Draven Reviews: Pyro by Adam Wilber

“Pyro is probably one of the funnest magic devices that I’ve ever played with and have no clue what to use it for in my entire life!”

This isn’t going to be one of my usual reviews.  Normally when I review a product it’s because I own it and have had a chance to play with it extensivly before I write my review.  I don’t own Pyro, but I got to play with one a friend owns last night.  I couldn’t help myself.  After I had the device strapped to my wrist I thrust my hands forward and yelled HADOKEN as I activated the switch.  A second later a flare shoots forth and I had to have felt like I was 8 years old again on Christmas morning.

The device gets four charges per load, and works on remote switch.  The remote has about a second delay between when it’s touched and when the device fires.  The range on the loads I played with were pretty short.  I’m not sure if you can increase the range by adding more flash paper or not.  The device itself is pretty durable, and pretty well made.  It attaches to your wrist like a watch and is warn on the underside of your arm just below your palm.

I’ve got to be honest with you.  This has got to be one of the funnest little toys I’ve played with in a long while.  The idea of being able to blast off fireballs when ever I want is just inviting trouble.  Trouble I’d be all to happy to get myself into.  To which brings me to the biggest concern I have for this product.  I’m scared sick kids, and by kids I mean anyone with the maturity of an eight year old regardless of physical age, are going to be using this more as a toy to throw fireballs at each other than a serious magic aperatus.

And while I’m on the subject of magical aperatuses I’m not sure how practical Pyro is going to be as such.  It’s not that this doesn’t have potential.  It’s just I don’t think people are going to buy it and use it for anything more than self amusement.

The price of the product just adds to my concerns.  At $174 dollars a piece this makes for one expensive toy.

The jury is still out on the practicality.  On one hand it’s an automatic four chamber remote activated flash pot, but on the other this is something I’d expect James Bond to use not a magician.  I don’t know.  I’m just stuck here scratching my head.  Maybe I’ll eventually break down and spend the $174 bucks and get one for myself.  It’s really fun to play with but what the hell would I ever use it on?  That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself if you’re thinking about getting one.

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Draven Reviews: The Classifying Deck by Granell

approvedTitle: Classifying Deck
Artist: Granell
Producers: Granell Magic
Retail Price: $29.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Length of DVD:  About 20 minutes
Notes:  Spanish speaking with English Subtitles

 

 
Includes:
•    Instructional DVD
•    Deck of Bicycle Playing Cards + Gimmicks
•    Printed Instructions

Features:
•    Play All
•    Trailer
•    Performance Tutorial
•    Other Products

The Classifying deck is an interesting creation.  The deck contains gimmick cards that allow you to cut off an exact amount of cards that you wish, and do so with absolute accuracy.  You can also use the deck to quickly find and assemble either the four kings or the four aces.  The deck can be examined by your spectators and they won’t find anything, and it can also be used for any other tricks that would require the use of a standard deck of cards.  This is quite possibly one of the most versatile gaffed decks I’ve ever played with.

The DVD is pretty easy to follow along with, even with English subtitles, and the setup for the deck is mercifully simple.  It’s going to take you a few minutes just handling the cards to get the idea of what it is the deck does, and how it does it, but once you’ve got that down this deck is just evil in what it can do.  I imagine combining this deck with a memorized stack would enhance any Card At Any Number routine to the next level, let alone any other demonstration where you need to convince the audience that you have absolute mastery over the cards.

As advertised on the back of the box you can hand this deck out for inspection.  I wouldn’t let the spectators riffle or shuffle it, but you can very fairly show all the cards as being different, with no doubles, or rough and smooth cards in play.  I really like the idea that you could use this deck for any other card routine that would require you to use a standard deck of cards too.  You could easily open with a demonstration of card counting, then cut out the aces, and then the kings, and then go into any other card material for the rest of your close up set.  It’s practically an act onto itself.

