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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Detailed Reviews of Nearly Every Murphy's Lecture (25 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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goatears
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On Nov 26, 2014, Bizzaro By Design wrote:
Just a note from Bizzaro that some of the things listed above were not specifically taught as effects but as examples of prop making. The face off gag mentioned in the nose effect was just to illustrate the point of the materials used.

We do appreciate the detailed walk through!


Yeah, in the Bizzaro lecture the magic taught was very much secondary to the lessons in prop making. If you check it out you will likely get much more magic out of it than just the effects taught.
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I feel like Jeff Prace is going to be the next Joshua Jay. He is a young guy with a creative mind and a great filter for good magic. I can see myself using almost every effect he taught which is quite the accomplishment. Let’s get into the details.

First is a performance of a new effect. A card is selected and the numbers on a credit card rearrange themselves to form the selected cards name. This will be released with the gimmicks hopefully before Christmas through Kozmo magic.

Pr-Aces: This is a very visual flash production of the aces and it is fairly easy to perform. He gives 3 main handlings, the first is from a borrowed deck. He explains how to set it up in full view of the spectators. In the other two handlings he shows how to make the backs change color.

Where Time Stands Still: 3 cards are selected using a watch gift card. The cards then perfectly match the time on the watch. He gives a handful of ways to have the card selected including a sleightless gimmicked handling, one that takes some set up and a nearly impromptu version. This is neat revelation even if the method isn’t completely original.

The Contest: A hand full of spectators take a packet of cards. They shuffle it up as does the magician. Everyone shows their selected card and they have produced a four of a kind. This is a wonderful adaptation of a trick in Royal Road to card magic. It was updated by Tom Dobrowolski and taught with his permission. This really feels like the type of trick Dani Daortiz would think up. I have used it already and it is quite surprising even if you are familiar with the method in Royal Road.

No More Card Tricks: This is one of Jeff’s signature effects and is a nice version of Paul Harris’ solid deception. Multiple cards are placed in the deck and with a toss it is completely enveloped by black tape. This is a ton of fun and I see it as a very visual, deceptive version of solid deception. I’ve built my own gimmick for this and used it a few times with great results.

Strawsome: Some soda is sucked up through a clear straw and changes instantly in color. You can make it look like you are drinking Coke all night and when you’d like you can change it into orange soda or just about whatever you’d like. This is an extremely situational effect but I followed his instructions to the T and fooled my wife while we were eating out. You pretty much need to be near a soda fountain to set it up how he says but I imagine you could set it up at home as well with a little creativity.

The last section was all techno magic using cell phones, mp3 players and ear buds. Jeff has become very well known for his contribution to genre and currently writes a column in the Linking Ring all about tech magic. So this guy has a lot to offer on the subject.

Short Circuit: With split you can move sound from one headphone to another. Jeff presents this saying that his earbuds are broken and in his attempt to fix them he causes the sound to travel from one side to the other. He then causes the sound to fill both headphones. This is a very interesting concept and an odd experience for the spectator. Following Jeff’s instructions I was able to make my own version and performed this a few times with great reactions. As a note this takes a fair bit of one time preparation with any MP3 or CD player but once you are set up you can use a borrowed set of headphones.

Earfun: A headphone suspends itself in the air at the magician’s fingertips. With a snap it becomes limp again. This is a cool update on a classic rope effect. Unfortunately, these 2 effects don’t fit together very well. To put it simply you will not be able to use a borrowed set of headphones. The gimmick takes a few minutes to build but once you do, you have an interesting little piece of strange.

Orbit: A packet of gum is shown to be empty with all but one piece. The gum is closed and upon opening it is instantly refilled. You get an in studio performance as well as a clip of Jeff performing on the Today Show. This is an easy to do very different piece of magic. The method is simple and even if you don’t chew gum you can easily make this up with a single packet. I was completely fooled by this each time it was performed.
Using one album and no apps the magician is able to make an album of lost photos slowly appear in his phone. Jeff talks about a few applications of this including a revelation/ changing photo. This is cool and got a lot of my juices going! Jeff talks about how his idea is still in development but it is a very good idea.

There are only a few magicians that I wish to emulate and Jeff Prace is one of them. I would love to be able to be creative like Jeff Prace. He has a sound magic mind and I feel like he is the next Joshua Jay. I think most magicians would enjoy this lecture.
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Jack Carpenter is the definition of the hardcore card guy. The majority of the material discussed on this lecture is tough, even the easier stuff requires some sleight of hand. Carpenter really relishes the art of card magic and takes his creative cues from the classics as well as young magicians like Patrick Kun, Lee Asher and Dan and Dave. This is definitely not a lecture for the feint of heart when it comes to sleight of hand with cards.

The Twenty-One Dollar Hustle: Using just a few bucks the magician is able to show a fun hustle with a magical climax. The spectator asks for change for a twenty and upon receiving the money they are found to be four dollars short. This is a great trick that you can perform out of your pockets or wallet. There are no gimmicks needed and the sleights are very easy to accomplish. This may be my favorite piece on the lecture and I plan on using it.

King Swing: 4 Kings are removed, a selection is made and lost in the pack. The Kings change to aces and then vanish to reveal the selected card. If that sounds a bit complex it is supposed to, that is the premise of the trick. The idea is that magicians like to make things as complicated as possible. This is a pretty big showpiece and while I don’t feel like the presentation was as polished as it could be with a couple minor tweaks I feel like a talented magician could make this into a theatrical piece of magic. There are some pieces in it that don’t seem to flow real great and it needs a lot of table space. It is one of the less difficult pieces on the lecture but it isn’t too easy either.

