Review: The Show by Woody Aragon

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]This is a 2 hours 45 minutes DVD containing effects that can be performed with Woody Aragon’s own Memorized Deck.  The effects are taken from his book “Memorandum”.

They are specially chosen so that they form a complete card act – one that has a beginiing, a middle and an ending, and where one effect flows nicely onto another.  The tricks are selected so that there is variety: there are mental effects, visual changes, gambling tricks and comedy and sucker effects.

Woody starts by explaining his stack, and the importance of having 2 half stacks.  The effects contained in this DVD are:

Weighing The Cards – a spectator cuts a packet of cards off the deck.  By “weighing” this packet on his palm, the performer is able to tell exactly how many cards it contains.

The Blushing Card – 3 spectators name a random card each.  There is one red back card in the blue deck.  This card assumes the identity of each of the 3 selected card in turn in a most direct and surprising way.

Card At Name – a spectator names any card.  The performer spells the spectator’s name by dealing one card for each letter spelt.  The named card is found at the completion of the spelling.

Top Or Bottom? – a spectator names any card.  The performer causes that card to float to the top of the deck or sink to the bottom of the deck, according to the spectator’s wish.

Rub-A-What? – performer demonstrates that by rubbing a single wrong card on the table, it changes into the correct card.  A card is named. A “wrong” card is shown, and performer rubs it on the table. Instead of changing into the correct card, it vanishes and is found inside the empty card case.

The above 5 effects form the starting point of Woody’s card act.  They demonstrate how the performer is in full control of his deck of cards and get it to do whatever he wants it to do.  This is the “improvisation” part. The following 4 routines form the body of the card act. They are the “build-up” part leading to the climax or “grand finale” of the act.

‘Eish’ Of Diamonds – this is a comedy and sucker type effect.  A spectator chooses a card. Performer deals 3 piles of cards to discover the identity of the chosen card.  The first pile indicates the correct colour. The second pile indicates the correct suit, but the third pile shows the wrong value.  When each pile is turned over, they form the correct three-of-a-kind to the selected card!

Texas Hold’Em – this is a gambling effect.  The performer plays Texas Hold’Em with 3 other spectators.  It is obivous he has the worst hand, but he triumphs at the end, in a most unexpected way!

Mnemo-Fry – the deck is shuffled and a small bunch of cards is determined by the spectator.  The performer can name each and every card in this packet. An ingenious mathematical principle makes this effect possible.

Teletriumph II – this is the climax or grand finale of the card act – it is a 3-phase impossible triumph routine.  The deck is shuffled and mixed with cards face up and face down. 3 spectators choose 3 cards and then lost in the mixed-up deck.  The performer can find the first chosen card and tell the exact positions of the second and third selections in the mixed-up deck. 3 more cards are selected and lost in the deck.  The performer causes the entire mixed-up deck to right itself and turn face down, except the 3 selections which are face up. As the climax, the entire deck is now revealed to be in new deck order, with the 3 selections found exactly at their respective positions in this new deck order!

This DVD shows the types of effects possible with a memorized deck, but one must put effort into learning well the entire routine.  There are also a lot of audience-management, presentational and psychological insights that you can gain from watching Woody Aragon performing for a live audience.

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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