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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. Ľ Ľ Curtis Kam's The Rat Pack... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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Bill, now you've tipped the "real work" on Reed's material! How else are you supposed to start by "palming twenty coins"?

Whit, thanks very much for taking the time to have a look at this. I know you're very busy right now, fighting magicdom's "axis of evil". More power to you!
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
wsduncan
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Seattle, WA
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Not interested. Donít like stunt ďmagicĒ. Donít really care. Donít careÖ donít care.

Thatís how I felt when Curtis asked me to take a look at The Rat Pack. But Curtis and I have been corresponding for a while, mostly on the topic of scripting, and framing effects, and Iíve found him to be a valuable resource and sounding board so I said ďyesĒ, or maybe it was ďsureĒ.

In any case, I wasnít very excited about the prospect of a trick with a rat trap but I've come to know that Curtis is really all about the performance and this is above all a performance piece.

Having now had a chance to review the DVD, I have to say that I think I underestimated the potential of the effect.

The Rat Pack might be stronger than routines like the Bullet Catch or Russian Roulette. See, Iíve always thought that most, if not all, spectators will assume that you couldnít really get hurt doing them, so whatís the point? But this is something you might actually be nuts enough to try, so the danger, is palpably real. And thereís a very satisfying snap when the bar hits the board.

The DVD looks good and the artwork has a whimsical Loony Tunes feel thatís a nice contrast to the subject matter.

Iím still in the practice phases so I havenít risked the big snapÖ yet.
Tom Cutts
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Northern CA
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I too thought "big deal" when I heard the concept. In fact I only watched it out of entertainment reasons. I will say this, the majority of the DVD is not entertainment. It is a very realistic and serious excursion into the "how to's" and "how not to's" of performing this. It wasn't until the second viewing that something clicked in my head and I saw the reality of what this trick can do.

There is a lot of potential in this effect. One might think it is just a stunt but there is room to take this in so many directions that it can be worked for every personality and presentation style. I have come up with a more elaborate close-up presentation and a stage presentation which I have just recently discussed with Steve.

The question I asked was "Why would you put a deck of cards into a trap?" Some would say just for the danger; others might say to catch a... Therein lies the answer and the beginning of a delightful journey.

Production values are a good thing and this DVD has those, but it also delivers the all important "goods" of how to do this trick. I wish it explored more of the potential of how many different ways this can be played. Maybe in a future project.

Don't be suckered into thinking this is just a stunt. This can be a very special signature piece with built in tension and drama as well as that which you bring to it.

Cheers,

Tom
Robert_V_Frazier
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Coral Springs, Florida
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So when can I buy it?
Robert V Frazier
Steve Brooks
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We should have the final product back from the duplicator before the end of the month - Yea! Smile
I'll let everyone know the exact date when I have more information, thanks for your interest.
Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Quote:
Curtis Kam wrote:
the business end of the ....



I love that phrase. I like buying props that have a "business end"

Gotta have those.

And I want one of these!
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Carl Andrews
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Maui, Hawaii
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I have just viewed The Rat Trap DVD by CURTIS KAM and The Magic Bakery.
I believe this is the first project for The Magic Bakery and they did an outstanding job.

The DVD is very well produced and looks great. Curtis explains the effect in great detail and emphasises the danger and proper care that must be taken to perform an effect
of this type. I have been lucky enough to meet Curtis and watch him perform in Hawaii, he never fails to entertain and his magic is first class.

The effect is that a card is selected and signed, then lost in the deck which is then placed on a ungimmicked armed rat trap. The performer will try to find the selected card before the trap snaps shut and crushes his fingers. It builds a great deal of suspense until suddenly the trap springs shut and they see that the performer was successful in removing the signed selected card.

Curtis also shows a bonus effect performing the routine with a miniature deck which I actually like better, although it's perhaps a bit more dangerous, it is a great effect and very impressive.

The only thing I would like to have seen added was additional footage of Curtis performing the effect one or two more times for different audiences. In the footage on the DVD, the trap fails to shut when he grabs the card, Curtis then drops the remaining cards from the deck onto the trap (which then snaps) to prove it is real after the trick is over which works, but because there are a few different
outcomes that could happen, I would like to have seen Curtis perform a few more times.

Curtis works a lot and his routines are very well thought out, The Rat Pack is no exception.

If you like an element of danger (although with practice you really minimize the real danger), this routine can be a reputation builder...."His hands are so fast...."

Again, I am very impressed with The Magic Bakery and look forward to more DVD's from them.
IanKendall
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Edinburgh
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Did anyone else see the method from Bill's post above (or at least _a_ method)?

It sounds interesting, however.