Close up workers are going to love the hell out of this deck.  It’s perfect for card magic, and I imagine it will become a staple in many acts.  It’s practical and pretty much self working.  Sans the time you’ll spend getting the feel down for it.  This isn’t going to be like all the other gimmick decks you buy.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The ones where you buy it, use it once, and then toss it back into your magic drawer never to see the light of day again.  You’re going to love the hell out of this deck.  If you like card counting displays or convincing your audience that you have absolute mastery over playing cards, then this deck is for you.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
At thirty dollars the deck is a little more expensive than other gimmick decks on the market, but this one comes with a DVD and can be used for other standard card tricks so it’s worth it.

Teaching Quality: 6
The Spanish language with English subtitles is about as easy to understand as it’s going to get. Could I nickel and dime it here for ease and comfort?  Probably.   But did I learn how to set my deck up, and use it?  Yes.  Mission accomplished.

Video & Sound Quality: 6
The video on the DVD isn’t exactly studio quality, but it works.  The sound is good.

Overall Quality: 8
This is going to be something you’re going to use.  I loved this deck, and now I just need to find a way to work it into my close up arsenal.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: The Mullica Wallet

approved Title: The Mullica Wallet
Artist: Tom Mullica
Producers: Heinz Minten Magic
Retail Price: $85.00
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 5 Minutes
Notes:  N/A

 

 

 
Includes:
•    Instructional DVD
•    The Mullica Wallet

Features:
•    Play All

The Mullica Wallet is probably one of the most well known magician wallets on the market.  Many wallets that are on the market today, that have come out since the Mullica Wallet first appeared have included this type of effect just because it’s still one of the best card to wallet routines out there.  The plot is simple.  The spectators signed card appears inside a small wallet nesting inside a larger one that’s been your pocket the entire time.

The DVD is as simple, strait forward and in your face as it gets.  Tom shows you himself how to handle the wallet, position the selected card, and execute the moves needed to pull the card out of the inner wallet.

The wallets themselves are high quality leather wallets produced by Heinz Minten Magic.  The wallets should last a very long time with proper care and use.  The wallet is about the size of a check book, and the inner wallet is only marginally smaller than the outer one.  The wallets are expertly designed to hide the mechanics when they are opened up and viewed by the spectator during performance.  As an additional bonus Tom has included a blank card with “The Other Wallet Dummy” written on it, which is a throwback to how the wallet came when they first were released.

The Mullica wallet handles like butter.  It is super smooth to transition the card from deck to position, and then work the gimmick in the wallet to load the card in.  The only concern I would have for the functionality of the wallet is in its size.  The size of the wallet maybe a bit of a put off for some people who prefer a more natural looking approach to their magicians wallets.  Other wallets on the market look more like your typical hip pocket style and they’ll do the same thing.  The longer size of this wallet still lends it to the image of it being a “magician’s prop” despite how beautiful it looks and handles.

The hardest sell with this product though is the price.  $85 dollars for a wallet ISN’T cheap!  Other wallets out there do incorporate the Mullica principle plus do a lot more in the way of peeks, and offering you additional hold outs, for comparable pricing.  The Works Dream by Harry Robson sells at $167 dollars, includes the Mullica wallet principle, and jams in a lot of other features, peeks, loads, and even an out to lunch holder.  “So what?  That’s paying close to an additional $82 bucks for something with a lot of bells and whistles I may not need” You say. Well if you are only interested in doing a simple card to wallet then Steve Draun has one on the market that does just that- card to wallet, for $40 bucks.  He calls his The Real Man’s Wallet.

So you have a lot of options when it comes to selecting a wallet to do card to impossible location with.  With the Mullica wallet you’re paying a lot of money for a wallet that just does card to inner wallet.  That’s it.  No peeks, no nothing else.  That’s a hard pill to swallow considering the Mullica principle has started to become something of a standard feature on modern magician wallets.  On the upside however it really is a very nice leather wallet.

