Chairs and other gems from Bill Abbott Magic.

bill-abbott-about-sliderI was very impressed by a recent release from Bill Abbott Magic and I want to take this opportunity to give you a heads up about it. It is a beautifully prepared book/DVD that covers the classic ‘stunt’ where four spectators are seated on four chairs onstage, then lean backwards onto each other laps before the chairs are removed one at a time. The spectators remain in a ‘human sculpture onstage in the most amazing formation. The effect is very appropriately marketed under the name “Chairs,” although it is the spectators that always remain the prime focus to the audience.

If you have never seen the stunt performed then it is really tough to describe exactly how amazing it looks. In the “One picture/Thousand words spirit” I would suggest you click your way to Bill’s site www.billabbottmagic.com and watch his video trailer of “Chairs.” It is a really stunning piece of theatre, not only amazing but really funny at the same time. With nothing less than absolute honesty Bill points out that there may be no other way to practically guarantee a standing ovation without even traveling a single prop! With a pleasant economy of words Bill neatly sums it up, “Nothing packs smaller. Nothing plays bigger.”

The routine is one of Bill’s Pro packages and was developed, perfected and released by Steve Seguin. The cost of the routine is $100 dollars and I had a payment in Bill’s hands prior to the release of the trick. A few days later I received the book and DVD and can honestly say I was delighted with it. The routine is covered in the kind of detail and thoroughness that puts Abbott in the very top league of magic dealers. I will be performing this routine, which does leave a certain part of my brain wondering why I am promoting it here!

I have been very impressed by many of the releases from BAM (Bill Abbott Magic!) and I can honestly say he has become something of a guru for meScreen-Shot-2013-04-04-at-11.52.54-AM as I develop my own online magic business. The material he releases is practical, audience tested, commercial and perfect for any performer looking for top notch ‘put in the act’ ready material, The magic marketplace is filled with releases that are bright ideas that have never fully been developed into show ready routines. Avoiding this pitfall seems to have been a major part in Abbott’s game plan. Bravo, this is a website that magicians should explore very thoroughly.

The first routine that I received from Bill was his “”Shot & Stabbed effect and like many of my other trick was purchased for me by my wife Susan, who has a very fine eye for a strong magic effect. The basic effect reminded me a lot of Roy Johnson’s insanely overlooked card stab but with a wonderful extra punch. It was so appealing that I instantly ordered a second one—my standard proceedings with any effect that I actually plan on using.

Other gems that I discovered in Bill’s product list included “Smart-Ass,” “Celebrity Smart-Ass,” “The Sting” and “GPS” Chris Funk’s rather brilliant non-card handling of the Tossed Deck. While I am deeply entrenched in my own handling of the Gypsy Thread, I was also very impressed by the Peter Samelson version of this classic effect entitled “Heartstrings.” All of these are really fine releases and each could find a place in any commercial act very beneficially. The detailed instructions that are a constant feature of Abbott’s Pro Package line makes it an easy job to master the necessary subtleties and get the effect ready to perform smoothly with minimal time and fuss.

starbillI want to give a special shout out to “Cabaret Card Magic” a really neat $25 book that you might easily overlook on the web site with its bland title. Featured inside this oversized and highly compacted book is some great information, invaluable tips and techniques and three stone cold killer routines. There is pretty much an entire and very strong act included within its covers for the enterprising performer. With a deck of cards, and a couple of other items in your pocket it is possible to really entertain a contemporary audience with what you learn in “Cabaret Card Magic.”

This is the first time I have waxed lyrical about a magic line in any of my columns and I do it after some careful though. While cherry picking a trick or two from an online resource is certainly possible (though not always as easy as one would hope,) to find an entire magic line of commercial and well-produced items is an extremely rare and exciting find.

My first mentor was the great Ken Brooke who had the distinction of being a magic dealer who was so discriminate in his selection and handling of his magic releases that many of his clients just bought one of everything he released without needing to enquire what it was. Bill Abbott is striving for, and achieving, that same high-level consistency, and all of us performers get to reap the benefits of his actions.

Check out the product line at http://www.billabbottmagic.com and while you are there sign up for his blog—it has a wealth of great free advice in it. I have been a full time pro-magician for 45 plus years and I frequently find myself impressed by the insights I pick up from it.

~ by Nick Lewin on August 7, 2014.

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