Draven Reviews: Flown Away

approvedTitle: Flown Away
Author: Paul Romhany & Jasper Blakeley
Publicist: Pro-Mentalism Stand-Up Series
Retail Price: $39.95 USD
Reading Difficulty: Easy
Notes:  75 pages + Accompanying DVD



•    Paperback
•    DVD
◦    Play All
◦    Scene Selection
◦    Graphics

Flown away is a mentalism routine in which a spectator gets an opportunity to “fly” to any destination they want among a list of fifty of the world’s most popular tourist stops.  The spectator gets to make a selection, from a stack of fifty cards each with a different destination on them, keeping the selection and returning the rest to an envelope.  The selected destination card is then put in a smaller envelop and isolated.  Before they “depart” on their “vacation” they are given a travel insurance brochure to hold onto.  The mentalist then tries to mentally see where they are going, and of course gets it wrong.  The performer describes Las Vegas.  The performer tries again, and gets the spectator’s destination correct on the second try, opens the envelope with their destination card inside and verifies for the audience.  The kicker ending is the performer speculating whether or not this was all predicted in advance.  When the insurance brochure is opened it says that they couldn’t land in their original destination of XXX because it was too foggy and they were forced to land in Vegas instead!

I’m a huge fan of tricks that pack small and play big, and outside of a couple envelopes and some index cards Flown Away falls into that category.  But what I’m not a fan of is make it yourself magic!  When you get Flown Away you get a 75 page paperback book with the routine fully described and written out inside along with a DVD of Jaspers performances.  The book has five additional ways to modify or adapt the performance to your own style including a zoo theme for children or a whodunit mystery theme which I rather liked.  There’s even a drawing duplication version which was pretty neat too.  All versions make use of a gimmicked envelope which you’ll have to build yourself.  As much as I hate Arts ‘N Crafts type of magic tricks this is pretty simple to assemble.  You’ll need some scissors or a knife and some spray mount or a glue stick.  You’ll also need access to a printer so you can make up the travel insurance documents.

The routine is pretty fun to perform and there’s a lot of room for impromptu bi-play that can be done with your spectator.  Jasper I feel has a strong point when it comes to being entertaining and putting your own spin on things as opposed to just being another carbon copy of another magicians act.  Once you’ve built your gimmick, assembled your destination cards, and got everything ready to perform this entire act will fit nicely into a space the size of a brief case.

The DVD is utter crap.  The video is grainy and the sound is not professionally done.  It looks like Jasper just put his own camcorder up on a tripod and recorded three of his night club performances and slapped it on a DVD with no label or cover graphics.  It’s just one static shot for the entire performance.  The DVD is amateur at best, and frankly brings nothing to the table in product quality other than having images on it of what his travel insurance brochure looks like; images mind you.  Not a PDF file you can download and open, just images.  You’ll have to create your own if you want to do this routine using your computer.

Flown Away represents a working mentalism routine that will be fun and entertaining for the audience when executed with any mote of showmanship.  It’s flexible enough to be applied to different performance themes, as you’ll see in the book since it lists five different adaptations on its own, and I’m sure you’ll probably come up with your own adaptation that works for your character too.  This is something that will travel with you and play to audiences of just about any size.  Close up to parlor and stage.  This will work on them all.  The DVD sucks but at least the material is solid.

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, Readability and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7
Good working material.  Easy read.  Good price.  Pathetic excuse for a companion DVD.

Teaching Quality: 7
The book is direct and to the point.  The material is easy to understand and after some assembly easy enough to perform.

Readability: 7
The book is a quick read, and a good reference to stage mentalism acts.

Over All Quality: 7
Anyone interested in learning a fun mentalism act that plays well to audiences of any size will love Flown Away.  The kicker confabulation ending is just icing on the cake.

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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