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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Menu of Miracles vol. 1 and 2 by James Prince - Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Review King
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Well, it's 4 a.m. here and I just watched volume one and was properly smoked. James Prince fooled the pants off me. I have performed Larry Jennings' "Ambidextrous Travelers" for 15 years and rewound ( sorry, still using VHS terms ) James' "Repeat Travelers" 5 times and couldn't understand how he did it. DIABOLICAL it is!

Kris Krendo, after watching volume one, your "review" is even more suspect. James went over the diagonal palm shift quite well.

You're allowed to not like a Magician, their style, or the effects they perform. But what you write has to make sense. After watching volume one, I can say your review makes zero sense.

Can you honestly say you watched him perform "Repeat Travelers" and weren't fooled badly?
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
matt.magicman
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Pleeeeeeeeeease can we get some mirror decks on the market!
Review King
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I read a review where the fellow liked the "Mirrors" effect but didn't feel he'd replace it with his "Omni Deck". That's fine. The Omni deck can be gold to a performer.

But, the ancient layperson's assumption that we use mirrors ties in beautifully with this effect.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
james prince
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I also read the review where - the fellow liked the "Mirrors" effect but didn't feel he'd replace it with his "Omni Deck"

Two thoughts -

1. The most interest I've had in "Mirrors" has come from people who use "Omni Deck" - they view it as a great way to use the same lead in sequence and end some where different.

2. A thread that runs through my work is that everything I use must be 'normal', so I was slightly turned off by "Omni Deck", of course this has to be taken in the context of someone who already had "Mirrors" up and running and also one other variation (next DVD maybe?).
If the thought that the mirrors are not "normal" crosses your mind, show them to your wife and she will be totally at home with them.

Also because I'm rapidly coming to realise that the wider magic fraternity, do not regard a hacksaw and sandpaper as "normal" - I'm going to get some sets made up.
I sure there must be an etiquette about this sort of thing in the Café - so I will let everyone know through approved channels, when their done

James
matt.magicman
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Thanks james for sorting this
I was going to try the mirrors as you have routined it on the dvd
but also for repeat bookings
I have a corporate event coming up, and it will be my fourth time with them
so this will work nicely as a n alternative ending than the omni
thanks james
matt
ps. the email you sent me with the sequence photos, I couldn't open the attachment??
Review King
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I'm going to write up a proper review in the next day, but don't wait for me to decide in gettng this set. These aren't just "tricks" DVD's, but important work on the subject of working restaurants. The magic is bloody brilliant.

The advice segments were golden. The talk on tips should be preached everywhere.

I'll save the rest for my review.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Doctor D
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I have just been watching Volume 2, so here are a few of my thoughts:

- One thing I should mention, is that James' style is very different from mine. I have always been taught to, and believe I should, go slow; James' way of performing reminded me a lot of Paul Daniels' Chop Cup routine, with the difference that the latter is done tongue in cheek. I got the feeling that the audience couldn't fully absorb the magic, or at least that would be the case had I been performing in James' spot. Then again, I wasn't, and I'm sure he knows best what works hor hím.
Unfortunately, that also made the DVD less entertaining for me.

- Cups and Balls: I am of the school that likes to take its time with this routine: multiple phases, bits o' business, and THEN hitting them with the loads. This would also make the Cups a 'special table' kind of thing, which I don't mind.

- Loved the different ways of achieving Bill in Kiwi. I would probably only do the third one (Shoot the Kiwi); why run the risk of having an unexaminable piece of fruit anyway, if I only have to carry one piece per performance?
The way of getting into the trick (with a guessing game) isn't for me, but that is easily fixed.

- Brainfreeze was, for me, an endless chain of thrown away climaxes, apparently done just to get to the signed card and the royal flush. Not only is the fact of more cards than apparent blatantly confessed; if you can change a card twice, you can change it a kazillion times... where's the build?
Slightly contradicting himself, James says it's the perfect packet trick because "there's hardly any set-up", yet two sentences late: "There's quite a bit of set-up, let's get into it." Wha?

- Card in Wallet seemed almost a throw-away as well: first a build-up, then a wham-bam-thank you ma'am 'told you I could do it' reveal.

- Card through Window: Clever? Yes. Bold? Definitely. Fooled me badly, though, and the ending is totally clean. Definitely worth the effort.
Review King
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I have watched the James Prince two DVD set multiple times. The DVD's are filmed in a real restaurant, for real people. It has the same wonderful quality that one of my other favorite magic DVD sets, Party animal, has. Both are produced by the folks at R.S.V.P. Magic. The DVD's are beautifully filmed and produced.

James has a charismatic personality that is paired with eye for what works in close-up magic. No long, tedious, drawn out effects here. These are work horses. I was properly fooled by much of what he performed, even though I was familiar with many of the plots.

Daren started this thread off with a fine, detailed review, so let me touch on some of the effects that hit home with me from Volume One ( Volume two tomorrow ).

MIRRORS – Placing the deck INTO THE SPECTATOR'S HANDS, they solidify into five solid pieces of Mirror!