Slip Cut Jam: This is one of my favorite parts of live lectures. Although he was not planning on it Jack goes into a session on the slip cut, how to use it and what he thinks are dos and don’ts when it comes to this classic move. He gives some valuable info concerning authentic gambling situations here as well.

Pocket Triumph: Jack calls this an almost self-working triumph. This routine would not really be considered self working but with a little practice it is performable at one point it does require the magician to perform a p**m and I know that many magicians will shy away from it for that reason. There is a great substitute for the Tenkai optical revolve taught here as well as an interesting presentation point that really sells this as a super-natural feat. This is not an easy or extremely magical version of triumph but it is a very impressive routine.

Way Off Balance: This is a startling instantaneous transposition of the aces and the rest of the deck inside the box. The method is very devious and the handling is fairly bold. It uses a classic Marlo move and it completely fooled me the first time. I won’t be using this but I do love how startling it was.

Shuffle Shift: This is a multiple shift that can be used to control a four of a kind that has been distributed throughout the deck to the bottom in the action of performing an in the hands shuffle. He also shows how to reverse the cards as well. To tell the truth the reversal is slightly easier then the control. In Carpenter’s hands it’s not the most elegant of moves and he really plays it up to look pretty sloppy. For those who put the time in to master it, this could be a very useful move and you don’t need a table to perform it. I would prefer other methods for the most part.

Scissor Shift: You can control q four of a kind that has been distributed through the deck up to the top in the midst of doing a one handed shuffle. If you can do a one handed shuffle then it wont be too difficult to master. If you can’t do a one handed shuffle then you have years of practice ahead of you in order to do this.

Table Shift: Using a brilliant innovation by Howie Schwartzman Jack has created and excellent table shift that you can perform directly from a hard table. This is pretty easy to do and is a full deck switch. I agree with Jack when he says that it really fits actual cheating scenarios best but this is a really sweet move that looks very natural.

LeClaire Pass: This is an application of a principle taught in Charlie Miller’s cascade control. It is readapted in Carpenter’s hands to look very pretty but not nearly as flashy as Miller’s classic. Jack performs this beautifully but I could not get my hands to do it right. This will take some practice. It is most useful to control a single card to the top of the deck without a table.

The Jail House Shuffle: From time to time during the lecture it is really tough to follow Jacks movements. This is one of those times. He goes over a simple way to stack a deck and a way to perform a very pretty full deck false shuffle. It took me a good 15 minutes just to perform the false shuffle once because it was referenced so vaguely and I’m still lost as to how he stacked the deck. I would have liked some more clarification here because both applications are not technically difficult and could be very useful.

Z-Break Shuffle: This is a very natural approach to an overhand shuffle and it keeps the entire order of the deck. It is very simple and is taught very clearly. One of its selling points is that you don’t need to do any single card runs to perform the shuffle but you can add a few if you’d like. This is chunky shuffle sequence which has it’s place from time to time but I prefer a more elegant shuffle.

Zarrow: Jack’s work on the Zarrow is beautiful. He has combined a deceptive running cut and telescope display here that make the Zarrow look extremely deceptive. This is the kind of shuffle that you could use exclusively and no one would be the wiser.

Pimped out Charlier: The Charlier shuffle is one of the most underused and easy to do shuffles out there. To add an extra layer of deception and elegance Carpenter has figured a way to add a nice cascade to the mix. This might be the easiest piece taught on the lecture and it is beautiful.

The Lightning Palm and Lady Killer: Wow this is a powerful move. I can get the idea of what is going on but he never actually broke the move down. He performs it a few times and explains what is happening but you never actually see the sleight. This is complex and there is very little real explanation of it all.
The Pure Count: This has similar problems with the lightning palm. Basically you can steal a card away as you reverse count a small packet. It looks great but there needs to be more detail in order to learn it properly.

The Fingertip Count: While this is a bit more advanced it then the top two palms it is explained just a little better. Basically you are able to count 4 cards in a stand up situation and palm off one invisibly. It looks so great I just wish the teaching was a bit more in depth as I said before.

Mixing moves by Allan Ackerman Lee Asher and Hofzinser you get a great palm that you can do while the spectator believes that their card is outjogged in the deck. This is a fun move but is tough to perform. It’s the kind of card sleight that move monkeys will really like. I prefer Patrick Kun’s Mirror Force for these situations but Jack’s move is very interesting in its own right. He really jams a little bit on each idea from each creator, this was the most interesting to me.

If you are into the small detailed sleights and intricacies in card magic then this is a great lecture for you. Some moves are covered in depth with others being just touched on leaving you with a lot of work to do on your own. The hard core card guys out there will be sure to find something that will get their creative juices flowing. For the talented move monkeys as well this is a must have. 3 solid stars.
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Rich Ferguson has been well known in the magic community for quite some time. He performs mainly for celebrity cocktail parties, and high profile parties. In this lecture he shares his secrets concerning this type of venue, the business aspect of things, some tips for Youtube magicians and shares some cool card effects along the way. I was pleasently surprised by the amount of value he offers in this lecture. Let’s get into what he covers.

Magic Jokes: To start off Ferguson hits on a handful of classic jokes about magicians. They are not his own by any means but they are kinda funny. Along with this lecture he gives a link to a small collection of other jokes. These are corny for the most part but there may be a joke or two worth repeating. As a warning some of the jokes are meant for adult audiences, there are a couple that are kind of suggestive or slightly vulgar.

