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Michael Finney - Live at Lake Tahoe - 3 DVD Set Review

Official Review

February 4th, 2004 12:48pm
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
If you ever plan on using comedy in your magic, not only do you need to buy these DVD's, you need to watch them, all of them, all of the way through.

There is so much valuable information contained on these DVD's that I am still amazed at their scope. One really gets the feeling from these that Finney truly desires to help, teach, and give back to the world of magic. If that is his goal, he can rest easy knowing he has succeeded.

Volume 1 contains Michael's full length stand up routine. While some magicians might wish to dismiss this because it is not magic per se, it really provides the foundation from which many of his comments on Vol. 2 will be understood. If you have ever seen Michael work live, you know he is a first rate comedian without using magic as a the crutch. Here are some of his original routines delivered before a live audience.

How good is this? Well, I hardly ever laugh out loud when watching TV in my home alone. I can't remember how many times laughter blurted from my lips while watching this. A super great show.

Volume 2 contains Michael's comedy magic set and a very powerful monologue on his development as a magician and human being.

The magic set is great. Again, if you have ever seen Mike work live, you know this already. All of his classic routines are performed and nothing is held back. It is a lesson in great comedy magic.

But the real treasure on this DVD is the time he takes sharing his life story with the audience. You really learn how passionate Michael is about magic, and how much he truly wants to help others fulfill their dreams. Along the way valuable lessons are taught, and I think it would take someone with a heart of stone not to be moved or inspired by his words.

Volume 3 contains not only the methods employed in his comedy magic set, but oh so much more. I usually hate explanations on magic DVD's because they often offer little more than the "tell" part of "show and tell". But Michael's explanations go so much more into the thinking behind his magic, his comedy, his character, and how to be successful and original as a thoughtful performer.

It becomes readily clear that Michael has thought through his magic to the nth degree and he has kept an open and receptive mind as he learned the lessons life has taught him. He holds nothing back. We often here the phrase "real secrets" or "real work" bandied around casually. Mike tips the real work, and it isn't always where the left finger goes.

If you intend to perform comedy magic, night club style presentations, or corporate work where audience participation is an issue and you do not learn something from this tape, you are either blind or too inexperienced to know what you are missing.

The only negative thing I can possibly say about the DVD's are that the same opening sequence begins each DVD and at 5 minutes it is a little much to sit through again and again, but that's what fast forward is for. Other than that I give it an unqualified highest recommendation.

5 stars.

Product info for Michael Finney - Live at Lake Tahoe - 3 DVD Set

Author: Michael Finney
Publisher: L&L Publishing
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $74.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Michael finney's magic and comedy have taken him around the world. Comedy clubs, corporate functions, network TV - you name it, he's done it, including an appearance at the recent Presidential Inaugural galas. He has been nominated for Magician of the Year, received the Silver Lion Head award for excellence in comedy and magic from Siegfried & Roy, and had his first real break in the business as a finalist in a Star Search competition. For the past 14 years, Michael has headlined comedy clubs across the country as well as entertained many corporate clients. Michael is no stranger to the networks either as he has performed on NBC's World's Greatest Magicians and World's Wildest Magic shows.

In this remarkable video series, Michael finney found time in his busy schedule to get in front of the cameras and share the things that made him such a success - the jokes, the magic...and even a few tears along the way. This is more than just an instructional DVD series. It's an encounter with a remarkable human being. You'll come away from this video series inspired to not just be a better performer but maybe even a better person.

VOLUME 1 - Comedy: No Magic

In front of a live audience (who are probably still trying to catch their breaths after laughing so hard), you'll see and hear Michael expound on the following subjects: A Dry Heat; Getting Older; Pet Peeves; Flying Passing Gas; Flying Again; Driving Old People; Man-Sized Huggies; Eating Cats; A Trip to the Doctor; Personal Training; Cars; Bicycles & Meeting God; Gambling in Vegas; My Parents & Corporal Punishment.

VOLUME 2 - Comedy Magic Act & Motivational Speech

Cane to Hat Table; Six-Card Repeat; Professor's Nightmare; " No"; 1-2-3-4; Lady Rope Routine; Sponge Ball Routine with Watch Steal; Card on Forehead; Motivational Speech

VOLUME 3 - The Secrets

These are the inner workings of the magic in Michael finney's repertoire; the tricks that made him a star. And, though you'll learn the secrets behind the tricks, there's much more here than that. You'll learn the real secrets of what makes magic entertaining to real-life. Watch Michael as he tips the real work on: Six-Card Repeat; Glitter Card Gimmick Construction; Silk Card Gimmick Construction; Professor's Nightmare; " No"; 1-2-3-4; Lady Rope Routine; Sponge Ball Routine; Watch Steal; Card on Forehead.

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