Draven Reviews: The Gordon Diary by Paul Gordon

Do you have some extra holiday cash burning a Ho Ho Hole in your wallet?  Want to know what you possibly missed out on this season?  Well I’m back with a special holiday edition of my Draven’s Reviews to discuss whether this new batch of tricks are holiday hits, or just steaming piles of yule tide turds destined for the land of misfit magic.  So grab your eggnog, sit back, relax, and let me tell you about what’s hot and maybe what’s not this holiday season.
Title: The Gordon Diary
Artist: Paul Gordon
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer
Retail Price: $45.95 Complete Package $24.95 Lite Version
Learning Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Length of DVD:  58 Minutes (Approx.)
            I’ll never forget the first time I saw a diary style performance done.  It was the closeup room at the Magic Castle back in 2005.  I was floored by how magically impossible the entire effect seemed!  Since then I’ve owned a diary or two over the years, but I’ve always been so apprehensive about performing with one because they usually involve a fair amount of memory work, and I’m admittedly not that very good at math and memory stuff.  Things like memorized decks and diaries usually make me shy away from them.  Then came the demo for the Gordon Diary from Paul Gordon.  I’m a fan of Alakazam.  Peter and the crew over there usually put out solid products so that got me curious enough to nibble at the bait and see if I land a winner with this new effect.  Let’s just say that so far, I’ve not been disappointed.
            The effect comes packaged in a nice little box.  Included in the box is the diary itself, a crib sheet card, and the instructional DVD.  First off, and out of the gate, let me just say the presentation of the box the effect comes in is exquisite.  This is a first-rate boxing job, and it’s something I don’t want to go unmentioned.  Under the foam protection, and cradled in a custom cut foam holder is the diary wrapped in protective plastic.  The diary itself is light weight, and pocket sized.  Perfect for nestling in your inside coat pocket or your back pocket.  The diary also contains a page in the front that list the Zodiac signs and their corresponding dates, as well as important information on each month’s birthstone and flower along with the flowers secret meanings.  For the average worker this maybe some useful information to use in witty banter between you and your mark, but the Bizarre workers are going to love this because it gives them perfect ins for cold reading the mark and making the most out of their experience with the trick.
            The idea for the effect is strait forward.  A spectator’s chosen card matches identically to an entry in the diary of a freely nominated date made before the card was chosen.  The thing that caught my eye about this particular diary is that it requires no stack.  No memorizing deck orders, and No set ups.  Making this a powerful piece of closeup that is ideal for strolling.
            The DVD ranks in at just under an hour.  You get to see great live, in studio, performances and the hands-on tutorial portion is really top notch.  The effect is strong enough to stand on it’s own, or versatile enough that you could use the information gathered from your spectator to segue into other mentalism or reading style effects.
            There is no memorizing deck orders that’s for sure, but there is obviously some cerebral mechanics going on behind the scenes to make the magic happen.  Nothing worse than an invisible deck though, so that’s good!  It’s not hard, hell even I could do it.  But I think this will be an effect that is going to either resonate with your performance character or it won’t.  I don’t see everyone doing this.  I’m not going to mislead you intentionally with this review.  The learning process has a curve.  And until you get what it is you’re doing, it’s going to seem hard.  But once it clicks, it’s not that bad.
            The pricing is also good for how strong the effect is.  At just under twenty five bucks, this is less than the cost of an average movie ticket for you and a date.  If you wanted to make your own diary using Paul Gordon’s system then you could purchase the Lite version of this trick for about twenty dollars less.  The Live version just has the DVD and the crib sheet.  You’d have to find, and create your own diary from there.  This actually may appeal to some because it allows for the maximum amount of individual customization.  Food for thought, especially for those are not new to diary style effects.
            Over all I’m satisfied with the Gordon Diary.  Still not sure if this will be something I will be adding to my personal act anytime soon, but it’s really fun to play with, and the magic it helps you perform is rather quite strong.  If you like this kind of thing, you should certainly check out The Gordon Diary!
            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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 8
            Fair price.  Strong magic.  Not a lot of props.
Teaching Quality: 9
            Very well taught.
Overall Quality: 8
            Over all I really liked it.  It’s not as hard as other diaries, and it packs a powerful punch on spectators.
Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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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