Archive for April, 2009

‘Coinsomnia’ Reviewed by Mark Tirone

Posted by Editor on April 17th, 2009

Welcome, welcome, to my latest (or not latest, depending on when you’re reading this) review. I want to take a moment to talk a little bit about my new review outline. I thought the old one was pretty lame so I decided to take the high road and try out yet another format. You will find that this is laid out as if it were a school schedule/detention slip. Basically it is the “teacher’s recomendations”. Bill is a good friend of mine and I’m sure you will enjoy these highly professional routines as much as I did. Enjoy the review guys!
Before we actually begin this review, I want to tell you a bit about the layout of the book (this part will normally be in the very beginning of the reviews). You will see the entire book contents below:
>A picture of Bill (go ahead, angle the book any way you want, his eyes still follow you!)
>A very gratifying foreward from Marc DeSouza
>Introduction from Bill
-Coin roll subtlety
-Citino Rollout (a.k.a. The Reverse Rollout)
-Citino Palm Change
-Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
-Almos’ Frame-ous
-Almos’ Frame-ous Ver. 77345
-I.T.H.C.A. (You have to SEE it to believe it!)
-That’s Impossible!
-Comin’ Outta The Box
-3 Coins Hangin’ (Featuring the 3 coins out of nowhere production)
-3 Coins Hangin’…Spotless
-Hangin’ Coins Worldwide
-EZ 5th Dimension
>Closing Remarks
Quality (* * * * *)
I can’t believe the quality in this book! To tell you the truth, these are without a doubt, hands down, THE best illustrations I have ever laid my eyes on in a magic book. In my opinion these were slightly easier to understand than the illustrations in Totally Out Of Control (Chris Kenner). So if you liked those illustrations, then you will like these. Freakin’ kudos to Justin P. Vitti! I think what made these so good though, was how simple they were. THere were no annoying palm lines or shadows or anything like that. FIngers, palms, finger nails, finger tips. SIMPLE! You can focus a lot more on the actual coin placements and where everything is meant to do. Often in this book there are portraits of body moements and placements as well as table displays and midirection moments (I.T.H.C.A.) Good work guys! Oh! And one more thing I want to mention that is a very minor point (but hey, just trying to contribute everything I can towards a great buy), I dropped my copy on it’s corner and the plastic htat is in the cover started to peel open a little bit. Oh, and one more thing lol. This book has one of the most beautiful and visually pleasing covers in magic as well lol. If I wasin a magic shop and saw this on the shelf (it would be in the front), I would be attracted to it immedietly. Good work guys!
Coin Roll Subtlety (* * * *)
This is basically a pretty cool method to coin roll a coin while nested inside your expanded shell. This was originally published by Mike Gallo in his routine B.O.B (and Bill credited him and all that good stuff) While this certainly is NOT the simplest coin item in the book, it is very usefull when you are doing your coin routines with shells. I am pretty sure Bill added this in here to give you a little bit more of a covincer when you begin to do the routines such as Almos’ Frame-ous Ver. 77345 or 3 Coins Hanging + spotless. It will take some practice though, don’t get me wrong!
Citino Rollout (* * * * *)
If you are into coin manipulation in your routines then you are going to love this. This has some kind of subtle drama structured into this little 4 coin flourish. THis is essentially a reverse 4 coin rollout which you might be farmiliar with if you have seen one of Rich Fergusson’s videos that featured this or Joe Jesse’s work with this. It has always been pretty much done the same though. So Bill being the super hero coin guy got to work and created this upsidedown and with a BRAND NEW final display! I got this down VERY quickly so I assume if you have basic knowlege or if you can do the original 4 coin rollout, this will be a cake walk.
Citino Palm Change (* * * *)
This is a bit of a knack, let me start off by telling you that right up front. It will not come simple to you. I got this in about 4 days where I can do it fluently without having to look at my hands or cramping up. However, if you enjoy one hand coin changes that look good (with only one simple discrepancy), then you will be able to do this pretty quick and will have a simple yet effective piece of magic on your hands by using just this on sleight. Basically it is the one hand palm change (palm to palm change as described in a few places) and is based on a few ideas from Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic which was later published in David Roth’s Expert Coin Magic and then adapted by (phew!) Bill Citino. I confidently remember learning the palm to palm change and this is easier.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees (* * * * *)
Is honestly worth the price of the book! This is such a simple to do routine and hard hitting as well as both modern and visual. There is only one pretty gutsy sleight in this routine that I have never really been all too comfortable with but I am willing to make exceptions (something I am usualy uncomfortable with). Basically it is a 3 coin production and vanish which is probably unlike anything you have ever seen before. There are other 3 coin vanishes that claim this yet I think this is the best one (yes, it even beats cointwo’s characteristics) If you liked Eric Jone’s “Out With Three” (see review) where the coins appear and vanish at the same time then you are going to LOVE this one. You really DO have to see it to believe it (and believe me, seeing REALLY IS believing in this one!) It looks just like it sounds. No discrepancies. This can be done pretty much impromtu but if you want, Bill writes in a few techniques with a gimmick (not a shell or anything like that) that is pretty cool. On top of all that, this routine uses one of my favorite principles in magic that allows you to have the kind of cleanliness of a shell and makes the clean up MUCH easier! Hope you don’t mind flipping 14 pages for one of the illustrations (I suggest not even wasting your time on it however becuase it is a very simple coin sleight that you probably know and will recognize right away, it is just showing you what it looks like exposed)
Almos’ Frame-ous (* * * *)
I enjoyed this routine very much (wow what a change in pace!) but there was one thing that caused me to take away a star. You need to set up similar to in Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, but you need to go into your pockets and retrieve a rather strange object ( David Roth begs to differ) which, to me, might make the audience seem suspicous since you went into your pockets (depending on when in your routine you want to do this), then you come out in a sort of strange position and then do something strange, all because they didn’t know what you went to your pockets for. I guess I am sort of picking this apart a little too much or something, but I didn’t go nuts over it, even if it is one of the coolest multiple coin productions I have ever seen.
