Draven Reviews: In Between by Michael Kociolek

approvedTitle: In Between

Artist: Michael Kociolek

Producers: Michael Kociolek

Link: https://www.lybrary.com/in-between-p-922258.html

Retail Price: $7.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Advanced

Length of PDF:  36 Pages

 

 

Michael Kociolek has released a beautiful sandwich style effect with In Between.  A spectator (or two) are asked to make a couple card selections that will aid in the presentation of the magicians next trick.  One card selected represents the value of a yet to be determined card, the second selection represents a value.  For sake of discussion let’s just say the first card was a four and the second card was a heart.  So, the third and final card would be the four of hearts.  The two selected cards are returned to the deck face up while the magician’s back is turned. The deck is shuffled, and when spread, sandwiched between the two selected cards is the final thought of card!  This routine is nothing short of a miracle, and the reactions it gets is killer!

 

If the normal handling isn’t powerful enough for your liking, then the super charged In Between will really impress.  This allows a third unknown card to be seen sandwiched before the spectator names his thought of card.  There are some tradeoffs to doing it this way, all explained in the instructions, but the impact it has is undisputable.

 

What’s the drawback you ask?  If any it’s the fact that you will require a fair amount of skill in order to perform either routine.  The effect is reliant on the in the hands Faro shuffle, and while providing some excellent resources on learning the Faro, it doesn’t focus on teaching it.  If you can Faro, then you’re in for a real treat with this trick!

 

I really loved the potential In Between offers.  The steep learning curve with the required skill set will keep the curious at bay.  It’s not going to be a flavor of the week kind of trick for sure.  But in the right hands, I think it will be a beloved one.  And for only seven dollars!?  Sign me up all day long!  I’m super pleased with this purchase.  Well done Michael!

 

“Power like this shouldn’t be publicized.  This routine is killer!”

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

Hard to do, but well worth the effort to learn.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Explained well.

 

Overall Quality: 8

Great potential!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Double Duke by Michael Kociolek

approvedTitle: Double Duke

Artist: Michael Kociolek     

Producers: Michael Kociolek

Link: https://www.lybrary.com/double-duke-p-922488.html

Retail Price: $8.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Advanced

Length of PDF:  33 Pages

 

 

Apparently gambling routines are among the most exciting card affects you can perform for an audience, or at least that’s what Darwin Ortiz once said.  Granted given the scope of his work I’d say his opinion is a little more than slightly biased, but I digress.  We’re here today to discuss another mind bender from Polish magician Michael Kociolek; A gambling routine he calls “Double Duke”.

 

Have you ever wanted to convince your friends you have godly powers at cheating cards without requiring the skill, and time spent learning it, of Peter Turner?  Michael has created a beautiful routine with cards that will certainly give your audience the illusion that you possess incredible skills at card cheating.  In your audience’s eyes, you very well maybe better than Erdnase.  Or Daniel Madison at the very least.

 

In Kociolek’s Double Duke routine you present a gambling plot where, in the end, no one wins.  This may sound a little odd, but it’s great for audiences that don’t play poker and thus don’t know the strength of the individual hands.  In Kociolek’s routine you explain the technique of Double Duking, which is dealing your opponents good hands so they bet, only to lose to you who secretly deals yourself the strongest hand.  At the end of the routine of course the magician has proven his prowess with cards and came out the winner.

 

The routine is ideal for being an opener because it sets up your skill as a card shark.  It has a lot of audience participation and doesn’t require anyone to understand how to really play poker to enjoy the performance.  The draw backs?  This requires the ability to perform Faro shuffles.  If you’re not savvy with a Faro shuffle there are alternative handlings that use partial to no Faro shuffles.  It just depends on which version appeals to you the most.

 

As far as presentation, there is a lot going on.  Cards being selected, culled, controlled, story telling and exposition, spectator participation, this routine has a lot of moving parts.  But when pulled off the audience will be absolutely convinced that you are a god with cards.

 

Would I recommend this?  Absolutely!  It’s a fun routine, and it has some strong moments.  It’s a lot of work though, so I think that will keep the curious away.  If you like gambling routines, then deal yourself in with Double Duke!

 

 

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

Fun routine.  Lots of audience participation.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Three handlings to choose from, and all expertly taught.

 

Overall Quality: 8

A superb gambling demonstration plot!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: D’Angelo’s Touch by: Rafael D’Angelo

approvedTitle: D’Angelo’s Touch

Artist: Rafael D’Angelo

Producers: Luca Volpe

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwnPOQ5DNXU

Retail Price: $35.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Intermediate

Length of Video: Varies between videos. 

Notes:  Small booklet approx. 16 pages, with accompanying video downloadable from a secure website address.

 

 

I was introduced to Rafael’s work when I first purchased his Everlast swami gimmick.  I liked the gimmick, I just didn’t like the style.  It wasn’t me.  But it was cleaver, and I saw some promise in this young mentalist, so I was thrilled to see he released something new.    His most recent publication is his personal work on his method for delivering PK or Spirit Touches.  Calling the work D’Angelos Touch he shows you how to perform his full personal routine without the need for loops or other gimmicks.  If you’re looking for a good spirit touch method, you’re looking in the right place with Rafael’s work.

