June 15th, 2012 11:55am
Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
|I will start by saying that I have watched each of the routines on this DVD, both in performance and in explanation, about three or four times each before writing this review.
The routines are all clearly explained, although in a few of them, such as Trinity, I felt that just a tad more clarification of some moves/positions would have been beneficial to a broader audience. Since my close-up specialty is coin magic, I was quite familiar with the mechanics of what was being done in Trinity, but some may have trouble with the hand positions. Done correctly though, Trinity is a very clean and magical production and vanish of a coin.
The material is all very well-executed, but there are a lot of things on here that may not work very well for every performer - namely those that perform in walk-around situations and/or in venues without tables. If you take a little bit of time to routine the handling of some of the effects, you can use the hands of spectators/participants as tables, though not for all of them. The Royal Transpo (a 8 card transpo) and Fore Coins (a production of four coins) from Shoot Ogawa are already routined to use the body of the spectator as a table, but you have to watch your angles for the Royal Transpo, and you need decent audience management skills.
Right On Cue from Apollo is a production of an 8 Ball from a deck of cards that does not really have any restrictions and is quite surprising, but I think there is a little something missing that you need to add to it if you choose to perform this. What that 'something' is exactly is hard to say.
Toast Aces is a nice-looking four Ace production that is a little angly for one of the productions, but it looks great! Changing Tebe is a single card color-change effect that has quite a bit of angle restrictions, but the mechanics (at least to me) are spectacular in the way it works, but it is well worth learning.
The Pits To Pockets from Apollo is a very surprising version of a signed card to spectator pocket, but again, for this one you need considerable audience management skills and it cannot be done surrounded as taught.
The Neo-Purse Frame by Shoot Ogawa is a standard in his act, and one that many magicians have offered him the price of this DVD to learn before it was released. The routine is very magical and full of great twists, turns and surprises for the audience and has a great ending.
The Ogawa Anniversary Salsa is based on the Doc Eason Anniversary Waltz and is a super clean handling, which looks very clean and magical. One of the best handlings I have ever seen.
Shooting Kennedy (from Shoot Ogawa) is a nice little routine that starts off with a Kennedy half dollar, which is transformed into a jumbo Kennedy coin. After a series of vanishes and reproductions, the jumbo coin is split into four jumbo Kennedys. This routine has a few angle issues, but for the most part you can play to a 3/4 frontal audience with this one, and it looks quite good.
Slide, Shoot Shot and Pit Palm are techniques that can be used to great effect for various routines and singular effects. Slide and Shoot Shot apply to coins, and Pit Palm applies to cards.
The Coin Exercise is just that - an exercise. This is not something I would ever use in performance, but it is definitely a great dexterity, skill and technique exercise.
All-in-all this is a great DVD that has some wonderful techniques on it, some of them easy and others quite the knuckle-buster. Most of the handlings will have to be changed to suit your own ability/skill level and the performance venue (especially those with moderate to severe angle issues). The material here will not suit every taste, but I like it and use a fair few of the items on this disc. If you like the work that Apollo Robbins and Shoot Ogawa do, then you will most certainly enjoy this DVD, even if you do not use anything on it.
Product info for Cultural Xchange
Author: Robbins, Apollo & Shoot OgawaPublisher: Bob Kohler MagicAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $39.95
East meets west! The results are absolutely stunning!
Shoot and Apollo spend much of their performance time in environments that are just flat out loud. Too loud for clever patter and repartee. Facing this serious problem on a nightly basis drove them to create visual magic that would pop the eyes out of unsuspecting audiences without a single word.
Cultural Xchange is a compilation of fourteen of the best items in their repertoire. Each is a totally visually head crusher that the eyes see, but the brain just cannot believe.
Shoot Ogawa is the recipient of the prestigious Magic Castle’s “Close Up Magician of the Year” for 2002.
Shoot has jumped to the top of the close up world also winning the MacMillian Convention’s Close Up contest in November 2002. He was also featured on the cover of Magic Magazine in the March 2003 issue. This amazing young man is fast becoming a superstar of magic.
Apollo Robbins has taken the opposite route. He has been working nonstop in Las Vegas for CEO’s and celebrities. He first became a rumor to magicians as the incredible pickpocket at Caesar’s Magical Empire. Most of Apollo’s incredible material is still shrouded in mystery. This DVD is his first visual release. You will be astounded by his magic, his deep thinking and his performance.
Each of the performance pieces on the DVD are accompanied by music...loud, fast music. This is to simulate how their magic appears to spectators in the real world.
You will see that times for professional magicians have changed. You need high impact visual magic that is quick and to the point. All of the fat has been trimmed away. Of course, you could easily add appropriate patter but it’s the overwhelming visuals that are the stars of this show.
The material is coin magic and card magic. Why? You don’t have to burden down your pockets with all sorts of props. Just some cards and some coins. You’re loaded for bear!