Monthly archives for January, 2011

Bill Murray Stepped Here and REVIEW: Mental Compendium by Paul Romhany

Hello, everyone!

Cris Johnson here, in sunny, scenic Orlando, FL. I’m here for 10 days taking part in some hypnosis training.

Before I get to this week’s review, I want to share a story…last week, I performed at 10 schools in Woodstock, IL. As it turns out, that’s the town where they filmed the majority of “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray.

I’m a self-professed movie nerd, so when my client offered to take me on a walking tour of the film’s locations, I jumped at the chance. Sure enough, the city even had a bronze plate marking the spot where Bill Murray stepped off the street and plunged his foot into the icy puddle.

She also related that the day they filmed the sequence where Andie McDowell smacks Murray in the face (there’s a montage of her smacking him over and over in the movie) that you could hear the loud “SMACK” each time she cracked Murray in the face! I guess Bill was a trooper and filmed the scenes without complaint!

Most gratifying to hear, however, was how approachable Bill Murray was. Bill Murray’s always been a Hollywood favorite of mine and I always felt “Groundhog Day” was under-appreciated by most people. My client said that by the end of shooting, anyone in town who wanted to meet Murray was able to do so, as he walked around town and chatted with anyone.

After having seen my share of horribly egotistical magic ‘performers’ in my time, I’d say there’s a lesson there.:)

Now onto this week’s review…the first of Romhany Month! It’s Paul’s Mental Epic Compendium. It’s available for a way-too-low $49.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here’s the link:http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=14269

EFFECT: While several variations are explored, the basic effect is that three people (usually) are eached asked to think of something. Each time, the performer writes his/her impressions. Each spectator reveals their thought…and the performer shows he/she did in fact read each of their minds, committing his/her thoughts in writing as proof! Direct, clean mentalism.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: A lifetime of education on the Mental Epic plot as well as mentalism, routine structure and performance. BUY THIS BOOK! End of review. OK, not really! Read on…

MY THOUGHTS: This is one of those books that truly belongs on every mentalist’s book shelf. I have always felt that a solid Mental Epic-type routine was one of the strongest things (potentially) you could put in your show.

Why? Simple.

As a mind reader, my ideal effects are always direct and to the point, with no limitations. A Mental Epic Routine allows you to ask three spectators to think of virtually any thought in the world. You then prove that you read each of their minds. It’s simple to understand and refreshingly direct.

Paul asked me to contribute to this book, but unfortunately, I did not have anything fresh or unique to give him. In my years as a performer, I have used Bob Cassidy’s “Fourth Dimentional Telepathy” routine and Richard Osterlind’s “Ultra Board” presentations. I really couldn’t think of any ‘improvements’ or personal touches to add to them.

They are great routines, but they do not even scratch the surface of Paul’s remarkable book, as he’s truly assembled a “who’s who” of mentalism to contribute this book.

Here’s the list of people who had a hand in this book: Banachek, Kenton Knepper, Bob Cassidy, Larry Becker, Dan Garrett, Kostya Kimlat, Sean Taylor, Richard Webster, Bev Bergeron, Alan Shaxon, TC Tahoe, David Regal, Gerard, James Biss, Danny Archer, Bill Abbott, Paul Alberstat, Whit Haydn, Patrick Kuffs, Vanni Pule, E Raymond Carlyle, Tony Binarelli, Mick Ayres, David Seebach, Professor Spellbinder, Bob Tripp, Hal Spear, John T Sheets, Dr. Bill Cushman, Rob Domenech, Ken Dyne, Charles Gauci, Dave Lord, Nathan Grange, Wayne Rogers, David J O’Connor, Ken Ring, Adrian Saw, Jonathan Royle, Christopher Berry, Jheff. Bill Cushman, Chuck Hickok, Peter Arcane and several routines by Paul Romhany

Unreal.

QUALITY: This book looks like a book store book, with a glossy, softbound cover, pictures, drawings, photos and more. Paul always puts out great stuff and this is no exception. There’s bios on every contributer, a history of the Mental Epic effect and more.

DIFFICULTY: Some of the routines require more technical skill than others, so there’s something in here for everyone. Some of the routines are so well thought out that they are “plug and play,” meaning if you deliver the script competently and you execute the routine competently, you’ll have a winner. Other routines are difficult to pull off because of the acting required. Still others are screaming out for you to add your own personal spin.

