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Dixon Drop DVD Review

Official Review

September 18th, 2012 3:15am
Reviewed by James Sanden
“The Dixon Drop” is a utility move with cards with many applications, including transformations, sandwich effects, a card to impossible location and cards across. It’s taught on DVD by Doc Dixon, a comedy magician equally skilled entertaining onstage or close up. The DVD is shot in a casual atmosphere, as though the viewer were attending a “session” with the creator, Doc Dixon, and his friends Rick Maue and David Lawrence.

While not relevant to the quality of the instruction or the effects, this is a very entertaining DVD. And, unlike certain magic teachers, the humor didn’t distract from the instruction. The explanations of the sleight and its applications are clear, comprehensive and detailed. Mr. Dixon takes the time to cover doing the sleight, as well as getting into it, in any given situation. Multiple camera angles and speeds are used to make sure the viewer clearly understands the dynamics of the move in every application explored. The move itself is not difficult to do and, despite what one may think, is fairly angle proof. Given the extent and quality of instruction, learning to do the sleight well will come fairly easily to the average card magician.

The effects taught include a 4 ace production, a Brother John Hammon “Signed Card” type effect, signed card to cardbox, a fun, quick gambling routine, a clean force and a cards across. While all based on the same move, the variety of effects one can perform with the “Dixon Drop” show the versatility of the sleight, and all are worth exploring. It’s quite impressive to see how creatively Mr. Dixon applied the sleight to a broad range of effects. The move itself is quite natural and organic and looks exactly like it should, mimicking the real action perfectly. And while the card controls in some of the effects aren’t as deceptive as they could be, they have nothing to do with the applications of the Dixon Drop, and the viewer can certainly alter that portion of the handling while still retaining the main effect.

The main caveat worth knowing is that the move does require a table at which the magician is sitting, though the high tables seen in cocktail parties many strolling performers find themselves at may also work quite well (depending on the performer’s height.) While this does restrict where and when one can perform the effects, this limitation isn’t a flaw in the traditional sense. While it would be great if every effect in one’s repertoire could be performed at any time in any circumstance, the fact is working performers choose material based on the audience and environment constantly. And when one has the right table or is able to sit, this material is fantastic.

(As a side note about sitting down while performing, Mr. Dixon made some good points in an email exchange about his DVD. There is a fundamental shift that happens in the relationship between the audience and the performer when one sits. (Bill Abbott and Eugene Burger have also written about this.) The connection becomes stronger as the relationship becomes more intimate and less performer vs. audience. In addition, in the classic banquet strolling situation, by sitting down the performer can create a mini-theater type environment and gather a crowd several people deep. In terms of leaving an impression, says Mr. Dixon, the difference between the booker seeing a magician entertain a huge, laughing, gasping crowd gathered around him versus watching isolated performances for small groups over the course of the evening is substantial.)

While the Dixon Drop is practical and the effects taught are strong, some of the most valuable information can be found in the discussion of how to effectively present the magic being taught. Ideas ranging from “selling” the effect to the nature of creativity are discussed, but all in a practical, down to earth manner. Apparently Mr. Dixon captured a great deal of this type of discussion but had to leave some of it on the cutting room floor because of time and relevance to the topic. While I understand this choice, I would have loved to have seen this footage as well.

The “Dixon Drop” is an effective, practical and versatile sleight and the variety of tricks taught on the DVD should provide at least one (if not multiple) effects any card magician would find practical, entertaining and very magical. If you like good, accessible entertaining material, and don’t mind having to look for the right place to perform it, you will be sure to enjoy (and use) the material on “The Dixon Drop.”

Product info for Dixon Drop DVD

Author: Dixon, Doc
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

What If...
you could cleanly cut a deck into four random packets and the face card of each packet changes into an ace?

What If...
you have a signed selection vanish from the deck then pick up the card box at the fingertips of an empty hand and simply shake out the signed selection?

What If...
you could table the four aces and without any painting or the aces touching the deck a signed selected card appears in the middle of the aces?

What If...
you could perform an incredibly clean cards across with no palming?

What If...
you have a very funny and commercial "cut to the high card" routine in your repertoire?

What If...
you had a new incredibly fair appearing card force?

And What If...
all of these routines relied on a single new move that is as easy as dropping cards? (You have occasionally dropped cards, haven't you?)

Running Time: approximately 56 mins

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