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Magic Up-Close by Shimshi - DVD
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In this DVD Shimshi shares his close-up magic secrets that earned him the Magic Castle strolling Olympics 1st place trophy three consecutive times.
Shimshi also shares his knowledge of Strolling Magic and tips to help improve your business.
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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
This is a short DVD as far as quantity goes, but quantity . . . it's loaded with that. You only learn four effects, but you learn them to the Nth degree. For each effect you get multiple performances:
You get it Live for a real audience
Then You get the explanation with cuts back to the performance (an excellent touch)
Then You get more performance clips
Then You get a silent walk through of the effect once you've been taught the whole thing
The teaching and performance on this DVD are top notch. Shimshi is clearly a working pro with serious skills and a likeable personality. Additionally there is an excellent segment full of a lot of great tips for the strolling magician.
Let's look, briefly, at each effect. However, first I should mention that 3 of the 4 effects are other people's effects, and in fact are ones you are likely familiar with, and even the one effect that's not "someone else's" is a variation of a concept. Each effect however is very much loaded with Shimshi's personality, and from my perspective he's improved on each one of the four effect's original counterparts.
The Credit Card Trick (5/5)
This is The UFO Card. However, Shimshi has added some excellent jokes along with a build up to the final flying-the-card-around-your-body moment. He also has a moment where the spectator holds the card (borrowed credit card) and the spectator commands the card to wiggle and dance, and it does . . . the magician's hands are in plain sight and aren't moving. It's very clever.
The explanation is incredibly (almost painfully) detailed. There are a few parts where it's a bit hard to see that "special something" that makes this effect work, but he did use a more visible "something" to make it a little easier (but still a strain). Speaking of that "special something," you will be treated with every possible angle and educational information regarding this "something" and it's relation to this effect. This is the bulk of the DVD. He covers everything from which venues to use it in, and how to adapt to each one; he discusses lighting, angles, audience location, and much more.
The Hunted Pack (5/5)
Al Baker's Haunted Pack is a beautifully eerie "piece of strange" (Thank You Paul Harris). Shimshi has added a significant change to the effect. He places the deck on the table and does not touch it. You watch as the deck cuts in half, then suddenly a card shoots out of the deck by at least 6 or 7 inches. It is the selected card. One note of confusion . . . during the explanation, Shimshi credits Baker for the original effect, however, when Shimshi pronounces the Baker effect, it sounds like he says "Hunted" rather than "Haunted," so one wonders if he is not sure of the original name or if he purposely named his "Hunted." Well one may not wonder, but I certainly do. Regardless of that, the version of the H(a)unted deck has a very "hands-off" feel to it. It's excellent.
This is Paul Harris's Las Vegas Leaper, and it was properly credited. This one took one step backward and one step forward. Briefly, for those unfamiliar, the original effect is a cards across routine. The spectator counts ten cards and sits on them, yet you are able to magically send three cards to the ten under her posterior. The spectator counts the thirteen cards and places them in yet another forbidden zone as she holds them up against her chest. Yet, you send three more cards to her. This effect has been in my own repertoire for years. It's just darn-near perfect.
Shimshi added two things to it. Ironically one of the additions subtracted from the effect, but one added . . . maybe even multiplied the effect. The "subtraction" is a new way of getting the second set of cards added to the pile the spectator holds. I don't like it. It's very aggressive. You practically jump the spectator as she's counting the cards on the table, and you SLAP YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE TO STOP HER FROM COUNTING! It's bad, bad, bad.
However, his second addition is beautiful . . . while the spectator is holding the cards in one of the forbidden zones, you ask her to name a number between one and ten. Whatever number she names, you cause to magically appear in her stack of cards. It's excellent. Also, he teaches a brilliant out for the rare case that you miss. The out is also excellent.
The Painted Tens (4.5/5)
Finally, we have the one effect that isn't someone else's, yet it's still a variation of a common theme . . . color change. However, this is seriously one of the most beautiful effects of it's type that I've seen. It's so visual and just magical looking. You hold two black tens . . . as you rub them together you see them visually change into the red tens. No gimmicks are used, and the cards are immediately handed out for examination if you feel the urge. This effect also has a really funny opening line that I think I'll be using. :)
A half point was lost for some shoddy camera work. There were a few places in the explanation where a close up was warranted, but warranted or not, it never appeared.
Finally, there is a brief segment with some tips for the strolling performer. Probably the best tip on there is his thinking on how and what to charge. However, there are some other gems as well.
Other than the price being a little steep for a four trick DVD, this is a no brainer if for nothing else, the Las Vegas Leaper addition and the quick tip about charging. Other than some relatively annoying menu issues that I won't go into detail about, It's a solid Gem with a 4 star rating.
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