Take care, Ian
Review King
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Curtis, would you say this effect is a closer? It looks very powerful. Nice work!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Curtis Kam
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Chris, I use it next to closer. That way, if something goes wrong, they still got the rest of the show.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I've found that it serves the same function in a close up show that the "Large Metal Spikey Thing of Death" does in a television special. I plug it at the beginning, I return to the trap a couple of times during the show (once to show how hard it snaps, the second to show how sensitive it is) and finally, I milk the big stunt. I have yet to have my parents in the audience, however.....

The nice thing is that there's always the MINI DECK handling in reserve for the encore. I announce a something special, just for them. I then repeat the lines from before, setting up the trap. The audience laughs, thinking it's the same thing. There's a nice moment of silence when I hold up the tiny deck. Try it, you'll like it.
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Steve Brooks
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I just want to thank all the folks who have taken the time to view the beta copies of The Rat Pack. Feedback is very important as it helps us to improve future projects and I'm glad that so many of you are happy with what you have seen. Smile

I also want to repond to a couple of the comments that have been made because I feel it's important that folks understand our motives and ideas with this project. Smile

Carl Andrews said; "In the footage on the DVD, the trap fails to shut when he grabs the card, Curtis then drops the remaining cards from the deck onto the trap (which then snaps) to prove it is real after the trick is over which works, but because there are a few different outcomes that could happen, I would like to have seen Curtis perform a few more times."

That is a very legitimate statement and I feel compelled to explain our thinking on this matter.

When we shot the performance sequence for the DVD, it was indeed in front of a live audience. When Curtis came to the point in the routine to grab the card, the trap did not go off, so Curtis continued on as any professional should. You'll see on the disc that the audience was VERY responsive, even with the trap not snapping at that particular moment. After showing that he had indeed found the signed selection, Curtis then follows with dropping the remaining cards and triggers the trap and all is forgiven. The reason: The trap was seen to be REAL and not just for looks and more importantly, the audience got to see the trap snap, which is what they were all waiting for. Most of the folks who were watching commented afterwards about how quick Curtis was with his hands, since he was able to grasp the card and not set off the trap. Smile

Because of the positive response (and the fact that Curtis was required to use an OUT), we decided that using this footage would actually serve as a better teaching tool for those purchasing the DVD and would also add even more credibility to the project.

So many times I've seen DVD's where (and heard comments by magicians concerning said DVD's) a certain action happens (a card spins, something is caught, etc) and I've thought to myself "I wonder how many times they had to tape that before it looked that perfect?" or "Sure, it looks great in a controlled studio, but what about the real world?"

Truth be told, 99% of the time the trap WILL indeed go off, believe me. However, for the rare occasion that this does not occur, we felt teaching the out was more important. Remember, this is a mechanical device and sometimes the rat DOES get away with the cheese. Smile

Having said all that, I would rather be honest, then to let you believe it will ALWAYS work as planned. So, in this particular instance (in my humble opinion), re-shooting in order to present an absolute perfect situation would have been taking the easy way out. Smile

IanKendall said; "Did anyone else see the method from Bill's post above (or at least _a_ method)?"

Coming up with possible methods for doing this type of trick really is not that difficult. When we put this project together our goal was to focus on HOW one might approach the idea of performing a truly dangerous effect. More importantly, this disc is really not about secrets, but about entertaining an audience. While we do indeed teach you some tricks (provide secrets), we are more concerned with presentation and safety for both the performer and his audience.

I am proud of this project and feel confident that all those who take the plunge will be more then satisfied with both the information that Curtis provides, as well as the quality of the product that we at The Magic Bakery have created. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Review King
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The most baffling part of this effect/project is that it only costs magicians $35. A brilliant effect and a DVD by a world class magician. When can we order?

Thanks Steve and Curtis!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Michael Peterson
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I saw a preview copy. This is the best magic DVD I have ever seen! Absolutely beautiful quality all around. Congratulations to Steve & Curtis on their project The Rat Pack and to The Magic Bakery for their beginning of setting new standards in magic DVD instruction.

*****5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!
Jason Fleming
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I had the privilege of performing table magic at Curtis's show in Honolulu in August. Hanging around in the back of the room during his stand up show drinking club sodas, I heard him patter at the beginning about "...and one really stupid thing with a rat trap." I was amused, and interested.

The above reviews are accurate with respect to what I witnessed that night. I am not going to add there.

I have to say that during the performance of this piece, my mouth was hanging open. If you want a study in audience management on an emotional level, in a piece of real magic that packs small and plays huge, do yourself and your spouse and your children and all who depend on you a favor and get this DVD.

...And don't get yourself sent to the ER...
francisco
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This sounds like an ingenious effect Curtis!

well done

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Steve Brooks
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The Rat Pack DVD is being duplicated even as I write this post and will be ready shortly!

Those of you who have watched the Beta copies and posted comments, thank you! Curtis and I appreciate your honest remarks about our first DVD release.