VARIETY OF ROUTINES: This book really does have every conceiveable variation imaginable for Mental Epic. Some routines use the board, some do not. Some use envelopes, some use forces, some do not. Some are for stage, some for close up, some are impromptu in nature.

Still others address the major weakness of the Mental Epic plot as performed by many just-starting-out performers….the fact that the third item named needs to be forced and the other two can be anything. You’ve seen the performances (heck, I used to do it this way in my youth): Three items are to be selected, and the performer handles it like this:

“Spectator 1, please think of any number from 1 to infinity.”

“Spectator 2, please think of any person on the planet, living or dead.”

“Spectator 3, please pick a card…”

This plot hole, performed this way, is horrid….and every contributer in this book tackles this head on. Many have developed routines with different handlings so that ALL THREE items are free choices. Other routines were developed to integrate this perceived weakness into the fabric of the routine, such as many of the gambling themed routines I’ve read.

Some of the routines are amazing in their theatricality, requiring special sound effects, elaborate props and more. For instance, check out David Seebach’s “Clue” (based on the board game) for an amazing example of how theatrical a simple mentalism routine can be played. It’s wonderful.

Other routines are designed to play into the pack-flat-play-big mentality. Check out Bill Abbott’s “Invisible Coin” for a tight, compact routine that reads as though it’s been honed to perfection after hundreds of performances….knowing Bill, it has. The routine is structured around the idea of an invisible coin and builds step by step to an amazing climax.

There are so many routines to explore that while I have combed through this book cover to cover, I haven’t retained nearly as much as I like. Personally, one of the most mind-blowing routines in the entire book is Johnathan Royle’s “Royle’s Thoughts on the One-Ahead Principle.” I challenge you to read this section of the book and not feel energized by what appears to be a simple card routine. It is, for me, one of the most stunning routines I’ve ever read. I only wish I could have seen it performed and experienced the impossibility of it before reading about the work.

While I don’t expect any Mentalist who hates using playing cards in his/her act to be totally converted after reading that section, I do believe that this routine has the BEST chance to cause some of these folks to re-consider some of their views.

Another routine that ‘called out’ to me was Paul Romhany’s “Teddy Bear Epic,” which comes off as incredibly charming and visual…a quality a lot of mentalism does not have. I’m considering adding this to my teen shows because it ends with the volunteer receiving a gift in the form of a stuffed animal…with the color, price and other details predicted in advance!

This space in this review blog simply does not allow me to review each and every routine, though I have pointed out a few of my ‘favs.’

FINAL VERDICT: What can I say? This book is perfect. It takes a standard, beloved routine in Mentalism, albeit an older one that many of us thought was dead, and re-energized it. I firmly feel that if you are a Mentalist and you don’t already perform a Mental Epic-type or three-phase, one-ahead-type routine, that you’ll find several gems in here.

If you can’t find something you like in this book, you may want to check your pulse. This is not only recommended, but I feel this is on the short list of significantly important releases in recent years. A 10 out of 10.

NEXT WEEK: Romhany Month continues! I tackle Paul’s Entertaining on Cruise Ships book.

INFORMATION ON REVIEWS: Ahoy magic creators! If you’re interested in getting a product reviewed, contact me at crisjohnsoninfo@verizon.net.

Best,

Cris Johnson

Bill Abbott’s Ass & REVIEW: Diary of Decision by Doc Dixon

Hey everyone,

A very exhausted Cris Johnson here…I’m in Illinoise for a week’s worth of schools and wouldn’t you know it – I’m sick! I chalk it up to the horrific winter in the Northeast.

Before I get to this week’s review, I gotta tell ya, I continue to be delighted by the feedback my “Clear View Airborne” receives. Here’s what a recent client said in an email to Hocus Pocus:

“I am extremely pleased with not only the product itself, and the time that went into it and producing the instructional material, but also with your shop and your customer service. I will highly recommend you to others that I talk with regarding magic!”

- Doug Follett

Check out Clear View Airborne here: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=13716

I also want to share a funny story…this past Friday, my friend Bill Abbott performed a public show in Toronto, On, about 2 hours from where I live. I’ve never seen Bill perform, and he doesn’t do public shows very often at all, so I was really excited.

