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The Magic Of Suzanne: The Castle Act (2 DVD Set) Review

Official Review

October 8th, 2015 11:59am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
The Magic of Suzanne is a two DVD set starring Suzanne, the 2010 Academy of Magical Arts Close-Up Magician of the Year. The DVD starts with a performance of her 24 minute Magic Castle act, in the Magic Castle. It is phenomenal. This DVD is well worth the purchase to watch an award winning magician do her thing, discuss it, and even teach some (but not all) of it.

Suzanne’s Magic Castle show consists of three basic segments. First a very strong and well-thought out multiple card routine (which is fully taught on the second DVD), followed by a Sharpie marked band-aid transposition trick (recently performed on Fool Us in which she fooled Penn and Teller) and finishes with a really fantastic Cups and Balls routine. The two latter tricks are not explained.

First off, let me say that Suzanne’s card routine is several routines built into one. In the card routine she has a marked card disappear and reappear in her pocket several times. She has a completely double-sided blank deck apparently instantly turn into a regular deck of cards. It has aspects of an ambitious card routine and she makes permanent ink apparently jump from one card to another. It is a great routine packed with numerous magical moments, comedy and emotion. It is taught excellently with step by step instruction.

Although this DVD would be worth the price just for the explanation of the card routines, it teaches so much more about the art of performance and interaction with an audience and spectators. Suzanne’s misdirection is honed to perfection and it is wonderful to watch her perform. She also shows a prototype of her deck switcher gimmick. I wish that she taught her Cups and Balls routine in the same step-by-step way that she taught her card routines. Trust me when I tell you that her routine is excellent and it has an unusual storyline to it and an awesome finale kicker.

One of my favorite features of the DVD is the fact that the viewer can choose to watch the performances with Suzanne’s audio commentary on the performance dubbed into the track. You can also see performances of the same tricks in front of a different audience. This is very interesting since you see how Suzanne deals with a boisterous audience and an intoxicated volunteer as opposed to an almost silent audience and a more cerebral spectator. The audio commentary gives great insight into her performance and what she is thinking when she is working her act.

There is also an interview with Suzanne that is very interesting and she discusses her career path and Dai Vernon’s front row appearance at her show, many years ago. Needless to say, the Professor approved of her act and when she asked for some suggestions, he told her to wear a dress.

The production quality is excellent and the ad copy is accurate. In the promotional video Suzanne says that she “goes through” her Magic Castle action “from beginning to end” which is true, but beware that the secrets are not taught for every trick.

This is a wonderful production and I highly recommend it.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for The Magic Of Suzanne: The Castle Act (2 DVD Set)

Author: Suzanne
Publisher: Anthony Asimov Magic
Average Rating:  (4)
Retail Price: $39.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

"A joy to watch! From her opening to her closer, Suzanne's thinking and personality are on full display. Suzanne's magic is proof that strong magic powered by personality will deliver exceptional results! Watch... Listen... Learn."
- Paul Gertner

"Suzanne is a magician who has studied, worked, and walks the walk. Her routines combine a sure knowledge of technique with a gift for construction. On top of it all lies her searingly unstoppable brand of showmanship. She is, simply put, a powerhouse."
- David Regal

"For a long time, no one had ever heard of Suzanne because she had been working all the time. I met her 30 years ago and have been tracking her career ever since. She has the kind of chops that one gets after doing this 10,000 times. Now, as Close-Up Magician of the Year, she has decided to share some of the real secrets of magic... Not only the how but the why... sign me up for this information!"
- Doc Eason

"Yes, she has the skill, the showmanship, the energy, and all those other things that make for a great close-up performer. More than that, Suzanne shows her human side. This is what makes an entertainer stand out, more so than what he or she does, because it forges a bond, an emotional connection, that turns spectators into fans -- and performers into stars. And that's what Suzanne is: a star."
- Ariel Frailich

"The Magic of Suzanne: The Castle Act" is ISSUE #4 in the Black Rabbit Series, which features outstanding professional magicians from around the world who perform full shows for live un-coached audiences.

Suzanne is the only woman to win the coveted "Close-Up Magician of the Year" award from the Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle). In this 2-DVD set, you will learn Suzanne's valuable secrets on how to properly structure a magical performance to create a standout show, as well as some fabulous magic. If you want to become a better performer of magic, get ready for some serious note taking!

Volume 1
Filmed live at The Magic Castle, you'll be captivated by the same show that consistently earns Suzanne standing ovations, and ultimately won her the prestigious award. Suzanne performs her most famous effects: "Let's Play Together," "Coming Home III," "A Mother's Love," and "The Journey." Also included are three commentaries, each one taking you further inside Suzanne's thinking as she analyzes and discusses her own performances. Alternate live performances of her favorite routines, a 30-minute interview in which Suzanne talks about her unique magical journey, and footage from her acceptance of the "Close-Up Magician of the Year" award, are also featured.

Volume 2
Go behind the scenes with Suzanne and guest host, Matt Marcy, as they explain step-by-step how to perform "Let's Play Together" and "Coming Home III," Suzanne's workhorse card routines that she's relied on for decades. Suzanne even discusses her unique deck switcher in detail, a device she uses in every performance. You will also be inspired by thought-provoking discussions on how to create a signature trick, how to find the perfect story for a routine, and how to incorporate archetypes into your show to craft a dynamic character-driven performance.

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