iCut Magic Revew

icut head

iCut is a package of videos by a renowned Australian magician which shows you how to easily perform mind blowing street magic. iCut will give you the skills and confidence to approach strangers in the street and perform magic using their headphones. The videos take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know to get started. The main trick is iCut and the bonus includes 3 additional tricks.

> CLICK HERE to go to iCut <

Videos

  1. Live Performances
  2. Explanation
  3. Alternate Handling
  4. Extra Tips
  5. Bonus Phases

Live Performances

icut-live-performanceMagician Josh takes to the street in a shopping arcade to demonstrate iCut. The video is of 3 groups we see in the promotional material. The difference is here we see him perform the trick start to finish so we can see exactly how he does it. Once you know the trick the demos become very useful as you can copy the subtleties of his performance to give you confidence to perform it.

Explanation

Josh explains the idea for iCut came from wanting to take strong magic effects and update them. He then goes on to show you his favourite method for performing iCut. He shows you how to make an inexpensive gimmick and how to present the trick, giving a detailed description of the method so you can really understand it. Why get someone else to cut the headphones? Why say ‘on the count of 3′? He gives instructions about misdirection, explains the importance of each component and the images you want to create in people’s minds’ to make a lasting impression.

Alternate Handling

alternate-handlingsNot every situation will be the same so Josh shows a further 3 ways of performing the trick. One uses the gimmick from the main explanation, another is done through the use of a thumb tip and one can even be done off the cuff with no props or gimmicks. Knowing all 4 methods will allow you to perform iCut no matter the situation. If you are at a party and someone says ‘do that trick!’ you’ll be able to pull it off.

Extra Tips

You can pick up extra tips by watching the 3 live performances. However Josh also uses this vid to go into a few frequently asked questions. He covers performing the trick from different angles, dealing with different coloured headphones and noise issues.

Bonus Phases

torn-restored-earbudThe bonus phases contain 3 additional headphone tricks. He shows you how to pull the headphones through your thumb, through your neck and how to pull off an earbud and put it back on again. Each of these tricks are explained so you can see exactly how to do them. It would have been nice to have some videos of live performances to get some of the subtleties however you will be left in no doubt as to how to perform them after the explanation and demonstrations.

iCut Deluxe Lite

One of the deluxe options, Deluxe Lite gives you a further 6 different tricks. All the tricks involve a set of headphones and some involve the use of rings and further spectator participation. Josh shows you how to thread headphones through a ring then pull the headphones through the ring, take the ring off the headphones and throw it back on again, pull a ring from through your back pocket with the headphones and more.

iCut Deluxe

Explanation-screen-shotiCut plus 10 additional tricks. Everything from Deluxe Lite plus 4 more tricks. Turn 1 ring into another on the headphones by shaking it, a second method to pull a ring through the headphones, throw a ring onto the headphones and pull the headphones through your hand and a ring at the same time.

Review

The product is called iCut however its much more than a single trick. The iCut package contains 4 separate tricks giving you the basis of a short routine which can be performed anywhere. All 4 tricks are suitable for beginners and the methods are quick to learn. iCut is a great set of tricks to get started with street magic or add headphone tricks to your routine.

With the Deluxe package you have just about every conceivable trick that can be performed with a set of headphones. There are tricks for beginners and more advanced tricks, plenty to choose from to build a complete street magic headphone routine.

From David Blaine to Dynamo all street magicians had to start somewhere. iCut provides a great jumping off point for beginners and for an extra $20 iCut Deluxe is the complete street magic headphones package.

> CLICK HERE to go to iCut <

4 Criss Angel Mind Reading, Mentalism and Magic Tricks

Here are 4 Criss Angel card tricks with explanations by the man himself. The first 2 are mind reading tricks and there’s a prediction and an easy magic trick too. All are suitable for beginners with a deck of cards and the willingness to put in a little practice. Good luck :)

1. Card Thought

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to cut a shuffled deck of cards and another audience member selects a card. Criss then deduces what the card is through mind reading.

While shuffling the deck Criss takes a peek at a card then shuffles the card straight to the top of the deck and makes sure it stays there. Then the cards are placed on the table and cut by an audience member. With misdirection Criss makes the audience member mis-remember what actually happened so he and the rest of the audience think the card in the middle is a cut card when in fact it is the top card which Criss has memorised. Then he gets another member of the audience to pick up this card and performs ‘mind reading’ on her. :)

2. Into the Mind

Effect: Criss asks an audience member to write a number between 1 and 100 on a post-it note then reads her mind to work out the number.

