Thursday, December 30, 2010

My "Best Of" List for 2010

Hey everybody,

Cris Johnson here with a 'best of' list for 2010. Before I get to that, a big THANK YOU for all the new sign ups for my "Cause & Effects" free ezine! I've got a GREAT article coming out in a few days! Sign up for free by sending me an email at

On to this week's blog entry...

I debated for a while as to my criteria for my 'best of' column. First of all, realize that the following list of certainly NOT comprehensive in terms of all of the best new magic of 2010, primarily because I do not get all of the new magic releases. 98% of the stuff I review is stuff I buy with the idea of putting it into my own programs.

What I decided to do is include anything and everything I've reviewed since I started this blog and BOUGHT (or received) since I started this blog. Under that criteria, I would not include the Mind Reading Goose,for example, which I bought early in 2009, before I started the blog. I'm only doing this to make things a little more interesting.:)

I'll also go from what I feel was the BEST thing down to #5.

OK, here we go....

#1 - Sound Control by Jim Kleefeld

This is not a 'trick' per se, but for me, this is incredible. If you want to control your music and don't have a huge budget, this is wonderful. I have used a Virtual Soundman in the past and while I like it a lot, I feel Sound Control is easier to control and offers more options, including volume control and more.

The only downside? They're getting harder to come by. Jim told me he has a few left in stock, so if you want an affordable way to control your music (if you're a one person act) THIS IS IT!

#2 - Incredible Suit Jacket Escape by Anthony Lindan

I'll be favorite effect of 2010 was a tough call. I was torn between this and #3 (ALIVE by Bobby Motta). I settled on this simply because this can be done literally anywhere under nearly any condition. (More on #3 later.) I've wanted to add a funny escape to my act for something different for years and struggled to write something myself but just couldn't come up with anything. This release was truly a godsend and I couldn't be more thrilled with how this plays. After 30 or so performances, I'm sure I will feel the same way 10 years from now. Simply an awesome routine in every way that plays equally well for adults or family shows. You can also do this surrounded, from any angle.

#3 - ALIVE by Bobby Motta

In many ways, I feel this is actually the BEST thing I've picked up in 2010, but it gets bumped down to #3 only because I've found some audiences do not like rats. While other animals will fit in the box, rats are the best from a temperment standpoint. Nevertheless, this routine gets an unbelievable reaction and in most cases, I have a hard time following it. Unreal. Plus, the box itself is built incredibly well. Once the box is loaded, you can do this from any angle.

#4 - Magellan Levitation by Jimmy Fingers

I love this for so many reasons - it's practical, it's portable, the angles are very good and it's well-built. About the only negative with this is that you can't do it surrounded. That's a very mild negative and honestly I can't recall ANY levitation that looks this good with perfect angles. If you want to actually rise in the air in front of your audiences, this is awesome.

#5 - Spirit Table by Tim Wisseman

WOW is this cool!!! I bought this earlier in the year with the intent of only using it in a specific teen program that I wouldn't even start performing until summer 2011. I managed a way to work it into my corporate holiday programs and performed it 5 times in December and the reactions are incredible! The only reason this is not higher is because I've only currently used it 5 times and the prop only "fits" into two of my shows, but man, is this terrific! You can do it surrounded, close-up, parlor, whatever. Well-built and reliable, this is a dream come true for someone into the Bizarre stuff.

Well, that's my list. Again, I have a LOT of stuff I reviewed and LOVED but as far as what I bought in 2010, this is my personal top picks for this year.

As far as coming attractions, I'll soon be reviewing the following...

- Get Nyman DVD set
- Dresscode DVD
- T3 by Christopher Taylor
- Further Education DVD set by John Archer

My next blog will be a day or two after I return from vacation, on January 11. Happy New Year!!


Cris Johnson


  1. Thanks Cris for putting Anthony's Suit Jacket Escape on your short list for the best of 2010! Quite an honour! I'll let Anthony know.

  2. Hey Bill,

    Thank YOU for putting out such great stuff! I'd put Celebrity Smart Ass on the list too - I haven't actually performed it yet, but I know it will be a winner.:)