Off the Cuff

By Gregory Wilson

Greg Wilson, [NOTE TO STAN: please put a footnote "1" here, and at the bottom of the page put the following footnote: Not that Greg Wilson, the other Greg Wilson.] the creator of the Stockholder wallet, has another fine offering with this video of impromptu magic. In a 90-minute live lecture setting, Greg explains a dozen routines using coins, rubberbands, pens, sugar packets, dollar bills, spoons, finger rings, and business cards. In addition to the complete routines which are explained, Greg also offers some extremely useful utility stratagems, which can be used with any small objects.

The tape begins with "Something for Nothing," a coin routine which uses the production from Harkey's "Body Language" as its opening phase. This is followed by "The All Around Vanish," which is a method for completely vanishing a small object. This vanish appeals to me a great deal since it depends on acting and attitude for its success. "Pitch and Ditch" is another utility move which allows you to turn your pants pocket into an impromptu Topit. The move can be used to change a small object into another small object. The coin segment of the tape concludes with "Coin under Watch," in which a coin vanishes three times; it appears twice under the magician's watch, and the third time it appears under the spectator's watch.

"Recap" is an excellent multi-phase routine using a Bic pen. This would be a worthy addition to anyone's impromptu repertoire. If you have the Paul Harris Art of Astonishment books, you can find this routine in Volume One.

Other routines on the tape include handlings for Dan Harlan's "Traveling Cash" and Michael Weber's "Offhand Penetration." There is a routine for "Ring on Spoon," and several different routines using balled-up dollar bills. (Some of these routines require lapping.) The tape ends with an explanation of "Hostile Takeover," a trick which uses business cards. (If you'd like a taste of Greg's style, you can find this trick in the Theory in Practice section of the December 1996 issue of MAGIC.)

Greg's explanations are clear, if not particularly concise. This video was shot live at a lecture, consequently there is a "looseness" which is probably appropriate for a lecture, but which may be slightly distracting to you watching at home. On the other hand, you might enjoy feeling as if you were actually attending the lecture. This small quibble aside, I think you'll find that this video provides you with several useful routines and techniques, none of which are beyond the skill of the average magician. Recommended.

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