Draven Reviews: Ahead Of The Game by Jonathan Levit

approvedTitle: Jonathan Levit Ahead of the Game
Artist: Jonathan Levit
Producers: Masi Media
Retail Price: $39.99 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Length of DVD: Disk 1: 1 hour 33 minutes  Disk 2: 2 Hours 35 Minutes
Notes: Two Disk Set
Features Disk 1:
•    Main Stage Performance 1
◦    Play With Commentary
•    Main Stage Performance 2
◦    Play With Commentary
•    Interview With Jonathan Levit
•    Black Rabbit Series Trailers

Features Disk 2:
•    Discussions
◦    Connecting With an Audience
◦    The Person I Wish I Could Be
◦    Jonathan’s Show Structure
•    Explanations
◦    Quadrorevelation
◦    Everything Changes (Includes “Levit Triumph”)
◦    Draw A Blank (Jonathan’s “ACAAN”)
◦    The Un-Matrix (Overview/ History/ Tips)
•    Extra
◦    The Levit Wand
◦    C4 Trailer
◦    Thank You’s & Credits

Normally I like to open up my reviews by doing a little quick plug on what the trick is or what it is suppose to look like.  I really can’t do that for this DVD because it’s not just a single trick.  It’s a lot more than that.  It’s a full on study of performance theory, set structure, with a few tricks tossed in for good measure and all from the perspective of master entertainer Jonathan Levit.  A Head Of The Game is Jonathan’s secret to crafting his amazing magic shows.  It’s his secret weapon and he’s tipping it to you with this informative two disk DVD set.

In the first DVD you get to see not one but two of Jonathan’s full close up shows as filmed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.  This will be valuable later on as you start to learn the methods behind his madness to how he creates such powerfully entertaining shows in the second DVD.  It’s a great reference guide to have so you can look back on his performances and say to yourself “Oooh… THAT’s what he’s talking about!”  And to make this learning process even sweeter Jonathan includes a special commentary track that you can play over the performance so you can get into his head and know what he’s thinking as he is performing; step by step, move by move.

The second DVD is where we really get into the meat and potatoes of the material Jonathan covers.  You basically get three lessons in performance theory taught by Jonathan himself, and then he shows you his takes on four classic, but powerful, close up plots.   The extra section is just an area to plug different products such as Jonathan’s own brand of magic wands which are beautiful looking accessories made by a skilled craftsman (his father).

The magic taught on this DVD isn’t anything new.  These tricks have been around for quite a while, and many magicians have contributed their own handlings to these effects.  Jonathan’s handlings, ideas, and notes though are worth paying attention to.  He’s quite skilled at figuring out where the magic moments are and how to maximize them for his audiences.  Even if you already have your own preferred methods for doing things like A.C.A.A.N, or Triumph, it’s well worth looking into Jonathan’s versions.  I especially loved his Everything Changes routine which is a blue-red card color change with a devastating ending.

The real power in this product doesn’t come from the tricks that are being taught, but the gold mine of information Jonathan shares with you on how to create a successful act.  There’s a lot of DVD’s on the market that will show you how to do a magic trick, but Ahead Of The Game is one of the very few that will show you how to be a magician.  I am so grateful that I picked this DVD up.  This was a rare find and a real score.  I can’t recommend this DVD enough!  Well done Mr. Levit.  Well done indeed!

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
Honestly I would have probably gladly paid more than the  retail price for this DVD had I known in advance what was all on it.  It’s worth every penny.

Teaching Quality: 8
Welcome to class students.  Your professor today is Jonathan Levit, and the teacher is in!

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Excellent Video and Sound.

Overall Quality: 9
Seriously, you need to own this DVD.  Now!  I highly recommend it.

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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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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