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Magic At The Edge (3 DVD SET) Review

Official Review

August 11th, 2008 12:05pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
Let's get the "blatant honesty" part of this review out of the way right up front. I'm a fan of Jeff McBride and I consider him an important mentor in my magic development. Additionally, this DVD features contributions from other people that I admire or hold in fond regard, such as Eugene Burger, Abbi Spinner McBride, Bryce Kuhlman, and several others whose tricks are acknowledged on these discs.

I've also spent a decade living in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as my entire academic career studying subcultures. Why is this relevant? Magic At the Edge is about performing magic in unexpected and challenging locations, such as the Burning Man festival. If you're not already familiar with the counterculture of fire dances, drumming circles, and "radical free expression" you're going to learn more than you bargained for.

So given all of the above, it's fair to say that I really dug these DVDs. But not for the obvious reasons. Firstly, these discs were far from boring. Typically, after watching a 3 Volume L&L video set I'm totally burned out on magic and my attention span is shot. But all the on-location Burning Man scenes bring variety and energy that is atypical of magic DVDs.

Secondly, the magic is all practical and organic. That is, it's easy to work into normal everyday situations. In fact, that's a key point of the project; creating opportunities to perform your magic gives you the chance to grow as a performer and your ad-hoc audience a surprising and unique experience. There's also a good variety of material, for different skills levels, so there will be items you can put into play right away and others that take more work. For my money, both immediate and longer-term gratification make any DVD or book a better value.

Another unique thing about these DVDs is that they are being sold as a set. That is, you can't buy individual discs. I'm not sure, but I think this a first for L&L. Although it makes the buy-in cost higher, I welcome the change because I think it allows the material to be paced and spread out for better learning. That said, now that the discs are being sold as a unit, some of the standard material, such as the intros and catalog listings, should be removed or changed to provide more variety.

My personal inclination is to give these discs a five-star rating. They're much better than average. However, I have to acknowledge that not every magician will like the tone, style, and circumstances of "the edge;" no matter how much it might benefit their performance and outlook. If you feel you're ready, or just intrigued and open-minded, dive in.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Magic At The Edge (3 DVD SET)

Author: Jeff McBride
Publisher: L&L Publishing
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $99.99
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Windows Media Video File View Clip

BEYOND STREET MAGIC!
FILMED LIVE ON LOCATION AT BURNING MAN AND LAKE TAHOE!


The middle of the Nevada desert. Four hundred square miles of nothing. Not even streets. Just 50,000 people attending the world's largest art festival. It's Survival Magic and there are no spectators, only participants in the most extreme conditions imaginable. Welcome to Burning Man and Magic at the Edge! Since the dawn of time, magicians have sought inspiration in the most unusual places. Burning Man is one of the most inspiring environments for performance magic in all the world.

You've seen Jeff McBride featured on A&E's Mindfreak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and VH-1's Celebracadabra. Now you can see Jeff in action performing his magic at one of the wildest places in the world, the Burning Man Art Festival. But this is far more than just a performance video. It is a teaching video, an exploration that searches for the very heart and soul of magic. Here is an inside look into the lifestyle of one of the world's great magicians and how and why he seeks inspiration.

Magic at the Edge offers magic for all skill levels, with commentary from Eugene Burger and Jeff's wife, Abbi McBride. They share their philosophies and techniques on performance. They teach you how you can add more meaning to your existing routines and use your magic to teach powerful lessons. Polish the magic you already perform and experience the wisdom of these masters of the art.

DISC 1: MAGICIAN 24/7

EFFECTS

  • TRIBAL PIERCING - An impromptu shocker! Push your thumb through your ear - listen to the screams!
  • MAGIC WISHING RAINBOW - Your participant's wish comes true with a surprise gift! A lesson in eye contact and engagement.
  • RAINBOW TO DOLLAR - You will conjure a rainbow from the air and transform it into real money your participant can keep!
  • WISHING RAINBOW/RAINBOW TO ROSE - The magic rainbow is back and transforms into the gift of a rose. An effect sure to melt the heart and make a lasting memory.
  • MAGIC BUBBLES - Enchanted bubbles become real in your participant's hand! This effect can silence crying children and might even get you a first-class airline upgrade!
  • HINDU ROPE / RISING CARD - An immaculate rising card, totally impromptu, with a mythic presentation. Better than nearly any gaffed deck version.
  • THE BEAD & STRING MYSTERY - Break free from bondage! A ritual of liberation that enpowers your participants to set their minds free.
  • WORLD'S FASTEST HANDS - Jeff's super fast card opener: two participants' cards revealed - really really fast. A close-up illusion that defies explanation.
  • NO SMOKING - A magical performance with the intention of healing and perhaps empowering your friends to quit smoking.
  • THE POD BELT - Jeff shows you his survival accessory belt that has more toys and attachments than Batman!
  • McWALLET - The signed card appears inside the wallet that is also inside a zippered pouch! A real world Card in Wallet that can be repeated multiple times. This has fooled the best!
DISCUSSIONS
Magician 24/7
Audience Participation
Flight Time
21st Century Street Magic with Eugene Burger
Definition of Magician

