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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Latest and Greatest? Ľ Ľ Secrets (book) by Anthony Owen, producer for Derren Brown, John Archer, Pete Firman, etc. (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magicgeek2017
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On Nov 16, 2017, SleepyMagic wrote:
How many of these effects can be performed close-up in a walk around gig?

Sleepy


Hi Sleepy

I'd say about half the material is suitable for walk around close up. The essay on approaching a group for a close-up performance is particularly interesting. Also Mr Owen has new handlings for his Oil and Water routine and Miracle Monte collaboration with Nyman which do not require a table and make them suitable for walk around.
Magicgeek2017
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I notice more great reviews for this book appearing online every day.

Mr Owen retweeted praise today from Nate Staniforth: "Anthony, your book is genius...I'm honoured by the reference in the Natural Lottery section. Such a brilliant piece of magic."
Magicgeek2017
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For those who aren't familiar with Owen classic ULTIMATE OIL AND WATER / SOBW there's a link to a performance of it by Derek DelGaudio, David Copperfield and Barry & Stuart consultant Sebastian Clergue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duQPUMCRALY

This is just one of the forty five items explained in the new book.
Noel
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Iíve had a great few days ploughing through Secrets, this really is a treasure trove of great tricks and superb thinking.
Bob_Hummer
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This book is not for me.

If anyone IN THE UK wants this book for 25 pounds. And I will pay postage - then please PM me.

All the best,

Joe Mckay
Drtriage
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On Dec 2, 2017, Bob_Hummer wrote:
This book is not for me.

If anyone IN THE UK wants this book for 25 pounds. And I will pay postage - then please PM me.

All the best,

Joe Mckay


I've PM'ed you to purchase it
Magicgeek2017
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Here's a link to a YouTube video showing highlights from Mr. Owen's lecture at the International Magic Convention in London in 2007

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoLEjnlATLk

With the exception of Holey S***! (his collaboration with Pete Firman) all of the effects featured in this video are explained in Owen's new hard-backed book SECRETS

http://tvmagic.co.uk/2012/?product=anthony-owens-secrets
Magicgeek2017
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The rave reviews for this book from experienced, successful, knowledgeable magicians keep coming.

Here's one from IMPOSSIBLE and KILLER MAGIC star Ben Hart: ďI canít recommend Anthony Owenís beautifully produced book 'Secrets' highly enough. Yes, it is full of original and totally baffling tricks but it is also full of great wisdom and advice from a man who knows more about how to make magic appeal to a contemporary audience than anyone else Iíve encountered.Ē
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So no more review on this one?
Magicgeek2017
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Yes. There's a rave one just here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......tart=0#1

Plus @TVMagic and Anthony recently posted another rave from Kennedy (Ken Dyne) on their Twitter and Facebook pages.
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I will post my thoughts later today. Iím not as thrilled as everyone else. Full thoughts coming later.
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I received "Secrets" as a gift for Christmas. I have now read through it completely from cover to cover. What follows is my unbiased opinion. I know that this is an opinion that doesn't echo what many pros are shouting, but I feel I should share my feelings just the same.

First off, the book is absolutely gorgeous. It feels incredible and looks stunning. It is clearly very high quality. On to the contents.

14 of the 32 effects in the book (going by the contents list) require Changin' Glue. This is a whopping 43% of the book. The sad news is, Changin' Glue is quite difficult to find. I imagine this is partly because of location (in the US) but I think it's also because of a lack of explanation on Anthony's part. He very briefly describes the product with no real detail. When I search for the product using the key words Anthony gives, I come up with a slew of options but none of them seem to be precisely what Anthony is describing. It's a minor point, because most of the effects in the section would be performed with reposition glue of any sort, but there are a couple of effects that require Changing' Glue specifically. It's only mildly annoying to not be able to find the product that almost half of the book uses. Hopefully Anthony will chime in with a retailer where we can buy the material.

