The Step System DVDs Volume 1 & 2
Reviewed by Matt Wainwright
There is so much information on this DVD set. Ravi and Lee discuss so much more than just the tricks. If you fast forward through anything just to get to the explanations, it will be your loss! Everything from audience management, how to approach a group to what to expect from them in different settings is covered. Russ Stevens has done the usual great job of filming and producing the whole thing.
You get multiple performances of some effects to show how they can play in various situations, all followed by clear explanations.
The key factors for me when looking for new material are re-setting and walkaround (no tables) effects. Most of the effects on this set can be done standing with no tables, and even better, the spectators often only need to think of a card. So even if they are loaded up with drinks and handbags etc this wont stop you! I'll give you the highlights that stood out for me....
Ice Breaker is a variation of a trick that I have been using already. I have been doing pretty much the first phase of this for over 2 years, so I know how well it plays, but when you follow that up with the visual change and then combining 2 spectators selections as lee does, it more than trebles the impact of the effect! the whole routine flows so well. After the first phase you will get spectators asking to do it again, and that's just what you do!
Trans-box-ition is another great effect using 2 selections. I've been working James Brown's Box Clever, so it was natural to give Lee's effect some time and effort. The thing I love about Trans-box-ition, is there is a moment in the effect when the cards seem to jumping in what you could say a triangular pattern - from the deck, to the box, to between their hands. This is a lovely part of the trick and the cards really do bounce and hop from place to place! Lee has also added a 3rd phase to this, including a third signed selection, don't overlook this!
Bold Business, a drawing duplication - no wallets, peek devices etc used just a stack of your cards and some balls required. Don't be scared, it's awesome stuff again! Third Degree is great as it uses a "thought of card". If you play this right you will be very pleased with the reactions it gets this has to be one of the most powerful effects on the set!!
Fifth Element is a great in the hands, thought of card effect. I have played with different variations of this effect, but this is the one I'll be using. Lee has stripped it right down to get the routine as simple and direct as possible without any hard moves, yet it knocks them for six every time!
Bonaces is a relatively new idea from Lee. Its great as again, it uses 2 selections, its not hard and the kicker will fry them when they open their hands! I've been playing with this and some other ideas to make it the ace production that will be in my repertoire.
All the material here is direct, powerful magic. There are no long winded storylines, counting, dealing etc. This is the most advice and material that I have got from a single purchase in years.
Thank you Lee for sharing this with us, and putting so much effort into the project. I have got more than I could ever expect from it, and I'm sure any hobbyist, professional, and working magician will benefit massively from it also.
Available from www.rsvpmagic.com or your favourite dealer.
© Matt Wainwright, March 2010 www.mattwainwright.com