Thursday, July 21, 2011

BIG NEWS: Murder By Magic is Shipping! And REVIEW: Four Told by Devin Knight

Yes, it's true - ALL pre-orders for Murder By Magic have shipped! I know the original Pre-Release Special said the deadline was August 11, but I wanted to beat that deadline and get them out BEFORE August because my August turned out to be a lot busier than I thought...and I'm performing a ton of Murder By Magic shows next month in Ohio, Missouri, Quebec and New York! (No joke - corporate groups book year round!)

If you still order before August 11, we will STILL honor the Pre-Release Special of $795, which is a $200 savings...once August 11, hits, the price jumps to $995 and after that, I may pull the product all together before the end of the year. That's not hype - I make a lot of money doing this show and did not want to flood the market.

If you want details on "Murder By Magic: The ULTIMATE Corporate Magic Show," follow this link:

I know many people shy away from pre-releases because the product is often delayed, but I really wanted to beat the dealine.:)

Any questions about this, email me at

On to this week's review: Four Told by Devin Knight. It's available for $35.00 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link:

EFFECT: The performer shows a chart consisting of five colored ESP symbols. He invites four people to participate. Each participant is asked to just think of an ESP symbol shown on the chart. The participants write nothing down, they just think of a symbol. There are no restrictions. Each person could be thinking of a different symbol, or they all could be thinking of the same symbol. They do not share their thoughts with each other. The performer begins to get impressions and calls out three symbols. He says, "If I have called out the symbol you are thinking of, please close your eyes and draw the symbol in your mind."

The performer then tells the participants to open their eyes and clear their minds. He then asks them to concentrate on the colors of their symbols. The performer then begins to call out colors he is getting strong impressions of. He says, "If I have called out the color you are thinking of, please close your eyes and visualize it in your mind."

The performer does not ask any questions. The participants say nothing; they just close their eyes and think. The performer takes an ESP deck and hands each participant a face-down card. Only after each person is given a face-down card does the performer ask the participants to reveal their thought-of symbols. Amazingly, when the face-down ESP cards are shown, they match each participant's thought-of symbol.

For a stunning climax, the performer points to several people in the audience and asks if they were also thinking of a symbol. With no questions or fishing, the performer then reveals the symbols just thought of by members of the audience.

All this is done without any pre-show work of any kind!

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: A specially designed 8 x 11 sturdy card with colored ESP symbols on it and detailed written instructions outlining several ways of accomplishing this effect.

QUALITY OF MATERIALS & INSTRUCTION: The colored ESP card is made of a special material that's designed to last, so it's very nicely built. Also, the layout and the colors of the 5 symbols themselves are designed to assist in the effect. The written instructions are very detailed and written in a way that's easily understood. The instructions are simple black & white text with some illustrations/charts (you'll understand when you get it) that's simply stapled together.

I've made public my preference for DVD instructions, but that's only because so many creators of routines do such a bad job writing them up. Honestly, if every routine was this well written, I'd enjoy reading more routines. Top notch!

MY THOUGHTS: Since this is a mentalism effect, alot of the handling details get thrown aside because there is zero sleight of hand with this routine. You do have to "keep track" of a few things in your mind, but honestly, it's all very easy and Devin encourages you to have a pad or slate to "write your impressions" til you get the hang of it and maybe even after.

That means once you understand the principles at work here, you've got a fantastic effect that you can do while concentrating on your presentation.

A minor quibble is not having an ESP deck supplied with the trick but I'm not going to take any points off. Maybe most mentalists already have one, beats me.:)

One thing I want to make perfectly clear is this: The ad copy is 100% true in my book - NOTHING is written down and no one (other than you) says anything out loud. It's unbelievable how strong this is!

Avoiding hyperbole in magic ads is often tough as how far do creators push things in order to sell their effects yet not reveal the secrets? Knight has walked the line beautifully.

I will say that experienced mentalists reading the ad copy will immediately jump to a classic principle used most often with a deck of cards and while they would be partially right, that's only a teeny-tiny part of the secret. For me, most of the work was brand new because it's all non-verbal and it just friedme watching the video on Youtube.

This is cutting edge stuff and Knight is quick to point out other effects that used similar/same principles, but again, this is STRONG.

This review will be shorter than most because there's not a lot I can really talk about in this review without tipping anything but I feel that's OK because Knight does a thorough (and honest) job outlining the effect in the ad copy. Brilliant.

The best part is all the variations he teaches, allowing you to use the "handling" (again, mental) that appeals most to you and your comfort level and/or skill set in terms of performing.

MY RATING: This is on my short list of best new effects I've seen this year, and is SO good I'm thinking about adding it to my Murder By magic show lineup, which is the highest praise I can give a mentalism effect as it takes a LOT to crack the "starting Lineup" of that show. 10 out of 10.

Questions? Concerns? Requests? Email me at


Cris Johnson


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