Almos’ Frame-ous Ver. 77345 (* * * *)
I’m not really sure where to classify this one. It allows you to do pretty much the same thing as the regular Almos’s Frame-ous production, yet this one is a little cleaner because it uses a shell yet to me, is not that much cleaner but I am thinking about the majority of coin magic and do a lot of people, using a shell is cleaner, so I don’t know. I suppose using the shell might make it a little more open and will close that margin of error you might find with coins “talking”. I can tell you this though: If you like Mike Gallo’s “pocket counterfeiter”, then you will like this one.
I.T.H.C.A. (* * * * *)
Has anything gotten below a 4 yet? Anyway, if Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees wasn’t in this book, then THIS would be worth the price of admission (you enter a pretty messed up world once you open this book!) This is an AWESOME in the hands coins across. PRobably the best since Eric Jone’s “Impossible Coins Across” from his lecture notes. There has been a few heated discussions in a few places arguing back and forth about the fist coin going across but I really don’t have a problem with it. Basically the coins go across from your had to the spectator’s hand, the first one apparently just appearing on their palm, the second coin goes when you pull on their thumb and goes pretty much visibly and then leaves you in an awesome position, and the third one goes invisibly. One thing I wasn’t that fond of though, was that it wasn’t the most creative last phases of them all. This routine especially has something particularly pleasing to me. A Kainoa Harbottle/Curtis Kam sleight, but don’t cry momma, it won’t hurt one bit (Why does it seem like I have heard something like that before?)
That’s Impossible! (* * *)
I really hate to give items 3 stars, but I feel that it had to be done. The only reason I took away 2 stars, was because it uses a purse, a half dollar, an english penny, a copper silver coin, a coin clip, a coin rattel, and 2 chinese coins. All to accomplish the simple feat of transposing two objects while being clutched in the spectator’s own fist. I understand this is an impossible effect in the audiences’ minds but to need all of these props to just have an apparent 2 coins and have them switch places (read that back), it is a little unecesary and I was a little bit disapointed with it Bill, sorry, I know you could jsut do better. The effect is a beauty in itself but again, I would’ve accepted this if it used maybe just a duplicate of one coin, some palming, and no gimmick because, afterall, the copper silver coin can be up to $30 for some people, then you need to add on the additional tid bits and little items. Tisk tisk…
Comin’ Outta The Box (* * * * *)
You know, a lot of people don’t take too kindly to change. I was actually relieved in some way to see this routine in here. I can’t recall whether or not I mentioned that pretty much everything in this book can be done all without a table and at chest/eye level, depending on how you perform, and it suitable fro walkaround performers, such as Bill. But this one uses the table to your advantage. Pretty much it is a production of 4 coins, flurry of one, production of a brass box ON THE TABLE, and then a coins across of a sort. I loved this routine because it has that kind of impossible feel to it that lets you relax because the work has been done for you. Not too much to say other than an Okito Box and a just 4 coins. This one’s a worker!
3 Coins Hangin’ (* * * * *)
Based on an effect by Joe Rindfleish from his lecture notes, this is a pretty cool, visual, effective 3 coin production and vanish that have the same kind of technique as “money doesn’t grow on trees”, but this one UNFORTUNATELY utilizes a gaff, oh well. This was a very minor routine to me in some ways, yet not enough to take a star away, Bill deserves it. You of course don’t have everything that “MDGOT” has, yet you still have a solid, professional routine right here. You will also see a variant pop up next.
3 Coins Hangin’…spotless (* * *)
Let me start by saying rihgt up front, that this is one of the most havily gimmicked effects in this book. You require numberous coins, a gimmick, a coin clip etc. While this effect looks really nice, it mihgt not be the most practical being that the coins are produced, vanished, reproduced etc. If you really like effects that are clean and simple (not to mention straight to the point, no redundancy there), then you might just liekt his effect. I personally son’t use many gimmicks in my magic so that’s just not right for me. Also, if you like Eric Jones’ magic (specifically speaking his Oxy Clean Coin Routine), then you will like this one because it leaves you in a similar position as that one. Also, you might be farmiliar with one of Jim Pace’s routines, this one is similar to that one as well.
Hangin’ Coins Worldwide (* * * *)
I really liked this routine. While it utiizes many gimmicks (just as many as 3 Coins Hangin’…spotless), this one to me, looks much better because you can be more flexible with this than a lot of other routines. I typically don’t prefer gimmicks, as you know now, but what is interesting is, because you have different gimmicks being used, you can go into a copper silver, copper/silver/brass, and hanging coins all in one routine, making this perfect for table hopping or walkaround. Just bringing this one up to the table can get you a nice little 5-10 minute set if you know your magic, or, make something up on your own!
EZ 5th Dimension (* * * *)
Is it me or did this start to slack towards the end lol. I have noticed a great deal of gimmicks start to pop up towards the end of this book. I don’t know if Bill organized it that way so people can easily find what they are looking for if they wanted to refer back to this book again in hte future, again, I don’t really know. But what I enjoyed about this routine is that it is much more than a coin trick. It is an experience. A ver gimmicked exprience. It is more than a coin trick, and even if it is gimmicked, the experience makes up for that and it didn’t loose many stars for that. The audience sees productions, vanishes, and changes. A coin is produced and vanished, 2 more are produced, one by one they change, and then vanish in the blink of an eye just as you snap the purse frame shut. It is a prety nice piece of theater, even if it is for walkaround lol.
Well, it’s about time to rap this up. I usually like to end on a few comments and words of wisdom. This book definetly deserved a nice (* * * *). Bill worked very hard on it and he is a ver good friend of mine. He is always open for suggestions and ideas as wel as criticism (so bombard him! lol) I remember when this book was officially published and how much I wanted it. All that time of waiting paid off for sure! Bll Citino is a coin-fu master, woops! Got to go!

