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Bring It! - Black Rabbit Series Issue #6 (3-DVD Set) Review

Official Review

December 18th, 2015 9:21pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Will Fern is a full time magician, having performed in restaurants for 20 years, as well as at private and corporate events all over New York. In his 3 DVD set, “Bring It,” he teaches several formal performance pieces, as well as the strolling material he performs in the real world. “Bring It” refers to the attitude Mr. Fern brings to his performances, which is that it’s his job to bring not just magic, but fun and a good time. While he does perform strong material, the primary goal is to insure the viewers enjoys themselves. He doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the magic to do so, but he does make sure the magic is a vehicle for entertainment, not just deception.

Disc one begins with a formal show performed at the Magic Castle. The set includes a three coin routine, credited to Ponta the Smith, a show-stopping multi phased named card routine, a coins through the table, a coins across, the chop cup and he closes with bill in lemon. An audio commentary is also provided, during which Mr. Fern touches on show construction, audience psychology, and being likeable, among other topics.

The explanation section begins with his named card routine. It’s an extremely powerful effect, but does require the performer be very familiar with a full deck stack (i.e. Aronson or Mnemonica.) It’s a flexible routine, and Mr. Fern covers the main effects he includes, as well as strategies, tips and resources for “jazzing” with a stack, why he uses this effect and what purpose it achieves with an audience. The tips are useful and practical, clearly coming from his having performed the effect professionally for thousands of audiences. And while it’s understandable that one can’t delineate the exact procedure used in a routine like this, it would have been nice had Mr. Fern discussed a way to ease in to performing an effect requiring this much improvisation and thinking on one’s feet.

Next is his explanation for the coins through table, a solid and effective routine. It uses what is probably the second most popular coin gimmick available. The method isn’t particularly subtle or ground breaking, but it is deceptive and practical, with each phase being strong on its own, a factor Mr. Fern looks for in the material he performs. John George ably assists him in these segments, clarifying the content and asking useful questions. (For the record, the opening 3 coin routine, the chop cup and bill in lemon are not taught.)

The disc concludes with an interview between Mr. Fern and Anthony Asimov. Topics include the idea of “bringing it” to one’s shows, promoting oneself during a performance, changing one’s approach based on the audience, as well as a number of tips for performing in restaurants, surviving strolling gigs, as well as practical tips garnered from working in the trenches.

Disc two begins with a second formal show performed at the Magic Castle. It opens with the same three coin routine, coins through table and coins across, then follows with a multiple selection routine and lastly the ambitious card. As with disc one, an audio commentary is included, though this one was a bit less insightful than the first. This is followed by an explanation of the coins across and multiple selection routines, with the ambitious card being taught on disc three.

The coins across routine is based on an effect of Dean Dill’s wherein the coins travel from the hand to under a napkin on the table. The effect is strong, surprising, different from most coin routines and ends with an astonishing phase created by Mr. Fern. This is a beautiful routine. And while it does require a flat surface to perform on, it is practical and can be performed in a variety of venues and situations. It also requires a gimmick, different from the one used in his coins through table, but one that is probably THE most popular coin gimmick available.

The multiple selection routine is fairly standard. However, the methods, subtleties and revelations he uses show excellent taste, and there are some ideas he shares that will be of use to even those who already perform a version of the routine. Mr. Fern’s main personal contributions are his presentation and his final revelation, which allows the performer to reveal the final signed selection has appeared under the label of an aerosol can. This fooled me badly. And while it isn’t practical for walk around (obviously), for a formal performance this will devastate an audience. The disc also contains two PDF files, one containing a template for the aerosol can label and the other being a walkthrough of the revelations used in the multiple selection routine.

The final disc is devoted to walk around magic and begins with footage of four strolling sets filmed for the public. Each set includes an audio commentary that, while mostly descriptive, does offer some good tips for strolling magic performers. The tricks performed in the various sets include his ambitious card, card under spectator, card to card box, an entertaining and impossible card location, a version of the Chicago opener and sponge bunnies. His ambitious card and handling of the Chicago opener have some nice variations and subtleties, but the highlight is his card location. In the routine a card is selected while the deck is behind the magician’s back. The card is returned by the spectator, the deck is handed to the spectator who shuffles it (while the magician’s back is turned!) and yet the magician can still find it. The one drawback to this effect (as well as the card to box routine) is that the method is not perfect. While Mr. Fern does suggest a great out, if you need 100% sure-fire material, this isn’t for you. In this section he also teaches a practical action top palm that can be performed surrounded.