Gags and Quick Openers: Rich runs through a couple gags here. You get an update on the “NO” gag, with a small handful of one liners, prop gags and presentation ideas for a booktest and the vanishing liquid effect. Some of this is funnier than others but these are mainstays for the magic community and will prove to be useful to many. He touches on the methods a little bit but this is really his ideas on staging. If you are not familiar with a booktest method already you will not be able to perform what he teaches but if you do there’s a handful of good ideas here that I found helpful.

Ambitious Subtleties: The next section of the lecture is devoted to the ambitious card. The moves are fairly classic but there are multiple subtleties and touches that he adds to make it feel a lot different than most ambitious card routines. You won't learn a tn when it comes to the moves and sleights involved but there are some great tidbits that will help any routine out.

Branding: Rich Ferguson “The Icebreaker” has some serious branding here he explains why he is called the Icebreaker and what it has done for him to have such a strong brand.

AI Magic: Rich has created an app that makes it look like Siri can read our mind. This is a very cool app. Right now it can only guess playing cards but as people download the app they will receive more money and add free features and updates. Rich says that he wants to make the app completely customizable allowing Siri to divine a spectators appearance, birth date or even their phone number. Even if you don’t download this lecture if you like I-Phone magic download this app and help Rich out. This is only available on the I-Phone right now but the plan is to release it on other devices as well.

Even without the app you learn how to use a phone invisibly in conjunction with a deck of cards to determine a selected card. I have seen this application before but for those who have not seen it it is very clever and is an easy method that could be mastered by just about anyone.

Voodoo Card Redux: This is a restaging of an old Paul Harris effect but Rich really takes it up to the next level. He has added a couple different prediction revelations and a lot of audience participation.This trick is used to explain various techniques he uses on television appearances. The trick itself is excellent and the tips on television magic are very interesting.
Using the same principles he then shows you how to apply them to a live performance to great effect. He has one spectator name another spectators freely selected word but it could be easily applied to a card or other type of selection.

Psychological Ring on String: Rich adds psychology to almost every effect he performs and here he explains 2 ways to apply psychological principles to this effect. The string passes through a borrowed finger ring multiple times while in the spectators hands or inches from their face. I wasn’t too enthused by his handling but he brought up some interesting handling tips.

Funky Moves: Rich has a different story in magic than most magicians and the way he approaches creativity because of this he has come up with a couple knacky and unique moves. This next section concentrates on these moves.

Inside Second: This is Rich’s take on the second deal. With it you can deal the second card towards yourself. No this isn’t a classic handling of the move but I think you’ll find that it will fit into many magic routines and it is easier than many of the classic second deals. He also teaches an interesting steal that you can perform as well using this move standing up allowing you to do a switch or color change if you wish.

Sniper: In the midst of a cut a card is shot out of the deck. On paper this sounds like Daryls hot shot cut but the actual shot is markedly different even to a layman. Depending on you handling you can make the card shoot out face up or face down.

For the last 2 hours of the lecture he covers aspects of business and professionalism. He talks about everything from practice, personalization, contracts insurance, what to charge, and how to get more gigs. He roleplays conversations with possible clients, how he organizes his clients how he assures repeat bookings and how he takes care of his clients. The material here is very accessible to both amateurs looking to go professional and professionals looking to become a little more serious. He even covers why he believes that even the most basic amateur must charge at least $250 a gig. The information here is super valuable and I think just about anyone who wants to be paid for there magic needs to listen to this

He finishes with his thoughts on Youtube and how he got to be so successful on Youtube. I have and maintain my own channel and really didn’t feel like his tips helped me. I was expecting a little more here that would be applicable to most Youtubers but it didn’t really impress me.

Man this is an informative lecture. I feel like he covered presentation ideas for professionals, funky moves for move monkeys, and out of this world tips for professional magicians. There really is something for everyone here. This is one of the most helpful lectures on the business of magic that Murphy’s has put out.
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Chris is a lot of fun to watch and is very talented. He teaches some of his most popular downloads on this lecture and most of what he does teach can quickly be applied to most magicians close up repertoire. If you are not sure go ahead and take advantage of Murphy’s new feature where you can see the first 20 minutes of any lecture ou wish for free. This will be sure to help you make a better purchasing decision. Follow this link for the details http://www.murphysmagic.com/free20/

Invisible deck/ Professor Cheer's Comedy Rope Routine (Performance Only): To open Chris gives an example of how he fills the stage with just a simple card trick. This performance is a fun sample from Chris’ stand up show. It is very funny in my opinion and it’s a nice illustration of how you can update classic effects. The invisible deck is not taught but most magic dealers have it available. The rope effect is also a classic, and it is not taught.

Mr. Hands: This is Chris’ version of a color change in the spectators hands. One of the strongest effects in magic. Chris has taken this effect and made it truly surprising. There’s a lot of great touches on this and a great utility move is taught as well. I like this enough that I think I’ll try to add it to my repertoire.

Ambitious Card and Lazy Rise: This is a quick, basic ambitious card routine. It is simple to do and follows the classic idea of a card appearing on top of the deck over and over again. The lazy rise is a nice visual addition to the ambitious. A card is out jogged and progressively rises up the deck. This is pretty tough but is not as difficult as other versions including Ray Crosby’s original.

