So, what happens when Joshua Jay hosts a collection of the best techniques and routines utilizing common props and concepts in magic hand-picked from a wide array of professional big-name magicians by Paul Harris himself? Well, I'm glad you asked. The answer is a set of three invaluable DVDs that offer new material to the experienced magician and a crash-course for those just starting out.
New DVDs on old concepts and props in magic come out all the time. While I often watch these DVDs hoping that there will be some new and/or helpful information on them, 99% of the time I finish the DVD shaking my fists into the air, asking for those 42 minutes of my life back.
That is why I was shocked--SHOCKED--to find that not only was there information on the Hand-Picked Astonishments DVDs; but there was new stuff on there that I am going to put into practice and use in my professional shows.
Let's go through them one at a time, shall we?
This is my favorite DVD of the set. It goes through forces that are as simple as the Cross-Cut Force all the way to the Classic Force.
Now, I've been doing magic for over 20 years and I almost skipped over the Cross-Cut Force section. It's such an old, over-published force that there couldn't possibly be anything new or interesting that they could have thrown at me to make me start using it again. Wrong!
There were about three concepts just in that one force that intrigued me and got me trying them out on people. This was the case with just about every force covered and the included routines were fantastic as well.
If you're an experienced magician, this DVD is more a refresher course. There were some interesting ideas brought up and the routines were interesting. The real value here is in the psychology and audience management covered in the DVD. If you own a thumb tip and don't use it or just don't know what a thumb tip is, you should get this DVD.
The Invisible Deck is one of the strongest gaffed decks ever invented. This DVD covers the workings of the Invisible Deck and then goes deeper to give you the strongest routines from some of magic's top inventors. I'm not talking about different patter options, I'm talking about using the deck for a completely different kind of effect without loosing any of the strength of the original Invisible Deck routine. In fact, I'd wager to say that each of the routines covered actually makes the routine stronger than the original.
Each DVD is well-shot and the instruction from Joshua Jay is top-notch. I would recommend any of these to any magician looking to brush up their skills or get a good foundation with any of these props or concepts.