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Mugshot by Kevin Schaller - DVD


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I bought this after seeing it reviewed on the Wizard Product Review. For less than $20 it's a great DVD. I really like the TnR Card routine. The other routines are all workable as well IF they fit your performance style. ...
Date Added: 05/13/2020 by Mario Orsini
The first thing I want to address is the way the video itself is presented. There is nothing spoken at all, ever. There are printed instructions on the screen from time to time, but the soundtrack is a repetitive bit of music that, for me, quickly became annoying. So you can watch the video with the sound muted. You will not miss anything relevant to the tricks. You get six tricks: (1) A plastic straw instantly penetrates a sealed plastic bottle. (2) An elastic band seems to be thrown onto the back of a baseball cap, ending up around the linked plastic bits used to adjust the cap. (3) A cup from which someone was drinking through a clear straw (allowing a clear view that liquid was flowing) is shown to have no liquid at all or to have completely dry powder. (4) A baseball cap is placed over a deck, and cards shoot from the deck. (5) A signed card is torn and then restored. (6) A card attached to the back of a baseball cap is changed--even though the card is later shown to be locked between the two adjustment straps. So those are the effects, and you'll notice that several of them involve baseball caps. There is a significant issue here of whether you'll use any of these. If you frequently wear a baseball cap while performing, then maybe. However, even in that case, you cannot do all of the effects in one performance. They're simply not compatible. Here are my assessments of the effects, using the numbers above. (1) The bottle penetration looks great, and the way it's done is quite creative. I am concerned that the trailer is a bit misleading here. The straw in the bottle can be immediately displayed, but it cannot immediately be held out for inspection. Nor, for that matter, can the bottle with the straw in it. Both of these shortcomings can be overcome, though. The trick requires preparation, and it cannot be performed with a borrowed bottle. (That's true of most bottle-penetration effects I've seen, though.) (2) The elastic band around the straps of the baseball cap looks great, and you end clean. The hat cannot be inspected, but the effect sure looks as if you've caused a solid rubber band to wrap around a completely sealed pair of straps. (3) This trick cannot be done impromptu, and everything, from the straw to the liquid to the cup to whatever is left in the cup must be ready long before the trick is done. Drinking cola from a cup, removing the lid, and showing that the cup contains sugar, flour, or orange soda is pretty impressive, though. (4) I truly dislike this effect. It does not look at all like magic to me. Rather, it looks as if a hat has somehow been rigged to make cards shoot out of it. Spectators may not know how the hat has been rigged, but they'll know that it has. (5) The torn-and-restored card is a good effect. It is done on the top of a deck, but there were two problems for me. First, Daniel Garcia's Torn does essentially the same thing. (That effect is credited, by the way.) Second, I'm not convinced that the effect works too close up. (6) The effect seems good. As I don't wear a baseball cap, though, I wasn't all that interested and did not try it. All of the effects here require set-up or gimmicks that you must make. I was impressed by the creativity that went into thinking the gimmicks up, but that should not be the criterion for buying a trick. In other words, you generally buy tricks so you can perform them, not just to admire the creators' cleverness. For me, the effects I'm most likely to use--the straw through the bottle and the torn-and-restored card--are just variations on effects that have been around for a while. The DVD could benefit from a great more instruction. While the preparation of the gimmicks is clear, issues of performance are given thoroughly inadequate treatment. For example, the torn-and-restored effect utilizes a "writst [sic] kill." While the video shows the wrist kill, there is no real explanation, and someone unfamiliar with the term might not know what exactly a wrist kill is used for, either here or in general. Similarly, the method for ending clean with the bottle presentation is very badly presented, and there is no video of a full performance. There are nice touches, including the presentation of the basic idea behind each effect and credits to previous creators for their ideas, but overall, I found the effects and the presentation underwhelming. ...
Date Added: 05/13/2020 by Phil Mann from Los Angeles
Kevin is my go to guy for creativity and brainpower. I cannot begin to describe how well thought out and easy-to-use these effects are....
Date Added: 07/25/2014 by Danny Weise
These effects fooled me so badly. Two thumbs up!!!
Date Added: 07/25/2014 by Shin Lim
Kevin is an accomplished young creator of magic that has a sense for the current trends and the organically visual....
Date Added: 07/25/2014 by Loki Kross


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