The Running Man: This is Chris’ version of Tyler Wilson’s version of the Anniversary Waltz. In this version 2 cards are selected and signed, they are placed in different packets one vanishes from its packet and appears next to the other selection. The cards then fuse together with a signature on the face and a signature on back. There is a great reason he uses for having the back of the second card signed and I think that the 2 packets really help there to be multiple magical moments.

Fake Routine (Performance Only): I laughed out loud about this. This is a series of fishy movements and actions where nothing happens. Chris performs a series of pseudo sleights and never finds the selected card. It’s like the modern art version of magic. It is a routine that is only appropriate for magicians and I found it to be very funny.

Mediumph: This is an in the spectators hand triumph. There is a nice addition here that makes it make so much sense when compared to other triumphs. The magician tries to magically rearrange the cards so that they match the spectators and in the process magically finds the spectators card. There are a couple things that I really like with this triumph and you really don’t need a table.

Safety: This is Chris’ take on the linking safety pins. It is very refreshing. At one point the linking safety pins were very popular but lately they have become less so. Chris’ version is very cool and everything is examinable afterwards. I will experiment with this and may put it in my own repertoire. I love that it feels so unique when compared to card and coin tricks.

A card is selected sandwiched between 2 cards, and put aside. Another card is sandwiched and set aside repeatedly until there are 4 cards on the table. One card vanishes and the spectators selection is found sandwiched once again. This is a crazy cool routine that might be best suited for magicians but it looks very nice and was a ton of fun to watch.

The Hole Thing (Performance Only): This is a crazy visual sandwich effect where a selected card is found by 2 jokers with a hole drilled through the middle. It looks very impossible and is so pretty. He exposes the gimmick here but does not explain the routines he performs. He uses this mainly to illustrate a point of how he gets creative with his magic.

Chris is a funny quirky guy. His magic is just as fun and quirky as he is. If you like close up magic with cards and like magic inside jokes than this is a great lecture for you. This has been one of my favorite lectures to date.
goatears
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Here's a link to all of my video reviews for Murphy's lectures.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL......nyRFkRst
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Amazing, goatears! What a lot of hard work. Many thanks.
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Alan Rorrison is a force among street magicians. His mind is prized among all sorts of people including Dynamo and Troy. He has consulted for a lot of guys and it is for a good reason he is very creative. Check it out.

Jorge Key Trick: Alan starts off with an effect with a borrowed key. He slips it off a key ring and then pops it right back on penetrating the brass and steel of the key. This can be performed with a borrowed ke most of the time but it will require a certain clothing set up.

Broken and Restored Key: Using a similar method a borrowed key is broken in two and restored visually. This is very similar to the Jorge Key Trick in its angles and clothing restrictions. You will probably need a jacket for both and you can’t have someone behind you while you perform it.

Ungimmicked NFW: This is the first effect Alan ever created. Basically four jokers are shown. They turn over one by one and then are revealed to have changed to the aces. This is a simple packet trick and if you like the idea of a twisting the aces effect with a simple kicker that you find that this is fairly easy to do with some practice.

Card to Wallet: This is a quick card to wallet that you can do with most wallets with just a little work. This is a fairly easy to do card to wallet with a fairly normal wallet. You will need a table to work with but the card can be signed and you should be able to use your everyday wallet for this.

Card Transpo: This is a very cool transpo based on Patrick Kun’s effect inflict. A selection changes places with a joker and the joker ends up in the center of the pack. This is a cool routine with a knacky color change. If you can hit it it will look great. I actually prefer Patrick’s original routine.

Spectator Sandwich: This is an excellent sandwich routine where the spectator is allowed to throw the 2 jokers into a dribble and they find their own selection. I really like this trick but it does require some gaffed cards. Rorrison covers a handful of methods to make the cards and even after you create the gaffs they still look very innocent. It may take you five minutes to make them how rorrison explains it.

R***h Jam Session: Alan talks about a few effects that he uses a r***hing stick for. He also goes into possible alternatives that are cheap to use and easy to find. I found this section to be very helpful. Unfortunatley he doesn’t explain the difference between the feel of the sticks to the sprays here. I personally would like to know the differences.

“Cheeky” Cap in Bottle: This is an effect with a signed cap in bottle that you can basically set up on the fly. The cap is placed in the spectator's hand and the bottle is smashed on top of the cap. This is an interesting take on the effect, I like how impromptu it is and that when you do it the cap is left open inside the bottle. It is very clever but Rorrison’s performance of it probably doesn’t give it justice.
Pop Cap: The magician causes the cap of a bottle to magically pop off. This uses a gimmick that you can add to most bottles. There are no threads used so you kind of have to wait for the gimmick to work itself. This seems like too much effort for such a small effect.

Coin to Wallet: The spectator signs a coin and inside the magicians wallet is a sealed envelope. The coin is found inside. This is not very unique in method or presentation and Rorrison lacks the presentation skills needed to pull it off. It is a fine trick but there’s nothing new here. He goes over a nice coin vanish here which is this efects biggest saving grace.

Bill Through Head Phones: A borrowed bill is pulled through the cord of a set of headphones held by the spectator. The bill can be borrowed and signed if desired and the headphones are ungimmicked as well. I think I would most likely use this in place of the silk through microphone stand. The gimmick is similar but I love how organic it feels.

Alarm and Prediction: With this cool little piece of strange you can cause you alarm to go off on your phone when ever you would like. This is an easy to do very strong effect. Alan uses it to predict a selected card with the alarm sounding as the spectator deals. While this is easy to do and very clever you will need a very expensive gimmick in order to perform it.