Well, the venue was very TIGHT in terms of space, but my wife and I had seats right in front of Bill’s performing area. I said hi to Bill and let him prepare. I went back to my table where I was surprised to see Anthony Lindan (of Incredible Suit Jacket fame) sitting. We chatted for a while and really got along.

Bill starts his show and it’s going great – Bill’s one of the funniest ad-libbers I’ve ever seen and his handling of the tough venue is a master class in how to handle less than ideal conditions.

During his third piece, Bill calls up 5 guys and has them line up. He wanted to do a ‘reading’ of each and to do so, he had to turn his back to the audience and back up. Seeing as how his butt would be in my view, Bill asks me, “Do you mind?” I chirped, “No, great!” which got a funny response from Bill.

Seeing as how things were so tight, I decided to give Bill an ‘out,’ so under my breath, I said, “Don’t you want to sit on Santa’s lap?” I don’t know if Bill heard me or not, but he grabbed another guy’s jacket and draped it over my lap and said, loudly so the audience could hear, “I just don’t know where you’ve been,” and sure enough he sat on my lap for the duration of his ‘reading’ of the 5 guys.

As I said, he may have been planning it all along, but boy, was that ever funny! The rest of the show was just sensational, with strong magic and even stronger comedy.

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW: I’m reviewing Doc Dixon’s Diary of Decision. It’s available for $39.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here’s the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=14812

EFFECT: For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts. Now you can prove it! You explain to your participant that playing cards can actually reveal how a person feels about life’s biggest metaphysical questions. You offer to prove it.

She removes a card from a deck and places it aside. You ask her five questions of a metaphysical/afterlife nature, including, “Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe in ghosts?” etc. And a fifth question entirely of her choosing and creation. She picks up the Diary of Decision, an artistically crafted hard bound book with a gold foil embossed cover. The book has a personal thought profile for each card of the deck, including answers to the five questions. She turns to the profile for her card. The profile matches her first answer. The profile matches her second answer. The profile matches her third answer. The profile matches her fourth answer. And it even matches the answer of the question she created herself!

WHAT YOU GET: You receive the diary itself and quite honestly, the picture in the ad does not do this justice. I know that props do not ‘make’ an act, but a beautiful prop certainly cannot hurt. This book is gorgeous! The biggest question I have for Doc is how in the world he is able to release this for such a reasonable price?

You also receive an instructional DVD where Doc outlines the routine, the workings, alternate routines, sleight-free options and much more. You also get a glimpse of Doc’s wonderful sense of humor as he corrects a very minor mistake in the DVD in a very amusing fashion.

Additionally, you also receive one gimmicked card necessary for the traditional handling.

VENUES: I think this would play well for stage, parlor and closeup for adults only. I don’t see this as a kids’ effect at all, but that’s just me. The closeup performance, in my opinion, would work best in a casual setting. Most of the closeup performances I do are corporate holiday parties and there is drinking, noise, food, etc. Also, the client expects me to hit as many groups or tables as fast as possible and the Diary routine is longer from a duration standpoint.

That being said, if you’ve got a closeup gig and the client promised 100 people would get there and instead, 40 people are there….and you’re expected to fill 90 minutes going from table to table, this would work well.:)

In terms of parlor or stage, Doc outlines a few differences to make the routine ;play’ depending on venue.

ANGLES: There’s a bit of sleight of hand involved, so you wouldn’t want anyone directly under you, but other than that, this is pretty tight in terms of angles. The diary itself can be freely handled.

DIFFICULTY: There’s a very, very minor bit of sleight of hand involved, including a basic, foundational sleight found in many beginning magic books…nevertheless, I find myself completely inept at doing it.:) There’s also a sleight-free version, so you’re covered. the sleight version I’d rate at a 2 or 3 out of 10 in terms of difficulty and the sleight-free version is a 1 out of 10 in terms of difficulty.

With the ‘sleight’ discussion out of the way, I do have to mention that there is a tiny, iddy-biddy bit of math involved. DON’T let that dissuade you from this, as initially I was horrified by the idea of math in the routine but the math is SO easy that I was able to do it right along with Doc before he even finished walking through it. EASY stuff.

