Review: Phantom by Peter Eggink

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Nique Tan”][vc_column_text]I have always believed animations to be stronger than levitations. The latter tends to leave audiences with only one explanation – and in many cases of the inevitable guessing game of methods, they would be right. My favourite animation type of card effect has got to be the Haunted Deck. Using a mixture of methods over the years, it has appeared in my repertoire in some form or other at some time.

Phantom is a method that allows you to perform the Haunted Deck, along with a Rising Card effect as well. It is no secret by now that the gimmick is in the form of a Sharpie, which most magicians would carry around with them whenever they perform. There is another effect where you cause a plastic bottle to unscrew itself, but I am more geared towards the card based effects.

For starters, when I learnt about how the gimmick worked, I thought it to be very clever. And since everything was self contained, it was immediately my kind of gimmick; nothing to setup, nothing to break or snap, and performable with a borrowed deck of cards.

However, there are compromises for this convenience. While you do not see this in the trailers, the gimmick needs to be held close to where the action is happening during the routines. In the case of the Rising Card effect, the gimmick is actually held in quite a natural position, however for the Haunted Deck, to me it looked a little awkward. Another consideration is that the routines cannot be performed hands off, and the performer would need to hold the cards during the performance.

That said the gimmick is very clever, and well designed. I think it is fair to say that if you are familiar with a previous release of Peter’s, you would already know what you are getting here as it is very similar. To be fair, I have not played with Phantom, but if it is as easy to use as per in instructional video, then I think this is performable and will work as the angles are not bad.

Again, it all boils down to what you as a performer are willing to compromise, and what conditions you believe are important when performing an effect. If you strongly feel that the use of a Sharpie in the routines do not make sense, or if you feel that the effects discussed should be performed completely hands off, then this is not something you should consider.

If however, you are willing to have those compromises, for ease of performance with nothing to setup then this is something you might want to look into.

Phantom comes complete with the gimmick, as well as a link to an online instructional video by Peter Eggink.

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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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