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Dave Forrest's REM (DVD and Gimmicks) Review

Official Review

December 6th, 2016 7:52am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
David Forrest’s REM is a nine minute routine (it could be shorter but will likely be longer) in which the spectator predicts various components of the performer’s bizarre dream about a card trick. As the performer describes his dream, the actual spectator fills in the blanks with a series of weird thoughts which will match a photograph that is shown at the end of the routine. What does that mean? It is somewhat confusing because the actual spectator seems to alter the dream as the spectator recounts it. Forrest indicates that he has a bizarre recurring dream about performing a card trick. In the dream, a spectator challenges him to guess a thought of card. Forrest describes how he is unable to guess the card. He then has the actual spectator apparently fairly cut an actual deck of cards, look at several cards and pick the highest card, indicating that the high card in the performance will be the thought of card from his dream that he was unable to guess. He then explains to his actual spectator that he looks down at the table he is sitting at and sees several different colored decks of cards on the table. Each deck has mismatched different colored cards. For example, the performer explains that in his dream he see a yellow box of cards, but the cards inside are all red backed. Or, an orange box of cards that contains all blue backed cards. In total there are 6 card boxes, which as mentioned before, all contain cards that don’t match the color of the box. He then asks his actual spectator to pick a card that will determine the color of the box and the color of the cards from his dream. The actual spectator picks a card that has colors written on it and so the color of the box and the different colored card backs in that dream box are set. Let’s say it is a green box with purple cards. He then explains that the green box only has a limited amount of purple cards in it. The actual spectator then sets the number of cards that are in dream green box by cutting the deck twice (so as to create two cross cut piles) to pick a card that will be the number of purple cards in the green dream deck. Let’s say the card that is picked is a 9. The performer shows that the two choices are different so the outcome in the dream is determined by the actual spectator. Still with me? This is weird like a barely remembered dream, right? Then Forrest explains that in his dream he sees that of the 9 cards, there are four of a kind, let’s say they are all Jacks. Then Forrest explains to the actual spectator that all 4 Jacks are standing up on the table and not falling down and only one is visible to the dream spectator. The actual spectator seemingly chooses which Jack is facing the dream spectator. Forrest then explains to the actual spectator that he told his friend about the dream and his friend mailed him a photo of an image to match the outcome of the dream. Then, an actual photo is removed from an envelope that has been sitting on the table and it shows the high card that was selected by the actual spectator, a green tuck box, nine purple cards and four cards standing up with one specified Jack facing the spectator.

The trick comes with a 58 minute DVD and REM is taught and demonstrated by Forrest. The DVD starts with a nine and a half minute performance to a single spectator in what appears to be someone’s living room. The production quality is not great. You can see the video lighting in the background and the microphone on the table. The audio at times is poor. Some of the instruction of various required moves, is recorded from a bird’s eye view of Forrest’s hands at a table, which is good and easy to follow. The DVD also contains various PDF color photographs to use in the final reveal, as described above. There is also a shorter version of the trick that clocks in at seven and a half minutes to the same spectator in the same living room.

I have mixed thoughts about this trick. First, I think it is amazingly clever and complex. I truly love this routine and the idea behind it. There is years of thought behind this routine. The routine attempts to recreate the oddness of a recurring dream and accomplishes that with the storyline. The reveal photo demonstrates that the dream matched the various turns in the story that apparently changed due to the actual spectator’s assistance in picking and cutting the cards. All the twists that unfolded during performance amazingly match the dream.

Forrest teaches some very fooling forces and constructs that will no doubt be used in many other routines. He credits Jay Sankey for the original inspiration and credits Mark Elsdon for his B’Voque method as is adapted for the four of a kind phase of the trick.

However, because this trick has many phases and is complex, it is also confusing. It takes too long to get to the finish line and may be hard to follow. Forrest addresses this issue by recapping what has transpired, but the spectator may not follow each step with the ultimate clarity that you would like them to have. In fact, the spectator on the DVD seems somewhat confused during the performance. Maybe she was just listening intently, but the routine is very long and feels like a monologue. The reason that the trick may be confusing for some is that there are many things to keep track of i.e. the thought of card, the color of the box, the color of the cards, the number of cards, which of the four standing cards is displayed to the spectator in the dream.

