Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shapeshifter by Marc DeSouza from Ellusionist

So I came in runner up in a contest on the Ellusionist forum and my prize was the download of shapeshifter. This download had been on my wishlist for a while and I wanted it, so I was quite happy. Old video is old at least that's what I felt watching the first half of the video. The section with Marc DeSouza has a grainy quality to it, especially next to the video of Brad Christian. But other than that I have no complaints about the quality.

First up is Brad Christian with some jibber jabber and after him is Marc Desouza and a history lesson on the move even going so far as to show you the move that Shapeshifter was based on. More info than I really needed but compared to the videos that give no credit to the people its a good thing. He does an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating the move. After teaching Shapeshifter he talks about how he does it most often and introduces another move called the 'Dribble Double' which he uses to set up for Shapeshifter. The dribble double is an OK move, not too hard but it seems like a lot of work to get a double. Next is another move and an effect based on it I prefer called the 'Cover Change'. Its a little double color change effect that I feel makes a good opener. It's quick and it visual. Following that is another color change called the 'New Theory Classic Change' It's good one but a little awkward for me as I did not have a good foundation of skills for it. Next  up came a move that I immediately added to my ACR to replace a move I was not happy with. The new move being "LePaul Side Steal". This move was a move I needed, I'll probably get more use from it than from the Shapeshifter. Next up was the 'Erdnase Palm Shift' which I felt was more of the same as the side steal. And that's it for DeSouza's bit.
Next up is Brad Christian section. He start with some advice in the keep at it and you will get it vein of advice. Then he teaches a way to get set up for Shapeshifter that is good for practice and an alternate handling for tiny hands, how to get out of it and just more advice in general. Now here comes my big complaint for this DVD, the effect Gypsy Burn. Move wise its overly complicated. It felt to me like while they were planning it someone said "What this DVD need to make it sellable is a full effect that uses Shapeshifter." and they had none so they took an effect and stuck Shapeshifter in it. The problem is that they are using it as a switch instead of the visual color change change it is. Move wise there is a lot to do so that you can use Shapeshifter which means there is a lot of area to get caught. By replacing all that nonsense with a double turnover you minimize the complexity and the chance of getting caught. Other than being made too complicated move wise its a good effect.

Overall I've very happy with the product and I'm glad I have it. What was in this download, three color changes, two side steals, a fancy double, a quick effect, and a bigger effect that needs work.

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coin magic.

So I never thought I would be doing coin magic. First a little back story, when I was around the age of three I lived on a chicken farm the type you get eggs from. Well what happens on those farms is the chicken lays the eggs and it rolls down a ramp onto a conveyor belt. One day my right hand was crushed by one of the machines. And that has been a pain in my butt ever since.

What does that have to do with coin magic, well the damage to my hand left a lot of scar tissue on my palm right where I would classic palm a coin. The scar tissue won't grab a coin, the coin slides across it, so I can't palm. And a lot of the effects I came across in my hodge podge days of starting in magic called for classic palming with the right hand. Eventually I wrote it off as not possible for me.

I'm older and wiser now and I know there is a lot more to coin magic than classic palming. So it's possible to work around not being able to classic palm with one hand. Its not easy and sometime it means learning a trick left handed which is a pain.

All that aside I kind of wish I had started study of coin magic immediately. There's something that really resonates with me about it. Its visual and it's flashy, I like that in my magic, even in my card magic.  Good coin magic also requires a lot of manual dexterity which is good for my damaged hand.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Robocycle from Bicycle

As usual I was in my local big box store and I came across a deck of cards I did not own yet so I got them. Bicycle Robocycle, robot themed playing cards. There were two options dark gray and light gray, I opted for the dark gray ones. I ran them through my drills which mean I did every move I use and all my effects with them and they felt and handled like a standard deck of bikes. The robot motif is expressed on the backs of the cards with a circuit board design. The back is also where a lot of magicians would complain because while it does have a border, the boarder is dark gray while the front to the cards are white. The suits are all standard and look like you would find on any other deck of cards. The face cards and jokers are all robots and I liked that the suicide king and the one eyed jacks where well represented. Under the seal is the words Theory11 but I couldn't find this deck on their website so I don't know. But if it is a product from a magic company that would explain the blank faced card that came with the deck. But not why it was at a local store for so cheap. Anyway personally I don't like this deck I think it's ugly and the whole point of using a custom deck is that it aesthetically pleasing.

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trying again

Well it seem that every time I work on this blog I burn out after a weeks or what ever well, I'm going to try it again. I'm moving to a twice a week schedule. Mondays and Thursdays. I'm dropping the Inspire Friday, as those were getting no love. According to the stats most people come here for the reviews. I can't promise many more of those unless someone want to donate some magic stuff to me. I'm behind the six right not but as soon as I find myself flush I'm going to buy some Ellusionist coins. My next post and one that is on schedule will be a review of Robocycle cards.