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Tom Stone: Caught On Tape Review

Official Review

December 18th, 2007 8:01pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
I really like Tom's performing style. He's relaxed, confident and sincere. The material is solid and he's obviously been performing these routines for years.

A Toast for Charon
This is Tom's version of Vernon's “Silk and Silver”. It's done to music and quite lovely to behold... classic magic at its best. It even ends with a surprise bottle production that caught me totally off-guard. Not only is this a professional routine, it would be perfect for someone new to magic who wants to learn how to choreograph and present a parlour routine. You'll need to learn some very useful skills that won't take decades to master.

Gold Wielder
I think the linking finger rings is one of the hardest pieces of magic to perform. You're trying to present magic that happens in the space of a few inches, but usually for an audience that is rather far away. Tom does an excellent job of procuring the rings, displaying the link, proving their authenticity and then returning them safely to their owners.

Occhamman Now
This is Tom's version of the signed card to impossible location. There's not a lot new here in method, but the presentation is a gem. Tom milks every ounce of psychological setup possible. You're even left with a lovely gift for one of the audience members. If there was one routine from this DVD that I'd add to my repertoire, this would be it.

Time Operator
I've been playing with the time-travel theme for years. It's very difficult to pull off, mostly because we're very used to the linear time-line we perceive in our daily lives. Most of the routines I've seen (and developed) end up being confusing. Tom adds a sentimental tone by telling a story about his childhood and his relationship with his father. He does a pretty good job of making the whole thing hold together, but I still think it could be cleaned up a bit.

The Hoarders
A collectors/sandwich routine with a moment of “failure”. The initial premise of making it more difficult by removing the kings seemed a bit of a stretch to me. However, the moment of “collection” is startling.

Reality Glitch
I wish I had Max's encyclopedic knowledge to know if this was a new plot or just my own ignorance. Regardless, I had never seen this before and even though I followed some of the moves, I was totally fooled. It starts out as a standard sandwich plot, but then the sandwich itself transports to an impossible location. Very cool.

Monty Walks Again
A borrowed ring changes places with a stack of coins. It's a combination of an Okito box move and a standard ring-on-string move. While this all sounds pretty boring, Tom manages to make it meaningful for the audience.

Ambivalent Travelers
Four card-halves to four pockets. It fooled the crap out of me. Plus it's got a great story (not surprising).

The amount of thought that goes into Tom's routines should be an inspiration to all of us. Even if you don't do any of the routines on the DVD, you should watch all of the explanation sections. Some of the tips were priceless (including how to make coins “soft”).

Production quality was quite good. I like the split-screen views used during some of the explanation sections. The cameras were at bad angles during some of the performance segments. On one level, it doesn't matter since were going to be taught the methods later. But it still seems like a mistake that could have been easily avoided. I also found the camera work during the explanations to be a bit jerky at times.

Product info for Tom Stone: Caught On Tape

Author: Tom Stone
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $35.00
Manufacturer's Description:

"I have respected and admired Tom Stone long before it was considered cool! For his perfectionism as well as his ability to understand what is required to create excellent magic."
- Daryl

"Tom is one of the most creative magicians here in Europe. His work is always stimulating and worthy of attention."
- Tommy Wonder

"I am a fan of Tom Stone. He is wonderfully creative - perhaps even more than he himself realizes!"
- Max Maven

"Tom Stone is a rare phenomenon: a fountain of cleverness and creativity, and a truly excellent performer. Whether he is performing or teaching, I want to be in the first row."
- Stephen Minch

Tom Stone is not only an extremely creative thinker and inventor. He is also a very entertaining and charismatic performer, who has been an underground rumor for years! Perhaps you have heard the buzz after his performances at Magic Castle, or after his lecture at FISM?

In this DVD, you will learn eight of his best routines, and if you like close-up and stand-up magic with a twist, you will not only have a good time watching, but also get a lot of inspiration for your own performances.

This DVD Features:

  • A Toast for Charon: Silk, silver and a huge surprise
  • Gold Wielder: Linking finger rings without a stooge
  • Occhamman Now: "The Signed Card" - paperclipped!
  • Time Operator: Time, space and a free selection
  • The Hoarders: Interlaced action with cards
  • Reality Glitch: Sandwich in an unexpected place
  • Monty Walks Again: Personal valuables change places
  • Ambivalent Traverllers: A journey into deep pockets
  • ...Bonus section included!

Embedded in each piece is a strong knowledge of misdirection, streamlined technique and engaging dramatic plots. With a boldness that will make your hands happy, you will be able to get signed cards to appear in four different pockets with a minimum of sleights. Borrowed finger rings are linked together without any awkward moments. An isolated, paperclipped card transforms into a signed selection in the clearest version of Bro. John Hamman's "The Signed Card". In a stylish and elegant parlor piece, coins appear and fly through the air, ending with the spectacular production of a wine bottle. And a card trick comes together like a surreal and carefully constructed short story.

Jon Racherbaumer once said: "Tom Stone concocts eye-candy for the brain". Now you can experience the meaning of that for yourself. Enjoy!

Running Time Approximately 157min

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