Natural Selections

by David Acer

David Acer is a professional magician and comedian from Canada. Lately, he and fellow crazy person Jay Sankey have been busting up magic conventions across the country. Although this book of routines from David's professional repertoire has been out for a while, it has only just arrived at the review desk. Natural Selections is a wonderful book, and I wanted to make it known to you.

The thirty-one routines in Natural Selections are divided into eight chapters, with the emphasis on close-up magic with cards, coins, bills, business cards, and other miscellaneous items. There are also a few stand-up routines. The quality of the material is uniformly excellent; these are real world routines, designed to be performed under real life conditions.

Here are a few of my favorites: "Lickety Flip" is a flourishy (but not particularly difficult) method for producing a four of kind. One benefit of David's handling is that the cards stay in hands at all times, which makes this perfect for a walk-around situation. "The Camera Never Lies" and "Polaroid" are two routines which allow you to take a mental snapshot of a spectator's card. In "Mini Fusion" a spectator selects a card from a deck which immediately shrinks to mini size. Two miniature cards are then "fused," forming a poker-sized replica of the chosen card. And finally, "Swiss Pack," in which a selected card is shown to be full of holes. The holes vanish from the card and jump to the deck, which now has one large hole going through all the cards.

David offers an excellent routine for the standard Coins from Hand to Glass effect. It's called "Money Flies," and it would be suitable for both stand-up and close-up. "Rink" allows you to link a borrowed finger ring onto the stem of a borrowed pair of glasses. There are three fine routines which use a clever variation of the "100 Dollar Bill Switch," and also a very commercial routine in which Andrew Jackson does some mind reading. The book concludes with two very funny stand-up routines. I especially liked the routine in which the air in the performer's lungs changes places with the air in a balloon. (I know this doesn't make much sense, but it's a great routine.)

I liked this book a lot. If you're looking for commercial magic, this book should be in your library. Excellent material, well explained, and fun to read. (In fact, I laughed out loud several times.) Highly recommended.

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