Hemispheres by Jay Sankey - DVD
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Hemispheres-A Real Winner! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Hemispheres by Jay Sankey
Where: Penguin Magic
A few years ago Jay Sankey released his first dvd focused solely on his style of mentalism, or "mental magic" as he called it. It was entitled Boris Pocus: Extremely Mental and some people liked it and others found the dvd to be "too wacky" and "crazy." Then several years after that Jay released a more serious dvd on the same subject of mental magic entitled 22 Blows to the Head. That dvd was received a bit better in the magic community. Then a couple years later, Jay released his third dvd dealing with mental magic. It's called Hemispheres, and here, are my thoughts on it.
Unfortunately, I did not like the layout of this dvd. Sure, the menu worked fine and it was easy to access, but if you just hit the "Play All" button you expect the dvd to show you a performance of an effect then explanation, but instead, It plays all of the performances in a row and then all the explanations in a row. In other words, by the time you get to the explanations, you've already forgotten what the effect even looks like! To avoid this forgetfulness aspect, I found myself clicking into the menu then the explanations/performance section, then having to find the effect and keep doing that every time you switched between a performance and explanation. There are 20 effects on the dvd, so that means I had to do that about 40 times, back and forth. Just an annoying pet peeve of mine.
There were no quality issues on this dvd. In fact, the picture is very clear and the whole set at which Jay shot the dvd is pleasing to the eye and gives a clean look to the whole dvd.
Jay is an excellent teacher and did a great job teaching all of the effects. You should not have a problem understanding any of the effects taught. Also, Jay is a little less crazy on this dvd than some of his others, however, he still made me laugh out loud several times while watching the dvd with his quick with and improvisational jokes. I found it to be very entertaining.
Most of the tricks are very easy and a lot of them require almost no sleight-of-hand. Group Hypnosis is the hardest effect on the dvd but even that isnt too hard. I wouldnt worry about the difficulty.
My Rating System-
I rate on a scale of 1 to 5. It is broken down like this:
Now that you know the rating system, Ill describe and give my thoughts on each of the effects presented on Hemispheres.
In this one, you have an envelope and say you have three things in the envelope, but youre only going to show the audience 2 of the three items for now. You take the items out, and it is a list of 20 or so words on a strip of paper and some scissors. You slowly run the scissors down the list until they say Cut! You cut the strip right where they said to and you show that you cut right through the word comb. Then with empty hands you reveal that inside of the envelope is a cut in half comb. You get CRAZY reactions with this. Its so fair and it has an awesome presentational hook built right in. 5/5
You write a prediction on a post it note, fold it up and place it inside an otherwise empty envelope. You then show nine tarot cards and let the spectator have a completely fair choice (really) of which tarot card they think best fits their personality. They choose, for example, the moon card. You open up the envelope, take out your prediction and on it, it reads You will choose the moon card. The effect never misses, its really a free choice and there is no multiple outs. 4/5
Dollars & Sense
You hand a spectator a ball of cash, which they hold tightly in their fist, and have at least 6 different receipts on the table. They freely choose a receipt and all of the other receipts are shown to be from different stores and have different totals. When they look at the total of the receipt they choose it is $15.36 (or whatever)Finally they open up the wad of cash that they have been holding the whole time and it is shown to contain exactly $15.36. I really like this effect, but one thing about the handling needs to be changed, IMO. Other than that, its a really pure, creative effect. 4/5
A dolls glass (or plastic) eye is introduced and placed inside a paper bag. A deck of cards which is shown to be mixed is mixed some more by the spectator behind their back. When they are satisfied, the spectator takes three card from the top of the deck and dumps them, sight unseen, into the brown paper bag. The spectator closes up the paper bag and hands it to the magician. The magician has turned away during all of this. The magician claims he can see inside the bag, by looking through the glass eye. He covers one of his eyes begins to look around the bag. He of course is able to name all three cards. This is so simple and so deceptive, plus the presentation is just ingenious. Spectators go nuts over this one and you can either make the effect creepy and mysterious or just have fun with it. Either way its a 5/5
A spectator freely selects a fortune cookie and the magician make a prediction of what he thinks is the fortune inside the cookie is. The magician breaks open the cookie and pulls out the fortune. His prediction matches the fortune. This is a really cool premise, but the method is not very good. It doesnt look natural and its not very clean. I give Jay kudos for coming up with the idea for the effect, but I think Ill come up with my own handling. 2/5
