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Voracity Review

Official Review

June 8th, 2008 12:06pm
Rating:
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Voracity” is a DVD release by Corey Burke containing 7 routines, 2 with bills, 3 with coins, 1 with “ninja” rings and his handling of Pat Page’s “Easy Money.” (One of the bill routines is performance only) Mr. Burke is clearly accomplished at sleight of hand and has obviously performed the effects on the DVD a number of times. However, not all of the material is worthy of release to the paying public.

This is not to say that there is no quality to be seen on this DVD. His routine with the “ninja” rings flows very nicely and is quite magical. His count in particular is innovative and deceptive. The title effect, “Voracity,” is a very visual, incremental bill change that is quite magical in appearance. And his method for Pat Page’s “Easy Money” using borrowed bills also allows for the changed bills to be examined, which is a nice addition.

Unfortunately, this list leaves out the 3 coin routines. I leave them out because they are essentially derivative and offer little improvement over the routines they are based upon. For example, in his coins across routine (“Homer’s Odyssey”) the only real apparent “improvement” is that Mr. Burke keeps his left hand closed during most of the routine, whereas in the originator’s routine the hand is kept open and the coins visually vanish. Mr. Burke’s reason for the change was to eliminate the need for a gimmick. Not using a gimmick doesn’t count as innovation unless you replace it with either a subtlety or a sleight. Closing your hand is neither. Along the same lines, “Pennies From Down Under” is a two coins across routine using the same methods as “Homer’s Odyssey,” minus two coins. Again, very derivative.

Which isn’t to say the coin routines are not solid pieces of magic. They are. They just don’t offer anything new in the realm of effect, method or presentation. And if something isn’t a step forward, it really shouldn’t be offered as a product for purchase. I don’t mean to suggest that “Voracity” offers nothing to the magic community. I just believe a more conscious, thoughtful approach is warranted.

That same conscious, thoughtful approach was also missing in a number of the explanations. While the DVD started strongly with a very clear, thought out and well prepared explanation of “Voracity,” the actual work, technique and detail that is necessary to fully learn an effect was starkly missing in a number of the other explanations. For example, in “The Monocle Production” Mr. Burke uses a specific sleight, working coins in and out of position, but doesn’t talk about how he does the move, let alone address finger positions or show a close-up view of the technique in action. Another example of carelessness can be seen in the fact that two of the routine’s explanations were for sequences different from the ones seen performed. While the differences were relatively small, matching explanation to performance seems to me to be a relevant and fundamental detail.

The style of the DVD is like many DVD’s being released by today’s younger magicians, with an attempt to be more “artistic” with the delivery of the material. For the record, I don’t buy DVD’s for entertainment. I buy them as a study tool. The time and energy spent on the way the material was presented would have been better spent handling more relevant production details, like white balance, equalizing the sound from performance to explanation, designing an easy to navigate menu that doesn’t require backtracking and providing fuller and better filmed explanations.

Criticisms aside, on the whole “Voracity” offers a selection of quality material. While the explanations needed more detail and effort, and the production design was a bit irritating, there is value for the money. I took time in this review to discuss derivative material in the hopes that it would result in creators taking more time to evaluate whether their variation of an effect is actually an innovative prior to releasing it to the public. That concern aside, “Voracity” offers some very magical effects worth studying and performing.

(Purchasers should know that Mr. Burke lists a website where one can download instructions for the additional effect that is performed but not explained on the DVD. Unfortunately, the website has been down for at least the last two weeks. I attempted to reach Mr. Burke to find out if the situation is permanent or temporary, but have not received a reply.)
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Product info for Voracity

Author: Corey Burke
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Don't just change their bill.
Change their reality!


Effect

Voracity - You now have the ability to borrow anyone's dollar bill and change it into a $25, then into a $50, and finally into a $100.

Terminal Voracity - A Dollar bill slowly dissolves into a Five Dollar Bill that your spectator has been holding the entire time. A graceful take on the $1 / $5 Transpo. (Performance only)

The Monocle Production - Three coins spiral into view and then vanish one at a time. With a final reproduction allowing you to go into any three coin routine you so desire.

Mercenaring - A highly visual, linking ring routine used to showcase the Ultimate linking-ring count. Imagine being able to show all four rings separate from one another before you start..

Vicissitube - If you perform Slow burn, Hundy 500, or 3-D Cash you are going to want to add this handling to your routine right away! This is priceless!

Homer's Odyssey - What do you get when you cross Four Coins and a Filipino with The Deep? The answer- a highly visual four coins across routine that can be performed anytime, anywhere.

Pennies From Down Under - An under-handed Tenkai Pennies routine for the brave!

"Wow! I just love it! How do you do that! Must be great for getting tips at table hopping, no?"
-David Stone

Running Time Approximately 133min


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