Well, after 3 weeks I FINALLY feel better! It's been rough being sick so much, but I've been home all week, bonding with our new little puppy, Sophie. She is SO cute! A little white puff ball, essentially.:)
Don't forget - my next issue of "Cause & Effects," the FREE ezine, comes out in December where I tackle the 'too-perfect theory' in mentalism. Sign up for free by sending an email to email@example.com.
On to this week's review...
It's The End by Bobby Motta. It's $695 and available from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link to the ad copy: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/inc/product_detail.cfm?item=13070
EFFECT: An attractive metal frame with 6 metal 'cards' is displayed. The cards are in an order that does not spell anything recognizable. The cards are removed and then the board is spun around on the stand. After it's spun around, the audience sees numbers 1 through 6, and the audience is asked to choose which card goes into which number...with the cards' letters turned around, facing away from the audience, of course.
Despite the fact that the audience simply guessed which letter went into which number, when the board is soun around, it spells THE END, signifying the end of your show.
WHAT YOU RECEIVE: The main aluminum board, the six metal letter cards, the stand, a carrying bag for the stand, and DVD instructions.
QUALITY OF PROPS: This is a GREAT looking piece! Lightweight yet durable, this thing looks like a million bucks. My only beef? As I took it on the road for a few days of shows, 4 screws came loose and fell out. (I found and replaced all but one.) This irritated me, but in the grand scheme of things, it's forgiveable. The big thing is this prop looks great on stage and while props do not make the show, a good looking show can certainly help.
QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: Bobby always gives good instruction and he gives some good tips and presentation ideas to help the performer. The thing that I didn't care for was his idea of spreading the effect throughout the show and revealing the climax at the end. That's just me, and fortunately, there are several ways to present such an effect. As always, while Bobby's DVD production value does not match Bob Kohler or L&L, it's still really good.
DIFFICULTY: This is another effect where the technical needs are an easy 1 out of 10 in terms of difficulty, but the fact that the 'move' does 'talk,' which Bobby acknowledges, makes this effect a bit more difficult in that you must time the 'move' with another innocent 'move.' No big deal and for me, a few days of practice and I was set.
MY THOUGHTS: OK, first of all, when I first saw the effect hit the market, I thought, 'great, just what the magic community needs - a $700 version of the Spelling Bee effect.' If you're familiar with the old Spelling Bee effect, you know that you must turn the board away from the audience before you remove the board. Then I watched the THE END demo and I noticed that you can take away the cards FACING the audience and THEN spin the board around. It's a tremendous improvement over the classic effect and it's what convinced me to buy it.
As my readers know, I do a lot of middle & high school shows. For the past year, I've been using Bobby Motta's ALIVE (the rat effect) to end those teen shows. From an impact standpoint, it was and is AMAZING, but to end the show with the rat scurrying up my arm and the kids "wowing" over the animal seemed too abrupt. I want to bring the energy level down a bit to let the audience "breathe." Enter...THE END.
I've performed it 5 times and it serves nicely as an end to the show because it is a definite end to the show, but thus far, it does not blow the audience away. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it's another effect that really requires a good presentation...in other words, you can't rest on the prop itself. It's a tool and if used properly, will work nicely.
MY FINAL VERDICT: I'll give this a 8 out of 10. A nicely built effect, but the screws falling out brings the score down and the (so far) muted reaction means I have more work to do and that's okay with me.
Tune in next week when I review the new Max Maven DVD "Multiplicity."