As an amateur and novice, I rarely do anything technically difficult, and have an arsenal full of
self-working tricks I love. I also find great value in video as a learning tool as well as books. In
that context, without slamming on self-working tricks or video learning, I just don't feel like they
go together well. The tricks and performance section are pretty much a waste: the discussion of
theory and patter is too thin to recommend over other sources, and you can get equal (or better)
tricks from printed sources at the fraction of the cost. Don't get me wrong, I love Gemini Twins and
perform it; but why not learn (an arguably cleaner version of) Do As I Do way cheaper from Scarne On
However, the DVD really turns around in the latter half when Noblezada shows
performances (with occasional problems and realistic reactions, not the carefully edited screams of
delight most DVDs restrict themselves to) and dissects what went well and what didn't and how he
made the best of the situation. A talk with Gary Darwin is occasionally unfocused, but you get a
pile of wisdom from a real pro on making the most of your practice time and avoiding unnecessarily
difficult sleights when there are suitable replacements. I enjoyed this, found value in it, and
think others (especially beginners in card magic) would as well.
I love it when a product
goes beyond just teaching me the secret to a trick, and tries to make me a better magician overall.
I think a new cut of the footage that focused on this and presented the tricks as more of a "bonus"
to reinforce intangible principles (in much the same way something like Royal Road teaches you
tricks to reinforce the sleights) would give me a more positive impression.
At the end of
the day, my verdict is positive, but I'd highly recommend picking up something like Card College
Light and/or Scarne On Card Tricks first. Those with a deep aversion to reading (for shame!) or
wanting further discussion might also look into some of Aaron Fisher's recent DVDs to hear a great
card man tell how and why he re-worked many of his amazing effects to remove as much difficult
sleight-of-hand as possible.