Dice App: Alan takes you through an app that you can use to predict a virtual dice roll.This is an interesting app but it does require a very expensive gimmick in order to work. I didn’t really see anything special in this app and didn’t really like it.

So all in all Alan is a nice guy, he has some creative magic but very little of it was good for my style of magic. I think that there are some who will find this lecture to be helpful or insightful but I think that there are a whole bunch of other lectures available that would far surpass what was taught here.
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Here's the video for Alan Rorrison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJfhB01b-No

Feel free to subscribe and check out all of my other content.
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Great job... keep them coming. Does anyone know if someone does reviews (even remotely this good) on Penguin Lectures? At least this tells me which ones I would be interested in buying "after the fact". Thanks for taking the time goatears

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Cheers.
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Jay Sankey is a crazy creative guy. If you haven’t heard of him then you have been living under a rock. Jay has created countless effects for David Copperfield, Blaine and Criss Angel. Many of his magical creations have become modern classics and when you purchase this download you get to learn a handful of these classics.

Don’t Feed the Cards: This is a fun effect using a deck of cards and a rubber band. The cards are shown to be able to act on their own accord with the help of a rubber band. As half the cards are dribbled the rubberbanded cards jump out trapping a selection. The most difficult part of this routine is the control at the beginning. As far as the trick goes it is a viable cool effect but I feel like in recent years there have been more direct methods of finding a card with a banded deck. Sankey’s version is worth knowing but in my opinion it is not the best version out there.

Cardboard Contortionist: Two cards are selected from a normal deck and are ripped in fourths. They are then restored. This is extremely practical, it can be done with a borrowed deck and the cards can be signed. The cards are fairly beat up afterwards but they can be handed out for examination. Jay says that this can play for a very large crowd and I don’t see why I wouldn’t. This is a gem!

Simple Division: On a whim Jay tosses this in. He takes a rubber band and visually splits it into two. This is a nice piece of eye candy that you can easily add to most rubberband routines. This would be a great opener.

Wichita Slip Jam: A Skype caller calls in looking for tips on Jay’s original switch The Witchita Slip. For those who understand the move you may pick up a few pointers. For those who do not know the move you will be able to get the gist of the move even if Jay does not specifically teach it.

Deranged(Performance Only): Pieces of a post card are fairly mixed face up and face down by a spectator. The magician correctly predicts exactly which pieces would be face up and which would be face down. This is now available by Murphy’s and completely fooled me. I’m going to have to get my hands on this.

Back In Time: This is Jay’s classic take on triumph. A spectator pulls a card out of the pack, it is returned and the deck is shuffled face up and face down. The spectator is given a card and it changes into their selection as the deck rights itself. This is a fairly simple to do effect with a minor bit of sleight of hand that really packs a punch much larger than you’d expect. This is a bonafide Sankey classic and should be learned by any Sankey enthusiast.

Mr. Clean Coins Across: Another great Sankey classic. Three coins magically pass from hand to hand. This is NOT a 3 Fly style coins across routine but is about as clean and visual as you can get without turning into a 3 Fly. The routine lives up to its name and it is very clean. It is also very difficult to do. I have played around with it for years and still do not have it down. This is not for the feint of heart.

Camouflage(Performance Only): This is a new product and Sankey performs it to drumb up some interest. He takes a borrowed pencil passes it through a deck of cards. It looked pretty good on screen and according to Sankey there are many applications using this gimmick.

Back Spin: Taught on a whim again Jay takes a detour to probably the most difficult effect he ever created. A card is selected and a coin is launched at the deck cutting it and rolling back into the magicians hand. Of course the deck has been cu to the spectators selection. Jay thows this in to illustrate a point and fails to get the effect to work but I bet someone will latch onto this and get it down, it just won't be me.

Topper: One of Jay’s go to moves, Topper is a wonderful utility move. He shares 3 applications of this relatively simple to do sleight and his ideas are bound to spark your own creativity.

Belly of the Beast: This is a funky transposition where the tear in one card moves to another. This is a fun take on the 2 card transpo and can be performed impromptu with any deck.

Magnetic Cards: This is super fun quirky version of the ambitious card. A “Magnet Card” pulls a card up through the deck multiple times until finally the card becomes the signed selection. This is also an impromptu miracle that has a great finish.

Group Hypnosis: 3 spectators remember cards from 3 different packs of cards. Mysteriously they all thought of the same card but the magician shows that the card they selected was never in the deck and was always in the magician's pocket. I love this effect and it flows well. I have performed it before with mixed results but it has the potential to really slay an audience

Slydini Sequence; This is a quick one coin routine adapted from Slydini. A coin vanishes both hands are shown empty and the coin appears in the magicians hands. This is a fairly simple set of coin moves with the perfect amount of psychology that really becomes a strong piece of magic.

Marrow: This is a super cheap and easy bill to impossible location. A borrowed bill is torn and the spectator hold onto the corner. The magician uses a straw as an impromptu magic wand making the bill vansh. The bill is then shown to have appeared impossibly inside the wrapped sealed straw. This is a great alternative to the classic bill to lemon and is much cheaper and easy to set up. This could be a great closer for a restaurant gig.

