Title: Ash Paper
Artist: The Other Brothers
Producers: Vanishing Ink
Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer
Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJqI889L3i4
Retail Price: $25.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of Video: 22 Minutes (approx.)
A playing card is selected, and you need to reveal it. A name of someone who has died is written among a list of living people’s names and you want to reveal the name of the one who passed. You want to have a ghostly message appear to spook your audience. Virtually any revelation you can think of can be made that much more powerful by the introduction of Ash Paper!
Ash paper joins a long line of utility devices for revelations limited only by your imagination. Other products that have walked a similar line would be like Fuze, and Impromptu Ghost Glass II. Everyone is familiar with the old ash on arm trick that reveals a selected playing card. With Ash Paper that revelation is more powerful, and sans arm. Great for bizarre work, and powerful for just about anything else.
What you get is a pad loaded with a thicker stock, dark colored flash paper. The dark, black color is important because you’ll need to apply the secret gimmick, which also comes with it, to the paper prior to performance. The results are freaking cool. I could probably burn thru, pardon my pun, an entire pad of this stuff just messing around with it in my home studio. Having a long personal history of using other similar products like Fuse to great effect I can already tell that I’m going to work the hell out of this gimmick. The few people I’ve shown this to have sworn I’m the devil despite my adamant claims to not be Phil Goldstein.
The product comes with a 22 minute long internet streamed instructional video. I’m not sure who the Other Brothers are, as I don’t think they have released any other effects, but if this is any indication to the type of stuff they can do then I’m interested to see what else they can come up with. Setting up your gimmicks is going to be simple. They suggest using a Q-Tip, however I’m going to tell you right now that you’re going to want to go get a small fine tipped paint brush and use that instead. The control you’ll have will be much better than what a Q-Tip would offer. You’ll thank me for this tip later. The one thing I do want to touch upon here is that you receive a package of Flash Paper. For all intents and purposes you’ve got a mini hand grenade. Keep this thing away from ANY heat source unless you want your entire investment to go up in smoke within about 3 seconds. This product is NOT intended for sale to anyone under the age of 18. Minors should have adult supervision at all times if they are going to mess with this stuff. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Go Joe! (if you don’t get the obvious G.I. Joe reference then I’m sorry, but your childhood wasn’t as cool as mine.)
The only down side to this effect, if any, is the prep time. It takes about a good solid five plus hours for the special preparations to finish before you can use this gimmick. I suppose you could use it right away after setting it up, but it would be obvious and wouldn’t fool anyone. This means that unless you know in advance the types of reveals you’re going to use this for, this isn’t going to be as impromptu of an effect as your audience may think. However, the reactions you get from performing it is well worth it! So far, I’ve been using it to reveal selected playing cards, and that’s been pretty good. I know I want to get into some spirit slate style reveals but I’ve not quite got a routine scripted for that just yet. I imagine in the right hands Ash Paper probably be used to start a religion. Once you’ve set the gimmick up properly, and given it enough time to cure, then any dirty work you’ve done to it will be invisible to inspection making this a hell of a utility tool.
The practicality of this type of effect can be limiting. Not because of how awesome it is, because let’s face it, burning names, words, and numbers into real ashes the spectator can wipe away with their hands IS about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, but it is limiting because you’re working with fire. A lot of venues these days, the Magic Castle included, limit, restrict, or outright ban the use of any open flames for effects and that can include flash paper. So, it’s generally a good idea to check with the venue before you start doing a routine using Ash Paper in it. This is one of those rare times where it’s better to be safe than sorry.
At the end of the day though I couldn’t be happier. My studio table is covered in ashes, and every time I have a friend come over I’ve been eagerly shoving this effect in their face to thrilling reactions! This is one of those magic props that is just as much fun to play with as it is to use to entertain others. The only down side is that I’ve only had it for a couple days and I’m already in dire need of refills. I can already tell that this is going to be an expensive toy.
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
The ONLY reason this isn’t a 10 is that I’m going to need to buy refills because I can’t stop playing with it.
Teaching Quality: 9
Don’t know who the Other Brothers are, but they do an excellent job teaching this effect.
Video & Sound Quality: 9
Sound and video are both good for a download.
Overall Quality: 9
Again not a perfect 10 because I am going to be buying refills like mad to keep up with the amount of use I’m going to get out of this. However as for a revelation method these things applications is limitless. Bizarre, Mentalism, Card Tricks, you name it, you can do it with Ash Paper. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
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