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Jeff McBride is one of magic’s greatest teachers. He has influenced countless magicians and rubs shoulders with the best magicians out there. Unfortunately, most of his style seems out of date in my eyes. His magic certainly has a niche demographic and I am not a part of that niche at all. I don’t mean to speak ill of a magician who has done so much for magic I only wish to express that his style doesn’t mesh well with my own.

The Roy Benson Move: This is a surprising production of a card from back palm. It may fool those familiar with back the back palm and there’s no one better to learn it from than Jeff McBride.

Silk Production: Jeff teaches a classic card to silk effect that can be used by a manipulator to produce a silk from a card.

Pivot: In my opinion this is one of the most deceptive and shocking additions to ad to any routine using a back palm. This move allows you to show both sides of your hands and keeping a card completely hidden the whole time.

Money Production 1: Jeff suggests this as a way to pay someone at a restaurant or someone at the door. The magician produces their business card and then produces a couple bills. Produce a card and change it into money to pay with. This struck me as completely corny with all due respect to Jeff and his performance style.

Money Production 2: The magician shows both hands to be empty and produces a large wad of bills. This could easily be used by close up workers or stage magicians. There are some specific clothing requirements but most magicians wont have any issues.

Silver Mirage: This was one of my favorite pieces in the lecture. You learn an open fingered coin vanish and reproduction. You will need a large coin and table for this but it really looks great. I will be practicing this and adding it to my own repertoire.

Shivah’s Moodra: This is a one coin routine where the magician makes a coin vanish and reappear between their fingers. The coin then sticks to the performers head and drops on command. This was kind of a silly routine with parts that I really disliked. I think the majority of what I disliked had to do with style.

Salamander: This is small silly flourish in which a single card wraps around a deck of cards. This might be a nice thing to teach laypeople but it is not very impressive in my opinion.

Double Salamander: This is the salamander with 2 cards rotating around the deck. Once again, I do not feel like this is very impressive.

Interlock Production: This has been published in many places but it is a must have sleight for a card manipulator. With all of your fingers interlocked you are able to show the front and back of your hands as you produce playing cards.

Ambitious Card (Performance Only):Jeff covers his philosophy on signed cards here. It is a nice way to give more meaning to the cards you have signed.

Sponge ball Production: This is a very fun sequence in which the magician tries and tries to remove a sponge ball from between their fingers and the sponge ball magically teleports back in between their fingers. Jeff reviews how to properly use a squeaker for those who are interested but this could easily be applied to billiard balls or other objects. This little sequence is really a lot of fun.

Miscellaneous Manipulation: Jeff runs through a couple spinning productions of cards and even demonstrates his ability to bounce cards off the stage. He teaches a lot here but nothing is in too much detail.

Dancing Cane: Jeff gives some ideas on the dancing cane. Unfortunately, his version is to be used in the dark with a glowing cane. In my view this limits who will be able to perform this effect using McBride’s method.

Double Cane: The method here is beautiful. I kind of wish that I could use this but unfortunately this version must be performed in the dark. This is good for those who perform indoors but it will not work for those who perform at fairs and other our side functions.

So that’s Jeff McBride. He is one of the most well respected magicians alive and his opinion on magic resonates with most. Most of the magic discussed did not fit my performance style at all and I feel like this may be an issue for other magicians who check out this lecture.
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I have followed Paul Draper’s magic for quite some time. I have seen him perform live on multiple occasions and have talked with him about magic. On this lecture you get to see him in a completely candid light. He is full of knowledge and in performance you can see that he is holding back. On this lecture he opens up in a way that I have never seen. He gives the secrets away to some outstanding magic here, with various signature pieces that he uses in his professional shows. The magic is very exciting but the tips on becoming a professional and developing a character are outstanding.

Bill Reading: Using a prop that most magicians already have he explains one of the cleanest serial number reading’s I have ever seen. The spectator folds up bill, you hand it to someone else and you are able to obtain the serial number. He teaches a couple ways to do this with and without memory work.I loved this, in my opinion it makes other reading methods seem very over complicated and fishy. Paul’s is refreshingly to the point.

Audience Drawings: Paul explains a fun seemingly impromptu effect where an audience full of people draw simple drawings on small slips of paper. He is able to get a sense of the drawings and describe them perfectly with each new slip before he looks at them.

Water and Vodka Roulette: Using water and alcohol Paul explains one of his signature effects. A single glass full of alcohol is mixed among glasses of water. The magician can have the glasses mixed up and even have the spectator chose which he should eliminate. Of course the alcohol is under his control at all times. Luckily, the magician doesn’t need to be a drinker and the method can be applied to many different scenarios. I intend on using this as a convincer in my PK touches routine.

Psychometry: I have seen Paul perform a version of this live in his stand up show as well as on television. This is something that is a big part of his working repertoire. Five spectators are selected at random and each places a personal item in an envelope. The envelopes are mixed and the mentalist is able to divine which object belongs to whom. This can be applied to many situations and is a wonderful way of making a lot of magic with very little.

Fortune Telling Fish and Animal Crackers: Paul explains a couple fun and simple ways to make extra money at a show and have the magic continue when the show is over. He discusses a couple comedy routines here and gives some really great professional advice.

So the magic is top notch for sure but I loved his view on character creation. I don’t want to give it away but when he talks about the powers of the magician it really got me thinking. He asks questions that every performer should ask themselves and gives great insight involving the rule of three.

I put a lot of stock in versatile magic. I love magic that accordions, it can grow to be big enough to fill an auditorium or can shrink small enough to be performed in your living room. I also love devious methods that don’t require the magician to go out and buy brand new apparatus. All of the magic taught here can be performed in any scenario. All of the mentalism feels very clean, there isn’t a lot to cloudy up the effect. The theory though is where the real gold is found. Paul has a lot of background in theater and he really shows his knowledge here. I highly recommend this lecture.
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Nate Kranzo has worked with many different magic companies in the past. He is an old buddy of Jay Sankey’s he has done stuff for Penguin and Ellusionist and now he is doing a lecture with Murphy’s. I kind of expected a lot here, you get some of his classic stuff as well as some classic magic in general. Let’s get into it.