Additionally, this trick is not suitable for many venues. Because of its length and need for a table, it cannot be used for walk around or restaurant gigs. It cannot be used in places with noisy backgrounds or where there is moderate to high level of imbibing. It is not a cocktail hour approved routine where attention spans are 30-90 seconds long. However, this crazy routine may play very well if you have an attentive audience in a parlor setting. Don’t forget, it takes a lot of explaining and almost ten minutes to reach the ending, which is of course smashingly surprising.

The trick is easy to learn and perform. There are no concerning angles. This can be done with any deck, but a minute of set-up is required. You will need to print out the photo and create 6 cards for the colored deck selection phase. The reveal is the same every time the trick is performed, unless you make your own photograph with different endings. The promotional video claims that there are “alternate endings” and that is true for how you reveal the thought of and selected cards, but not what the thought and selected cards are, which will always be the same. Nothing in the ad copy jumps out as false. There is over the-top praise which is frequently seen in magic advertising.

As stated before, the trick is long and can be confusing to an audience that is not intently focused on the routine. But, this is an excellent trick to perform for magicians who want to be fooled.

This is certainly worth the current price of $30 for the thought, creativity and the various moves taught. However, I believe that there are limited opportunities to present this in a venue in which it will work as strong as the potential that this trick holds. I believe that the claimed “knock out finale” that will leave your spectators “utterly speechless” is true if you can find the right place and time to perform this trick.

4 stars

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Dave Forrest's REM (DVD and Gimmicks)

Author: David Forrest
Publisher: David Forrest
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"I saw Dave baffle the sh*t out of a large room of magicians with this beauty! This is always in my close-up case, ready to go!"

"REM is a masterpiece. A multi-phase prediction effect with the spectator deciding every single detail only in their imagination. No switches or multiple outs and yet a single photograph shows that they have correctly divined every last element of the performer's recurring dream. It's mental in every sense of the word!"

"Dave's REM is a truly baffling performance piece. Layer upon layer of clever deception leads to an impossible climax that will leave your audience speechless! Love it!"

"I didn't know anything about this other than what I saw in the trailer. I am so glad I bought it! The reaction on the trailer isn't unrealistic... in fact it is the norm! It is one of the easiest routines to perform with so much scope for "making it your own"... with the mother of all kicker endings! I couldn't recommended this enough!"
- Simon Sutherill (unsolicited from a customer)

"This is a phenomenal routine. I never thought Dave would ever translate this to close-up from the original (The Man Who Paints The Future). I should be shot with s**t through an elephant gun for ever doubting! The reactions you will receive from this will be as genuine as the one in the trailer!"
- Mick Wilson (unsolicited from a customer)

7 years ago, Dave created an effect called 'The Man Who Paints The Future' and released it to the magic community on my 'Radio Rental' DVD.

This parlour mentalism piece found favor among magicians and mentalists worldwide who added it to their professional performances.

Dave has used it in two major magic competitions and closed his parlour act with it during his engagement at the world famous 'Magic Castle' in Hollywood.

In the 7 years since it was released to the magic community, Dave has been developing a close-up version. His aim was to provide the same 'stun factor' as the original while making the whole effect portable, practical and easier to perform. Given that 'The Man Who Paints The Future' utilizes SEVEN multi-colored decks and an actual painting on a large canvas, this was no easy task.

Never-the-less, he got there in the end and is delighted to finally be able to present: 'REM'.

'REM' will allow you to have anyone describe, with unfailing accuracy, the details of the performer's recurring dream.

Your participant, using free will and their own imagination, will conjure an image in their mind, deciding for themselves on the pertinent details of your dream.

Without switches or multiple outs of any kind, they will remove a single, un-gimmicked photograph from an envelope that has been in full view throughout and find that it depicts EVERY part of the dream EXACTLY as they imagined it!

And then comes the final kicker...

A spectacularly memorable revelation of a card the participant is merely THINKING of in their mind. Having told NO ONE the name of that card - it only exists IN THEIR MIND - you will prove that, somehow, your dream actually centered around that very card!

This effect has literally been years in development. It is accomplished via layered, time-tested methods, woven together to produce the most direct effect possible while trading off as little of the magic that made it's large scale predecessor so memorable.

'REM' is very easy to perform, requiring only basic card handling skills. It is completely customizable and includes all the required digital artwork in a variety of sizes. And, there are several different ways to handle the final revelation so different artwork is provided for each scenario.

'REM' is a killer! Multitudinous revelations, all merely imagined by your participant, followed by a knock-out finale that will leave them utterly speechless.

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