Olympic Reviews

Olympic Reviews

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Will To Read - Steve Dela - Review (Alakazam - Peter Nardi)

What is it?
I purchased a review copy of this, some people thought it was like a pre-order but really it was just a pre-purchase.  ‘Sign up here and you can buy it’, there was no delay in it being sent to me.
There were some simple rules around this pre-purchase/review copy deal, I can’t understand why people would go against this, though maybe a few extra views/likes/comments will help them sleep at night.
When I first started reviewing i thought people might send things to be reviewed, but they haven’t.  Maybe i’m too honest.  So I’m still buying all of these things!

Anyway… this is a ‘free will’ type routine, with the mechanics of a book test built in to the same props (lots of scope here for influence/prediction/other reveals).

Lets see how it rates!

Why this instead of similar products?
The effect is punchier.
Compare it to Michael Murray’s one page equivalent, i think this is probably better if you want to do this as part of a quicker set, though Michael’s is maybe a little more in depth and has a time and a place.

In terms of price - i think having a few more sheets would be better for £25, if you look at Michael’s version, you can get a whole book for the same price, and something like Tru Test you can buy in packs of 100.  Now fair enough you are getting a couple of good techniques here but still.  Overall I think £25 is a decent price but would like to have a few more spares in there. (I know you get some spares, but if someone squeezes the page too tight in excitement after one of my riveting performances, then i’m going to want another back up.

Does it work?
Yes, absolutely, this is very nice.  The ‘free will’ part shouldn’t come as a massive surprise but this is better than the ‘original’.  The ‘free will’ effect is credited, but this adds some extra bits.
The book test (though not a review for ‘All About Eve’) seems really good.

How adaptable is it?
This is very adaptable.  You could just do ‘Free Will’, or just the book test, or both.  You can do a very clean version, or a more streamlined (slightly less clean) version - you can set both up at once using the same package.  I’m going to put one in my normal wallet, and one in my ‘working’ wallet.  You don’t have to use the envelope, you could just carry this or put it in your wallet as a page.

You do have to use the ‘coin’, ‘card’ and ‘pen’, though these are common enough items.
If you do a coin bend, why not do it after this? Maybe it’s a playing card you use, maybe they signed it with the pen!  It all works well.

This is the kind of thing people will say, ‘works on stage and close up’.  Yes it will technically work on stage but there’s a difference between ‘working’ and actually being powerful.  For me this stays in the close up world.

Both Peter and Steve say they wouldn’t do this ‘table hopping’ as they like to make more of a connection with people to do mentalism.  By that standard then you should do any table hopping mentalism.  I think this is incorrect.  Not all mentalism works in a walk around close up environment, so you have to be picky, but mostly that relies on the performer.  I can spend 15 minutes with a group and maybe only do three actual things.  The thinking that you can’t do table hopping mentalism, in my opinion, comes from magician’s thinking.  It’s much more about you as a performer.

I’ll be doing this walk around.

Couple of other quick points - you can have the page out on the table from the start if you want (worst case it’s in an envelope but it’s out from the start - and this is your choice), the card can be any card, the pen can be any pen.  The participant can read the whole page (if you want).  No participant restrictions, no presentation restrictions above the props.  You might need to read the paper yourself, so if eyesight is an issue, either you memorise or find another way.  No left handed issues on this one…

How is it as a package?
Steve starts his performance with the words ‘I have here a page from a book’ so i deduct points for that.  Basically this means ‘I don’t actually have a presentation, so i’m just explaining things in an unnatural way’ - a point for another day, does not impact the routine!  Purely my personal preference but if you are starting your routines like that, I say you’re lazy, or a magician.

You really do get everything you need, and some spares (would like some more) but it’s really good.  You also get to try the All About Eve book test, another bonus!

The pages look enough like actual pages too - i’m sick of these ‘book tests’ where the apparent novel looks like a biology text book - people in the real world generally know what books look like.

The explanation is good enough, you get some very nice presentations and they are explained very well.  The only criticism here would be that if you were brand new to the idea you might have trouble actually picking up what you had to do.  Most people will know the two parts and can slot this in mentally very easily.  I think maybe a little section just explaining what is happening and why (i.e. why we say what we say and do what we do), it assumes you know what is happening.  The method goes through ‘options’ but conceptually it’s not really explained.  A minor point.

Will I use it?
Yes, you can do a few effects with the same single piece of paper (and minimal props), or you can do one if you are pushed for time.

It takes maybe 3 or 4 run throughs to get this making sense in terms of what you do when, and you will either have to be a little creative for the book test section or just learn your lines so to speak.  Once you do that though it’s super easy, they also offer some tips for remembering the mechanics very simply.

If I lost everything, would I get it again?
Yes - this fills a gap in any set for walk around.  I read someone saying this may not be the ‘killer effect’ that you do, I think it can be in the right hands. Don’t underestimate the book test reveal.

If you don’t like ‘free will’ type effects, you probably won’t like this.  If you’re on the fence then this might tip you over to the side of buying it (not sure which side of the fence that is but you get the point).

For these reviews I try to think of the different types of people buying products and go through some considerations they might have (from the young boy who has saved up his pocket money to the older amongst the community who might have eyesight issues) and those like myself who are left handed.  If you’re out there and i’m missing you, let me know!  I’ll try to think about what can be done while wearing a skirt for those boys and girls out there who do that, but i don’t have a whole lot of experience in that myself.

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  1. thanks my eye sight is no the best so i will pass

  2. thanks my eye sight is no the best so i will pass