Copper Silver Brass Routine: For this you will need a copper silver brass set, it looks like a lot on paper but it looks very clean and clear, and realize that of course you could just perform one phase of this routine. A coin is produced, it vanishes and reappears a few times. It then flies from the magicians hands to an impossible location leaving 2 foregn coins in it’s place. All three coins are placed in a spectators hand. The magician pulls out a single coin from the spectator’s fist, with a pass of the hand he changes that coin into the other two coins leaving the spectator holding the coin that was just n the magicians hand. He then changes the coins into half dollars and makes them vanish. There are tons of beautiful bits that are stunning and completely fooling.

Card to Fly: This is a very ingenious effect. The method is completely simple and the effect is very powerful. You need a gimmicked deck but you can have any card named and you are able to make that card appear as a prediction. Whether this means it appears in your fly, in your breast pocket, under a book or propped up on a table. This method allows you to do quite a lot with very little work on the part of the magician and it allows you to perform an effect that is almost as powerful, in my opinion, to the invisible deck.

Magazine Test: It is well known that Kranzo has purchased the rights to U.F. Grant’s book test and this is his application of the basic effect. Basically the audience calls stop on a random page from a magazine. The magician tears the page out and the participant tears the page in various directions until they are left with a small piece of paper. The magician is then able to divine a selected word on that page. You will need to purchase Kranzo’s gimmicks for this which is too bad. He does show some tricks for how he remembers lists of words while performing. The method looks sound, you can use most magazines and he does offer refills for a discount, but you do need to purchase the gimmick from him.

Book Test: This is an interesting gimmicked book test. The magician divine a thought of word in the classic book test fashion. The books do all the work here and you will need to purchase them from Nate. I wouldn't recommend purchasing the gimmicked books when you could easily achieve a similar effect using a random book and a different method.

Coin Through Silk: This was a real gem, a coin passes through a silk repeatedly. I was fooled a couple times. This could really work well for stand up or walk around and was very elegant. There was some tough moves to be learned but nothing that was too crazy. Mortal magicians will be able to get this down with a little bit of practice. This was as visual and modern as any coin through silk I have seen despite using mostly classical moves.

Card to Wallet: You will need a Card to Wallet for this effect if you want to perform it as described but you can just make the card go to your pocket. Basically this is a quick find a card routine that caps off with the card appearing in the magician’s wallet. There’s really nothing new here unfortunately. Just a handful of fairly classic moves put together to make a fairly classic effect. It really doesn’t add much to the current state of card to wallet effects in my view.

Identity Theft (Performance Only): This will be released as a download in the near future so the method was not discussed. A drivers license is borrowed and it transposes with the magician’s while held by the spectator. This looks like a fun organic application of the classic plot with some subtleties that will fool many magician’s

Card Stab: Straight from Tarbell with added tips and tricks, a card is selected and lost in the deck. The deck is wrapped in a napkin or piece of newspaper and the participant is able to stab the deck cutting it at their selected card. This is not Kranzo’s effect Stiletto on his Boondock Mental DVD and should not be confused with that effect. No cards are stabbed, the position of the selected card is indicated with the stab. Sometimes this effect is difficult to learn in book form so it is helpful that Nate has laid it out here.

The lecture was a little lukewarm to my tastes. Almost all of what was taught was old classic material so it was lacking in originality but the magic discussed is definitely practical. He discusses book tests here but I would not purchase the lecture to learn anything about book tests but rather purchase his book tests separately. If you are looking for a coin through silk or a copper silver brass routine then this lecture will be worth your money.
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Justin Miller is known for being a little rough around the edges, he is a very talented guy but his language may not be appropriate for all audiences. That said, if you want hard hitting, super simple, very powerful David Blaine style effects then this is your lecture. The methods are sound and every effect is performed on the streets for demonstration. This is Greg Wilson’s first time hosting the Murphy’s lectures and he was EXCELLENT! The lecture almost seems like a jam session and Greg and Justin really played off each other challenging and really thinking through each effect.

Cellophane (Performance Only): While showing his inspiration for mental phane he breifly covers David Williamson’s routine as well as his own. The basic trick involves a coin penetrating the cellophane of a pack of cigarettes or card box. He touches on the method but does not really teach this.

Mental Phane: A coin is named and your participant makes the named coin appear inside the cellophane of a pack of cigarettes or card box. This is a very simple and visual effect. I don’t really understand Justin’s selection process for the coin but Greg gives a natural alternate.

Floating Card: This is not published anywhere but here. It is an erie card levitation and animation. A card is selected the magician reveals the wrong card. The magician then takes the card and through some fun byplay it clings mysteriously to the magicians hand, eerily rotates in space and changes into the spectators selection. With this being completely new Justin gives great insight to his creative process and him and Greg jam on the idea for a bit. It was fun just being able to see their wheels turn.

Ring Slide: A sharpie is held by a spectator and the magician’s ring is placed on the marker. Then the ring slowly makes its way across the marker falling into the spectator’s hand. The spectator ends up holding everything completely shocked. This does require a simple gimmick that most magicians have, Justin has become well known for this tool and his skill really shows with a creative set up and a beautiful effect.

Animated Change: Another simple effect. A card is placed in a spectator’s hand and slowly turns over changing into another card as it does. This uses a normal deck and that gimmick talked about above. It is a fun simple effect but I don’t see it as completely unique or ground breaking. Just a fun moment of magic.

