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Close-Up Utopia
by Paul A. Lelekis


(8 reviews, 13 customer ratings) ★★★★

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Close-Up Utopia by Paul A. Lelekis

Paul presents seven powerful effects, explained in full, with many step-by-step photographs. These are powerful, yet easy-to-do, professional routines - complete with patter - and most of these effects are completely impromptu.

All seven effects are non-card effects.

The introduction is a six page treatise on performance, spectator management, various forms of misdirection, and the successful executions of some very important, yet troublesome sleights. Also learn how to passively and actively control your spectators. This is very important information!

Included in the introduction are 7 hilarious gag lines/jokes that you can use in any of your routines.

Included effects:

IMPROMPTU MENTAL EPIC - Do not take this effect lightly. It is a powerful, unnerving, ESP effect that is impromptu and uses only your business cards or just three playing cards. It is very easy to do and absolutely mind-boggling!

TORN & RESTORED STRAW WRAPPER - Michael Skinner's version of a Nate Leipzig routine...but with straw wrappers. This routine (with part of Leipzig's patter) is performed so openly that your spectators will be slack-jawed. Paul adds some touches that make this effect easier to "get into" and end totally clean.

THE PHANTOM BILL - This impromptu effect is a terrific, solid-thru-solid effect with two borrowed bills. It will shock your audience. There are two phases in this routine that uses no cover, with one bill openly passing right thru the other. Everything can be examined.

PRESTO CHANGO AGAINO - This T. Bearden effect was a favorite of Mike Skinner. A copper and silver coin change back and forth from silver to copper in an incredible way. The patter is very engaging and makes this effect so much fun. The coins can be handed out for inspection - and you're clean. This is Paul's personal version that makes this routine a real breeze - and best of all - it's easy to do!

RESEALED CELLOPHANE - Use an anti-smoking/smuggling campaign to make this effect very popular to any audience. The bottom of a new pack of smokes is opened up and then magically resealed. Let the spectators examine it to their heart's content. This method is very, very clever and very, very easy to do.

CUT & RESTORED STRING - This is a very easy, yet very deceptive method of performing this effect and is a great "lead-in" for a more elaborate rope routine. Show a string, cut it in half and restore it. No knots or other tell-tale signs. Hand it out - completely deceptive.

HOT ROD - This section not only includes a great Hot Rod routine for the kiddies, but also includes many "eye-candy moves" for the Hot Rod, Color-Changing Knives, Jumping Gems and any other paddle tricks that you choose to use.

Included is a move that I learned from my dear friend, the late Melvin Burkhart, (the anatomical wonder who was the first person to drive a 9" spike up his nose!) many years ago. This move is not only easy to do...but is the most convincing display I've ever seen. Thanks Melvin! Plus...ideas by the masters, Windy & Sunny!

You will have a great time with these seven routines and you'll be thrilled with the ease of execution of all seven effects. The introduction is a wealth of very important information for any person to take your performances to new heights. A must read.

1st edition 2015, 29 pages.
word count: 11664 which is equivalent to 46 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Jim Canaday
★★★★★   Date Added: Monday 06 July, 2015

It is always interesting when an artist who is known as a “Cardician” puts out a new publication with no card tricks. (“Arcade Dream!” by Ed Marlo comes to mind). Paul Lelekis’ new tome, “Close-Up Utopia” from features seven effects, none involving cards. The publication is of the usual Lelekis quality and has some fun stuff for the average magician (no knuckle busters!) I particularly liked his Impromptu Mental Epic done with business cards. Not only is it impromptu, but a way to give out your card as a souvenir. He credits Andrew Mayne with the idea for Phantom Bill but there is also a similar routine called “The Tokyo Penetration” by Ryu Susato in Kaufman’s “Japan Ingenious”. I am impressed that Paul takes the time to credit extensively. This is 10 bucks well spent.

Reviewed by Jozsef Kovacs
★★★★★   Date Added: Thursday 02 July, 2015

A fantastic ebook again by Paul! You get 7 great tricks using everyday objects. If you want to make your repertoire more colourful, you and your spectators are bored of card tricks and want to find some workers then please get this ebook. The ebook also contains an essay about spectator management and how and when to execute sleights which worth the price of the book.

Reviewed by Douglas Lippert
★★★★★   Date Added: Wednesday 01 July, 2015

Another treasure trove of magical information from the fertile mind of Paul Lelekis. Paul's drops the real work on audience control and executing sleights for maximum deception and entertainment in his introduction. This is a masterclass in magic. Worth the price of the e-book alone.

Paul has carved a name for himself with his card work but here Paul is dipping in the well and tipping his non-card work which is just as exemplary!

Paul raise your prices! This stuff is too good.

IMPROMPTU MENTAL EPIC - Is a great way to do Mental Epic anytime, anywhere! I really liked that this version of Mental Epic is totally gimmick free with a clean, smooth, handling. This is going into my repertoire as a mentalism closer.

TORN & RESTORED STRAW WRAPPER - This is a classic of magic. I really enjoyed Paul's take on Skinner's take on Leipzig’s Torn & Restored cigarette paper. Paul has simplified the handling but retained all of the magic. This is just plain good magic. I love all the one liners that Paul provides for the patter. The #1 patter line is hilarious!

THE PHANTOM BILL - This is one of my favorite pieces of magic in this e-book. This is an epic version of the bill through bill. It's totally impromptu with borrowed bills. Paul's version utilizes little cover. The melt through looks like real magic!

