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At the Table Live Lecture - Alex Pandrea 5/7/2014 (download) Review

Official Review

October 25th, 2014 3:20am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
Alex Pandrea’s 2 hour “At The Table” lecture, hosted by Eric Jones, is excellent, informative, entertaining and well worth the price. Pandrea’s demonstrates his top-notch card handling skills in a mostly card focused lecture, but has some great tricks that don’t use playing cards. There are tips, tricks and suggestions for beginners to experts and the lecture expertly uses various camera angles to demonstrate various moves and sleights. Some of the questions from the audience are hard to hear due to microphone issues and low audio input, but Jones repeats every questions. During the course of the lecture, Eric Jones asks questions of his own and takes many questions from the audience and from a live-feed that he receives on his tablet.

The first trick that Pandrea demonstrates (but does not explain because of its recent release) is Domino Effect, which is a modern version of the classic copper silver transposition routine, but using multi-color sugar packets instead of coins. Pandrea starts off with a pink packet of Sweet ‘N Low and a yellow packet of Splenda. He places both packets into Jones’ hand and then removes the yellow, leaving the pink in Jones’ closed hand. With the flick of his wrist, Pandrea’s yellow packet changes into a pink Sweet ‘N Low packet. Jones opens his hand to reveal that his pink packet turned into the yellow Splenda packet. The trick is extremely visual and currently on sale for $35.

Pandrea then launches into his pyro/card trick, Arson, which he fully explains. In Arson, any card is freely selected and lost in the middle of the deck. Pandrea then takes a lighter and holds the flame under the deck, explaining that the flame will find the selected card. Then, unexpectedly, the lighter disappears, the deck is fanned and the back of only one card has a large burn mark which when revealed is the chosen card. The chosen card is then removed from the deck, face up, and the lighter seemingly drops out of the card into the spectator’s hand. The card is then turned over and the burn mark has disappeared, and as Pandrea tells Jones, the lighter that just fell out of the card removed the burn mark. This trick sells for $25, which alone justifies the cost of this lecture. It is a great trick for any close-up or table hopping situation and it is not difficult to perform.

Pandrea explains that his lecture will follow his path in magic. Because he started with restaurant gigs, he starts the lecture with close-up tricks and then moves into sleight of hand tricks, which he became interested in as a teenager. Born in Romania, he started basic magic when he was 5 and started buying books and tapes when he was 12. After moving to the United States, he “found” Tannen’s Magic Shop in New York City and started going to conventions and hanging out with the New York City sleight of hand underground crowd. He credits his friend Tony Chang with challenging him to do the “hard things” and Magick Balay with teaching him “everything that I know since I was 12” when he would go to bars and watch him perform. Pandrea is constantly joking with Jones and has his own sarcastic, dry and very funny sense of humor.

Jones prompts Pandrea to demonstrate a mentalism trick and Pandrea starts his patter with a description of four places that he gambled, indicating that he “won big” at one of the four places he mentioned and that he had one card that helped him win big. Pandrea purposely does not reveal which place he left as a big winner. Jones then picks a card from a deck and places it face down on the table, wondering if that was the winning card. An audience member then names one of the four locations where Pandrea said he gambled, guessing that is the place where he won big. He then focuses the audience's attention to a wallet that has been sitting on the table during the trick. opens it and takes out the sole content, an envelope. Amazingly, the only card in the envelope (which is Pandrea's winning card) is the same card that Jones placed face down on the table. Then, as a kicker, when the card is turned over, the city name that the audience member picked is printed on the back of a tourist/souvenir type of card. The explanation is clear and the trick is simple to perform. Pandrea indicated that he has never revealed that trick before and does not even have a name for it. Jones named it the Mentalism Card Trick.

In discussion, Pandrea gives some idea about how to use the Classic Force, how to hold and angle the deck and discusses using a pinky break vs a step.

Pandrea then demonstrates one of Jones’ favorite card tricks, Elimin-Ace. In a word, this trick is fantastic. Pandrea tells Jones to name any card, except the ever popular Ace of Spades, which is thrown face down on the table. Jones then freely names a card. Pandrea does a riffle shuffle, Jones picks a card, and it is placed face-down on the table. Then the card that was the Ace of Spades (the first card that was placed face down on the table) is turned over and revealed to be the freely named card. And the second card, that was selected by the riffle shuffle, is turned over and is revealed to be the Ace of Spades. It is a great card transposition that requires some easy card handling skills, which is clearly taught and demonstrated several times with the under and over the table camera angles. Jones calls it “a great piece of magic.”

