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At the Table Live Lecture - Steven Himmel 4/22/2015 - video DOWNLOAD Review

Official Review

August 13th, 2015 1:08am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

This was an eclectic collection of routines and effects.

Some were pretty good, many were so so.

I really liked the bill switch.

The instruction was pretty good. He really covered every bit of how to do each routine, except for his 3 fly routine.


This wasn’t my favorite lecture. It started out with a knacky move to make a top card flip places with the card below it. I tried and tried, and never got it to work. I don’t really care for knacky moves because even if you practice them a lot and get them working, there is a pretty decent chance it wont work when you really need it to work during performance. In the lecture, the first time he tried to do the move, the cards fell awkwardly to the table. It’s really anticlimactic if you do a move, half the cards fall to the floor and you say: “See? There’s your card!”

His second routine, a force thought was really good, but you have a gimmicked deck that you can’t really use for anything else. This brings up two points to think about:
First: If you have a gimmicked deck, can the deck be used for other effects? For example, in his DVD Dissolve, Francis Menotti talks about how he has carried just this one gimmicked deck to perform a variety of card effects. AND..
Second: Is this effect that strong that it deserves it's own deck? Back to Dissolve, while some may disagree, you could make an argument that this is one of the strongest Triumph effects of all. Effects fall into categories of similarity. Steven's effect is a bit similar to the ACAAN genre of tricks from an audience's perception. So, I have to ask myself, is this the best effect I could do in that category? I personally have an ACAAN type effect that uses a regular deck that the participant can shuffle before the routine. I would save a gimmicked deck for something stronger. Also, there is a way to do something just like what he did with a gimmick that could be removed from the deck.

Another routine he demonstrated was 3 fly. However, he really didn’t explain the handling of the routine. He did explain a psychological subtlety where he appeared to startle himself on each move. I think that is really hard to pull off naturally and I think the best way to pull off the “performer startled” act is when something apparently went wrong. If you are doing three fly as smoothly as he performed it, the “I’m just as startled as you” act doesn’t sell, in my opinion.

Another item taught was the “best force ever”. It was cute as a gag, and I’m sure it would fly past many audience members, but it wasn’t particularly clever or effective for a crowd of people where some are going to be a bit more observant than others.

Another routine was a booktest based on a variation of a very old method. Frankly, I prefer the very old method. I have used the original method many times, and it really plays strong. In fact, with a different variation of the original method, you could have them pick an apparent random word or even remember one of the sentences on the page and you can read their mind.

I also seemed to miss watching a personality, and the entertainment quality that many other performers bring to the lecture. For example, if you watch a lecture by any number of really good performers, such as David Williamson, Greg Wilson, and even some newcomers like Chris Mayhew, you could stop paying any attention to the magic and still get a ton of inspiration for how to entertain. This lecture lacked that aspect.


Sorry, not one of my favorite lectures.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for At the Table Live Lecture - Steven Himmel 4/22/2015 - video DOWNLOAD

Author: Himmel, Steven
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $24.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Steven Himmel is a Los Angeles based magician who's been performing his unique brand of magic for over 10 years. Steven is also an active member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. This young, fresh and creative mind has a wonderful amount of magic to offer the world and we've got you seat in the front row!

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