The final routine taught is Mr. Fern’s approach to the classic sponge bunnies. He doesn’t teach it, so much yell from the rooftops, touting all it can accomplish in performance. And, as any working professional who performs sponge bunnies can attest, he is right. Beyond listing the benefits, though, he also offers a template for guaranteeing huge amounts of entertainment any time one performs for a family. His presentation is delightful and his approach is powerful. In his hands the trick is extremely magical, which grabs any adult’s attention, but the entertainment really comes from the interaction, not just between the performer and the audience, but also between the kids and their parents. He includes a PDF that not only describes his method and technique, but also breaks down the seventeen things his routine accomplishes in performance. Anyone who frowns at the idea of performing the “Bunnies” will be a convert after watching Mr. Fern perform, teach and discuss the effect.

Instruction is complete throughout, though at times a bit rushed. Mr. Fern could have slowed down, as well as given more thought as to how to explain the material. At the same time, a great deal of extremely valuable information was imparted, not just regarding the material on the set, but also related to entertaining people in the real world. The practice of including not just actual performances for real people, but also an audio commentary, is a welcome one that other magic video producers should incorporate in their releases.

Will Fern is a bold and fun entertainer. He doesn’t have the most sophisticated or refined sleight of hand, but his material, whether he chooses classics or routines of his own devising, is practical, powerful and entertaining. The new material on this DVD will be of interest to workers, and his take and ideas with the classics will be as well. If you want to learn practical, powerful, audience tested routines that can be used any time and anywhere, as well as see the routines performed for real people, this DVD is for you.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Bring It! - Black Rabbit Series Issue #6 (3-DVD Set)

Author: Fern, Will
Publisher: Anthony Asimov Magic
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $49.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

A wise person once said: "Don't go out expecting to find happiness... bring it with you." This is Will Fern's mantra. Will is a successful corporate and private party veteran of the New York City market. He is also a recipient of I.B.M.'s International Champion of Strolling Magic award. In this project, Will shares the routines and trade secrets that keep his clients calling... over and over!

Over 6 hours of content on 3 DVD's! Includes: 2 live shows filmed at The Magic Castle 4 Roving Performances 6 Performance Commentaries 10 Professional Routines & Explanations 4 Bonus Tricks (including "It's a Pig!") 30-Minute interview DVD Downloads"Shock & Awww" - A powerful memorized deck opener that wins the room instantly.
"Through & Through" - Will's baffling handling of the timeless coins-through-table effect.
"Over & Under" - The most magical 5-phase coins across routine you'll likely ever see.
"Superhero Selections" - Eight chosen cards are revealed using superhero powers!
"The Full Cut Palm" - Invisibly palm off the top card of a deck right under their noses.
"Chan To Chanel" - A complete act where a card jumps from shoe to forehead to necklace!
"The Sentinel" - Load a signed card on a spectator's seat... easy, clean and powerful!
"World's Toughest Card Trick" - Learn a behind-the-back trick that fools magicians!
"Drop Box" - A spectator uses his intuition to find his card... ends with a powerful twist.
"Chicago Times" - Will's handling of the Chicago Opener is great for table-hopping.
"Bunny Blast" - This 6-phase sponge bunny routine is Will's time-tested crowd-pleaser!

"Will Fern lights up a room even before he enters it. He's the total package: high-energy personality, hysterical comedy, great audience interaction, phenomenal chops and highly original thinking. Add to that the fact that he is a really fine teacher and communicates his points extremely well."
Marc DeSouza

"He performs with such contagious great energy... and all of his creations have that quality built into them."
Asi Wind

"Anyone that performs strongly and prolifically is someone I listen to when they speak. The best advice comes from real world workers like them, and Will Fern is one of those guys. Magicians... pay attention."
Jon Armstrong

"I know Will's work intimately. His card behind the back will fool you badly, and his memorized deck work is first rate. Will is a thoughtful and uber-experienced worker. All of his friends are students. I'm happy to be one of them."
Bob Sheets

"This is not pie in the sky stuff. This is stuff that will uses all the time (and now, so do I), and so will you."
Rich Bloch

"I've personally seen Will fool, entertain and completely destroy both top notch magicians and laymen. He's a real worker that knows how to perform the right material in close-up situations. Highly recommended!"
Karl Hein

"I met Will Fern and saw his magic. I became his friend to learn the secrets of his magic. Now he is just giving these amazing secrets away to anyone that will shell out a few bucks. I feel ripped off. Go buy the DVDs. There is great material for real practical working conditions."
John George

"Will Fern is an exceptional performer. I have rarely seen a magician be able to entertain a crowd like him. His energy is as high as his talent. On top of being an amazing technician, Will also has a true sense of what is magical and entertaining for an audience. So listen to him, watch him closely and get ready to laugh as much as you will be fooled!"
Boris Wild

"After seeing Will in action, you'll be inspired by his innovative approach to magic. He absolutely loves what he does for a living, and his enthusiasm rubs off in spades!"
Anthony Asimov

"Will Fern: Bring It!" is ISSUE #6 in the Black Rabbit Series, which features outstanding professional magicians from around the world who perform full shows for live un-coached audiences.

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