In this trick Criss gets a peek at the number ;). Criss prepares the post-it note with the sticky part in the right place and gets the girl to write the number on the pad. Then he takes the post-it back and retreats to the back of the room. Once at the back of the room Criss is able to stick the post-it to a chair, turn around, take a look, turn back and get the post-it back in his hand without anyone noticing. He does this of course, with misdirection. Once he has the note back in his hand he performs the mind reading on the girl then reveals the post-it note to the audience with the number written on it.

3. Double Card Prediction

Effect: The deck is shuffled by one audience member then Criss looks at the cards and removes 2 from the deck. Another audience member then places the cards at random in a pile. Next Criss takes the cards and deals them into the palms of 2 other audience members. The top 2 cards are revealed to be the same as the 2 Criss selected earlier :)

This trick relies on selling the fact the second audience member has placed the cards at random on the table (when in fact they have placed the first few cards where you want them). The first shuffle is done by an audience member then Criss takes the cards and looks at the top 2. He then searches for their pair in the deck and when he has found them places them face down on the table. The deck is then passed to a second audience member who is told to place the cards on the table. Once the first few are down Criss says, ‘place them at random, place a packet down if you like’ etc. and ‘stop when you want’. Criss knows the 2 cards on the bottom are his cards. Now the cards are dealt to another 2 audience members and the top cards are revealed to be paired with the ones on the table.

4. Four Aces

Effect: The audience member places the cards randomly on the table then deals 4 packets and an Ace is on top of each packet.

The secret here is to get the Aces on top of the deck before you hand them over to the volunteer without arousing suspicion. Once you have done this the trick works itself. Criss asks the volunteer to place the cards on the table and once they have placed 4 cards down tells them they can place them at random, from the middle of the deck, a number of cards at once etc. and to stop when they want. Now he get them to gather up the cards on the table and deal them into 4 piles. The Aces appear on top :)

I hope you enjoyed this collection of videos. Don’t forget to sign up for the free course if you haven’t already.

David Blaine Mind Reading

David Blaine is an undisputed master of magic, illusion and endurance. He has broken several Guinness World records, been entombed in ice and gone 44 days without food. He’s been ‘buried alive’ and ‘drowned alive’ and after his latest stunt he is lucky to still be alive as he was electrocuted by a tesla coil.

Still only 39 years old Blaine has achieved massively. He is the Houdini of our time. Before the feats of endurance he performs now, David Blaine was a street magician. He performed close up magic and mind reading tricks to strangers in the street.

Magic

Blaine first became interested in magic when he was 4 years old. He moved to New Your to perform magic when he was 17. His early street magic videos were remarkable because of his calm persona and the focus on audience reaction. At the time using the camera in this way was ground breaking. The next generation of street magicians such as Dynamo use similar techniques both in their magic and in the way they use the camera.

Many of Blaine’s early forays in front of the camera were captured in David Blaine – Street Magic [DVD] [2007]. You can view the whole DVD on Youtube, the first vid is below. It is well worth a watch for an introduction to David Blaine’s street magic.

In ‘Street Magic’ Blaine performs a number of mind reads, here is a compilation of some, its worth watching the whole video to see them all though:

He does card predictions, predicts names and makes images and names appear on his skin. The reactions he gets from the mind reading and mentalism tricks are some of the strongest in ‘Street Magic’. Just check out the kid when a 4 of Hearts appears on Blaine’s shoulder :)

Tricks

David Blaine has released his own set of mind reading marked cards which are available with instructions:

Performers of magic and mentalism have different interests and peruse different paths. It would be nice to see Blaine performing more mentalism feats in future, however you can’t deny he is a master of endurance and has indeed set world records to prove it. Think about where your strengths lie. Work on them and you too can be a great performer.

If you want to learn 10 mentalism tricks for free make sure to sign up for the 10 part free course.

The Magician’s Cabaret, Sydney

For anyone who has been looking for a cabaret show in Sydney, here is a fantastic suggestion for you. Local residents and tourists from all points of the globe, and all walks of life, are sure to love the amazing dinner shows at The Magician’s Cabaret. It is reputed to be one of the best theatrical experiences in Sydney.

The resident dinner show, “La Lumiere.. a magician’s tale,” is presented every Friday and Saturday Night. Guests are treated to a captivating magic show that invites them to set aside their day to day worries and suspend disbelief. They are lead on a delightful journey of discovery to a place where all things are possible. This fun-filled extravaganza is suitable for all age groups and all nationalities. La Lumiere is a show that has something for everyone. It combines mystifying and miraculous magic, imaginative storytelling, outrageous comedy and entrancing song and dance numbers. This is sure to be one unforgettable evening.