Pandrea then, for a few moments, discusses how he develops and tries out new material.

Pandrea demonstrates the Mystery Card trick in which one yellow backed card, among a red backed deck is removed from the deck and placed in Pandrea’s back pocket. Then, a red backed card is signed on its face and lost in the deck. The yellow backed mystery card is retrieved from Pandrea’s back pocket and lost in the deck. And, as it turns out, the one yellow backed card is turned over and it is amazingly the signed card, that was previously a red backed card. The explanation of this visual trick, including Pandrea’s T.O.P. (version of a turn-over pass) is instructive and very useful for this and other tricks.

Pandrea goes on to discuss his days a restaurant worker and his thoughts on how he picks his tricks for the audience, and how that has changed over the years. Pandrea teaches and reviews several other tricks, including a 2 card reset transposition effect. He launches into “5 sleights in 5 minutes” in which Pandrea demonstrates more difficult and impressive sleights, including a palm to palm transfer of a card while he removes his finger ring. Pandrea goes on to teach a trick with a second card deal and gives tips for the two card push off.

Switching away from cards, for just a moment, Pandrea does a mismade dollar bill switch and explains in detail how to fold, unfold and switch the bill, which he credits to Magick Balay. Among the other routines that Pandrea reviews, he demonstrates and explains his own very impressive version of the Ambitious Card Routine, which is quick and to the point, as opposed to many very long versions of the same trick. Pandrea describes why he does not like to start any card trick with a downward facing fanned deck and the words “pick a card.” In the remainder of the lecture, Pandrea demonstrates, with great skill, the turnover pass. As a final comment, Pandrea explains why magic bestows “power” upon a performer.

This lecture is crammed with tricks, routines, sleights and advice from a world class pro. If you are a fan of card magic or great magicians, you should not wait another moment before downloading this episode of Murphy’s Magic's At the Table.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for At the Table Live Lecture - Alex Pandrea 5/7/2014 (download)

Author: Pandrea, Alex
Publisher: Murphys Magic Supplies
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $24.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

At the Table: Alex Pandrea
May 7, 2014

Alex Pandrea has surged to the cutting edge of sleight of hand magic, and we're pleased to welcome him to our At the Table series. In a unique format, we'll explore the three facets of Alex's career. He began performing close-up at restaurants, where his material had to be quick, visual, and perfect for small groups. That evolved as Alex became immersed in the New York magic scene, where he expressed his sleight of hand and "move monkey" zen. Finally, Alex's venue has shifted again to more formal performance, for use in more stand-up settings. In this lecture you will be able to explore EACH of these aspects of Alex's magic, in three sections of an exciting and jam-packed 2 hour lecture.


Domino Effect: Copper Silver Transpo done with sugar packets. A perfect item for magic in or around restaurants. (Performance Only)

Arson: A stunning and practical routine that combines the "Kiss" plot with "Chicago Opener." There's fire, a selected card, and lots of mystery.

Mental Magic effect: A mixture of magic and mentalism, wherein you predict a selected card AND a thought-of city.


Eliminace: A gorgeous transposition of a selected card and the Ace of Spades. Direct, surprising, and with a cool plot line.

Mystery Card: A deceptive version o the mystery card using T.O.P - a turnover pass variation which both forces a card and hides its back.

2 Card Reset: "Dr. Daley's Last Trick" remixed with Paul Harris' "Reset."

5 Sleights in 5 Minutes: Exactly as it states, Alex shares with you 5 knuckle-busting sleights that are reserved for the "Move Monkeys". This is hardcore sleight of hand magic.


Four Quarters Bill Switch: Magick Balay's bill switch taught with his permission. This is, perhaps, the greatest and fastest bill switch you will ever see, and Alex will explain it in great detail.

Card routine Finesse: This will be a discussion of some of Alex's favorite card routines to perform in loud or parlor-style venues, and how to construct routines for this area.

Ambitious Card Routine and Theory - This is a MASTERCLASS in how to construct a multi-phase routine. Alex has whittled down the routine to its bare essentials, and the results are gorgeous. More importantly, we get to see the "move" that Alex is known for - his Pass

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