TA: True Astonishment by Paul Harris (Box Set) (9 DVDs + Props) The best DVD set of the last 5 years just got EVEN BETTER. From the most influential man in modern closeup magic, Paul Harris. NOW SHIPPING. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Here is a peek into True Astonishments:
Twilight Angels: Wayne Houchin performs a beautiful rendition of this classic PH effect. Paul has said repeatedly that this may BE his all time favorite effect.
Backlash 2: Paul and TA director Bro Gilbert took one of one of the most popular effects from the Art Of Astonishment books tore it apart, rebuilt it from the ground up and pumped up the ending till it explodes.
New Leaf: Another ingenious organic piece of strange from Paul and Bro. This new version of Leaf moves into the spectator's hands completely, and with a simple rubbing, everything becomes whole again. The next time you're in the middle of the woods and someone asks to see something magical you've got a lifetime supply of props and a beautiful little moment to share.
Cheng's Change: This is mind-blowing. Perform Zapped! with normal cards. Five cards visually morph into five different cards right under their noses. Did we mention NO GIMMICKS?
Big Tiny: A spectator's signature reassembles itself and multiplies in their hands. They honest-to-god truly mix up the cards and then the ink morphs into their name.
The New Las Vegas Leaper: Ok, this is so brilliant and so simple! Basically, you do the original PH routine with some new touches and add a whole new twist to end on. You'll kick yourself for not having thought of it.
Tubular: Paul's impromptu miracle where two signed bills impossibly morph into one bill with both names... all in the spectator's hands.
Cheng's Riser: The card visually and slowly rises towards the top. Then with barely a wave of the hand it melts right through to the very top. No gimmicks, just beautiful methodology.
Growing Card by Tomoyuki Shimmura: This bizarre piece of strange happens in full view. A card visibly squishes out of shape as it slowly stretches and grows to twice its size in full view. Beautifully performed and taught by Robert Smith.
Casanova Inc: Steve Haynes contributes two streamlined elegant handlings of his breakthrough Casanova Concept with business cards.
Half Moon Trading Company: Paul has devised a brand new principle that is guaranteed to expand your mind using a normal card case and a borrowed imagination.
Half Moon Voodoo: A new re-wired version of Guy Hollingsworth's Voodoo Card that ups the happy and glad quotient. You can show the deck freely before the start of the trick. There's nothing to find.
Pack of Lies: A brand new look at the PH Vanishing Deck. Bro's knock-out handling will forever change how we vanish our decks.
Solid with Happy Ending: Paul's completely new method for the classic Solid Deception. The deck goes solid just like before but this time the cards happily undo themselves.
Dr. Fun: After over forty attempts Paul finally nailed this biggie that has all the impact of Deep Astonishment and The Anything Deck, except you can use ANY deck. Imagine the emotional impact when you are able to predict the happiest moment of someone's life!
Name Dropper: A spectator is able to mysteriously and visually print her own name.
Lubor's Lens: This is the definitive work on Reality Twister. For everyone out there who just couldn't figure out the right presentation for this, the wait is over. Along with a brand new presentation, you get your very own Lubor's Lens included with the set.
Naked Strange: Paul's immaculate gimmickless, impromptu version of Strange Travelers. Simple, powerful and true.
Gerard's Warp: Andrew Gerard adds a new psychological twist and turn to Card Warp that left Paul and Bro speechless. Andrew warped their minds so thoroughly, they had to go back to the tape and re-examine what they thought had happened.
Transcendental Bar Bet: Transcendental Bar Bet: This is the PH completely hands off, in your face (and on the table), card vanish. Oh yeah, the deck is completely normal and you never touch it during the vanish. The spectator actually vanishes the card herself.
Extraordinary Proof: Andrew Gerard is back with a self-working Stop masterpiece that leave your holding your favorite spectator's hand. All you have to do is show up and deal.