Believe: This is a crazy cool version of Joel Pascal’s effect Believe. The method is very clever, I almost enjoyed it more than the actual effect. Basically the corner of a card is torn off by a spectator face up. The card visually changes into the spectator’s selection and the corner which has never left the spectator’s hand also changes. This is incredibly powerful and is worth the price of the lecture.

Smile: Justin has been at the forefront of magic involving a cellphone from the beginning. This is a wonderful effect where a selected card is photographed and changes both in the photo and in the spectator’s hand. This uses a normal deck of cards and a borrowed cell phone, it leaves the spectator with a wonderful souvenir and Justin thought that it was powerful enough to use it as an audition to the Ellen show. This really makes a simple concept seem huge.

F-Fly: Justin’s take on the three-fly changes the overall feel and corrects some of the problems of past versions. The coins travel fro his fingers to his open palm one by one. He shares a handful of ideas here and you learn a lot of nice coin work.

The Test: A Rorschach ink blot on a leather bracelet visually turns into a selected card and back into an blot. This is accomplished with a simple gimmicked bracelet you can purchase on Miller’s website. This is cool and almost kick yourself simple, lots of Justin’s magic is like that. Crazy powerful and crazy simple.

Blood Ring: This was by far my favorite effect on the lecture. You make an imprint using your ring on the palm of your hands you then take the impression off of one hand and place it on the other causing the 2 ring impressions to link. This reminds me of an old Paul Harris idea using shag carpet, mixed with the old blister effect. All you need for this is a normal ring and two hands. This is a great geek effect that you can perform at any time.

Wow, this was a nice lecture. If you do a lot of walk around, bar or casual performances then this is the lecture for you. Justin Miller really knows how to capture powerful moments and make the most of them.
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Geoff Williams is a funny guy. I knew this before but this lecture was especially entertaining. Geoff is very talented, he is a well known corporate entertainer and even used to write for David Letterman. You learn a handful of material here that would work equally as well for close up parlor and stage. This is a very versatile lecture.

Newest Opener, Favorite Opener (Performance Only): To start off Geoff produced a bottle of Coke from a silk napkin. The routine was a lot of fun but I think they just forgot to teach it.

Slydini’s Restored Newspaper: This is a worker for sure. The magician takes various clippings of a newspaper in a handful. He then gives the pieces a shake and they become a complete piece of newspaper. This was originally based on Slydini’s torn and restored newspaper but the way that Geoff presents it, allows for a very quick reset and you can reuse the same props over and over again. This was a really great piece of magic and is completely practical.

Rocky Shoes: Geoff has taken Simonoff’s Earth Shoes effect and has raised it. He shows 2 ways to produce 2 large rocks from your shoes one after the other. If you are not familiar with Earth shoes than you should be, if you are Geoff claims that the second rock gets a bigger gasp then the first and may be worth your consideration.

Pen and Coin Trick: A coin is placed in the magician’s hand and a pen is pushed through the hand. The coin is shown to have vanished. The hands and pen are shown to be convincingly empty and the coin is produced from the cap of the pen. This is a beautiful piece of magic and is probably a bit easier to perform then David Williamson’s version of the coin to cap. I have to admit I was fooled. This is a little angle sensitive but it can be performed with a completely normal pen and coin.

This One: This was originally a Cameron Francis packet trick and Geoff has added to it by introducing a new selection process and shuffle sequence. He also teaches how he performs this on stage with great sucess. Basically the spectators select 2 cards and every other card is revealed to be blank with the two selections each saying in big bold letters “This One”, proving that the magician would know what they would chose. I’m not sure if this is incredibly fooling but I do like how easily it converts itself to be worthy of stage.

Lost and Smelled: A card is chosen, lost and shuffled into the deck while the magician has his back turned. He then is able to “sniff out” the selected card without ever seeing the faces. You need to gimmick a deck of this but you will be able to use the deck as if it was normal. This is very fooling and Geoff uses a very funny presentation to drive it home. I didn’t feel like his method was very precise but his presentation was very funny.

Geoff gives a handful of tips and tricks involving movement, blocking and scripting. I loved his tips on practicing scripts especially. Geoff is a funny guy and this was an outstanding lecture that I highly recommend.
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Eric Ross is of the Ellusionist, Papercrane and Theory11 crowd. He has made a name for himself at a young age continues to make his creativity shown. He performed on Ellen a few years ago and has consulted for many magicians. I cannot recommend this lecture for anyone under 18. Most of the magic is fine for all ages but there is one effect that no one should attempt at any time. Murphy’s makes this clear but I want to reiterate, under no circumstances should you try this.

Chuckie: This was a great application of Bob Farmer’s Little Hand gimmick put out by Michael Ammar. The magician shows a picture of a creepy doll on their phone. They place a coin or bottle cap on the spectator’s hand. A small dolls hand reaches out from the phone and takes the coin. This is Ron Jackson’s handling, used with permission by Eric. This is a creepy update on what is seen by many as a silly prop by many. If this interests you, you can check out Michael Ammar’s website. I think that this update was much needed.

Election: Created by Eric and Tony Girard 2 decks are used. The spectator removes a card and the magician removes a card, these cards are reversed and lost in their respective decks. They are then pulled out and shown to be the same card, as a kicker the backs of the cards are from the opposite decks. When this was first released there was a lot of stress regarding originality. It seems that magician Dan Paulus also thought of this effect independently much earlier than Eric. Eric’s contribution isn’t without merit though, his presentation allows you to perform this with 2 spectators making it almost completely hands off. Eric continues to contribute to the plot by making an ungimmicked version, you only need two decks of cards and a little bit of preparation and you can do this with Eric’s new method. Despite the drama of a few years ago I feel that Eric’s addition was welcome and this is an excellent effect. It was strong enough that Eric chose to perform it on Ellen and you learn exactly how he did it.

