Review: At the Table Live Lecture Anton James November 4th 2015 video DOWNLOAD

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Michael Siegel”][vc_column_text]Anton James is a magician and mentalist with 15 years of working experience. He developed his own stage character, “The Naked Mentalist,” to critical acclaim. Anton James along with Jeff Kaylor created “The Magic Estate’, a company that produces and markets mentalism and magic effects. In this lecture, Anton James demonstrates and discusses mentalism effects produced and marketed by “The Magic Estate” that are suitable for close-up and parlor shows.


  • Tossed Out Total: This is a stand-up routine that is a very good opening warm up routine that gets the entire audience involved. It is difficult to find a good warm up act that involves the entire audience and this three phrase routine does just that. The first two phases were not originated by Anton James. People who are familiar with mentalism will be familiar with these two well-known and often used phases. The third phase is, however, original to Anton James. It is a very nice prediction of a series of freely selected numbers that when added together match the prediction that has been with the audience the entire time. There are no special gimmicks involved. All you need is a regular pad of paper and a marker.


  • MSP Deck: A deck of around 30 playing sized cards are shown with different drawings on each card. The spectator can cut the deck a number of times and freely selects a card. The performer is able to draw the same drawing that is on the card. This is a very good drawing duplication design effect that only requires the specially made deck. The deck itself is not gimmicked. You can also have three spectators select cards throughout the audience and then divine each person’s selected drawing in a different manner. This is a very good design duplication effect. My only quibble is that during the lecture no mention of credit was given to Richard Osterlind who originated this type of design duplication effect. I do not own MSP Deck so I do not know if credit is given in the instructions. It packs small and plays big.


  • Ultimate Networking Tool: A marked effect by “The Magic Estate”. This effect was designed to obtain business contact information from your spectators where the information is also used for the routine. You ask a person is they have a business card and when the person says no, you give her your business card that involves a series of light hearted “moan” jokes. The person then writes her business contact information on the business card you provided as well as a name of a person. You are able to know and divulge the information about the person as well as the name she wrote down. You are buying a peek wallet along with specially made cards and the routine. There are many types of peek wallets available with different types of peeks.  Mentalists, including myself, typically own several peek wallets.  I personally did not care for this peek wallet that is provided and the type of peek that it provides. I also do not like that you will probably have to buy refills for the business cards provided if you want to do the exact same routine after your initial supply is gone or have your own cards made up. Also, you have to hope that the person you ask for a business card does not have one. I myself have never found a person not to have a business card on them especially when doing an event for a company or business. So while I understand the theory behind the effect, you most likely have to change the script and adapt the routine when the person does in fact have a business card.  


  • Proboard and Cody Fisher’s Comedy Book Test. Anton James discusses how to use his ProBoard for various card and mentalism effects. Proboard is basically a writing board that enables you to switch a word, numbers or an image. He demonstrates it in a performance of part of Cody Fisher’s Comedy Book routine. The Proboard is a marketed effect as well as Cody’s Comedy Book Test. While the PRoboard certainly does what it sets out to do, I personally cannot justify the price tag of approximately $30.00 for this ungimmicked device.


  • Bag of tricks: Anton James then shows a series of tricks, gags and optical illusions that can be used individually or as a group in close-up settings. These tricks include Sweet Straw Production, Growing and Shrinking Ball, Untearable toilet paper gag, Fake iPhone prank, Optical Illusion Wires, 3 Card Illusion ala Larry Jennings and the I hate David Cooperfield Trick that can lead into to card warp, Slap Bracelet Give Away, Card Frame Gift, Grapes for Cups and Balls, and Sponge Heart Routine for weddings. These are good close-up optical tricks and illusions that can be used to strengthen other effects in your set.


  • Unshuffled. This is my favorite effect of this lecture. It is a marketed effect and Anton teaches his handling of this effect. A person elects a card from a deck. The deck is shown to be thoroughly mixed. Then with a few shakes the entire deck is unshuffled to new deck order and the person can then put his selected card back in the position where it belongs. This is a very strong effect that spectators would enjoy.


  • Sealed deck. Finally, Anton James teaches a clever and easy method to seal a deck of cards in about a minute to make it appear as though the deck is really sealed in the card case.

Most of the tricks demonstrated and explained are marketed effects so if you like what you see you will have to purchase them. While I already have my own close-up drawing duplication and peek wallet effects, if you are starting out in mentalism or you want to see what else is available besides your own routines, this is a good lecture to watch.

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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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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