Ready, Set, GuastaferrO (Ebook) by John Guastaferro $19.95
59 pages, 33 photographs
Available at: www.MagicJohnG.com
Here we have the latest ebook from that clever card conjurer John Guastaferro.
The author writes well and does a fine job of teaching the material. He includes his patter for each effect. He dutifully provides appropriate crediting.
The photographs are clear and helpful.
The majority of the effects require an intermediate level of pasteboard prowess.
Invisible Opener: The performer asks three participants to pretend that they are holding a stack of hundred dollar poker chips, an invisible deck of cards, and two rubber bands. He asks the participant holding the invisible deck to mime turning any card face-down in the deck. He asks another participant to mime wrapping her rubber bands around the invisible deck.
The performer causes several of the invisible poker chips to become visible and then vanishes them. He leaves one visible chip with a participant. He causes the rubber-banded deck to become visible. He removes the deck from the case and spreads it to reveal the participants mentally selected card reversed in the deck. He then performs a penetration effect with the rubber bands.
I really like effects in which the performer magically produces his props, instead of merely removing them from his pocket. However, I have one criticism of the Mr. Guastaferros construction of this effect. Following the Invisible deck and closing the routine with Crazy Mans Handcuffs is a bad idea. While Mr. Guastaferro provides an adequate presentational segue, the Invisible Deck is a much stronger effect than Crazy Mans Handcuffs, period. It should be the closer.
Apart from that structural tweak, I like it.
RWB: The performer spreads a red-back deck face-up and a participant freely selects a card. The backs of the cards, except the selection, change to blue. Then the back of the selected card changes to blue. As an optional kicker, the faces of the deck are shown to be blank.
This is a well constructed effect. I like it.
Mr. E. Returns: A participant holds a face-down card which represents a magic wand. A second participant freely selects and signs a card which is lost in the deck. The first participant waves her card over the deck. The performer turns over the top card of the deck revealing the selection. He tables it face-down.
The performer places Jokers, representing the white tips of a wand, on the top and bottom of the magic wand card. He covers the tabled selection with his hand and the first participant waves her magic wand over it. The performer lifts his hand, revealing that the selection has vanished. The participant removes the face-down card from between the Jokers and discovers the selected card.
This is a creative handling of Brother John Hammans The Signed Card. The white-tipped magic wand presentation provides a palatable rationalization for placing two cards around the mystery card. I like it.
Spectral: A participant deals three small piles of cards onto the table. She freely chooses any pile, remembers a card within it and loses her card by assembling the piles into one packet. The performer takes the packet, pretends to remove an invisible card and hands it to the participant. The performer turns the cards in the packet face-up, revealing that the selection has vanished. He looks at the invisible card and correctly identifies the selection.
The performer deals cards into a face-up row and the participant places her invisible card face-down into the row. She squares the cards and then spreads them again. One face-down card is seen in the spread. The participant turns it over and discovers her card.
This is a strong, fun, surprising effect. I really like it.
Centerfold: The performer tables a folded, paper clipped index card. A participant selects and signs a card. The performer removes the paper clip, unfolds the index and reveals that he correctly predicted the selection. The performer refolds and paper clips the index card. He opens the index card again and the signed selection is found inside.
If you crave to perform a signed card to wallet effect, but some atavistic creep slapped you around stole your wallet, this is the effect for you. I like it.
Twist of Fate: The performer places the Eight of Clubs on top of the Jack of Hearts. The top card represents a value and the bottom card represents a suit. A participant freely selects a card sight unseen and places it face-down between the other two cards. The unknown card is turned face-up and it is the Eight of Hearts.
The selection is replaced between the two cards. The participant reverses the order of the cards so that the Jack of Hearts is on top and the Eight of Clubs is on the bottom. She removes the selection and discovers that it has changed into the Jack of Clubs.
This is another well constructed effect. I like it.
Bound to Triumph: A card is freely selected and lost in the deck. The performer mixes the deck into a face-up/face-down mess and secures it with a rubber band. A participant covers the deck with both hands. She releases pressure and her selection protrudes from the banded deck.
The performer removes the rubber band and spreads the deck, revealing that all of the cards are now facing the same way.
Mr. Guastaferro has cleverly combined J. C. Wagners Bandorama with Triumph to produce this strong, eerie effect. The participant will squeal when she feels the cards moving between her hands. I really like it.
Untouchable: A card is freely selected and lost in the deck. Several participants mix the deck into a face-up/face-down mess. A participant spreads the deck and discovers that the cards are face-up, except for one card. She turns the card face-up and it is her selection.
The participants do most of the work (including a Half Pass!) and the scrumptious Jennings/Goodwin display provides the conviction. I like it.
Inside and Out: Two participants freely select cards which are lost in the deck. One participant shuffles the deck. The other participant verifies that the card case is empty and then closes the flap. The performer retrieves the card case, opens the flap and removes one selection.
The performer shows the card case empty and places the deck inside. The second participant cups her hands beneath the card case. The performer taps the top of the card case, causing the second selection to penetrate the case and fall into the participants hands.
This effect is impromptu and can be performed in the hands. I like it.
Triple Pocket Discovery: Three cards are freely selected and lost in the deck. The performer turns the top card of the deck face-up, revealing the first selection. He turns it face-down and places it in his pants pocket. The performer rubs the outside of his pants pocket and the first selection melts through the fabric and appears under his hand.
After a participant shuffles the deck, the performer retrieves it and pushes the top card of the deck against the outside of his pants pocket and covers it with his hand. The card penetrates his pants fabric and the performer removes the second selection from his pocket.
The performer places the deck in his pocket. He removes it and one card is protruding from the center of the deck. He reveals that it is the third selection.
This effect features a whole lotta magic and the authors clever handling lets you get way ahead. I really like it.
Assembly Line: The performer removes the four Jacks from the deck. Four participants are given a quarter of the deck to hold. The performer inserts a Jack into each participants packet. The fourth participant turns the top four cards of his packet face-up and discovers the four Jacks.
This appealing effect involves numerous participants and requires no table. I like it.
Pickpocket Aces: The performer loses the four Aces in the deck. He reaches into a participants pocket and removes one Ace. The performer removes the second Ace from his pocket. The participant removes the third Ace from his pocket. The performer covers the deck with his hand. The deck vanishes, except for the final Ace.
This is another fun, powerful effect. I really like it.
Mr. Guastaferros ebook is filled with strong, commercial material. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I look forward to his future offerings.