The classic force, when well performed, is the most natural and convincing force possible. What makes it effective is that the selection process appears to be out of the performer’s control. To create this illusion takes subtlety, refinement, psychology and experience. Many great performers have written extensively on how to effectively force in this manner, and now Dave Hooper has contributed to the lexicon with his DVD, “Force of Will.” In performance, his handling looks outstanding. The cards appear sloppy, out of control and chaotic, and yet the spectator repeatedly selects the force card. Even knowing the classic force, it appears to be impossible that he could be forcing the card.
Unfortunately, the instruction on the DVD leaves much to be desired. First and foremost, it’s only 12 minutes long, which is just not enough time to share 30 years of experience with such a subtle and refined technique. Further, as anyone who has worked with the classic force knows, there are many elements at play that contribute to the success of the force, and Mr. Hooper discusses very few of them. While he has clearly mastered the force, his advice on the DVD can be boiled down to “spread through the cards in a sloppy manner” and “if the spectator speeds up, you should speed up; if the spectator slows down, you should slow down.” While both pieces of advice are valid, they are insufficient in and of themselves for the purposes of actually teaching the technique.
The fundamental change Mr. Hooper made was the manner in which he spreads the cards. Other than to say, “spread the cards like this,” essentially no explanation was provided. Given that his spreading technique is at the heart of his approach, far more time was needed to adequately explain how he performs it. The fine details of how many cards to cut to prepare for the force, how to hold the cards during the technique, the movements of the performer’s arms in relation to the spectator, along with the many other elements crucial to the force, are all left up to the performer to figure out on his or her own.
Mr. Hooper does offer some additional information (discussing ways to practice the technique and mentioning the importance of continuing to spread after the selection is made), and while this information is good, it doesn’t help if the basic technique isn’t communicated. He also discusses outs, which consist of “try again” and “do another trick,” both of which, while good advice, are old chestnuts and are only valid if the trick doesn’t rely on the force being successful the first time it is attempted.
It’s unfortunate Mr. Hooper and the DVD producers released such an inadequate product, given his mastery of the technique. 12 minutes of vague and well known instruction does not do justice to the classic force as performed by Mr. Hooper. If one is to ask for money in exchange for information, that information had better be at least marginally effective in teaching the technique. While I am very impressed with Mr. Hooper’s skill, I can’t recommend “Force of Will.”
Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer
Product info for Force of Will
Author: Hooper, Dave Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc. Average Rating: (2) Retail Price: $14.95 Buy Now
"David actually fooled me with his force, it was a joy to be fooled." -Doc Eason
There are a thousand ways to get a spectator to choose a certain card. Even today, new methods are being brought to light, even as you read this. Yet, one thing has remained constant throughout the years, the pursuit of the perfect force. Dave Hooper has refined his take on the classic force for more years than many of us have even considered taking our card magic seriously... And the result is a thing of pure beauty.
"Dave's force is the best I've ever seen. And I've seen many!" - Harry Robson
After 35 years of being a professional magician, It is today that he reveals his teachings on what some will call the greatest Classic Force, ever.
"He forced the same card on me FIVE times, and it was fair. Every time." -Chris Ramsay
If you are struggling with the classic force or are looking to refine and make it absolutely 100% undetectable and effective, then there is no alternative. The proof is inside.
"Dave has made all other forces irrelevant. If you're going to learn the force, this is the best. It blew my F***ing mind!" -Kieron Lefever