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Tattoo Joe Review

Official Review

December 7th, 2008 10:54am
Rating:
Reviewed by David Parr
I think most magicians have, at some point in their development, performed the Ashes on Arm. Wouldn’t it be nice to perform that type of effect without the mess and with an almost-instant reset? Tattoo Joe makes that possible.

This 42-minute DVD teaches a great piece of visual magic in which a tattoo appears on the performer’s bare forearm, then vanishes completely. The tattoo can feature any simple image. The performer’s hands are empty before and after the effect, and no residue or mark is left behind.

Joe Russell, the creator of Tattoo Joe, is our guide and instructor. He’s a dude ” low key, not trying too hard to be hip, and not taking himself too seriously. I laughed out loud a few times while watching this DVD, not because the video was unintentionally comic but because I found Joe’s sense of humor to be genuinely funny, which was a nice surprise. Joe explains the process of setting up, which requires some arts-and-crafts time, then he demonstrates a few approaches to performing the effect under different conditions. (Wardrobe is a key element; more on that later.)

On a couple of occasions, what Joe is saying and what he is doing don’t match. Here’s a handy guide: When he says “horizontal,” he means vertical; when he says “pips,” he means indexes. You’ll see what I mean. (Allow me to take a moment to remind the makers of instructional videos that the real magic of video can be summed up in one word: RETAKES.)

Those mistakes notwithstanding, Joe is definitely up to the task of explaining this material, and it’s clear that he has performed this effect many times in many settings. Near the end of the video, he tells an amusing story about performing the effect for someone who should have been able to recognize the method but didn’t. It’s a lesson in how people don’t perceive what’s right in front of them.

The package comes with the instructional DVD and the materials needed to make appearing tattoos for multiple performances. My recommendation of this effect comes with a few caveats. I expect that many performers will find the wardrobe requirement very limiting. It boils down to a choice between a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up or a short-sleeved T-shirt. And contrary to the ads for Tattoo Joe, the materials supplied may not be appropriate for your skin tone. But after watching the video, you’ll be able to find the necessary items cheaply and easily. And, finally, don't expect this to be easy to perform. Joe Russell makes it look effortless. It isn't. This will require more than a little practice to get the knack of making it look like magic.

Product info for Tattoo Joe

Author: Joe Russell and Paul Harris
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
Manufacturer's Description:

Your examined, empty hand gently rubs your naked arm... A BIG BOLD TATTOO SLOWLY AND VISIBLY APPEARS ON YOUR SKIN!

Rub your arm again and the TATTOO COMPLETELY VANISHES! And if you feel like it, make a totally DIFFERENT TATTOO appear on your OTHER ARM!

  • NO CHEMICALS.
  • NO MAKE UP.
  • NO WET OR STICKY STUFF.
  • INSTANT RESET.
A girl blows you a kiss and you catch it on your arm.
Pull pips off a playing cards and reprint them on your skin.
Make your phone number magically appear for the ladies.
Produce your client's name or logo.
A spectator grabs your arm and their finger prints appear in blood.
Customize a gimmick with ANY word, picture, or symbol.
Works with just about any skin tone.
Use the same gimmick hundreds of times (two different tattoos per gimmick). Perform surrounded with sleeves rolled up or with short sleeves.

INCREDIBLY EASY:

IF YOU CAN RUB YOUR ARM YOU CAN DO TATTOO JOE!
COMPLETE WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN TATTOO JOE GIMMICKS.

Includes enough stuff to create 12 different re-usable custom tattoos.

Running Time Approximately 42min

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