A spectator correctly divines the color of a ball of play dough, inside of the container. This is a quickie effect and would be great for kids shows. However, the method needs work. Dont think youll be able to do this walk around, on the street (that would be a funny sight), at school, etc. Pretty much only at a small stand-up show will you be able to do this and for the most part youre going to want to do it with kids. Overall, a cute little throwaway effect. 3/5
You have a spectator shuffle the cards thoroughly as you talk about the lottery and how impossible it to win/predict the lottery. You explain to them that the deck of cards is a bit like the lottery, the cards are the numbers, the spectator is mixing them up like the machine, etc. You then write down five numbers on a piece of paper. The spectator randomly chooses any five cards, or lottery numbers, and you then have them determine the order of the numbers. Despite their shuffling, thier random number selections and random order, you one-by-one reveal that the lottery numbers you wrote down, down to the order of the cards, matches the pile of five cards the spectator picked. All of this with a borrowed, shuffled deck and a piece of paper! Just try this out once on a spectator and they will go crazy! Again, a wonderful presentation and a killer effect. 5/5
You have a stack of about 10 or so of you business cards. You draw an X on the printed side of one of the cards. You turn the cards face down and mix them up so you and your spectator dont know where the X is. They touch the back of one of the cards and you show that none of the business cards have Xs before flipping over their card and showing that somehow they picked the card with the X. This is sort-of a warm-up type effect or opener. Its a very simple concept and can be used as a way to test if you have a connection with one of your spectators. I kindve have a bit of a problem with the method but it probably isnt as big as a problem as I think it is. I think its just my magician mind showing through :) 3/5
You write a prediction, fold it up and set it on the table in full view, in a glass, on top of a spectators hand, etc. You then ask them to make up a character who has never existed and give them a name. They name him (or her) Say Jankey. You slowly and carefully pick up the prediction that has been in full view and unfold it and show that the prediction says, His (or her) name will be Say Jankey. Gasp! What a totally impossible effect and its so easy! Predicting the name of someone who never existed is such a good presentation too! Theres some very clever thinking in this and I give it a 4/5
You have a bunch of spectators gather a bunch of their own change and put it inside of a glass or just in their hand. You reach into the change, while your head is turned and after showing a truly empty hand, and then pull out a coin, name the date and then do this two more times. Pretty cool impromptu effect. You need nothing more than borrowed coins and nothing is added or taken away. 4/5
You ask a spectator to think of the hour they were born. You then show a card clock printed on a piece of paper. You ask them to think of the card at their hour. You fold up the round card clock and put a paperclip on it. You hand the paperclipped clock to them to hold. You ask them to imagine what life would be like if they were gone, gone, gone. You ask them to name the hour and card they were thinking of, and without you getting anywhere near the clock, they open up the card clock themselves and discover that the card at the hour they were thinking of is gone. Such a cool presentational premise and a great effect. Plus they name the card they were thinking of AFTER you already handed it to them. 4/5
You mail a big envelope to an organizer and inside is a magazine and another envelope that says Do not open! You call the organizer once they get the package ask them to take out the magazine and circle any word they want. When you have the event, you ask them to bring the magazine and the unopened envelope. You invite them on stage during the show and you ask the organizer to tell the audience, and you, what the word they circled was. They say, Eternity. You tell the organizer to open up the sealed envelope that has been in their possession at all times. Inside is a smaller envelope and you rip open that envelope you dump out the contents. It is a small folded up, crinkled packet, and then you let the organizer open it up and they see that the folded piece of paper is the receipt for the magazine and on it is written Eternity. This is just CRAZY! No stooges, no forces, no gimmicks, its just awesome. Perfect for a big corporate event. 5/5
You ask a spectator to hold a marker and a business card behind their back and make about 15 dots on the business card anywhere they want, as you do the same thing. You both show the business cards and the pattern of dots is strikingly similar to each others. This just doesnt seem too convincing to me. Maybe Id have to try it out first, but I just dont think it seems to likely or realistic. 3/5
A simple peek-at-a-card, and then the spectator finds it, type effect utilizing some old as the hills methodology and a brand new, great presentation. The actual effect is pretty bad, but I at least got a very good presentational idea out of it. That makes it worth it to me. So a 1.5/5 for the actual effect, but it gets an honorable mention for giving me a good presentation to use with some of my other mentalism.
