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Magic For Bartenders Review

Official Review

January 28th, 2003 3:30pm
Reviewed by David Acer
Magic For Bartenders is a poorly written, mediocre collection of tricks and stunts for the bar magician. None of the 29 items here, as far as I can tell, is original with the author (though in his defense, many of them would qualify as public domain), and some of the entries are simply references to marketed items, such as The Bill Tube (in which he describes the routine that comes with the instructions). It is fairly clear that English is not Senor Mardo’s first language. Moreover, at times, he seems to exist in an alternate universe, where “most bars have a leather cup and five dice,” and “a five dollar bill may be secured at a coin collector’s, dealer, or the bank where you do business.”

Of moderate interest to bar magicians who are not already familiar with these items are “Bite The Glass,” an impromptu method for apparently biting off a chunk of a glass as you sip your drink, then spitting out a mouthful of shards; “1000 Proof,” a visual stunt (not trick) in which the water in one whisky glass changes places with the rye in another; “Dead,” a simple but powerful prediction effect wherein the magician accurately divines which of three spectator’s relatives written on three slips of paper is no longer alive; and “The Pyramid,” an amusing bar bet in which three glasses are stacked, the bottom one containing a small amount of liquid, whereupon the mark is challenged to lift the top two glasses, keeping them suspended without the use of his hands or outside help while at the same time drinking the contents of the bottom glass. The method is an effective application of a scientific principle that has the added bonus of looking quite funny while being executed.

Of considerably less interest is “Changing a Dollar Bill to a Quarter,” a lame transformation using a thumb tip; “Gravity Outdone,” a long-winded stunt better reserved for a science class using four heavy tumblers, four high-ball glasses, four rubber bands, four playing cards rolled into tubes, four fresh eggs, one hollowed out egg, and a piece of heavy cardboard (in other words, it’s completely impromptu...); “The Wilder Miracle,” a remarkably uninteresting signed card in envelope using daub (daub, for God’s sake!!!) in which the card is never in the envelope - just stolen from beneath it; “Bill in Orange,” an obsolete and poorly explained version of this classic effect; and “Through,” an ill-advised approach to the popular “Ashes in the Hand” using your own hand rather than a spectator’s (this is just asinine).

Ultimately, the “best” material in this little collection (and bear in mind, it’s a sliding scale...) are the stunts - for the most part, the tricks are sub-par. With that in mind, if this sort of thing interests you, I recommend picking up a copy of Martin Gardner’s magnificent Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic. You will find the contents far more satisfying.

David Acer

Product info for Magic For Bartenders

Author: Senor Mardo
Publisher: Hollywood Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $4.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

A handy little book just brimming full of entertaining magic tricks and stunts that every bartender should know. All of the tricks are easy and fun, and can be performed with objects found at any bar. Tricks with cigarettes, highball glasses, coins, etc.

Even if you have never been to a bar, these tricks will provide you and your friends with hours of fun.

Format: Paperback
Publication Summary: 31 pp

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