Review: All Out Magic by Steve Shufton

Description from creator’s website:

A regular deck is examined, mixed and handed to the participant. She deals the cards face-up, and stops whenever she wants. A second boxed deck, on the table the entire time, is immediately ribbon-spread. A single card is seen to have an “X” on its edge. It matches the card she freely dealt to! Once in her hands, the performer never touches the deck! Just you, and two decks. THAT’S ALL! Or a single face-up card is in the spread. It matches her card! IT COULDN’T BE MORE FAIR! It could be a premonition in an envelope on the table, or in your wallet, or in a participant’s hands or pocket the entire time. Instant reset! *** AS A BONUS *** My favorite, the Birthday Card Trick, is fully explained! It can feel so personal to your participant, the experience becomes emotional! Use this effect for any anniversary – creating an unforgettable moment: A small, examinable twelve-page booklet lists a different card for each day. She will be shocked when she looks up her own “birthday card,” and it is the only one that matches the card she randomly dealt to! Unique method! A trick requiring a skill you may already have, it will inspire you to push your mental magic further! Stunning mental magic. Ideas to use for a lifetime. Perform close up, walk-around, groups or one-on-one. Prepare yourself for a ride into profoundly strong, powerful and entertaining magic you will use!

Review: “All Out Magic” by Steve Shufton

Hello, magical friends! Today, I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on Steve Shufton’s “All Out Magic.” This little gem of a booklet is packed with innovative, hands-off mental card magic that’s bound to leave your audiences spellbound. With 42 pages of meticulously detailed routines and top-notch props, it’s a must-have for any magician’s collection.

Full disclosure: I received this directly from the creator with the agreement to share my thoughts uncensored. It took around a month to finally publish this review as I was inspired to actually perform what I learnt after finishing the very enjoyable read. Besides using the included card gimmicks Steve provided (you can use any air cushion finish USPC deck), I also took inspiration from some of Steve’s smart ideas like using tarot cards (NB: you’ll have to gimmick these unless you can find ready gaffed ones like the special cards produced by Thor) and himber wallets to achieve what truly seems as an impossible effect.  I’m happy to report that it was a big hit all four times (an innocuous mem. deck was also used last weekend and it totally floored everyone at the table).

Read on to find out more if this one’s for you!

Key Highlights

Innovative Methods:
I must preface this by stating how I’ve been a fan of Steve Shufton since I first came across his work in the early 2000s. If you haven’t checked out some of his very clever creations like “Fobulous”, “PS: I Love You”, and “X-Ray”, do yourself a favour and do so stat! With his latest magic release, Steve has done it again with the clever use of well-tested principles that make this prediction effect both accessible and impressive. Taking a walk through the spiral bound pages of “All Out Magic” will make you appreciate his keen mind. Everything is clearly well thought out and impressive! There were several times where I found myself wondering: “Ah, Steve you genius… why didn’t I think of that?” Readers will find lots of reflective thought and magic philosophy to be gleaned from its 42 pages. I personally enjoyed Steve’s breakdown on what kind of presentation hits harder; an open prediction awaiting a match versus one that is later revealed after some suspense. Plenty of pros and cons for both, and Steve includes all the reasons why. “All Out Magic” is clearly a work of love… a passion project that its creator put much time into to perfect its concepts the handlings over the years, unlike too many of the flashy magic products released just for fast and easy cash these days, which have left me a little jaded.

Clarity of Instruction:
Now, to be crystal clear, “All Out Magic” is not a one trick effect. The booklet is practically like a Swiss army knife of sorts. One of the things I absolutely appreciate about the read is its clarity. I think it’s important because some magicians can be great at performing but aren’t necessarily adept instructors. Steve proves to be an excellent teacher and his writing is straightforward and concise, with no unnecessary filler. His step-by-step explanations make it a breeze to follow along. Also, if you’re like me where life makes it impossible to finish the entire booklet in one sitting, you won’t get lost because Steve’s written instructions are like patient baby steps gently guiding you along even if you may have forgotten earlier bits. I do appreciate how Steve takes the effort to communicate all foundational points and he doesn’t gloss over the details. Having said that, I honestly think it may be a good idea to produce a video version of “All Out Magic” with Joshua Jay helming the tutorial, especially since Steve did mention how Josh enjoyed it a lot years ago when he first showed it to him and was instrumental in urging Steve to publish this as part of his magic legacy… so can we expect a future Vanishing Inc production, maybe? 😉

Practical Effects:
The plot is a true classic audience pleaser and these effects are designed for real-world performance. With minimal setup and instant reset capabilities, the various ideas that Steve shares in “All Out Magic” is perfect for everything from close-up, parlour, restaurant table hopping gigs, and walk-around magic. Trust me, you’ll be ready to amaze at a moment’s notice. This is definitely something for the workers, and especially suited for quick hard hitting performances at a restaurant where spectator interaction is key. Besides packing super flat, it takes up very little pocket space too, which makes it extremely practical for the working professional. Having said that, I’d peg this one for the advanced beginner and above since audience management like timing and psychology play pretty crucial roles. One thing that I personally appreciate is how Steve also suggests various ideas for different presentation styles like for instance, the idea of using tarot cards, which I mentioned earlier. Once you understand the key concepts and how to apply them accordingly to your unique presentational style and original effects, the world’s your oyster!

Bonus Content:
I must give a special mention to the last effect, the “Birthday Card Trick.” This one is a serious game-changer! It’s not your standard diary card trick. Building on a key principle Steve teaches in “All Out Magic”, this particular effect creates a personal and emotional connection with your audience. Steve really understands the human psyche and how people’s birthdays and wedding anniversaries are special to them. While clear instructions are given on how to go about creating your own booklets, Steve also mentions that he can also make them to order on request… Just imagine the reactions you’ll get—it’s a serious reputation maker.

As I stated before, this is no one trick pony. Steve provides multiple variations for each effect, allowing you to customise your routines to fit your personal style and audience. This kind of flexibility is invaluable and something I always look for in a magic/ mentalism book so that’s why I really appreciate that he only gives suggested patter and not an actual script because if you’re performing, you don’t want to sound like any anybody or everybody else.

Plenty of professionals have sung its praises and there are lots of quotes from industry heavyweights like master magician Joshua Jay and celebrity mentalist Luca Volpe, et al. Anyone who has finished reading “All Out Magic” would agree with me that they’re all truthful testimonials and not inflated marketing hype to help a buddy sell stuff. IMHO Steve has produced a clever impactful gem filled with strong, refined mental magic using  thoroughly tested methodologies and a seamless blend of principles to create impactful memories for the audience. On a personal level, I really appreciated the ease of learning and the deceptiveness of the various effects that Steve shared. The performance tips included are pure gold, helping the reader enhance one’s presentation and audience engagement.


Final Verdict

If you’re looking to elevate your mental magic/ mentalism routines, “All Out Magic” is an absolute must-read. Steve Shufton’s innovative methods, clear instructions, and practical effects will not only amaze your spectators but also enrich your performing repertoire. This book is a treasure trove of inspiration and practical magic and comes highly recommened. For more product details and to purchase, head over to the creator’s website. “All Out Magic” is also available from all good magic stores.


Picture of ning
Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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