Barely Chewed Reviewed by Jeff Prace

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The Official Spam:

Chastain Criswell, the creator of one of the biggest hits in magic, TAG, brings you BARELY CHEWED! An easy and stunning gum magic routine.


The magician takes out a pack of gum that contains only one stick. He then offers to share. The magician then removes the stick of gum from the pack and starts to unwrap it. The stick of gum vanishes from the wrapper and appears in the magician’s mouth.

Once the gum has been chewed for a few seconds, the magician then removes the gum from his mouth and places it into the empty wrapper. The magician then offers to share the BARELY CHEWED piece of gum.

Remembering his manners, he realizes that he can’t offer BARELY CHEWED gum to his spectators, and with a wave of a hand the chewed gum and crumbled up wrapper are now wrapped again and appear brand new, and BARELY CHEWED. The wrapped gum and package are then handed out for FULL INSPECTION.

“Chastain Criswell spits out another winner!” — Aaron Smith

The Basic Effect:

You ask your audience if they would like to share a piece of gum with you. You say because you’re a magician, you share a little bit differently. You take out your pack of gum, and notice there is only one stick left. You open it up, and there is no piece of gum inside. Your audience looks up, and the magician is chewing a piece of gum; the piece of gum that was supposed to be inside the wrapper! You spit the gum back inside the wrapper and crumple it into a ball. Obviously, nobody wants to share that. So with a rub of your hand, you instantly cause the balled piece of chewed gum to turn into a brand new, wrapped stick! You take that new piece of gum and reinsert it back inside the pack. You hand to this to a spectator, saying it’s only been BARELY CHEWED!

The Setup:

The setup for this effect is very simple, and very quick. It shouldn’t take any more than a minute. Every time you perform this effect, you will have to make a new gimmick. You will go through more than one stick of gum for each gimmick you make. Luckily, you can get large packs of gum for very cheap.

The Performance:

While this is not difficult, it will take some practice. You must practice the core moves, and then the timing. The timing of this piece is a key point in making the effect look good. Bad timing will lead to a bad performance. You also must make this look natural, as many of the moves require the audience looking directly at your hands. If you don’t perform those moves smoothly, the audience will not be impressed, as they will know how the effect works. Chastain Criswell makes this look easy, but practice IS required, as it is for most effects.

Production Quality:

The production quality for this DVD is not bad. Let’s start with the DVD case. The DVD case art looks great. I’m proud to have this in my collection. I do think the front side is a little busy. The back side of the DVD case is basically the description of the effect. The DVD is filmed by James Coats using two cameras. Neither camera zooms in or out, and both cameras stay stationary for the whole DVD. I have found at some points on the DVD I would’ve liked to see something over again or closer up. Some points were hard to grasp. The DVD menu is very basic, and reminds me greatly of one that you can find on the most basic video editing software. The DVD menu had all the necessary choices, which is a big plus. While it could’ve been much better, the production quality wasn’t terrible.

The Teaching:

The teaching on this DVD is enough, but some of it seemed a little rushed. I think Chastain could’ve explained some parts better, and he could’ve reiterated some important points. I had to rewind through some points to better get a hold of the concept. Chastain goes pretty fast, and doesn’t explain some parts of the effect. The whole DVD was around 14 minutes long, and a few of those minutes were performances. I would’ve liked to have more clear instruction.


Chastain includes a bonus effect on this DVD. It’s called Flash Back Pack. Basically, a pack of Big Red gum is shown. A piece of the gum is given out to an audience member. You then say you prefer Juicy Fruit, and instantly you are holding a pack of Juicy Fruit. You can then immediately hand pieces of Juicy Fruit gum to your audience.

This is a very basic effect, and uses a very basic gimmick. Chastain has basically took a concept used many times in magic before, and applied it to gum. I am not sure how original this really is, as it’s very basic, but Chastain’s convincers really sell this effect.

On all of the live performances the audience didn’t react all that well to the effect. I don’t know why; it might’ve been because the audience didn’t understand the effect.

It’s not terrible, and is a nice bonus.


I recommend this DVD for the effect, Barely Chewed. While the production quality wasn’t terrific, nor was the teaching, the basic effect is a great idea and a wonderful effect. This retails for around $10, and for that price I highly recommend this DVD. I rate it a 7.5/10.

Jeff Prace

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