Crush: This was first released on Theory11 and has since become out of stock. I was totally stoked to see that he was reteaching it here. Basically the magician dumps out the contents of a water bottle and seals it. The spectator can then hold the cap of the bottle as the magician magically crushes the bottle with their “mind powers”. The bottle can then be inspected. There is a specific set of circumstances that you must fulfill in order to perform this so it may not be for everyone but as an opener or on film it could really play well. I will be experimenting with this for sure. It really looks like it has a ton of potential.

Submersion: While jamming with magician Danny Case he came upon this impromptu gem. Two cards are selected and cleanly show to be placed in two separate places in the deck. They then are shown to melt through the pack coming together in the middle while out jogged. I was surprised by the subtleties discussed here. This isn’t as strong as the other material Ross discusses but it is fine.

Needle Through Hand (Performance Only): I say that this is a performance only piece because it really should only be viewed and should not be attempted by anyone at any time. That said, Eric does walk you through how to do it. This is a very dangerous effect where a magician very convincingly pushes a needle through their hand, I cannot stress it enough DO NOT TRY THIS.

For various reasons Election and Crush are not available to the general public. This is a great place to go to learn both. The application of the little hand was a lot of fun. If you want to learn some of Eric’s strongest stuff you can’t go wrong here. If the magic discussed interests you then check this out. I’ll just say it again, don’t try the needle trick.
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Mike Hankins has produced magic for David Copperfield, Papercrane, Penguin, Theory11, Ellusionist and Murphy’s. He is famous for his knacky inventive card moves and on this download you get a variety of his updates and new thoughts on just about every effect he has put out. If you are interested in his material or if you are already a fan when you purchase this you will be sure to find Mike’s best old tricks along with tons of new unpublished material and applications of old moves.

What you talking about will ace: A card is named, the aces are all removed and for the fourth one the named card pops up. The thought of card then becomes the forgotten ace. So this is fairly basic but it is very practical and according to Hankin’s it was a go to of his. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it but it does get a ton of people involved for a simple ace production.

Dr Daley’s Last Trick: This is a fairly classical handling of a 2 ace transpo. The black aces are held by you and the red aces by the spectator, they instantly change places. At first I thought that his routine was fairly generic but after trying out his presentation it really lifted my own version of Dr Daley’s Last trick. To those sceptics out there, try his routine once and you’ll see the power.

What’s Your Favorite Ace?: All the aces become the spectators chosen ace. It then it vanishes and appears in the deck. This is a fine trick but there’s nothing completely groundbreaking here. I wont be performing it.

Harbor Change: This was originally released on Theory11 and from what I understand was Mike’s first break into the magic market. The change is visual but has some specific angle requirements. The change itself was not my favorite but I did like his variations.

Sliding Glass Change: This was one of my favorite variations of the Harbor Change he taught. The deck is held at shoulder height and the nad comes over with the fingers open, with a wave the card changes on the face. He teaches a handful of different variations here and they all have a similar feel.

Passion Piece: He talks about how he created some of his characters in comedy and then he shows you how to spark your creativity with an exercise taught to him by Jeff McBride, This is a fun little exercise and it could prove to be very helpful to those wanting to create more. Don’t expect anything too ground breaking.

Cards From Mouth in 2 Ways: Two versions of cards from mouth are taught here. The first is Jeff McBride’s handling, the magician coughs and cards cascade out of their mouth. The second is by Denny Haney, a packet of cards is held in front of the mouth, they vanish with a snap and then the cards cascade from the mouth again. He teaches two versions so that you can repeat the effect. This is a really fun piece, I don’t really see any need to do the Haney version but there may be some who prefer it for whatever the reason.

Cards From Bum: This is pretty silly. Mike says that he performs this right after performing cards from mouth a couple times. He shows his hands to be empty then makes a toot sound producing cards from his rear end. This is only for certain crowds and certain magicians for sure. The actual method and effect are a good moment but it’s not as mind blowing as it is funny or startling.

Never Get a No: This is a fun variation of an old idea for restaurant workers. It is a way never to be turned down at a restaurant. I have heard of other similar ideas to this but never an application that is this simple and requires such a small bit of effort on the part of the magician.

Stop Hammer Time: This is a good little routine, a card is thought of and made to change places with another card in the spectator’s hand. Mike kind of takes credit for a fairly old force that, if I am not mistaken, was used by Berglas and Canasta and probably predates them. His handling is good though and adds something small. The best part is the way that the spectator “sends” the thought of card to the magician, it is very funny and feels somewhat magical. I think I will use this presentation but I will not be doing the trick. The trick itself feels very generic to me.

Snap Change: Mike Hankins is well known for his ability with the Snap Change. This is a move that I generally struggle with but with the help of the lecture I was able to improve quite a lot. Mike teaches a few different versions including a multiple snap change, a tap change and a version where the card is simply pulled out of the pack and changes. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a difficult trick Mike really knows his way around the move.

Coin Through Bottle: This is a fun coin through bottle that can be done pretty much on the spot without any gimmicks. This is another place where Mike takes credit on an effect that really has a longer history. I used to perform a version of this effect years ago but it has slipped my mind as to where I learned it. That said, I always used mostly filled gatorade bottles and Mike shows how to use it with a regular plastic pop bottle and performs it with the bottle empty.

JG Move: This is a great flourishy version of an Ed Marlo move that has traditionally just been used to clean up a double. Mike has made this move a lot more flourishy and has a few new applications for it. This is a knacky move but I enjoyed it quite a bit, his

Tenkai Fan: This is completely cool, and looks crazy good in Hankin’s hands. In the action of making a fan a card is almost automatically and invisibly placed in a tenkai palm. This is an awesome move, and looks super clean, this was one of my favorite previously unpublished sleights on the lecture.

Slider Double: This is a very surprising sleight. With it you can produce 2 cards as one and slide them effortlessly across a table. Using the slider double you also learn an outstanding visual and clean change that you can perform on a mat. With a snap the card changes visually. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of eye candy on the lecture. I’ve seen Mike perform it in other scenarios and it always looks great in his hands.

