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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Revisiting True Astonishments (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magicsquared
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It's been a little over 2 years since True Astonishments came out. Whereas books will be talked about for decades after their release, it seems like DVDs -- even incredibly popular ones like this -- get discussed for a few months and then forgotten. Now that some time has passed I was wondering which of the tricks from this set have STUCK for you. Here are some of mine.

Twilight Angels - I had been doing this for years before the set was released but just the idea of using the back of an ipod (rather than carrying around a little mirror) was a huge improvement for me.
The Big Tiny - Reactions are all over the map with this one. Some of the time they just seem a little charmed by it, but most of the time they're blown away.
Invisible Palm - A classic for a reason. A trick with a bizarre pseudo explanation that it seems like even some smart people half-believe.
Naked Strange - A great, essentially impromptu version of "though of card across." That is honestly almost just as strong as the gimmicked versions.
Belly-Button - I have only performed this once. It went over incredibly well. Then after sitting with it in her mind for a couple minutes, the girl came over to me and told me essentially exactly how it was done. I truly believe it's not a fault of the trick or my performance, I just think she has one of the most astute minds I've ever come across. Which is why I'm now dating her. So a successful trick after all.
Dunn's Deal - I debated about whether this or OOTW was stronger. I've performer OOTW for probably 20 years and it's always been one of the strongest things I can do with a genuinely shuffled deck. But there was something about Dunn's Deal that appealed to me too. After living with both the past couple of years I've come up with a strategy: if performing for a guy, I'll do OOTW -- if performing for a woman I do Dunn's Deal. The strengths of DD seem to appeal more to woman. (I don't present it exactly the same way as they do on the DVD. I've written up my presentation on another thread in the Café.)

There are so many others that I would still love to try but have never worked on: Tubular, Water Trap, Pack of Lies and a bunch more.

And there are others that I find so tempting but part of my brain thinks, "will this really fly" so I've never gotten around to them, like Backlash 2, Extraordinary Proof, and Transcendental Bar Bet.

So what are your thoughts on this set after all this time? What effects do you use? Any interesting performance storys or unusual reactions or performance tips would be appreciated too.

If nothing else, rewatch the trailer if you haven't seen it in a while. It's five minutes of great reactions and people really enjoying magic. I will make you want to go out and perform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXnStqhGokM
John Carey
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Extraordinary proof by Andrew Gerard is one of the strongest card pieces I have added to my repertoire in the last 10 years. A real crowd pleaser and so so strong.

Best

John

http://www.johncareymagic.co.uk
Martino
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John,

Just emailed you about this trick!

Regards,

Martin.
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
KLG
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I love Reswindled, Dunn's Deal, and Andrew Gerard's Card Warp. They are so many effects I wanted to try but had not. Probably time for me to revisit the set.
Blindside785
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Backlash 2 is awesome and soooo simple.

My senior year I was doing a presentation and floored a full classroom of people with Extraordinary Proof.

The Invisible Palm is something I use every single time I perform, everyone now believes in the Invisible Palm.

I want to get around to performing Reswindled, I even have High Spots and I have not yet had the chance to perform it.
Magicsquared
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Hmmm... perhaps these DVDs really WERE over-rated? I really thought there was a ton of workable material on these. But maybe they didn't have the longevity and "workers" of some of Paul's previous material.
bugjack
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Magicsquared, I've been meaning to respond to this post for a while. I posted several times about TA when it was released, and I don't want to rehash everything I already said. But, two years later, they remain paradoxical in being one of my favorite sets of magic DVDs while also being, on an effect by effect basis, a little disappointing. I found the TA whole more than the sum of its parts, and that whole consists of not just the tricks and even the interviews but also the performances and the overall vibe. As you note about the trailer, there is a relaxed, participatory and fun feeling projected throughout the set that does make you want to go and try stuff. All those little bonuses stick in the back of your mind, and I wind up thinking one day I'll need to go back and learn to make a napkin rose or master that cigarette paper propeller trick. But also, as fun as some of the set is, there is a kind of melancholy vibe to it -- Paul in a sort of autumnal phase, trying to sum up a life in magic having obviously discarded more in the way of effects and ideas than he has kept. The final interview is kind of moving.

On an effect-by-effect basis, I think the set is less successful. The advance word that you could "own the room" with every one of these I didn't find true. Or, rather, perhaps you could, but it would be more due to your performing ability than to the effects' construction. That said, the big winners for me:

"Twilight Angels" and "Reality Twister/Lubor's Lens." I find it funny that my two favorites are the two earlier marketed effects. As Paul said on the DVD, many people dismissed "Twilight Angels" because the method is simple, and I was one of them. It's a beautiful, evocative effect that gets as good reactions as anything. There's something about the simple symbolism of the two angels side by side that strikes a chord in people. I actually think the performance on the set -- no disrespect to Wayne -- doesn't really do it justice. What I like about "Reality Twister" is that unlike many effects where you say you're going to show somebody something cool and then you follow it up with "the magic," in this case the "something cool" really is something cool. The optical illusion itself surprises people, and the pen twist is like the kicker.

"Extraordinary Proof." It can play really well, and I love all the psychological misdirection going on. That said, some people do suspect that this misremembered something, and occasionally I wonder if the risk is worth it as there are other ways of doing what is essentially an Open Prediction.

