Sorry for the delay of this week's blog but due to my super-crazy schedule, I can honestly say that trying to launch a new business - my upcoming hypnosis clinic - is going to chew up any free time I have.
On another note, this week saw yet ANOTHER school show get snowed out here in the Northeast US, where we've been getting hammered by snow. It's frustrating to have your client call and say the gig has been snowed out...however, the BEST part of all of it is the fact that schools ALWAYS want to reschedule!
Schools are often very flexible with their scheduling so it means that losing a gig because of weather is rare indeed...compare that to the corporate market, where if you are unavailable for a certain date for a certain client, in most cases, you're completely out of luck.
If all of this sounds like I'm building the school market up it's because I am - for years I chased the mystical thing in the magic biz known as stability and it was not until I devoted myself to the school market that I actually achieved stability that now allows me to devote time to a new business.
The school market is FANTASTIC and you can learn all about how to excel in this market this coming July! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Other topics...the new issue of "Cause & Effects" ezine will come out in a few days. Sign up by emailing me today!
Also, I've added a few things to my list of goodies that I'm selling. Shoot me an email and I'll send you the list...
On to this month's review...
It's Dream Prediction Lite by Paul Romhany. It's available for $199.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=9513
EFFECT: It's the Canfabulation plot built for stage! No more do you have to restrict your prediction to a small card. ANYTHING your audience says you can show to have predicted.
WHAT YOU GET: A DVD with two performances (two different routines) and Paul's in-depth explanations. You also get some gimmicked envelopes, a clipboard and pen.
QUALITY OF STUFF: The gimmicked envelopes are made of mostly paper so you can't drop them in the bathtub.:) The window that the audience can see the folded prediction paper through in covered nicely in plastic so it looks really nice from stage.
The instruction provided by Paul is top notch. Rather than just breeze through instructions like some pricier effects' DVDs do so often, Paul takes the time to cover the important performance points of an effect. Good stuff.
Also, to expand on the DVD for a moment, the live show clip Paul provides is from the original Dream Prediction DVD, in which Paul performs this on a cruise ship. This is something I find extremely satisfying...seeing a routine performed in a live setting for real people REALLY reassures me when I'm looking to add something new to my act(s). Oh sure, the L&L stuff looks great, but seeing a live show just feels better.
The second performance is Paul demonstrating the effect with the new, improved handling and with a second type of presentation. This presentation is just done for the camera, with Paul's lovely wife Natalie helping out.
Other than showing the differences in handling, what's interesting is the effect plays just as innocently and cleanly "close up" in the second performance as it does for the cruise ship performance in front of 1500 people...meaning the effect is extremely versatile.
For me, this is great, because my 'primary' customized theme corporate show is something I may do for 20 people in a board room or for 200-300 people in a hotel banquet room and while I have in the past(and still do) change up the effects based on the size of the audience, I'd vastly prefer not to do this...meaning Paul's answer fits my needs hand-in-glove.
ANGLES: Very forgiving, especially for large audiences. Paul tells me he does this 'almost' surrounded and I can see this working nearly anywhere. Awesome.
MARKETS: I will say this is ideal for teens or adults. The first time I performed this for a school, it was for K-5 grades and teachers. The teachers loved it, the kids...not so much.:) It doesn't mean it's a bad effect...simply that it's best for adults. (Believe me, I don't whip out PB&J for my corp shows either - LOL)
In short, stick to the adult/college/teen markets for this one.
DIFFICULTY: None of the workings are difficult, which is typical for mentalism, yet the physical actions are highly motivated, meaning nothing looks unnatural. In particular, the 'move' that allows you to show the envelope front & back before dumping the prediction out is a lot easier than I thought it would be. It's technically very easy, maybe a 2 out of 10, but it's one of those moves where it truly and honestly needs to look as though you are doing NOTHING, so put in the practice. I say this as a warning: Paul teaches it well and it really is simple, but even the simplest moves can 'look funny' if we don't have them committed to our muscle memory.
Hmmmm...that's good advice for anything in magic.:)
MY THOUGHTS: This is about as good as it gets, and it's such an improvement over Paul's original Dream Prediction. That's not to say that it was bad (it was really good) but this is better for the main reason that you can now show BOTH sides of the envelope before dumping the prediction out. THAT my friends is a HUGE convincer, and takes Paul's already terrific original product and elevates it to sheer genius.
In my opinion, the Confabulation plot is just about the strongest thing you can do in mentalism - to the audience, they think of literally anything and you have someone open up a prediction that's in full view the whole time that predicts whatever the audience thought of. No restrictions, no fishing...just pure amazement.
I've been closing with my own Confabulation routine for 12 years that slays audiences, but I always wanted something written on a BIG piece of paper yet was still a one-man, real-time routine.
I can't imagine anyway to improve upon this product...and a heck of a way to end Paul Romhany Month! I know I've rated Paul's stuff very highly, and even though he's a friend, I never felt 'obligated' to rate his stuff so high. Paul's been a full-time pro for 22 years....which blows me away! I've been a full-timer for 8 years and most of the time feel incredibly confident in what I do. I can imagine the experience I will pick up by the time I've hit that 22 year mark!
10 out of 10.
NEXT WEEK: I take the controversial Nomad Pad!