Peter Kane – Audio Card Sessions

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Available as a download on Lybrary.com these recordings capture some of the incredible magic of Peter Kane, one of magics most innovative and yet under-rated of inventors.

Creator of classics such as “The Elongated Lady”, “Watch the Ace” (which was later ‘borrowed’ and published in America by Frank Garcia as “Wild Card”) and “The Shrinking Card Case”, Peter Kane had many many great ideas which he turned into wonderful routines. His Card Session booklets are a must have for any cardman.

As well as explanations of his tricks (including my favourite sandwich routine of all time) you’ll listen to great tips on performance and misdirection interspersed with many amusing stories.

 

 

 

The Dani DaOrtiz Workshop – Sun 29/04/2012

What an amazing day! Having been a fan of Dani for a couple of years now you can imagine how excited I was to attend this workshop. Dani was incredible – fooling the hell out of all the magicians who attended with his loose relaxed and incredibly disarming handling. He was also really really funny and the day included many magician fooling moments and reveals which he’d been setting up since the start – incredible. I’d seen the Utopia DVDs so knew a lot of the material but a lot of the people attending had never seen his stuff before – I can only imagine how much their brain hurt on the way home afterwards.

The day started with him doing a 30 minute or so performance which warmed him up and had everyone geared up for the day. This followed with some explainations of the effects he had done. The rest of the day consisted of 2 or so hour long talks about various topics (classic force, knowing yourself and other tricks) with breaks in between. At the end of each session he tended to do something which fooled everyone – the best for me was shuffled deck held under the table by the spectator – they choose top or bottom several times and transfered cards from one place to another – eventually three cards were inserted face up in the deck by the spectator under the table. The deck was placed in the box and Dani named all three cards! It seemed incredibly fair and he gave the magician so many choices and opertunities to change his mind etc. – it was classic Dani DaOrtiz – magic that happens without him seemingly doing anything.

Another great example was a card at any number he did where the card was the 8 of diamonds and was at position 17 – after the reveal he asked to borrow a deck and the organiser took his out from under his chair. He opened them and counted down 17 cards – the 18th card was also the 8 of diamonds but was also face up! He’d set this up at some point but no one knew how or when – incredible. There was also an opertuniuty for a smaller group of us to sit with Dani during one of the breaks – he was doing some killer things with a glass and nailed me with a cards across routine – his timing is so good you just miss everything!

For me the highlight was the theory – having just re-read Ascanio’s “Structural Conception of Magic” these ideas were fresh in my mind – to see Dani explain and then to put the thoery into practice was amazing. One thing I think the Ascanio book lacks are a few more examples to explain his theories – Dani was able to fill in the gaps. Knowing yourself, naturalness, in-transit actions, timing etc. were all mentioned and applied to the effects he was doing.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough but praise must also go to the organisers of the event which was held in the Ibis Hotel near to Euston Station – they did a fantastic job, the venue was great and they’d taken the trouble to arrange the tables and chairs so that every one of the 32 or so people attending could see perfectly – the third row consisted of raised stools so you could see over the top of the two rows of chairs in front.

If you get the chance to see Dani in action then don’t miss it!!

 

Steve Brownley's Ultimatum Deck

I’ve mentioned Steve before in other posts and this Blackpool convention saw the unveiling of his “Ultimatum Deck”. Steve has improved an old method to create something which allows you to do some very clean card at any number routines. Steve has created 2 great routines – in the first routine “Three Choice Cuts” three spectators fairly select cards which are returned to the pack which is tabled. A spectator cuts the pack into three piles – the spectator turns over the top card of each pile to reveal each selected card.

In the second routine “Luck and Intuition” one selection is found at any number named for by the spectator who chose the card – they count the cards themselves. The second selection is found when the spectator tosses the first selection face up as the pack is dribbled on the table – the spectator checks and finds they have thrown their card next to the other spectators selection!

As well as allowing you to find a card at any number named by the spectator you can also do this with two selections and two different numbers – the spectator counts each time!

Available from The Magick Lounge.

Here is a recent video of the end of Steve performing a card at any number –

 

Blackpool 2012 – brief overview

Well it’s been a week since Blackpool and I can safely say that I am now fully recovered! It was a great convention with good friends and a fun time was had by all. Highlights for me included Christian Engblom giving us a brief anti-faro demonstration in the Ruskin hotel (with my deck – which funnily enough wasn’t quite right afterwards!) – he then explained various corrections he’d worked out for when a few cards are missed- he was a nice guy and he didn’t have to spend the time with us that he did. Also a hit at the convention was his “Cooler” which is the best deck switch utility card creation I’ve ever seen – it looked perfect and a deck can be rung in and out under the nose of the spectators and they won’t see a thing – it was brilliant.

Chad Long was excellent and his lecture was really enjoyable (a bought of leg cramp brought him to his knees and almost ended the lecture before it began but he carried on anyway) – I bought his colour changing flash drives as I’ve always been a fan of colour changing knifes but had difficulty in introducing them – he’s really modernised the whole thing.

Michael Weber was superb – the most professional and in depth magic lecture I’ve ever seen. He explained everything in perfect detail and not only explained how he does something but more importantly I think was why he did it that way. When asking if there were any questions in the audience he excluded any “what if” questions as he said they are only the fears the magician has and that he shouldn’t have any. He was plugging the Real Secrets mail subscription service which actually sounded really good. Apparently as well as the props which are sent in the post he also sends some strange objects which seemingly have no use for now but will make sense when combined with other objects later on – apparently even the stamp on the envelope could have some secret. Sounds fun and I’m tempted to sign up.

