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Inner circle
New York, New York
1615 Posts

Profile of bugjack
On 2010-01-27 19:08, Frank Starsini wrote:
I am very surprised so many people liked the Paul Harris set.
I thought it was extremely disappointing. This weekend I performed with several other magicians and all of them felt exactly the same way I did.

Paul wasn't performing anything.
Extremely difficult to navigate DVDs. Almost painful.
Had to buy 9 DVDs (almost laughable).
Some performances looked very amateurish as if it was the first time they tried it.

One question I have is; how many of these tricks were even Paul Harris's inventions?

I could only watch portions of about 3 or 4 before DVDs and could not bare to watch anymore at all.

As I have posted before, TA is an odd thing. I agree that a lot -- even too many -- of the tricks are subpar, a step backwards, or things I will never do. Given the length of time taken to produce, I would have expected more knock-out material. All of that said, I voted for it. Face it, we all have enough tricks. We could take a sliver of what's on our shelves and entertain people for years. Somehow, the set put out a set of thoughts and feelings that I found just as instructive as learning any slight. A vibe, if you will. I loved Bro's performance style, was really affected by the final interview, and just found myself absorbing tons of things from the set. Was I annoyed that the TA pen is, I think, basically worthless, or that "Dunn's Deal," the touted "Out of this World" from a shuffled deck was well, just a clumsy handling that could turn any "Out of this World" into one with a shuffled deck? Sure. Do I think it's deeply ironic that some of the stuff I like the most are marketed effects I could have bought at one time for $10 each? Yes. But I still liked the set, and not in a stupid, fanboy way either. In fact, I recently went through the disks and watched many of them again. I have a list of stuff I still need to work on, ranging from finally learning "Immaculate Conception" to getting around to "Water Trap." As a point of comparison, my other favorite disks of the year are the Michael Vincent's, which I think are very underrated. After the first I bought the second even though I'm not a coin person at all. It's just a pleasure to watch his audience management and take in his tips on timing, etc.

Doing I expect everyone to be happy paying $300 for something I'm describing as "a vibe." No. But it worked for me.
Mago Gregorio
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Elite user
Paris, France
473 Posts

Profile of Mago Gregorio
Here is the (final ?) updated ranking of the best DVD's for 2009

29 True Astonishments Paul Harris
20 Bullets after Dark John Bannon
14 Card Startlers Paul Gordon
14 Classic Magic Michael Vincent
9 An Evening with Jack Carpenter: The Seattle Sessions
8 Manchurian approach Anthony Jacquin
8 Corrindas 13 steps to mental magic Richard Osterlind
7 Malone meets Marlo
7 Confession of a needle swallower Steve Spill
7 Master Session John Carney
3 Professional Opportunist James Browns
3 Superchanged Classic Mark James

After 129 votes, a true winner with True Astonishment by Paul Harris (with interesting controversy about the quality of the set of 9 DVDs). I have to say that I liked it very much and found lot of very useful material. Bro Gilbert deserves very well the routines. Notice also British Magicians with M Vincent and Paul Gordon who get strong reactions. Will have to add to my wish list !
Smile Smile Smile
Andi Peters
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Inner circle
1331 Posts

Profile of Andi Peters
Congratulations to Paul Gordon for winning the best UK DVD of 2009 with Card Startlers.
Feral Chorus
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Elite user
452 Posts

Profile of Feral Chorus
All in all, a VERY strong group of contenders in 2009.
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