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Psycho Review

Official Review

December 16th, 2016 9:26pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
If you have ever seen a magician produce a bowling ball you know how strong it is and what kind of reactions it gets from audiences. One of the most commonly seen versions is the Kevin James Bowl-a-Rama where you draw a bowling ball on a sketch pad with a marker, write the words 'Bowling Ball' around it, close the pad and a bowling ball falls with a THUD to the floor and upon opening the sketch pad, the drawing of the ball has vanished from the page. This is nothing like that, but the reactions are just as strong. A few years ago Andrew Mayne released something similar to this where a very real brick falls out of a brown paper lunch bag - that was the inspiration for this version.

First things first: You get a nice, sturdy harness, a length of strong cord and a link to a Vimeo video which can be streamed or you can download it if you like. The harness is very well made and should last forever with care, but over time the cord, while it is strong, may or may not need replacing eventually, which is very easy to do.

Both the written ad copy and the ad trailer are 100% honest and I did notice that in the ad trailer, Chris called the harness "specially gimmicked", which may have just been something that slipped out of his mouth. The harness itself is not actually gimmicked but since they make no outright claims that it is, his saying that was likely accidental and not meant to be deceptive. The trailer shows you exactly what you are getting with this too - you walk out on stage with a party bag, dump it upside down and a silk handkerchief falls out and a moment later, a bowling ball falls out of the bag with a big THUD! You can then fold up the bag and put it away.

The video was nicely shot and the overall quality was good, but it was not necessarily the usual best-of-the-best studio quality, however, none of that detracts from the clarity of instruction. You will see a performance video of Chris Talbot performing the effect for children in a show, which is followed by him explaining the background and development of this version of a bowling ball production He then moves into the construction phase where he talks about the ideal types of bags to use for this, what to do and what not to do and how to properly install the harness. The installation of the harness is not difficult but it is a mini sewing project which will require some tape (electrical/duct and regular cellophane/3M tape), a needle and some thread. He teaches everything very clearly but the positioning of the bag and everything was little awkward as he was trying to make sure you could see what was going on as he installed a harness into the bag. I would say that once you know what you are doing, you can probably prepare a bag and install the harness in under 8 minutes or so, maybe less than that.

After all of that is done, he teaches you the proper technique for holding and producing the bowling ball. One thing that is really nice about this production is its convincing nature - while the audience does not get to see directly inside the bag, they can actually see the ball fall out from inside the bag because it is actually inside the bag. I personally like the way that Chris performs this because he holds the bag upside down over his head and a silk handkerchief falls out. He keeps the bag upside down and after a couple of seconds the ball suddenly falls out - it is like the ball materializes inside the bag and then falls out. You do not have to do it this way if you prefer not to - you can use any light object instead of a silk or nothing at all.

There have been versions out there where the object that falls out comes from behind the bag in which case you have to really watch your angles. With this version you do have angles but they are not horribly severe. You cannot perform this half or completely surrounded and the audience should be mostly in front of you. This might sound restrictive but you will see what I mean when you watch the explanation of the effect - any typical stage, parlour and even most living rooms are perfect for this.

A quick note on the bag: The bag can only be shown from the front once it is set up and you cannot show the inside to be empty, but the handling of the bag between your carrying it out on stage and the production of the bowling ball should be convincing enough. Once you produce the ball, you can fold the bag up and put it away and in the course of that, carefully flash the back of the bag, but that would be running when nobody is chasing you.

This is a great product that will allow you to do a very strong effect in your stage, parlour or kid/family shows. The materials are all good quality and the effect will get you great reactions from every audience. It can be your opening effect just after walking on or you could walk on with it and come back to it at a later point in the show because there is nothing attached to you personally. This is one of those effects where you really do not have to watch an ad trailer to know what you are getting - it is almost self-descriptive and you will know almost immediately whether or not you have a use for something like this. It just comes down to whether or not the method, which compared to some other versions out there is more versatile to a point, is best for your needs or not. The price point is certainly a strong point for this too on comparison with many more expensive versions out there.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Psycho

Author: Zabaletta, Inaki
Publisher: Vernet Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

One of the best classics of all time but now renewed, we are talking about the legendary "Card Stabbing". This act has everything we want in a routine: comedy, challenge, audience participation, strong magic and hitchcockian tension. From a shuffled deck five cards are freely selected, noted and lost in the deck, one spectator blindfolds the magician and shuffles the cards, the magician without seeing anything one by one stabs the five chosen cards. This new lateral method will allow the SPECTATOR to SHUFFLE the cards on the table while you are BLINDFOLDED and even after the chaotic shuffle you will find the five selections in the most dramatic possible way. This is a whole act ideal for any magician, cardician and even mentalist. I

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