Olympic Reviews

Olympic Reviews

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Once Removed - Stephen Shaw and Michael Murray - Review

What is it? 

A spectator thinks of a card and looks through the deck to find it (without removing the choice or writing it down), you mention that cards have mates and there is one for their card in the deck - they look through to find it.  You proceed to reveal their cards.  (With a little more work you can reveal which they thought of first and second).

It uses some very clever and simple ideas (not the kind of simple that you will have already thought of, and has a very satisfying method).

Why this instead of similar products? 

This is the main point for me on this, why this instead of other products?  From the spectators' point of view this is essentially the same as something you could perform with Osterlind's BCS (or other similar items), while as a performer, those options offer more variables.  I don't perform a 'set' as such with cards, I will use them as a tool, not the focus of the routine and for this reason you could easily substitute this in to something you are already doing.

This stands alone and has many, many strengths.  For me, it plays as something near impossible when done correctly (or goes well), and would sit very nicely in a performance.

Another point to consider is that, although there may be some similar effects, the more ways we have to achieve something, the more options we have in performance.

Multiple 'methods' are taught in the eBook and they all work, I did like this section very much, i'm sure at least one of the methods would appeal to a buyer.

Does it work? 

Yes - pretty easy to learn.  I'm not someone who will shy away at having to memorise something or actually practice.  This is, however, something that some people see as a down point in a routine - I, for one, do not understand this.  I read a review of Warlock by Andy Nyman once, where the reviewer criticised the effect because it took them an hour and a half to write words on the provided business cards...

How adaptable is it? 

As a stand alone, you could work this into some work you already do.  It involves having a deck that you have some time with but is not gimmicked (it is so close to being a complete, normal deck).  For this reason you could enter anything you do FASDIU after this.  I think this would work best as an effect before something else, like an alternative mind reading effect.

How is it as a package? 

It is very well written, explained and produced.  You cannot fault this as a product, it is something of which the creators are very proud and I think they should be.  It is a reasonably short eBook at 16 pages, but it is neither TOO long or short.

Will I use it? 

It wont take the place of anything I currently use, but it WILL be something that I prepare and try to insert.  It's very good.  So all being well, I will use it.

If I lost everything, would I get it again? 

Yes - I would purchase it after some other things but yes, I would be keen to get this again.  I would recommend this for people who either don't have 'other similar effects' described above, or those who do, but also value having other methods or presentations.  I cannot imagine anyone not being satisfied with this as a method or a routine.  Just remember, as good as it sounds, it isn't actual real mind reading and will require a little bit of practice (and procedure).  If you put the work in you will be left with something very strong and I hope to include it as a 'lead in' piece very soon.  I like this very much, thanks Stephen!

If you have any suggestions for reviews please get in touch at: 


I can't guarantee I will get a chance to review everything but I will do my best!

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