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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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Philippe
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James, my suits are made in taiwan, I have never been there but you supply measurements and they are made. I have built in pocket to pocket tubes, however I will PM you re your trouser set up. If others wonder what that is about, buy the set, it is so refreshing.
james prince
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To anyone following the thread, this is just to let you know that I have exchanged PMs with both Rick and Philippe on their queries

I am happy to deal with any fine tuning issues relating to the items on the DVD on the thread or by PM if more suitable

Rick gave me some superb information in exchange and I have asked his permission to pass it on

You will only get excited about this if you work bill to kiwi on a regular basis -
Over to you Rick -

A couple tips I discovered while working with kiwis -

1) I always wash the kiwis under the kitchen sink tap, using my hand to gently rub away the excess kiwi hair. This prevents your pockets getting filled with the unwanted hair. I let them dry off, of course, before using (usually a couple hours & they're ready to go)

2) Kiwis put in the fridge (not the freezer) last a LONG time. I used to buy enough to get me through the week, as they would either soften up or wrinkle on me after about 4-5 days. In the fridge, they last for weeks

I have already checked this out - It works 100% - thanks again Rick - gold dust!

James
Hart Keene
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Quote:
On 2008-08-20 09:33, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
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.


You thought it was taught quite well???? I already know it but I wouldn't consider this a good source for learning it as he goes over it rather quickly with only a front view, at least the explanation I saw on Vol. 1....
-Hart

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Review King
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Well, it's not a beginners DVD set. Basic card skills are required. I do the move and I thought it was taught well by James.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
BrandonWilliams
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Just to clarify, Mr. Prince does not teach the actual diagonal palm shift from Erdnase. The move is similar, but the fingering is a good deal different. Don't want anyone getting confused.
Hart Keene
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He taught it so quickly I didn't notice.... Smile
-Hart

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james prince
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Brandon's comments sent me running for my Erdnase, in the hope that I had invented a new move - The James Prince DPS? - Sadly whilst he has a point, my handling is pretty faithful to the original
The only significant difference being in the way I obtain the 'protrusion' without use of the right first finger and I'm not even the first to go down this route (Vernon - Revelations)

Sorry if a little more detail on the DPS would have been useful, it's hard to know when to draw the line when explaining generic moves on a DVD of this sort
Too much and its annoying padding, to little and your should have done more

I'm encouraged by those who have PMd me having got the DPS from my explanation
Also those who immediately substituted a weapon from their own arsenal - such as TPC, LSS or SS

Having said that PM me if you're having difficulty and I'll do my best to help

Also I understand Ackerman is about to release Erdnase DVDs, these should be a superb DPS reference, if his other work is anything to go by

James
BrandonWilliams
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James,

I was actually referring to the positioning of your left hand little finger. Without exposing too much, it looked like you moved it from the side of the card as in Erdnase, to the upper right corner of the card, which is similar to a Mark Mason idea if memory serves me correctly. Hope that helps to clarify a bit. Cheers.
james prince
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Brandon

You're right!

I do move it to the upper right corner

and

You're right!

Erdnase LHLF is at the side

I actually reread it this morning and this alteration flew by me

I'm unfamiliar with Mark Mason's idea and must have developed this independently just by playing with the move, years ago and hadn't even realised I'd changed it

Have you got a reference to Mark's handling, I'd be interested to compare

Respect and thanks
Review King
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David Williamson on his Magic Farm DVD does his version of Eddie Fechters "Be Honest, What Is It" and he does a diagonal Palm Shift. He barely shows how he does it and no one mentioned that David just breezed through it.

That means folks must be really interested in doing James's 'Repeat Travelers'.

If you read the original routine by Larry Jennngs ( Ambidextrous Travelers ), or see his version on his DVD, he does a shift with a swing cut and then double undercuts one ace to the bottom and into a one hand bottom palm, etc.

Ambidextrous Travelers is a classic of magic.

Well, as you can tell with Jame's BRILLIANT version, with the DPS and the "extra sneaky something" it eliminates extra moves.

I've been performing Larry's version for many years and James made life so much simpler with his ( THANK YOU Mr. Prince! )

For those that want a bit more info on the DPS at Dai Vernon Revelations DVD, VOLUME 7 where he teaches the The Diagonal Palm Shift from Erdnase with the Vernon Improvement.

Here's some written material:

http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php/Diagonal_Palm_Shift
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Hart Keene
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Being a restaurant worker I usually pick up items with a "restaurant" theme so I picked these up. I have only had a chance to view volume one so here are my thoughts. I won't go into to much detail as I don't want to "expose" anything but I will do my best..

VOL 1.

REPEAT TRAVELERS: I thought this was a great routine! You can tell that Mr. Prince has "worked" this one for a long time. It should be noted though that if you want to do the routine exactly the way he does it you will need to make an alteration in your wardrobe. Also, I don't think his teaching on the DPS he uses is adequate so you would need to look elsewhere for thorough instruction.