Of these 14 effects which require the glue, you get Anthony's brilliant Oil and Water routine. It is beautiful and it is easily the best oil and water ever. You get the main method plus some variations. Next comes an effect of an initial appearing burned on the face of a chosen card. This requires a fully gimmicked deck. It's a great effect, and I'm sure it's powerful, but it is a one trick pony (this is a theme throughout the entire book.) There is Anthony's no palm card to wallet (sort of.) It is a nice effect. There's "Pred-IKEA-ction" which is essentially a presentation of Red Hot Momma using furniture cards. You have to make the 12 furniture cards yourself obviously. There's a version of open prediction which uses the sticky substance to be able to show the back of a card at the end. In my opinion, this added bit is unnecessary. There is a somewhat illogical no palm card to wallet. illogical in that you remove one joker in the beginning of the trick, and then remove a second joker just before revealing the selected card in the wallet. In my opinion, the removing of the second joker telegraphs the method quite openly even to laymen. They may not say anything in the moment, I think it's such an unnatural time to remove the joker that it will be remembered. There's Miracle Monte included which I would say is a fine version of monte. I don't think it's the best version out there though. You get an open travelers routine ending with the cards changing from kings to aces. It's fine. It appears really clean up until the end when the cards change. The deck is reintroduced and the change happens on the deck. I personally believe this would have been better if the change had been dismissed entirely. You get a version of anniversary waltz. It's fine. The main routine requires you to ruin 3 cards with each performance rather than just one. You get a signed card to anywhere. It isn't a spectator's signed card though. The method for making the signed card vanish is very novel and clever; but it strictly requires the changin' glue and won't work with a different substance. "Mark of Death" is an effect where a spectator selects a suit, then selects a card from that suit and marks it with a big "X." The marked card cleanly vanishes from the pack of 13 cards held by the spectator at all times. The marked card is revealed in the performer's wallet. This is a combination of Kollasal Killer and the previous method. Again, this specifically requires changin' glue. It's a fine trick, but I think there's some room for error in how the card is marked, despite the directions you give.

The next section is all about his move called "The Caravan Move." This move is used in an effect from the previous section as well as in 6 routines in this chapter. In my opinion, this move isn't that great. At least, it isn't in my hands. The effects using the move are mediocre at best. You also get his bottom palm from the center of the deck. It's a nice move to know. You get an ambitious card finale which only adds a small bend to a finale people have been using for years. I'm not sure it adds much.

Next up is the coins chapter. You get Anthony's handling for his pencil through coin. It has some cool and nifty thinking in it and has a nice moment at the end where the spectator pulls the coin off the very end of the pencil. This chapter also covers the elevated matrix which sounds good in theory, but I believe in practice, it is less reliable. There could be some audio issues, but my main gripe is that you are using the same method multiple times. I will play with it though because there definitely seems to be potential for some great magic moments in it. It requires you to gimmick up a personal item a bit though. So it's not really something you could perform spur of the moment.

The next chapter deals with out of this world plot. The first uses a gimmicked deck. It's very clean, but obviously you'll need the gimmicked deck. Luckily, this is a deck you could use for a myriad of effects. It isn't a one trick pony. The second version in the chapter can be done with an ordinary deck. I think this effect is worth the price of the book. It has a lot going for it. It's my personal favorite from the book. Then there is a version that requires a gimmicked deck which can only be used for this one trick--a one trick pony. There's a closeup version and stand up version taught. The stand up version requires a deck gimmicked EVEN FURTHER than the close up one.

The next chapter teaches the main principle behind "Holey ****" in a very basic form. I've always loved this method from the first time I saw it in an effect called, "Hole Sensation" when I was very young. This is a streamlined version of the same trick. It can all begin and end in approximately 60 seconds. It's a quick one. Next comes a convoluted version of "between the palms." I really dislike this. As I said, I feel it's convoluted and makes little sense. I prefer the classic version, or better yet, Liam Montier's version from his new PDF. This section also includes a very odd closer to the cartoon deck which requires you to draw your own cartoon deck images. Phew, that would be a lot of work for what is essentially, a little gag. Next in this section is an effect where you show the birthday of a spectator in your deck. This requires a gimmicked deck--a one trick pony.

The next chapter says it focuses on "Situational" magic. It opens with a discussion of the handkerchief to spectator's sleeve. It's more about the approach than the trick; but yes... the handkerchief to sleeve is actually taught in the book.The next trick is an odd one where you swallow a knife and then "show proof" that you swallowed it by showing an X-ray of the signed knife in your stomach. It's an odd effect which would require you to make up some artwork of X-rays as well. It uses a gambit which has been used many times in recent years where a spectator confirms it is their signed knife when in reality, there is some deception at play. I don't think anyone will actually use this routine. "The perfect match" is next. Please note, this is the FIRST routine in the "situational magic" section which is actually "situational magic." The other two effects CLEARLY aren't situational. This is an anniversary waltz effect with matches from a matchbook. It's simple, but I imagine effective. Not as effect as with cards, obviously because the object isn't truly impossible, but it's still a fine effect.