BONUS MATERIAL
Meet Jeff McBride
The Shaman's Drum
McTip #1

DISC 2: SURVIVAL MAGIC

EFFECTS
  • HOUDINI STRAIGHTJACKET - Abbi Spinner McBride's performance and explanation of the Houdini Straightjacket Challenge, with Eugene Burger giving historical background on this pack-small, play-big illusion.
  • THE MAGNETIC CARDS - A modern version of Nate Leipzig's astonishing card levitation. A trance-inducing wonder!
  • HEART CONNECTION - Make deep personal connections with two signed playing cards. More than a mere trick - it is real magic from the heart.
  • PRISNA'S DANCING CANE - The evolution and revolution of the dancing cane in pop culture (performance only).
  • THE SHARK FIN PIN - This little known close-up illusion even fools experienced magicians! A saftey pin rips through your jacket and leaves no trace!
  • SAMINA'S "INTO GOLD" - A lesson in alchemy - from the scintillating sorceress - will teach you to change real lead into gold in the participant's hand.
  • TRASH TO TREASURE - An enviro-magic experience that transforms garbage into glitter. Ecologically inspired conjuring.
  • BUSINESS CARD CONNECTION - Jeff shares a few of his impromptu business card effects that ensure your business card gets kept and remembered. A networking solution to a modern problem.
  • MCQUICK TIP TRICK - A super fast impromptu production and transformation of cards and money. Your participant keeps the money and your reputation builds as a real world wonderworker.
  • McMINT - An ultra-modern version of Signed Card to Impossible Location using a breath mint case. This is a mini-illusion and Jeff's closer in his close-up show.
DISCUSSIONS
Traveling with Props
Less-on
Interview with Sensei Strange

BONUS MATERIAL
Mystery School
Assistant's Revenge
McTip #2

DISC 3: ART ATTACK

EFFECTS
  • THE CHEN LEE MCBURGER WATER SUSPENSION - Water magic that mystifies close up, parlor or stage. This combinatin of classic method and modern application creates a powerful impromptu effect with props you already own.
  • WATER IN THE NEWSPAPER - Abbi McBride performs her commando-style routine in the round, under the Big Top at Burning Man center camp (performance only).
  • JINKS - Performing in tandem, Abbi and Jeff present an in-the-hands Wild Card invented by the brilliant Gordon Bean. Introducing the Spinner Count.
  • LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS - Inspired by Tracy Atteberry and Shel Silverstein, a tale of hope and courage. Blank canvases mysteriously paint themselves with images of your magical potential.
  • HERMETIC STAR GAZER - Alan Wong created one of the great rubber band effects of our time. This is Jeff's lesson in alchemical geometry with guest participant Stephen Larsen. As above . . . so below!
  • SPELLBOUND - Jeff's tips and subtleties on this classic coin routine.
  • BURNING MAN IN THE HAND - A cutting edge presentation for the classic Okito Wicker Rising Doll. Burn baby burn!
  • FIRE RITUAL- A ceremony of enchantment where burning intentions manifest into reality with a flash of fire.
DISCUSSIONS
About Burning Man
Simplicty

BONUS MATERIAL
Kabuki Magic
McTip #3
TV Commercial
Fire Circle

You've seen Jeff McBride featured on A&E's Mindfreak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and VH-1's Celebracadabra. Now you can see Jeff in action performing his magic at one of the wildest places in the world, the Burning Man Art Festival.

But this is far more than just a performance video. It is a teaching video, an exploration that searches for the very heart and soul of magic. Here is an inside look into the lifestyle of one of the world's great magicians and how and why he seeks inspiration. Magic at the Edge offers magic for all skill levels, with commentary from Eugene Burger and Jeff's wife, Abbi McBride. They share their philosophies and techniques on performance. They teach you how you can add more meaning to your existing routines and use your magic to teach powerful lessons. Polish the magic you already perform and experience the wisdom of these masters of the art.

Disc One Running Time Approximately 2hr 11min
Disc Two Running Time Approximately 1hr 57min
Disc Three Running Time Approximately 1hr 33min


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