December 2nd, 2009 11:42am
|Pros: A little hard work and effort can pay off big.
Cons: Additional required materials can be hard to find.
Overall: With practice this looks really, really cool. I'm using it as my signature piece. (Search Mr. Sparkes on Youtube to see my rehearsal.)
After reading the previous review I felt it was necessary to add my own two cents as I feel the previous review was way too harsh. Flare is incredibly cool. It just needs to be rehearsed and practiced. I went through about 10 mini-cigars before I felt it worked well enough to perform.
As noted in the previous review, the additional materials required for this effect does take some effort to procure, but I only spent about 30 more dollars (not counting cigars) and a couple hours on the internet. BTW: I recommend using the small flavored cigars versus cigarettes. They're more durable, the gimmick is less noticeable, and they taste a lot better.
The benefit of performing Flare is that no one else is doing it. I'm glad the additional materials are difficult to find because most people are too lazy to search and that means fewer magicians will perform it. I also disagree with the previous reviewers claim that the "flare" effect timing is a problem. The instructions warn about this possibility and explains how to correct it. If the effect takes too long to "flare" then I would have to say it's a tell-tale sign that the practitioner is still too inexperienced with the gimmick. Don't take that the wrong way -- I had the same problem/complaint until I studied the instructions again and made the appropriate adjustments. Now, if anything, the effect happens too fast, but to compensate, I simply speed up and adjust my delivery and gestures accordingly.
The previous review mentions flash paper as being a better choice flare material. I can't confirm or deny it. I've only used crepe, but the advantage of crepe is that I can use tobacco colored paper which hides the gimmick that much more.
The problems with Flare are worth noting, but on the other hand, I am using Flare as my signature piece. So if one star reviews keep other magicians from making Flare popular and commonplace, you won't hear me complain about it.
Product info for Flare
Author: Alpha MagicAverage Rating: (2)Retail Price: $34.95
You're painting the town red on a late Saturday night. Under the flashing strobes of the city's trendiest nightclub, you pull a cigarette out of a classy cigarette case and call attention to it...
The lines on your forehead become more visible, obvious to those who sense your intense concentration. Let them watch you as close as they can. Let them focus their attention on the cigarette as you pinch it lightly between your fingers. Time slows down as you hold still. Let them be consumed by your enigmatic presence. Slowly...gently...painstakingly the cigarette crackles and smoulders, seemingly reacting to the stares of those around you. Everyone goes silent. Your eyes are open intently.
And then it happens.
Like the sudden pop of the cork from a champagne bottle, the tip of the cigarette forcefully bursts into flames, consuming the entire tip with white hot fire, real fire. "It can't be!" They were looking all this while. "Impossible!" Your fingers were held apart with nothing to hide. "@#$%?!!" You were holding the cigarette up in full view. All thoughts of trickery slowly ebb away as the flame subsides into a faint, steady glow. Smoke the cigarette yourself or offer it to a mesmerized albeit dumbfounded witness, leaving behind memories of nothing short of a complete, visual miracle.
Call it psychokinetic combustion, call it magic. Some even call it pure devilry. We call it Flare.
What is Flare?
Flare is a versatile effect / concept that can be used as a cool trick at a bar, an opener or closer to a magic, mentalist, or "witchcraft" display. Flare is the final evolution of a method that has undergone several years of performance and experimentation, so you can expect the training material provided to be full of detail, leaving no stone unturned. Despite its effectiveness, you'll be pleased to know that Flare is extremely easy to perform, and virtually ANYONE can make it look like a REAL miracle. So easy that our graphics designer Alexient, who's a non-magician, was performing it for our demo video after a few minutes' practice! Here are additional points to note:
- Easy to perform. Sleight-of-hand is not necessary.
- No angle restrictions. Perform it surrounded.
- Gimmick is completely invisible to the audience.
- Use any cigarette. Filtered, unfiltered or hand-rolled, even cigars.
- Does not use flash paper or matches.
- No fuels or lighter fluid required.
- No batteries needed.
- No reels or pulls.
- No ignition devices.
- Uses refills that are widely and cheaply available anywhere.
- Clean as a whistle. The ignited cigarette can be handed out for examination.
- Your hands are completely empty (other than the cigarette) when you perform.
- Instant reset. Pull out another cigarette and do it again.
What is included?
- A non-flammable gimmick that is small enough to be hidden virtually anywhere.
- A huge bundle of the special paper needed for this effect. Please note that this is not flash paper.
- A preparation template.
- Instructional DVD with clear and concise close-up footage.
What are the contents of the DVD?
- Instructions on preparation and maintenance of the gimmick.
- Materials, refills and where to get them.
- Safety precautions.
- Complete handling and subtleties.
- Performance detail