Cannibal Cards: The four Jacks make several cards vanish while sandwiched. The Jacks then are lost in the deck, they magically appear together and change the color of their backs. This is a super simple very powerful effect. With very little practice I was able to fool some close friends. There is a small gimmick needed but it is easily added to a deck if you would like to perform this effect. Theres a lot of good here

Clip Spin: This is a great little move that can be used as a type of control or a never ending color change. This is a beautiful move and deserves to be looked at by any sleight of hand artist worth their salt. If you can’t do a clip shift then this is it’s slightly easier to perform cousin.

Illuminate: This is the only dealer item he goes over. A photo is taken of a lighter and the flames morph into the spectator's selected card. This can be done with almost any prepared camera but you will need to purchase the gimmicks from Paper Crane in order to perform it. I think that this is a great anytime magic piece to have set up and it gives the spectator a very creepy souvenir.

Htt2: This is a transposition where the spectator is clearly holding the magicians card and it instantly changes into their signed card, while in their hand. This is fairly bold but the payoff could be huge. The moment where one minute they show it to be the magician’s card and the next moment it is their card is very nice indeed. For me it doesn’t really fit my style but I can definitely see the merits there of.

So overall, I really think that this is the best lecture Mike could have given with the material he has created. You get his thoughts on a variety of moves, you get to learn every effect he has released complete with tons of new updates, thoughts and handlings. If you are a fan of Mike Hankins or knacky moves go ahead and get this. If you aren’t keep it to yourself.
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Steven Himmel is a talented guy for sure. He shares some of his best magic here. All of the magic is practical and doable for sure and it is clear that Steven has used these effects for years.

Flip Pit- This is a quick simple color change you perform on the top of the deck. I was surprised at how easy this was to perform. It is knacky and only moderately difficult. It is one of those things that make you go “Why didn’t I think of that?”.

I guess Steven is a master of organization. He didn’t touch on all of his organization secrets but he did hit on a few different things. His ideas on how to organize gaffed cards are very helpful. Especially if you ever received one of the utility decks by Ellusionist, or if you just love packet tricks.

Bill Change- This is a fun fairly visual bill change that really didn’t blow me away. There is a sound issue so you do need to perform this in a club or bar rather than a quiet environment. There were wardrobe requirements, sound issues and other parts that I really didn’t like. I feel like there are a lot of other ways to do this that are just as visual and a bit more practical.

Forced Thought- In Forced Thought a spectator thinks of a card as the magician flips through the deck, the spectator then deals cards until they feel like stopping, they stop on their card every time. This is a solid method and is an original take on the classic flip force used often by TV magicians.

Lost Thought- This is a 3 phased packet trick with a set of 9 cards. Packet tricks don’t really do much for me personally, that said you do get multiple magic effects in this one all resulting in their selected card vanishing from the deck leaving only a blank faced card. The last phase is the strongest for sure and the gimmicks elimnate most of the sleight of hand needed.

3 Fly- This is very close to the classic three fly routines out there in effect. Method wise Steven has added a clever steal in the middle. If you are not familiar with three fly I think I would check out another resource before this one here.

Discrepant Reset- Based on paul Harris’ classic effect Steven has created a version where all four of the Aces are left for the spectator to examine at the end. This is a great addition to the original and in my opinion is just as strong as Caleb Wiles very popular version of the same trick.

Book Test- This is a mix of a book test and card to book that Steven has cleverly combined to routine for the workers out there. The first routine sets up the second in a way that a performing magician will really apreciate.

When it comes down to it my favorite 2 effects were Flip Pit and Forced Thought. There is some other good magic but it is far from revolutionary. If you are interested in the magic discussed here as well as some tips on going full time or organizing your magic than I think you will be impressed. Overall though when compared to some of the other lectures Murphy’s has provided this was one of the weaker.
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Will Houston is a knowledgeable historian and a talented magic creator. I was only familiar with his effect “Freaky” available on Dan and Dave. Will has been a magic consultant for a couple projects including the very successful film Hugo. He surprised and amazed me with his indepth magic knowledge.

Simple Coin Matrix: with the help of a single playing card four coins teleport invisible from corner to corner on the table. This is a fairly classic handling of the classic effect but is taught very well. Of course you will need a table to perform it. If you are interested in a coin matrix this is definitely a practical version but not original at all in the world of coin matrices.

Card Manuscript: As an historian Will has researched a handful of different old effects and manuscripts. He talks at length about a specific manuscript and the card magic within. He goes over color changes, a switch that is slightly related to the top change and a handful of other interesting sleights that all create unique effects. The history is nice but the magic isn’t anything extraordinary. I don’t think that I will be doing the tricks he describes but the magic history lesson is great.

2 Fly: Two coins magically fly from hand to hand visually, at the fingertips. This is one place where you really get a glimpse of Houston’s creativity. There are a couple surprising and visual moments in the routine that make it a lot of fun to watch. There is a gaffed coin involved but it is owned by most magicians already.

Coin in Flame: Houston takes us back to the history books with this fun staging of a simple coin vanish. The suggested presentation is what makes it powerful and it may not appeal to all magicians. The vanish itself, is nothing new.

2 Deck Trick: In my opinion this is the best magic trick to be taught on the At the Table Lectures. Two decks are introduced. One is shuffled by the magician and the spectator, the other is used as a prediction. After a lot of shuffling the decks are shown to be identically arranged. This will be closing my close up show from now on and I wish no one else knew about it!

False Shuffle: Will teaches a nice tabled riffle shuffle that keeps the entire deck in order here. This is another take on a classic but it is very good and every movement is very well motivated.