The singing and dancing at the cabaret shows in Sydney are literally world class, and the costuming is simply spectacular. The charming, old-world decor and warm, inviting atmosphere at the cabaret room provide the perfect ambiance no matter what the occasion. This has to be the best dinner show in Sydney, and it is only a few short blocks from downtown.

While they are enjoying the show, guests will also be dining on a four-course candlelight dinner. The Magician’s Cabaret features some of the best cuisine Sydney has to offer. The chef, Aidan Butler, serves up sumptuous and diverse international offerings at every dinner show. The menu is sure to delight any palate.

Understandably, these fabulous dinner shows do tend to fill up fast. The management of The Magician’s Cabaret recommends making reservations ahead of time, and they offer special group booking rates.

This splendid venue is available for special events and exclusive bookings. For these special events, the menu can be altered to suit any dietary preferences. The programs can be adjusted to accommodate your own bands or speaking guests.

It does not matter what kind of an event you are planning. It could be a romantic evening, a special birthday party, a large corporate dinner or just a night out with the girls. Whatever the occasion, why not add a little magic to the evening?

To make reservations for your own magical night, or just find out more about the unique entertainment offered at The Magician’s Cabaret, go to http://www.themagicianscabaret.com

* Guest post

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 2 Review

Everyone’s favourite young street magician is at it again. Here’s the Mentalism Skills review of Magician Impossible Series 2:

Magician Impossible Series 2 is a 4 part series which was recently shown on Watch. In a similar vein to Magician Impossible Series 1, Dynamo travels the UK, Europe and the Americas performing magic on the street and for celebs. He mixes close up magic, mentalism and large scale illusions, always bringing an element of surprise and fun.

The show was integrated with social media with the hashtag #WatchDynamo and Dynamo answered questions after each show. There’s also an app with exclusive content.

The Shows

Ep 1

Episode 1 sees Dynamo in London. He hilariously makes his hands too hot to touch so people won’t shake hands with him. Then he uses his ‘hot hands’ to melt glass in a clothing warehouse. He’s also up to his old tricks doing crazy coin magic and putting phones in glass bottles.

Over in Venice Dynamo performs at the World Poker Tour where he meets a group of fans and blows them away with some card magic. He then does a series of card predictions on a top poker player demonstrating why he’s not allowed to enter the world series.

Dynamo’s big illusions in this show were flying through the air like superman in a club and disappearing out his tracksuit in a sports shop.

My favourite trick is the prediction in the pub though. Back in Bradford Dynamo is in his gran’s local. A woman from the pub throws 3 darts at a dartboard and Dynamo reveals he has predicted the throws with 100% accuracy on the next dart board. Great stuff :)

Ep 2

During the filming of show 1 Dynamo’s Grandad sadly passes away. Dynamo needs to get away so for episode 2 he heads to Rio after a bit of a break from magic to mourn his Grandad’s passing.

No-one knows him in Rio and the added element of surprise makes this a great show. He is vanishing things and making them reappear in some seemingly impossible places. He does a lot of tricks for kids on the street and in the favellas like making popcorn appear in his hands and passing coins through kids’ hands.

The stuff in the favellas is quite touching as Dynamo has grown up in a rough area himself so has a connection with the people there in that respect. He does a really cool prediction here too making a girl win at bingo :)

Dynamo is enjoying his levitations in this episode. Standing near the beach he levitates off a bench, he floats a football off the ground and for a big climax he levitates, Christ-like in front of the Christ The Redeemer statue.

Ep 3

For episode 3 Dynamo is up to his old tricks in the US. There is quite a bit of mentalism type stuff in this episode. The highlight for me is when a couple rip a bunch of postcards in half. They then choose 1 each randomly, they’re the same then, Dynamo re-seals the postcard and also makes it written to a friend of the girls.

He also does a prediction involving a table, some salt and Elvis and does some crazy stuff to some guys involving playing cards that are seemingly as heavy as a car.

Ep 4

In episode 4 Dynamo does some cool magic for legendary musician Damon Albarn. Put it this way I hope he had a light lunch. His time prediction is absolutely brilliant getting clocks on a main square to change to the exact time 2 girls both choose on their watches.

That’s one impressive illusion. Others include passing through a solid steel fence, and for the finale making a 10,000/1 prediction.

