Draven Reviews: What The Fork? By Michael Dardant

approved Title: What The Fork?
Artist: Michael Dardant
Producers: System 6
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty:  Medium to Difficult
Length of DVD: 59 Minutes
Notes: This is a full explanation behind Michael’s full close up act.  Some additional props maybe required to learn, practice, and execute this routine.

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What The Fork is what happens when you take a comedy magician, put him in front of a camera, and have him perform, reset, and then explain the methodology that goes into the how and why his act works the way it does.  It’s an unprecedented look into the mind of an award winning artist.

I think a lot of magicians are going to buy this DVD thinking to themselves “Oh boy!  I’m gonna learn me how to do an award winning close up act!”  When in reality that’s not the point of this DVD.  Sure Michael does teach you how he executes all his moves but what is being taught here isn’t exactly the magic per say.  It’s the methodology that goes behind Michaels motivations that is being taught.  The real gold mine is in seeing the creative process an award winning comedy magician goes through in order to create a full close up show.  Sure you can go out and buy all the extra little things he uses and create a clone of his act but really… if that’s what you bought this DVD for then you’ve completely missed the bus on what’s being taught.

Since the purpose of this DVD is more about the psychology and methodology behind executing Michaels gold medal close up act, than the individual tricks that go into it I’m not going to focus on all the tricks he does.  It was an absolute treat to be able to see how someone sets up, and resets, for their close up show that is so heavy with item production.  I loved Michaels attention to call backs, as themes he introduces throughout his routine keep coming back over and over again.  He’s a charming and funny entertainer.

I’m not sure how to really classify this DVD.  This isn’t really designed to be a tutorial on how to do specific magic tricks, and it’s not strait out theory.  It’s more of a secret back door into a magicians mind as you get to see the on stage and behind the stage look at a full act.  There is a lot to be learned here, but the lessons aren’t as direct as, say, instructions to do a French Drop.  I really enjoyed this DVD and I think it’s important for any serious practitioner of close up magic to watch.  It’s important to understand what goes into making a prize winning routine worthy of a gold medal, and Michael does a pretty good job showing that to you.  If you’re only looking to learn new magic tricks then I’d pass on this DVD.  The most important things it has to teach you will be wasted.  But if you’re looking to see how a pro approaches putting together a full show then this maybe something that is right up your alley.

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:  7
I’d gladly pay $30 bucks just to see him perform.  Now consider you get to see him reset and explain everything as well?  Sign me up.

Teaching Quality: 7
You get to learn some methods to how he does his tricks, but you also get to see the method to his madness.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
The sound and video are both great.

Overall Quality: 7
Michael is charming, and I found this DVD to be educational.  I think it’s well worth picking up.

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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