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Some Tricks Review

Official Review

March 4th, 2008 12:12pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Some Tricks by Anthony Owen is a small booklet of 4 effects. The booklet sells for $19.95, which is more than most lecture notes cost, and it contains less material. However, this material is strong, clever, fully developed and Mr. Owen goes into a good amount of detail regarding each of the 4 effects.

“Number at Card” is a great solution to the “Any Card at Any Number” (ACAAN) plot. What makes it intriguing, apart from the fairly clever method, is that the plot has a surprise twist that is both interesting and logical. At its heart I think it’s hard to argue that ACAAN is boring to watch. A card and number are named and then you count, potentially for a long time. Clearly a good performer makes all the difference here, but the addition of a plot twist adds quite a bit to the effect. The only drawback in my mind is that there is no reset.

“Who wants to be a magician!” is an excellent effect that draws upon the famous game show. In this case, the spectator always picks the correct answer, without even seeing what the answers are. It’s a topical plot (compared to most, anyway), has a deceptive method allowing for a clarity of effect, and the questions provide a great opportunity for comedy and entertainment. Mr. Owen even offers some of his favorites for use with a magic savvy audience.

“The Natural Lottery” is a version of Alan Shaxon’s “Confabulation” that has as its climax the magician predicting a random lottery number named by the audience. The “Confabulation” gimmicks are explained (with permission, thankfully), which makes this effect alone worth the price of admission.

Lastly is Mr. Owen’s version of “Oil and Water.” Many think there is no need for another version, but this one is exceedingly clean and visual. The handling is thoroughly detailed and highly deceptive. While not impromptu, the effect is worth it.

If any of these effects appeal to you, this booklet is worth your time, particularly considering the description of the “Confabulation” gimmicks. Mr. Owen clearly thinks outside the box and puts a great deal of time and energy into his magic. That creativity and hard work are apparent in Some Tricks.
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Product info for Some Tricks

Author: Anthony Owen
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $19.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Anthony Owen's first collection of unpublished performance material in almost ten years


    A hilarious trick based upon the hit television show ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?'. A spectator uses their innate psychic ability to pick the correct answers to multiple choice questions ” even though they do not know the possible answers! And they do it perfectly fifteen times in a row to win a million! Just like Paul Curry's classic Out of this World the spectator will be the hero and not have a clue to how they did it.

    This gasp getting opener to Anthony's Monday Night Magic act is ideal for any stage or platform performance. The magician asks six random audience members to each select a different number between 1 and 49. Amazingly these numbers prove to be the same six which are on the printed lottery ticket the magician bought earlier that day! You might not be able to win the lottery, but you can influence your audience members to pick the numbers you want them to! No pre show or limited selections.

    A unique solution to a legendary card effect. A deck is handed to a spectator for safe keeping. A playing card and a number between 1 and 52 are both freely named (no forces, pre show work or limited selections). The deck is opened and it is revealed that every card has a different number between 1 and 52 printed on its back ”and incredibly the selected card bears the selected number!

    The improved handling for Anthony's acclaimed super clean Oil and Water sequence. Three red and three black cards are alternated and magically separate. After being performed twice with the cards face down it is done with all the cards dealt FACE UP ” and impossibly the colours still separate.

Reviews and Quotes:

  • "Anthony Owen is something of an unsung genius, and this book is a real treat. His Oil and Water is the cleanest you'll ever see, his ideas highly commercial and satisfyingly off-the-wall, and his prose radiates a modesty which I could only dream of. This is a very,very good little book." - DERREN BROWN

  • "Every single item is a stand alone winner. Buy this book - NOW" - ANDY NYMAN

  • "When I read in the introduction that you had modeled your book on those of Lewis Ganson I thought it was a dangerous boast, but in fact you were spot on. Your book's style has a lovely retro feel that took me back to the days when I poured over magic books at every waking moment. The material is good - after all I've seen most of it and the explanations are very good. Just like the Ganson book in fact. Well done!" - JOHN LENAHAN

  • "The same brilliant thinking that make your TV magic shows such a success" - ANDREW O'CONNOR

  • "Some Tricks' is more than a collection of some tricks. It's the best tricks from the working repertoire of one of the UK's brightest magical minds." - MARC PAUL"

  • "Very good indeed." GEOFFREY DURHAM

  • Some Tricks reviewed by Peter McCahon

    Anthony Owen is well known to the magical community as an up and coming producer of magic orientated TV shows. This booklet of effects is an attempt to share his latest magical thoughts and creations amidst a very busy schedule. It details the methods and routines for four very strong effects.

    These effects have benefited from the time delay in getting them into print as Anthony as had time to think and rethink the details as they sat on the ‘backburner'. Unlike far too many effects these days which are rushed into print half thought out and impractical to use as written, these ideas actually work with audiences. This is not to say that you are not encouraged to find your own presentation, but what is supplied is an excellent starting point.

    My favourite of the four routines is definitely ‘Number at Card'. Following the classic plot a freely named card is found by choosing a number between 1 and 52. Each card in the deck is found to be numbered on the back and the selected card matches the chosen number! The idea is simple in its execution and very effective indeed.

    Nicely produced with clear illustrations and photographs this is a great little gift for a friend or just to treat yourself!

    Reprinted with thanks from The Magic Circular, the magazine of The Magic Circle, May 2003

    Review from May 2003

    Anthony's opening trick Number at Card provides a very workable and effective solution to an effect that many magicians have found to be a real challenge... how to produce any given playing card at any given number - you know: "Name a card and give me a number between 1 and 52" say, "six of spades," and "32" and the 32nd card is indeed the six of spades. In the hands of the right performer Anthony's method could be incredibly strong and is ideal for stand up work but can also be used close-up.

    Next: Who Wants To Be a Magician? running on a 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?' theme makes very clever use of an old method. The routine even includes '50/50' 'Ask the Audience' and 'Phone a Friend' (where would magician's be without their mobiles?) involving the whole audience - be it two or three people or a large crowd.

    The Natural Lottery is really clean: "Six members of the audience each think of a number between 1 and 49. The performer removes from his wallet his printed receipt for that week's lottery draw. Another audience member reads out the 6 numbers on it - amazingly, despite massive odds, they are the exact same 6 numbers!" I can't say what here, but there is one small detail that makes this routine - and it got me thinking of other potential applications straight away. Excellent.

    And finally SOBW is an "Oil and Water" effect. Anthony produced a version of this for Monkey Magic so that it could be shot from the underside of a glass table and it looked very good. I've never been a fan of Oil and Water but Anthony's handling and attention to detail and logical patter suggestions make this routine stand out.

    So that's it. Some tricks, explained in great detail with photos, patter and presentation tips throughout.

    Highly recommended.

    © Duncan Trillo April 2003

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