Thoughts

Dynamo has a number of problems going into this series. He is now a celebrity in his own right in the UK and a lot of people have seen his best effects. He addresses the problem of people recognising him by getting away and the episode in Rio was my favourite episode. The other problem he addressed by coming up with many new effects and interesting variations of previously performed material.

In terms of his mind magic and mentalism type stuff he is really impressive. Especially in episode 3 there is quite a bit of mind magic. I am not so much a fan of some of the levitations like walking down a building. While it looks good it is obviously done with wires so its more the technical expertise that’s impressive rather than Dynamo’s skills. Having said that his ability to perform big illusions in the blink of an eye like when he vanishes is fantastic.

Rating:

Mentalism Techniques: The Illusion Of Choice

A key component of mentalism is audience participation. You may ask an audience member to write something down, hide an object or think of a number.

Very often when you present an audience with a seemingly free choice you want them to make a particular decision. Here are a few methods of presenting the audience with a choice and getting the choice you want.

Card Forces

A card force is simply getting the audience member to choose a particular card. There are many card forces. Here are a few that are particularly relevant for mentalists:

David Blaine lets a certain card be exposed for a fraction of a second longer than the others, ‘forcing’ this card on you.

The ‘Classic Force’ is explained well in this vid.

The ‘Riffle Force’ is very useful too.

Mathematical Force

There are several mathmatical forces. There is The Magic Square for example. Here is another you can try:

  1. Pick a 3 digit number where the first and last digits have 2 numbers between them. (eg. 268)
  2. Reverse the number (862)
  3. Subtract the smaller number from the larger number (594)
  4. Reverse that number (495)
  5. Add that number to the total from 3. (495+594=1089)

The total you arrive at is always 1089!

Magicians Choice

Magician’s choice relies on the fact that you know something the audience member doesn’t. No matter what choice the audience member makes the choice gives you what you want.

As an example, I was at a mentalism show recently where the mentalist was smashing cups with his hand. One of the cups had a large metal spike under it. Of course the guy didn’t want to take any chances.

A dice was rolled for several choices ( it was sure to be loaded) then for the final 2 cups the mentalist asked an audience member to choose the cup. There were nos 2 and 3 left. The audience member picked 3 and the mentalist said ‘ OK, you have 3 which means only number 2 remains and hit 2’. If the audience member would have said 2 the mentalist would have said something different and still hit 2.

Giving the illusion of choice is important in your audience participation, take a look at and practise all these techniques. Once you understand them you can progress to more complicated forces.

Sign up for the 10 part mentalism course if you haven’t already, it free.

Derren Brown, Tricks of the Mind Extracts. Audiobook Review

This audiobook is taken from the fantastic book Tricks of the Mind and teaches the basics of hypnosis, a couple of magic tricks and some powerful memory techniques.

Disk 1: Hypnosis

Derren says he thinks hypnosis is very safe but gives 7 rules to bear in mind just to be extra cautious:

  1. Don’t try to hypnotise someone who is clearly disturbed or has epilepsy
  2. Don’t attempt any therapeutic change unless you are suitably qualified
  3. Treat hypnosis as a gentle tool
  4. Everything you do contributes to the hypnosis. Don’t get flustered
  5. At end make sure person is completely out of belief that they are hypnotised
  6. Take it slowly and only try in a controlled environment
  7. Treat it first as a relaxation tool and move slowly into administering suggestions

What you learn:

  • In its simplest form hypnosis is pacing someone’s experience then leading them to behaviours you want.
  • Use presupposition. This means you presuppose something to be true eg. as your eyes get heavier/ you can wonder how deeply you are going into trance
  • Use double binds where the only options are 2 you have suggested.
  • Tone of voice – gentle and relaxed
  • Use imagery to involve all the senses
  • Don’t contradict yourself and don’t be specific

Framework:

  1. Prepare subject and induce light stages of trance, this may include eye closure
  2. Deepen the trance through a metaphor such as going down the stairs
  3. Carry out your hypnotic work
  4. Fully awaken the subject

Disk 2: Magic

Coin Trick – A Coin Slide

The trick involves sliding a coin off a table, pretending to pick it up and pulling it into your lap.

The trick is enhanced by using another coin for misdirection and placing the coins on the table in advance.

