Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ill-Mannered Magician and REVIEW: The Moment by Mathew Johnson & Christopher Taylor

Hi all,

SO sleepy today...One of the pitfalls of booking oneself is not checking your calendar carefully. Last night was a key example: I finished up one school by 3:00PM and had to drive 7.5 hours home to make a 7:00AM school assembly. With traffic delays, I got home by 12:30AM, got up, did that show, then had to drive 5.5 hours for tomorrow's show...I LOVE my job, but there are times I don't schedule myself like a human.:)

On another note, at a school I performed at this week, a teacher introduced herself to me as a part-time clown/magician/entertainment agent. She said she was really excited to see me imagine my surprise and irritation when she stared fixedly at me for the majority of the show with a bored expression on her face. When she wasn't staring at me looking bored, she was talking to teachers saying things like, "Oh, I do that," or "I know how that's done." She was so obvious what she was saying - I was able to easily read her lips. Talk about a BAD example for kids...and the true irony was the fact that I was hired for that school to perform my "No Bullies" show!

If anyone reading this is new to magic, remember...the classy, SMART magician is polite enough to smile and clap and enjoy the show. Doing anything other will only reveal a magician to be rude, small-minded and...rude. (Told you I was tired.)

It really bugged me because my school shows ROCK. Oh, well, Everyone else loved the show...because the principal told me how much the teachers enjoyed the show.:)

Onto the review: It's The Moment by Mathew Johnson & Christopher Taylor. It's available for $199.95 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link:

THE AD COPY: Predict The Future With A Borrowed Cell Phone!

Who? Where? What? When? Why?

Who? ? Anyone! A spectator or someone chosen at random in a crowd of people.

Where? ? Close-up, on the street, on stage, anywhere!

What? ? Predict the exact moment when ?.

* The woman in red enters the bar The blue car drives by
* The correct object is chosen
* The selected card is dealt
* Limitless Possibilities!

When ? Borrow a cell phone anywhere in the world and set the timer/alarm to any random time, 20 seconds, 38 seconds, 1 minute and 20 seconds, it does not matter! The moment the time runs out on the cell phone the predicted event WILL occur!

Why? ? Because NOW you can! Other ideas include: The performer writes something on a piece of paper and crumples it up. The ball of paper is passed around the group like a hot-potato until the timer on a borrowed cellphone goes off. The participant holding the ball at that moment opens it to find it says, "The moment will be when, [his name] is holding this piece of paper".

PLEASE NOTE: TV performance rights are withheld. Please contact Christopher Taylor for details.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: An explanation DVD, The Moment electronics, the remote and the paper and pad to write your predictions

QUALITY OF AD: Oddly, I found the ad itself to be a little confusing as to the nature of the effect, so if you're as confused as I was, be sure to watch the videos right on the page. I'm glad they had videos because I found the ad copy rather underwhelming, which is funny, because most ads over promise and under deliver!

QUALITY OF PROPS: Top notch! Everything works perfectly after multiple tests, so I feel very good about adding this to my set list. I had a pretty good idea of how this worked, but I was a little surprised at the location of some of the electronics, in that they're hidden in 'plain sight,' which aids mightily in the working of the effect in terms of naturalness. 10 out of 10.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: Without getting into specifics as to WHAT the electronics actually do, I will say that one of the things I LOVE about this product is the fact that Christopher and Mathew take the time to teach some specifics as to working of the remote. The remote can be used in the pocket but they feel the effect is strengthened by being "hands off," so the remote also has a toe switch built into it.

I myself have tried using a toe switch for one other effect and I never had it set right, so every time I tried using it during the show, I was trying to wiggle my toes in my shoes to get the the toe switch into proper place in my shoe. After that, I've never tried to use it as a toe switch...

Well, after watching The Moment's DVD, I'm now convinced that even I can use a tow switch successfully in a show. Top notch teaching here, and a real pleasant surprise. 10 out of 10.

DIFFICULTY: Once you understand the workings, the difficulty from a technical standpoint is easily a 1 out of 10. Of course, for an effect like this, the real work comes from presentation and paying attention to the psychological work, spectator management, etc. Keep that in mind when you see how "easy" it is. I'm not scaring anyone off, just saying (as I always do) that I do not believe there is an "easy" magic effect.)

ANGLES: If done properly, this can be done surrounded. Everything explained in the video is in the context of a close up setting or a small get together. For stage, this should be simple indeed.

MARKETS: I can see this playing well for middle school kids, high schoolers, college or adult groups. I don't believe young kids will care about the phone ringing in conjunction with a magic trick - I think they'll believe someone called in the middle of a trick, interrupting it. I could be wrong, but those are my instincts.

MY THOUGHTS: I love this. Once you know the secret, you'll realize just how much of a utility device this is, meaning you can create a lot of really neat routines with it. One caveat: If you're using this onstage as I intend to, The Moment will only cause the spectator's phone to ring on vibrate. For a stage setting, you'd think this would be a let down, but actually, the creators have come up with a creative solution and after a few private emails with Mr. Taylor, my concerns disappeared and I took the plunge and bought it. I'm glad I did, because of all of the bits of psychology are followed, I can see this being a real fooler.

I highly recommend this and can't wait to start using it. 10 out of 10.

NEXT WEEK: Levent's Ultimate Salt Pour Gimmick and DVD


Cris Johnson

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