For me the social side of Blackpool usually outweighs the convention lineup – this was no exception but there were a few good acts I did manage to see.  Charlie Fry was the best juggler I’ve seen, I’m sad I missed the South Korean Yu Ho Jin who performs absolutely perfect card manipulation – check out the link if you haven’t already seen this – it’s amazing.

One thing this year which I’d hoped they would’t bring back was having the closeup sessions in the small theatre but with screens outside in the horseshoe area where people could watch. I understand the need to cater for large numbers of magicians but for me they’ve ruined the closeup at Blackpool – the simple reason is that it’s not closeup – it’s on stage. It was busy before but you could always stand close enough to see the person or move to the next table to see them again. Stage at worse, parlour at best – closeup should be closeup.

As is normal as soon as the dealers hall opened we made our way straight to Castle Magical Services which has the best selection of used books at the convention – I picked up Peter Kane’s Variant booklet, some Peter Kane lecture notes and Cy Enfields Entertaining Card Magic Part 1 for just over £5 – bargain.

Also a hit at the convention was Steve Brownley’s debut release – the “Ultimatum” deck which I’ll post about separately soon – it’s two cards at any two numbers and more!

The Card Magic of Le Paul

I was thinking about doing a post on this great book but was beaten to it. Check out the Card Stabs nice review.

Shock Treatment – Jackie McClements

I first saw Jackie McClements on an International Magic DVD and thought he was excellent. I’d read about him in the Crimp and a lot of people have heard of his false cut. His Flash Pass is an incredibly deceptive alternative to the classic two handed pass and I’ve been using it quite a bit since. He even does blindfold dice stacking in the lecture!

The main reason for posting this is to give you the heads up that Jackie McClements does produce a booklet called “Shock Treatment” which is available on his website – http://www.jackiemcclements.net/#/Homepage. It contains 12 items in total, my favourites are “The Move” which is an ace cutting display and of course “Shock Treatment” – a routine which has many incredibly magical possibilities. If you’re looking for something new and don’t want to but the latest £30+ monster tomb then buy this booklet instead – you won’t be disappointed.

UTOPIA review – Disc 1 -100% DaOrtiz

Out of all the magic DVDs I’ve ever bought – this set is by far the best. It really is that good. This blog has been a fan of Dani DaOrtiz for a long time and when I heard about the release of a DVD set I was super excited. Up until now all of his routines were only published in Spanish, save for a few routines on the Fat Brothers DVDs. EMC 2010 showed Dani’s talent to a wider audience and EMC 2011 gave him the recognition he deserves. Some will say that these DVD’s are expensive but believe me they are worth every penny. Wonderfully produced (unlike the Green series which for me was a disappointment), the language barrier is no problem at all and the interviews are interesting and informative.

The content is incredible – his philosophy on card magic and casual attitude lower your defences so that he constantly fools you. This is how card magic should be performed – with focus on the entertainment of the audience and focusing on manipulating what they perceive as opposed to what is actually happening.

The Show

A Masterful demonstration of misdirection and applied psychology. Flawlessly covers any errors so that things work as he wants yet at the same time he gives the spectators a feeling of total freedom and choice. Most card magicians don’t apply psychology to their performances – they think they do, but they don’t. Watch Dani DaOrtiz perform to see exactly how it should be done.

Numerical match

My favourite routine on the DVD’s – a version of Hofzinsers sympathetic match. The handling is extremely clean and Dani uses psychological techniques to create a devastating piece of magic.

I don’t remember

High energy universal cards routine with amusing patter. Starts as a card to box routine but the magician cannot remember how the effect should go – this leads to an utterly convincing display of the card appearing to be everywhere, then vanishing to finally appear in the box as intended.

Mathmagic

A self working trick explaining how some card effects can be mathematical. This fooled me completely when I first saw it on EMC 2011. The key is in the presentation and misdirection – without this is becomes a boring mathematical monstrosity but in the hands of Dani is becomes a miracle. He explains the importance of doing exactly as him then creates chaos so that all spectators don’t have a clue where their card is. At the end all is resolved in an impossible way. Example of his “focus” theory – making the spectators focus their attention on doing exactly as him and not on the number of cards used in the trick.

Mini Oil and Water

Starts off with small oil and water routine using one of Dani’s signature routines. He doesn’t explain the four card versions (explained on the Fat Brothers DVD’s) but he does explain some very very clever ideas on full deck oil and water after the spectator has shuffled the cards.

Why Aces

Ok routine – very magical but I’m not a fan of the handling. Similar to a John Bannon effect from Smoke and Mirrors. What Dani adds which I think is great is he creates the impression that the spectator names the values themselves – strong stuff.

Horizontal open triumph

When I first saw this I thought he was using double backers and facers. He in fact uses a completely straight deck. Brilliant version of the Dai Vernon classic – out of all the versions I’ve seen this version shows the cards mixed in such a convincing way that even when you know how it’s done it still visually fools you. He takes the mixed deck and has the spectator look closely and touch the cards. The magic moment is great – a blow and they all instantly face the same way except for the selection. Perfect.

The one

A version of a David Williamsom trick which he did perform on Stiff the White Rabbit – Dani takes it to a new level by also adding in a thought of card.

 Triple intuition

Three spectators take cards and find them themselves in increasingly impossible ways – they hold the deck and deal the cards Dani just stands back and watches. Despite their freedom they all have incredible intuition and stop on their cards. Devious method and very strong effect.

Up next – Disk 2 – Fascinations….