 

The booklet is very short, and the routine is best learned if you watch the accompanying videos along with reading the book.  There are quite a few of those too!  15 in total!  You’ll see several real time performances of the routine, as well as break downs and discussions as to what to do, and how to do it.  The script is provided for you in the back of the book, and the routine itself will take quite a lot of practice to get everything smooth.  It’s not complicated, but it takes a certain finesse and polish to make it look good, and that only comes with doing it thousands of times in rehearsal.  But make no mistake about it, this routine is strong enough you could start religions with it!

 

Sadly, this product does NOT come with TV or Internet rights.  The author has reserved the rights to both of those.  Which is a major let down for some people, as this is the kind of thing that looks good on a camera.  Thankfully Rafael has provided an email address you can reach out to in order to inquire about those rights should you wish to do this for your next YouTube video.

 

Having access to magic routines that require zero props, and zero preparation is an important thing.  And if I ever got caught flat without access to any of my props this is certainly a routine I’d turn to.  This is a perfect routine to do in any situation too.  All the moves are so bloody quick and well-motivated that you can do this surrounded, and people still won’t catch anything.  This is a powerful routine if you put the time into mastering it.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

The price is a little out there, and I’m sure some people are going to be critical of that.  The magic is worth it, but the quality is in the routine you’re going to master, not the method that education is delivered to you in.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Between the book and the videos Rafael has gone above and beyond to make sure you understand every nuance of his method.

 

Overall Quality: 8

Want something powerful that has zero props?  This is the one for you.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Bizzare by Arnel Renegado

not approvedTitle: Bizzare

Artist: Arnel Renegado

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkMcIxnhc5g

Retail Price: $6.95

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video:  15 Minutes

 

 

Bizzare is a strange little illusion where a card is seen visibly penetrating another card, kind of similar to Geoff William’s “I Hate David Copperfield” trick. When you’re done, the card can be immediately handed out for inspection.

 

I’ve recently been on a kick with penetration illusions.  Everything from card thru bill, to some of the larger stage things like Abbot’s Houdini Ropes, Penetrations seems to be the bulk of my summer studies.  When I saw the trailer for Bizzare I thought to myself, for about seven bucks, how can I go wrong?

 

Hurray for instant gratification, I didn’t have to wait long to dig into this effect.  The first thing I noticed strait away is that the moves, even in the demo, SCREAM to the audience something is being done here, even if they don’t quite know what that something is.  The moves are just telegraphing to the audience that the magician is blocking the line of sight to do some magic monkey business.  Which with the very tightly controlled angles the camera is seeing, makes the trick look a little more impressive on TV than what I feel it is in person.

 

The handling is clunky, the clean up is cumbersome, and overall, I just don’t feel this is a great trick.  There’s about a half dozen other penetration affects you could do, and several of them use cards, that I would almost prefer over this one BECAUSE the handling is so awkward.  At the end of the day, this one is a loser.  I’d pass on it.  You won’t be missing much.  Thank god if you’re only out seven bucks!

 

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 3

The illusion, due to the handling required, is pretty meh.  There are other penetration effects I’d go to over and before this one.

 

Teaching Quality: 7

The trick is well taught.

 

Overall Quality: 3

Overall, I was unimpressed.  I’ll take a pass on this one.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: The Vault: Two Incredible Forces

approvedTitle: The Vault: Two Incredible Forces

Artist: Gary Ouellet, & Lubor Fiedler

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=62161

Retail Price: $9.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video: 12 Minutes (approx.)

 

 

The Vault is known to have some gems stocked away in it, and Two Incredible Forces is no exception!  Get your cards out, because you’re going to learn what has quickly become one of my favorite ways to force a card.

 

The video is a quick one and teaches two moves.  The first is the Touch Force by Canadian magician Gary Ouellet.  This brilliantly fluid force is incredibly deceptive and allows you to easily force a card on a spectator all the while having them believe they could have touched any card in the deck.  Since I’m rubbish with a classic force this is got to be the closest thing to it that I’ve seen yet.

 

The second move, called Fiedler’s Flyer, is an interesting force in so much as a card selected by a spectator vanishes from the deck and can be reproduced from any impossible location you prefer.  The best part?  No palming!  That’s right, card to wallet without the need to palm an entire card!  You will need to construct a gimmick, which should take you all of two minutes, but other than that you’re ready to roll.

 

Both sleights are easy to learn, taking only a few minutes to get the mechanics down, and with a little practice should be smooth in no time.  They’re also strong workers.  They can be applied in many ways, and their use is only limited to your imagination.  You could present the routines discussed in the video, but I think you’ll probably have way more fun thinking up your own devious applications.  I know I have.

 

With the price point coming in just shy of ten bucks this is cheaper than a movie and offers, in my humble opinion, more entertainment value.  Whether you’re a card guy or not, this is a great video to pick up in order to arm yourself with some useful forces you’ll undoubtably love.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

Great price, good tricks, fun magic.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Very easy to follow.  Live performances provided.