Universal Impression Reviewed by V

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on April 16th, 2009

Trick: Universal Impression

Created By: Robert Smith

Effect: For centuries magicians have sought after tools and effects that promise to make them appear telepathic. Robert Smith, creator of Wounded, has designed the most useful tool to that end.

Flawless in its design, Universal Impression utilizes the best in modern, low tech, impression material and is remarkably easy to use. Unlike similar products on the market, Universal Impression never needs to worry about messy liquids, smudges or smears, fallible electronics or accidental erasing of impression. Your audience will be completely astounded by your ability to read their minds and convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt of your authenticity. Limitless in its versatility, Universal Impression can be used with a card box, a wallet, books, a pack of cigarettes, or any number of other common items present during impromptu performances. There are many gimmicks on the market but this is the first designed for various close-up magic situations. Universal Impression allows you to perform the strongest and cleanest mind reading effects imaginable. Simply put, if you were given the opportunity to perform just one effect this is it.


Extremely easy

Can be performed in low-light venues

Perfect for strolling, close-up, street & stage

Comes with DVD full of performance ideas and tips from creator Robert Smith

Cost: $49.95

Genre: Mentalism


Format: Approx. 57 minutes |DVD Video

Video and Quality:

Video- The video is split into chapters (explained later). The video is also very well edited, put together, and produced.It covers everything really in-depth.