The next chapter is on mentalism. This is the chapter I was most excited about and is the main reason I purchased the book in the first place. It opens with a way top reveal a thought of card burnt from an envelope. I've seen similar ideas in print before. In essence, one envelope lets you reveal 9 cards just based on where you holds the envelope. No, they can't look inside the envelope, but you clearly only dump out one card. It's a fine effect. It is similar to Kolossal Killer but without the "off by one" bit. You have to make up your own images to use for the cards. It uses gimmicked cards which you must edit yourself and then print yourself. For this reason, I believe most people won't be using it. The next is an effect where a freely thought of card vanishes from one deck and appears in another deck of a different back color. This relies on a bold principle and a fully gimmicked deck--one trick pony style. You must make your own gimmicks for this as well. This may require purchasing seem special cards and doing some gluing. Is this really a mentalism effect? I don't particularly think so. The effect is a card traveling from one deck to another. If the effect is you predicting the card in advance, I think the trusty invisible deck or brainwave deck makes more sense. This section includes "Number at Card." A freely named card is shown to have a freely named number written on it's back. All the other cards have the other numbers 1-52 on their backs. This is another favorite of mine. Its a one trick pony deck again, but this makes sense in this case since it's a deck with a number on the back of every card. Other than the numbers on the backs, the cards are ungimmicked. This has some very clever thinking in it from beginning to end which allows for a very clean effect. Plus, you get a bit of a "magician in trouble" moment because everyone believes you are showing an ACAAN effect, but the selected card isn't found at the chosen number. Only then do you show the numbers on the back and reveal the freely named card has the freely named number written on the back. As I said, I love this one. This could have been sold as a DVD project and made tons of money. It's simple, but very effective. Anthony also teaches a variation where the freely named card DOES end at the freely named number AND has the number on the back. It is best for stand up, but I still prefer the original. I think it may be over kill with the double hit at the end. Next is Anthony's famous "Natural Lottery." This has many similarities to Corinda's Medallion effect. It does require some arts and crafts. Anthony covers a few variations that allows you to hand the ticket out at the end; some are more bold than others. It is a great method though and is about as fair as it could get.

The next chapter is titled, "Television Trickery." Now, if you read that title, you'd think this chapter is about tricks you can perform on TV, yes? Especially since that is what Anthony specializes in. WRONG! These are merely tricks that use television shows as a presentational angle. There's one involving survivor, who wants to be a millionaire, and deal or no deal. I think this was a little deceptive wording. I thought I was about to dive into a very informative chapter to prepare me for those one off occasions or just give insight to how those tv performances work. I was disappointed by the contents. The routine inspired by "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" makes very little sense in my opinion. The whole plot is vague and not very logical. I'm sure it's fun for the audience though... at least at first. But I can't imagine starting at $100 and working all the way to the $1,000,000 mark. Seems a bit too long to me. The Survivor inspired effect is a lot of work for an effect which I wholeheartedly believe isn't worth the build up. The build up is fun and entertaining, but in my opinion, the climax should be the most powerful moment. The deal or no deal routine involves you creating 12 gimmicked envelopes. Each envelope gets destroyed with every performance. The trick is that a spectator selects one envelope. You show the contents of the other envelopes as they name them. Each time, the amount is less than the million dollar prize. In the end, the volunteer selected the million dollar envelope. SO what skill is demonstrated here? I have a feeling the audience could genuinely walk away feeling like the participant got lucky. I don't think this climax is effective because the final moment is already telegraphed from the moment the trick begins. I'm just not sure. I can see how it is fun and entertaining to watch the person on stage squirm hoping the $1,000,000 doesn't show up, but again, I feel the climax should be the most powerful moment, and I'm not sure that it is. I almost think it would be better if the participant ALMOST won the $1,000,000 but didn't. Then you reveal a prediction saying precisely which amount they would have chosen. To me, that makes a stronger hit than simply opening 11 envelopes which don't contain the million and then show that theirs contains the million. The next effect in this section was created by Anthony to be performed on television. During the course of the magician learning a trick, a borrowed ring ends up linked onto the spiral of a spiral bound notebook the performer has been holding the entire time. It's very quirky and goofy, but I can see it playing well. It certainly has a very unexpected climax. The chapter continues with an odd effect where the performer pours a hot coffee, adds milk, and adds a lump of sugar. He drinks the coffee and the "unmakes" the coffee in his mouth spitting out clears water, coffee granules, milk, and a sugar lump. This is a DIY piece of work. It takes quite a bit to get everything together. I guess if it's an effect you want to do, you can make it up, however I don't see many people going through the effort. The next section here is on interactive magic. There are three mind reading pieces. The first uses planets. The second uses star signs. Both of these work similarly to the classic effect with a clock. It involves spelling around a circle. The third effect is essentially the piano card trick done over television.

