One Man's View: Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot rerelease

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One Man's View: Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot rerelease

Postby erdnasephile » April 20th, 2019, 11:58 am

(I do not wish to mutate into an annoying amateur reviewer of magic items, but I owe Daryl a lot, and I just couldn't pass up a chance to make a comment on this posthumous rerelease of a classic routine.)

I have performed Daryl's great routine for Pavel's "Fantastic Knot", "The Jumping Knot of Pakistan" (appropriately renamed "Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot" after 911), since the late 1980's. After he left us, supplies of the necessary props were a bit hard to come by. Thankfully, I noticed this week that Murphy's Magic Supply has rereleased the trick as part of the new "Daryl Legacy" line of effects.

The current set comes in a handsome shrink-wrapped, foil-stamped magnetic carrying case. Inside are the 2 ropes, 2 knots, and a link and password to the on-line instructions. The case is a big upgrade from the Fooler Doolers paper case , although it is a bit small for my liking. (Why can I never cram things back into the packages from whence they came?)

Props: The supplied props are essentially identical to those provided in the last "Acrobatic Knot" release. The woven rope is much thicker and softer than the original "Pakistan" ropes and the ends are all permanently finished. In addition, the kicker mismatched segment is actually woven directly into the red rope, making the climax even more baffling to anyone who inspects the rope afterwards. The set comes with an extra knot (mine had an extra extra knot for some reason). Finally, a set with yellow and blue colored ropes (Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquets, anyone?) is available as well.

Instructions: Daryl's video instructions are taken from the Fooler Doolers "Acrobatic Knot" release. They are available to download and stream in both standard and high definition. Daryl was a great teacher and the instructions are very detailed and clear and the organization is very well thought out. There is a table of contents at the beginning so that you can fast forward to where you want to go. However, there are no chapter navigation breaks, and unless you have a photographic memory, you'll probably want to print out a screen shot of the table of contents as a reference.

In terms of the routine, Daryl gives a basic and advanced handling. It turns out that Daryl had made a lot of improvements in the advanced routine from the "Pakistan" days (including an additional visible slide (credited to Jack Miller) that fooled me). He offers some very important tips on how to get into the routine and how to get out of the routine (while resetting in front of the audience! Mark of a true pro.) The footage also includes a live performance where you can see Daryl's patter and bits of business. Finally, he describes some bonus ideas, including what he terms as a "risky" move that looks great when it hits. Again, all of this footage was included in the Fooler Doolers version.

Gregory Wilson then offers his variation of Daryl's routine. While I prefer Daryl's routine and presentation, Mr. Wilson's routine is a good example of how a professional adapts an existing effect to her own personality. The one thing I do like about Mr. Wilson's handling is that he delays the jump of the knot to the red rope nearer to the climax of the routine. It just seems to make sense to reserve one of the strongest bits of the routine until the end. Mr. Wilson is also a good teacher, and gives all you need to know to do his version, which requires only slightly more skill than Daryl's. However, both routines are well within the reach of the Intermediate level performer. One of the nice things about the set is that it lends itself to all sorts of personalized handlings and presentations. (Hot tip: Steve Bryant has a great routine with this set of props.)

Conclusions: This is high quality product from the packaging, to the props, to the instructions. Original purchasers from the "Pakistan" days will receive much more than their money's worth (superior prop, an improved advanced routine, Mr. Wilson's routine, and video instructions) which makes this an easy buy recommendation for them. If you already own the last Fooler Dooler's version of the "Acrobatic Knot" (which already included the upgraded rope), I'd suggest checking out Mr. Wilson's routine on the trailer to see if getting the new routine plus a backup set of ropes is worth it to you. (While you could probably dope out Mr. Wilson's handling from the trailer, I'd respectfully suggest that spending the money is the right thing to do if you want to perform it or adapt any of his bits.) .
Finally, I am pleased to see that some of Daryl's other classic routines are being re-released by MMS. His terrific "Ultimate Ambition Improved", and "The Enchanted Cube" (Daryl's handling of Craig Nichols' effect) are already out. I really hope these and future rereleases benefit Daryl's family in a big way.

Perhaps the only downside to this set is that it made me miss Daryl all over again, but it was sure good to watch him in action one more time.

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Re: One Man's View: Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot rerelease

Postby Jack Shalom » April 20th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Hi, nice review. Many thanks. Could you describe the basic effect(s) in the routine?

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Re: One Man's View: Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot rerelease

Postby erdnasephile » April 20th, 2019, 1:49 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Hi, nice review. Many thanks. Could you describe the basic effect(s) in the routine?

Thanks for the kind words, Jack.

Sure, I'd be happy to describe the effects!

In the advanced routine, Daryl shows a white rope and a red rope. He ties the "Amazing Acrobatic Knot" in the white rope. He twirls the white and red ropes together and magicially, the white knot jumps on to the red rope in full view of the audience. He hands the white rope out for examination. He slides the white knot completely off the red rope and then magically throws it back onto the red rope. Daryl slides the white knot again to the other end of the red rope. Finally, for the big finish, he unties the white knot that is on the red rope, revealing that there is a white segement of rope permanently fused into the red rope. This rope is passed out for examination as well. (The basic routine is essentially the last phase of the advanced routine, less some bells and whistles.)

In Mr. Wilson's routine, he throws in a few more single white rope effects up front before he introduces the red rope. He saves the jumping knot effect to a bit later in the routine than Daryl does.

Here's the trailer: which will give you the idea better than I can.

(I should mention: I think Murphy's did right by the prospective buyer with this trialer. It lets you know pretty well what you are going to get without goofy or deceptive edits and no screaming banshees, but it also doesn't expose some of the important finesses and additions you get when you buy the package.)

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Re: One Man's View: Daryl's Amazing Acrobatic Knot rerelease

Postby ljspen » April 20th, 2019, 11:22 pm

Excellent review!
I recently bought a couple sets. One for backup.
Back in the 80’s I bought the Jumping Knots directly from Daryl. I sent him a letter asking if I can buy some of the red rope so I can make some backups. He sent me another set as a backup and said it was on him. Another example showing his generosity.

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