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Great Scott! It's Magic! Review

Official Review

October 16th, 2003 9:42am
Reviewed by David Acer
Although I have never met the man, even a cursory screening of this DVD confirms that Scott Guinn is a talented and thoughtful professional. Perhaps more importantly (given his line of work), he has the gift of a warm temperament, which makes others feel comfortable around him. That alone puts him in an elite class of magician.

Great Scott! It's Magic, his first DVD, is a well-shot production featuring 11 routines straight from his professional repertoire. All the material is performed in front of a live (not to be confused with lively) audience, but virtually EVERY effect is Scott's version of someone else's routine, more personalizations than variations. This, of course, is what every working pro should be doing -- infusing his repertoire with the world-view that makes him unique. But whether or not that material will then be of interest to other magicians is another matter.

Of the 11 routines taught here, 7 use cards. Simply Stop is the best of the bunch, a "stop trick" designed for parlor work in which a deck is transferred one card at a time from one wine glass to another, but when a spectator calls "stop," the card in the magician's hand matches a jumbo prediction.

Idaho Travelers is a simplified version of Vernon's classic Travelers plot (Stars of Magic, 1975), but it can't be done with signed cards, a HUGE sacrifice to make in favor of easier handling. If you really want to learn this effect, my advice would be to invest the necessary practice time in Larry Jennings's Ambidextrous Travellers (The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, 1986), or Marc DeSouza's I'd Give My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous (DeSouza's DeCeptions, 2001), both of which make advances on Vernon's original routine.

Red Hot Mama's Lips is a combination of Red Hot Mama and Tony Binarelli's Lips (produced by The Camirand Academy) that in fact clutters the simple, elegant plotlines of both, resulting in a routine that is less than the sum of its parts.

What The...? is a confusing approach to Marlo's Devilish Miracle in which the effect is as unclear at the end of the trick as it was at the beginning (they know something magical happened, but damned if it wasn't a contrived ride getting there).

Finally, Universal Appeal, Treasure Valley Twist and A Visit To Boise are Scott's versions of the Universal Card, Twisting The Aces, and Larry Jennings's The Visitor, respectively.

The remaining four routines use sponge balls, coins and rope. Peanut Butter & Jelly is a presentational approach to a three-sponge-ball routine that, while undoubtedly entertaining for laymen, offers little that's new to the genre (for something different here, see Gary Ouellet's Sponge Balls and Banana on The Very Best of Gary Ouellet, Vol. 1).

Great Scott's Ring & Rope Routine is a collection of standard moves using a large (three to four inch) ring, most of which (and more) can be found in Phil Willmarth's The Ring and Rope Book.

Magic Western Union is a presentation for Eddie Fechter's Flying Eagles that concludes with the production of a jumbo coin.

And finally, we come to The Magic Jumprope, quite possibly the best trick on the DVD, a fun and funny three-to-one rope trick for children's shows that generates lots of activity with very little effort. (I like this routine A LOT!)

All in all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Great Scott! It's Magic, but it doesn't bring a whole lot to the table of terms of making real advances on previously published work. It does, however, serve to remind us that some people are out there investing themselves in what they do, and that alone is worth a tip of the hat.

David Acer

Product info for Great Scott! It's Magic!

Author: Scott F. Guinn
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

11 of Scott's favorite routines performed and explained. On this DVD, you'll find material from Scott's "A List," the stuff he performs for real people in real-world paying gigs. Idaho Travelers, A Visit to Boise, Red Hot Mama's Lips , Peanut, Butter & Jelly, Magic Western Union, Universal Appeal, What the...?, Treasure Valley Twist, Simply Stop, Magic Jumprope. BONUS: Great Scott's Ring & Rope Routine.

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