There was an old advert that proudly proclaimed ‘it does what it says on the tin.’ The Jar is something like that! The Jar is a Jar. But with this innocent looking prop you can effect a clever switch which opens up a whole range of close up and mental magic. Let’s get into the review.
In addition to the jar itself and a few extra bits which may be of use in different routines, you are also provided with a DVD which teaches all you need to know.
Garrett Thomas introduces Kozmo who’s idea it is and in discussion they explore the development of the idea and teach various routines.
The first main routine taught is a card routine. Briefly, a folded card is placed in the jar; a spectator chooses and signs a card which is placed in the card box; a 2nd spectator chooses a card and loses it in the deck. In an instant the 2nd card is found in the card box and the 1st card, impossibly, is found trapped in the jar. This is a great routine with lots of magic. A brilliant feature of the way this routine is put together, is that if you’re scared of a Mercury Card Fold you can do it right out of sight! (You could easily apply this thinking to any other ‘impossible location’ effect you perform). 10 minutes of explanation covers all you need to know about this routine. You will need to supply a deck of cards and a duplicate.
A simple Confabulation routine is taught. This is the classic routine where multiple pieces of information are predicted in advance. Scott Tokar teaches this and it is nice to see his performance in a trade show setting. The explanation is brief (about 8 minutes) but covers the basic routine and some nice subtleties which strengthen an already great effect.
The third major routine is a Coin Routine by Garrett Thomas. He emphasises that this is more of a starting point than a fully formed routine. It is a series of moves where coins travel to and from and through the jar. There are lots of ideas here to get you started with, but I much prefer the mentalism and card possibilities. Whatever floats your boat.
The rest of the DVD spends time exploring the jar itself and principles (10 minutes) and a series of variations on the ‘switch’ (16 minutes). The method means a certain ‘unnaturalness’ in unavoidable – however there are some very innocent ways of doing this, and they discuss the various possible ‘problem’ moments. A further 7 minutes explores possible other uses. There are a few good ideas here which may stimulate further thoughts.
Anything that jars?
The jar itself is extremely Innocent looking and (with very tiny restrictions) is examinable. It is more or less angle-proof and easy to use. As a walkaround performer, I would have to carefully assess the amount of pocket space it would take up. However, you could, possibly, put other props in the jar and even carry it separately and place it on the table as you arrive.
There’s lots I like about this, but the bottom line for me is do we actually need another switch device? If you’ve got no similar devices then this would be worth a look. I does feel a little bit pricey for something you could fairly easily put together yourself. But on the other hand, the size and shape of the jar is quite carefully chosen to work well for what it does.
I do like this, and I really like the routining of the card effect. The real selling point for me is that it is a recognisable (and so innocent) item which may raise fewer suspicions from your spectators. Probably worth a punt.
The Jar is available from the Merchant of Magic for £48.99 (at the time of writing).
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.
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