MY THOUGHTS: This is a beautiful routine that allows you to really connect with your volunteer. Additionally, because you’re asking questions about ghosts, destiny and so forth, you’re instantly going to captivate your audience. I can’t imagine any adult audience not being drawn into this plot.

Doc has created a winner here and I can’t recommend it highly enough….and I’m not even a card guy! That brings me to another strong point – Doc does not play this as a card effect, instead playing it as a fortune telling type of routine, which only adds to the power.

A perfect 10 out of 10.

Next week start my Paul Romhany Month of reviews! I know that this week was supposed to be a review of a Peter Loughran product, but that will have to wait.

Best,

Cris Johnson

Dresscode & New Blog Feature

Hey everyone,

Cris Johnson here…Before I get into this week’s review, I wanted to let you know of some changes. First of all, I’m going to be making some changes, both in this blog as well as one or two new blogs I may be launching in the near future. For this blog, I’m going to try to inject a little more personality into it. Over the last week or so, I’ve been corresponding more & more with my friend Paul Romhany and as such, I’ve been reading more of his older blog entries and it’s amazing what he shares, so I’m probably going to be going in the same direction.

Secondly, one or two new blogs…I’m still planning things, but I may launch one that includes business/marketing tips for magicians & entertainers and I may launch one that’s sort of a retro-active journal. I often share stories with my friends about the wild and wacky journey I took to becoming a full-time entertainer and some of the stories…whew, if walls could talk!

Of course, I’ll still be sending out my “Cause & Effects” once-per-month newsletter. Sign up for free by sending an email to crisjohnsoninfo@verizon.net. And obviously the “Trick Talk” blog isn’t going anywhere.:)

Anyway, that’s in the future. Right now, I’m stuck in a hotel room for an extra day. I live in New York, in the USA and this time of year, we typically get POUNDED with snow. Well, I woke up today expecting to perform at a school only to find out school had been canceled because of the weather.

That meant an extra day on the road when we re-scheduled it. Logically, I could have billed the client for the extra day on the road, but here in the US schools are struggling, so I booked an extra day at the hotel using my hotel “reward points,” sort of frequent traveler points, that one can accumulate. I’d built up enough points so I was able to grab a free night at one of the nicer hotels.

It didn’t cost me anything, my client was thrilled with “how easy I am to work with,” and fortunately, my computer is just stuffed with projects.:)

Now, onto this week’s review….Dresscode by Calen Morelli. It’s available from Hocus Pocus for $24.95. Here’s the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=14682

EFFECT: It’s an instant shirt change for street or stage performers. You turn your back to the audience for just an instant and turn back around and Voila! Completely new shirt.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: A well-produced DVD and some simple gimmicks. These gimmicks, by the way, would only cost you a dollar or so at the store, so if you need to replace anything, your cost is almost nothing.

DIFFICULTY: After watching the DVD straight through, I feel from a technical standpoint, this is a pretty easy effect to do, maybe a 2 out of 10, not hard at all. You’ll need to practice the ‘move,’ but trust me, it’s not hard. As I always say with an easy (technically) effect, the real secret comes from presentation. Fortunately, Calen gives you a few different presentations to make use of the technology he teaches.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: This is where this DVD shines. First of all, I’m not an arts-n-crafts guy. In fact, despite it’s simple construction, I happily paid Anthony Lindan’s wife $200 to make me a Curtain of Death because I just do NOT like making my own props.

Fortunately, Calen takes you through the gimmick shirt construction step by step. The DVD picture is very clear, high quality, as most of the T11 stuff is. After watching this, I have no doubt in my mind that I can easily put this together. Believe me, if I have the confidence to pull this off construction-wise, and I’m a simpleton, then virtually anyone can.

Also, when it comes to teaching you the performance, Calen slowly and patiently goes through the process to make sure everything is crystal-clear.

I REALLY like that.

As a sidebar, I have two effects in my act that, compared to Dresscode, could be called “expensive.” One is $550 and the other is $750. Both effects are exceptional, but in both cases, the creators seemed to be annoyed and/or trying to finish the DVD instructions as fast as possible.

For Calen to be so thorough for a $24.95 DVD is commendable.

