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Before I go into any of this, let me pose a question, what kind of magic do you want to perform? Do you want to perform card tricks? Mentalism routines? Stage? Parlour? Children shows? I can't speak for you but I CAN speak for myself. Lately I've been gravitating away from cards, coins, etc. The reason for this is I've been performing in very impromptu situations as this brings me the greatest satisfaction. What is more magical than presenting yourself just as another individual in a crowd and lead them into a interesting conversation where you open up a oppertunity to demonstrate your point. What better way to demonstrate your point than to perform a little magic. I find myself in these situations where the entire flow is so comfortable for both myself and the spectator and is as close to being truly organic (in a sense, it IS truly organic) as possible. So, in that kind of situation, do I really want to do a mere magic trick by bringing out coins or a deck of cards. Bigger question is, do I want to break this sense of flow and this incredibly organic situation that myself and the spectator have created TOGETHER. The answer? No, I don't want to break this almost mesmerizing connection between myself and the spectator or to be honest, this other person I'm connecting with.

As a result of this ongoing direction I am continuing to take, I've actually slowed down quite a bit on buying new magic because the majority of the market is satuated with these mere magic tricks (many of which are incredible tricks but tricks nonetheless). Luckily, once in awhile something comes down the pipe that fits my purpose perfectly. The first time I watched the X Finger demo I immediately bought it without a second thought. Any regrets? NONE whatsoever. This is a more or less a perfect and plausible (for some odd reason, for the lay, manipulating ink in such a magical way is quite plausible in their minds) plot that has been used before but not to this extent or applied this way. No pre-show work and the applications are nearly boundless. You can adapt it to a very quick straight between the eyes performance or you can be very slow and deliberate with the X Finger method (it really is a method and the video supplies you with both the method and myriad of applications for the method). I've actually been using the X Finger extensively for a few applications which I can switch up depending on the situation making this a very versatile piece. The entire mechanics of it can be done extremely casually and there's no heat on anything since the way I use it is very demonstrating a point and not presenting it as an effect. For those who have Deep Astonishment 2, you can understand what I mean by this. The spectator at no point is expecting an effect thus when that reveal/transformation occurs, it's quite shocking and they really have no direction to go after that apart from being stunned. I actually like to just use this as either an opener or just the one single effect I'll perform for the person all night.

Let me go into how I've recently used it. I was at a social gathering and everybody there were strangers. I'm quite bad with names so I would often forget. As I ask for a person's name I will tell them "Ok, I'm really bad with these things, let me write it down" and proceed to do so. Before I write it down however I would tell them that this reminds me of a interesting story of growing up learning to write Chinese and later English. I told them that I wasn't very good in the beginning as they would expect. I offer to show this to them by writing their name in the way I wrote as a child, (squiggly lines, etc.). I then show it to them and pause two beats for that to register and get a laugh or a chuckle. After the pause I would explain that as I grew older I got a bit better and my writing became more legible, pause for another two beats. I then draw the attention to the squiggles and ask them to watch, at that moment they begin to see the transformation of ink and then finally they see their name. Absolute devastating! At that point, the deed is done and their reality has been altered creating what Paul Harris coins as being the moment of astonishment. Here's a little extra aside for this name morphing effect using X Finger, having the person's name on my finger, I am in no hurry to erase it. I use the name on my finger for two purposes: 1) just in case I forget their name as the evening progresses, I have something to refer back to (very handy as the alcohol level rises) and 2) it provides me with a call back which I can periodically refer back to as I progress with conversing with the person.

Long story short, I've only scratched a slight bit of the surface of X Finger yet I am sure you can already tell, it is QUITE strong. This little gem of an item truly does belong in your collection and I personally feel when used correctly, you can pretty much just perform a X Finger routine and absolutely astound your spectator leaving them with such a profound feeling of astonishment.
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