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Decks and Deceptions by Brent Braun
The Transpo on there is one of my favorites and is a pretty nice one,.. IF you're working with cards on a table. I will definitely give it a go the next time I actually have some table space to work with.
His "Triumph" routine, I would give a 2 star rating. Not that it's bad, it's just another Triumph routine to add to the couple hundred I know already. This one is nothing special and the kicker ending didn't seem to have any motivation. His thinking is solid and seems to work well for him, but it's not something I'd ever use.
The "Torched & Restored" Routine is great, and when you have the situation to perform "Bullseye" with a dart board, then it's killer. I'm a bit disappointed that they were included in the "7 Routines" considering I have owned the Torched & Restored" download for quite some time which I already spent money on, as well as the "Bullseye" DVD so in my opinion this material was filler and could have been replaced with something newer, or even left out completely. 5 routines and a couple sleights for the $20 would have been just fine. $39.95 though???? For some of the same old material released on individual productions?? Um,.. NO!!!
There is a "Thought of Card" routine on there that again is solid, but to put it in perspective, it's in reality a combo of some completely time tested and honored routines that have no reason to be put together, they are perfect the way they are in their original form, and let me add the fact that Vernon's original approach to Out of Sight, Out of Mind, is so powerful when done correctly that there's no need to make so-called "improvements", NOR does it require any fishing. I understand altering for personal touches and routining, to have your own structure that fits you,.. However, there's just no need to fix things that aren't broken. Don't get me wrong here please! I'm not knocking it, it's a great routine, it's just not for me.
His ACAAN, is a 3 star effect. It requires a switch in, and switch out, unless you're using it as a stand alone piece. Again, there are so many great approaches to this plot, that this one is not something I'd ever use, and I can't lie to you all by claiming that it's at all practical, it's not. Unless you're on stage or parlor, AS BRENT STATES (I commend him for his honesty. And although I think I could figure out a way to lose the table and do it standing in the hands, it's just not a good enough variation of ACAAN to put that effort into it.
Ball through table, again, severely situational and totally impractical. If you can find yourself in that situation, and you happen to have a pair of balls necessary (no pun intended) then yay, take your one opportunity you may ever have to try it out.
There are a couple decent sleights and tips taught that some people may find useful. I did not, because I'm no beginner.
Overall, this download was not terrible, It was quite good for the most part, just terribly impractical. And nothing new, some of it was literally repeated from other published effects previously released here on Penguin. Shame is that I was excited due to the previous work put out by Brent, and that part was a let down.
Quote from the description:
Perfected over 10 YEARS of working in the loudest, most chaotic venues.
"If you work at all in demanding circumstances, you're gonna appreciate what a godsend this is." -Jack Carpenter
Brent Braun is the real deal. He works in the TOUGHEST venues. Loud, chaotic bars. He needs visual, POWERFUL tricks that blow the roof off.
These are the some of the only environments I perform in personally, and I just don't see the connection. Most of the material here requires a table, and much of it requires verbal interaction that is just not that simple, and sometimes even impossible in "loud, chaotic" places. Maybe if you're a bartender working behind the bar like Doc Eason or something, but when you're in chaotic places, Most of these effects would not fly! Some wouldn't even be able to be communicated properly to set your atmosphere. With the exception of "Bullseye" and "Torched & Restored". Which again, I already owned for a while now and didn't need to purchase again!
Sorry if any of this seems harsh, and I really do enjoy much of the material, but I can't help being honest!
I purchase a lot from Penguin, but I'm beginning to lose trust. It seems sometimes you guys will endorse anything just to put it out for sale, and I'm getting a bit weary f it lately. Sorry Penguin, you're still my favorite dealer and I love you guys, but some of your one-off productions are lacking luster for me lately.
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