Bouncing Shadows: Will finishes off by teaching a more advanced version of the coin matrix. This is a fairly typical handling but Will has a lot of nice touches. He has completely routined it as well to include a kick back and a flash matrix. By this I mean that the coins teleport to one corner slowly, with a wave they return back to their respective corners and with another wave end up in one corner again. This makes a solid piece of performance.

This was a very good lecture over all. Will talks about consulting as well as his work as an historian. He divulges a lot on how he researched the magic that he has written his books on and I think that this would be a great lecture for those who wish to research magic and magic history. The two deck effect was one of the best tricks that I have seen in a while. If any of those things intrigue you please check this out!
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Kyle and I have jammed on many ideas together over the years, we are good friends. I’ve seen Kyle lecture before and this lecture was on par with the rest. Kyle has worked behind the scenes with Justin Willman, Criss Angel, Justin Flom, Wizard Wars and Andrew Mayne. He has a show that he performs in various hotels in Vegas and has created and marketed some great magic.

Draw Straws: This is a humorous routine. The magician draws a picture of a straw and then pulls it off of the page as a real straw. This is an okay trick but it kind of fell flat for me. It has some fun byplay with a clever pun or two but the trick really didn’t do anything for me as is.

Square Cube: A sugar packet is introduced. The sugar inside the packed begins to slowly congeal and solidify until it becomes a solid cube of sugar. This was an amazing, visual piece, you actually see the sugar grow into a cube. According to kyle it won't work with Sweet and Low brand sugar packets but it will work with Starbuck’s sugar packs. This is one of the most unique pieces of magic I have seen in a while, with a super practical method.

Animal Crackers: This is a really fun piece of mentalism you can do with a box of animal crackers. You can predict the exact animal cracker they chose down to the imperfections. This could be great for children and family entertainers. I really like this effect and its method is very practical in my eyes. Kyle opts to have a small piece of instant stoogery, I think that this is completely unnecessary and would not perform it this way.

Coffee Stick: This is a quick simple prediction effect. The prediction is written on a coffee stick it is then changed visually. This is quick and visual but it really doesn’t do much for me.

Banana: Kyle calls this an impromptu banana vanish. Kyle and I have a different definition of impromptu. Kyle calls this an impromptu effect but it isn’t. You have to prepare the banana secretly before you begin. It can be set up on the fly but it is not impromptu. That said it is a fun effect that has been performed by the like of Cyril on TV. This could be worked into a version of “The Vanishing Bandana” as well.

Bill to Toilet Paper: This IS impromptu. The magician makes a signed bill vanish and appear embedded in a roll of toilet paper. You just need a bill and a roll of tp and you can do this on stage. This is an outstanding piece of magic and it is incredibly practical. It is funny as well but it wouldn’t really fit my performance style. This is great.

Tips on Tips: Kyle has worked in a few restaurants and he shares his method for getting tips. The magic really isn’t anything spectacular but it seems like solid advice. I may try a version of this at my next strolling gig.

Chapped: A bill is made to vanish and appears in a chapstick tube that was closely examined seconds earlier. This is a fun effect, Kyle shares some real world tips on performing it. He did struggle a little in his performance and never addressed his difficulties. I’m curious what exactly went wrong and how he would fix it.

Ring Through Table: This was a brand new idea of Kyles that is an interesting concept. A borrowed ring is placed under a napkin and is visually pressed through the table. This was a nice idea but was not completely developed. I like that Kyle gave us some freedom here.

Paper Napkin Ring Vanish: This is going to be my go to ring vanish for here on out. This was brilliant. A borrowed ring is placed under a paper napkin. The spectator can FEEL the ring, it is then instantly torn up and the pieces can be thrown away or on the floor and there is nothing to see. I think that if this got out into the magic community it would be a go to method for vanishing a ring.

Card and Bill Transpo: This provides a crazy visual moment where a playing card is snapped into a bill. The look is beautiful. He provides a routine for this which I can see working just fine but the real highlight is just the change at the end. This is the kind of thing that I would perform as an Instagram video or Vine.

Bottle Through Body: This is Kyle’s take on the modern classic. A bottle is placed in a bag, the bag is crumpled on a spectator's stomach and passes directly through their body. There is a gimmick you will need to create or buy but it isn’t too bad of an investment for an effect that can easily be performed at a bar, restaurant or on stage. In Kyle’s version the spectator actually feels the bottle collapse.

This is a really fun lecture with a ton of material. Most of it has nothing to do with cards. My take aways are the ring vanish, the square cube and the animal cracker effect. I highly recommend this to children’s magicians, magic creators and those magicians looking to create a stand up magic show. Much of the magic on this lecture can easily be performed on stage for a very large audience.
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Casshan is a really sweet guy. He is super creative and one of the most down to earth guys out there. I have jammed with him in the past and love much of his magic.

App Card: An advertising card is introduced, the magician touches various icons on the card and their phone inexplicably opens the coordinating apps. This was probably my favorite effect on the lecture, it has a fun little hook, is strangely believable and is super simple in effect and method.

Card to Buisness Card: With a shake a playing card changes visually into a business card. This is a bit of a complex gimmick for a simple effect that is over in an instant. Unfortunately this type of change isn’t incredibly innovative. The effect is quick and nothing is examinable, I would have liked to see a routine or a clever handling that would allow you to hand the card out at the end.

Pocket Change: A card is placed sticking out of the performers breast pocket and with a simple pop it visually changes. This is completely amazing. You will need a specific type of cotton t-shirt but other than that there are no gimmicks. If you can correctly orchestrate the moment then you will have a beautiful piece of magic here.

Wallet Coin Transpo: One coin is placed inside of the performers wallet, another is placed on top. Instantly the two transpos with a nice visual moment. Cash uses a Real Man’s Wallet for this but I could see it working with a normal wallet as well. Greg and Cash jammed a bit on this and it was a ton of fun to watch. The changes discussed could be used in various routines without a trick wallet.

