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Keymaster Reloaded (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

May 4th, 2012 2:54pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Keymaster Reloaded is an exploration of the moving hole plot, specifically using keys. In the various routines on the DVD the hole in the head of a key jumps off the key (leaving it blank), onto another (leaving that key with 2 holes), onto the key shaft, and in one case lands on a signed card. The release is actually a new and improved version of Keymaster, a DVD Craig Petty released in 2010. In addition to an improved handling for effects taught in the original, new gimmicks are included that streamline the handling, as well as allow for some spectacular, “in the hands” moments in performance. All told, the DVD includes in depth explanations of 7 different effects using the many included gimmicks.

What I found most impressive about this release is the organic and motivated handling for many of the effects. Instead of difficult sleight of hand, Mr. Petty uses blocking and motivation to fool the audience. While I’m not a fan of fake puts and shuttle passes in general, in this case they work well. The use of a key fob, the off beat, as well as the surprising effect of having the hole appear on the stem allows for some very organic, justified switches and displays that are extremely deceptive and arouse little to no suspicion. And for some purchasers, knowing only simple sleight of hand is required will be a benefit to the project.

At the same time, the new gimmicks Mr. Petty introduces are in a category of their own. The new concept he brings to these gimmick is simultaneously clever, insidious and allows for some truly amazing moments. This is epitomized in a particularly streamlined routine wherein you place two normal keys in a spectator’s hands, only to make the hole jump from one key to the other. What sets this particular version apart is that the performer never touches the keys after they are placed in the spectator’s hands, at which point one key clearly still has a hole in it. Nevertheless, while in the spectator’s hands, the hole vanishes from that key. While it is possible to mold this kind of narrative in the memory of a spectator after the fact, in this case it actually happens as described. For me, this was the most purely magical routine on the DVD.

Possibly the best part of this project is that it uses neither coins nor cards, yet uses items everyone is familiar with. While arguably similar in effect to Jay Sankey’s Holy Moly, compared to that effect, the method for Keymaster Reloaded is much more difficult to reconstruct and, while some people are familiar with washers, absolutely everyone can relate to a key. Additionally, many of the plots are surprising and have several phases, giving depth to the effect and space for the performer to inject some of his or her personality into the performance.

As for instruction, the explanations are clear and thorough. Beyond method, Mr. Petty covers pocket management, scripting as well as getting in and out of the effect. He also discusses some basic theory related to performing the effect, including a concept he calls “selective focus,” that I found fascinating, and which the thoughtful performer could apply to many effects.

At $70.00, Keymaster Reloaded is not inexpensive. However, it comes with 6 gimmicked keys and explanations for seven different routines of varying complexity and focus. It isn’t a coin or card trick, yet uses every day objects and has a clear and easy to follow plot. With the number of handlings and gimmicks involved, there is a lot of potential for creativity and development. If you’re looking for a visual, unusual and deceptive close up effect that packs small and resets easily, Keymaster Reloaded definitely delivers.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Keymaster Reloaded (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Petty, Craig
Publisher: Wizard FX Productions
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $70.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Craig Petty (creator of 'Chop') presents Keymaster Reloaded: the most organic moving hole routine you will EVER see.

Slide holes up and down keys, move holes on to the stem of a key and even visibly move holes from one key to another, all with the 6 custom designed keys supplied.

Your audiences will love the routines that take place right in their hands - with the 7 routines on this DVD you will soon become a 'Keymaster'.

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