"I need more non-card stuff," is a familiar refrain with most close up magicians. Well, it's Cameron Francis to the rescue as he presents 8 stunning routines with business cards, coins, coin holders, sugar packets and matchboxes. That's right, no playing cards! Just practical, astonishing, real world effects using everyday objects which you will want to add to your repertoire straight away.
Reviewed by Jeff Prace
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!] Date Added: Monday 17 August, 2009
The Unfolding: A spectator writes his initials on the back of a business card. The card is folded up into quarters and placed on the spectator’s hand. The magician draws a magic wand on the back of another business card and claims he will use the wand to make the spectator’s card vanish. The wand card is waved over the spectator’s hand. Nothing seems to happen. When the spectator unfolds the business card, he discovers that he has the drawing of the wand. The magician turns over his card. The spectator’s initials are on the back!
Although super simple, I think you will really like this one. It’s very easy to understand, and brings sense to why two things transpose. Something that working magicians will really enjoy is that this instantly resets; so if you work table-to-table you should have no problem. A nice point about this, which solves something that always has bothered me, is that when you hand out the business card with the initials it’s not bent or ripped. It’s perfectly straight and professional. I never liked handing out a business card that’s mutilated in some way. The difficulty on this one is very, very easy. In the simplest handling, there is only one sleight, one that everyone knows. Also, Cameron includes another handling, using a sleight that he teaches in detail. For exposure matters, I won’t name it. I personally don’t think it would add anything to the existing effect or method, but it’s just an alternative that some people may enjoy more than the first. I like this.
The Magic Coin: The magician produces a coin purse and removes four different coins from it; in this case a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. The coins are placed in a row on the table. He then removes a folded business card from the purse which he says contains a prediction. The spectator selects a coin, say the nickel. The other three coins are placed back into the coin purse. The magician smiles and triumphantly states, “My prediction was correct!” He turns over the business card. On the other side it reads, YOU WILL CHOOSE THE MAGIC COIN. “And I was right,” he continues, “You did choose the magic coin!” The spectators look extremely underwhelmed. Sensing trouble, the magician says he can prove it. He opens the coin purse and drops the nickel into it. He then asks the spectator to shake the purse three times. The spectator is then asked to open the purse and dump out the contents. Four nickels clatter to the table. Everything may now be examined.
This is another winner in my opinion. I really love the suspense aspect of this routine. You take out the business card; the suspense is building. When you reveal the business card, it’s just a gag. Makes the spectator laugh and feel more comfortable with the magic. A nice point in this routine is that when you dump out the four nickels, or whatever the chosen coin may be, there is absolutely nothing else inside the coin purse. Your hands are empty. Everything is examinable. There really is nothing to hide. It’s a great position to be in at the end of a routine. The method is very clever. Stephen Tucker contributed some very nice touches making this routine even better. It does not insta ntly reset, but it is neither hard nor long to reset. It’s another one of those routines that is not knuckle-busting. With a little practice, this should be in reach to almost every magician. Stephen Tucker also includes a bonus handling that allows for a cleaner selection of the coin and some more magic moments. Personally, I would stick with the original, but Stephen’s is very nice. I like it.
Business Burn: The magician pulls out a stack of what he thinks are his business cards. it turns out the entire packet of cards is blank! Not to worry. With just a wave of his hand, the cards instantly and visually print! He then hands one to the perplexed spectator.
Just by looking at the name, I assume many of you will be able to tell where the inspiration for this effect came from. It works very on a very similar method to the marketed effect that you’re thinking of. I do wonder, however, if Cameron added enough of a change to call this and market this as his own. Although he does give credit where it is needed, I still think it might be a little “iffy.” But let’s forget about that right now and get on with the effect. What Cameron added to the method is very clever. Although there may be a simpler way to make the gimmick, Cameron’s way works perfectly. It might sound a little complex at first, it did to me at least, but don’t let that scare you away. This effect has a lot of potential. Once you make the gimmick, which isn’t as hard as it may read, you’ll be performing the effect in no time. It’s very easy to perform, and takes little practice. But, as always, practice makes perfect, so practice until your hands bleed. This, like “The Unfolding” has an instant reset making it another winner for table-hopping magicians. I think it’s a good idea to have an effect with a business card when you’re working tables, I use an effect with the ‘Out to Lunch’ principle, because at the end you can give the business card away as a souvenir. But onto the worse parts. I do think there are better methods to print business cards. Michael Ammar teaches a few in his published material. You can use a variation of the ‘Out to Lunch’ principle. So, in the end, I think this effect is only okay.
Hold On: The magician removes an empty coin holder and has it examined. He then borrows a quarter. He places the quarter behind the holder and positions it so it looks as if it’s inside the plastic. He gives it a rub. Suddenly, the coin is inside the coin holder. It is immediately handed to the spectator as a souvenir.
This is a pretty interesting effect. Let me start of by saying the coin can be, and I think should be, initialed or marked by the magician. Unless the spectator makes the mark you want them to, they cannot mark the coin. I don’t think that’s a big disadvantage if you mark the coin in a very casual manner. I think there may be some presentational issues with this. Why are you putting their coin inside a holder? The only reason I can think of is to “preserve” the memories of the magic shared. That works. The method is very simple yet again. Anyone can do it with little practice. And just saying, you do not lose any money when performing this effect, unless you use your own quarter and give them the souvenir. Speaking of souvenirs, this offers and interesting one. I think a lot of people would be interested in keeping such an interestingly interesting souvenir. How many times does a random person get a coin holder with their coin in it? Not a lot. So maybe this is better than a signed card. You do end dirty at the end of the effect, but that is not really an issue. The spectator will be gawking at their interestingly interesting souvenir. Again, instant reset, if you have enough prepared “objects” for the amount of times you want to perform. I like it.
