Ollie Mealing - Skip Switch ProjectThis is the latest offering from Ollie Mealing/BBM (you can see our review of Card Constuctions here). I’ve been sitting on this DVD for a while partly because (as you’ll know if you read here regularly) I’m not a ‘movey’ kind of a guy, and partly because I’ve just been a bit busy. I wish I’d got to it quicker!

The Skip Switch is a very clever and clean-looking way of switching a card which is sandwiched between 2 jokers, without it apparently leaving your sight. Cool!

Ollie comes across as a nice guy – not one of those flashy in your face chaps – and I like that. The move is very clearly taught in 5-phases. I have an average level of competence with cards, and it was within my grasp. You probably won’t be doing it immediately (at least not looking as good as Ollie!) but it is not a 24-years of daily study type move either.

How does it look?
Although I am very nervous about disagreeing with living legends like Peter Duffie, I feel I want to qualify something he says. Peter says “Unnatural actions are conspicuous by their absence.” I think this is true of the actual switch move itself but to me the ‘get ready’ feels slightly unnatural. For my money, however, the visual effect is so powerful that this is a worthwhile trade-off, but I have to tell it how I see it.

The routines
BBM never leave you with just a move itself, so the disk includes 11 routines. I’m not going to go into detail on them all but will make a couple of comments.

Firstly, all credit to Ollie’s creativity. There are a whole range of different effects here – with quite different feels to most of them – so this powerfully demonstrates the move’s versatility.

For me, some of the routines are a bit convoluted. Keeping track of what is where and why might be a bit much for a spectator in a typical walk-around type situation (though maybe not in a formal close-up show context). This is particularly true where there are 2 chosen cards to remember and things are swapping places all the time. I personally love the simplicity of ‘Edit the equation’ – but maybe I’m just a bit of a maths geek!

In my opinion, even if you don’t use the routines exactly as they are, there is more than enough food for thought to get you incorporating the move into your own routines.

Anything else to say?
The DVD is well shot – no extraneous noise or distraction. On the subject of noise, I was continually amused by the ‘audience interaction’. Every time Ollie asked for the non-existent spectator to say ‘stop’, the screen would blank and the word ‘STOP’ would appear in the middle of it. Well it made me laugh.

That does highlight for me one thing I would have liked to see – a bit of footage of Ollie performing some of this stuff in the real world to real people.

All in all a neat utility move and plenty of ideas to get you thinking. Good work BBM!

Direct from BBM (£18.49 including p&p in the UK)
MagicShop.co.uk (£18.99 – p&p depends on what else you buy)
DudeThatsCool (£16.99 – p&p depends on what else you buy)

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