MIRRORS: I thought this was just ok. I don't care for the multiple "pieces". I think lay people are more fried when the deck is one solid piece ala Paul Harris and the offsprings such as omni deck. Just a thought: I think this would be stronger if the "deck" was one piece ala omni deck and there was a mirror on both sides(top and face) when you reveal the solid "deck"....if that doesn't make sense just ask me for clarification...

MULTIPLE CARDS TO POCKET: A nice routine and an "offshoot" of his travelers routine. I thought it was a good routine but I don't think I will "trade" my multiple selection routine for this but maybe you could mix and match? Also, I don't think that all the cards need to be signed as it just takes up time, marks multiple cards in a deck you will be using through the night and I don't think it makes a difference to lay folk...

CARDS OVER/UNDER MATCHBOX: I really liked the routine up until the card in matchbox part. I just prefer the mercury card fold w/ a shuttle pass or full view switch as opposed to this method. If done correctly I don't believe spectators remember a difference between taking the card out or unfolding it themselves. Just my opinion. Either way you will have to "switch" something and I just think there are better impossible location routines out there. I will have to go back an watch the routine up to speed one more time but I remember not caring for the "moment" if you know what I mean;)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VENUE: Some really good advice and thoughts offered here! I heard some ideas that I had never heard before which is a breath of fresh air compared to the latest offerings on restaurant work. Good stuff!

RING IN PEPPER-POT ILLUSION: I did not care for this routine at all. First off I seldom see "pepper-pots" in American restaurants. Second I just didn't care for the structure or method of the routine for reasons I won't get into because of exposure. I feel that there are much better ring to impossible location effects like the many Ring Flights on the market, Interlace by Richard Sanders, or a nest of boxes type routine.

IMPROMPTU ANNIVERSARY WALTZ: This routine makes absolutely no sense to me. Let me explain...at the end Mr. Prince says that sometimes the "two cards" that were signed are left over after the selection process, then it is really good. Otherwise you just do the monte move with an indifferent card. What????? Why on earth would you confuse the effect with one of the signatures "jumping" onto a random card and then immediately jumping onto the right card? Why wouldn't you have structured it so it was really good every time? I think this actually exposes the monte move more than anything else because the first spectator immediately sees that it is not the card they signed. I don't know if this makes sense but just trust me when I say that there are much better impromptu versions out there. The ones that immediately come to mind are "Hula Fusion" by Carl Andrews, "Two Hearts That Beat as One" by Jim Pace, and the one that appears in a set of notes put out by Nathan Kranzo of which the name escapes me.

I will let you know how I feel about VOL 2 when I get a chance to view it....I will say this though: I watched the first Bill in Kiwi and I have to say that his thoughts on the kiwi preparation are worth the price of the set to me as I had never seen this and think it makes the signed bill to kiwi(of which I already perform) that much stronger!
-Hart

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kenodad
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I think the set is great for several reasons other than the effects. It is rare to find products that reveal a worker in his environment, so I applaud RSVP magic for producing Mr. Prince's DVD as well as several others in this way (I have several of their DVD's). I am not a hard core worker, but I do work enough that I have several sets of 2-3 effects in a set that I do in strolling or table/restaurant situations. Rarely now do I find effects that I want to add or replace the effects I do-real workers have generally developed effects that work for them and may not work for me. I will not likely go to the effort of altering my clothing as Mr. Prince has, but the fact that he has does not diminsh the value of the set to me. I mostly crave to see other workers WORK, not just show me an effect isolated from reactions (that is what was so great about the Ammar card videos when they came out; they were performed for a small group of spectators and the effects were grouped into a set of 2-3 trics). I want to see how others organized their effects, their pockets, their sets. Mr. Prince's set delivers in all those respects. He has a style of his own that is entertaining. His misdirection is strong and the effects play well. His advice about working restaurants is right on. I have only been through the set once; I really, really like his handling of the bill to Kiwi (this handling will likely replace my bill to kiwi/lemon handling). I like his technique with the DPS. I like card under/in matchbox. I like the ring in pepperpot thinking.I like the impromptu Anniversay Waltz (I already do something very similar-great minds think alike!). Heck, I guess I liked most of the effects. But, truthfully, probably none of the effects (in toto) will get added to my sets, but some of the bits or handlings may. In other words, MY effects may get altered a bit, but I won't DO his effects. Overall, I think the set was valuable to me. Also, I PM'd Mr. Prince with a question I had, and he responded promptly and was very helpful. I recommend the set to intermediate to advanced workers.
matt.magicman
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Just to let you know james now has the mirror decks available directly through himself
hope to get mine tomorrow, when I'll be back with a mini review of them....
matt
Up_in_smoke
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Quote:
On 2008-09-04 18:08, matt.magicman wrote:
Just to let you know james now has the mirror decks available directly through himself
hope to get mine tomorrow, when I'll be back with a mini review of them....
matt


Are these mirror decks made in poker playing card size or in bridge deck size as james uses on the dvd?
Bernard Sim
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I have watch the both vols and I think this is a great set of DVD. In fact this is one of the best one I¡¯ve seen in a long while. All routines are doable and hard hitting. These are really strong routines and explanations are really clear.
Highly recommended.
Bernard Sim
Hart Keene
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Hi guys, as promised I will give a review of vol 2 as I had a chance to view it last night. Here are my thoughts...