So at the end of the day, if you’re out shopping for a magicians wallet to do card to impossible location and the Mullica Wallet is one you are looking at I guess you really have to weigh the costs of the wallet against the bells and whistles other products on the market can offer along with doing the same thing.  It’s going to be a personal choice.  I can tell you this, you won’t be sorry if you do get the Mullica wallet.  It’s beautiful.  The investment is well spent.  It handles like butter, looks and feels great.  But given that it’s just a card to wallet at 85$ dollars apiece, that’s going to be a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 6
The price is a bit steep considering other wallets will do the same thing or more for a little more (or less) money depending on what all you want the wallet for.  The product quality though is outstanding.  It’s a beautiful wallet.

Teaching Quality: 8
The DVD really wasn’t necessary.  But Tom is a good sport and explains things mercifully fast, and in a way that’s easy to understand.  I don’t want to say “fool proof”, but it’s as close to that as you can get.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
The video quality isn’t exactly HD but it works.  Sound was okay too.

Overall Quality: 8
For what this is, this is an amazing product.  It’s pricy, but worth it if you want a Mullica Wallet and nothing else.  Just keep in mind you’re paying for the name brand as well as a magicians wallet.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: On Off by Nicholas Lawrence

approved
Title: On Off
Artist: Nicholas Lawrence
Producers: SansMind Magic
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Length of DVD:  41 Minutes
Notes: You will need anywhere from one to three identical rings of a specific type.

 

 
Includes:
•    Instructional DVD
•    Gimmick

Features:
•    Play All
•    Menu
•    SM Products
•    Credits

The classic remove your thumb gag illusion that we all learn as kids just got an upgrade.  Remove your pinky finger, pull it clean and clear from your hand, and then snap it back on!  This is On Off by Nicholas Lawrence.

This is an interesting illusion that looks simple enough to perform and is a pain in the hands to master.  Literally!  When I saw the demo video for this one online I thought to myself “Now this has potential.”  I love geek magic, and I’d almost classify this into that category.  The nice thing is, so long as you have a finger, you can perform this illusion.  So it’s ALWAYS with you.  There are no fake fingers to palm in or steal away.  It’s real flesh and blood that you’re using.  This brings me to why it’s such a pain to learn.  You’re going to have to teach your hands how to smoothly go into positions that will be awkward at first to do.  You’ll have to stretch and work on this one to get it right.  It’s deceptively simple looking.

The DVD talks about you needing to supply your own finger ring, and quite possibly two of them to do it the preferred way.  Honestly, I think this is over kill.  You can almost do this without a ring, and get away with it in front of spectators, and the one ring version is enough of a fooler to pass even the closest of inspection by someone burning your hands.  The DVD comes with special material to construct your own gimmick that helps sell the illusion via the use of black art but again I think this really is just over kill.

The DVD teaches you several different handlings for this trick so you can figure out what works better for you from there.  This trick is angle sensitive, though with proper practice and audience management there really shouldn’t be an issue.  You should be able to shield everything so you can perform in a half circle and still be okay.  Obviously you don’t want anyone shorter than where you’re working looking up.  You don’t have to worry about anyone behind you as they’ll never see anything anyways.

The gimmick ring construction with the material provided is pretty simple.  I think it’s entirely unnecessary but that’s just me.  The construction will take you all of five minutes to complete.  If you do decide to use any of the ring versions of this trick then you’ll have to supply your own rings.  This will mean you may have to go ring shopping because you’ll want all the rings to look exactly the same.  So be prepared for that extra hidden cost.

This is a fun little trick to do for people when doing street magic.  It’s so quick that the spectator doesn’t see it coming until its hit them firm between the eyes.  The reactions you will get are priceless! No matter which version you choose to use, ringless, single ring, double ring, or gaff ring, you’ll have a powerful little reputation maker on your hands.  You just have to devote the time to teaching your fingers to go into new positions.  If you are looking for something quick that packs a visual punch, and is a little off the beaten pass then On Off is for you.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 6
The price is okay, and so is the trick.  You’ll need to buy a ring or three especially for this trick.

