Worker's Corner 3 DVD Set
by Christopher Congreave and Gary Jones
Reviewed by Gary Williams
For all of you that are unsure about the accuracy of DVD reviews, fear not, because I promise you, that I will be 100% candid and honest. For all those of you that are looking for a 'proper' magic DVD, full of strong magic and sound advice, fear not, because your search is over - there's three of them here to choose from.
These DVDs are what the magic world needs more of. They are presented as two coin effects and two card effects, with variations and discussions, but they are much, much more than this. There is a lot to be learned from these, by all magicians, on all levels, but in my opinion, I would say that they are primarily aimed at the working professional.
Every effect is discussed by Gary and Chris, and whilst one explains their effects, the other is there, constantly asking questions and expanding the discussion. This results in a set of DVDs that are full of strong magic and crammed with good advice.
This brings me to something worthy of mention, here. There is a genius about having two magicians together on a magic DVD, and after watching this, I know that others may be prepared to share their limelight with another and follow in their footprints.
Both Gary and Chris are constantly bouncing views and questions off each other, in a very entertaining fashion. There is an atmosphere of genuine relaxedness throughout and this adds to the naturalness of the routines performed.
This is very strong magic, straight from the repertoires of two working magicians - from the workers of magic, for the workers of magic. These DVDs are, in my honest opinion, a bargain. They have so much crammed into each, that you will get much more than you money's worth, and when added to your repertoire, they will bring their just returns. All of the effects are professional, working effects and routines, stuffed with genuine advice.
These are the effects on each of the DVDs. I have tried not to go into too much detail, with regards to the descriptions of the effects, because I would be copying, word-for-word, the descriptions from the backs of the cases, and they can be viewed, as well as a few clips, and more information on the DVDs on the worker's corner website. The website address is at the bottom of this review.
This has panned out to be a rather lengthy review, but sod it! I think that you will agree with me, after watching one, or more of these, that this truly is a time for celebration.
FLYING TONIGHT - Professional 3-Fly and Coins Across Routines.
GJ 3-Fly: This is a lovely routine, in which you end spotlessly clean with, and this brings me to a very important point, regarding all three of these DVDs. There is no resetting required with any of these effects, and for a working magician, that's a crucial factor towards a smooth performance. There is a naturalness to this effect, which is prevalent throughout this DVD set. The explanations that follow each effect are very informative, due to the abundance, and nature of the questions asked.
CC 3-Fly: This is a very magical performance. This is the first example of one of the benefits of having two magicians on one DVD Because it gives you two perspectives of thought, method and performance, and I guarantee that you will lose much sleep deciding which of the methods from these DVDs to use. This is a different method to Gary's (cleaner and better, some would say......................... but not me, Gary!!) 3-Fly, but both are excellent, and with the discussions after, you are given a concise effect, or routine.
GJ Coins Across: Brilliant! Yes, just one word............... okay, here's a few more. I love this effect, which has a lovely ending. A very clean, strong method of Coins Across. This is an absolute pleasure to watch, and as a magician myself, I feel safe in the knowledge that this will have the desired effect on the audience. Reasons are given, and discussed, with regards to the preferences of certain moves over others, in much depth and in an easy to watch and follow style.
CC Coins Across: Very nice and clean, indeed. A variation of 'tools' here, and Chris performs a stunning effect, with a very different method. I am constantly reminded by these routines, of the lack of 'reset' required, the audience management in there and the amount of knowledge passed on, in the discussions that follow each routine, or effect.
GJ Free-Fly: Another nice performance, using a totally different slant, but with similar results. The amount of variety on this tridiscology of magic is fantastic. A real toffee shop of effects and routines........ No, Three toffee shops! I know that people will use this, and other routines, and am well aware that I will be seeing these performed for me, by other magicians, in the future- and I look forward to that day.
CC Expensive Fly: Supremely clean and beautiful method. I have only one point to mention here, Chris. Shouldn't this routine have been DVD number four? There is a plethora of effects and possibilities attainable with the gimmick that Chris uses (very well), to produce an amazingly visual piece of coin magic. This is a treat for the eyes.
BONUS ~ GJ Pop-Up Coins Plus: Again, I must repeat myself, and tell you that this is a brilliant piece of coin work. Very easy for the spectator to follow, but the ending will define the climax (or, this will absolutely blow them away, if you prefer that terminology). Beautiful coin work. Excellent audience management. This effect really is a bonus, giving you a move/method that you will use loads. I know that I will.
This is excellent and I will definitely be using this concept/method. This is because I perform the signed card to wallet effect, and the ideas and possibilities that this opens up, are limited only to the magician's imagination. There really is loads of stuff in here, but no practise sessions. No fillers. Just non-stop performance of magic, with full-on continuous discussions.
CC Pickpocket: This is impromptu magic at it's best. This is a strong effect. Nice and clean. Nice and smooth. This will fit nicely into any one's act, and if you are a stroller this will have much appeal to you. In here are some gems of advice, regarding corporate magic and the business side of magic, although all three DVDs represent exactly that. Performing in the real world, for real people, full time.
GJ Signed Card To Box: This is a nice, smooth, signed card to box effect, that is undetectable. Yes, it does incorporate Dr. Daley's Last Trick, but I would have said it was, "Dr. Daley's Last Sandwich". I am constantly stating that I have enough material, and then something like this comes along and leaves me thinking, "Why don't I perform that effect anymore?" It must be years, since I performed a card to box routine, but I have a sneaky feeling that it won't be years, before I perform it again.
CC Thought Of Card: This is one for the mentalists, but isn't steeped in mystery, so will sit well within the magician's repertoire. A card is thought of, and a wallet is produced, and the thought of card is in the wallet. What more can you ask for, from an effect? A great display of professional audience management and time-misdirection is given here.
