October is here and I'm in full swing in school shows. Before I jump to the review of the week, I want to mention a couple of tidbits....first, just to remind everyone, my "Murder By Magic" product will be GONE at the end of the year. I'm pulling it off the market. I've accomplished my goal of laying claim to the original idea of using a one-man magic show as a murder mystery. My goal was never to flood the market (hence the high price tag) as I wanted to keep it fresh for myself, as I use this all year. I've only sold a handful of the courses in multiple countries, so if you want a truly unique presentation that's been specially developed for corporate audiences, your time is running out!!
Next on list is to mention The Lion King...no, not the movie, but the theatrical stage production! It's been out for several years and my wife and I had the chance to see it a few days. It was phenomenal to say the least! The music, costumes, etc was off the charts awesome! I highly recommend it.
On to this week's review: In honor of his new baby, I'm going to review Paul Romhany's Signed Bill To Can manuscript. It's available from Hocus Pocus for $29.95.
Here's the info...
AD COPY: Ten years ago Paul Romhany caused a stir in the magic fraternity when he performed his original Impossible Bill To Can routine on national television. He was accused of using stooges because the routine was that impossible. However what magicians did not know was that Paul had worked out a routine that did not use stooges.
In 2007, Paul released the exact routine and version he used on the TV show on a DVD and is still available from magic dealers.
This new version is an alternative to the original Bill To Can routine, in many ways this is more practical for most working conditions. The routine is perfect for magicians who work in private homes, corporate functions or even on cruise ships. Paul has given his complete routine including the exact script he uses word for word. You are not only buying the method but also the complete eight minute routine as performed exactly by Paul Romhany at private homes and corporate functions around the world.
Anybody wanting a strong, commercial and hilarious routine, this is it!
Everything is taught in this in-depth manuscript complete with photos and a completely different method than th on everything you need to get you performing this very quickly. It includes a detailed description of the $100 Bill Switch with numerous photos.
The Effect: At the start of the show the magician hands out a can of baked beans, this can be held by a spectator. Later on in the show a bill is borrowed and signed, it is burnt and after a lot of hilarious bits of business the spectator brings the can on stage. It is then opened and the money inside is unfolded and found to be the signed bill!
This is a real stunner and remember, method and routine is different than the original Impossible Bill to Can.
WHAT YOU GET: A detailed booklet filled with photos, instructions, the script and more.
QUALITY OF BOOKLET: I really like the fact that this is filled with photos, not only detailing the kind of can opener needed to make the working easier but also the photos for the Bill Switch. Paul's explanations make sense and I had zero questions after I read the book - always a good sign!
ANGLES: If you read the ad copy, you know the handling relies on a Bill Switch in part. The angles for most bill switch handlings are quite good and as this is intended to be a stage or parlor piece, rest assured you are in good hands in terms of angles.
DIFFICULTY: To my eyes, the two most difficult things about the routine are getting the comedy lines/timing down and the bill switch itself. If you already do a bill switch, you can get this routine up and running very quickly. If you don't already do a bill switch, I can give my own experience as a comparison - when I learned my bill switch method (I use Kevin King's "Money Morph") it took me a couple of weeks to really nail down the physical handling. Again, nit difficult, but if you're new to it, be prepared to put in a reasonable amount of work.
THE ROUTINE ITSELF: If you're looking for some new mindblowing method, turn elsewhere. The fact that Paul mentions his extensive detailed photos and instructions for the Bill Switch handling rather tips the basic secret, but to me, this is not a bad thing. With this tidbit, the purchaser knows what she/he is getting in terms of the secret.
The real value of this is the detailed routine itself. There were a few times while reading this that I burst out laughing. To get that from reading a script is rare. Another nice thing about some of the comedy in the routine is the fact that one bit in particular will require acting to pull off. It's not Academy Award acting that's needed, but it's different from simply stating a line and waiting for the laugh. i LIKE this, as it gives the comedy a naturalness that's missing so often from a magic routine.
I know some people will complain about the price - right now there are a lot of people complaining online about "one trick/routine DVDs" and how for 30 bucks you should get more value for your money.
I can certainly see their point of view when I consider some of the one trick DVDs I have picked up in years past, but honestly, for a real-world working pro, having a polished routine with the comedy and routines worked out for you is worth its weight in gold. To give you an example, I purchased a rather expensive prop a few months ago and while the prop itself is fantastic (It's from Peter Loughran) I am annoyed with myself because the routine I had outlined for it is taking longer to fine tune. In fact, just yesterday I overhauled almost the whole thing. This is not a crticism of the prop - it's great - but merely my own frustration with myself at not creating a stellar routine for it faster!
This is a routine you can drop into your act with a minimum of effort and this is always welcome.
RATING: I sound like a broken record, but I love Paul's stuff. I'm giving this a 10 - it does what it advertises, is very funny, is very well taught and part of the method is even tipped in the ad copy. You can go into this purchase well prepared, knowing that you're getting something for real-world workers and not a pipe dream.
NEXT WEEK: I review "5 Minutes With a Pocket Handerchief," a kids' routine I've been using for 7 years. Good stuff!