Overall this is a great collection of magic. Back in time, Mr. Clean Coins Across, Cardboard Contortionists and magnetic cards are my stand out favorites. The only letdown was that much of what was discussed Jay has provided for free on his website or You Tube channel. That said this is a great place to go for a great batch of magic.
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Dani Daortiz is a very fun magician to watch work. He is one of my favorite magicians to watch for sure. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed in this lecture. Dani teaches some great magic for sure but he starts out the lecture by stating that everything is up for grabs and that he will share all. Then the host, Chris Oberle (Mike Hankins was sick), asks him to explain Dani says he will do so later. This caused a handful of effects to be forgotten and not taught at all. Then when Dani was asked to share his tips on lapping he said that he didn’t want to, he was asked to share his thoughts on memorized deck work and he said that he has a lot but he wasn’t going to share it, he performed the open triumph but would not teach it and was asked to teach a couple other effects but did not teach them. This wouldn’t be a problem but he came into the lecture saying that he would teach anything we wanted and then he kept saying that he couldn’t teach this or that.

The real great part of this lecture is his thoughts on psychology, improvisation, setting up an act and how to set up for a close up show. His thoughts on improvisation were very interesting. He likes to make it look like he is just making everything up but he explains exactly when he takes chances and you’ll be surprised to find out when he actually improvises.

L’Homme Masque: This is a go to of Dani’s. A card is peeked by multiple spectators, the deck is then handed to one and they begin to shuffle. The peeked cards are named, they are

Ode to Hofzinser: A spectator takes a group of cards. Whatever number they take the magician then produces the four of a kind that matches how many cards the spectator pulls. Dani teaches 2 versions, one is basically self working and the other gets a little more involved. There is a sleight set up as well as the need for a table and a close up mat. This is Dani’s take on a classic Hofzinser idea.

Magic Castle Effect: If you look at Dani’s Youtube channel you will find a performance of this. The cards fly all over the place as you and the spectator shuffle. The spectator always selects the card that you want them to. This is a full on tribute to Lennart Green and is beautiful in a messy disorganized way.

Open Triumph (Performance Only): One of the most beautiful triumphs ever devised and it is completely performed in the hands. Unfortunatley Dani talks about teaching this the whole lecture but in the end he never teaches it.

Card at Any Number: This is a 2 person version of card at any number. Unfortunatley you do need a second person who is in the know to pull this off. Dani ccreated this especially for him and Lennart Green. It is really not much of an improvement on the tpes of card at any number effects out there.

And that is it. I have to say I was disappointed. If you like Dani’s style purchase one of his sets of lecture notes. You will get about 10 effects for $10 with more variations, tips, tricks, and theory than you will find in this lecture. Dani came into the lecture giving the idea that you would be learning a ton. Unfortunately you only learn a few new effects with some theory which can easily be found for cheaper elsewhere.
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Dani Daortiz video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ilhllAyky8
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pLhXXQ7e24

I first saw Paul Gertner on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He is from Pittsburgh and coincidentally Mr. Rogers originated from Pittsburgh as well. Paul may have been my first exposure to a magician and it was as wonderful then as it is now. This is one of the first lectures of their new casual format. It seemed like Paul was a little thrown off from time to time but overall it was successful. The first portion of the lecture was Paul performing a formal close up show.


Steele and Silver: Perhaps Gertner’s most prolific piece, this is his take on the cups and balls. He uses noisy metal cups and metal balls throughout the piece and uses the sound to really sell the illusion. This is the same routine I saw on Mr. Rogers and it was also performed on World’s Greatest Magic. This is not Vernon’s cups and balls but Vernon did coach Gertner on his routine and it is a lot of fun to hear his personal stories about how Vernon helped polish the routine. The only thing that I disliked about this was Gertners script. He seems so well rehearsed that it gets a bit rigid in places this happens in much of his magic but if you add your own style to the magic you perform you will not have this pitfall.


A Familiar Ring: This is a four coins across routine using a spectators hand and a borrowed ring to help the sound. There really isn’t much new here method wise but the climax consists of a ring coin transposition that happens in the spectators hand. You will need a common coin gaff and if you like the idea of using a spectators ring during a coins across routine you may want to check this out.


Those Are the Aces, Those Are Not: the spectator holds onto the aces, a card is selected. After some fun byplay the spectator’s card vanishes and reverses itself in the deck. As a kicker he transposes the aces with the four of a kind matching the spectators card. This was a fun challenge effect but it does require some intermediate to advanced card handling. I personally felt like the effect was a bit cluttered for my taste.


Classic Force Jam: Paul uses the classic force quite a lot in his day to day work. He has some good tips here and his approach is a little different than the norm. If you are interested in learning this move better this is a good place to go to refine your classic force. He also teases a future project teaching his favorite forces that will be available at Murphy’s.


Library Card: This is a very fun effect that Paul has created for the students at his wife’s school. A book page is selected as well as a card. The cards are thrown at the book and the selected card ends up at the selected page. This is presented as a stunt and I really like the idea. The trick seems to get a little cloudy in the middle but I think that this could play well on stage as well as in a close up environment.


Expanding Texture: This is a little bit more of a performance only. The conversation leads to performing magic live vs Youtube. A Coin is pulled through a handkerchief and then is thrown back through the same handkerchief as the spectator holds it. He quickly goes through the explanation but this is a really nice classic and it feels like a bonus effect. If you are not very adapt at coin magic you may struggle with this but it is worth the effort to learn. Out of all of the magic Paul covers in this lecture this is probably what I am most likely to perform.


Black Jack: Sharing a story of how he learned how to play blackjack Gertner turns each card in his hand into an ace. The setup and payoff are incongruent in this effect. I feel like there is a lot of sleights, story and magic going on that take away from the directness that I like in my magic.


