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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Brad Burt's Billiard Ball and Thimble DVD - my review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mr. Woolery
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Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
1873 Posts

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Okay, where I'm coming from is important in a review. I'm not a pro. I'm a guy who likes to entertain kids and volunteers at a school where I get to share a few minutes of wonder with kids in between doing math evaluations, reading help, luch setup, and recess duty. So for me an instruction program should offer me a good solid handle on some useful skills without being something that will take me a decade to learn well enough to present.

I don't know exactly why the billiard balls appeal to me, but I've loved them since I was a kid. So, I finally got a DVD on doing the billiard balls and a set of the silver Vernet balls. The video is Brad Burt's.

Overall: 9/10 for me.

Breaking it into reviews on the ball sequence and the thimble sequence seems logical to me.

Balls:

Instruction is well structured, several very good sleights are shown repeatedly from different angles. The basic routine he teaches is also a good solid routine. He does not vanish all the balls at the end and has a logical reason for it. Still, I would want to vanish them. For me, it is all about being able to state that they are an illusion in the first place. There's plenty of good information on ball work, so I would not anticipate any trouble with working that into my eventual routine. I'm still working on the basic vanishes and productions, so don't have a routine developed from this information yet.

All of the sequences appear to be single takes on the camera. There's one camera and Brad often has to shift into odd contortions to show the "backstage" view of a move. I don't find this distracting, but if you are used to some of the fancy production packages offered today you should know this is a very bare-bones production. There are a couple of times when he drops a ball, but it emphasizes the importance of learning to really retain those suckers before I ever try to do it for an audience. As if my own drops would not emphasize that enough...

For me, the coolest move is the aquitment where he interlaces his fingers and demonstrates that both hands are empty at the same time. That blew me away and his explanation makes it almost simple to do. Aside from dropping that silly ball...

Thimbles:

I've been wanting to learn some thimble work for a while. Just the portability and simplicity of it, along with seeing a couple of great thimble routines on YouTube. This DVD does not teach a set routine, but does give plenty of building blocks to put one together or to be prepared for an impromptu thimble demonstration. I especially love that he includes a good aquitment, allowing the magician to show both hands empty.

I already keep two thimbles in my pocket so I can practice when I have a few minutes. The vanishes are really wonderful and fun.

Personally, even though it is a very short part of the DVD, I think the Thimble section was worth the price of the disk on its own.

I was kind of taking a chance buying this DVD because I didn't know anything about Brad Burt's videos before. Now, if there's a subject I want to learn more about, I'm checking his offerings first.

All new guys like me probably are looking for that one perfect DVD that will make us into super magicians without us having to work for it. I know that doesn't exist. But clear and solid video instruction makes it possible to learn magical skills a lot faster than the two pages in a book that assumes all I want to do for the rest of my life is try to decode some before and after pictures that don't make a lot of sense to me. If all of Brad Burt's videos are as helpful as this one, I expect to be able to learn more than I have from several other DVDs and books.

Again, if you are put off by very basic, single-take video production, look elsewhere. If you have already learned a lot of ball and thimble bits, don't bother. But for someone who is willing to work on the material presented and who doesn't really know how to do this (beyond the conceptual that comes from those books I mentioned earlier), I think it would be hard to improve on the information contained in this video presentation.

-Patrick
Scott F. Guinn
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Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6583 Posts

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I have most of Brad's videos. They are very good teaching tools. They aren't slickly produced like the L&L stuff, and they don't have the roaring crowd. They are just full of good, solid teaching on the building blocks of sleight of hand, and as such they are very worthwhile. Highly recommended, particularly for beginning to intermediate magicians.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Brad Burt's Billiard Ball and Thimble DVD - my review (0 Likes)
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