Tensegrity: Patrick Snowden's strange improbably balanced card sculptures have been pumped up to a new gravity-defying level. Can be done anywhere, surrounded, etc. A true piece of strange that leaves one dangling from the crumbling edge.
Reswindled: PH's hand picked choice as the definitive version of Reset. Caleb Wiles has come up with the real work. The two piles never touch and he's added a fully integrated big finish!
Smoking Eye: This beautiful feature PH creation with a couple of signed examined matches was inspired by Paul's kid sister Janet when, after surgery, wisps of smoke began coming out of her eyeball.
The Weirdling: Michael Weber has taken a stack of those coffee cards you get at your favorite local java joint and flipped them inside out. Comes with your own special coffee cards.
Ripped and Fryed: Charlie Frye has come up with the most incredible Torn And Restored Technology to date! Whether you play with this in the mirror or on the town, you will love doing this!
Cellmates: Meet your soulmate!. She gets your number, you get hers and you both share plenty of laughs along the way. Cellmates is Paul's no-pressure romance inducer with a no-worry ending that puts the odds in your favor.
Water Trap: Bro Gilbert's unimaginably cool new approach to Doug Bennett's signed- coin- in- matchbook plot. A genuine breakthrough new method that allows you to improv the prep with a normal matchbook in ten seconds!
Dunn's Deal: Shaun Dunn presents his version of Galaxy. This time, the spectator is shuffling her whole way through the entire effect. Just when they think it's all over... you tell her to shuffle again.
Invisible Palm by Wayne Houchin: You've seen the video of Wayne performing this for years, now learn all the finesse and handling he's brought to this PH classic.
Truly Screwed: This is the new and improved Improv Screwed Deck. Incredibly visual and a treat for your fingers. And the really screwy thing here, is the worse you do the key move here the better it looks.
Belly Button: This is Paul's unbelievable brainstorm for doing card through window with a campaign-type button.. using the spectator's own shirt as the window!
SOS: Paul's new version of Color Stunner is more streamlined, simplified and simply a better more joyous thing.
Muscle Bend: A borrowed coin bend that starts and ends with empty hands. Involves a mystery "organic ungimmicked gimmick" that will change the way you bend coins forever.
Unstable Label: Andrew Gerard's "Label to Inside of Bottle" with no palming or gimmicks. Perform with a normal bottle in a moment's notice.
TA Pen. Having fun yet? This 9th and final DVD includes a special PH custom gimmick which will not be available separately for quite a while.
What is the TA pen? It's a new gimmick that makes immaculately clean bill changes, switches, and animations. Everything about the pen is self-contained and can even be handled and used as a normal pen by spectators.
If you thought this is all enough to keep you busy for a couple of years, you'd be right. But there is one last final thing on DVD 9: Paul's very own Angel Cake.
Angel Cake is....a slightly troubling once-in-a-lifetime principle. This slice of ph cake almost definitely will give you some sleepless nights contemplating the philosophical implications of this karmically loaded astonishment.
Angel Cake is...a brand new theory in bill changes that allows you to....well, you'll just have to find out for yourself.
The DVD's have over 40 secretly hidden EASTER EGGS with bonus effects and interviews. You will receive a special PDF file that includes ALL the locations of these easter eggs .
