Cris Johnson here, back with another review! Before I get into this week’s review, I want to do a quick “Flashback” to an earlier review! One of the things I had wanted to do was re-visit certain effects that I review and see if they hold up after repeated use.
The effect I want to re-visit is Andy Nyman’s “Big Reaction.” When I reviewed this effect, I gave it a stellar review. I thought the storyline of the effect as well as the bulletproof and easy methodology made it a winner for me.
Well, it’s months later and I’ve had the opportunity to run the trick through a few corporate close-up gigs. There are nights where I’m doing the effect 20-30 times in one evening. During my ‘field testing,’ I’m happy to say that the effect consistently gets the biggest laughs of any close-up effect I’ve tried in the last 5 years. I haven’t added much to my close-up sets over the years as close-up is not a main focus of my professional work: maybe 6-8 close-up gigs a year, but when I DO close-up, it’s gotta be great.
Right now, the Big Reaction is my favorite close-up effect…period! It gets me applause at every table/group and really fries people. Love it!
I also want to thank Paul Romhany for his kind words about my “Murder By Magic” program. Paul’s really taken this idea and run with it! If you’re interested in me bringing this back, send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I may be persuaded to let Paul put it back up on Hocus Pocus.:)
Okay, back to this week’s review: It’s Stati-Kid by Tom Burgoon. It’s available for $65.00 from Hocus Pocus.
EFFECT: Essentially, you ‘magnetize’ several spoons and cause them to adhere to a kid!
WHAT YOU GET: You receive a written routine detailing the handling, set-up, scripting, added bits of business, pro tips, alternate ideas, and more. The instructions are well-written and there are points where Tom’s sense of humor comes through. Great stuff! You also receive the spoons, royalty-free performing music, secret stuff, etc.
QUALITY OF STUFF: As I already mentioned, Tom’s writing is spot on. His explanations are clear and some of his scripting is inspired. The spoons themselves are simple lightweight spoons. Nothing too advanced in terms of equipment but they do the job just fine. The music is a great added bonus and fits the routine perfectly.
DIFFICULTY: In terms of physical handling, the routine is extremely easy. That being said, much of the work comes in the prep to make things flow smoothly come show time and it’s in this area Tom’s experience comes through. When I read the secret, it was exactly what I suspected (really, watch the video and think what the simplest method is!) and almost made the mistake of brushing past the rest of the instructions. I’m really glad I did not as many of Tom’s set-up tips and performing tips really make this flow smoothly. The work is simple, but go through Tom’s material carefully.
MARKETS: This works best as a kids’ effect, as Tom readily admits. He claims he’s done it with some success with adult shows, but this is a kids’ effect through and through. Know that this routine works best as a prelude to a more ‘amazing’ trick, as this is intended as a comedy bit and not as a stand-alone effect.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The second I saw the video I knew this would fit wonderfully in my family shows. It’s such a funny visual. What you see is what you get: if you like what you see on the video, support the effect’s creator as Tom is very generous in letting the routine play out in a free video, just as he did with his Timmy Toilet Paper release.
My only point of contention is that Tom has once again reserved TV rights for himself but he has NOT mentioned this in the ad copy so you don’t know this til after you buy. I find this irritating and unfair. Also, I wonder about things like this…I myself don’t do a lot to get on TV, but in schools, occasionally a local TV crew will come by and film a chunk of my show and tag it on the end of a news broadcast as a human interest thing…so if a local TV crew films my show and Tom’s routine happens to wind up on the air, am I going to get nailed by Tom’s lawyers? Add to this the fact that I normally do not know until AFTER the show that I was even being filmed and you can see my concerns.
RATING: This gets a solid 8.5 from me. I think the routine is inspired and the value is great for what you pay, but Tom’s withholding of the “exclusive TV rights” thing until after you buy it really irks me. That being said, this is a terrific value.