Quality- The quality of this video is pretty good. There were definitely no problems hearing or seeing what was being said or done. The audio is good; everything is clear and easy to watch. Now, it is not in HD or anything but you can see everything clearly.

Basic Layout:

Performances- What you see in the Demo and performances of each impression application. Also, the performances really help you get the hang of how the method works.

Introduction- B. Smith talks about how different and better this impression device is compared to others, because of its versatile, cleanness and accuracy.

Marker Construction- Here B. Smith talks about how to prepare the gimmick, what items work best, and how to use it to the best of its ability. He also gives you extra tips of how to make the gimmick.

Preparing the Gimmick- B. Smith talks about how to prepare and put the best use to the gimmick (breaking in, preparing, and how and why it works).

Impression Wallet- Here B. Smith tells you how to adapt into a wallet, which makes a great way to give your business card out.

Card Impression- B. Smith teaches you how to gimmick your card box with a few household items. He also gives you a few tips and options to better your gimmick. Also, taught is a simple card move to get out of trouble, just in case the spectator messes up.

Resetting- Here B. Smith teaches a few ways to reset your gimmick in the easiest, cleanest, fairest manner.

Impression Pad- B. Smith teaches you how to adapt the gimmick into a notebook or notepad, also using a few household items.

Book Test- Here B. Smith teaches you a way to put the gimmick in use in any selected book chosen by the spectator.

Teaching: The teaching is phenomenal and superb. It’s very easy to follow along and very easy to learn from. I had no questions or things I was confused about when the video was over. When B. Smith teaches, he goes over everything you need to know to be able to perform this. He does not leave any details out at all. Everything is broken into steps and categories for the easiest possible learning experience. Direct and Clear. Also taught, are many applications to the gimmick and many peeks.

Method: WOW… This method for this effect is simply genius. It is really well thought out and devious. When you get it you wonder how in the world did b. Smith came up with that.

Items Needed: This section is pretty straightforward, and the title is self explanatory. You will get everything in the package to perform right then and there, with practice though. You get a total of five (5) items in the package; one (1) ready for you to perform and the other four (4) to construct your own.

Gimmick and Impromtuness:

Gimmick-The gimmick is easy to construct and is convincing, durable, and versatile; Universal Impression can be used with a card box, a wallet, books, a pack of cigarettes, or any number of other common items present during impromptu performances. It really is as awesome as the demo makes it sound. Easy to conceal, and is very small and very light. The downside about the gimmick is that you only get one (1), but it’s also delicate

Impromtuness- Obviously, this effect isn’t completely impromptu, simply because you need a gimmick. But because of the nature of this trick, it may seem impromptu during the performance or to the spectator.

Set-Up: It depends on which item you are using it on. But Set-Up can take no longer than 5-10 minutes.

Dirtiness and Clean-Up:

Dirtiness- In the end of this effect you end slightly dirty: In this case, this simply means that the effect utilized a gimmick and the gimmick needs to be disposed of. Then everything can be handed out.

Clean-Up- In this effect, Clean-Up is convincing, easy, clean and fair.

Reset: The reset for this trick also takes about 10 seconds or even less. You can do it in front of your spectators, and not worry about being caught.

Angles: The angels are very good and you can easily manage them, angles aren’t really a problem in here.

Difficulty: This effect is ingeniously simple The only thing difficult about this should be showmanship. If you are a good presenter, no one will suspect any kind of gimmick. That’s the only thing you need to worry about. The gimmick is very practical and is very easy to use. (It’s easy to construct as well). The moves involved are not difficult at all. This trick is so simple, it’s almost self-working. It requires almost no sleight of hand and the payoff is well worth it. On a scale of 1-10 (Ten being the hardest), I say it’s about a 5.

Overall: After watching the whole thing, I tried it out and it went great. It’s not something that you can master in one day, but it’s really simple and demonic method. I like this effect a lot B. Smith goes into a lot of detail of why this effect works the way it does, it’s absolutely perfect for all types of magic, and takes up very little pocket space. I will definitely use this and this effect is amazing its super easy and clean. I was pleased by the practicality of the effect and I recommend you pick this up. This was a great effect and video, and would definitely be worth the money! B. Smith is a very creative guy and I look forward to other releases from him

So overall it’s a great choice. Paper Crane outdid themselves with this. I recommend this to everyone. This is an absolute must for all mentalists.

Score: 9.5/10