Review: Cortana by Felix Bodden

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]This is a playing card through bill penetration effect.

Here is the actual performance.  A playing card is freely selected.  A bill is borrowed and folded in half lengthwise.  The selected playing card is placed inside the folded bill at the crease.  Visually, the card penetrates the bill.  The audience can see the upper half of the card still inside the bill while the lower portion has penetrated the folded bottom of the bill.  Finally, the card is taken off the bill and both items can be handed out for examination.

There are many versions of solid object through bill.  The solid object can be a pen, key, pen-knife, business card, playing card, or even another folded bill.

Magic with a borrowed item is always very strong.  In this case, the borrowed item need not be a bill, it can be any paper item such as a receipt, or a small note paper of the appropriate size and stiffness.  

Such effect depends on the gimmicked object that is supposed to penetrate the bill.  In this case, the playing card is specially gimmicked.  You are not supplied with the gimmicked playing card.  You receive only a DVD which teaches you how to construct the gimmick.  A template is also provided for you in the DVD.  As with all SansMinds’ DVDs, it is very well produced.  I like the presenter Herman.  Many may find him speaking a little too fast.  I prefer a fast presenter to a deliberately slow talking one, especially one who goes through the set up or method again and again.  It becomes a drag to watch.  One can easily search in the DVD and it is not necessary for any section to be repeated.

The gimmick is based on the penetrating pen-knife.  But magician Felix Bodden of Dominican Republic has devised an ingenious method around it that allows the playing card to slowly penetrate the folded bill.  You can also control the speed of the penetration.

The gimmicked card needs to be switched in and out with a duplicate card.  All this is taught in the DVD.  It takes some audience management, but nothing really difficult.  All the “dirty” work are executed at the moments when the attention of the audience is focused on the bill, both before and after the penetration.

The clever construction of the gimmick makes the penetration very casual and visual.  SansMinds should include, as an option, and for an additional small fee, the gimmicked card properly made up.  Some people are “all thumbs” and may find even a simple art and craft project daunting.  

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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