Artist: Jeff Prace
Producers: Kozmo Magic Productions
Link: http://www.exomagic.net/index.php/catal ... ult/?q=Gum
Retail Price: $24.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: Some assembly will be required to make all of the gimmicks. All the extra items needed can be purchased cheap at a local drug, office supply, or craft store.
1.No More Card Tricks Performance
Jeff Prace's Gum DVD teaches you four effects that involve chewing gum. Three of the effects deal with re-wrapping the gum once it's been chewed, even at the extent of using time travel to accomplish this means, and one effect deals with magically refilling a nearly empty pack of gum so a spectator can have a stick.
Magic that can be done with everyday objects, that are common, and easily recognized by everyone in the audience is often the most powerful types of magic we can perform, eliciting with their presentations the strongest of reactions from our spectators. What Jeff teaches you to do with ordinary gum is probably the closest thing to real magic you can come to, without actually possessing supernatural powers. I remember being in high school, and everyone always chewed gum. I can't recall the number of times I was asked to share a stick. If I would have had this DVD at my disposal then, I imagine I could have been a god. The thing that I love about this is how practical the effect is. It's so casual that it could fit into any situation, and the next thing you know BAM instant memory maker. This is perfect for walk around, street, or just because the situation calls for it.
Before I get into the actual content of the DVD I wanted to touch on a few thoughts I had about the product in general. The one thing I really do enjoy is when a DVD provides you chapter breaks between sections or effects. It makes learning and reviewing specific material so much easier. The DVD has a hip beat that plays all through it, which isn't that bad for a first time listen, but I found it annoying having to listen to that same beat over and over while I navigated the menus, and re-watched the DVD a few times writing this review. The DVD also starts with a really cheesy opening sequence where some guy steps into a wad of gum only to have Jeff come by and save the day by scraping it off his shoe, and then performing “Re-Wrap” (an effect you learn on the DVD). The DVD then cuts into a sizzle reel of Jeff performing his effects for spectators on the streets before dissolving into a title screen, and then to the main menu.
The DVD is broken down into three sections. Performance & Explanation, Extra's, and the Easter Egg. The Extra's section covers all your basic credits, inspirations, and trailers for other products that Kozmo Magic makes. It also includes a short blooper reel of Jeff during the making of this DVD. The Easter Egg, which isn't hard to find, has bonus material of Jeff performing a card trick that was originally published in MAGIC magazine. Jeff then teaches this trick. Now I don't know if it's just because I'm reviewing the product or if it's actually a part of the DVD normally, but my DVD came with a small slip of paper that detailed how to access the Easter Egg. At any rate I thought the bonus effect was good, all-be-it totally unrelated to the material being discussed on the DVD.
The Performance & Explanation section of the DVD is where Jeff teaches you his four effects, their handling, and construction. If you're going to want to perform the effects on the DVD you're going to need to run out to a drug, or craft store and pick up a few things first if you don't already have them. Jeff does a great job outlining everything you'll need to make the gimmick for each effect. Don't worry, all the extra stuff isn't that expensive, and for the most part should be in your magic kit anyways.
Jeff teaches you four effects in this DVD. They are Orbit, Re-Wrapped, Insta-Wrap, and Back In Time. He wastes no time with needless performance filler when it comes to these. You get to see a quick presentation, and then it's right down to the how-to's. Which I liked. Give me the information, don't dilute it, and give it to me strait. Here's what I thought of each effect:
Orbit: Jeff offers a stick of gum to someone, but only has one stick left. Since this won't do, he then magically refills the box right in front of the spectator, and then hands out the stick for them to enjoy! Well the effect is called Orbit, for starters, because it uses the Orbits gum product. This is important to the method. I love the cleanness of the moves, and the gimmick. This is the kind of effect that you can just put in your jacket pocket, and have an instant miracle anytime you want it.
Re-Wrapped: The magician takes a chewed piece of gum, and causes it to become a brand new piece of gum again, even re-wrapped. This can be given to the spectator to enjoy. This effect is practical, but does suffer from some slight angle issues.
Insta-Wrap: Another version of the chewed to wrapped piece of gum plot. This is very visual, and like Re-Wrapped, suffers from some minor angle issues. I had only one complaint here, and that is Jeff talks about specific items needed to create the gimmick, but he doesn't give you specific names to the brand he used.
Back In Time: The magician presents a time travel experiment that involves altering a picture, and a chewed piece of gum. I've always been a fan of time travel plots, and if they don't require me to accelerate faster than 88 miles an hour while driving a nuclear powered sports car, or cram into a tiny phone booth all the better. You show off a photo of you blowing a bubble with gum, you take the gum out of your mouth, and then using a film can cause the gum to travel back in time to become new again, which alters the photo of you completely! The patter for this effect is clearly created by, and intended for a younger performer. After all you need a high school yearbook photo. However, with some minor alterations, it could apply to anyone. A fact that Mr. Prace doesn't overlook. The set up is a bit complicated, but it is a solid effect.
I think one of the most attractive aspects of this product is the pure practicality of each of the effects taught. It doesn't matter where you are, you've got something that you can pull out and perform with. The effects are easy to get into and out of, and they leave the spectator with something to enjoy the memory by. Jeff's teaching style is direct. He covers all the necessary information you'll need to perform his effects in such a way that is easy to follow and understand. I'd say the difficulty level of this DVD is Easy. Some of the gimmicks will require the use of sharp objects like scissors and hobby knives. Adult supervision should be required for any younger magician who has this DVD. I'm genuinely shocked that Jeff doesn't offer this cautionary advice on the instructional portion of his DVD. Overall I loved the effect, and highly recommend it to anyone no matter what type of magic you perform. Whether it's a center piece in your act, or something you keep handy “just in case”, it's a strong few effects that travels light and plays big.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Over all Quality.
Product Quality: 8
I think the product is practical, and the price is fair.
Teaching Quality: 7
Jeff is strait to the point, and teaches you what you need to know to perform his effects.
Video & Sound Quality: 7
The sound and video quality are both good. I didn't like the music beat that plays in the background throughout the DVD though. At first it's okay, but after watching the DVD a few times it really got annoying.
Over All Quality: 7
The Gum earns a strong 7 from me for a good, well rounded product. I would certainly recommend this product to my friends and fellow magicians.