Teaching Quality: 7
The moves are going to take some time to master.  The teaching is pretty good though.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Good audio and video.  No issues.

Overall Quality: 7
This is a fun trick.  It’s very visual, and not something you’ll see everyone doing.  I think it’s a cleaver play on a classic, tired, and over used trick.  I think it’s worth checking out.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Fair Play: By Steve Haynes

Title: Fair Play
Artist: Steve Haynes
Producers: Paul Harris Presents
Retail Price: $39.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 35 Minutes
Notes: None

Includes:
•    Instructional DVD
•    Gimmick with caring case and protective sheath
•    Additional Printed Quick Reset Instructions

Features:
•    Play All
•    The Secret
•    What You Get
•    Setup/ Preparation
•    Routines
•    Care and Feeding
•    Bonus Fun
•    Credits

You have a spectator take selection of one of three items, a bill, a card, and a coin, and pocket it.  They then choose an item to hold for themselves, and an item to give to you.  They can change their mind at any time, and as many times as they want.  In view since the start is your keyfob with a prediction encased in plastic, a prediction that matches their outcome every time!  This is Fair Play.

The Free Will concept has got to be one of my favorite bits of impromptu mentalism.  I perform it anytime I’m doing close up or walk around magic, and often it’s just impromptu with three items I can find laying around.  It always gets strong reactions, and now with Fair Play there’s no more using a magician’s force!

Fair Play is a completely self contained gimmick that has been ingeniously created by the creative minds of Steve Haynes and Uday Jadugar.  The gimmick does all the work for you, and even includes a cleaver cheat sheet that will go completely unnoticed by your spectators that clue you into how to operate the gimmick when it comes time for the reveal.  Resetting the gimmick is quick, but shouldn’t be done in front of your audience.  The gimmick will do most of the dirty work in the presentation, and just like with Free Will a little creative effort on perspective in regards to reading the prediction will take care of the rest.  This is quite possibly one of the easiest tricks you will ever perform and the reactions it will get will outweigh the cost.

The gimmick looks like a little sheet of paper that’s been encased in plastic for protection.  The writing looks like it was hand written by you, and not obviously mass produced or a printed hand writing font from a computer.  The gimmick part of this little device is absolutely 100% invisible.  The first time I used it I even fooled myself.
Fair Play is a strong contender for Trick of the Year, and one that you’re going to be seeing quite a lot around.  This is going to be one magic trick that everyone’s going to want to do.  So get your orders in now.  This won’t stay on your magic shop shelves for long.

The DVD isn’t very long, and covers care, use of, resetting, and presentations for the Fair Play gimmick.  It’s not hard to learn, and as I’ve said already it’s something you’ll master in minutes.  This will go into your pocket or onto your key chain, and it’s something you’ll never leave home without.

When it comes to walk around, close up magic / mentalism Fair Play isn’t only practical but it’s a must have.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
Good price great product.

Teaching Quality: 9
Easy to learn, quick to master.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Good audio and video.  No issues.

Overall Quality: 9
This is a strong contender for Trick of the Year.  This product is in high demand right now, and for good reason.  Magic that is this easy to perform, and delivers that powerful of reactions from such a small device is rare to come by.  Own it now while you can still can before it goes out of stock.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at [email]draven@williamdraven.com[/email] to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Breakthrough by Mengel Brothers

approved Title: Breakthrough
Artist: The Mengel Brothers
Producers: The Mengel Brothers
Link: http://www.mengelbrothers.com/breakthrough.html
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 2 hours 8 minutes
Notes:  n/a

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Introduction
•    Story
•    Performances
•    Explanation
•    Extras

A coin is placed on the bottom of an empty soda can, you give the can a simple shake and the coin instantly appears inside the can as if it just fell through a solid surface!