For the rest of you who are waiting to get your hands on one of these bad boys - please be patient. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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...waiting with BAITED breath.....
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
David Nelson
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San Mateo, CA
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Quote:
On 2004-10-14 06:38, Curtis Kam wrote:
...waiting with BAITED breath.....


Oh man, you're killing me Smile

How many times have you used that line when performing?

Dave
Dr. K
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Honolulu, Hawaii
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I am so sick of listening to all of these overly positive ďreviewsĒ of this obviously mediocre daredevil stunt/trick. Did it ever occur to anyone reading this thread that all of the people who are writing such glowing things about this trash are probably friends of the people who produced it?

Who started the thread? Reed McClintock, a close friend of Curtis Kamís who has appeared on several of Kamís DVDís, and who in fact appears in a trailer on THIS one! Read between the lines people! Donít get burned on this one like so many of us did on the other ďgemsĒ that have been touted here, like Bob Kohlerís The Black Envelope, Paul Harrisís Deep Astonishment, and Darylís Ambitious Card DVD.ď

People just automatically believed the hype and just bought this stuff. Donít let it happen to you like it happened to me.

Donít believe the load of Rat Pack hyperbole they are asking you to buy in this thread. And donít buy The Rat Pack DVD, either. Believe me, I personally know that this is crap, and I am sick of it.

I repeat, DO NOT buy it.
.
.
.
.
.

Okay, are all of the David Blaine wannabes and other knuckleheads gone? Good.

Look - I have seen Curtis Kam perform The Rat Pack in front of live audiences at Dave and Busterís here in Honolulu more times than anyone except perhaps for Jim Kawashima. I have also seen it end in every possible way, even one way that hasnít even been mentioned.

I repeat what I said in my last post. DO NOT buy this.

I have told Curtis that this is way too good to share. Iím not kidding. I was there with Jason Fleming (Howdy Dr. J!) the night he saw it, and we both agreed that this is fabulous stuff.

I WAS KIDDING about all of the people and effects I was slamming in the first part of the post. Reed McClintock is a great guy and does fabulous work (If you missed his lecture at the Magic Castle, you missed a terrific one). Bob Kohlerís The Black Envelope, Paul Harrisís Deep Astonishment, and Darylís Ambitious Card DVD are classics and all blow people away.

And every extremely positive thing you have heard from all of the nice people in this thread about The Rat Pack is absolutely true. The routine kills, just kills. And quite unfortunately, I was there when Curtis first started messing with the concept about 10-15 years ago.

We were in a coffee shop in Makiki, not far from Punchbowl Crater, along with a few other magicians, when Curtis brought out a rat trap and explained the concept. He proceeded to demonstrate it for us, quite gingerly, and the first time it worked perfectly. The second time he missed and the cards flew everywhere and we all laughed hysterically.

We all understood the moves and each of us wanted to take a shot at it, regardless of the danger. Theo Fanning went first, I believe, and with his great hands and incredible timing he did it perfectly. We all hooted and howled. The people in the coffee shop thought that we were all insane.

I went second.

Let me just say that, if and when I ever try it again, it will be with the firsthand knowledge of what happens when you REALLY miss, along with the haunting feeling that it just might happen again.

And I donít ever want that to happen again.

The springing trap only hit my right thumb with a glancing blow; I managed to keep it from getting completely trapped, but the bar hit it as I pulled my hand away and the cards flew everywhere.

Everyone laughed and cheered as before. The bar is so fast that they had no idea that I had been hit. They stopped when the blood drained from my face and I stared at my hand.

ďOhmygawd, did it hit you? Are you all right?Ē

I couldnít talk. The pain was searing. Imagine putting your thumb down on a concrete slab and asking someone to smash it with a ball-peen hammer as hard as they can.

My whole hand hurt. My thumb throbbed for two days. It ached for a month. I am not making this up.

And I am still embarrassed about missing.

That being said, I know that I actually will indeed try again, although a bit warily. When Curtis does it, it is great. And, in my opinion, there is one particular way to do it that he sort of fell into that I feel is by far the most effective, and I have told him so.

If Curtis says that itís Okay to discuss it, Iíll post further about it. Letís just say that if you do perform this trick, sooner or later you will be in this situation, and I think that if it is handled right, the result is the best!

If Curtis sees this tonight, Iíll post a bit later. Otherwise, he and Jim Kawashima and I are meeting for coffee tomorrow morning (barring any unforeseen circumstances), and Iíll check with him on it.

And again, please donít buy this. That way those of us who do will be in the very select club of people doing a very unique effect. Smile
Dr. K
Jason Fleming
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Marooned, Hawaii
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I have personally examined Dr. K's right thumb. After several months on the disabled list and years of active rehabilitation, I am almost prepared to give it a clean bill of health...provided that it limits itself to half-passes only, avoids rat-traps, and quits smoking immediately.
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