John van der Put Lecture
Zodiac Magical Society
9th July 2008
Reviewed by Dan Alexander
I don't normally go to magic lectures as I tend to walk away with 'interesting' things I will never use, sleights variations, handlings, colour changes suitable for a one eyed giant etc. I know John is a worker though, so I thought it would be worth a try.
I arrived late due to a previous commitment but the first thing I saw was worth the trip I had made. To describe it as a signed card and signed note to envelope in wallet would be technically correct but highly deceptive. This masterpiece (which has clearly been a staple effect for John over the years) is; resettable, packs small plays big, multipliciously climactic, angle proof, high impact and low faff (few moves and very commercial), has a kicker, and is like having a red button in your pocket called "applause". It really is that good, and on top of that it's been honed to perfection, with John tipping all of the subtleties, caveats, nuances and the "what to do ifs".
I lose track of the times I have heard or read 'worth the price of the DVD alone' but it is infinitely true here. As well as that John tips his method for opening up envelopes (for card in envelope) which doesn't require a kettle, can be done anywhere and is very quick (takes around 3 or 4 seconds). Finally on this, if you are working in an environment where you receive tips, this routine would probably double or triple what you are currently taking.
The other thing that stood out to me was John's Thought of Card Under Box. This effect is very powerful magically but is also so easy to do, I tried it the next day (with no practice) and fried an audience. HIGHLY recommended.
The rest of the lecture was peppered with great effects as well as a performance only of VDP, John's signature effect in which a signed (by spectator) card changes quarter by quarter into a totally different card whilst retaining the signature (great top table material). But the highlights for me were definitely the two tricks above, because I know I WILL use them. Another worthy note is John's comments throughout on general performing, its always worth hearing a professional share their own wisdom and John is no exception.
In closing, not just something for everyone in this but something GOOD for everyone. I saw wonderful material for a working pro, beginner, geeky hobbyist, hardcore sleight of hand techie, and more. Perhaps this is because John is all but one of the above list. One of the best lectures I have ever seen at a magic club.
© Dan Alexander, August 2008