Bill to Gum: A dollar bill is dropped from one hand to another and visually changes into a full pack of chewing gum. This is a crazy gimmick for a crazy visual effect. For close up this really doesn’t seem practical but for a video or even a manipulation act I could see this working just fine. The gimmick is an amazing piece making for a beautiful moment.

Jokers to Blanks to Aces: This is an ace production where 4 jokers transform into 4 blank cards and then they transform into the four aces. I am not a fan of packet tricks really at all and this has most of what I dislike. There are various moves that aren’t very deceptive, there is a bold clean up and the trick ends in an ace production, there a lot of ace productions out there that I would prefer to this.

Broken and Restored Headphones: The magician breaks their headphones and instantly restores them. Your lightning needs to be perfect as well as your wardrobe and angles. There is just too much going on here. Once again, this might look alright on video but I can’t see it being practical at all.

Levitated and Restored Card: A card is torn and then the pieces levitate and restore themselves. The idea is clever as well as the gimmick but unfortunately this has the same drawbacks as Broken and Restored headphones. It really isn’t practical unless you can control every element of the magic.
Rising Gum: A piece of gum is pulled halfway out if its pack, with a shake the piece rises and moves visually to a new location. I like the thinking behind this, it is kind of like Raise Rise with a pack of gum. The only issue is that it is not very convincing, which kills it, There’s something that just isn’t right that kind of telegraphs the method.

Card Merge: An ace is dropped on top of a two and the cards merge together making a three. This looks great on camera but it is the kind of thing that just begs to be examined afterwards. You can’t hand it out though, and getting the gaff to look right may be an issue.

Ballancing Gum: A piece of gum is placed on a pack and balanced impossibly. The magician then takes another object and balances it impossibly on the gum as well. This is not the most amazing effect but it is fairly practical if you are willing to prepare the gimmicks.

Apearing Tic Tacs: An empty Tic-Tac box is introduced, a number is named and the magician produces the named of number of Tic-Tacs first audibly then physically. This is a fun little trick that I can see being very practical. It isn’t the most mind blowing effect but it is fairly creative as far as the effect is concerned. I like this.

Not Melting Point: Perhaps the most disapointing part of this lecture was the fact that Greg (our host) kept teasing and hyping up Casshan’s amazing rubber band effect Melting Point. They made it sound like we were going to learn this last as the grand finale and when it came time to learn the effect Cash taught silly rubber band effect that really lacked in magic. Don’t get me wrong, it probably works fine but it did not live up in anyway to the hype.

So that was Cash’s lecture. He’s a young guy and I’ve seen some awesome magic come out of his mind. This lecture had some okay magic but nothing near the practical or powerful level that I am used to see from Cash. Many of the tricks would work fine on video but very few seem practical at all in the real world. The worst part was expecting Melting Point and not being able to learn it.
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Joe Monti has been around the block. He shares various moves and effects that he has learned from sleight of hand legends as well as a whole bunch of new stuff. This guy has performed at the Magic Castle, he has published all types of effects and consulted for Criss Angel. This is a great lecture for the close up coin and card magicians.

Number at Any Card: A card is named as well as a number and the named card is shown to have the selected number on it’s back. This is a fine effect with a classic method, neither really blew me away but the effect was fine. It really wasn’t to my taste.

3 Card All Backs: Three random ungimmicked cards are shown to have been misprinted with nothing but a back design, in a very fair way and then they turn into normal cards. This was very convincing and if you are interested in in small packet style effects with normal cards this is for you.

Moving Cup: This was an incredibly clever and simple trick, it could use a little bit of a presentational upgrade but the effect far out weighed the method. Basically, with a small blow the magician is able to move a cup or mug full of water. You do need a table and cannot do it with a clear glass but this is a great little gag that you can do on the spot.

Scott Weiser Coin Trick: This is a beautiful copper silver phase that can happen in the spectator’s hand. A coin is placed in the spectator’s hand with another on top, with a wave the coins visually change places. This is bold and difficult but would make a great climax for any copper silver routine. I may start using this.

Jumbo Coin Shrink: With a wave of the hand a jumbo coin shrinks into a normal sized coin. You do need to be seated for this as well as have a mat of some sort. With those specifications it might seem to limit it but Joe uses jumbo coins the size of a small plate and it still looks great. I wont be using it because I don’t perform in the scenarios that would use it but hey it is a solid trick.

Hot Potato Vanish: This was an interesting set up for a classic coin vanish where the coin is tossed from hand to hand and vanishes mid flight. The way that Monti performs it is what sets it apart and makes it practical for a small crowd. It does require the performer to act kinda weird but I’m game.

Card Through Card: A card visually slide through another card. Monti has put together a nice little routine for this but unfortunately I don’t find the illusion to be completely believable. It is a fun update on an old gimmick but I will not be using it.

Card to Wallet Jam: This is a quick fun couple of ideas regarding the card to wallet as well as ambitious card and transpositions. This is a jam on a certain move that has its roots in the classics but Monti has introduced various applications that really sell the move. It isn’t easy but it is practical. This is a great move for those move monkeys out there.

5 to 3: A card is selected, the magician finds the wrong card and to “fix” it he tears up the wrong card until it resembles the selected card. He then proceeds to heal all of the torn pieces until the card is now revealed to be their unharmed selected card. This is a very fun impromptu card change/torn and restored card. The motivation to tear the card is very justified and the routine is full of surprises. Did I mention that you perform this with a completely normal deck of cards? For those of you who are familiar with Dalton Wayne’s torn and restored card “Biteme” you’ll notice some very close similarities. In this case, I believe Joe Monti thought of and published his effect first and his handling adds some versatility. This could also be compared to Blake Vogt’s “Regeneration”.