Unshuffled: This was performed for Johnny Carson on his television show. A card is selected and as the deck is shuffled words begin to appear on the side of the pack. They eventually read “Unshuffled”. They then change into the spectators playing card. This is a very cool effect, it has a nice build with a solid ending, It is difficult to perform perfectly but Paul gives you everything you need to know in order to perform the shuffles correctly.


Obvious, Interesting or Amazing: A card is thought of by a spectator it reverses itself and changes it’s back color in the spectators hand. This is very cool effect and is super easy to perform. He goes over an advanced handling as well but I’d say that the beginner handling is much better.


No Chances: A card is selected the magician fails to find it four times in a row. They chose one of the cards face down and it turns into their selection. The other cards change into their selections four of a kind. The actual trick is neat here and the method gets fairly clever.


Stop and Stare: This is a fun card to any location. Paul uses this in trade shows to make cards appear on the ceiling. It is a fun little routine that is very easy to do. I think most magicians have performed a version of this at some point.


Triple Die-lema (Performance only): This was a great chop cup routine using dice and a hat. It’s a great combination of solid effects all melded into one great piece.


So there’s a little bit of a greatest hits going on here. Paul is a modern legend and he teaches some of his classics. If you are a Gertner fan I can’t think of another place where you can learn both his Unshuffled and cups and balls routine. This is a really strong lecture.
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Eternally grateful. Helped me make a decision.
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Ekaterina is one of the few consistently popular women in magic today. With her regular performing schedule, breakthroughs in cardistry and various television performances she can definitely keep up with the guys in her field. This was a different type of lecture and was a bit disjointed and difficult to watch.

Layers Signature Version (Performance Only): This is an incredible effect that Ekaterina performed on TV and happened to fool Penn and Teller with. A card is selected and signed. The signature then vanishes from the card face and the magician splits the card in two showing that the signature has penetrated the layers of the card. I have seen this multiple times and I was completely fooled each time. I think that this is a cool trick but I’m not a huge fan of the actual effect.

Layers Concept: Here Ekaterina explains how to print information inside of a playing card. She does not teach you how to make a spectator's signature appear inside of the card but gives various tips on how to make personal information appear inside of their selected card. She teaches a new method to split cards as well. It is more difficult than some of the methods usually taught but you can do a good portion of it without a table. I was able to split a card just fine before the video ended.

Ring Routine: The magician tries and tries to take off her ring but it repeatedly jumps back onto her finger. The big finish is when the ring is tossed up into the air and lands on the magicians finger effortlessly. This is a combination of fairly classic moves with a single ungimmicked ring to make a very nice routine altogether. This may be my favorite routine on the lecture.

Rope Escape: This is Ekaterina’s version of the Keller rope escape. An audience member ties her up and she immediately escapes. I didn’t really like this. We used to get a small piece of rope and tie each other up as kids and escaped in the same way that she does here. I don’t feel like she has added anything presentation wise to make the effect more engaging and it feels very flat to me.

The Biddle Trick: Ekaterina has taken this classic effect made it a little fancier and maybe even a little awkward. A card is selected and lost. The magician is able to narrow down the selection to one of 5 cards. In an awkward move the magician rubs the selected card into the spectators shoulder causing it to completely vanish and appear face up in the deck of cards. I didn’t like the addition of rubbing the audiences shoulder at all. Her spectator looked uncomfortable and I felt uncomfortable.

Basics in Cardistry: Ekaterina has really made her reputation as a card manipulator and she covers some good stuff here. She covers many basics including the charlier cut, revolution cut, thumb cut pressure fan, thumb fan smear fan and sybil cut. She also covers what she calls the Russian pyramid and the candle arm spread. All of these moves are fairly intermediate moves for well versed card manipulators. I was able to do everything that she performed according to her instructions but for magicians that are unfamiliar with this tough stuff you have a big challenge ahead of you.

Agape: This was produced as a download with Paper Crane Magic and she teaches it as a single card production, double lift and color change. This is a very pretty move but it is very challenging. I think this move is very deceptive and versatile and could do quite a lot. I really like it.

Slate Writing: As seen on Wizard Wars Ekaterina teaches us how to make writing appear on a piece of slate. This is a really great effect that could be used to create a modern version of the spirit slates. It is fairly inexpensive as well to make. Everything you need would be found at Office Depot with the exception of one key ingredient that you can get free.

Overall there is some good magic here but there were some funky problems. Ekaterina repeatedly left the frame of the camera for no reason turning the time over to our host Mike Hankins. This caused a lot of dead time. In places the organization was very hectic and the explanations were difficult to follow at times. I have a ton of respect for Ekaterina and her creative approach. I do not feel like this was one of the better lectures Murphy’s has put out.
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSo0cqeI0m4

Initially I thought that I had not heard of Matthew Wright or his magic. The first part was true but definitely not the last part. Matthew has created many popular effects and I enjoyed watching his magic. His methods and gimmicks were not suitable for my performance style and I do not find his performance character to be appealing in the least. His accolades in the magic community more than qualify him as a proficient practitioner of this craft even if he doesn’t suit my tastes most the time.

