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At the Table Live Lecture - John Guastaferro 7/23/2014 Review

Official Review

September 3rd, 2014 10:40am
Reviewed by Josh Burch
John Gustaferro looks like such a nice unassuming guy but his magic uses devious methods and he has some wonderful touches. The magic here is very card heavy but you get a handful of different types of tricks. They are not all pick a card find a card tricks rather you get a twisting the aces routine, a gambling routine, some in the hands magic and a multiple card find all in one place. It’s card heavy but there are some cool touches on effects with straws and rings as well, check them out below.

In the Dog House: A card is selected, 2 Jokers are placed in the box, the card turns over in the deck, it changes into the 2 jokers and ends up in the box. What a fun way to do a card to box, there are a couple silly jokes here that work together with the premise of the cards being some sort of dog. This only requires a table a box and an ungimmicked deck.

Club Sandwich: Two selections are chosen and found one at a time in between the 2 jokers and at the end they change positions. This is a classic of John G’s and is a nice sandwich routine with a nice kicker ending. I don’t love sandwich routines but this is nice.

Dr. Daley With Selections: The 2 Jokers and selections change places while in the spectators hands. This is a basic handling of the classic effect, nothing is super new here besides the routine in which it takes place. John performs In the Dog House, Club Sandwich and Dr. Daley’s Last Trick all in one seamlessly woven together to make 5 minutes of solid magic.

6 Card Charlie: This is a fooler! The deck is clearly mixed by you and the spectators. It is shuffled like crazy. A spectator is then able to deal exactly 20 in a game of blackjack and a straight in a game of poker and of course all of it is predicted by the magician.

Little White Lie: 4 queens are given to a spectator mixed up and one is chosen. They continue to mix them up and the magician is able to predict which card would be chosen. He then makes all of the cards turn blank. John has a few versions of this out there and he teaches the most complex version on this lecture. He shows how to make a gimmicked wallet that switches out gaffed cards and your prediction, and he uses black cards. He mentions that you could do this with a regular deck as well without a problem. It is generous of him to show the complex one because it is very easy to simplify.

Spectral: A card is selected and lost in a small packet, it vanishes and the spectator choses where it will reapear in a ribbon spread. This is similar in presentation to the classic Biddle trick. This is based on an effect by John Carey and John G. shows how he has added that one degree difference which he has got so famous for. It is fun to see how all the pieces come together to make a very magical effect.

Ballett Cut: A simple flourishy false cut. After learning it I have been surprised at how good it looks. It is a super simple 2 packet cut that can be performed at any time without a table and retains the whole order of the deck. John goes over a few applications including using it as a force, a production and a control.

Proximity Peak Control: You get a spectator peak, have a few people shuffle the cards and you are able to know the identity and location of that card. This is a nice thought, the handling and choreography needs to be fairly specific in order to pull it off, but it is not very difficult and gets a lot done.

Zen Bend: A straw held by the finger and thumb bends. This is probably best for a casual performance given the set up. All it requires is a straw with or without the wrapper on,

Ring on Straw: With the wave of a straw a ring magically appears in the magicians hand. The straw then vanished appearing behind the ear (just like in the classic gag) and the ring visually penetrates the center of the straw. This is a very natural routine, if you wear a ring then it could be a very strong impromptu piece.

Clifton’s Ring Transpo: The spectator’s ring is threaded onto a string, it melts through the string and changes into the magicians ring. It is then revealed that the magician is wearing the spectators ring. This is a quick ungimmicked addition to a ring on string routine using an updated version of a classic move.

Ring on Necklace: The magician makes an impromptu necklace using a shoelace or string, he then pops a borrowed ring onto the necklace worn by the spectator. This is a fun piece that leaves the spectator with an impossible object and a great souvenir. It is surprisingly easy as well.

Stress Test: A card that you buy in a novelty shop to measure stress is held by the spectator they then select a card and the stress test has morphed to match the card. John makes these cards specifically and has an extra kisker included on his but you can use your own if you find a card that changes color according to your mood. The way that he controls which card is selected is very cool, and you just need a table.

Color Blind: The spectator names a color and the magician cuts to an ace of that color, he cuts to another and the aces change color.

Tail Spin: The spectator names a four of a kind and those cards slowly turn over just like in the classic twisting the aces routine, they then turn into all double backers and then into the aces. They are handed to the spectator and they change to his original selected four of a kind. There’s nothing too difficult about this routine and with fairly little skill you get a handful of magical moments.

Hide and Seek: The jacks are hidden in a handful of different places all chosen by the spectator with one in the spectator's pocket. It’s kind of a version of open travellers where all 4 jacks switch places with the aces. It does require some minor audience management but it isn’t incredibly difficult to do.

Multimental: In this version 6 cards are selected and as they are found the magician is able to name them right before they produce them. The great part about this is that there is no memorization and no forcing of the cards, so you can do a part mental part magic routine that you can do just about anywhere from a shuffled deck.

So on this download you learn a ton of new magic that can be performed in any venue. Like I said before the card effects are very diverse and you learn about various different plots with a deck of cards. This has been one of my favorite lectures.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for At the Table Live Lecture - John Guastaferro 7/23/2014

Author: Guastaferro, John
Publisher: Murphys Magic Supplies
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $24.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

John Guastaferro is a dynamic performer, author and creator. His published works are acclaimed by magicians worldwide, including his Brainstorm DVDs (2003) and book One Degree (2010). In this new lecture, John will cover a broad range of effects, predominately with playing cards, featuring some new material and old favorites. He'll also talk about the creative process and how the one-degree approach can create great impact through small refinements. Learn more about John at



  • In the Doghouse (two Jokers and a selection transpose)
  • Club Daley (a two-phase sandwich effect using two selections) MOVES

  • Ballet Cut (John's versatile in-the-hands false cut/flourish)
  • Proximity Peek Control (learn the identify and position of peeked card) MENTAL
  • Twenty (a commercial blackjack and poker effect with a mental twist)
  • Little White Lies (a fooling packet effect with an ending no one sees coming) NON-CARDS

  • Some fun bits, including unpublished ideas for Ring & StringACES

  • Tailspin (an impromptu twisting effect with some new added touches)
  • Hide & Seek (a very clean pocket interchange effect)CLOSER

  • Multi-Mental (John's signature multiple selection routine)

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