Welcome, one and all, to the fifth issue of Magic Tao’s Weekly Magazine. Can you believe we’re already on the fifth? Where did the time go?
Before we get started, we’d like to announce that the winner for last week’s competition was Baz the Magician. Congratulations, Baz! Sadly, there won’t be a competition this week, partly because we have to give Chris some time off.
This week, we’ll be looking at ‘Dream Prediction’ by Paul Rimhany (which really impressed us) and ‘Effortless Effects’ by Ryan Schultz. We’ll also be taking a look back at Jay Sankey’s classic magic trick, ‘In a Flash’ and showcasing the best answers to last week’s Q&A question.
Once Over: Dream Prediction
The first trick on our Once Over this week is ‘Dream Prediction’ by Paul Rimhany. In this routine, the magician asks a spectator where they would go on their perfect holiday, how much they would spend and who they would take with them. They write these details on a note and give it to the spectator. Finally, the magician produces a prediction from an envelope they couldn’t possibly have accessed while talking to the spectator. Astonishingly, this prediction shows the same details that are written on spectator’s note. We got Chris to perform the trick on a member of the public and he met with resounding success (although he did experience a spot of trouble spelling ‘Mauritius’).
When we first saw this and watched the trailer, we didn’t think much of it. It passed us by- possibly because the official trailer didn’t give much away. But now that we’ve played around with it ourselves, we’re happy to say that it’s fantastic. It’s a real audience-fooler and the handling is wonderfully clean.
The trick comes with an explanatory DVD, an envelope and an un-gimmicked (but beautiful) book for writing notes and storing the envelope. This book can be fitted into a magician’s back pocket without discomfort and will last for years.
The reaction we got when we performed this trick was outstanding. There’s a school of thought that states that magic sometimes doesn’t work if it seems ‘too impossible’. We’ve never held with this theory and we think ‘Dream Prediction’ proves us right. The ability to predict three details and deliver three direct hits makes this trick incredibly strong and effective.
Magicians who already have a strong confabulation routine may not need to invest in ‘Dream Predictions’, but if you still need one, we can thoroughly recommend it. Making the gimmick requires moderate arts-and-crafts skills and you will need to practice the routine a little. However, once you have prepared the trick (and prepared yourself), you will find it easy and enjoyable to perform.
Once Over: Effortless Effects
The second item on today’s Once Over is ‘Effortless Effects’ by Ryan Schultz. There are several brilliant routines included on this DVD. In one of them, the magician sets aside four aces, explaining that they will help him find a spectator’s card later in the trick. They then get a spectator to take five cards, mix them up and memorise one before return them to the pack. The magician is able to ascertain the suit of the card by getting the spectator to hold the aces and looking to see which one has turned face down. They can then turn the ace face up and reveal that it has transformed into the spectator’s chosen card.
The DVD also includes stunning, self-working effects such as ‘the gap principle.’
Every effect showcased in ‘Effortless Effects’ is satisfying to perform and baffling for audiences. We magicians encounter a huge number of illusions in our day-to-day lives but it’s rare for us to be completely fooled by them. The routines included in ‘Effortless Effects’ managed to fool us here at Magic Tao, which makes it invaluable in our opinion. Even if you only learn one trick from this DVD, it’s worth the investment.
Questions and Answers
Last week, we asked our readers “do you still practice?” Due to the nature of running a business, we often don’t have the time to practice our sleights and routines. However, we still try to play around with new material and learn new techniques occasionally.
Of course, our readers had a huge variety of different responses to the question of whether they practice or not. James Fortune (a professional who works in the UK) has told us that he doesn’t practice because he uses the same routines repeatedly and has honed them to near-perfection. In contrast, Paul Auden (who conducts lectures on magic) says that he still practices regularly. Similarly, John Carey (a great card magician) practices by going through an hour-long ‘sleight drill’ three or four times a week. That’s an astounding level of dedication!
Carey actually practices while watching TV or listening to the radio so that he can perform his sleights more naturally and in a more relaxed manner. If you’re interested in honing your own sleights, we recommend emulating this method.
Lee Thompson, who is one of the most renowned and respected magicians in the UK, also appreciates the importance of practice. According to the reply he left us, Thompson still finds time to practice his craft even though he works five or six nights every week.
We’ve had some great replies from top magicians to this week’s question. If you feel like participating in a Q&A session, feel free to leave an answer to next week’s query? The question for the issue six is “what do you think the public’s perception of magicians is?” Let us know what you think!
Blast from the Past: ‘In a Flash’
This week’s Blast from the Past is ‘In a Flash’ by Jay Sankey. In this illusion, the magician gets a spectator to choose a card and write their name on it before returning it to the deck. They also ask the spectator to sign a ten=pence piece. The magician then wraps the coin in tissue paper, places it on the deck and sets fire to it. The coin burns a neat hole through the deck of cards until it stops on top of the spectator’s signed card, which is left miraculously undamaged.
This trick is one of our all-time favourites here at Magic Tao. Quite frankly, it’s one of Jay Sankey’s best ever releases. Of course, any illusion that uses fire is very visually effective, but Sankey’s routine is also incredibly clever. Many modern magicians haven’t heard of ‘In a Flash’, despite the fact that it was enormously popular when it was first released. We think that it’s time the trick made a come-back. If you’re looking for a great routine that utilises fire, pick up a copy of ‘In a Flash’: you won’t regret it!
Before we bring this issue to an end, we’d like to update you on our magical news. Today marks the world-wide release of Grant Maidment’s ‘Your Card Is’. If you’ve preordered this product, we’ll start shipping it to you today.
Meanwhile, if you order ‘Dream Prediction’ from us, you’ll receive double reward points and a download containing hints and pointers that will help you with your performance.
That’s it for this issue of Magic Tao’s Weekly Magazine. Thanks for reading: we hope you’ll check out next week’s issue, too. Until next time, keep practicing, keep improving and keep the magic alive.