“The Gift” & “V.I.P.” by Derrek LauWhere to Buy: www.thatmagicdude.comPrice: The Gift:
$25.00 The VIP:
$25.00 Package deal(both):
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This will be a double review for two new gimmicks By Derrek Lau. I will cover each individually as both do slightly different things but there are a few conceptual similarities that warrant a combined review. The first similarity is that both are gimmicks printed on credit card sized cards. This makes them great for carrying around portably. The second is that they are both Mentalism effects. Finally both can be used to force words. That is pretty much where the similarity ends. From here both effects kind of branch off in their own direction and I’ll cover those individually.The Gift:The effect:
This is a combination book test and drawing duplication. A paper ball is wadded up and tossed into the audience to select a spectator. The spectator comes up to the stage with the wadded up ball. A spectator is handed a card that looks like a gift card from a book store. On the front of the card is an excerpt from a page of a novel. There are hundreds of words on the card and the spectator is asked to think of one. The mentalist then asks the spectator to use their word to think of another word, in this case a precious stone. The spectator says, “I’m thinking of an emerald.” The mentalist asks them to open the wadded up ball. Written boldly on the paper ball is the word “Emerald.” The spectator is then asked to remember the first word they thought of and draw a picture of it. The mentalist draws a picture as well. When the two reveal their pictures they match.The Method:
The method on this has been kicking around the literature for a number of years and Derrek has cleverly adapted it to a very handy portable card. The beauty of the method used is that it can be used to force any number of objects. This allows it to be adaptable to many routines. Derrek mentions that this could be used as a force for the one ahead on a mental epic. That suggestion, for me, is probably the single best application for the “Gift.” The Gimmick:
The gimmick, quite frankly looks great. It really does look like a gift card that you might find at a local bookstore. Furthermore, Derrek thought to include two of them! That is great because each card has different force words on it and those force words can be used to lead to different subsequent outcomes. Therefore, you can perform this on people more than once leading to different words revealed on the paper ball and different images being drawn in the drawing duplication phase. There are a few minor flaws on the “bete” version of this effect (the one I am reviewing) but Derrek is aware of them and has plans to fix those glitches if he chooses to make a larger run of these cards. To be honest, don’t hesitate to get the Gift based on those minor flaws. Trust me, they are glitches that a magician will notice but very few laymen will notice.Overall Thoughts:
A beginning mentalist will be able to take the Gift and use it with great success. If you are an experience mentalist you will literally be able to take this and run with it. It is literally the best “pocket book test” I have ever seen. I look at it as a tool to force two different words with. One word forced appears on the card the other does not. Not only does that allow you to do two phase predictions but it also helps mask the method. It’s the best Mentalist’s utility gimmick to hit the market since Universal Impression/Psypher came out 3 years ago. Don’t bank on the fact that he will turn this into a major release. Derrek had 50 made and he may never make them again. So get this NOW!The V.I.P.The effect:
This is basically a prediction effect where you put a photograph face down on a table and at the end a series of thoughts are found to have been predicted on the photograph. You hand a spectator a card from a local ticketing agency that has a list of the upcomming events in the area. There are over 100 musical artists listed on the card. You have spectators think of random numbers and then find the name of the artist/band that corresponds with their number. From here you can go in a few different directions. (1) For a multi-phase routine you have one or two spectators pick another number, think of a letter in the name of that artist/band and think of a precious stone. In the end you reveal a photograph that you have of the artist the first spectator was thinking about and in the photograph the artist is holding a paper that has the name of the gemstone(or gemstones) that the other spectator(or spectators) were thinking about. (2) The second option is to have the spectator think of the artist while you begin cutting away at a folded piece of paper. When you open the paper and place it on a black surface they will see the sillowette of the artist they were thinking about.The Method:
There are a series of number forces built into this card that allow you to do these effects. In addition to the number forces used to guide your spectator to your predictions some of the same principles used in the gift card can also be used with the V.I.P. that allow a performer to really play around with different presentations. Just like the "Gift" you get two different cards that look almost identical but each leads to different outcomes. This really gives you the option of playing around with different uses for the two cards.The Gimmick:
The gimmicks are just as well made as with "The Gift." The two cards really look like the sort of membership card you might get were you to get a V.I.P. membership at a ticketting agency. There is even one of the funniest "bar code" reveals I have ever seen on one of the card versions.Overall Thoughts:
Number forces can sometimes seem a bit contrived in my opinion, but you really can take this effect in many different directions once you get through the force. The good part of this is the blend of methods that help disguise one and other and really through you off the sent of the force.That said, it isn't quite as nice an effect as "The Gift" but it is still pretty good. I probably wouldn't use this one in a show but I will, and already have, used it in casual settings to great effect. The best part about it is that the routines in the PDF are all "fun" and engaging routines. The V.I.P. may not baffle an audience as much as some others (though with good presentation it certainly can) but it certainly will entertain them.Thoughts on the package deal:
I highly recommend you get these as a package deal. Not only is it cheaper but the two effects can really compliment one and other. Especially for people who like to do "Impromptu" stuff each gimmick set (The Gift and The V.I.P.) have two different versions taught in the PDF download, several different effects that you could use the cards for, and a miriad of different presentations that you could concoct. All that in something the size of a credit card. I carry them with me all the time and I will never get caught flat footed. For Derrek's sake I certainly hope he can get enough interest to do a second run of these. I honestly think these could be a "Best Seller," but for my sake I hope the 50 he made are the only ones he ever makes. I want to keep this for myself!