Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Year's Best Coming, Murder By Magic Custom Trick Available and REVIEW: Okito Voodoo Doll

Howdy All!

Some quick notes before I get to this week's review...

- In a week or two, I will devote this blog to covering my favorite new effects for 2011. Like last year, I will try to restrict myself to effects released in 2011...otherwise Bobby Motta's Lethal would win hands down as MY favorite new purchase of the year, but considering it was released years ago, I'm taking it off the table for this list.

- The ezine for December's issue of "Cause & Effects" will go out in a day or two. I've (delightfully) been quite busy with hypnosis, so I'm a little behind.

- For those of you who have purchased Murder By Magic, I was recently able to get a custom version of one of the effects I use in the show. It's a Tim Wisseman effect that I refer to and happily, the custom version is around HALF the price of the regular version. I bought a custom version that does not look "bizarre" like many of the great props puts out. I wanted a simple version of the prop that looked more modern and thus mundane and fits in better with the Murder By Magic show, as it's a modernistic show for corporate audiences. If you own Murder By Magic, email me the show set list that I personally use and I'll share details of this custom prop with you. Tim says he enjoyed building it, so I'm guessing he'll be comfortable making more.

- Just as a reminder, Murder By Magic will be PULLED after this month ends, so time is running out!

This week's review: The Okita Voodoo Doll. It's $10.00 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link:

One reason why I'm tackling this little prop is because I've had some readers express a desire for me to review more close-up effects, so here we are!

AD COPY: Performer shows a small straw VooDoo doll, and lays it on the palm of his hand. Upon his command, the doll slowly begins to rise until it is in a full upright position. Magician then gestures and slowly the doll lays back down in his hand. The doll may be handed out. Can be performed in any type situation. No threads, wires, or wax. So simple to do.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: You receive the little doll that is self-contained along with simple written instructions.

QUALITY: If treated with care, the doll will last years. I've had mine for 10 years and can't even imagine how many hundreds of times I've been performing this. This is a rock solid investment, and for the price an unbelievable value.

DIFFICULTY: The ad copy is correct - from a technical standpoint this is extremely easy to do. There's a touch of 'get ready' that you'll need to occupy the audience's attention as you do this. With any effect, audience management is key.

ANGLES: Since the doll goes in your hand for the effect, it's easy enough to mask the 'work' from virtually any angle, as long as your audience is at least a foot away. Once you understand the method, it's easy enough to do literally anywhere.

MARKET: Technically this effect would work for just about anyone over the age of five which includes kids, teens and adults. It's a close-up levitation effect so it appeals to all age groups and plays beautifully. I will admit that since I use it in a voodoo type of storyline, I play this effect for teens and corporate groups...but again, right storyline, you could do this for youngsters as well.

MY THOUGHTS: I've been doing this as a close-up corporate routine for over a decade (in conjunction with another effect) and can honestly say that in a corporate close-up performance or a strolling set, this is one of my closers. With the right routine, this is strong as hell. (I tip my own routine in one of my "Cause & Effects" books available here at Hocus Pocus).

The effect is enchanting, easy to do and as a close-up levitation that does not use thread, it's worth its weight in gold. (Okay, I know since it involves the doll standing up in your hand does not mean it's truly a levitation, but that's how I sell it to my audiences!!).

RATING: An easy 10 out of 10. I know this prop is old as dirt compared to the latest greatest whatever that's released but I really encourage magicians to comb through the good stuff that's been out a while.

Questions? Email me at



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