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The Dream Act by Shin Lim

DESCRIPTION: A card is inserted in the middle of the deck. Now, it’s impossible to manipulate the cards. You just put your hand in front of the card and it changes to the chosen card (as an example). You can give the card and the deck out for examination. Clign is simple, visual and practial. Anthony teaches everything you need to know: including 7 effects, extra variations and ideas. Clign allows you to achieve a lot of powerful effects: Appearing card, vanishing card, color change, transposition, cigarette penetration, prediction change, trick with a borrowed smartphone, etc.

JUNKIE THOUGHTS: Shin Lim rocked the magic world in 2015. In Rimini Italy, Shin Lim was crowned the FISM World Champion of Close up Card magic. 2 weeks later Shin was featured on Pen & Tellers Fool Us, where he was award the coveted “FU” trophy. His YouTube video being viewed millions of times in just under a week, Shin has become a worldwide phenomenon. This was all because of his Dream Act.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was fooled when I saw Shin’s act on Penn & Teller. I’ll admit, I didn’t love the act but it grew on me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was good, and he fooled me more than once, but the routine just wasn’t my cup-o-tea. Nevertheless, the more I watched it, the more I liked it. I appreciated the work, the choreography, the concept and of course the sleight of hand involved. The drama was a bit over the top for me, but I certainly respect his creation. His act was a big hit. Not just with the judges at FISM and Penn and Teller, but apparently with lay people too. They loved it; I heard about it for weeks. I think it affected people for different reasons. Not only was the act full of strong magic, but it was so unique. Few other magicians perform close up card magic to music and even fewer feature that act on a major television show. Still fewer do it with such drama. (Boris Wild is the only one I can think of who comes even close).

The Dream Act is Shin’s Coup de grâce. It’s not very often that an award winner reveals the secret behind their act. Shin has done so and held nothing back. Everything is here. Every move, every thought, every concept. Running 3.5 hours long, Shin goes into great detail of not only the how, but the why. Shin discusses the methodology behind the routine as well as his thoughts in timing, beats, movement, choreography and more. He discusses his limitations as well which is insightful coming from any pro much less an international award winner.

The video is shot in high definition in a studio format. There’s no performance but that’s easily obtained via you tube. Shin is joined by two friends who bring up a few points here and there but otherwise add little. (He keeps mentioning that the volunteers need to be in a certain position for the act, but he never positions his colleagues where they should be. Odd.) Nevertheless as mentioned above, the video is VERY thorough… to a fault. No one will ever accuse Shin Lim of leaving out details in his explanations. He tends to repeat himself over and over and over. He’s gotten better, but it still happens.

The package comes with most of what you need but not all. There are three important gaffs that are required (to perform as Shin explains) that are not included. (I’m not even including his SSS gimmick that is also used but not included) This seems like a major oversight and not sure why these were left out. At this price these should have been included. The purchaser will need to obtain these items before even attempting this routine. Putting all this aside, there is a fair amount of fairly advanced sleight of hand and card work required as well. Get ready to practice. Again, Shin covers most of what you need to know and even offers some alternatives if you cannot do what he explains.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The world went crazy when Shin performed for FISM and again on Penn and Teller. It is a great theatrical piece of card magic with multiple moments of astonishment. Its cool that Shin has agreed to release this so magicians can learn from his study, but they’d be silly to duplicate the act. It IS Shin Lim. Everything about it is Shin Lim. No one else will be able to duplicate what he has done, nor should they. Oh I’m sure some asshat out there will try but that will be ridiculous. Shin has maintained the rights to perform this for television or broadcast media, but the various pieces can be used for private performances. Rather than copy Shin, a smart performer would take what they’ve learned from The Dream Act and apply it to their own original routines. If Shin fooled you and you’re just dying to know, or if you just want to learn how he put together a competition act, then pick up The Dream Act. Its a fun, educational journey and worth watching, but keep in mind its not cheap.

 

The Dream Act by Shin Lim, $199.95 – Available from your favorite magic dealer. Dealers contact Murphy’s Magic, www.murphysmagic.com

The Deal Sealer by Cody Fisher

DESCRIPTION: THE DEAL SEALER is Cody Fisher’s closely-guarded secret for locking in a great impression and increasing your chances of new bookings. Cody Fisher is finally ready to share with you his encore effect that he uses to solidify his relationship with a potential client or contact. You will learn all of the psychology that will take simple effect and turn it into a mind blowing moment for your new client or contact. This is the effect that they will remember you for… THE DEAL SEALER!

JUNKIE THOUGHTS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When a pro speaks, I listen. When the pro is someone like Cody Fisher I not only listen I take notes. Cody has a knack for coming up with killer commercial material and tweaking old chestnuts that have been abandoned by performers. Deal Sealer is one of those. I don’t want to say exactly what this is, because I think that will sway purchases. Let me just say, Cody’s psychology alone is worth the price of this item. This is a classic effect given new life with an improved routine and better psychology. Its a trade show classic that has been broken down and rebuilt with the professional performer in mind.

I’ll be honest, when I first opened the package and watched the routine I was a bit disappointed. I really didn’t’ know what to expect as the packaging is purposefully vague. However, as I said before, when Cody talks I listen. If pro like him is telling me to give this old trick a chance, I’m willing to give it a go. After watching the video AND TRYING THE ROUTINE, I have to say, it is everything Cody says it is. Here’s the one thing I will add to Cody’s thoughts: I don’t think this is a standalone piece. In order to get the impact Cody speaks of, I think this should be done to close a set. Or at the very least after you’ve done some great close up card magic.

Cody performs the routine live in front of an audience to great reaction. He then goes into the studio for a very thorough explanation. You do receive a gimmicked card (for both red and blue backed decks) and Cody details some additional work he puts into other cards to facilitate the routine. I don’t think these additions are necessary as a competent card handler could achieve the same results without the additional gaffs. I personally didn’t bother with them and only used the gaff that came with Deal Sealer. To each their own.

Cody’s instructions are always very good and the Magic Estate does a great job with the camerawork, capturing the appropriate close ups etc. The video is provided as a streaming video and not a download (which is a bummer). The explanation runs about 30 minutes and includes all of Cody’s psychology. As mentioned before, this is the real meat of the routine. He has seriously considered every aspect and it worth listening to. At the very least you get insight to how a pro thinks about his magic. “Why” he does what he does.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Deal Sealer is a super strong version of a classic effect. This routine as presented by Cody is in fact very strong and I can see it being used in a variety of situations from strolling work to trade shows. Cody has truly deconstructed the routine and rebuilt it with the attention of a working pro. If you’re looking for a solid worker, check out Deal Sealer. You won’t be disappointed!

 

The Deal Sealer by Cody Fisher, $24.95 – Available from your favorite magic dealer. Dealers contact Murphy’s Magic, www.murphysmagic.com

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