Another high point is the fact that Calen offers troubleshooting tips and more specifically, things to look out for that could ruin the effect as you’re learning it. Too many creators put out an effect without offering advice on what not to do. No effect is troublefree, so the fact that he offers such fine points of instruction goes a long way with me.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: On the DVD are several live presentations. Calen gets terrific reactions out of the effect, both in terms of the shirt “costume” change as well as the other effect in which the shirt itself doesn’t appear to change, but an element of it does. Yes, I’m being cryptic, because I’m trying to protect one of the ideas on this DVD that is worth several times more than the asking price. When my wife (who is not a fan of most “street performance” types of magic) saw the costume change variation that Calen presented, she immediately said, “THAT’S cool.” I myself instantly thought of ways to incorporate this idea into my high school performances.

When it comes to performing in the streets, I’m not a big fan of this generation of magicians. They seem to have a too-cool for school attitude, which, since they seem to get great reactions on the DVDs I’ve been sent and/or purchased, seems to indicate that I’m horribly out of touch with teens.:)

That being said, I really appreciate Calen’s effort to take what could be a 1 or 2 second throw-a-way ‘trick’ and build it up into an actual effect. Some of his thinking shows his study of a lot of good principles in mentalism, especially the forces he uses.

I’ve heard some people on the message boards griping and whining that they don’t like the fact that Calen turns his back to perform the change. I confess I too was less than thrilled with that part, but Calen justifies it nicely by showing the back of his shirt before the change. In essence, he’s showing you ‘the whole shirt,’ making it more impossible.

Also, after watching the method, I do believe you may be able to work out a way to do this without turning your back – maybe using a fake hand and holding up a posterboard or something. Anyway, it’s a thought.

Finally, on the topic of turn-around move that some people don’t like, I submit that this may be a case of magicians thinking like magicians. As an example, I was really skeptical of using that huge cloth in the Magellan Levitation, thinking it looked like you were hiding. In actual performance, the audience LOVES it. I haven’t had time to put together the Dresscode for myself yet, but I suspect lay audiences will react very well.

ANGLES: You can’t do this surrounded, sorry. That being said, the angles are pretty good. Calen has worked this out nicely for street performances, but I think this is going to shine very nicely on stage.

MARKET: Depending on the style of your presentational hook or frame, you could do this for nearly any age, from kids up to adults. Calen has recently posted videos on youtube of him doing the shirt change, changing from one dress shirt and tie to a completely different dress shirt and a different tie. VERY nice, indeed.

LIMITATIONS: Yes, to answer a lot of forum questions, you are permanently mangling the shirt the audience first sees you wearing. The second shirt, after the change, is ungimmicked.

You don’t have to do this as an opener, either. I can see myself doing this at any point in the show. After the change you should be quite comfortable as well.

I fully admit to not knowing a lot about quick changes, but in the right context, I’ve always thought it was a very cool effect in Magic. In particular, Rudy Coby’s TV special featured several quick changes and the speed always impressed me.

I feel Calen’s offering is very functional for real-world performers.

RATING: I give this a rock-solid 8 out of 10.

NEXT WEEK: I tackle Peter Loughran’s A Touch Of Glass, his beautiful bottle production effect.

NEXT MONTH: I’ll be reviewing several of Paul Romhany’s products, including his Mental Epic Compendium, his Entertaining on Cruise Ships, Dream Prediction Lite and his Artist’s Dream routine, featuring the Drink Trick prop based on Ricki Dunn’s design.

T-3 by Christopher Taylor & Honorable 2010 Mentions

Hey, everyone,

Cris Johnson here back with more magic & fun…the first post for 2011.

Before I get to that, a few quick things….First, on a personal note, I just returnmed from a week-long vacation in Austin, TX, visiting with my friend Rodney and his family. It was a great visit and one I definitely needed.

Yesterday was my first show of the year, an AWESOME middle-school show. Many magicians cringe at the thought of working in front of teens, but personally, I love it!!

The next issue of me free ezine, “Cause & Effects,” will go out on February 1st, or something close.:) Sign up for free at: crisjohnsoninfo@verizon.net.

Finally, I want to touch upon some 2010 honorable mentions in terms of what I liked best out of the new magic I bought last year…

1 – TASTE – Awesome effect, very reliable. The only reason it did not crack my Top 5 is because I’ve only performed it 6 times (including yesterday) and as much as possible I try to use something extensively before it cracks my Top List. Regardless, it’s awesomely built and I LOVE it. I used it yesterday to stun the kids. Great investment.

