Review: Offworld by JP Vallarino

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]The name “Offworld” suggests that it is a variation of Paul Curry’s “Out-Of-This-World” theme.  It actually is a brilliant version of “Out-Of-This-World” (OOTW)!

In OOTW, the spectator is able to mysteriously separate the black from red cards.  She does this with the backs of the cards showing.  The cards are turned over only after she has completed separating them into the 2 stacks.  There is a delay revelation.  

In Offworld, the spectator gets to name the colour of each card correctly one at a time.  The deck of cards is held face up.  As each card is named, it is immediately shown to be of the correct colour.  This instant revelation evokes such an great reaction from the audience that there is no necessity for the performer to demonstrate more than a dozen cards.

The only negative point, if you want to call it that, is that it requires the use of a special gimmicked deck of cards.  Some versions of OOTW also use gimmicked cards, but the majority do not, but then a switch of some sorts has to be accomplished.

My experience with this type of gimmicked cards is that they may not operate well in a consistent manner.  I tried with the supplied deck of cards and they work beautifully.

You receive the gimmicked deck and an access code to an online instructional video.  The video is well produced and the effect is taught and performed by the energetic Gregory Wilson.  Gregory offers 3 different presentations.  The last presentation is rather weak – afterall, Gregory confessed to coming up with it at the last 3 minutes!  The first 2 performances are very strong, especially in their presentation premise.          

In the first effect, the performer spreads a deck of cards and shows that they are all mixed up.  He takes a small packet of cards and places it inside the empty card box.  He squares the remaining cards into a face up pile.  He asks a spectator to name the colour of the next card.  Whatever colour is named by the spectator, he shows that it is correct.  The spectator is able to call out correctly the colour sequence of the next 7 to 8 cards!  The performer then draws attention to the packet of cards inside the card box.  The spectator is asked how many red cards she thinks are in this packet.  The cards are taken out of the box and spread to show that the spectator is correct again!  Gregory performs this as an observation test that involves a witty patter on the conscious and unconscious mind of the spectator.

The second presentation is about influence and persuasion.  Once again, the spectator is able to name correctly the colour sequence of the next 7 or 8 cards.  Finally, he is able to cut to a pre-determined card.  Were all these due to the special aility of the performer to influence the spectator’s actions or was he able to predict the outcome of the spectator’s actions?  A question that does not need to be answered because the audience finds it difficult to believe either conclusion!

Although not necessary, you are recommended to mark each card to ensure that they operate smoothly.  You are also taught how to rejuvenate the deck when it is worn out through numerous performances.

The deck can be reset very easily.  Gregory also teaches a nice handling by the originator JP Vallarino in which the correct colour card can be dealt out convincingly.

Offworld has taken OOTW off on a tangent – it is now more direct and visual and delivers a devastating punch!

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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