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Spare Change is a new coin download from Josh Janousky. In an effort to be completely transparent, I will say that Josh and I have been good friends for a long time… that being said, I am also incredibly quick to criticize Josh’s magic (sometimes unfairly so) as I have seen him progress since he started.
Oh, and maybe there is an element of jealousy there, because Spare Change is a great coin download.Watch the trailer before reading the review:http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2739Initial Thoughts:
When Josh told me that he was considering releasing a download, I thought “Great, another coin download…” I didn’t expect much, especially since he was producing it independently (which, due to the Wire, has rendered most magicians unable to judge what is good and what’s not in the magic world).
Months later, Josh sends me the trailer. I was in Starbucks as I watched it. As the baristas stared as if I were possessed, my jaw dropped. I hadn’t seen a trailer that was that well filmed and edited in a very long time. No stop signs, no street lights… no metal music. Just a demo that showed the magic in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The Download:
The download itself explains 4 effects and several sleights. The quality of the video ranges, but for the most part is incredibly well filmed.
Though I must say that Josh expects that you know a lot of moves before you buy the download… Classic Palm, Pointing Transfer… etc. He does explain everything, but for some of the moves, I felt like the explanation was very brief.Ninja Coins Across:
Ninja Coins Across is Josh Janousky’s answer to the classic coins across premise. I own several resources on coins across, and I really like this rendition. It’s not groundbreaking by any means, and it bears some familiarity to Jay Sankey’s Mr. Clean Coins Across, but I find this one much easier to do.Rating: 7/10Coinception
Coinception is an interesting premise that’s hard to classify into one plot. On one hand, it’s a coin production, then sort of a one by one coin vanish, then a case-study on misdirection.
I love coin magic, and for me, this was hard to follow, so I can only imagine what it’s like for the spectators. There is no doubt it’s magical, but there isn’t any real justification for this one, and so it’s kind of a miasma of various coin vanishes and reappearances. Oh, and it uses a gimmicked coin. For me, it’s just too much.Rating: 5/10C.S.T.:
This effect is Josh’s take on Digital Dissolve by B.J. Bueno. In my opinion, this looks nicer than the original, though it does use a gimmick (and you all can guess which one!) The handling is clean, easy and happens in the spectator’s hand.
I’ll be adding this one to my walk-around set.Rating: 8/10TBD:
TBD is an interesting effect that could be described as a prediction with a kicker. Josh uses a gaff to accomplish what I think could be a better trick using just sleight of hand. The first move from Ninja Coins Across can teach you what you need to know to eliminate the need for a gaff here.
As far as the effect, three coins are displayed. Someone decides on one, and you show them a prediction on your phone that says which one they would choose. As a kicker, they open up the phone case and their selected coin is inside.
It’s simple, and the use of the phone is interesting, but it’s not groundbreaking. This would be an incredible effect if you borrowed a few coins and went into it from there, but because Josh uses a gaff on the download, I don’t know that it’s worthwhile.Rating: 5/10Bonus: Ninja Coin Production:
Josh also includes a quick three coin production that he came up with “to practice some palming techniques.” It’s quick, easy to follow and looks quite good. I like this one.Rating: 8/10Issues with Spare Change:
I only had two issues with the download.
1) The crediting is not thorough. I’m a HUGE crediting buff, so it’s more of a pet peeve than anything. Josh does his best, but I think he would have been better off sending the download out to a few big name coin guys to find out where everything was published before finishing filming.
2) The magic isn’t quite
smooth yet. Josh Janousky has some good ideas here, but the performances aren’t smooth. I think they could have used a little
more performing in the real world, but it doesn’t take away that much from the download itself.Overall
Overall? I liked this download a lot. I found a few ideas that I’ll be putting into use in my own performances. It was fun to watch, and for $10? I think it’s definitely worth the money even if you only get one usable effect out of it.Overall Rating: 7/10