VOL 2.

TABLE APPROACH: Not sure if I would call this advice really. To be honest with you guys my thoughts were "duh". I don't want to give it away but it is what it is. don't expect any "breakthrough" thoughts on approach. He has a very simple approach and doesn't use clever lines or "ploys" to get into the magic. I don't think that is a bad thing but I do think there is far better advice out there. What if the people are in the middle of a light hearted conversation? What if there are kids at the table? What if just one person says no? What if... I just think there are different circumstances in restaurant magic that warrant DIFFERENT approaches. On any given night I might use 3 or 4 different approaches, it just depends on the group dynamics. In his new book and on his dvds David Stone has a lot of thoughts and ideas on the psychology of approaching different types of groups. If you have never heard Jay Sankey's thoughts on approaching groups in a restaurant I recommend picking up a copy of his book "Beyond Secrets" as I think giving the group ALL the information they need in one carefully worded intro line is better than walking up and saying, "wanna see some magic". Just my opinion...

CUPS AND BALLS AT SPEED: I don't perform the cups and balls at the restaurants I perform at because I don't feel it is appropriate for restaurants but this is just MY OPINION and a topic for another discussion. However, if I was going to perform the cups and balls I would definitely look into this routine! It is based on Vernon's routine but Mr. Prince has sped things up and streamlined some things to make it a hard hitter for a lay audience. I have always felt that many cup and ball routines were to long. The audience has to wait for the "payoff" and sit through repetitive sequences and by the time you get to the "payoff" they are half asleep. Not in this routine!! It is a one-two punch and your audience won't know what hit em! Some magicians might say that Mr. Prince goes "too fast" in this routine, I think he has brought it "up to speed" for this day and age.

THE WORLD'S EASIEST BILL IN KIWI: Hmmmm...where do I start. How bout the beginning of the routine? I do not care for the "vanish" of the bill at all. If you want to "transport" a bill to an impossible location Mr. Prince's method is the most un-magical way you can do it. If you are going to do this routine do youself a favor and come up with a better way to vanish or "transport" the bill. The way shown on the dvd not only made me groan out loud it also made me wonder how hard a lay person would have to think to actually reconstruct the routine. I have never understood the desire to not use a thumbtip in this type of routine. You remembered your cups and balls and all the final loads but forgot your tt? Sorry to go off on this one part of the routine but I just found it be BAD. Moving on! I could never do this routine because I don't do the cups and balls and I'm not sure how else you could do this routine without doing the cups and balls before it as you need multiple pieces of fruit to make the routine work. Also, the sw%&*% is done as an "afterthought" when you are putting things away. These are things to consider if you don't do the cups and balls and don't want to carry multiple pieces of fruit on you throughout the night. I should mention that if you already do a version of bill in kiwi the thoughts on kiwi preparation offered on this dvd might be WORTH THE PRICE OF THE DVD ITSELF.

KIWI FINESSE: I have one thing to say about this, don't run when you are not being chased. If you structure your bill to fruit routine properly this shouldn't even be an issue. I don't want to get into the method offered here because of exposure but let me just say that it is more trouble than it is worth and I can't justify using this idea, especially in a working or restaurant environment.

SHOOT THE KIWI: I want to start off by saying that the ad copy is TOTALLY MISLEADING. It says, "where the spectator can CUT, OPEN AND REMOVE THEIR BILL!" This is simply untrue. The spectator can NOT cut the kiwi, let alone open it. They can remove the bill and they can keep the kiwi but that is all. Furthermore, the work to accomplish this just doesn't justify the end result in my opinion. This is something that magicians might think is cool but I don't work(and neither does James Prince)for magicians.

FEES: Some good advice but if you have a good size library of books and dvds on restaurant magic you won't hear anything new offered here.