PRESTO CHANGO AGAINO - Another gem of a routine from Paul. Finally gives us coin magicians a reason to dig out the old C/S coin. Paul goes for the spectator's jugular by providing 4 moments of high impact magic with a clean reset for table hoppers. I love this routine.

RESEALED CELLOPHANE - This is a clever routine that I can perform at parties "off the cuff" with a pack of cigarettes. Very simple setup and clean handling. Paul tips his clever presentation that justifies using cigarettes. A very visual routine for adults. Paul, give us an e-cigarette version!

CUT & RESTORED STRING- This is a cool opener for any type of ring and string effects. Simple to do but still magical. The best part is you end clean!

Hot Rod - Paul tips the real work on performing the paddle move that one only gains through years of performing this type of effect for real people. Paul tips a clever Melvin Burkhart subtlety. Worth the price of the e-book by itself!

Reviewed by Enrico Varella
★★★★★   Date Added: Sunday 28 June, 2015

Close-Up Utopia: No Cards is Paul Lelekis’s latest book with one essay and seven effects.

These are the main reasons why you should seriously consider this book. Paul IS a working professional. This is a book with NO card tricks. His patter and routining ARE time-tested.

Learn from his wisdom from the trenches of performing experience. Thus, his Introduction, ‘Spectator Management Successful Execution of Sleights’ should be read first, and then again. Paul’s Introductions are a highlight of his many books.

My favourite pieces are ‘Presto Chango Againo’ – a copper & silver transposition with purpose, and use of an overlooked sleight. ‘Impromptu Mental Epic’ got me seriously thinking about performing mentalism close-up again. ‘Phantom Bill’ gives you a ‘linkage’ to ‘Rollover Bills’, with a Misled effect. Interestingly, I gave ‘Hot Rod’ a serious relook with Paul’s preferred ending about ‘permanence’.

Paul, enthusiastically, encourages us go back to our Tools of the Trade, and we have many! I am actually considering using paddles all over again! If you want to get a buzz about magic, read this book, practise, and perform magic – your utopia may be just around you.

Reviewed by Bob Solari
★★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 27 June, 2015

'Utopia (noun)'. "An imaginary place where all things are perfect." Paul is known all over the world for his amazing routines with cards...but THIS book is a breath of fresh air for those NOT into card magic. After reading Paul's thoughts and routines, it put me in a place where all things ARE perfect! Great job, Paul. I highly recommend this collection of well thought out routines to anyone!

Reviewed by Rick Carruth
★★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 27 June, 2015

Paul's "Close-Up Utopia" is a welcome change for those of us who follow his magic and religiously purchase his ebooks. It's not that I don't love the card related material.. I do.. but magic is not made with cards alone. Sometimes we actually have to get out into the real world and make a buck or two with our table hopping or busking. Close-Up Utopia provides great material for both. The Impromptu Mental Epic can be performed with playing cards..but it can be performed equally well with business cards. This is a great way to get your cards out there. The other effects use common items like a straw wrapper, dollar bills, a cigarette pack, a couple of coins, a string and the mesmerising Hot Rods. Everything can be easily carried in a pocket or garnered at tableside.

Paul's last few ebooks have included a bonus section detailing invaluable advice from a veteran performer. Close-Up Utopia includes a very detailed section on audience control and the professional use of sleights. I REALLY enjoy his thoughts and advice, and delving deep into the what's and why's of performing magic suits Paul to a tee. You certainly won't be left wanting if you purchase CLOSE-UP UTOPIA.

Reviewed by Roy Eidem
★★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 27 June, 2015

Paul has done it again. I love cards but variety is indeed the spice of life & magic. His real world advise in spectator management and successful execution of sleights is for the real worker! My two favorites are Leipzig's torn & restore cigarette paper done with drinking straw paper and Melvin Burkhart's double paddle move for color changing knives which I use all the time & elevates the magic. Don't overlook the mental epic routine too. The cost is too cheap for this usable worker material.

Reviewed by Christopher Weber
★★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 27 June, 2015

The new eBook Close-Up Utopia by Paul Lelekis offers seven solid non-card routines that are perfect for close-up and walk around performing situations. As with other publications from Paul, the Introduction alone is a wealth of information and well worth the price of the eBook. Here Paul offers great advice on Spectator Management and the Successful Execution of Slights. This is very well thought out and practical advice on these extremely important and often neglected issues. Paul validates the importance of getting the true “feel and flow” of performing by giving many examples from his own performing experiences as well as other Master Magicians like Michael Ammar, Joe LaMonica and Eddie Fechter. Paul is all about helping to make you become a better performer/entertainer, and through his writing and teaching, he does just that! The seven routines are all written up in Pauls’ clear understandable style that always proves to be a comfortable read. All of the routines are well within the capabilities of the average magician and they are notable for Entertainment Value. Pauls’ well organized, concise teaching style clearly explains slights that really do help you develop the flow that makes for an exceptional, relaxed performance. I particularly enjoyed the copper/silver routine Presto-Chango Againo, the changes really are startling and it’s fun to perform! You’ll love the Impromptu Mental Epic, it’s all about presentation! No tricky moves or large props, just pure entertainment. The tips on the Hot Rod and the slights Paul teaches are all clean and casual. Perfect for Hot Rod, Color Changing Knives or and Paddle Move effect.