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Expert at the Card Table by Wesley James (7 DVDs + Book) Erdnase finally taught on DVD by card expert, Wesley James.
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7 DVD Set + book
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Erdnase on DVD Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Take a stroll down memory lane for a moment. Back in the day, oh I don't know about 18 years ago, I decided to stop doing the 21 card trick to everyone and start becoming a serious student of sleight of hand.4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
The very first book that I ever read on the subject was none other than The Professor's Bible, The Expert At The Card Table by S.W. Erdnase. From that book, I learned color changes, false shuffles, the diagonal shift palm, false cuts, fancy cuts, the pass (the shift) and a ton of other stuff.
I was actually quite obsessed with the book myself. It became the foundation of much of the magic I performed and created. Over time, I began fine tuning my performance and presentational character and spent less time on "moves."
Through the years I would take on magic students, and I always insisted that they read Erdnase. I would usually give them my copy, then later buy another copy. This continued until I've now owned and given away at least a dozen copies of the book.
I haven't read it now for about 10 years, and I haven't owned a copy for about 5 years. Well the August 2008 issue of Genii Magazine had an article about Dai Vernon's book "Revelation" which is Vernon's notes and thoughts, etc on Erdnase. The article also spent a great deal of time discussing who Erdnase was and those known as "Erdnase Hunters" and the influence that He and His Book had on Vernon and therefore the modern world of card magic as we know it. If you haven't read that article, you must. It's excellent and very inspiring.
After reading this article, I was inspired to again study Erdnase. So I went online to buy yet another copy of the book, and I stumbled across a Seven DVD set by Wesley James, and I bought it. I mean, it IS Wesley James, hello! This is one of THE BEST purchases I've made in a looooooooooong time.
First, Wesley and Simon Lovell spend a bit of time in between sessions talking and discussing various parts of the book opinions, etc. The first DVD of the set is devoted entirely to the history of the book and various theories about who Erdnase is, etc... Very, very cool. I was sucked in by this part.
Then in the remaining six DVDs, every single move, trick, effect, shuffle, thought, everything that's in the book is on these DVDs. There's stuff on there that I'd completely forgotten about. The best part is that Wesley clearly has spent the time mastering Erdnase and performing the material in the book.
For those who've read Erdnase, you know that it's a tough read and a tough study. Some of the stuff in the book, I gave up on because I couldn't quite see what the effect was supposed to look like. Well now you can see it as Wesley performs it. There are some beautiful moves and effects. On top of that, Wesley and Simon share some of their variations on some of the material.
All I can tell you is that if you want to be serious about improving your sleight of hand, do NOT hesitate... buy this DVD set. As the subtitle of the DVD set states, Wesley James truly is "The Man Who Knows Erdnase."
The Expert At The Card Table 7 DVD Set Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 14th, 2007
This is an excellent step by step video rendition of the Expert at the Card Table.2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
While I've had the book itself for quite a number of years, I never been able to actually get through it.
It is hampered by a number of minor points which do not detract from its overall utility. The technique additions by Simon Lovell are good, although I found his attempted humor a distraction and annoyance.
The Stock Stacking section alone is well done and easily grasped after a couple of viewings.
I highly recommend the set.
great information-poor quality Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on February 12th, 2012
i've been trying to get through Expert at the Card Table for about a year, now. I rely almost entirely on video instruction for card technique from Jason England who frequently references the book.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
watching this video was ok when you get past the immediate thought that James should have cleaned his fingernails before the shoot. the tone is monotonous throughout. And Simon is often annoying.
for finally seeing the whole of Erdnase for my first time, it was a breakthrough--and despite its drawbacks, I list it as required viewing.
Excellent. Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on October 13th, 2011
There's no doubt that this is the holy grail for card workers. I'm sure many of us have cursed the cryptic nature of "The Expert" for years, and wished that we had someone sitting beside us who could show us how it's really supposed to be done. Well, this is that someone. As someone else implied, this is definitely not something you're going to watch in a weekend, but if used as a reference tool, you're going to love the outcome.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
I just found this DVD series a couple of weeks ago after begging and pleading with every magic store to give me the name of a product that will help me finally figure out some of the Erdnase material, and I've spent a inordinate amount of time working with the material. I've made IMMEDIATE strides in my handlings of the bottom and second deal, as well as some of the shift material.
Highly recommended Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 7th, 2013
I'm still a magic baby (five years, plus or minus) and while I learned a few card tricks, I never really focused on cards. I became interested in coins, money, ropes and cups and balls. I got these DVDs (with book) for a steal and after watching only the first two DVDs I have to say I think it's worth every penny. The second DVD alone is a gold mine of knowledge, even if the rest of the DVDs suck, I feel like I got more than my moneys worth already because it taught me a lot about the history of the book, about who people think S.W. Erdnase was and some very nice card handling techniques.
A+ from me all the way.
You need this Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Somewhere between gambling moves and card magic is S.W. Erdnase's Expert at the Card Table. It's a classic book but let's be honest here - it's not an easy book to read. Royal road to card magic is quite a good book to learn from but Expert at the Card Table is one of those books that just seems too painful (for me at least). This resource, Expert at the Card Table by Wesley James, is wonderful. Wesley James is sincere in his approach and his technique is solid. Whilst I can see the linkage between Simon Lovell and gambling type techniques, his addition to this set is more of a subtraction - I find his banter to be a distraction and mostly unhelpful. Everyone has their own taste though. On the whole, this is has been one of the best buys I have made since starting card magic. Must buy for those that can afford.
Great, but quite a bit boring Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
If you're looking for the next dvd set that will keep you entertained on the weekends and show you the coolest, newest things, then this set probably isn't for you.
I think this is more of reference tool for you, so that you can read the book and try to interpret the move, and THEN watch the dvd and correct your techniques. This isn't a dvd set you want to watch all the way through, because it is essentially Wesley James showing you the move, then explaining it, and doing the move again slower. Watching the whole thing through wouldn't make sense and it would be a horribly boring process. I think you should keep this by your dvd player so whenever you have a question about what a particular move in Erdnase might look like, you can pop in the dvd and watch that move.
The only real complaint I had was had poorly the dvds were packaged. Most of mine had fallen out of the dvd "rungs" and were shifting all about the dvd case. I would recommend putting the dvds in a separate CD holder that would protect the dvds much better.
All in all, it's a great set for a reasonable amount of money that I would recommend to anyone wanting to look into Erdnase.
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