Before I bought this I had an idea of how it worked, but I thought to myself, no way that could
never work. But to my surprise, Ian Rowland makes it work, and you can too.
The routine is
a lot of fun. You'll be amazed how well it works every time you perform. It doesn't require a lot of
skill, but you'll need to know a couple sleights and productions if you want a smooth-looking
performance. And what's more, it's just as much fun to practice as to perform.
complaint I have, and it's a minor one at that, is that some of the moves Ian does to produce the
cards aren't explained in detail. He does a couple of color changes, a card spring, and a
misdirection-based card-to-table move that he never really breaks down. Watching the video a couple
times is enough to learn them though. If not, he explains his color changes in detail in his live
16 of 17 magicians found this helpful.
I was very skeptical when I saw this because I knew basically what he was doing. But I wanted to
see what I was missing. Well I am so glad I did. When he says ANYONE can do this, he is wrong. If
you don't have a personality or creativity and a sense of confidence, you won't be able to do this,
at least you won't do it well. The moves are simple, if you call them moves. But what makes this
is YOU. If you can think on the fly and have personality, YOU can do this. I played around with it
for about a half hour and just like he says, and It's fun to just do it for yourself. So after
another half hour, without any expectations, I tried it out on someone who I try new effects out on
and don't worry if I screw up. Basically a training partner, but one who is not into magic but
knows the basics. Even though he knew what I was doing, he was impressed. He said it is one of his
favorite things I have done!!!! Unreal. You practice a pass for years or a color change and people
say "cool", you do something like this which is so organic, something I thought he'd say, "that's
ok, but no big deal" and he is just the opposite....he's blown away! I then tried it on somebody
else...and again, this is with about an hour of doing it for by my self and one performance and
again, sheer amazement. I can see Magicians who like an effect to be set in stone, the exact
outcome that they want and know to occur every time, to not like this. I can also see people saying
that it's not a big deal. To you I say spend an hour playing around with your cards and then go
perform it for someone you trust who you feel comfortable performing for and you may be surprised
how THEY see the "trick".
I LOVE this and with an hour of practice to get the reactions I
got and the results....I can't wait until I have done this for weeks and months. In fact, this is a
wonderful way to just start your practice sessions out. Just run thru it once for yourself before
you start practicing your other card tricks.
13 of 13 magicians found this helpful.
This "trick" is not hard TECHNICALLY. If you have problems presenting material though, you are going
to have some problems here. You need to be a little bold and able to talk a bunch, making it up as
This is NOT a jazz routine, this IS a structured routine that you can riff on. The
thing that makes this routine great is the better you are with cards, the better the routine is.
Here's the thing... If you're new... You may want to skip this
If you are a little
more seasoned and love gambling card routines with a BORROWED shuffled deck. This one might be for
you. Plus the price is right and the secret is something special for card guys.
If you are looking for a good resource on reveals to make this a very
magical and special routine, check out the Multiple Revelation Project by Andi Gladwin and Rob
James. It's a fantastic DVD that will help a lot.
11 of 11 magicians found this helpful.
I am a huge fan of Ian Rowland, and of his thinking, especially as I've come to know more of it
through his columns in Magic Magazine.
Since I like cards — FASDIU style — I was intrigued
by the description for Thetalia. And at $4.95, it was not a huge risk to purchase.
seeing the method (viewing a full performance on the demo would more than likely have given it
away), I can say only that while routine is no doubt effective as an audience pleaser, the method
requires a way of handling the cards that seems out of place and calls attention to itself. True:
these "moments" pass quickly, virtually instantaneously, and are easily disguised with patter
(indeed Rowland says, correctly, that the engagement with the spectators is what really makes the
trick), but the problem is that — by the very nature of the routine; that is, dealing lots of cards
— there are quite a few of these "moments."
In all magic, we construct our routines to
disguise the method, but when the "method" occurs so many times within the routine, it's hard to
believe that a spectator won't see something fishy at some point — even if it's only a vague,
cumulative impression at the end that something, somewhere, was was just not quite right.
Rowland does say that even if the spectators suspect something, it won't affect the trick. The
performances on the download seem to bear this out: the spectators seem genuinely impressed and
entertained (whether or not they may have suspected something, we can't be sure). Thus, while on a
macro level the entertainment value is certainly there, perhaps for me, it's a just a matter of
style (and lack of ability?): I can't feel comfortable disguising, so many times, what is for me an
unusual thing to do with the cards — however small that thing is, and however fleeting it may be
each time it is done.
17 of 25 magicians found this helpful.
From the author of "The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading," an ingenious card trick.
describes it perfectly: use someone else's cards. The spectator shuffles. No switches. No crimps,
no breathers, or anything else. No memory, no difficult sleights. (No sleights period, arguably.)
You will deal straights, boats, four of a kind, etc.--but not like Ricky Jay or Richard
Turner might. Thetalia relies on two very simple moves (you can throw in display moves, flourishes,
and cuts, if you feel the need). From then on, it's up to you. As Rowland says, quite a few times:
the fact that this trick is "impromptu" does not mean anything is left to chance. You just need to
He recommends--and I can see why--that you practice it alone, just to see how
the cards come up, and what you can do with them. The only thing I can think of that might put some
people off--you have to be prepared to think on your feet, and you have to want to have fun with the
Oh, and one other thing: you have to accept the fact that the spectator doesn't
know what you intend to do. You have to be able to sell the fact that everything is going according
to your plan. Viewed from this perspective, the trick is one big exercise in misdirection--make
that direction. You will be directing the spectator's perception of what's going on at all times.
What you do, and what the spectator sees, are two very different things.
For something so
technically simple to have such a potential for frying the spectator's mind...I'm very glad I bought
9 of 9 magicians found this helpful.
It's a weird routine. Each outcome will be different when you perform. It's like "the trick cannot
explained" routine. If you like jazz magic, you can't miss this. It's inspiring and give you a lot
of thoughts when you want to perform this kind of magic. May not suit for everyone.
8 of 9 magicians found this helpful.
This routine may work great for others, but it's one of those that take time and a patient audience.
I mean, you have to have a table, you're constantly handling and peeking at the cards (which just
seems suspicious, I would think, to most audiences), and it seems just a bit haphazard in general.
Even in the best of circumstances, this trick will last at least 5-10 minutes. Each minute that
ticks off the clock tells a savvy audience that you're killing time to find a card that matches your
I would have given it only 1 or 2 stars, but some of Ian's handling
tips are worth an extra star.
13 of 22 magicians found this helpful.
I loved the concept of the trick and I think this would help a lot of magicians to get a nice flow
of patter going for this trick as well as in their ther tricks.
The only reason I give it a
3 stars is because when watching the performance (before buying) a saw a few moves that I wanted to
know how they are done (eg: the card popping out of the deck) but those explanations were not
If those explanations were covered I would give this a full 5 stars for $ spent.
5 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
I did not like it.
"WITHOUT LOOKING AT A SINGLE CARD" is a misdirection. You have to glimpse
every time, every shuffle, it's jazz magic. You have to fool people around you without method, only
with your close up skills and improvisation. It's not a method and it's not a routine, I don't like
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
Although I liked the concept behind this seemingly impromptu effect, I felt it was very short on
actual technique. The author is left handed and hold the deck in the right hand and his discussion
of "the move" needed did not take in account that the pips on the cards would not be in the corner
needed using his move. I will continue to work on this to create a comfortable move for myself ( as
I don't give up easily ) but more thought could have gone into this presentation. Perhaps even
consideration of finding another card worker to demonstrate possible moves.
5 of 7 magicians found this helpful.