Cool New Music Controller and REVIEW: Hanky Panky by Scott Alexander & Puck

Greetings, loyal readers!

Before I get to this week’s review of a stellar trick, I also want to let you in on a REALLY cool way to control your music remotely. Long-time readers of this blog know that I’ve been using Sound Control for the last few years. It was a great little device put out by Jim Kleefeld and was an economical way to control your music, as it was essentially a remote control for your iPod. I love mine and still have two units.

Jim recently tipped a new music controller to me and at first I resisted, as Sound Control was working so well for me, but the more I read about this new unit, the more intrigued I became as it offered several details that Sound Control didn’t, and a few of the little bugs in Sound Control have been worked out.

It’s called Ultimate Control and it includes an mp3 player and remote and once you understand how this little guy works, you’ll see it ROCKS. It is NOT an off-the-shelf product re-worked for entertainers…it was designed and built from the ground up for one-person entertainers like me.
I’ve used it in 25 or so shows so far this year and I LOVE it. Brian offers killer customer support as I had some trouble with it at first…because I didn’t watched the instructional videos all the way through! Brian is a class act and was very patient with me. This gets my highest recommendation and at $450, is very reasonably priced for the working professional. I don’t make a dime off of this but simply want to pass the word along.

You can check it out at http://www.happieamp.com/ultimatecontrol.html

On to this week’s review…it’s Hanky Panky by Scott Alexander & Puck. It’s available for $175 from Hocus Pocus. Here’s the ad copy:

This trick packs small and plays HUGE!

Hanky Panky utilizes a classic premise that has stood the test of time, but Scott and Puck have updated it for a modern audience. It’s the 20th Century Silks on steroids!

The five minute routine not only features stunning visual magic, but also has a kicker finale that involves hilarious audience participation and comedy. It is the perfect opener to music, which then evolves into an audience interactive piece, allowing you to showcase your wit and personality.

With the added bonus of the killer Prisoner’s Silk Ending, this is a complete package that can easily find its way into any working pros arsenal.

The kit has everything included. The DVD provides a detailed explanation of our routine, as well as some tips for effective audience management when performing this visual magic and its killer finale.

WHAT YOU GET: Several very high quality silks, including about the best set of 20th Century Silks I’ve ever seen. You also receive the instructional DVD with a live performance of Scott performing this in front of a cruise ship audience.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: Simply the best. Both Scott and Puck are on here, each teaching different elements of the routine. What I like most about this (besides the clear directions of the effect itself) are the professional touches…the little tips, tricks and techniques that shave months of the ‘learning curve’ of a new routine. They’ve honed this through hundreds of performances and it shows. Any time I receive this kind of instruction for a single effect, I feel as though I’m attending a master class in magic.

QUALITY OF PROPS: As I mentioned earlier, the silks included are all of the highest quality.

DIFFICULTY: One of the reasons why I did not jump on this when it first came out is because, while watching the demo video, I was convinced that the set up for that killer finale had to be something insanely impractical for a guy like me…Iean, come on – Puck and Scott are on cruise ships with fancy lighting, etc.

Boy was I wrong.

Not only is the set up much easier than I thought (I never read Rices!) but there are no complicated body loads, sleeving or anything like that. To be sure, this is NOT a close up effect, but even a school show performer who has horrendous lighting conditions (like me) will be able to do this. Additionally, the re-set does not look to be too bad, either.

MY OTHER THOUGHTS: I’ll be honest…another reason why I dismissed this release is because the first part of the routine was the tired old 20th Century silks. I’d quit performing that effect years ago when I went pro…it was a tired old effect, right?
No way…I actually got very good reactions for the 20th Century Silks years ago in my birthday party shows, but I guess along the way to becoming a full-timer, I got jaded like a lot of magicians and abandoned the classics. Shame on me!!

RATING: I’m delighted with this release and though it came out last year, I freely admit I’m a ‘johnnie come lately’ and will put this on the short list of my ‘fav effects of 2013.’
10 out of 10 – a steal!

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