Horizon: The first effect he goes over is his Horizon levitation system. This has been released by Murphy’s and is a very cool slow motion levitation of a card, box or a coin. He teaches a highly gimmicked three fly here as well as a levitating card and a levitating card box. The gimmick and preparation for this effect is heavy. The coins cannot be handed out and you are left very dirty with the cards as well. The overall effect is very powerful but the sacrifices that you have to make to get into position, let alone that you probably will need to purchase the gimmicks from Murphy’s, it is not worth it to me.

Nested Boxes: This is a new product of Matthew's where the card box continually replicates itself. This was a fun bit of magic that I could see working really well on stage for a manipulator but Matthew proves that it works well for close up as well. Once again, you really need to purchase this product in order to perform it.

Think-A-Card: This is a tough think a card effect where a card is chosen and you are able to magically produce that card. This is completely impromptu card trick, it will take some real world practice but it leads to a very powerful effect. With some similarities to Vernon’s Trick that Cannot be Explained this is not a trick for the feint of heart.

Phoenix Aces: This is Matthew's take on the classic. I actually prefer Matthew’s version to Pop Hadyn’s original. It is a fast visual production of four cards. It really looks very fair and is very startling.

Ripper: This is an awesome torn and restored card and was probably my favorite effect from the lecture. A spectator signs the front and back of a playing card, it is torn turned around and restored in a mismade fashion. This mismade restoration is not mandatory but it does give the effect a nice surprising ending. If you would like to do the mismade ending once again you will need to purchase the gimmicks in addition to this lecture. There is a gimmick you will need to make either way and it isn’t incredibly difficult to construct. If you don’t get it signed then you don’t need to purchase refills.

This is a great piece of mental magic, a card is placed on the table with a bill. A random card is named and it ends up written on the bill.This is an awesome piece of magic but it relies on a couple methods that he really doesn’t teach. He explains how the trick works and points you where to go for more information but you really don’t get enough information to actually perform the effect.

Twin Peaks: Matthew shares a handful of different ideas that you can use with his product the Four Seen Wallet. He shows you how to predict multiple selected cards and get a lot of mileage. The basic mechanics of the wallet are available by a few different dealers online, if you would like to see what it is capable of then you do not need to watch this lecture. Check it out online and make your decision there. It is a very versatile wallet for sure.

Nut Dropper: A borrowed ring vanishes from inside a box held by a spectator and apears inside of a nut inside of an orange. This feels like the classic bird in egg in lemon in orange effect. Matthew has really made this very practical and fairly easy to do. The gimmicks and setup are very involved here as you might expect but this could easily be used to close a show. You do need to purchase the gimmicks from Matthew.

Bubble Gum: As part of his FISM act Wright blows a big bubble gum bubble and pops it producing up to 50 sponge balls. I didn’t really understand this as an effect. I think that this hits a very specific niche as far as magicians go. If you want to produce a whole bunch of sponge balls from a bubble gum bubble than this is how to do it. I don’t care for it though.

LSD: A thought of card appears in a listerine strip container. Once again this trick is highly derivative. You need to purchase John Kennedy’s Mind Power Deck to perform it. It is basically a refurbishment of Smoke by Derren Brown. The trick is excellent.

I have to say that this was one of my least favorite lectures to date. A lot was taught but most of it requires expensive props and outside purchases to perform. The magic was powerful but you really don’t need to watch this lecture to learn it.
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDDvGJdDfrQ

Francis Menotti is the Malcolm Gladwell of magic. His magic is uniquely academic and incredibly artsy. He also holds a very slight resemblance to Malcolm Gladwell (He also kinda resembles Josh Groban as well but that really doesn’t have anything to do with his magic). I have been a long time fan and was stoked to see this lecture.


Exdisically Shunuffled: As the magician shuffles up the pack his word become mixed up, as the pack reassembles itself the magician begins to speak more clearly. Francis mainly uses this as a way to teach a whole lot about magic. He talks about character, what trick to use as an opener and scripting. He talks about the secret but never really goes through it piece by piece. His reasoning for this is that it is a signature effect and that the main method is known by most magicians anyways. It didn’t bother me in the slightest that he didn’t teach it in detail.


Silver Copper Conundrum: This is a fun very visual transposition routine where a copper and silver coin change places over and over and over again. I didn’t love every piece of this but there were specific phases that I could see myself performing. You will need a certain gimmicked coin for this routine but it is one of the most common coin gaffs available and can be obtained for very little.


Ins and Outs: Sramed as an expose of magicians Francis shows how a gambler or magician could control the position of every card in the deck. He openly displays how he can faro a deck of cards perfectly shuffling them together.until a selected card appears at a named number and the deck rights itself. There’s a nice surprising transposition at the end as well. This requires some pretty tough sleight of hand but it is definitely doable if you are comfortable with faro work.


Ring To Nest of Wallets: Francis shows how he adapts magic to fit his own style teaching a fun routine with the nest of wallets by Nick Einhorn. The concepts here could be applied to any routine and the routine could be applied to almost any ring flight routine even if you don’t have a nest of wallets.


Vivid 2.0: A spectator names a random year and a coin with that ear is found in an envelope that they were holding the entire time. This is a fun piece of mentalism that really needs to be performed on a parlor stage or bigger to accommodate the method. The original vivid is available in a couple different places and vivid 2.0 solves some problems of the first while creating its own problems as well. If you are a fan of the original effect but were bothered by the method this method may be for you.


So that’s it. There wasn’t a whole lot of magic discussed on this lecture but I do feel like he touched on so many unique bits of business that really help me as a performer. There were many aspects of theory and branding that he touched on that I can find myself applying to my magic and I see no reason why others couldn’t do the same.
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