Review: Balance by Joshua Jay

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Balance features the rarest effect in magic: suspension. An eclectic but ordinary group of objects is passed out for close examination: a bottle, a card box, a pencil, a toothbrush, and a crayon box. NOTHING sticky, no strings – totally normal.

The objects are collected and, one by one, the objects are stacked, first in ways that seem impressive but possible, and then in ways that are COMPLETELY impossible. At the end, your audience is left with a stunning, impossible sculpture — each object hanging impossibly in the air without explanation.

Balance is the perfect closer or encore piece for a parlor show because it is SO unlike anything else that would appear in a magic show. And unlike most magic, Balance LIVES in a state of impossibility. With every phase you build, the magic is staring at your audience, even after you’ve left the stage.

A New Kind of Magic: One thing Joshua didn’t expect as he developed Balance is the unusual, 21st-century quality associated with it. People HAVE to take pictures of it. They can’t help themselves. It’s too unusual NOT to remember, and everyone wants to take home evidence of what they’ve seen. Over time, Joshua has learned to lean into this, actually allowing his audiences to film it and get pictures of it afterward.

A Stunning Package of Props: You receive everything you need to perform Balance in a beautiful foil-encrusted box. Your props for the trick are kept in a velvet box that allows you to switch the examined objects for the specially-made props imperceptibly onstage, without any special pockets or servante. The hinged box has protective “wings,” so you can perform Balance virtually surrounded. You receive ten hand-crafted props that have each been designed under Josh’s watchful eye. And, you get Joshua Jay on video, one of magic’s best teachers, taking you through every detail of the routine.

Perform it Immediately: Joshua’s creations take years to develop and, in some cases, years of practice to perform. Happily, Balance can be performed within MINUTES of opening the box for the first time. The only skill you’ll need is FAKING the difficulty of doing it.

Exclusivity: Due to the extremely intense manufacturing process, and the years of development, Balance is offered at $200. When you SEE the package, you’ll realize what a bargain this is. The whole package exudes quality, and this is a small investment in what will become the closing piece of your show. And, the price will necessarily keep the routine from becoming over-exposed. You will likely be the only one in your area performing Balance.

Quality You Can’t Fake: Joshua Jay does NOT release magic often. We get a glimpse into his creative process every five years or so, when he releases something new. That’s why his magic — from “Triad Coins” to “Inferno” to “Out of Sight” — is IMMEDIATELY snatched up upon release, and it’s hard to keep his creations in stock. He thinks through every aspect of an effect, from the theatrics to the product design, right down to how to reset between shows. THAT is what you’re investing in with Balance: years of painstaking detail.

REVIEW

Balance is a wonderful magic creation by Joshua Jay.  It has taken years for Joshua to create and perfect this magnificent suspension illusion that transcends a mere magic trick into the whelm of three dimensional art. It is a magical sculpture that suspends disbelief of the impossible. Balance is the epitome of magic and magic storytelling woven by the performer’s ability and words. If you want a trick, buy an invisible deck. If you want a masterful illusion that captures the imagination of your audience, buy Balance. 

A magician’s goal is to entertain. A magician also needs to create an atmosphere of belief that the impossible can and does happen. People want to believe in the impossible. It is the performer’s job to provide the impossible. Balance can provide the impossible.

Using an examined water bottle, a pencil, a toothbrush, a deck of cards, a cigarette or crayon box and finally a cigarette or crayon in a series of incredible and increasingly difficult balancing feats culminating in an impossible sculpture of magical and storytelling prowess. It is truly an impressive looking illusion.

Balance is very easy to learn and perform. You can probably construct the entire balancing sculpture in 2 minutes, but don’t. Take your time.  Be dramatic. In fact, Joshua urges you in the instructional video to take your time, to learn to perform it as though it is extremely difficult and delicate to perform.  Every phase is more magical than the previous one. Each phase builds upon the previous one until it reaches a crescendo. Be slow. Let the image of the illusion and disbelief sink in. Do not rush.

It is fitting that such a beautiful illusion comes beautifully packaged.  Upon removing the outer white box, you come upon a velvet covered inner box. The velvet covered box contains a number of smaller boxes each containing carefully wrapped gimmicks. You need to refrain from opening these boxes until you watch the online instructions. You receive a expertly crafted gimmicked water bottle, pencil, toothbrush, card box and either a crayon box with a gimmicked crayon or cigarette box with a gimmicked cigarette depending upon which version you selected. In addition, you will receive a set of matching set ungimmicked items, except for the water bottle, that you can use to have people inspect before you create this illusion. The water bottle can be inspected if so desired. Joshua has also masterfully mixed the nature of the gaffs to dispel any suspecting spectator from observing the secrets

The velvet box is not merely decorative. It was specially created to be used to carry the items and is an integral part of the effect. Besides a way to carry the items needed, the specially made box is used to easily and quickly switch the ungimmicked items for the gimmicked items.  

The online video is 38 minutes long with Joshua himself giving you every detail, every nuisance based upon his many years of using this illusion. You can tell that Joshua is very proud of this illusion and deservedly so. In the video Joshua tells you about a true story about him receiving letters from a prison inmate who made his own props in jail to perform magic. Joshua weaves that story along with a letter from the inmate into building the balancing sculpture. In fact, the letter is important is effectuating the invisible and seamless switch of the ungimmicked items to the matching gimmicked items. You can use a similar story line or Joshua gives some other examples. There are an infinite amount of story lines and themes that you can come up with to fit your style and personality.

That is the true beauty of this illusion. Balance is not a magic trick. It is art that comes to life by blending the performer’s magic skill and storytelling ability with the performer’s personality and acting capability.   Balance brings the audience into your world of magic and belief of the impossible where anything is possible.  Balance is a perfect way to end the first half or to act as a finale of your stage or parlor show. Balance also makes a great photo opportunity for your audience. Even at the price of $250.00, I highly recommend Balance. 10 out of 10 lucky charms. 

 

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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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