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Chris Turchi - At the Table lecture
$7.95 download

The Hype:
One half of the duo that brought you the wildly popular Envy-lope effect, Chris Turchi brings you a lecture full of working material upon which he has built an entire career. His routines are tried and tested for almost a decade and are guaranteed to elicit laughter, astonishment and roaring applause. Whether you are hobbyist looking to take the next step or a seasoned professional, you'll find hidden gems throughout his lecture. Learn from a truly skilled and experienced craftsman who's performed for audiences big and small throughout the world. Join us as we welcome Chris Turchi for a lecture filled with classic material to help you take your magic to the next level. Here's what you'll learn:

Bottle Opener: The most important part of your show is your opening routine. This is the sure-fire effect that Chris has been opening his stage and close-up show with for nearly a decade! Once this routine is over, you're sure to have your audience hooked and wanting more. It starts out as an engaging appearance and disappearance of a coin and it ends with the production of a huge wine bottle they'll never see coming. Not only will you learn his full routine, but you'll also learn all the nuances that Chris has injected into this hilariously entertaining act.

Comedy Sponge: This is the routine that got Chris into Katy Perry's dressing room. It's a staple in magic that everyone is familiar with, but with Chris's twists it'll be a performance your audience will never forget. Here you'll learn both of his versions, a clean one and a not so clean one *wink wink smiley face*. To you it might just be sponge balls, but to your audience it's a thrill ride of astonishment and laughter.

Coin: Normally coin magic is filled with bad angles, but this is a unique 4-minute multiphase coin routine that can be performed fully surrounded. Chris has evolved and perfected this routine for over 15 years, and now it is a featured part of his close-up act. It's hit after hit of magical moments and just when they think it's over, you hit them with another eye-popping moment even "bigger" than the last.

Torque: The classic arm twist routine modified to be performed on stage and up off the ground.

Envy-lope (Bonus): With thousands of copies sold worldwide and considered by some as the best card trick of all time, Chris teaches a new version of this hard-hitting effect that isn't taught on the original DVD. If this is an effect that you already perform, this is something you'll definitely want to see. And if you don't already perform Envy-lope, you'll wonder where this has been your entire life.

My Take:
First of all, with other download lectures selling in the $30.00 range, I don't see how these are sold for such short money. A 2 1/2 hour lecture for $7.95? Has to be lousy. But wait, this is really good material and at the price, one of the better bargains online.

I was not familiar with Chris but from the beginning found him to be quite personable and engaging. The first routine he has used for years as an opener. I have seen a few people produce a bottle of wine. Barrie Richardson did a nice one and David Stone created a special gimmick to use. This routine requires no special gimmicks. It also adds a coin trick which not only misdirects your audience but it gives the opportunity for some someday. I know some of you are not fans of sucker tricks but I think you will still like how Chris handles this.

If you do sponge balls, you will like this routine. (And if you don't do sponge balls, why not?) He shows too versions. In the first family type version, his climax is the pile of eight sponge balls turn into one big ball. He then proceeds to teach the adult version where the climax utilizes a sponge created by Al Goshman. (you know the one I'm thinking of). Obviously, the adult version is not suitable for all crowds, so Chris gives you some ideas where you can perform it with no hassle. He also explains his philosophy about why sponge ball routines are way more memorable than even the best card trick. He has also put in a short video clip of Katy Perry reacting to the adult version of the routine. (She loves it.)

His coin routine is nicely put together but a lot of it is fairly standard. His routine does flow nicely and could be a good addition to your act. Well performed and well routined. He did throw a bit in at the end that I really liked. After making a huge coin appear, he passes his hand over it and a second one appears. Good visual bit. He goes into explaining how performing for a camera is way different than performing for an audience.

Shinkoh's Arm Twisting illusion always plays pretty well at bars and parties but it does have two problems. First, you have to use a table and second, you must be wearing long sleeves. This version can be done standing with no table and sleeves are not necessary. Since the concept is not his, this was actually offered as a free download a while back. Easy to do and you will have people cringing. Not everyone will be able to do this as it does require some flexibility but if you can do it, you will have a ball.

Envy-lope is a marketed item and you are told that it will be performed but not explained. The trick is a great one. You can see the demo vid here. Then, at the end, Chris has a change of heart and explains the whole thing. It does require a gimmick which he sells but the handling here is not the one taught on the instructional video. So, if you already own it, you will be learning new material.

Conclusion: Some of the companies releasing video lectures charge $30.00 so you know $7.95 is a bargain. These are all from Chris' working repertoire and are all workers. You will definitely get something here that you can use. The only objection I might have to the whole project is his choice of wardrobe. He wears a black t-shirt and a jacket. The problem is that the writing on the t-shirt displays the F-bomb printed and exposed by the open jacket. It is obvious that is is part of a longer word and unfortunately, that kept me distracted trying for the entire video to see what the whole word was. Great magic so maybe I am being a little too picky. However, for the cash outlay, this is a must have.
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