Finally, the book ends with a sections on tops for a magician on television. Honestly, these tips aren't earth shattering and are common sense for most performers. Essentially they say tings like: do a trick you know well, be professional, rehearse, etc. The truth is, every one off television gig is different. He gives some advice on how to work with directors and such, but the whole section is very brief. IT's two and a half pages covering 10 topics. Clearly, each topic is very brief.




That's a break down of the contents and my general feelings about them. Ultimately, I would rate the book a 7 out of 10. It isn't spectacular. I certainly don't believe it's the best book fo the decade or even the year. There are some fantastic pieces within, but there's also a lot of mediocre pieces. My biggest issue with the book is that so much of the material requires you to carry gaffs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to gaffs, but I prefer carrying one gaff that I could use for multiple purposes. The first 43% of this book requires gaffs which are trick dependent. Meaning, you'd have to carry the gaffs, secretly introduce them into the deck, then remove them afterwards. OR, you have to switch decks entirely. I think this means a lot of this material wouldn't be best suited for walk around. It's sort of better for one off performances for your mates here and there. In the end, I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by the release. There had been so much hype for it and so many rave reviews with pros shouting praises, then the content was mainly, "meh." If $50 is worth those few great effects, then spend the $50 and find your 3 or 4 effects you like and may use. However, if you want to spend $50 and get 32 ready to perform effects, I would miss this. Obviously, this is true for every release. Everyone always says, "if I find one piece worth knowing, then the book was worth it." I agree with that philosophy. I love two of the effects in the book, so it's worth it to me. However, the hype made me think I would love half of the content or more and be struggling to decide which piece I want to use the most. It's a great book, but I'm not sure it is everything the pros have cracked it up to be. I believe if anyone else had put this book out, the responses would be very different.

Madison
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Great review.

My issue with the book is that I was already familiar with most of the tricks from previous publications. And nothing really grabbed me in the older booklets - or with the newer stuff.

Anthony is a legend when it comes to innovative TV magic specials. And I think that colours the magic communities reaction to books like this one.
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Anthony was kind enough to send me a link to where to find the product. Itís a UK link.

http://tvmagic.co.uk/2012/?product=changin-glue

Itís also available from Penguin:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S10710

Iíve placed my order. Iíll report back.

Madison
Magicgeek2017
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The rave reviews from the professionals for this book keep coming. This book has recently received five star reviews from Magicseen and Vanish magazine.

Paul Romhany in Vanish magazine said "One of my favourite books Iíve read in many years Ė filled with something for everyone. This book is FILLED with gem after gem. As I told friends who asked 'This book is B***** FANTASTIC'. There are no pipe dreams Ė itís all material you can perform and many people are performing the material from here in their own repertoires. This definitely goes to the top of one of my favourite magic books list and it should go to the top of yours. Five stars."

Due to high demand signed copies were unavailable for a time. However it has now been reprinted and signed copies are available again, while limited stocks last, from http://tvmagic.co.uk/2012/?product=anthony-owens-secrets
Magicgeek2017
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There's another great review for SECRETS in the April 2018 issue of Genii magazine. Subscribers to the magazine can check it out on pages 91 and 92. David Britland writes: "There is an amazing amount of proven material here. Strong effects with entertaining presentations."
videoman
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On Dec 27, 2017, MadisonH wrote:
Anthony was kind enough to send me a link to where to find the product. Itís a UK link.

http://tvmagic.co.uk/2012/?product=changin-glue

Itís also available from Penguin:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S10710

Iíve placed my order. Iíll report back.



Madison


Iíd be interested in your thoughts on this glue.
Is it a revolutionary substance capable of things no other adhesive can do?
How invisible is it?
MadisonH
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Nothing revolutionary about it. Itís just perhaps the best of its kind for our uses. There are many other glues which do the same thing.

Itís quite invisible.


Madison
videoman
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Seems like it's probably similar to another type of glue I have used quite a bit.
But I'm getting low on that one so may pick this one up to compare it.
Magicgeek2017
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A 10 / 10 review for SECRETS from ningthing.com https://ningthing.com/review-secrets-by-anthony-owen/
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Latest and Greatest? Ľ Ľ Secrets (book) by Anthony Owen, producer for Derren Brown, John Archer, Pete Firman, etc. (11 Likes)
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