Impromptu Coin in Can has been done before, and most recently by Wayne Houchin with his effect “Sinful” made famous by Criss Angel on his television series Mind Freak.  Honestly I considered Wayne’s method to be the industry standard for performing this kind of illusion.    That was until I saw the trailer for Breakthrough by the Mengel Brothers.  The trailer blew my mind.  It was strait forward, it was powerful, and it looked amazing.  Here’s a coin, here’s a soda can, here’s a coin in a soda can.  Any questions?  I signed myself up for a copy without hesitation.

So who are the Mengel Brothers?  The short story is that they are two brothers from Estonia.  But there is a much longer story to be told, and the exciting thing is their adventure is just starting. Their names aren’t well known in the magic community yet.  I say yet because they share a spot among a few up-and-coming stars of the future magic stage.  They came out of nowhere a couple years ago appearing in online magic forums saying they had a dream to create magic, and inspire others.  Then they made good on their dreams by producing a quality product.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see more from these two in the near future.  They are dreamers, they are visionaries, and I expect to see great things from them.

The DVD is more than just a magic trick and its explanation.  It’s a documentation of the dedication to the dream these two brothers shared in creating magical content that would be distributed and received by the community.  I found their story and their magic both to be inspiring. So let’s get down to the brass tacks here and discuss what the Breakthrough is for Coin in Can magic plots.

The set up for the trick is pretty damn cleaver and you have different ways you can get into it.  I love versatility.  Yes you can borrow a coin from a spectator and yes the can itself can be borrowed too.  Unlike Houchin’s method in Sinful the can you use in Breakthrough will be empty before you even start.  I actually prefer this method more since it makes much less of a mess.  Getting into performance position requires a little bit of magical maneuvering and minor sleight of hand, but nothing anyone couldn’t figure out how to do within a few minutes.  It’s pretty basic stuff.   If you already perform Sinful then you’ll find Breakthrough pretty easy to learn.  The angles in Breakthrough are also on par with if not better than the angles in Sinful.

If the Brothers are at fault for anything in this DVD it’s over explaining things.  They take a lot of time focusing on every single nuance, including teaching the setup sleight that it can bog things down a bit for someone who is more experienced with magic.   Over teaching isn’t a bad thing mind you.  I’d rather have too much material and just fast forward through the parts I already know then not have it and be left wondering what the heck am I suppose to do here?

Learning how to perform Breakthrough though will cause your magic tuned gears inside your brain to come to a grinding halt.  I know it did mine.   The very first reaction you’re going to have is “This is angle sensitive!  I can’t perform this surrounded!”  And you know what?  You’d be wrong.  This is a very creative trick and it can be done surrounded, but you have to be aware of those said surroundings.  Breakthrough is one of those tricks that once the method was learned I sat back and said to myself:  “This will NEVER work in a real life situation.”  Then I went out and tried it.  I was wrong.  I was very wrong.  Breakthrough fries people.

There isn’t a gimmick, but there are times where the coin can “talk” which would ruin the trick.  Breakthrough can be performed using a signed coin or an unsigned coin if you wish.  Clean up is pretty easy too but, depending on the version you use, can run the risk of losing you a coin in the process. The good news is you start clean, end clean, and both soda can and coin can be borrowed.  .

There is a bonus link that you get when you purchase the DVD that takes you to their website for a special follow up video helping address some concerns and feedback they’ve received and even teaching additional cleanup methods that require a little bit of palming.  The bonus video, with a run time of about 17 minutes, has just as much heart and passion as the DVD.  I agree with the brothers on the grounds that the illusion works more on auditory, hearing the can rattle inside, I just can’t stress enough that this is going to be one of those tricks you just need to reserve judgment on until after you’ve done it for a few live spectators first.

Breakthrough is a practical coin in can presentation that requires very little sleight of hand and some creative exploitations of the properties unique to most soda cans. It can be done in walk around situations and is ideal for parties where there are no shortages of empty cans laying around.  The DVD over teaches the effect so there is no single reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to quickly master this routine.   I liked it, and I’ll probably get a lot of use out of it at my strolling gigs or even for use at parties.  Pay attention to the Mengel Brothers, I think they’ve got some creative ideas and I look forward to seeing what they come out with next.