Hold On Tighter: The magician borrows a coin and states, “This may look like an ordinary coin, but we’re going to make it a very special coin in a moment.” The magician draws five ESP-type symbols on the backs of five different business cards. One is selected by the spectator. The magician looks into the spectator’s eyes and draws something on the qu arter with a marker. He turns the coin around. A triangle is drawn on its face! Claiming that the coin is now a bona-fide collector’s item, he passes his hand in front of the coin. Suddenly, it is now stapled inside of a coin holder which may immediately handed back to the spectator!
This, in essence, is very similar to the effect above. The only thing added is the ESP symbols. So, I don’t have too much more to say on this one. I like the ESP symbols because it adds another magic moment to the effect. The reveal of what you predicted is another stunner. I also like the fact that the coin being encased in a coin holder is a surprise, not the effect itself. I like this better than the effect above for those reasons. The one thing I can think of that I would change is to use actual ESP cards, instead of marking business cards with the symbols. I don’t know why, I just think it adds a little more “class” to the routine. I like it.
All Things Being Equal: While performing magic for a highly appreciative audience at a restaurant, the magician reaches into the sugar caddy and removes a white sugar packet. He gives it a shake whereupon it visually transforms into a pink Sweet & Low packet. He places the Sweet & Low packet in his pocket. He repeats this three times and then asks the spectators what’s under the packet, Sweet & Low or sugar? Whatever the response, the spectator reaches int o his pocket and pulls out… three blue packets of Equal!
Hmmm. I don’t really know what to say about this effect. For one, I think it’s overly complicated. There are unneeded things. You are palming something that doesn’t need to be. You are using a sleight that should be replaced by a gimmick to make the effect cleaner, simpler, and easier. Although not the gimmick I had in mind, the gimmick used in “The Domino Effect” from the DVD AM/PM, which I reviewed HERE, would work perfectly. Though, a gimmick mainly used in coin magic would work as well. Other than those flaws, the routine is a nice one and I really like the kicker ending. The effect is good, but I don’t like the method. So, in all, I don’t like it.
Money Business: Business cards and coins transpose in an increasing impossible manner.
This is a good one. First business cards switch places and then coins do. It reminds me a lot of “Follow the Leader” from Daryl’s three DVD set. But that is beside the point. This effect is very good. For one, it has an instant reset. I do not need to say, yet again, the advantages of that have. Two, this is very clean. The gimmick used makes the effect very clear; because of it only two business cards are used and only two coins are20used during the effect. Also, everything is examinable before the effect starts which is another plus. Also, the effect gets increasingly impossible which is always a good thing. Right when the spectator thinks they know what will happen, something else does. It keeps them interested in the effect. Like many of the other effects in this e-book, this is very easy to perform and will require minimal practice. You should have this down pretty quickly. I like it.
The Signed Coin: The magician displays a small matchbox and says, “I’m going to show you something a bit odd. It’s a matchbox with a quarter and a single match inside of it.” The magician slides open the matchbox. Inside is a quarter with a question mark on its face and a single match. “We’ll just place this aside for now.” The open box is placed on a table (or on a spectator’s hand). A spectator is asked to remove his pocket change. The magician takes a quarter from the spectator’s pile of change and has another spectator initial the quarter. The initialed coin is placed back into the pile and the spectator gives it a few shakes. When he opens his hands and goes through the change, the signed coin has vanished! The magician then picks up the matchbox and dumps out the question mark quarter and the match. He uses the match to fairly turn the coin over. On the other side are the spectator’s initials!
This is phenomenal. It’s super magical, super impossible, and super cool. It looks so clean it’s almost too fair. The effect is pretty easy to do, I think it will require a tad bit more practice than some of the others, but it’s worth it. This has a quick reset and I plays huge. The moment when the coin is turned over is so magical and perfect. Not too much more to say. I like it.
Handful: In effect, you begin by showing your left fist. You ask the spectators to imagine that it is entirely encased in concrete, and to remember that the hand has been closed since the beginning of the trick. Now, from a pocket you produce a small square of paper and a marker pen. A spectator lends you a coin which they sign with the pen, before you fold it into the little paper packet (which takes some doing, as you are only using your right hand). A magical gesture and you unfold the packet – the coin has totally vanished. Turning to the spectators, you call attention to your left fist, which has been tightly closed all the way through. Slowly opening it, you reveal that sitting in your left palm, is a single coin, bearing the spectators mark. American 40 audiences scream until their lungs explode, and then scream from their kidneys. English audiences seem relatively unimpressed, but your mum says she likes it.
This effect, by Liam Montier, is super awesome. I really like the mystery behind it. You had their signed coin in your hand the whole time. I am still debating which I like better: this or the effect described above. The only hard thing that will take some practice is doing a special move with only one hand. It’s done openly in front of the audience, but it is difficult to achieve. The move is quickly taught in the e-book. Other than that, it is pretty easy to do, resets quickly, and is very magical. I like it.
The teaching in this e-book is just like all of the other Cameron Francis e-books I have reviewed. Superb. There’s just about a gazillion pictures, maybe more. I am too lazy to count. Everything is described in immense detail. No grammar/spelling mistakes here to my knowledge, but there is a type in Liam’s effect. It’s small, and people will still be able to read the effect and understand it.
I really liked this e-book. Of all the routines, I think I only really disliked one. Normally $15, but buy it before July 26, 2009, and get it for only $5. Even a better deal for a great e-book. I highly recommend it. I give it a 9/10. Get it now.