June 25th, 2010 1:11pm
|These DVDs are definitely for absolute lovers of Coin Magic. If you are just getting your feet wet, these DVDs probably aren’t the best choices for you. However, if you are like me, and are usually classic palming your change while you are waiting in line for a movie, this is for you. I only had a chance to review volumes two through six, so I have not seen volume one. Let me first go over the set in general, and then what my favorites were on this particular disk.
Dr. Sawa is a definite genius. He’s like Jay Sankey, David Roth, Tommy Wonder & Max Maven all rolled into one. Speaking of Max, he hosts & translates all the explanations, since English is not Dr. Sawa’s native tongue. This causes problems during the some of the performances, because he is telling a story & he sometimes has trouble pronouncing & thinking of the correct English word to use. Although, he does perform many effects silently as well so there is a balance of silent material & talking material. He still comes across as a likable human being, and was able to make the studio audience and myself gasp at several moments on these disks.
In the performance sections, the regular L&L audience (with a few fresh faces) respond enthusiastically and somewhat genuinely on these disks. I think it was a waste to have everyone sit in on each of the performances. If they had been broken up into groups, I think the energy level would have remained higher throughout the DVDs. In the teaching segments, Max Maven does a fantastic job of not only translating, but teaching along with Sawa so that we understand all the subtleties of the routines. Many of the finer points can be lost in translation when we are trying to learn from someone who speaks a different language than our own, and Max is sure to not leave a single stone unturned.
Unlike many coin workers, Sawa has worked out charming routines with stories and premises that are humorous, engaging, and make sense. He doesn’t do these endless one coin routines done at the speed of light for no reason. Classic plots like Coins Thru Table are reworked to the point where you will be fooled with new methods, as well as some new plots like dismantling a Chinese coin into an earring are well balanced throughout each disk. Sometimes the routines require custom made gimmicks or props, which means you will have to go to great lengths to get the materials made for yourself, just as Dr. Sawa did. This set isn’t really about giving you ready made routines anybody can use. It’s about showing this man’s approach to these effects, so you can understand his thinking, appreciate it, and apply to your work. Watching a true expert break down the hows & whys of his work is always a worthwhile education. While these disks have several things that are only within the reach of Dr Sawa, they still provide plenty of material for you to work on as well. Some effects are simple, requiring only basic coin moves & gimmicks, while some require you to be holding out an insane number of coins for the entire routine.
With that said, there are moments when Dr. Sawa’s hands are cramped during certain routines as he is holding out a great number of coins. I’m not sure if the studio audience noticed such unnatural hand positions, but you definitely see it on video. Since Dr. Sawa is likable, and because it’s an L&L crowd, they may be reacting to some not so deceptive moments to be polite. However, I was still utterly amazed at a great number of routines, so once again this set achieves a delicate balancing act. With all this said, let’s get into the items on this particular that I enjoyed most!
Maple: A silver Canadian coin is shown to be silver on each side. Suddenly, a colored maple leaf appears printed on the coin. This effect fooled me pretty badly, and it’s well within the range of the average coin worker. You will have to go online & buy a specific Canadian coin, but it’s well worth it for this very different coin routine.
Goat: Some kleenex are used to make a ‘goat’ that eats paper. When it’s fed a bill, it coughs up change. This is probably my favorite piece of the whole series. It’s charming, practical, uses no gimmicks, and is well within the average coin workers skill level.
Bermuda Triangle: Finally, a sensible presentation for a coin routine. This story, combined with coin productions, and a several convincing coins through table sequences, makes for a lovely piece of close up theatre.
In closing, I’m not comfortable recommending these DVDs to everybody. I think that if you enjoy coin magic, and enjoy looking at off beat props, chances are very high that you will. The quality of material, production values, and teaching remain at a very good level throughout, and so I hereby anoint these discs with an overall rating of three & a half stars.
Product info for The New Coin Magic of Dr. Sawa Vol 2
Author: Dr. SawaPublisher: L&L PublishingAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $34.95
The Professor, Dai Vernon, summed up Dr. Sawa this way:
"One of the most creative magicians I have ever known. As the saying goes, you have to see it to believe it-and even then, you won't!" Find out why.
When Dr. Sawa burst onto the magic scene back in the 1970s, he caused an international sensation. His work with paper, seashells, ropes and especially coins, was simultaneously whimsical and astonishing. Some years ago, for private reasons, Dr. Sawa vanished from the magic world. Happily, he has resurfaced-his enthusiasm for magic not only renewed, but actually increased.
L&L Publishing is proud to present this multiple-DVD set, containing almost fifty new and astonishing coin routines on a total of six DVDs.
1. Gold: Three over sized copper Belgian coins are used. The first becomes gold, then the second. The third becomes silver, and then becomes gold!
2. Maple: Using a deviously simple method, a large silver Canadian coin suddenly develops color, and yet only one coin is used.
3. The Locked Room: A beautiful penetration of a coin into an inverted wineglass, followed by a penetration through a dinner plate, with a bonus surprise at the finish.
4. Pin Point: A coin with a hole through its center is fastened onto a large safety pin. The coin jumps from one rung to the other, so that now it can't be removed - an "impossible object" that can be thoroughly examined.
5. Cushion Impossible: A ballpoint pen is pushed through two half-dollars, causing visible holes to appear, then vanish. Finally, the two coins change into Chinese coins with the holes returned!
6. Lincoln's Paper Weight: Three pennies are pushed inside a solid block of transparent acrylic. They're really inside! The coins are pressed deeper, then all the way through, leaving the block unharmed.
7. Goat: A Sawa classic updated. Twisted tissue is used to create a "goat" that eats paper balls. When fed paper currency, the goat coughs up change!
8. Bermuda Triangle: An exotic presentation wherein coins pass through a table, with an extraordinary unexpected ending. Running Time
Approximately 1hr 35min