OK, there's much more to it than that. After a short, signed card, ambitious routine ensues, the deck is then placed into their hands and the signed card is removed from the Magi's pocket. They spread their hands and there are 5 mirrors.

The mirrors fooled me. James put the deck in their hands and cards moved around. I didn't see it coming and neither will they.


REPEAT TRAVELLERS – James's version of Larry Jennings' "Ambidextrous Travelers". He shows a 3 and 4 card version.

Brilliant!!!! I watched it over and over and over and even though I've done this effect for 15 years, I was not only fooled, I couldn't figure it out.

With all due respect to Larry and his brilliant routine, Jame's version, for me, works better. It just flows smoother. Larry's routine had some uncomfortable moments for me, that James's version eliminates.

MULTIPLE CARDS TO POCKETS – Up to six signed cards are lost in the deck and instantly vanish, appearing in every trouser and jacket possible including one in a sealed envelope!

It's Repeat Travellers for those times you have larger tables. Signed Cards appear in pockets, wallets, envelopes and..inside a matchbox

CARD OVER/UNDER AND IN MATCHBOX – A freely selected and signed card jumps under, over, and finally INSIDE a matchbox.

This is an incredible routine. It's got a 3 card monte, card under drink, element to it. The signed card ends up, folded inside a matchbox that has been in play all along and...no shuttle pass, the signed card is in the box and they remove it.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VENUE – James tells you how to select the best restaurants to work. He has some wonderful thoughts on the subject and a genuine plan to follow.

RING IN PEPPER-POT ILLUSION – James' signature piece in which a borrowed ring vanishes and reappears INSIDE a clear pepper-pot that is sitting on the table.

Well, you'd freak people out with this routine. I was surprised James didn't market this, but he teaches everyone how to make their own. James goes into great detail on construction and performance of this beautiful piece of magic.


IMPROPMTU ANNIVERSARY WALTZ – James Prince's take on this classic trick. Use ANY DECK and NO GIMMICKED CARDS.

Here's why I like this very much. I perform the gaff version. But, I only perform that for actual anniversaries or weddings. I wouldn't perform it 20 times a night ( that's right, it's for those times they pay for my services ).

But it is good to have in your arsenal a piece of magic for couples that leave them a special feeling. This version is easy and it's a fun routine. James has several subtle convincers to make it look like two different cards. I REALLY like this routine.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Review King
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I've watched Volume two several times and here's my thoughts on it.

TABLE APPROACH – Learn the correct way to approach a table for the first time.
James’s advice is gold. It touches on what many lack: common sense. This advice could save you a bruised ego and perhaps your job.

CUPS AND BALLS AT SPEED :
There are guys that do full cup and ball routines in restaurants. When I ask them how they can do it without being interrupted, they say they do get interrupted and then continue.

Well, I hated being interrupted when I worked restaurants. It ruins the effects. Sure, it happens, but I tried to do what I could to minimize it from happening. That means streamlining effects. You can do that without diluting them. As far as the cups, all they will remember from any cups routine is that there were cups and the final loads, whatever they may be.

So, I love James’s routine. He lets them look at the cups and little balls and they place the cups over the 3 balls. And..we’re off and running. It’s more like a 3 shell game or monte game, with 3 balls jumping round and gathering under one cup and then the big surprise finish.

James then offers a trieste on bill in kiwi. From incredible, dead easy methods, to one that can have the spectator cutting open the fruit and removing the bill. It’s called SHOOT THE KIWI and it is diabolical. James tips the real work on this little miracle.

FEES – A discussion about what to charge and how to get the best out of your chosen restaurants.

This advice can only come from someone with years of experience in this type of venue. Anyone that has an opinion on TIPS should here what James has to say.

BLUE CARD – A fast and amazing signed card in wallet with a kicker ending that you WILL use.

James offers some valuable tips on how to personalize this for special occasions. You will fool people badly with this version.

BRAIN FREEZE – The easy-to-do packet trick that James has been performing for over ten years!

It's fast and and the climaxes just keep coming. Of course I love it because it uses a signed card from another trick. They’ve forgotten about the card, so it’s quite a surprise when it shows up in the new trick.

TIPS James offers his views on this subject and I think it should be heard by anyone working in restaurants, no matter how many years.


SIGNED CARD THRU WINDOW here’s what the description says: James' classic version that takes the effect to a whole new level. A freely selected cards is signed and then corner given to the spectator with part of his signature still on it. The deck is then thrown at the restaurant window and INSTANTLY the SIGNED card is seen stuck to the other side of the window, Spectator takes his corner piece outside and removes the card from the other side. The corner matches exactly with their signature! NO CONFEDERATES.

Well, it’s all true. And anyone can do this. Even if you don’t work restaurants, but are at a friend’s house during a party of some sort, you could have fun doing this.

Well, I love this DVD set. It was filmed live in a restaurant and the magic is over the top, fantastic. The advice segments were worth the price of the set.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Chanku
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I have just seen volume 1 till now. Felt it was a mixed bag. Wasn't impressed by some of it.
Review King
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Quote:
On 2008-08-16 07:09, Chanku wrote:
I have just seen volume 1 till now. Felt it was a mixed bag. Wasn't impressed by some of it.


