch.
Bill Cushman
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So Alex is selling more Cincos and my Mind Index sales have dropped precipitously since speaking up on his behalf. The universe is twisted. Smile
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