Monday, March 28, 2011

Magic Maker's Street Monte Vs School for Scoundrel Introduction to the 3 shell game

So I knew I was going to learn the Three Shell Game and like many things in magic I had options. Now before I describe the two products I'm going to compare let me tell you where I stood three shell wise. I knew the moves and overall secret I made shell from real walnuts I got from the store. They sucked and they were too tiny for my hands. I made a practice pea out of polymer clay and it let me practice the basic moves. So I was no master but I did know what I needed to advance my skill. Enter Magic Makers (MM) and The School for Scoundrels. Magic Makers is a producer of magic tricks and DVDs of extremely varying quality. The School for Scoundrels (SfS) is what I like to think of as the Whit Haydn school of magic. Basically he feels that a lot of magicians approach magic from the view of the card mechanic, and that the con-man would be more beneficial to magic. I wanted the SfS videos a lot but they are only available to be bought on the internet which is a mark against for me. The MM three shell set up was available from my local brick and mortar. I eventually ended up getting the MM Street Monte three shell game because MM hasn't screwed me over every time in quality. I regretted it and made to get the SfS Introduction to the shell game volume one as soon as possible. Well it came today. In an effort to help my fellow amateurs I bring this review and comparison.

Magic Makers Sal Piacent: Street Monte Three Shell Game

Cost to me, it was marked for $35 but I spend a lot of money in that store so the owner knocked off $5 bucks so with taxes I paid $32.25 For that price I got a DVD, 3 shells and 2 peas of indeterminate plastics. I was happy enough with the shells and peas. I intended to get different peas as soon as I could but the shells will work till I'm ready to drop the big bucks and get something really better. But the DVD I felt was the real hustle. I felt that not only that it was poorly put together but that it also failed to deliver what it promised. It was basically a video of poorly organized randomly selected moves. The closest it came to teaching me a routine was Sal performing his routine for the camera. After watching the SfS DVD I do believe that Sal is mis-performing at least one of the moves on his dvd. On a personal note I just didn't care for Sal himself I did not like the character presented to me..

Obviously I was not happy with this purchase but there is someone to whom I would recommend this to. If you are what some people  call a hobbyist and the only people that will see you perform is close family and friends. This is a good set for the price if that's your audience. But if you are a professional magician or amateur looking to go pro do not get this.

School For Scoundrels An Introduction to the three shell game.

Cost to me $35 plus $7.50 shipping and handling. I also ordered a set of Perfect Peas for $15 so I'd say it cost me $38.75 for the DVD. What I got, one DVD. One super awesome information packed, well organised, well produced DVD. The first thing on the DVD is Whit Haydn explaining different types of peas and shells. And here he could have easily tried to sell you his company's peas and shells over any other but I didn't feel like he was doing that. Next is video of Bob's Sheets performing simple basic routine at the Magic Castle for real people. Then he shows you how to do all the moves and some audience management. If the DVD ended there you would be well enough introduced that once you had practiced and got it down you could go out and start performing the three game; $35 well spent. But the DVD is still going and teaching more complicated moves that can be added to the basic routine. If you master all the moves on this DVD you'll go from introduced to intermediate. After the complicated moves is a video of Whit Haydn lecturing which I feel is well worth a few dollars alone. So you have all of that and then you take your DVD over to your computer and open the DVD as a disk and there you find 11 PDF files on various topics to do with the shell game including a more advance routine. So for $35 buck you get all of that.

If you are a performer then this is the DVD you need to get to get you started on the road to the shell game. As for shells there are plenty out there to choose from but cost wise I hear Vernet makes some good cheap ones.

If you found this review to helpful or you thought it sucked let me know in the comments section.

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