The magician picks out any card, looks at it and places it in his pocket. He then cuts the pack into three piles and one at a time you have three spectators select three different cards and you ask them to name the cards they saw at once and they all name the same card! You then say thats not possible because thats the card he took out of the deck earlier! You show your hand empty, go into into your pocket and pull out the card which of course is the card that everyone named. Its a little difficult to get the moves down smoothly, but when you do you have a super cool impromptu card effect that you can do anytime, anywhere. 4/5
You draw a glass of wine and try to send the image of the wine to them. They draw a glass of wine and try to receive your thoughts as they draw the wine level anywhere on their drawing. Of course, the wine level in your drawing matches theirs. Uses a very clever gimmick, and with a little bit of thinking you could make this examinable. (PM me if you already have the dvd but you want to know how to make it examinable. Just tell me the first 5 words he says in the explanation part of Reception.) Youll smile when you see the method. 4/5
You introduce a paper clock and a real broken watch. You move a hole punch slowly around the face-down, paper clock and the spectator asks you to punch anytime they want. You show the face of the broken watch for the first time, and the hands are at 4:15. When you flip over the paper clock, they see that the hole punch is unbelievably close to 4:15. Everything can be handed out and a spectator can keep the paper clock as a souvenir. I love this one, it fooled me BADLY when I saw the performance. Once again, a great presentation and a fantastic effect. 5/5
The magician shows a stack of business cards with lots of different names on them. The spectator freely selects a name, for example, Liam. They then select any playing card. In this case, they select the four of hearts. You open up a separate deck of cards, which has been sitting on the table the whole time and spread through to show that one card is reversed in the deck. You flip it over to show that it is the four of hearts with Liam written on its face. Its the ONLY card flipped over and the ONLY card with writing on it. Good for a set show, probably not walk-around because there is too many things to carry and plus this is the sort of routine that really needs time spent on it. Its just super powerful, people dont know what to do. And the fact that they have a truly free choice makes the effect so much stronger. 5/5
Xs & OhMyGod
You predict the outcome of two spectators game of tic-tac-toe. I love this! Its so easy and very clever. This is not the old Mark Wilson Tic Tac Toe prediction effect, in case you were wondering. This is just so much fun to do with friends at a house party or whatever because its just so much fun to do! I mean, youre having your spectators play a game that they know and love from their childhood! And you dont have to do anything, except for a tiny little thing that if you can move your fingers, you can do easily. 4.5/5
The spectator freely cuts the deck into four piles, and the cards that they cut to, match the cards in the photograph you have with you, plus an extra kicker. This is a very cool routine that builds wonderfully. The spectators never see the ending coming and it hits them right between the eyes. This is something that is probably best done at a casual event. And just for personal taste, I changed the handling a little bit to make the whole process seem even fairer, and I changed the presentation to make it more of my style. Its a very versatile routine and I can see myself doing this one at a lot of house parties or similar venues. 5/5
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Mentalism for any type of performer Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 13th, 2012
This is a really diverse set of magic and mentalism. It has mentalism for kids, corporate shows, card performers and close up guys. For those who want to add some mental magic to their sets this is the perfect DVD.
This was not made for the serious metal bending, muscle reading, hypnotist.
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WOAH. Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 4th, 2010
A few years ago, Jay Sankey released 22 Blows to the Head. Now, that DVD was fantastic, and I enjoyed it very much. Now, when this DVD came out, I figured since the last one was so good, how could he come out with ANOTHER good one?
Well, he did... And it's better than the first!
Most of these pieces are ones that I will be doing ALL the time in shows and close-up situations. They are INCREDIBLY practical, and I can honestly say that I (after having almost every book and over 70 of Sankey's DVDs) have not seen a LOT of this material elsewhere.
I never knew Sankey was sitting on this much awesome stuff; take my word for it and pick up this DVD! You will be glad you did.
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not as detailed as other reviewers Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 4th, 2010
bought this from sankey magic a while back... and what i like most on this dvd is the diversity of mentalist effects. it isnt just stuff for stage, or close up there is a little bit of everything with lots in between. personally, im a fan of x's and oh my god. while it may appear too simple to be true, it is visual and will work every time. another great value from sankey...add to cart
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