Pocono Mountains Magic Club

Stroudsburg Pa.  

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S. Patrick's Magic Review Page !!!

The opinions expressed in the following reviews are of PMMC member S. Patrick alone.  This page is provided for your entertainment and advice only.


S. Patrick has been a professional magical entertainer for over 20 years.  He is a Territorial Vice President for the IBM, as well as President and Vice-President of two local magic fraternities and a member at large of four.  


The magic reviewed here is magic that S. Patrick has personally purchased, used, and has personal expierience with.  


The reviews are straightforward, and totally honest, without regard to personal regards.


Comedy Confabulation
By Cody Fisher

Who says Mentalism has to be serious, to the point, and worst of all, dry?! Cody Fishers "Comedy Confabulation" is a great exercise in what Mentalism can be. Mentalsim that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a great well thought out routine and climax.

The performer correctly predicts three items that were just randomly called out by the spectators after several comedic predictions and bit of business. This effect really shows the confabulation premises true potential. If you have no sense of humor or prefer to play it straight this isn't for you. However if you take a break from the heavy stuff once in awhile I suggest you check this out! A-

Symbolicus
By Alexander DeCova

This effect was a major disapointment when I performed it a few weeks ago. I was suprised by several negative features in this effect. The first was the lack of quality materials for the price. You get several sheets of paper to make up your own sets and a transparent clipboard. There is one set made up of a harder, thicker plastic foil. Next is the way DeCova instructs you to prepare the effect. I had to go a whole different route to make mine up so that the effect would even play the right way. The next issue I have with this is that there is very little climax. The end reveal of this effect is weak at best. You only get the prediction sort of correct. This leaves the spectator thinking "is that it?". There is no bang with this at all. You could tweak the ending to make it seem stronger but you are still left with an empty feeling with this. The Ad shows Alexander holding a big board full of symbols. While the symbols are the correct ones, the paper you get is only the size of a sheet of regular paper (8 1/2 X 11). This effect is impossible with a board the size of the one in the ad. By the way, the cards in Alexanders hands in the photo have nothing to do with the effect. To some thats actually a good thing. This will play to about a dozen people but it is very hard to see on any type of stage. Not that you would want to. If the symbols get bigger, the secret becomes more apparent. My grade is an "F".

Wow
By Masuda

If one word can describe a trick, this one can. Imagine being able to take a signed card, lose it in the deck, find an indifferent card, place it into a clear plastic sleeve, and watch it magically change into thier signed selection. One card goes in to the sleeve, one card comes out of the sleeve, and there is no more than one card in the sleeve the entire time. This piece of extremely well made apparatus will freak people out. I am sure that magi's will come up with all kinds of uses for this thing. By the way, Lance Burton came up with the name for this effect after seeing it demonstrated at FISM. This one deserves an "A".

Blindsight
By Devon Knight

Once in a while a great effect comes along with a plausible story, great easy-to-do moves, and a kicker ending. "Blindsight" is just that. This routine takes a little time to get smooth but when you do you will have an effect that packs flat, fools magicians, has lots of room for interperatation, and delivers two magic moments. This one is definitly worth the investment. The best thing about this routine is that it can be adapted to just about anything. You can use esp cards, tarot cards, index cards with words for any theme, playing cards, objects, and more. You are limited only by your imagination. My grasde is an "A+".

Oddball
By Mark Oberon

I am not sure how to rate this one because I don't know how I feel about it. This is a cheap version of Charles Gauci's Body Language effect. 5 marbles are placed into a bag, mixed, and then withdrawn by the spectators one at a time. The Magi always knows who has the odd ball. While the method is somewhat clever, I don't know if I would stake my reputation on it. The method is somewhat simplistic in nature and should work in ideal situations but I do have my reservations. The white marbles supplied are actually clear plastic and will have to be painted to resemble real marbles. Any knowlegable spectator may notice the difference but if you contruct the routine the right way there should never be a time that any two marbles are being compared. The cloth drawstring bag supplied is nice. I expected a little more out of this one and just didn't get it. My grade is a "D".

Trilogy Streamline
By Brian Caswell 

I love this effect. This is straightforward magic that can be presented in several different ways with a truly remarkable climax. Three cards are imagined and the numbers on the back match perfectly. The thinking behind this is awesome. This is an update on "Trilogy" which needed two decks to accomplish. This method allows the deck to be in full view from beginning to and and only one deck is used. The instructions on this are on DVD which makes learning it much easier. My grade is an "A".

Charming Chinese Challenge
By Troy Hooser 

The Charming Chinese Challenge is a great little effect from the mind of Troy Hooser. I had the opportunity to check out Troys lecture on coin and close-up magic a few weeks ago and his presentation was great. This notable effect from the lecture is one that he has been doing in shows and lectures for quite some time. It made it into his "DesTROYers" book as well. The DVD actually updates the effect a bit and adds some nice variations to the handling. This is a great effect. I did have to purchase the half dollar size Chinese coins and silk ribbon on my own, however Troy did have some sets with him at the lecture. I chose to go with a little bit bigger coin size in regards to thickness. The moves are not hard to learn but do take some time to get smooth and to get comfortable with the handling. There are several variations on the DVD by Thomas Wayne, Shoot Ogawa, and Apollo which elevate this to the next level. In addition, "Ring & String" workers will find all sorts of fun moves to do with this set. So in all I would have to grade this effect a B+ on the grading scale. I think that the routine is a great starting point but the performer should add more to it to give it some credibility.

Tagged
By Richard Sanders & Cameron Owen

Tagged is one of those routines that gets "wow" reactions but which is relatively easy to perform. It does take a bit of work to get comfortable with it but when you do you can actually fool yourself in the mirror. Thats actually the best way to practice this gem. I love to perform card magic that is hard hitting and totally unexpected. Such effects would include WOW, Cheeck To Cheeck Deck, Cardtoon, Send A Thought, and Deep Astonishment. This ranks as one of those that will, I predict, become the trick of 2008/9. I love the revelation of the card and the fact that, with a little work, you can give out the card on the chain as a souvenier. Try this one out! This gets an "A".

The "Ring And Chain" routine has been around for many, many years.  Most magicians are familiar with this effect and they even sell a version of this at the "Dollar Store".  So why review it?  Well in "MagicTales 2" written by Leslie Melville, who I believe to be one of the most prolific storytelling magicians of our time created a wonderful presentation around this effect and added a second phase to the routine that very few magicians even know how to do.  This presentation was pulled from Leslies book (with permission) and is now being sold, with a great ring and chain set, through wizardcraft magic (wizardcraftmagic.com).  Craig Dickson has shared this with the fraternity at only $15.  I have gotten so much mileage out of this that it has earned its purchase price many times over.   I am in the process of adding a third phase to this and creating a whole new story.  A routine that is full of creativity combined with an inexpensive easy to carry prop is the best way to present magic in my eyes!  This routine deserves an "A+".