BLUE CARD: I have mixed thoughts on this routine. What I do like is that it is quick, to the point, and will fool the socks off lay people. The Levand move used in this routine is great and Mr. Prince executes it flawlessly. I also like that you don't ruin your working deck. When I work my deck gets smaller and smaller(because of signed card routines) until I open a new deck and start the process over again. With this routine you get a killer signed card routine without dwindling your deck. I should mention that there is nothing I don't like about the routine but there are many magicians out there who believe you shouldn't combine the two effects in this routine. They say it confuses things, and confusion isn't magic. They believe you should do one or the other, a signed card to wallet routine OR a chicago opener/color changing deck routine, but not both. If you are part of this school of thought you will not care for this routine.

BRAIN FREEZE: I don't know how I feel about this routine. I have never cared for trying to pass off 9 or 10 cards for 4 cards because I feel that lay folk can tell there are more cards than just 4 in a close-up situation. Is it still magical to them even if things look a little thicker than they should be? These are questions that can only be answered in performance. It is what it is. Also, I don't know if I like having two packets of cards in two different pockets for a single packet effect. I don't want to give too much away here but there is a lot going on for a single packet effect. Is there a big payoff? Yes! A lot of magic happens in a short amount of time and it looked great on the tv screen but again close-up and in person it might look a little funny. I think some people will love this routine and I think some will hate it. One thing I didn't like is that Mr. Prince mentions at the beginning of the instruction that this "quickly resets" but offers no instruction on how to quickly reset it. I don't hate this routine but can guarantee you I would never use it in restaurant work.

SIGNED CARD THROUGH WINDOW: Um...this is a dvd about restaurants, right? So what is this effect doing here? I have never worked a restaurant where I could, during my shift, "vanish" to a back room and do the prep involved for this effect. Also, I don't see how the "dirty work" needed to accomplish this effect BEFORE and AFTER the "backroom dirty work" would fly by an audience unless they were in a coma. Let me ask you this, how long has it been since David Blaine performed the classic card through window with a "dup" on his television special? 12 years? I still have lay people asking me about that trick! that's because it makes no difference to lay people whether the card is signed! They don't care!!!! I'm sorry but this trick is just bad in my opinion. This simply should not have been on this restaurant themed dvd and I fear was added as "filler". The classic version popularized by Blaine is your best choice, especially if you are getting paid to perform...


I loved Corporate Close-up with Martin Sanderson, I loved Mix'n'Mingle with Shaun McCree, I loved Party Animal with Matthew Dowden...but this set from RSVP just kind of left me "empty". I think it could have been "trimmed" down to one dvd as many of the effects are not appropriate or logical for restaurants. If this didn't have the restaurant theme then I could let some of it slide but that is how they chose to market it. Also, if you are going to have two dvds why not include more advice?

I think if you are looking at getting into restaurants you would get far more bang for your buck by picking up any of the following: "The Magic Menu" books by Jim Sisti, Restaurant Workers Handbook by Jim Pace, anything by Kirk Charles, David Stone's new book or his latest dvds, Live At The Jailhouse dvd set, Dan Fleshman Stuff, Jay Sankey's "Beyond Secrets" book or his dvd "The Real Work on Restaurants and Bars". That is just off the top of my head. Otherwise, if you are already a worker and do versions of the routines that Mr. Prince teaches on this set you might pick up a few "touches" that make the set worth it. If you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer without exposing anything.
-Hart

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A.J.
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Whether you agree with Hart or not, I must say that his reviews here were thoughtful and detailed...with much rationale given for all his opinions. Thanks Hart!

A.J.
russ stevens
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Hello Hart,

Many thanks for your reviews for each volume of ":Menu of Miracles". Although it seems they weren't for you, which is obviously fine, all I can say is that all of the material featured on the DVDs is from James' work set for his restaurant performances. Therefore your comment of '...many of the effects are not appropriate or logical for restaurants' is probably right for you, but as James does really use all of this material in his everyday work it most certainly is most obvious that they are appropriate or logical for him and do work in the setting.

When I first started producing magic DVDs, the one thing that I felt the market lacked was a real view of the magicians performing in their chosen environment and not a studio. Therefore all of the material has to be genuine and used by them regularly and I think this is what sets our products apart from some others. Therefore to ask James (or anyone else for that matter) to just fill the DVD with inappropriate material would defeat the object.

Best,
Russ
Philippe
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Using Blue card, using ring to pepper pot, alternating with ring flight but pepper pot hits a lot harder and have used but will be using again because it is the best I have found, no pesky rubish gimmicks, CTW. So far so very good!
Review King
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I'm watching the Menu of Miracles again today ( my third straight-through viewing ). It's a delightful set that is loaded with worker material.

In the 1980's I worked at this wild Mexican themed restaurant and a friend, who wasn't a magician, gave me the idea of making their card appear on the window ( all the tables lining one wall had windows ). I wish I had James's idea for doing it signed back then. It would have been quite simple to prepare in the bus station, have a busboy place it on the window ( which is what I'd do with unsigned cards ) go back and do another routine.

Anyway, I love this DVD set and I hope down the road James shares more of his magic with us.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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