Secret effects and interviews include:
Butchered Bunny Bill (apologies to Robert Neale)
Son of Cellophane Surprise - Daniel Garcia
Paul Harris Interview #1
Blaine Interview #1
Bizarre Twist - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Immaculate Breakthrough - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Conjunction Rhadha Thombre Explanation
Chuck Martinez Interview
Looy's N.I.T.E. Story
Overkill - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Eric Mead Interview #1
Classic Napkin Rose - Taught by Chris Randall
Card Mucking 1 - Jason England
Performance and Explanation
Osmosis by Sylvain Mirouf
Unshuffling Rebecca - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Eric Mead Interview #2
Paul Harris Interview #2
Shuffling Lesson by Chad Long - Performance and Explanation by Wayne Houchin
Shuffling Lesson by Chad Long - Performance and Explanation by Jeff McBride
Tap Dancing Aces - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Bizarre Ad Shrink - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Fizzmaster - Wayne Houchin Performance and Explanation
The Burger/McBride Interview
Immaculate Connection - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Blaine Interview #2
Orange - Taught by Joan Dukore
Jachques Olet and Kylie Layton Interview
Ammar Interview #1
Eric Mead Interview #3
Flap Jacks - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Zen and the Art of Boomerang - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Mac King Interview
Ultimate Ripoff - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Flash Fold - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Paper Propeller - John Bodine Performance and Explanation
Ammar Interview #2
PH Reel Magic Interview
The Shape of Astonishment - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
Ammar Interview #3
Paul Harris Interview #3
Blaine Interview #3
Closing PH Interview
Paul Harris' True Astonishments... is back and better than ever!
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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 48)
You have to face the facts Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 13th, 2009
Just for background, I have been actively performing for 4 1/2 years now, approx. 2 years at the Magic Castle, so I am no amateur giving a review. I, and along other performers, have seen Paul's other work, The Art of Astonishment , which was really amazing and at the same time really funny. But in contrast to see this product is "A REAL LETDOWN". Others who have bought this dvd will acknowledge this.10 of 16 magicians found this helpful.
First, some of the effects are not practical or take TOO much set-up every time to perform. Second, and let me stress this, that there are TOO many gimmicks. Some of which you have to make, others you have to give away (since they signed it). Other effects are just not possible to do unless you have these objects. For me as a performer, it is good to have effects that are practical, simple, and, what I was desiring, a lot of impromptu work.
What I had noticed was that Paul Harris is not in any of the actual performances from what I had watched so far. For a lot of the performances it was Bro Gilbert, or Wayne H. among others. This does not hurt the quality of the performance...for the most part. The only trouble I had was when Bro would continually overemphasize "the already known". For example, "this is a normal pack of cards" among others examples you will find. It was really annoying because you just wanted him to get to the point. Third, and this point can be debated. When you are "watching" many of the performances from when Bro Gilbert is on the beach, it is VERY hard to focus on his performances,because frankly many of the women are in bikinis. I am not focusing on the trick but rather am "being distracted", and lose the whole idea of what is happening.
Forth, for some, if not many of the tricks, there is no logical reason for why some of the objects are used. Since there is no reason, it makes people question WHY you took out that object. A good example is in one effect, the name escapes me, where you say to the spectator if it would be amazing if jumped to the pocket. When it does not work, you instantly say "then let me do something with some cards". Get the point?
In conclusion, I am not proud of my purchase. I do not like to be held down by objects that are necessities to performing the effect. I like to perform just as if I was "On the spot" (even though sounding cliche). A true and what I call "real" magician is one who carries nothing more than a pack of cards in their pocket with little or no set-up, a few good jokes or patter lines to amplify every trick he does, and miracles that I personally believe are powerful because they did not need the aid of some object, tool, etc. to make it possible. If you are swaying on buying this product I say you should put your money to good use and check out instead Paul's Art of Astonishments collection. There you will find Paul's real potential and what he should REALLY be remembered for.
Tip of the hat to Mr. Harris. Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 22nd, 2011
I bought this set almost entirely because of Paul Harris's reputation. I had always heard that he was a creative genius but didn't actually know all that much about him.5 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
As I was first watching the videos I thought to myself... I can't believe I payed $300 for this! But, later on that night, I was thinking about all of the tricks that I had seen. I was thinking about which ones I felt like I could really perform. That's when I realized that almost every single trick that I had seen was a worker, and, I began to see so much potential for all of the different effects in the series.
After that, I started feeling a bit better about spending $300 on the set... And then I realized, I had only watched 3 OF THE DISKS! This set is just so stinking packed full of great effects and absolutely genius methods it's almost unbelievable.
The quality of the DVD's isn't exactly Theory11 or anything, but it's not bad at all. You definitely won't have any trouble seeing what is being taught.
