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Miracles From The Sock Drawer Review

Official Review

July 5th, 2006 3:01pm
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
I'm probably going to catch hell from some of my peers for this review.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed this video. There, I said it.

If it weren't already obvious from the title and the cover page, this is not a professional video. My guess is that it was done with a handheld camera (or two) and some PC-based editing software. It's not bad. In fact, the quality is perfectly workable for the content and intended audience. In fact, watching Paul Gallagher on a home-made video was a nice break from the overproduced, overextended, over-hyped stuff that's coming out of some of the big magic DVD houses these days.

Paul has a passion for magic, and it shows. He's genuinely funny. And he has an amazing knowledge of magic history. In fact, this DVD is worthwhile just for the background on the (50+) effects he discusses.

Then there's Righty, his slightly-worn, sock-puppet side-kick. Some of you might find him annoying and juvenile. Quite honestly, my wife and I were cracking up at a few of his scenes. Maybe we just have an odd sense of humor.

I've heard a few people complain about the use of Righty to interrupt a section of video to make corrections. Sure, it could have been re-shot and/or edited to fix the errors in the video. Considering that this is an instructional video, most of which tend to be boring, I found his interruptions helped me to maintain interest.

So many of magic's "improvements" are steps in the wrong direction. They take a great trick and make it a good trick. A direct, beautiful piece of magic is turned into a flurry of useless moves and convoluted plots. Paul Gallagher seems to be on the true path to improvement; he's really trying to produce better magic.

Many of the props used on the video are cheap, plastic models. Don't let that fool you. Those may be the props that we all have in our sock drawer, but that doesn't mean they can't be upgraded. It's the thought behind the effects that makes Paul's work worth watching.

In watching this DVD, I came up with a new marketing opportunity for Paul and Yendor's (the producer). I think this would be the perfect gift for a young magician. They're bound to acquire many of these props in their first few years in the art. Why not start them off with informed background and workable routines rather than the lifeless instructions which come in the box.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Miracles From The Sock Drawer

Author: Paul Gallagher
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $29.95
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Paul Gallagher, a close personal friend and protege of the late Derek Dingle, is a professional entertainer with an encyclopedic knowledge of practical magic. He's the guy you hope to bump into at the magic shop or convention, so he can show you all of those cool things you never knew, but wished you did, about the effect or routine you're working on at the moment. Paul has finally been cajoled into sharing with us some of his favorite ideas and applications for a variety of standard effects that most magicians have purchased, perused, and then thrown into their sock drawers.

In 'MIRACLES FROM THE SOCK DRAWER' Paul presents a potpourri of over fifty effects, routines, presentation tips, and performance applications from the working repertoire of a full-time professional magician.

Paul has pulled material from over a century of published thinking, as well as tips and hints collected over the years in quiet sessions among magicians in the back rooms of magic shops, conventions, and performing venues. Adding great ideas from his friends and from his own work experiences, Paul gives us almost six hours of entertaining and educational material in his 'MIRACLES FROM THE SOCK DRAWER'.

Some favorites are:

21st Century Blind Date - Did you know that the Internet now offers a service that combines computer dating with GPS positioning technology, taking you right to the home of your beautiful computer date? Your audience will learn about this new technological miracle when you demonstrate using two props probably tossed into your sock drawer long ago.

Identity Theft - You explain how bank tellers and retailers are taught to avoid the theft of credit card info, but alas your spectator's identity is stolen right out of her own hands. A classic sock drawer prop is dusted off and turned into a starling effect.

Paul's Diet Surprise - Rice and water in the twenty-first century? Not very topical. Here's a sensible presentation for any version of this standard, with a bonus finale taken from a different effect that was created by a magic legend.

Through The Heart - A very different, and slightly creepy, presentation for the Needle-Thru-Balloon that includes a new and surprising finale. Finally you won't be doing this classic drawer effect exactly like every other magician!

D'Lited - You gather spots of light from the air, tossing them one at a time into a cloth bag. As a climax, the bag is ripped open to display a glowing image... whatever you like!

Running Time: Over 5.5hrs!

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