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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Dan Harlan DVDs (review needed) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magnignis
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Georgia
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Can anyone tell me about any of Dan Harlan's Packs Small, Plays Big videos? I believe there is a Children's Birthday Show, All-Purpose, Mentalism, and ummm...I don't remember the other one. Any reviews would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.
So I was sittin naked in a beanbag chair the other day eatin cheetos...
samuelchong
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Penang
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All Purpose Show (8/10)

Starcle (napkin routine): Stand-up, parlour. You can do this effect in almost any situation. I like this effect so much till I modified it into a comedy routine.

Hold it, Buster (card routine): Can be done in standing, parlour or close-up. Watch this video-clip. *gimmick* http://www.elmwoodmagic.com/?nd=full&key=283

C&R Rope: It's a very normal classic effect with a killer instant restoration in the last phase.

Tee Bag (production routine): You need to use some props and 1 gimmick for this effect. *gimmick*

Herman (ball manipulation routine): A normal 4 billiard balls routine. *gimmick*

Ringmaster (Linking Ring routine): It involve 2 volunteers, 8 rings and some humour, that's all. It's very entertaining and the finale is great. *gimmick*

Lester (Miser's Dream Routine): I like his way of performing, using poem to accomplish but I don't like the effect because you need to often reach in and out from you briefcase.

It's Not the Size (Magic wand routine): The wand transform its size from small into big and back to small again. His idea is very good. *gimmick*

Worth buying.
dgcuff
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Canada
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Mentalism Show

It's important to keep Dan Harlan's goals in mind for this series. He wants to teach you how to put together a show that fits into a large briefcase or small suitcase. He also wants to teach you a little about the structure of routining (same segment on all four videos, I believe).

These effects--as presented by Dan Harlan--are mostly comfortable rather than challenging, and entertaining rather than thrilling. There are a couple of exceptions, and they're well worth seeing.

37 Across: This routine with a crossword puzzle book cleverly disguises some of the limitations of a word-based effect in Annemann. Takes a little time to prepare the "gimmick" the first time.

Reddit!: Mr Harlan's book test is diabolically simple, but provides three phases. He uses a gorgeous subtlety here that he doesn't actually explain, but if you're observant, you'll notice it and drive yourself mad trying to find a way to use it yourself. (That's meant to be a compliment, by the way.)

Newsline: A quick effect with a strip of newspaper. I'd be scared to perform this one for any of my fellow editors; most of them would spot the anomaly if I chose them as the volunteer. However, even the most eagle-eyed cannot possibly spot it from the audience, even in a parlour situation, so all you need to do is choose your volunteer carefully.

Mind Your Hands: A visual effect with coloured pairs of gloves. The underlying principle is not difficult to figure out, and the effect may not play impressively, but it sure fills the stage with volunteers. For that reason, it might make a good warm-up.

Deja Voo Doo: An amusing effect with large cards representing voodoo dolls. Fellow magicians won't be mystified by the method, but others will enjoy the presentation. I'd love to find a way to do it in three dimensions rather than with cards, but then it wouldn't pack small any more. I did wish the DVD had included a way to create the necessary cards.

Lotto Luck: This version of Bank Night is simple and straightforward. Its weak point is that everybody walks away a winner except the volunteer chosen to be your partner, but eliminate that and you've got something suitable for those beginning mentalism.

Now Showing: A different kind of prediction using tickets from theatres, cinemas, and concert venues. My second-favourite effect here.

Time Capsule: A nice headline prediction that uses transparency very subtly. My favourite effect on this video.

Psy Stebbins: A card effect using the Si Stebbins stack (obviously!). I'm not sure it makes the lasting impression that Mr Harlan intended it to, but that might have been an issue of timing.

If you're a beginner, this is an excellent video for you. If you already own Mr Maven's and Mr Osterlind's videos, you may find the approach here to be more downbeat and the effects more basic. Certainly they are more within the reach of those just starting.
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samuelchong
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I agree with dgcuff that you might felt a bit more downbeat with the effects and not that thrilling. Yet his method of approaching an effect is undeniably creative in some way.

For this Mentalism Show, I like his 37 Across, Deja Voo Doo, Now Showing & Time Capsule.
Reuben Dunn
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I think the capsule prediction is rather a strong one, although here in the UK it is next to impossible to get a plastic capsule that small, fortunately I've got rather above average sized hands so the capsules that I do use are "invisible" to the audience, I did it recently under less than ideal staging conditions, and it still "killed".

The "Mind Your Hands" routine is, IMO the one of the weakest sets on the DVD.

The Si Stebbins routine will "wow" them, but I prefer to use it at the beginning of the show, before Chronologue, Cassidys original version, as it is a nice lead in to what Chronologue follows. (HINT: It might work better if one were to write down the card prediction rather than reveal it out loud. Also, if you're going to do a three / four card revelation, I might suggest you have the "vounteers" remain sitting and then get them to stand at the end of things. This way you get that Standing Ovation that Harlan was aiming for on the DVD)
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Dan Harlan DVDs (review needed) (0 Likes)
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