Quarter bend: This is a very clean very practical way to bend a quarter. He teaches a fun little known way to bend the quarter as well as an easy piece of very clean sleight of hand that will allow you to visually bend a quarter.

Coin Stack Vanish: A stack of coins is gathered up in a magicians had, and it all vanishes at once. If you want to make 3-6 coins vanish at once this is a beautiful way to do so. There are no gimmicks or wardrobe requirements just a very natural easy to do coin vanish. I will be using this, it may be my favorite effect from the lecture.

How to Kill a Television: If you want to look like you have real magical powers this is one way to do it. You will need an extra piece of equipment that will cost you anywhere from $20-50 but with it you will be able to command lamps to turn on and off as well as turn other electronics off on command. It takes some set up and an easily manufactured moment but with this you will really look like a real wizard, in my opinion.

Color Change: This is a super fun very visual color change of a playing card. It’s a little tough but the card is at a different orientation that really sells the fairness. I have been playing with this and had a lot of fun, it isn’t completely ground breaking but it is a different looking change.

Final Load: As part of a cups and ball routine he produces a deflated balloon, inflates it a little and turns it into a rubber ball. This is a great load that would throw magicians off, it’s not for everyone but it is a different way to finish a cup and ball routine. I wont be using it but just because it doesn’t really fit my style, I can see this being very practical for some.

In all reality that basically is just a highlight list. There are so many small effects, gags and tricks that Monti just tosses in for good measure. This lecture is over three hours long and it is chock full of magic from start to finish. Not everything is for everyone but there is so much that you’d be hard pressed to leave without learning something new. This was a very strong lecture in my humble opinion.
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Spidey Bedros Akkelian is Theory11’s go to mentalist at the moment. He does not go into the methods or effects that he has made popular on this site but instead shares almost completely new material that is just as clever and just as practical.

Polaroid 1: A blank faced card is introduced. A card is then selected and signed on the face and back. With a little bit of magic the blank card becomes the signed card. This fooled me, it had a great hook and after finding out the method I was still impressed. This is a really fun piece of magic that feels like mentalism in some ways.

Polaroid 2: A blank deck slowly prints itself, a card is named and is shown that it has not printed yet. The blank card then becomes the thought of card. I think that I almost prefer this effect to the other Polaroid effect. In the end none of the cards are damaged but it does not kill the magic. It should be noted that in this handling the backs are already printed but not the faces.

Squancho: I’m not crazy for this type of plot but it is magical. A card is selected and a little man is drawn on the back, the man fails to find the card a couple times and finally becomes a part of the selected card. Spidey then inadvertently smashes the little man with blood and gore then with some magic he resuscitates the drawing and gives the card away. This is a very magical piece for sure but I have never been a huge fan of magicians talking to their props, Spidey performs it well though, it is entertaining, it just isn’t for me.

Card To Wallet: No gimmicked wallets needed for this, this is a very clever mash up between the effect of the Biddle Trick and a card to wallet. A card is selected, it is narrowed down to just a few cards, it then cleanly vanishes from the packet and appears in the magician’s wallet. There are a few things that this tricks adds to the classic Biddle Trick that are clever subtleties, and the way that Spidey has used a common gimmick is crazy clever. My issue here is that I believe that the classic Biddle trick is a bit more practical and is just as deceptive. So this is a clever trick but I will not be using it.

Connection: Spidey really advocates the use of blank cards, you could also use blank index cards or business cards as well. Basically an object is written on a card lost in the packet. The magician then divines what the object is and the spectator is found by the spectator in the deck. This is very cool, it is like a card at any number in some ways as well as some straight mentalism. I love how this really is a large routine with just a tiny bit of work. Great job Spidey!

Dupe-Pic-Dupe: A handful of objects are asked for from 2 different spectators. These objects are written on a handful of pieces of paper. An object is selected by each person and the magician is able to divine the thought of objects. I love this, all you need is 6 pieces of paper and you have a multi phased mentalism routine. This could really grow or shrink to whatever venue you perform at as well. It combines a couple of classics to create a piece of magic that is greater than the sum of is parts.

Terrified: Spidey has recreated a solid piece of classic mentalism. I saw this most recently published in a booklet by Mark Eldson and as far as I understand it was first published by Edmond Rowland in the Pentagram in the 1950’s. Spidey has added a few things to it though and really jams on the idea. Basically a magazine page is ripped into pieces and a spectator selects a piece, the magician predicted what was going to be on that picture. Spidey really jams on the idea though and adds to what you initially might think was possible with the principle. It seems like this principle may be gaining popularity.

Psychometry: A few images are drawn and placed in a set of envelopes, the magician is able to divine which envelope goes to which spectator and then with the last envelope is able to duplicate the drawing. This is a fun stand up piece of mentalism. This could easily fill a theater of a thousand or impress an audience of 10. If you are looking for big impressive strong pieces of mentalism, than this is what you have been looking for. Spidey has taken a classic piece of mentalism and has made it his own with a nice climax at the end.

Spidey finishes the lecture off with one of the best conversations on creativity that I have seen on a lecture. He has a way of breaking down creative styles that is very profound. Every creator should be familiar with his thoughts concerning creativity.

This was a solid lecture all around, one of the best I have seen in a while. Spidey shares a whole bunch of very strong practical material that could easily be inserted into many magicians repertoires.
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Just found this thread, fantastic Smile I have been looking for some reviews of the at the table series and these are great Smile

I am also looking for a easy to copy list of the biogs/info produced for each of the lectures, I am trying to archive all of the lectures and make a document or something with all of these details so easier to look up later. Has anyone already done this and willing to share a copy?

Thanks again Goatears and hope you are still going to write the reviews Smile
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Excellent reviews. Thanks for your efforts.
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Keep up the great work, very informational, thank you so much, goatears.
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Excellent job on these reviews Goatears. Like you, I was absolutely blown away by Houstoun's Order and Chaos card routine.
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