If I could offer any advice to some one contemplating buying this set it would be. BUY IT! Don't worry about it, just buy it! It is so worth the money. The other thing that I would STRONGLY suggest is that you learn at least one trick from each DVD before you move on to the next one. Don't even open the next DVD until you've learned something from the first one. It takes some discipline, but, you don't want to just browse through these effects. Give them some respect and your magic will grow tremendously.
I hope this small book has been helpful. THANK YOU PAUL HARRIS!
Mixed feelings Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 10th, 2010
If you choose to buy this I think there is at least something for everyone. I do have some favorite effects, such as twilight angels, growing card, ripped and fryed, and reswindled just to name a few. For the most part the interviews were pretty good.5 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
With all that in mind I have some bad things to say. I honestly don't think it's worth 300 bucks. First disappontment was that I got one of the plain wooden boxes, not one of the lock types. Chances are good unless you bought TA the month it came out, you're getting the plain box. Second disappointment is a lot of the tricks in this set requires some form of destruction, whether it's a card, deck, or whatever. Third disappointment was that 300 dollar cost, which I don't think was justified.
To sum up, if I had the choice, I think I would ask for a refund. Don't get me wrong, most of the effects/interviews were very good. I just don't think all of this is worth 300 bucks. If it was 200 bucks then I would keep it. With 300 bucks you can buy a lot of things that would be better than this.
Worth the price Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 10th, 2010
This is a very nice set to own. It's a good amount of material on these DVDs when you include the bonus material. After buying mine (although I did get the original puzzle box version), I didn't have regrets. I feel the price is justified given what you get.3 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
It feels like the tricks are varied, creative and are focused on being something the spectator would enjoy.
I think the TA pen and Angel Cake (discussed on the last DVD) methods were a little bit of a let down, because I wanted them to be something more revolutionary or complicated.... HOWEVER.... even after I had finished watching only the 3rd or 4th DVD... I felt like the purchase had already been worth it at that time... so the rest of the material/DVDs/gimmicks at that point was just icing on the cake! :)
If you have the money for this, I would recommend it. There is a good variety of thought-provoking and enjoyable magic tricks in here.
intense Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
the dvds are great all full of real workers material . i would recommend the dvds to anyone.2 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
keeping it short but sweet buy this you wont regret it one of the best magic purchases you will ever make
TA: True Astonsihment Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 10th, 2012
Are you kidding me?!!? TA is the best bargain of the decade! In the '80s, Paul Harris gave a lecture at a friend's house (trade show magician Charles McFarland) for IBM Ring 255 and we all loved it. It was obvious that he had a lot to offer then and TA is truly one of his crowning achievements. And the cost is ridiculously low - $8.11 per effect! And these are very good effects - many of them reputation makers - most of which are relatively easy to perform. By the way, the explanations are very clear and the quality of the filming is excellent.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
As is typical with the purchase of a collection of effects like this, we magicians choose our favorites. I'm working my way through 17 of the 37 now and have gotten my favorite four down already.
You know what we live for? That moment in which the spectator realizes that something very special and impossible has just occurred. Immediately following that, if the spectator either screams or is dead silent with her jaw dropping, we know we've done our job. Watch Wayne's performance of Twilight Angels. A reaction like Elizabeth's makes all of the hard work worthwhile. Performing this, I have gotten both reactions - a scream and silence. This one effect is worth the price of the whole set. It's so good I bought two decks of refills.
Extraordinary Proof is a reputation maker and is very easy to perform. The revelation is so impossible that people will talk about this effect for a very long time.
Penguin Magic hit a big home run with this set. I've been doing magic for over 30 years and THIS IS THE BEST MAGIC PURCHASE I HAVE EVER MADE!!! You will not regret ordering it! Do it now!
