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I had the pleasure of watching John Rogers perform and lecture at the most recent Motor City Magic Convention held November 9th and 10th in Taylor, Michigan. While I knew John had unique talent for making wooden cigars and other realistic-looking magic props, I didn’t realize what a talented magician and performer he was until now. Indeed, it was a special treat to see John perform outstanding stand-up and close-up magic at the Convention as well as lecture on many of these same routines. He definitely “wowed” the crowd on all levels.

Each of John’s show performances touched on a variety of effects—literally something for everyone—and included ball manipulation, rope magic, card miracles, mental magic, and a healthy dose of good-natured humor. There were many highlights. Let me outline a few of the highlights from both his close-up and stand-up show performances:

1. Will Rogers Rope Routine – Beginning with John’s unique approach to producing the rope and continuing through with a great assortment of magical rope sequences, this routine was one of the finest rope routines I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand. What also made the routine so outstanding was John’s presentation which centered around Will Rogers and how Will would entertain his audiences with only a piece of rope and humor. Clearly, John has worked for years on this routine, and it shows.

2. Three-Ball Routine – Another routine that John has spent years perfecting. Again, it had a magical beginning, an entertaining middle, and a strong finish. This routine captured the complete attention of the magician audience and created quite a buzz afterwards.

3. Dean’s Box – John also put his personal touches on an effect that Dean Dill has popularized over the past few years. John incorporated some additional ideas and handlings which helped elevate and emphasize the impossible magic that the audience was witnessing.

As to John’s close-up magic, his unique approach and good-natured humor entertained and captivated the crowd. With card magic, cigar manipulation, and a few mental magic effects, we again got a nice rounded performance. One highlight for me was John’s work on the Steinmeyer 9-Card problem. John has taken Jim Steinmeyer’s principle and transformed it into a powerful and engaging magical effect for both laymen and magicians. Later during his lecture, John taught at length on this effect and showed everyone how to personalize the routine for their own personality and performance situations. John also demonstrated how this effect could play just as easily on stage as for close-up. Very engaging and magical.

Finally, let me mention a bit more about John Roger’s Lecture. As a complement to his show performances, John taught a good number of his routines, including his Will Rogers Rope routine, his Three-Ball routine, and his Cigar routine. He provided excellent detailed instruction with an emphasis on why these routines work for an audience. John also taught a number of card routines, including a great walk-around packet trick he calls “The Sobriety Test.” Using only a handful of cards, “The Sobriety Test” is packed full of magic from beginning to end and includes a humorous presentation and a knock-out climax. Again, this is a routine that John has spent years performing and perfecting.

In all, I was impressed by John Roger’s appearance at John Luka’s 11th annual Motor City Magic Convention. John is a skilled pro and a good-natured performer. The crowd loved him.

A.J. Polizzi
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