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Solitary Review

Official Review

July 27th, 2012 7:55pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Solitary” by Cameron Francis is an interesting approach to the “signed object to impossible location” plot. In this case a signed coin appears inside a sealed cardboard coin case, a location that adds a powerful element to the plot because the coin is visible while locked in the impossible location. In the basic version the magician rips open the case to show the coin, but there are several others taught, including a strolling version that doesn’t destroy the case and a multi-phase routine with a marked (not signed) coin and two cases.

The method behind “Solitary” is clever and counterintuitive, as it convinces the spectator the magic has happened while saving some of the sneaky stuff for after they have lowered their guard. This can be a devastatingly effective tool when developing a method, and is used intelligently here. The best compliment I can give is that it worked perfectly on me.

While it’s powerful to allow the spectator to see the signed object while it’s in the impossible location, it can cause a problem. When performing the card to wallet or envelope, for example, the performer must open the wallet or envelope to show the card inside, which gives one the opportunity to destroy the evidence or ditch the gimmick. With the basic handling of “Solitary” the performer must rip open the coin case at the end and remove the coin. While this isn’t inherently a problem, having the signed coin be visible inside the case begs to have it handed out to the spectator while the coin is sealed within, which can’t be done in the basic handling. Other versions allow for the case to be inspected with the coin inside, but in those versions the coin isn’t signed or it’s marked by the magician, not the spectator.

While the effect and method for the appearance of the coin in the case are clever, the introductory phases and alternate routines are disappointing. Given how impressive the coin’s appearance is, I felt the basic vanish fell short. Further, the additional routines are convoluted and the handlings are based on the needs of the method, rather than on the appearance of the effect. I wish as much thought and effort were put into the supporting phases, additional routines and methods as was put into the appearance of the coin in the holder. An appearance as powerful as “Solitary” needs a well structured vanish to complement it or the effect is diminished.

The explanations are clear and the production is professional. The DVD comes with several coin holders, though you will need to buy more if you perform it regularly (which isn’t a problem as they are quite inexpensive online.) The effect of the coin appearing in the case is fantastic, and at a price point of $20, if you like the effect, you’ll value the practical and clever method. I love the effect so much I’m adding it to my repertoire. However, I will be using none of the included routines to present it.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Solitary

Author: Francis, Cameron
Publisher: Paper Crane Productions - Amanda Hartley
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $20.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

From the mind of Cameron Francis comes solitary: A signed coin to impossible location that takes up almost no pocket space, is gimmick free and completely examinable. Imagine this, you produce a sealed cardboard coin holder and have it examined. A quarter is then borrowed and signed by the spectator on both sides. Suddenly, the coin visually appears inside the sealed coin holder. The coin holder is held at the finger tips, clearly displaying that the coin is suspended inside. The coin holder is then ripped open and the spectator can remove the coin. Everything is examinable.

On this DVD, Cameron teaches several routines with coin holders involving appearances, penetrations and transpositions. The effects are all easy to do, highly visual and completely examinable.

Running Time Approximately: 45min

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