GJ Kickback Pick Pack Pocket: Straight to the point here. No messing around. A lovely bit of cheekiness (and a much unused idea, too) thrown in, for good measure, with excellent results. This is impossible!! The impossible card o wallet. A brilliant effect, with an excellent, down-to-earth presentation.
Cash And Credit Card Pickpocket: This is a nice variation on the card to wallet, that introduces that funny stuff - CASH!........... Or does it??? As is now becoming a running theme here, this is to the point, very usable and it does what it says on the tin.......... Or does it???
Wallet Transpo: This is a quick-fire, two wallet, two card transposition effect. I like this effect, because it is apparent to me, that this effect will stay with the spectator for a long time after the performance. Again, it is very direct, very strong and very magical.
John Carey's Signature Transpo: A signature jumps from the back of one card , onto the back of another......................... "Anything else? Oh, yes, the card that the signature jumps to, is the spectator's card, which they previously signed................................. "Anything else? Oh, yes, the spectator's card is in their wallet! This is another smooth effect, that will play very well with your audience. This terminology is used, to purposely keep me away from words like stunning, gob smacking, etc. for fear of pure repetition.
BONUS IDEAS ~
GJ Delusion: This is a very nice presentation of a classic effect. Performed very matter-of-factly, without the need for a table. Believe Gary, when he says that it is a killer effect. This effect is typical, to me, of all of the effects and routines in this trivideology, in that it looks so easy to perform, so strong in effect and content, and will pay highly in rewards, for the time invested into the performance of it.
Touch Card To Wallet: Another one for the mentalists? Without giving the presentation away, a duplicate of a touched card ( from a face-up, spread deck) is found inside the magician's wallet.......... Or is it???...........No, not that again. Okay, it really is in the wallet.
Top Con Control: Quite simply, this is a card control. Quite simply, I like it. Quite honestly, I will be using it.
POCKET THIS - Professional Cards To Pockets Routines.
GJ 6 Cards To Pocket: A fantastic effect. Very strong. Well ahead in principle and a positive addition to the magic plane, known as, 'cards-to-pocket land'. This really is a nice effect. The handling and method, are so in tune with the working magician. The effect is in the title, but the experience is in seeing it happen. A beautifully ordered and routined effect.
CC Cards To Pocket: Chris' 4 signed card to pocket, with the last card travelling to his pocket. This, as with the above deck, is performed without the rest of the deck. This is a very different version to Gary' but no less stunning. This effect will be used by the walleteers amongst us. Maybe this is not the best place to mention this, but in this effect, Chris gets his sausage out (actually, Gary pulls it out, but I have said too much, already).
CC Cards To Pocket- Alternative Ending: This is a nicer ending, for me, but without putting the time into practise, it is difficult to decide which I like the most. But this is my first impression. The thing is, they're so clean and practical, that I feel compelled to try them. The moves are nice and again, you are ahead of your audience, turning what may be considered as a weak spot, into a strength.
GJ Pocket To Pocket: How many times can I say wonderful, beautiful, amazing, strong, smashing, super....? Well, at least one more time, for this effect. This is a very cleverly managed effect, starting with an ambitious card routine, going into a pocket to pocket effect and you can't see the join. This is an excellent addition to any one's ambitious card routine. The card to pocket effect is maximised here, and although it is a fine effect on it's own, it will fit nicely onto the end of your ambitious, giving it crescendo, and a finale.
CC Two Card Transpo: A very nice, quick transposition effect, where Chris introduces a lovely move, which is two moves consecutively performed, but in one movement, or single action. A nice visual change, and a nice additional effect, for any card routine. Again, Chris' sausage is exposed, at the beginning of this effect.
GJ Repeat Signed Cards To Pocket: Another winner! Really strong magic, that will really amaze your audiences. This effect has that (... and here, I apologise in advance, for referring to another commercial effect, but I felt magicians would understand what I meant, more concisely) "Reset" feel to it. I'm not giving anything else away here, besides the fact that it will definitely catch you out.
Top Con Control: Explained on Pseudo Pickpocket, and the only bit of duplication, on all three DVDs, which is weird, for a various versions compilation...???..
CC Jon Carey's Inspired By Lance: If you perform a four of a kind effect, this is a excellent climax, introducing a signed selection. This said, as with all of the effects and routine, this is a complete effect on it's own. It is punchy and direct. The magic is in their hands, under their noses and has been developed with the audience in mind.
GJ's No Sleep Plus: This really is a bonus. Sharp, direct and no way will you see 'it' happen. The original handling of this is shown, which gives you another choice to make, but for fear of being futurely known as, 'The one that gave the surprise away', I will stop there.
In summary, my advice to fellow magicians, is to buy these DVDs. Just buy one, if you want to see for yourself, but I am certain that nobody will own one or two of these DVDs, because once you buy one, I will guarantee you, you will buy the other two. This tridiscology of magic is priced too low, in my honest opinion, but hey, let's get a great deal on magic, for a fantastic price, courtesy of Gary Jones and Chris Congreave. Thank you chaps.
Please do not think that I have not done you a service, as a genuine and honest reviewer, because I haven't listed the negatives, but I have been honest, and as the posts come in, you will all see that I will not be alone in my opinions - guaranteed!
If I was forced to find a real negative, regardless of how slim, then I might bring up a point about the constant exposure of Chris' sausage (I think that in getting his sausage out, early on in the video, but once comfortable with the idea, gained the confidence to expose his sausage, willy-nilly).
The DVDs are available, for £5/$20 each (sausage not included), from: www.workers-corner.co.uk, or from your favourite dealer
© Gary Williams, November 2008