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Hidden Hand (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

March 4th, 2015 8:31am
Rating:
Reviewed by James Sanden
The “Hidden Hand” by Sean Fields is a utility device that, in its most basic use, allows the performer to very cleanly vanish any small object with his or her sleeves rolled up. The vanish is a complete vanish, which is to say that once the item is shown to have disappeared, both hands can be cleanly shown empty. It’s not a version of a topit, pull, or ring flight, nor does it use the pendulum principle, and the effect is as clean as it appears in the trailer.

The “Hidden Hand” comes with an instructional DVD as well as the components needed to construct the gimmick. Construction is simple and enough material is provided to replace anything that wears out, should that ever occur. The DVD is produced by Murphy’s Magic and is of extremely high quality. Multiple camera angles are used and clear close-ups are shot when appropriate. The instruction by Mr. Fields, and his guest Eric Jones, is clear and well prepared, if a bit repetitive.

The gimmick itself is extremely clever. Mr. Fields describes it as “irreducibly complex,” which, while a bit dramatic, is an accurate description, as no part of the gimmick is extraneous and several elements provide multiple benefits. It can be used with a variety of objects, from cards to coins to billets, the main restriction being nothing larger or heavier than a silver dollar. In addition to vanishing an object, the “Hidden Hand” can also be used for productions, transformations, switches and the like. It’s of particular note that retrieval of the vanished item is simple and quick, delivering it directly into the hand, essentially unattached to anything (unlike vanishing an item that ends up being attached to a pull, ring flight or needing to be retrieved from a topit).

The method itself is marvelously counterintuitive. Just as audience members would never believe the performer would memorize the position of every card in the deck, the method at play here is nothing a viewer would ever imagine. While it employs elements of other methods and approaches that have come before, the particular combination of ideas at play with the “Hidden Hand” is unique.

While not completely angle proof, with proper audience management and rehearsal, the “Hidden Hand” can be used in close up and walk around. Which isn’t to say all the effects taught on the DVD can be performed in every situation. The performer will have to choose an application that will work in their particular circumstance. Fortunately, the gimmick is very flexible, and one can jump from one application to another quickly and easily while performing. Additionally, the gimmick is very easy to ring in and out of play, and can be used with most types of clothing, both casual and professional.

Mr. Fields covers a number of basic techniques, including several one handed vanishes, a couple of two handed vanishes, a production, plus ideas on quickly retrieving the vanished object. Effects include coin to sugar packet, a coin bend, coin in pen cap, ring to necklace and ring to keychain. It’s of particular note that Mr. Fields also teaches a quick way to make an ordinary key ring work as a simple, impromptu ring flight gimmick. This bonus was offered with little fanfare, but is extremely effective, clever and simple, and frankly could have been marketed separately.

Eric Jones also teaches some techniques and ideas he has come up with, all of which demonstrate his trademark soft and fluid technique. In his hands the effects look shockingly good. Some of the ideas he offers are refinements on techniques Mr. Fields taught, and some are brand new. He teaches vanishes, productions, a transformation, and a lovely object through table routine where the viewer can see the hand below the table is empty right up until the penetration.

Additional content includes instruction on how to build the gimmick, as well as simple modifications that, while not necessary, can add to its deceptiveness and flexibility. There is also a section on troubleshooting, covering angles, psychology, management and how to avoid flashing. The producers and Mr. Fields clearly devoted a great deal of time making sure all the information needed to successfully utilize the “Hidden Hand” is provided.

The “Hidden Hand” is a very clever, very deceptive utility gimmick that can accomplish a variety of effects. It’s one of the more counterintuitive methods I’ve seen. Beyond being deceptive, it’s also simple to ring in and out of play, and takes up very little space in terms of pocket management. While the user has to be sensitive to angles, its flexibility does offer options for less favorable circumstances.

In the end, the ability to cleanly and completely vanish and reproduce an object is one of the more basic and fundamental magical effects possible. The “Hidden Hand” allows the performer to do this, essentially impromptu, in a very magical manner, and with a minimal investment. It’s by no means self working, but with practice this device can produce absolute miracles. Highly recommended.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Hidden Hand (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Fields, Sean
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"Every once in a while the art of magic takes another step forward. The Hidden Hand is a leap."

From the mind of Sean Fields, Hidden Hand is a brand new utility device that allows for stunning vanishes and productions. With NO sleights necessary, you will be able to manipulate items within minutes of learning this secret.

Roll your sleeves up, show your hands completely, unmistakably empty and from out of nowhere produce a small object. No suspicious moves. Just pure magic.

Multiple vanishes including one handed and drop vanishes Multiple versions of Ring to Anywhere straight from Sean's own working repertoire How to install, modify and repair your Hidden Hand Bonus moves, ideas and routines by special guest Eric Jones Nearly two hours of instructions will give you a complete arsenal of moves, routines and ideas that will stun your spectators.

"Brilliant! It's amazing and opens up so many possibilities!!!"
- Dynamo

"If you were ever looking for the most incredible, amazing, versatile, practical way to vanish a small object, you've got to give hidden hand a try!"
- Eric Jones

"When Sean Fields first showed me the effect I freaked out. When he revealed the secret to me, I couldn't believe what I saw. The method is utterly astounding and so creative."
- Shin Lim

"This will get you laid... Just kidding... Not really."
- Chris Ramsay

"Hidden Hand is one of the most beastly things he has come out with yet!"
- Chris Wiehl

'This is something every magician can use in their own way. The possibilities of this gimmick have yet to all be discovered.'
- Tom Elderfield

"I'm a big Sean Fields fan, but my God, that looks like real magic."
- Chris Kavanagh


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