Artist: Ryan Schlutz
Producers: Big Blind Media
Link: Check this out on Big Blind Media’s website or any other of your favorite Murphy’s Magic retailers.
Retail Price: $30.00
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: You will need a standard number 2 pencil for most of the tricks on this DVD.
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Effortless Effects is a collection of card magic tricks from magician Ryan Schultz. These tricks pack a punch but are also pretty simple to learn to perform making Effortless Magic a DVD ideal for the new comer to magic or the seasoned professional.
On this DVD Ryan teaches seven different card tricks that are pretty easy to perform. The tricks you’ll learn to do are Clearly See Thru, No Hassle Hof, Split Decision, Wrongly Convicted, Forget to Remember, Fish Sandwich, Needs a Name. All these tricks are simple, and a few of them come with alternative handlings that are more advance the one thing I need to note is that most of them involve pencil dots and key cards. Yes! We’re going back to card magic 101 with this DVD folks! This is why I always say never forget the basics, because Ryan will quickly show you how one of the first things we learn in card magic can still be used to create powerful effects that will floor your spectators.
Clearly See Thru: A spectator selects a card from the deck, remembers it, and returns it. The card then vanishes from the deck only to reappear as the only card reversed when the cards are spread.
No Hassle Hoff: Four aces are removed and set aside. They will help later. A spectator selects several cards to make a packet at random, and from the packet of cards they have they choose one card. The packet is returned to the deck, and the four aces are placed into the spectators hands. The spectator thinks of the color and suit of their selected card. One of the four aces matching the color and suit turns face down. The spectator thinks of the value of their card and when they turn over the face down ace it has transformed into their card selection!
Split Decision: A spectator’s card is selected and returned to the deck. The deck is shuffled, and cut. Then through a sequence similar to a lie detector style presentation you narrow down the cards in the deck by “reading the body language of your spectator” to find the spectator’s card is revealed.
Wrongly Convicted: A spectator selects a card and returns it to the deck. The magician shuffles and randomly pulls out several cards enough to form a small packet. The packet is given to the spectator; they cut the packet, and put a card sight unseen against their chest. When they name their selected card it’s revealed the card they are holding is their card.
Forget To Remember: A convoluted multiple out presentation where the spectators thought of card is magically produced after its found missing from the deck.
Fish Sandwich: This is another pseudo psychological body reading effect in which a spectator selects a card and you fish around with different questions seemingly reading their body language before you begin the real trick. They shuffle a deck of cards with two face up kings inserted into the deck. After the deck is shuffled the cards between the kings are removed. Now the plot uncomfortably switches gears from a pseudo psychological body reading into strait up mentalism mind reading. You seem to know what cards the spectator has in her hand, and you narrow them down having them discard cards until the spectator holds only one card. The card you name.
Needs a Name: This is the classic pulse trick where a spectator takes a card, remembers it, returns it to the deck, and the magician holds their hand and uses their pulse, or muscles to “read” what the card is before placing the spectators finger down on their selected card. The only difference is that instead of using a force this uses a pencil dot as a key card.
Bonus: The GAP Principle. Ryan’s Grab Any Pile or GAP principle is an interesting concept that he utilizes in most of his tricks on this DVD. Using the GAP principle allows you to give the spectator a seemingly random selection of one of multiple cards while still controlling, to a degree, their selection. It’s a fun idea to play around with.
I feel that while a lot of the card tricks in this DVD do pack a punch, since they almost always involve giving the spectator a range of choices which makes the ultimate selection feel very randomized the plot lines for presenting these effects are just convoluted and half assed. At the end of the day there are some tricks on this DVD I’d use as is, and others that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole unless I re-wrote the presentation to make more sense. Ryan is very thorough in his teaching methods and several of the tricks above have multiple sections on the DVD where they are broken down move for move, and reviewed again so you really understand what’s going on.
Overall I feel there’s some gems in this DVD, so it’s certainly worth picking up. A lot of Ryan’s work really focuses on the concept of a random and free selection by the spectator which only makes the end result more powerful in their minds. I’m not sure I would perform every trick on this DVD though. After a while the tricks start to feel like you’re doing card tricks for the sake of doing a card trick and less for actually doing magic. There’s a stark difference between a puzzle and a magical experience, and some of these effects feel more puzzle-ish to me. But that’s not saying that there isn’t some good material here. Like I said there are gems. So at the end of the day would I recommend this DVD to you? At the asking price of only thirty bucks you really can’t go wrong especially if you are newer to magic. You’re going to see some old principles reworked in new ways on this DVD and it’ll give you some excellent material to start off with.
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
Some of the tricks are pretty bland from a presentation aspect but there is a lot of good usable material on this DVD. It’s nice to see such classic techniques reworked into some pretty good tricks. The price is affordable too.
Teaching Quality: 8
Ryan is fun to learn from and man do you really get a lot of information during the tutorial portion of the DVD.
Video & Sound Quality: 8
Sound and video are clear and crisp.
Overall Quality: 8
Not a bad DVD, and especially for someone who is new to card magic. There’s some good stuff in here.
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