Alvo Stockman ELIXIR OF LIFE

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Welcome back guys. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve reviewed something and I guess this is a little bit late since itricks just hosted a very special live chat event with the guy who created this next piece. As the title says, I’m about to rip open Alvo Stockman’s “Elixir of Life”. A quick note before I begin though: During the live chat thingy, Alvo was consistantly tossing out some FANTASTIC advice (I highly suggest you go back and watch the recorded show) as well as some great quotes. Well I took notes and some of those will be appearing in here, as well as a slightly different layout for y’all!

alvoTHE ELIXIR (Effect):

“Go to a local coffee shop with a friend and order green teas together. Explain that this is the famed ‘Elixir of Life’ and the secret to your youthful good looks. If she looks skeptical offer to try an experiment with her. Have your friend write her current age on the bottom of her cup in permanent marker, and you do the same. Enjoy your teas together over stimulating conversation and mental acrobatics. When you’ve both finished and are ready to leave, you each look and see that your ages have decreased! By A YEAR, TWO YEARS or MORE! Individual results may vary. Naturally, everything is examinable and your friend leaves with an extra bounce in her step, feeling rejuvinated and ready to face the world. “

So there you go. Both you and your friend’s ages decrease when you drink green tea. Actually now that I think about it, this sounds kind of lame in simplest form but it really isnt. This is a very cool and really creative plot. I havn’t been able to track down anything like this. I also love how casual this effect is and I think you will too! Sure it might cost you a few bucks everytime you do it but there are ways around it. For example. Instead of going to one of the 10 local Starbucks locations in your area, you can go to the public library and order Hot Chocolates together while you read a book about a bicycle. Problem solved!

“I try to perform this whenever I first meet someone”-Alvo Stockman


I mentioned before that I havn’t been able to find anything like this. Well that might not have been clean now that I think about it because the method isn’t 100% new. It uses an OLD idea but in a COMPLETELY different way, I can tell you that much. Like everything Alvo does, you will never find something that is just like another effect like this on the market. Sure, a gimmick is required and it might be a pain in the ass at first but it isn’t something that is in “full” view the entire time. Only a small part of it is and the other part is hidden right under the spectator’s noses (or maybe in their hands). The one thing that I found a little troublesome to cope with while reading the manuscript, is the fact that you have to either throw away your gimmick everytime you do this or you need to sneak it into your pocket. If that turned you off a little bit, take it out on the forums, or be happy that the clean up happens before the effect even does and before your spectator is even aware of much. One final note about the method, if you don’t drink coffee or tea or go to starbucks, you can make this gimmick out of other materials. It’s MUCH better if the cup is paper but nobody is stopping you from being creative. For example, my school sells soup in little styrofoam cups with lids and little sleeves to prevent burning yourself. That would work fine here. Feel great, look great.

“Nobody is marketing wonder. Wonder is an emotion so you should embrace it!”-Alvo Stockman

TOO HOT? (The Packaging)

While this might not be the most technologically advanced layout, this little manuscript held up there with crazier designs I have seen (Such as Homer Liwag’s crazy packaging with little burlap bags and elastic binding) And for those who didn’t catch up yet because they are sitting in pure astonishment (along with the spectator), this is in fact…A BOOK! That might turn people off, but I can’t really do anything about that except say it is a REALLY good book! Penguin Magic always seems to keep up with their reputation and give their customers a very nice piece of work. I can tell they put a nice amount of work into designing the cover. It was very finely touched up to looks as vintage as possible. IT almost looks like one of those old western advertisements which is really cool being that the effect is time travel in a way. It is a little blurred and the words look cracked and faded which is really cool. One other thing which I REALLY loved, are the illustrations. Alvo isn’t just a phenomenal writer, creator and magician, but also a fine illustrator /cartoonist. They are really nice and simple. Nothing is perfect, we don’t need to see every little hair on the performers hand, and it looks very nice. It also appears that it was printed on recycled paper which adds a fine touch the the macaroni color. You are getting a nicely put together 8.5×5 manuscript of a nice color tone and 26 pages stapled together at the spine.

“I don’t want to open this can of worms”-Alvo Stockman


If you thought the effect was cool up until this point, wait until you see the special bonuses that Alvo has delicately placed in here for you. 13 YES, 13!! Thirteen bonus items are in here. He covers everything from apparently visual manipulation of the ink on the bottom of the cup, to a thermometer looking like it gets cooler as the drink cools. So now if you didn’t like the effect, there is definitely something in there for you. Each bonus item that is included is also very finely touched up and used to both your and your spectators advantage. Plus, they are all very motivated and pretty damn cool. But these are not just tricks, there are also a few subtle ideas for presentation as well as some advancements to the gimmick that you might like. I have even created my own personal method to produce honey or whatever else you might like to add to your drink.

“There are so many effects coming out where you perform for strangers that you will never meet again!”-Alvo Stockman

GREEN TEA TO GO! (Overall)

Well there you go! Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Alvo is a really cool guy and he is always open for suggestions, tips, ideas, criticism, dates etc. This wasn’t my first product I have gotten from Alvo, but it IS my first book and It was really good and very nicely put together, so I trust him next time I purchase from him again. I guess all I can say now is just to have fun with it. It’s clear that Alvo did and he put some very cool work into it, which certainly shows in this book. Buy it, read it, re-read it, re-read it again, enjoy it. Over and out…but not without one more quote:

It guarentees at least 1 date…you should scratch it if you don’t want that”-Alvo Stockman

(Ok, this time he was talking about ‘Poetry Reading’ (another one of his effects) but the same applies here!)

–Mark Trione

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