Reviewer: Maarten Bosmans
In this newest At the Table lecture, an Albany born and raised magician Jason Ladanye with a New York City accent shows of his impeccable skills as a card player. A couple of years ago, Jason released his book, Confident Deceptions, which was released by Vanishing Inc. This book received great reviews. After seeing this lecture I can see what all the fuss was about. He is soon going to release his new book, Game Changer. The book will be finished in 2017 and available through all magic dealers. Be sure to check it out!
In this three-hour and ten minute lecture you will learn 6 tricks. Jason opens the lecture the way I like it doing all six effects in one sitting. It really gives you the feeling of a spectator participating in Jason’s show.
The effects are marvelous and when you master them, you’ll be perceived as a god with cards ;-). I will first discuss one of the most important reasons this lecture is well worth US$7.95. In this lecture, Jason discusses intensively on how he creates a character, writing scripts, finding new patter in each session, etc. These are the tools a real magician or mentalist should master.
He also talks a lot about movement and actions in your set and how to choreograph them seamlessly and how to find the right balance in between them. These nuggets of information are much more valuable and will make you become a better magician than any trick he teaches.
Simply put: These tricks are INCREDIBLE! In the future, I wish to master these effects and put them in my close-up set. I am going to buy his next book for sure because I want to know a lot more from Jason Ladanye. I do more mentalism, but I can learn a lot from what Jason teaches.
Let’s talk about tricks. (Wasn’t that a Salt-N-Pepa song?)
The first effect is something really nice. In Nick of Time, the magician locates 8 cards in 60 seconds. It is an effect that makes brilliant use of a stopwatch. He creates the suspenseful moment in a movie when there’s a ticking time bomb. I love the discussion on the whys and the hows of this effect during the explanation.
The second effect is a card-tracking effect called, A Numbers Game where he finds the selected card whilst tracking the position of the cards in a shuffled deck. Then in the second half of the demonstration, he moves any card to any number.
There are really beautiful gambling routines in the lecture that will slay an entire audience. He does a poker routine called, The Big Stack where the performer stacks Kings, Queens, and Aces. There’s also a routine called, Game Changer where you play a simple two-card game. I just love these poker/money/bet routines because this puts the audience attention level on high alert. The audience loves these routines because you create real suspense because you’re putting your own money on the line. Jason plays these themes really well and we can all learn from how he creates his magic.
The last effect in the lecture is called, Lucky Charms which is based on an old Darwin Ortiz effect called, Dream Card. Here a folded card that is in view the entire time from a different pack ends up being the spectator selected and signed card.
In closing, I am not the best close-up card magician you will ever see and I also have no intention of being that person—but after seeing this lecture I understand what it takes to become better skilled in not only card magic, but also presentation. It is a great lecture that I urge everybody to see. It doesn’t matter what type of magic you do. I think every magician can learn something from this lecture.
I give this lecture a 10/10. They keep finding the right magicians at Murphy’s Magic! 🙂
BONUS INTERVIEW WITH JASON LADANYE
1.How do you create your performing persona?
I don’t think there are precise rules when it comes to character. But I can share my process. Ask yourself a few questions. What type of magic appeals to me? What look appeals to me? What types of jokes make me laugh? What types of characters in movies do I like? Examine all these things closely. Make lists. For example, here’s how I’d answer these questions:
I like card tricks, gambling demos, cardsharks, cons and scams.
I like confidence, well-dressed, neat, tailored suits, expensive things.
I love sarcasm, dry humor, dark humor.
James Bond, Tony Stark, Bill Mahar, Bruce Wayne.
Combine what you like from each answer and that will start you down the path to creating your own character. You can change up the questions. You can make the lists longer. Just get your brain thinking about how you can incorporate these things into your own persona. If you watch me perform a card trick, you can see I touch upon everything I listed in my answers. This is not something you can do overnight or in even a few months. I’m always adding to my character and will continue to do so with each performance I do. It took me 15 years or so to develop my own character.
- How do you practice sleights and scripts?
I practice anywhere from 1-2 to 4-6 hours pretty much everyday. I don’t force myself to do this, I really just enjoy fine tuning my magic. Magic is my full-time job which allows me to practice as often as I please. I take breaks just like any other job. But at the end of the day, it feels great to see progress. The more you practice, the faster you see results. As for technical things, I practice them in my card room over and over for a certain amount of time. I put on some good music and time flies. For scripts, I can practice them while I’m away from the card table. I workout and run almost daily. During an hour run I can run through full scripts. In about a week or so I can commit a new script to memory.
- What is your favorite card effect and why?
This is an impossible question to answer. It’s like asking what my favorite movie or song is. It’s too difficult to narrow it down to one. So, here are a few. Any new-deck order closer will always be a favorite. I have invented five or six “NDO” effects. In mine, I always show the deck completely mixed or incorporate spectator shuffles. This leads to an amazing climax when you show the deck in new-deck order! (Look for an effect called, Liar Liar in my latest set of notes and my next book, Game Changer. The deck is shown face up three times and the cards are clearly mixed. At the end the cards are in full NDO.)
I’m also a huge fan of proposition bet effects. They’re so much fun to perform. I usually teach a game that seems impossible for the spectator to lose. I bet money and give them tremendous advantages, and yet they just can’t win. These effects are always hilarious and it’s always fun to be interactive with your audience.
And finally, impossible location type effects. My favorite effects are anything that makes an audience gasp with shock. Consistently, a signed card to wallet, or card to key case (or anywhere really) always hits an audience hard.
So, those are my favorite tricks. I could never nail it down to just one effect because I’d change my mind based on my most recent performance. In short, I like any effects that leave my audiences in shock, regardless of the plot.