Magic That Can Be Performed Anywhere
THE LOOP BALL
THE SALT POUR
JOE KARSON’S CHINESE EGG BAG
THE DEVIL’S HANDKERCHEIF
FRED KAP’S VANISH AND RECOVERY OF FOUR COINS
THE GYPSY THREAD (STREET STYLE)
I’ve heard bars, restaurants, and even trade shows described as magic’s “front lines,” but while I agree that these are all challenging venues, I still consider them to be a mile or two behind the real front lines – the street. Street magicians are the true footsoldiers of magic. They have no use for the work of armchair generals. They don’t do Progressive Ace Assemblies, or Okito Box routines, or Tenyo tricks. The material they perform must be simple, visual and bulletproof, or they are, professionally speaking, dead, which is why they typically turn to the classics – Linking Rings, Cups and Balls, Misers Dream, and the like. But even armed with material that has proven to be effective in the environment, a fledgling street magician must still learn how to command an audience that has absolutely no reason whatsoever to empower him, save that he makes them want to. These DVDs provide the viewer with insight into that side of the industry, sometimes during the interviews and sometimes just as a result of viewing the performances.
In terms of tricks (which are the exclusive domain of Volume II), you’ll learn Cellini’s ultra-tight, fat-free approaches to such well-established plots as the Cut & Restored Rope, Professor’s Nightmare, Cups and Balls, Silk Routine, Wand From Purse, and more, and even if you already perform some versions of these, Cellini imparts tips to make them play specifically on the streets, although many of these suggestions would be useful anywhere. For example, Cellini makes as much noise as possible with his props (he jingles his coins in his hand, raps his wand on the table, bangs his cups together, etc) because, as he says, “Sound is very important on the street, to capture attention.” And did you know, when you’re performing the Cups and Balls, that you should “Always bring the cup to the load, never the load to the cup”?
In addition to Cellini, you will also see performances by and/or interviews with Gazzo, Kozmo, Danny Hustle, Blair, Lucky, Johnny Fox and more. These segments cover everything from how to choose material (a premium is placed on instant reset, high visibility, no need for replacement parts, among other things), what kind of gimmicks to avoid (e.g., a coin shell becomes useless after the first time you drop it on the ground), using comedy in your act (the montage of Gazzo performing on Volume III is particularly enlightening in this regard), and more.
If you’re already an established street magician, these DVDs may serve as a refresher course, but the information on here is really directed towards magicians who are either new to street magic or who haven’t yet tried it but are considering doing so. The lessons Cellini and his peers impart will shave months, possibly years off your learning curve, and that strikes me as being well worth the $180 dollar asking price for the set.
– David Acer