Draven Reviews: Zero Elements

approved Title: Zero Elements
Artist: Juan Esteban Varela
Producers: Vernet
Link: Available From Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Retailer.
Retail Price: $59.00
Learning Difficulty: Medium to Difficult
Length of DVD: 2 hours
Notes: 2 Disk DVD set.  Spanish with English dub.

Disk 1 Features:
•    Magic Without Element’s Definition
•    Performances
•    Techniques
•    Choose Language

Disk 2 Features:
•    Principles of the Magic Without Elements
•    Non Included Principles
•    Interviews
•    Considerations
•    Extras
•    Choose Language

Magic without Elements is an interesting idea.  How do you perform magic for people with no props, no cards, and nothing but spoken word and the power of their imagination?  This is a question Juan Esteban Varela has not only asked but answered.  The answer comes in the two disk DVD set Zero Elements.  Because of the nature of performing with no props, nothing except the story you tell this means Zero Elements can play for any audience size, be they in front of you, over the phone or over Television.

Juan had produced a show called “From the Dark” which was a fifty minute show designed for people who were blind.  I remember seeing this show a few years ago at Magic Live.  It was amazing.  The material on Zero Elements served as the foundation for that same show.  Needless to say Juan’s work with words is amazing.  On this magnificent two disk DVD set you will learn the mechanics for over ten highly commercial effects without the use of cards, props, or anything else for that matter.  Juan also breaks down the psychology and principles behind why the mechanics work the way they do.  In theory, though I haven’t tried to do this yet myself, you could easily adapt these principles to new material you create yourself.

The only downside to this DVD set is the amount of script memorizing you will need to do.  Magicians who don’t like writing out scripts, memorizing them, and following them closely will have a hard time with this DVD set.  Also, and this maybe more of a complaint exclusively from English speaking magicians but since this DVD is Spanish with English dub over a lot of the dialog feels funny when trying to listen to it and learn it.  I highly recommend sitting down with a pen and paper and taking notes while learning the material.  The pay off though is an amazing set of effects that you can bust out anywhere and can play to audiences of any size.  Seriously!  I love the fact that you have a full show with no props.

The magic comes across as its own unique genre.  I wouldn’t classify this as mentalism, but yet it’s not quite traditional magic.  It’s simply magic without elements.  I find this all very useful, very practical, and very powerful.  I don’t know any reason why someone shouldn’t own this DVD set.  I give this a solid 8 out of 10.

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 59$ for two disks the price comes out less than the quality of material you’re receiving.  The only downside is that this is an English dub DVD so not all material translates perfectly.

Teaching Quality: 6
The tutorial is excellent, but due to the dubbing, can be hard to follow in places.  I recommend a notebook and pen is highly recommended for ease of mastery of this material.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
Good sound and video quality.  The dub voice gets a little annoying in places.

Overall Quality: 8
Own this.  You have no excuse not to.  This two disk DVD set is solid gold!

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!

About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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