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El Paso, Texas
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Review of Stairway by Marcus Eddie

Marcus Eddie is a charming performer and excellent teacher. He's developed several magical illusions, including two that are destined to become classics. The first is ODD, which is an improved version of the Invisible Deck. The second is Stairway.

Stairway is a rubber band trick based on Dan Harlan's Travelling Cash. A borrowed dollar bill is fastened by the spectator to a rubber band "ladder" with a paperclip. The bill then visibly climbs the ladder step by step. As the spectator watches, the bill jumps from the first step of the ladder to the second. After a pause, it jumps from the second step to the third, then from the third step to the fourth. Finally, the bill visibly slides all the way from the fourth step of the ladder back to the first.

Crazy Man's Handcuffs is widely regarded as one of the best close-up tricks ever invented, because it has a strong magical effect while being very practical and easy to perform. In my opinion Stairway is right up there with Crazy Man's Handcuffs. Here are the reasons for my opinion:

(1) Stairway is highly visible and truly magical. Spectators are amazed as they see the dollar bill jump from one rubber band strand to another right before their eyes.

(2) The main magical effect in Stairway is repeated four different times, as the dollar bill jumps up the rubber bands three times and then slides down them all! There are few other magic tricks in which the main effect is repeated this many times.

(3) Props are minimal. All you need are two truly ordinary rubber bands, a truly ordinary paper clip and a borrowed dollar bill. This means that you are ready to do Stairway if you have the props for Crazy Man's Handcuffs (two ordinary rubber bands) plus an ordinary paperclip. Pocket space usage is very efficient. If you are doing strolling magic, you can perform two top-notch tricks (Crazy Man's Handcuffs and Stairway) with nothing more than a few rubber bands on your wrist and a paper clip attached to your belt loop (or in a pocket).

(4) No angle issues -- Stairway can be done even if you are completely surrounded.

(5) Stairway is moderately easy to perform. I would give it a "4" on a 1-to-10 scale (with 1 = self-working and 10 = extremely difficult).

(6) The "get-ready" can be a problem with many rubber band tricks, but not with Stairway. The get-ready is easy and fast, even for a clumsy magician like me. Furthermore, Stairway is cunningly structured so that the spectator is strongly misdirected at the moment when the magician performs the get-ready.

(7) Stairway is very reasonably priced. It can presently be downloaded for $7.95 at Theory11:

Alternatively, Stairway is included in an "At the Table" lecture by Marcus Eddie that can presently be downloaded for $7.95 at Hocus Pocus Magic:

There is a great video of Stairway on YouTube by the street magician who calls himself "Disturb Reality." He doesn't give away the secret of the trick, but he shows himself performing Stairway again and again in front of different audiences and how they react -- which is very enthusiastically. This video shows how to make Stairway the high point of a magical performance in close-up or a group setting:

Marcus Eddie has also marketed "U Turn" (aka "U-Turn"). It is the same basic trick as Stairway but with a borrowed ring instead of a dollar. Although I prefer Stairway, some magicians prefer U Turn.
Jim Wood
El Paso, Texas
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