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Routines Matter Review

Official Review

September 22nd, 2009 8:19am
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
Routines Matter is a gem of a book, but I suspect it will be overlooked by the crowds of magicians who gather on the Internet and flit from one "cool trick" to another. The world of Trevor Lewis, as described in this book, is miles away from faddish magic; it is securely anchored in professional, family entertainment.

The book opens with a biographical chapter that sets the tone for the magic that follows. I enjoyed reading about Lewis' career. It ranges from an award winning FISM act, to a long running magic television series, to traveling the world and rubbing elbows with some of the most noted names in magic. This chapter, and the closing chapter which focuses on hard-won advice about being a successful Master of Ceremony, were among my favorites.

In between these two chapters are forty or so routines directly from Lewis' working repertoire. The magic is varied and includes very interesting routines for standards such as the Brema Nut, Gypsy Thread, The Scotch Bag (sort of like an Egg Bag, but with glass of Scotch), Himber Ring, Chop Cup, Key Flight, and the Finger Chopper. There are many, many more. Just open to almost any page and you are likely say "I know that trick!" and then, after reading the write-up, you are just as likely to smile over how much entertainment, while maintaining clarity of effect, the routine includes.

While the tricks are adequately explained (unless you're truly a beginner in magic), the bulk of what is offered are the staging and bits of business that Lewis has developed over the years. However, I say with a great degree of confidence that you are not Trevor Lewis. To get the most out of this book you'll have to read the verbatim scripts, which are sometimes redundant as you begin to see how Lewis applies the same gags to many different situations, and then adapt the essence of the routine to your own personality and performing style. Clearly that's what you should do with any book of magic, but in this case the work is more apparent because virtually every paragraph is so deeply infused with Mr. Lewis' personality. But the work is worth it, as intermixed with the jokes you'll find serious "worker" tips and handling.

Routines Matter is nicely printed and the material is treated with the respect it deserves. For the family entertainer, there's a lot of value and learning to be mined from its pages. If you enjoy magic history, or just want to read a well-written accounting of a life's work in magic, you'll be pleased too. Given the overall quality, the amount and variety of material, and the relatively low price Routines Matter deserves your consideration.

Product info for Routines Matter

Author: Trevor Lewis & Phil Willmarth
Publisher: Willmarth Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Forty stand-up or close-up routines as used By Trevor in his adult club and close-up performances. Also includes a section on MC advice and material you can and will use.

Hardbound, four-color dust jacket, 192 pages, illustrated & designed by Tony Dunn.

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