"Reswindled." Love "Reset," and this is my favorite version. In addition to the Aces kicker, I love that the two packets don't come near each other at the end.

"Dr. Fun." -- I've gotten good responses to this, but sometimes I wonder about it as it's just a mentalism billet effect transferred to cards. And -- using a principle that pops up several times throughout the set -- the handling is a little fidgety. But it is good.

The trick I've most wanted to try but haven't is "Smoking Eye." There is just something odd and nice about the burning matches and the presentation. I like how the spec sees their mark as it burns. Others I haven't gotten around to but which I like: "Water Trap," "Tubular," "Muscle Bend," "Ripped and Fryed," "Tensegrity."

Stuff that I thought kind of sucked: "Transcendental Bar Bet" (and I've tried this one), "Dunn's Deal," and "Gerard's Warp." Also, the "Half Moon" principle, while interesting, still was too fidget-y in its various handlings for me.

And, finally, has a single person actually built and used the TA Pen?
RevJohn
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Twilight Angels is one of those effects that I absolutely love. I fell in love with it when Paul released, "Naked Angels on Bikes," but wasn't sold on the gaffed Card Case. I added an additional handling which was pretty much covered in the TA release.

I do use the presentational angle suggested in the booklet that came with "Naked Angels," and have the two spectators hold the card between their hands. It plays big, and what a wonderful card for them to take home. 2 of hearts, signed, with the Angels riding off hand in hand.

RevJohn
KyleMacNeill
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 18:29, Magicsquared wrote:
Belly-Button - I have only performed this once. It went over incredibly well. Then after sitting with it in her mind for a couple minutes, the girl came over to me and told me essentially exactly how it was done. I truly believe it's not a fault of the trick or my performance, I just think she has one of the most astute minds I've ever come across. Which is why I'm now dating her. So a successful trick after all.


What a fantastic story! Smile
NicholasD
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My favorites are Ripped and Fryed and Extraordinary Proof.
Blindside785
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So here are the ones that make TA worth it for me

Naked Strange *I overlooked this..this is a worker effect I can do at anytime.
ReSwindled
Dr. Fun
Tubular
Extraordinary Proof
Stapled Warp *perfect of my office setting
Blindside785
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Oh my gosh the button through shirt effect, I'm in love again.
donny
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Nothing I would perform here. I liked Hollingsworth's Voodoo card just fine, but enjoyed the touches. I appreciated the material very much, it bent my mind/pocket "Muscle" for sure...just wish I could have spent $120 instead.

Deep though: Third changing line from the Hexagram 56 (Wanderer) of Iching: If the wanderer busies himself with trivial things, He draws down misfortune upon himself.

Just say'n.
It's not their senses that mislead, it's their assumptions.
Lemniscate
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I've been meaning to go through these again. I've said it before and I'll repeat it, there are quite a few effects in this set that didn't "wow" me. I tried a few of them anyway (I don't know anything) and I've been shocked at the strength of the responses. Name dropper consistently gets some of the strongest responses I've ever seen. I think it's the clean displays of the cards during the effect that absolutely convinces them that "real magic" is happening.

There are a few others. Big Tiny is a great special event type of effect (bday parties for example). I'll have to get back to you.

Oh, I PERSONALLY don't like McBride's take on The Shuffling Lesson as much as the original but the effect is stellar.
lllmagic
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Lots of stuff that I can't pick a favorite
Lemniscate
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Quote:
On 2012-02-01 08:10, lllmagic wrote:
Lots of stuff that I can't pick a favorite


Ok, how about anything you actually put into your performances?

Liking an effect is fine and dandy, but what would actually go into a performance is the litmus test for me.
The Burnaby Kid
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There are a couple of masterpieces on here. Not gonna say which ones.

The interviews with Blaine and Ammar are also excellent.
Zombie Magic
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I got this for Christmas and have been really enjoying it. There's a ton of magic on here and I've only gotten through to the 6th disk so far. I like the easter eggs and the PHoote notes are a nice way to get Paul's thoughts.

Ripped and Fryed and The Weirdling are incredible. Tensegrity is next on my list to construct.

I got this as a gift, but even only having been through disk 6, I'd have been quiet pleased to have paid for it.

Clarke
MaXiMoN
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Hi Magicsquared !!!!!
let me tell you something about Extraordinary Proof, many people didn't get it
but for me when I saw it the first time I was seeing beyond the images on the screen ,
and understanding the genuis behind it.

and now and iam going to tell you about my experience with this particular effect
when I first saw it I called my brother who was around the house and fooled the hell out of him he was like WTF!!!!!

PS : I couldn't fool my brother only a few couple times despite he is a total laymen - but he is very smart lol -

Peace
MaXiMoN
mayniac
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I think my favorite aspect of whole set is the overall attitude that the effects, design, and presentations put forth. Everything is so organic, and it really emphasizes the power of allowing the magic to speak for itself. Bro's presentational style is brilliant because it is so understated and casual; he does not try to be Mr. Mysterious yet he also doesn't make a bunch of hackneyed magic jokes either. He shows how connected you can feel to a stranger with just a simple trick. Overall, it teaches the power of letting your magic breathe. Regardless of the tricks you will learn from the set, the perspective on magic that you will gain is golden.
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