Truly astonishing!! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on October 5th, 2012
Wow!! After making and receiving order after order after order from penguin magic, I've always neglected to review my products. I just don't make any effort to write reviews. But with true astonishment I couldn't help myself. In my opinion, the $300 price tag on TA is a complete steal. Every effect available to your disposable is amazing and I've incorporated many of them into each of my routines. Disc twos opener "LVL$" alone is worth the entire price of this set. I've never felt this strongly, so quickly, about any product up until now. This material will blow your spectators off their feet. Turning your head at TA is one mistake I hope none of you make. Don't let this one go under the radar. You can thank me later. Absolutely brilliant. - Chris1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
Truly an Astonishment Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
I have been performing magic for a very long time. It started off as a hobby back in grade school and then it became a part time job during high school and undergraduate. Now it has become a hobby again as I pursue my degree in pharmacy. What is my point in all this? Frankly, this set is something I have been anticipating after I first heard of its announcement a while ago. Being a proud owner of the Art of Astonishment series and knowing that Paul Harris was putting together a huge DVD set of his best work, I could do nothing but salivate at the thoughts of this magical feast.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
So when the DVD set arrived at my front door, I was stoked. I hurriedly tried to find out how the heck to open the box. It was a pretty clever design. Popped the DVDs into my player and watched away as I learned from the master...
DVD Quality: 8/10 - The DVD menus were a little bland, but there are secret easter eggs hidden around everywhere that you have to be keen to if you want to see bonus DVD content. I wish the menus were more polished like the Born to Perform DVDs that Penguin has.
DVD Content: 10/10 - I give this a perfect score. Even though there were tricks that require a lot of preparation, or tricks that didn't seem practical in some situations, you have to hand it to the creators of those tricks. The amount of preparation may seem to be too much for some tricks... but the payoff is huge. It's like the reaction you get when you see a pelican swallow a pigeon. Just unreal. So do I mind about the prep work that goes into some of the tricks? Definitely not.
Instruction: 9/10 - Most of the time, it will be Bro Gilbert performing and teaching you the trick. Sometimes it's the creator of the trick that will teach you. About 90% of the time, I am very pleased with the explanations. However, I docked off 1 point because some of the explanations were just... video with background music and captions. I am not too much of a fan for that. It just doesn't seem too organic. Also, it would have been nice to have Paul be teaching some of the tricks verbally.
Props: 8/10 - I docked off two points because some of the props are the kind where you do the trick once and you toss that item away. This means resupplying those items are a pain. However, the quality is pretty good for the props so I still gave it an 8/10.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10 - I've had this for I think a year now. I still haven't mastered everything on the set. Tricks are hit/miss, with mostly hits. Similar to Art of Astonishment, there are many tricks in here that you don't discover until later, and they become your little gems of astonishment that you will unleash at little moment's notice.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who has the cash to shell out on this set. If you don't have enough money... save up. Beginners to Professionals, everyone will benefit from this set whether it be actually performing the effects on the DVDs or applying the principles to your own routine for the future. Paul Harris has done it again and truly astonished all of us.
Look at every magic trick you own and add it up see what it amounts to. Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
The first time I've seen the previews for it, I had to have it. I mean look at the reactions from the video it should tell you something. Everything that comes in that box is just....... you know it's hard for me to explain, you watch the videos and it's like you're in the performance. I've watched magic videos but I don't get whatever it is that I get from others what I did with True Astonishments. It delivers what it's supposed to. Yeah for some it's overpriced but wait until you get it you'll see it worth every penny and more.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
All you need to be a magician. Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
This box set contains all the tricks you need to be a decent magician, you could genuinely not buy/learn another trick ever again and happily rely on the material here until you retire. Of course we're all magic geeks here and will usually spend our spare cash on new magic but my point is that the variety and strength of the material in thses DVDs are strong and powerful.1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
Most of the tricks are relatively self-working but that said they are amazing effects. My personal favourites are Ripped and Fryed (Probably my favourite ever T&R because it's visual and most importantly it's a T&R effect which makes sense), Cellmates (Just a great little effect, one which is charming and will make everyone smile) and Tubular (A great walkaround effect which is simple but powerful).
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