Review: At the Table Live Lecture – Karl Hein

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I have to admit – this is not the first time I have watched Karl do this particular lecture. I attended Karl’s lecture when he made a stop in Singapore, and I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. Hence, going into this online lecture, I had high expectations and was thankfully not disappointed. Karl Hein’s lecture was a well-organized, well taught event, consisting of a nice balance of goodies suitable for both amateurs and professionals.

Karl’s claim to fame (at least in my mind) was his fantastic in-the-hands false shuffle, the Heinstein Shuffle, which was revolutionary for being a bridged shuffle. So it is no surprise that in this lecture, Karl goes through the shuffle, which looks perfect in his hands. Since the Heinstein shuffle, there have been a few other in-the-hands false shuffles which involve a bridge as well. What I really appreciated was that Karl actually went through and discussed in detail the merits of his shuffle over others on the market, but also the merits of other shuffles over his. He goes through the need for different false shuffle techniques under different performing situations, which shows that Karl is a magician that knows about real-word performing situations, and exhibits a deep understanding of magic beyond raw sleight of hand technique. Another good thing about Karl’s lecture is that Karl also goes through other types of false shuffles beyond riffle shuffles, which is also useful for fans of sleight of hand.

Another standout item from the lecture is Heiny 500, which is Karl Hein’s handling of Patrick Page’s Easy Money. Compared to how he performs it on the original Heiny 500, his handling of the bills before, during and after the change seems a lot more polished, with a lot of extra subtleties and convincers added. However, what I really liked was the new ending that Karl has tagged onto the end of Heiny 500 which he calls Rainmaker – basically, instead of getting 5 one-dollar bills changing into hundred-dollar bills, the bills multiply into a huge fan of bills! It’s a very eye-popping and impressive ending to your standard Easy Money routine, so do keep an eye out for that.

Another thing I really appreciate about Karl’s lecture is that he goes into advice for working professional magicians. For example, Karl goes into how magicians can get tips from their strolling and table hopping gigs, which is a frequently asked question in these sorts of lectures. He even goes into how to introduce yourself at a table or to others during a walkaround performance, which could prove a daunting task to beginners to restaurant magic. I may not be a professional magician myself, but I can always imagine that these invaluable tips will be very useful for the amateur magician out there looking to make a living from magic. All the tricks that Karl performs and explains in the lecture are also very commercial and performable in the real world, which goes to show that he is thinking about the professional magician’s needs and requirements.

In conclusion, I think this is a fantastic lecture with things for both the amateur and the professional. Karl comes off as a very likable and down-to-earth magician who has some very interesting ideas and practical advice for the viewers. The lecture itself is very well taught and well organized, which makes it a joy to watch.

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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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