2 – Celebrity Smart-Ass – Another winner from Bill Abbott, this is based on the original SmartAss effect but ramped up with a very commercial premise and a smart, tight script with plenty of laugh lines. I haven’t performed it yet, but I performed the original Smart Ass around 150 times in the last two years, so I know this one will rock.

3 – Gremlins In A Box – By Peter Loughran, this charming effect has it all: portability, originality and is open to custom routining. It’s been out awhile, but I think it’s often overlooked by kids’ magicians because whenever I do it, the kids go crazy when that box starts shaking.

On to this week’s review. It’s T-3 by Christopher Taylor. It’s available for $349.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here’s the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=11144

EFFECT: There are so many! Here’s a few ideas…

PK-Taste: Imagine four flavors of breath candies, four cups of different beverages, or shakers of salt, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa. You can instantly tell which taste the participant is experiencing.

Remote Viewing: While the performer’s back is turned, the participant places three ordinary objects, such as a pack of candies, a lighter and a key fob, in a line of any order. The performer can instantly reveal the order with no fishing. The effect can be repeated as often as you like.

“Which Pocket?” A participant picks up three ordinary items off the table and places each one into a different pocket (or three participants pick up one object each). The performer instantly reveals where each item is. The performer can then show he predicted where each item would go.

“Which hand is the object in?” From across the room!

“Truth Teller/Liar” No questions need be asked!

WHAT YOU GET: You receive the receiver itself, three transmitters, a plug-in unit to make the receive vibrate as opposed to LED color lights for the coding, a handsome case to carry everything in and a CD-ROM with video instructions, care & feeding, troubleshooting and several routine ideas.

MORE ON THE EQUIPMENT: The three tiny transmitters are each coded to give you a different light LED signal, letting you know which one has been moved. (Yes, this effect and the electronics are based on motion technology). The receiver is set to give you one of three different lighting color ‘cues’ when a transmitter has been moved. A plug-in vibrator unit is included in case you prefer that method of detection. (As an owner of Taste, that’s the route I use.)

The receiver is small, smaller than a deck of cards, so you can hide this in many places. My friend Paul Romhany says he drops his in his breast pocket and simply looks down – easy! I drop mine (with the vibrator control) in my pants pocket and I’m all set.

QUALITY OF EQUIPMENT: So far, so good. I’ve used this in 3 shows and it works perfectly. As long time readers of my blog may remember, I was less than thrilled with Mr. Taylor’s Real Ghost, but T-3 is a winner. Very reliable and easy to use.

The only quibble (which Christopher addresses in the instructions) is the issue of sensitivity. There are adjustments of sorts that can be made to adjust the sensitivity, either more or less sensitive, but it’s not a wide range of “adjustability,” so to speak.

It’s not a major headache, but it does mean you’ll need good spectator management to keep yourself from getting multiple signals from over-eager and/or playful spectators.

Most impressively, though, is the sheer reliability of the unit. I love this.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: An easy 10 out of 10. Mr. Taylor is a good teacher. The lighting and camera work is just fine. I would have liked to see the equipment used in a live show setting, but that’s OK. Mr. Taylor covers all facets of the equipment, including batteries, when you should replace them, troubleshooting, routines and much more. Very thorough and top-notch.

DIFFICULTY: There is ZERO sleight of hand. As a mentalism effect, the electronics give you the information you need, just as a peek wallet or a stooge would. What this gives you that the others do not are freedom from any kind of angle issues (unless you use the LED method) and perfect one-man operation.

The difficulty is not with the operation of the equipment – an easy 1 out of 10 on the technical side, but it does require spectator management, both in terms of selecting the correct spectator (cooperative!) and clarity of instructions on your part.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is an investment that can give you so many effect possibilities that it’s staggering. Originally, I wanted to order “Dead Zone Pro,” by Andy Nyman, but this offers more possibilties. It’s a little on the sensitive side as far as the movement, but that’s a necessity in order to make sure you get a signal every time, on time, when you need it. Terrific stuff. 8 out of 10.

Next week, I’ll review the new DVD Dresscode, which I’m very impressed with. Also, February will be a special Paul Romhany Month as each week I will review a different Romhany product. Paul’s a friend, but I’ll try to be objective.:)

Best,

Cris Johnson