December Update: Two months ago I got Breakthrough in the mail.  My initial response to breakthrough was skeptical.  I’ve put off releasing this review until I’ve tested this trick in front of live audiences myself several times.  After two months of performing Breakthrough I can say that this trick has yielded amazing responses from my audiences. I’m glad I’ve delayed this review in favor of testing this product as thoroughly as I have.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
You get more content than you pay for with this DVD.  You will need to be aware of your surroundings while performing this trick.  Audience management will be necessary.  It will require some very basic understanding of sleight of hand.

Teaching Quality: 10
This DVD is way over taught.  It is ideal for a beginner, but the more experienced magician may become bored with the over analysis of every aspect of the trick- not necessarily a bad thing.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Great sound and video quality.

Overall Quality: 8
The story behind who the Mengel Brothers are, and where they came from was inspiring.  The trick is something that you’ll get some work out of.  Would I recommend this trick to you?  Hell yes!  This is great for anyone in magic, new to experienced, street to stage.  You’ll get some good work out of this Breakthrough.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: What The Fork? By Michael Dardant

approved Title: What The Fork?
Artist: Michael Dardant
Producers: System 6
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty:  Medium to Difficult
Length of DVD: 59 Minutes
Notes: This is a full explanation behind Michael’s full close up act.  Some additional props maybe required to learn, practice, and execute this routine.

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Chapters

What The Fork is what happens when you take a comedy magician, put him in front of a camera, and have him perform, reset, and then explain the methodology that goes into the how and why his act works the way it does.  It’s an unprecedented look into the mind of an award winning artist.

I think a lot of magicians are going to buy this DVD thinking to themselves “Oh boy!  I’m gonna learn me how to do an award winning close up act!”  When in reality that’s not the point of this DVD.  Sure Michael does teach you how he executes all his moves but what is being taught here isn’t exactly the magic per say.  It’s the methodology that goes behind Michaels motivations that is being taught.  The real gold mine is in seeing the creative process an award winning comedy magician goes through in order to create a full close up show.  Sure you can go out and buy all the extra little things he uses and create a clone of his act but really… if that’s what you bought this DVD for then you’ve completely missed the bus on what’s being taught.

Since the purpose of this DVD is more about the psychology and methodology behind executing Michaels gold medal close up act, than the individual tricks that go into it I’m not going to focus on all the tricks he does.  It was an absolute treat to be able to see how someone sets up, and resets, for their close up show that is so heavy with item production.  I loved Michaels attention to call backs, as themes he introduces throughout his routine keep coming back over and over again.  He’s a charming and funny entertainer.

I’m not sure how to really classify this DVD.  This isn’t really designed to be a tutorial on how to do specific magic tricks, and it’s not strait out theory.  It’s more of a secret back door into a magicians mind as you get to see the on stage and behind the stage look at a full act.  There is a lot to be learned here, but the lessons aren’t as direct as, say, instructions to do a French Drop.  I really enjoyed this DVD and I think it’s important for any serious practitioner of close up magic to watch.  It’s important to understand what goes into making a prize winning routine worthy of a gold medal, and Michael does a pretty good job showing that to you.  If you’re only looking to learn new magic tricks then I’d pass on this DVD.  The most important things it has to teach you will be wasted.  But if you’re looking to see how a pro approaches putting together a full show then this maybe something that is right up your alley.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality:  7
I’d gladly pay $30 bucks just to see him perform.  Now consider you get to see him reset and explain everything as well?  Sign me up.

Teaching Quality: 7
You get to learn some methods to how he does his tricks, but you also get to see the method to his madness.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
The sound and video are both great.

Overall Quality: 7
Michael is charming, and I found this DVD to be educational.  I think it’s well worth picking up.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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