 

Overall Quality: 8

A great purchase!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: 10 Second Star Sign Divination by Oliver Boes

not approvedTitle:  10 Second Star Sign Divination

Artist: Oliver Boes

Producers: Oliver Boes

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $13 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Book:  11 pages + Bonus PDF download.

 

 

I’ve never heard of the French / Portuguese magician Oliver Boes before, but he credits Fraser Parker, Matt Mello, Bob Cassidy, and Peter Turner as inspirations with special thanks so he’s got to be on the right track to something good right?  Being a huge fan of Peter Turner myself I decided to check out Oliver’s 10S Star Sign Divination routine that he published as a short E-Book, and the wonderful thing about e-books is instant gratifications!  No waiting for the UPS guy to deliver it.

 

I have a soft spot for mentalism.  I like how cerebral it can be, I love how personal it can get, and some of the reactions audience members give are just so visceral.  Since Astrology has always been a fun talking point to get into with people, useful because you can use it to cold read if you like, being able to divine someone’s birth sign without them knowing how you did it is a very handy tool to have.  I’m familiar with progressive anagrams and they can take a bit of memory work, and sometimes a bit of fishing to get it to work right.  I was delighted to see that Oliver’s method is not only stupid easy, but painful to watch once you realize what he’s doing.  The method is so perfect it’s evil.  Simple, but highly effective, and I like that.

 

The hit/miss ratio on this is about 90/10% with the routine working in your favor most of the time.  I think confidence is probably the most important part of the success of this routine.  This isn’t a huge miracle though.  This isn’t really a stand-alone trick as it is something that you do to segue into a larger effect.  You do this to build their confidence in your ability to read minds, not to close your show.  But the nice thing is, it’s propless!  No gimmicks, no props, nothing to carry around.  Sure you could make it into something that uses props if you wanted, maybe make it play larger on stage or what not, but at the core this is about as intimate and impromptu as it gets.

 

There’s also a secondary download that you get with this product which is just a pdf with a link to a website that has additional performance ideas submitted by friends of Oliver, and others who have purchased the product before.  Sadly, the link doesn’t work for me so that sucks.

 

So if you want to have some fun with some quick mentalism, this is a great and inexpensive method to read up on.  It’s a great quick mind reading trick, and the method is flexible enough it could be applied to a wider range of things depending on the creativity of your mind.  So this one is a great score!

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 5

It’s a good trick.  It’s a bit pricy for what it is, but it’s solid.  It’s just a pity the bonus page doesn’t work for me.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Stupid easy to do.

 

Overall Quality:  7

Not a bad piece.  Great segue into other material.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Index Express by Michel

approvedTitle: Index Express

Artist: Michel

Producers: Vernet

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $49.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Medium

Length of DVD:  25 Minutes

Notes: Also comes with a PDF instruction book too.

I love mentalism and I love utility devices, so it makes sense that Index Express would catch my eye.  A smaller, pocket sized, index styled after Annemann’s classic outlined in 13 steps by Corinda.  Instead of the usual card loads this smaller index is designed to hold loads made out of coffee shop sugar packets.  You just cut open one end, dump the sugar out, write your prediction on the inside, load the index, and you’re solid.  The types of reveals are up to you, but the instructions lean heavy on playing cards.  Also, like the Annemann index, there’s room for 52 different reveals.

 

Construction of the gimmick is what caught my attention.  I own an Annemann index and it was made from cheap plastic.  This gimmick seems to be made from a sturdy card stock that is riveted together.  There’s an additional inclusion of a slip of card stock in each of the pockets that helps hold the load in place that my other index didn’t have.  I thought that was a nice touch.  Unlike other indexes that can get super bulky, Index Express is super thin!  It is obvious a lot of care and thought has gone into the design of the product.

 

Working with the index is fun.  Like I said, there’s a wide range of things you can do with it so you’re not limited to just the classic invisible deck, any card named, reveal.  If you use the intended loads, coffee shop sugar packets, then you’ll need to purchase a couple boxes of those to get enough to work with.  Splenda, and Equal will also work.  It just must be those small rectangular ones.  Not the straw like ones you’ll see in Starbucks.  Alternatively, I suppose you could use small slips of paper cut to the right size too.  I’ve experimented with Post A Notes, but I kind of like the sugar packet approach better.  I think it feels somehow, more organic.

 

This is a gem of a find!    The price is about right as well.  At nearly fifty dollars, it’ll keep the curious away from it and leave it to those who really appreciate what you can do with it.  The instructions are either a video download, which comes in just under thirty minutes in length, or a short PDF booklet.  I downloaded them both and found them to be useful.  More experienced index users will probably prefer the PDF, while anyone new to the utility will find the video explanation’s helpful.  Anyone with experience working with indices knows the power these things possess!  The learning curve is moderate, it will take some practice to get smooth.  Overall a wonderful tool.  I highly recommend it!

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

Nicely constructed, will hold together for a long life of use.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Video or print, the instructions are clear.

 

Overall Quality: 8

This is a wonderful find! I love utility devices, and you can’t get much more utility than an index.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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