Wednesday, February 27, 2013
REVIEW: Blank Night by John Archer
Whew! The last week has been CRAZY - I had 6 school shows scheduled in Michigan, with 2 schools a day, Monday thru Weds this week. Monday went off without a hitch, but then the weather reports said the town I was in was going to get covered in snow. The school contact was concerned about getting hit with a "snow day" so we came up with a revised schedule to cram 4 schools in one day...which is something I've never done before. My show usually requires 30 minutes to set up and break down, and factoring in the performances, travel time between buildings, lunch periods at schools...anyway it was an adventure!
On to this month's review:
It's Blank Night by John Archer! It's available for $24.99 from Hocus Pocus.
AD COPY: We are so excited to be able to offer John Archer's Blank Night!
Penn and Teller's hit show Fool Us had a simple premise: perform an effect that the duo couldn't figure out. Only two magicians fooled Penn & Teller in the initial show, and one of those was John Archer. He did so with a smart, simple routine called "Blank Night," and Vanishing Inc. Magic is proud to release it.
"Blank Night" comes complete with everything you need to add it to your next show. Five envelopes are shown and you explain that one of them contains a prize of $100 (use any amount or currency). Audience members choose four of the five envelopes but discover they have only won small consolation prizes (such as a $0 bill, or nothing at all).
Without any suspicious moves, the final envelope is clearly opened to reveal $100 inside! The bills are not folded and are seen clearly being pulled from inside the envelope. No body loads, envelope switches or thumb-tips. "Blank Night" left both Penn and Teller speechless!
Comes complete with detailed, fully-illustrated instruction booklet, specially-manufactured envelopes and gimmicks. Envelopes come blank so that you can write whatever words you would like on them.
QUALITY OF INSTRUCTIONS: The instructions are well-written, with some good humor slipped in by Archer. He has a unique writing style and best of all, it's easy to understand.
ANGLES: The routine is best for audiences in front of you. If you're 3/4 surrounded, you can pull it off but its going to be tough. And if you're surrounded completely? As I have said in other reviews, if you're surrounded performing magic, you're in hell.:)
MY THOUGHTS: The first time I saw this routine was when I bought Archer's Further Education DVDs. I was blown away and feel it's probably the best Bank Night method I've ever seen, because the image of the full stack of unfolded bills coming out of the envelope left at the end is not only a real magician-fooler but also a great visual display for a lay audiemce, giving them more to look at than a tiny folded up bill in a teeny pay envelope.
Additionally, Archer's method is simple to do so with a bit of practice, you'll have this down in no time. To me, the best commercial stuff out there (as in commercial - performing to make money as a pro) is usually technically easy, which gives the performer the freedom to concentrate on performance. At least, I know that's what I prefer.:)
Archer's script is not included, meaning if you buy this product, you're on your own in terms of presentation.
So, the question is - if you already have the Further Education DVDs, do you need this? My opinion is yes, as this saves you the hassle of making the gimmick yourself. I've been told the envelopes required for this are hard to find. I've never tried locating them as I'm really lazy when it comes to building my own props. With this release, I'm ready to go and I love it.
HIGHLY recommended - 10/10
NEXT WEEK: Mugged