Monthly archives for November, 2012

REVIEW: Mona Lisa 2

Hi Everyone!

This week’s blog is actually a little early! My late-week gets pretty crazy, so I decided to do the blog early. Let’s get right to it – this week’s review is Mona Lisa 2 by Alpha Magic, it’s available for a special 30% off – $315.00.

Here’s the ad copy:

Long unavailable. Through an exclusive arrangement with the mfg. we have purchased all remaining inventory of this incredible effect and are offering you this last chance to obtain one at an incredible 30% OFF! Supply is limited so don’t delay…Order yours today!

This brand new version of this classic effect is available again. The Mona Lisa 2 now offers two performance options!

The Effect:

A volunteer from the audience examines the pieces of the puzzle and independently selects one out of 100 completely differently shaped pieces. Once this has been done the magician exposes the puzzle, which is missing one piece. To the audience’s amazement, the piece that the volunteer chooses, is precisely the missing piece!!!

This simple and direct effect is what will make this an instant classic in the world of magic! You receive the beautiful fully golden framed puzzle of the Mona Lisa, the extra puzzle pieces,the special something that allows the trick to work,velvet puzzle cover, protective transport case,full performance music on CD and a full “Mona Lisa Routine.”

This elegant magical mentalism piece will be the hit in your next performance. Imported from overseas just for you, order Mona Lisa 2 today!

The Kit Includes:
A 100-piece picture puzzle of the “Mona Lisa”
A unique gimmick with unique puzzle pieces
A black velvet fabric cover
A custom case
A classical music CD

QUALITY OF EQUIPMENT: I bought the first version of this about 10 years ago, right before I went full time as a performer. 10 years later, it still looks like new. Everything is so well made and besides, the protective travel case keeps everything looking great. This is made to last, for true traveling pros.

ANGLES: Although you could do this surrounded in terms of The Secret, the fact is that the revelation is really best for audiences seated right in front of you. It is a visual revelation, after all.

DIFFICULTY: In terms of technical skill, this is indeed one of those “do it right out of the box” type of tricks. Obviously there’s a certain level of performance that’s needed. You can rest assured that your efforts can be directed toward connecting with your audience.

MARKETS: Here’s the cool thing about this bit o’ mental magic…in my experience of performing this for 10 years, I’ve found that adult audiences, teens, and even elementary kids can appreciate the effect. I’ve performed this for corporate groups, daytime school assemblies and night time family shows. It plays well for all of them.

MY THOUGHTS: From what I’ve said thus far, you should be able to tell that I really like this effect. The props look great and the puzzle pieces themselves are large enough for big audiences. Once you find out how it works, you’ll definitely have one of those “oh, I could have thought of this” moments. That being said, everything is so well made and the high visibility of the props really adds a visual element to the effect. Additionally, unlike the version I bought 10 years ago, this version gives you TWO options so you could do this for repeat audiences.

10 out of 10.

Holidays and REVIEW: Briefcase Table by JL

The holidays are upon us!!

Welcome back, dear readers. Sorry about the delay with the blog the last couple of weeks. Between my performing schedule and getting the new hypnosis office open, it’s been pretty hectic around here. Add in a bout of serious flu this past week, and I have been amazed at how fast time flies!

It’s the end of October and that means the year is just about over…and that means there’s only one month left to make the investment for my incredible “Murder By Magic: The ULTIMATE Corporate Magic Show.” At the end of this year, it will be pulled…forever!

On to this week’s review…it’s The Briefcase Table by JL. It’s available for $229.95 from Hocus Pocus.

Here’s the description:

This Heavy Duty Professional briefcase table is beautifully made with top quality materials to insure a lifetime of use. If you are a working professional you will appreciate all of the upgrades that lesser quality tables do not offer.

Take a look at these great features.
Double braced chrome plated tripod Stand.
Black Velvet like storage bag
Thick rubber feet
Extra large heavy duty flange (attached to case)
Heavy duty flange (attached to top of stand)
Full height adjustability
Lined case to protect against scratches
Storage pockets
No wobbling
Built to last a lifetime

Briefcase Dimensions Approximately: 3.5″ x 12.5″ x 18″

Table Height when assembled Approximately: 24″ to 36″ (Adjustable)

WHAT YOU GET: You get the briefcase itself, with the mount on the bottom for the stand. The case itself has inner pockets to store props, too. You also receive the adjustable stand with a velvet bag.

MY THOUGHTS: Since this is not a ‘trick’ I will get right to my thoughts. This case and stand combo is REALLY well made. It has the silver corner protectors in the ‘musical equipment roadcase’ style that is popular these days.

The stand itself is super stable and the overall look of this combo means your show will really look stylish – so much more so than a traditional briefcase, which is what many magicians use.

I myself typically travel with a lot more equipment than will typically fit into a briefcase, but lately I’ve been re-visiting Dan Harlan’s Pack Flat, Play Big series of DVDs and I know that some day I will be downsizing my show into something a bit more manageable and this case will completely fit the bill.

RATING: This is an incredible value as a great way to both transport your show – either all or part of it, depending on your style – and as a way to perform in a way that is stylish and modern. 10 out of 10.

Sorry about the short review this week, but the way my schedule is, it’s hard keepin up.:)

REVIEW: Creature Shock by Peter Loughran

Hello all!