Can you elaborate a bit? What does a mixed bag mean to you? What did you think of "Repeat Travelers"?

Do you perform in restaurants? If so, what does a typical set for you consist of?
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
puggo
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Dare I offer a review? Well yes, here goes..
I have not held a residency at a restaurant before (normally working parties, corporate and weddings) but want to look at this area of work, so I purchased Vol.2.
Other RSVP products such as Corporate Close Up and Mix 'n' Mingle are treasured resources in my collection. This DVD is of the same quality.
Cups and Balls at speed:
I loved this punchy routine- I have a chop cup and two cup routine, this can be done in the same small space. If the audience was receptive, then I would slow the first phase (I'm not practiced enough to go at James's speed yet anyway!).
Kiwi routines:
A brilliant resource. As stated on 'Corporate Close Up', a kiwi routine really does generate lasting memories (and work!). It's good to see an alternative to the traditional bill switch, which is easily adaptable (although I like using the bill switch to swap a note for a cheque or an I.O.U.).
Blue Card:
The main appeal to me was the principle of personalising this competent trick to a special occassion, such as a birthday / retirement etc.
Brain freeze:
Gulp... I admired the work, but won't be learning this just yet, as I think it will 'lose' people compared to other 'packet' tricks (I use Stickman 4 and a 3 card monte variant). That James still performs this, means that I am undoubtedly wrong, but hey - there's still room for honest opinions here isn't there?!
Card through window:
Very strong, IF circumstances allow (e.g. not the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower!)
The advice:
As stated elsewhere, James really does make some very good points, which I could not fault. James presents his work in a clear, articulate manner.
General:
I often work with a magician who prefers not to spend ages preparing gimmicks etc. The Kiwi routine really does not take much time, and offers a huge return on the effort invested. I liked seeing the inside of James's pocket (ooh er! - his pocket management I meant!). I believe that while 'anytime anywhere' is great, preparation for paid work (be it clothing, props or whatever) is extremely important.
Puggo's rating:
An excellent buy, but don't expect to be spoon fed every basic (e.g. if you have never done cups & balls, consider getting Ammar's c&b for the ground work).
Value for money - Brilliant. I instantly picked up one new trick (c&b) which I can't wait to use. Blue card and the Kiwi work will be adapted / incorporated into what I use already. James's advice - priceless. I'll certainly be getting Vol.1.
puggo
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Oh and if you only buy volume two, I don't think (but I reserve the right to be wrong!)the diagonal palm shift if taught - as used in the 'Blue Card' trick. This is not a sleight that I use, but the routine is easily adapted.
Review King
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James's big move in his arsenal is the deadly diagonal plam shift. He uses it often and teaches it quite well.

You could double undercut and do an Erdnase bottom palm. But the DPS is faster and less moves.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Review King
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MJM Magic has a great video clip on their site:

JAMES PRINCE
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Daren
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You can now even do mark masons's steal stealy good, very similar to the dps, but a lot easier to do
RickVancouver
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I was interested in the special pockets James had made into his jacket and would've liked to learn more on how to get them made. I carry only 2 kiwis in one pocket and there's a bulge.

I really enjoyed the speed and style of his Cups & Balls routine, but a little hesitant about learning it due to pocket space for the 3 extra lemons.

Rick
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Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
mrmuji
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Quote:
On 2008-08-19 18:32, puggo wrote:
Oh and if you only buy volume two, I don't think (but I reserve the right to be wrong!)the diagonal palm shift if taught


Yep, you are right! Volume doesn't teach the diagonal becasue I only won Vol.2 on ebay. I might have to get it from my dealer as it does look very smooth.
Best Regards,

Bob
Philippe
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Absolutely brilliant this 2 volume set. I will definately not be purchasing another DVD for some while to ensure that I do use what is just so much really usable material, not like many where you are content to find at least one item that suits. Also a great manner in explaining, really nice and he does not go over and over the same move, no time wasting. Terrific buy. Thank you very much James Prince. (Note for mr Prince, Mr Prince, I perform in the exact same suit but wear a turtle neck)
james prince
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Quote:
On 2008-08-30 02:43, Philippe wrote:
Absolutely brilliant this 2 volume set. I will definately not be purchasing another DVD for some while to ensure that I do use what is just so much really usable material, not like many where you are content to find at least one item that suits. Also a great manner in explaining, really nice and he does not go over and over the same move, no time wasting. Terrific buy. Thank you very much James Prince. (Note for mr Prince, Mr Prince, I perform in the exact same suit but wear a turtle neck)


So you wear the same style suit as me.
I've often been asked; how come I wear the long, black, almost Victorian style jacket.

The answer is, that I was trying to think of a style that would look like a magician at work, be acceptable at black-tie dinners and most of all not be mistaken for a fellow guest or worse still a waiter.

In this frame of mind, I went to the Rolling Stones, Voodoo Lounge concert in London. The band came on the stage wearing these jackets and I had to have one.

My first came from the same supplier as theirs, was made of a fantastic fabric and cost a fortune. I wore it out in a year and now get them made up in the Far East, not as good but much cheaper!
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