I'm back, better than I have been in a few weeks.
Before I get into this week's review, I want to thank a couple of class acts in magic - first, Paul Romhany for private reasons. I've never met him face to face, but over the last several months he's really been a great friend, always quick to lend support when faced with challenges in my personal life - and there's been a slew of 'em in the last 12 months. Thanks, Paul.
Secondly, I want to thank Nick Wenger. Those of you who have purchased Nick's effects, such as his Spirit Bell through Bob Kohler and his Planted effect know he delivers the goods. Well, I hired Nick to build me a custom electronic prop for a specific themed corporate show that I do many times a year. The resulting product is AMAZING! His customer support is great, too. If you're looking for a particular magic prop that doesn't exist yet (an odd thing, I know!) contact Nick - he may be able to help you out. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I have NO financial connection to Nick, but I love his stuff.:)
On to this week's review (which will be a bit shorter than normal because it's a shorter booklet). It's Cody Fisher's Silk 2 Egg! It's available for $40.00 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/product_detail.cfm?item=17224
EFFECT: The Effect: The magician takes a silk and places it into his hand. One magical gesture and the silk is now an egg! The silk is shown to have magically transported to the magician's pocket! The magician proceeds to let the audience in on the secret by exposing the fact that the egg is hollow and he was using two silks. Now that the audience completely understands, a volunteer is brought onstage, given two silks and a gimmicked egg and told to copy the magicians every action.
This is done and both the magician and the volunteer have magically transformed their silk into an egg. The magician says that this is the EASY way to do the trick; the more advanced version is to remove the silk (sticker) and crack the egg to show that it is actually a REAL egg!
The magician says that he feels the onstage volunteer is a quick learner and they are instructed to do the same with their gimmicked egg. To the amazement of the onstage volunteer they do just that! They pull off the silk; it is actually a sticker now! They crack the egg into the glass! Their egg is 100% REAL too and they have NO IDEA how they did it!
PRODUCT DETAILS: An extremely detailed manuscript with color photos, illustrations and extremely detailed description.
DIFFICULTY: IF you're familiar with the traditional silk to egg effect, you have an idea of the difficulty. It's maybe a 2 or 3 in terms of technical difficulty and maybe a 3 or 4 in difficulty in terms of spectator management. NOTE: I do not consider this a difficult routine in any way, but I want to emphasize that spectator management, while not difficult, is crucial for the success of this effect...but it's NOT difficult.
When you read how the effect works, it reads as very ballsy, but really, this is not difficult for the experienced performer who is already comfortable interacting with audience volunteers.
QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: Phenomenal. These days, I prefer learning magic by DVD, but I can't imagine a printed booklet that could teach this effect any better. Cody's done a great job with this. An easy 10 out of 10.
MY THOUGHTS: WOW. That's my reaction in a nutshell. First, a bit of history...I've got my own handling of the silk to egg effect and it's always been an audience pleaser. After 12 years of performing it, I consider silk to egg to be a very reliable " go to" effect. I would never dream of changing it until...
I read this! In all honesty, Cody called me a few months ago and told me about this. Hearing him excitedly describe it made it sound very cool, but I'm not good at absorbing instructions verbally (when someone explains things to me verbally, I often forget it instantly.)
After receiving the booklet, I was thrilled with how this plays. Also, let's be clear: this is a WORKER, meaning it will play for laypeople!
So many effects created these days are pipe dreams and really aren't suited to the pro who cranks out 200+ shows a year. This one is really a worker within reach of any pro.
What I like about this is the amount of detail available to the working pro - things like transporting the real eggs, how to make your own egg "sticker" a la the Viking stickers, blocking, and most importantly, how the easygoing, fun script suitably conditions the onstage volunteer to cooperate with you...without becoming a stooge! That's another key point - there are no instant stooge aspects to this, as the volunteer will be just as amazed as everyone else.
It's not often that a new twist on a classic effect comes along that truly advances the original effect and this truly is the rare exception - you've got all of the benefits of the classic silk to egg with the fun interaction of an onstage volunteer (most other handlings are solo effects with the performer alone onstage) melded with an unbelievable twist ending.
This, along with Shoe Business, goes on my short list of best effects of 2011. It's an instant classic and comes with my highest recommendation. A 10 out of 10.
NEXT WEEK: Timmy Toilet Paper by Tom Burgoon.
Questions? Review requests? Contact me at email@example.com