Well, election day has come and gone….I’m just glad that I won’t have all of those damn political messages clogging up my answering machine.:)

Just a quick reminder that Murder By Magic is available again here at Hocus Pocus but ONLY until the end of the year and then it is GONE forever. It really is the ULTIMATE corporate magic show and can easily play for 400, 200 or 20 people! Pros around the world who have made the investment continue to praise it. The clock is ticking.:)

On to this week’s review: Creature Shock by Peter Loughran. It’s available from Hocus Pocus for $699.

AD COPY: The performer introduces a small magical chest and explains to the audience that this chest is actually a portal or a gateway to another dimension, and this is how magicians have been making animals and objects appear in their magic acts for centuries. He will now reveal to the audience how the magical gateway works and will now demonstrate the illusion.

The performer introduces several playing cards that have different names of animals on them that a magician might produce or make appear in their magic acts, for example a Dove, Rabbit, Canary etc. He has someone in the audience select a playing card, and show everyone what they have picked. The card is shown to have the word “Rabbit” written on it.

The performer now opens the chest and shows it to be completely EMPTY. The chest is closed and then the door is opened and a rabbit is pulled out of the box just like magic! The audience is thrilled but wants to see more, so the magician offers to do it again, and this time they can select a different card.

The next card is turned over, but to the magician’s horror, the card says “Gorilla”. The performer seems confused and starts to utter…”What does that card say?…A Gorilla?…how the heck could a Gorilla fit inside this small….” Then before the magician has a chance to finish his sentence, the small chest starts shaking violently out of control, the front door busts open and a giant Gorilla arm comes lunging out towards the audience, and reaches for them and the magician. The magician, frantically struggles, but manages to somehow contain the beast and close the door. The chest still shaking wildly, the performer decides to ditch the prop, and move on to a much easier and less dangerous card trick.

A hilarious and action packed routine great for all ages, full of laughs and surprises, a guaranteed hit at your next show.

You can use any small animal or object that will fit inside the load area instead of a rabbit. The inside boasts a clear coat armor finish that makes it virtually stain proof and animal droppings will easily be cleaned up after each show.

You can show the box empty before the first production, and then show it again empty after the first production and before the gorilla makes its appearance. It is also possible to once again show the box empty after the gorilla has been contained.

Creature Shock is fully self contained, and requires no special clothing, just pick it up and perform it, simple as that. Sets up and Resets in about 1 minute and is very easy to do. Built like a professional illusion and tricked out in polished aluminum.

Creature Shock is very deceptive from just a couple of feet away, and great to perform up close or on stage. Just as people begin to think the gorilla arm might be, being animated by simple puppetry, you turn so that the audience can see both hands are still on the outside of and still holding the chest. The Gorilla arm itself also appears much longer than any of your own arms which only add to the impossible appearance of the illusion.

Packs small and plays big!
No animals were harmed in the making of Creature Shock; however some of the humans didn’t make it.

Creature Shock comes with professionally built illusion chest, playing cards, and instructions.

This illusion is built on order, please allow 2-4 weeks turnaround time

Custom ATA Case – Please add USD $199.99

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: You receive the specially designed box itself and written instructions along with routining ideas.

QUALITY: I love the fact that not only is Peter’s stuff modern-looking (no damn dragons spraypainted!) but by adding the silver metal corner protectors, the box is well-protected. The written instructions are very detailed – the workings are so simple that Peter could have done the ‘one sheet treatment’ with this release but he goes into much more detail.

DIFFICULTY: This is one of those effects that from a technical standpoint is really easy, maybe a 1 on a 10-scale of difficulty, but the true secret of this effect is selling the idea that a gorilla is trying to get out of the box. You’ll need to do some acting and work on your blocking, which leads me to…

ANGLES: The angles are quite good on this for the first production of the animal or whatever you produce the first time, but for the gorilla, you want your audience in front of you. If you have audience members sitting on the sides or in back, you’ll be busted. In my opinion, while the trick is deceptive from up close, the angles on this will keep me doing this strictly on stage where audiences are more easily controlled (as opposed to birthday shows!)

AGES: I feel this effect may be too scary for daycare-age kids, but thus far in my performances, kids of a wide range react really well to it! So far I’ve used it for audiences from K to 5th grade and the responses have been incredible.

MY THOUGHTS: The first time I did this, the audience lost their minds! The screams and laughter blew me away! I did it early on in the show and when I was building to my big climax trick, several kids in the audience called out, “Bring back the gorilla!” That was REALLY cool, as I had held off on ordering this effect until I  had a place for it in one of my school assembly shows. Once I found the right place for it however, it fit like a glove.

One thing I should mention – if you do this as a way to produce a live animal, make sure your animal is not a ‘chewer,’ as the first time I performed this, I used a rat and the little beast chewed a hole in the gorilla hand! The secret compartment where the animal is hidden is the same place where the gorilla arm is.

In my case, I simply switched to producing a non-live animal for the first production. After making that switch, the quality & reaction to the effect did NOT drop at all as the nature of the production (based as it is on a fantastic classic principle) is so deceptive that pulling anything out of the ‘empty’ box is mindblowing.

RATING: Peter Loughran continues to deliver big-time with his releases and this is no different. 10 out of 10.