Card trick – A Sucker Trick

  1. Get someone to shuffle cards (need someone with basic overhand shuffle)
  2. Look at cardface then immediately turn away and spread the deck in your hands, showing everyone faces of deck
  3. Turn face down and place squared up on table
  4. Bottom card is key card
  5. Get person to cut deck in 2 and place top half to your right
  6. Turn away and remove card he cut to (top card of bottom half) and look at it
  7. Pick up bottom half
  8. Tell him to replace card
  9. Get person to shuffle cards again
  10. Say you will put cards face up on table and he is not to react if you see his card
  11. Turn over 1 at a time, card after key card is his card. Carry on after chosen card appears but make sure index of chosen card remains visible to you
  12. Stop then ask to bet that next card turned over will be the card
  13. Then reach for the card in pie and turn over

Magic tips:

  • Most of the magic is created after the trick
  • A state of amazement leaves spectators more open to suggestion
  • To make them look less foolish people will trick themselves eg. Think they definitely saw card in magicians hand
  • Magic is helped by people watching closely and using the off beat when both you and they relax
  • Conjurer creates false trail of events
  • Best to be simple and direct

Disk 3: Memory

No such thing as photographic memory. A few people have an idetic memory and can hold the image of a scene in their minds but it typically can’t be held for long and is prone to distortions. Individuals with great memories use rich mnemonic strategies.

Memory is a set of processes. We can remember 7 or so units after which point we instinctively want to break it down into smaller chunks.

Linking System:

  1. Use vivid images and attach strong emotions
  2. Elements should interact
  3. Picture should be unusual

Uses of linking system – shopping lists, tasks, speeches and for actors

Drawback – if stuck on 1 word system breaks down

Loci System:

  1. Use a route you know with locations on the way.
  2. Take a list of things and relate an item to each location.
  3. Place a strong visual representation at each location.
  • Memory palaces – Expand number of loci eg. In your house
  • Its better to have action take place inside something
  • You need to go through things in fixed order eg. Clockwise
  • You can use for permanent memory.
  • Expand loci – have a door from your house lead to another familiar building. Use places from real life eg. museums you have visited

Remembering Names

  1. When you meet with someone immediately think of someone you already know with the same name
  2. Imagine person in front of you has been made up to look at bit like the person you know

or

  1. Connect name with another image eg. Mike becomes a microphone stand, bill becomes an invoice
  2. Find something memorable about the person’s appearance. Better to be a physical feature
  3. Link the 2 together
  • Its best to make image as efficient as possible
  • Can put other info into scene
  • Importance of reviewing

Rating:

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Dynamo Magician Impossible Review

Disc 1

In part 1 Dynamo visits Miami, Manchester and London. He presents an award at the Prince’s Trust awards, hangs out with Ian Brown and amazes some sexy women.

Some of his tricks on this disc include twisting a glass bottle, stealing someone’s identity and levitating a guitar!

Dynamo performs a number of mind reading tricks in part 1 including an impressive mind read on Ian Brown.

He performs two other mentalism tricks in London. For the first Dynamo gets two people who know each other to name the same country and repeats this with three different pairs and three different countries. He also does a trick where he touches the male partner of a young couple and the girl feels it!

Oh and did I mention the walking on the Thames thing… well he does that too :)

Disc 2

In part 2 Dynamo is back on the streets of Bradford and London, visits the Snowbombing festival in the Alps, and tops things off by amazing the guests at Rios Ferdinand’s party.

He defies gravity again with bank cards and coins, turns snow into diamonds, drives blindfold round a racetrack and makes his exit from Rio’s party by walking through a glass wall.

In London Dynamo exactly guesses the amount of change in someone’s wallet and back in Bradford he performs 3 mind reads, including a contact on someones phone. Hypnosis is surely at play in the walking through glass effect.

Disc 3

Dynamo’s mentalism tricks are undoubtedly the strongest effect in this episode. I am talking about mind reading 5 guys playing dominos at a park in Miami and mind reading 2 songs from a local DJ.

The effects he does around the pool table are also very impressive.

The tricks with the biggest ‘wow’ factor are effects at a roof party where Dynamo seemingly teleports and another where he blows letters from a cinema billboard.

He also does a cool trick where he seaparates the ice, water and teabag from an iced tea and burns a $20 then makes it reappear inside a lightbulb.

Disc 4

Dynamo performs some really cool mentalism tricks in this episode. He mind reads a number between 1-1000 from Nick Hogan and a random place from a girl in the street and Natalie Imbruglia. He draws the same as a street artist back to back too.

Dynamo stretches himself physically in this episode, stopping his heart for 10 seconds and bench pressing 3 x his own bodyweight in the gym.

There is also seemingly a miracle when Dynamo brings a wall full of ornamental butterflies to life and an amazing prediction live on Radio 1.

Bonus Disc

Behind the scenes and extra footage.

Interestingly Dynamo says he is not a mind reader though does use some techniques to create that illusion.

Rating:

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