Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dead Rap by Tim Wisseman

Howdy, folks!

I’m writing today’s blog from sunny, scenic Phoenix, AZ. To show you how LITTLE I grasp geography, it’s been two years since I last performed in AZ so I was surprised to see mountains as I drove through the city! (Hey, everybody talks about the fact that AZ is in the desert!!)

Quick housekeeping…

First, I’m REALLY excited about a new product release! My wife Libby has come up with the most innovative design of a classic piece of magic. I’ve already talked to Paul about it and he’s REALLY excited! I still have to shoot a quick instructional video for it, get the prototype packed up and ship it to Paul to look over. This is gonna be GREAT!

Secondly, for my corporate gig today, I debuted Anthony Lindan’s Incredible Suit Jacket Escape. I’m pleased to report that all of the laugh lines Anthony promised were on the mark indeed delivered as promised. I gave this product a great review and I stand by it. It’s a great routine with all the room in the world for you to add your own stamp of originality.

Next, once again I’m gratified at how many people continue to sign up to my “Cause & Effects” FREE ezine! If you haven’t signed up yet, shoot me an email to It’s FREE!

Third, my newest book, “Cause & Effects Volume 2” continues to sell like hotcakes! Thanks to all of you for your support. Writing magic comedy routines is TOUGH work and often takes years, so this book, at a platry $24.95, has MASSIVE value for those who use it.

Now let’s get to this week’s review…

Today I’m tackling “Dead Rap” by Tim Wisseman. It’s available for $299.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here’s the link:

EFFECT: At any point in your spooky show, séance or creepy gathering, you can cause a mysterious ‘rapping’ sound to be heard, similar to how mediums and spiritualists used to manifest decades ago!

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: The main ‘dead rap’ prop, remote control and instruction sheets.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTIONS: The instructions are sparse but serviceable. With a prop like this, you’re really paying for a tool and it’s up to you to make the prop “sing.” It’s similar to buying a hammer…it doesn’t make you a carpenter. Therefore, elaborate instructions are not needed.

QUALITY OF PROPS: Tim makes REALLY cool stuff. I’ve been using his Spirit Bell for about 2 years now and it’s beautiful. I’ve also ordered his Spirit Table and it’s due any day now…I’m excited! Dead Rap is intended to never be seen by the audience, therefore this time Tim has built the prop into an everyday object with the idea that it can, if needed, “hide in plain sight.” When I used it, it was completely out of sight, but that’s just me.

The prop works reliably each and every time. If I am considering an electronic product and I see Tim’s name on it, I rest easy, knowing the prop is going to be reliable. Dead Rap is no different.

DIFFICULTY: Since you are literally just pushing a button, this rates a 1 out of 10 on the ‘difficulty’ scale. That being said, if you use the toe switch option, this is best used in a seated performance. If you are a one person show (as I am) you won’t have the opportunity to turn the unit on during the show, so the unit must be left on throughout your show. Since I always stand and walk around when I perform, I found that by using the toe switch, I was in constant danger of triggering the thing. It’s not a problem with the device, only my style of performing. Use the toe switch while you’re seated and you’ll be fine.

Happily, you can also use the remote traditionally – in your pocket. This is also reliable as can be.

MARKET: This is intended for séances or other ‘spooky’ kinds of performing, so in that respect, this is really only intended for teens or adults. However, the creative performance could simply mount the prop into another container or prop and use it in a ‘lie detector’ kind of comedy presentation, so the possibilities are there for kids’ shows, too.

MY THOUGHTS: Despite all the good things I have to say about Tim and his creations, I feel Dead Rap is slightly off the mark. While it’s reliable and well-built, I feel it has one flaw: whenever I trigger my device, right before the rap, I can hear (as loud as can be) an electronic triggering of a relay. This sounds like a sharp click. (For many years I installed car alarms and electronic door locks in cars, so I am very familiar with this kind of technology.)

To me, this clicking noise before the actual rap really takes away from the effect. Granted, I know most other people are not going to be familiar with the electronic clicking of relays and their origin, but even without knowing WHAT it is, to their subconscious minds it will sound familiar and once it sounds familiar, it’s not going to be spooky but rather a curiosity.

You may get one good ‘scare’ or ‘jolt’ with one rap, but repeated raps (such as yes/no answers) are going to diminish the effect.

I feel Tim has done the best job possible with the technology currently at hand and I’m sure as technology advances, so will this effect.

MY RATING: I’ll give it a 6 out of 10 mostly for incredible reliability. I’ll also end this review by stating that again, I love Tim’s stuff and look forward to getting more of his products in the future.

Until next time, send any questions or comments to:


Cris Johnson

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