Review: Cold Case by Greg Wilson

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]Cold Case is a deck switching device using a gimmicked card case.  You hold the (supposedly empty) case in one hand and the deck in another hand.  The hand with the deck comes over to the other hand, deposits the cards underneath the case, and at the same time picks up the card case to pocket it.  The switching of decks is already accomplished!  This is one of the most imperceptible ways of using Cold Case.  There are other methods which we will come to later on.

You receive the very well made gimmicked card case, constructed from metal sheets so that it is sturdy and durable, especially when it has to go in and out of your pockets.  The Cold Case comes inside a nice stiff box to maintain the shape of the product.

You are also given a password to download an online video instructions.  This online video is 3 hours and 40 minutes long, and is a streaming video which does not have a menu to help you navigate around the video.  Watching through the video is quite a chore!  Do not get me wrong.  Gregory is a first-class presenter, and he speaks with great clarification.  Very often, he goes through certain moves a couple of times, just to make sure the viewer understands.  This become a drag.  I want to quickly move on to the next section to learn new things.  Without a menu, I cannot easily navigate through the video to either move forward to a new slot or go backward to repeat a particular segment.

Gregory Wilson is a well-organised person.  He goes through the history of deck switches, how Cold Case was conceived, the various ways to use Cold Case, and provides 10 card routines using Cold Case.  He ends by giving tips and additional handling.

Included in the video is a segment where a “newbie magician” tries his hand at using Cold Case.  You can see the common mistakes he makes and his struggles in learning how to switch decks imperceptibly.  This is the learning curve all of us have to go through not only with Cold Case, but with any new magical device.  Once you become proficient with Cold Case, you do not need this segment at all.  Now you see the frustration in trying to fast forward to skip this entire section without a navigational menu.

Gregory gives a total of 7 different ways of using Cold Case.  2 of them are quite blatant and bold, but they may be suitable for certain routines.  The most important factors for using a switching device are to find the motivation for picking up the device and then the choreography that completes the switch.  They are very well expounded by Gregory.  Towards the end of the video, Gregory gives an interesting demonstration of Fracture by Daniel Maddison.  This is an effective method for use with Cold Case.

The 10 card routines using the Cold Case are all worth your study.  They are all very good routines.  Here are 2 of my favourite routines:

In “Leech Off Leach”, a card is freely selected and signed, and then lost back into the deck.  The deck is put inside its red card case and pocketed.  From the other trouser pocket, the performer retrieves a blue card case.  This is his prediction deck.  He spreads the blue deck face downwards and one card is seen face up – it has the same identity as the chosen card.  This card is exposed further to reveal the spectator’s signature on it.  When the card is turned over, it has a red back!  The signed card has magically found its way into this blue deck!

In “Let’s Fake A Deal”, the performer allows the spectator to thoroughly shuffle a deck of cards.  Performer claims he is in control of the cards at all time.  From the shuffled deck, the performer deals 2 rounds of Black Jacks, and he wins both rounds.  They then play 2 rounds of Poker and the performer also wins both rounds.  Finally, the performer spreads the rest of the cards face upwards.  The cards have somehow sorted themselves out into distinct black and red cards!

For those who like to use a switching device for swopping decks, Cold Case is one of the best.

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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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