Over the Edge is Landon Swank’s recent release – the second of of his Complete Control series.
What is it?
This is a 2 hour (well, 1 hour 59 minutes!) DVD and comes with a Bee Deck for you to work with (you can use any deck with an edge to edge design). The DVD explores his simple but powerful technique for edge-marking playing cards. In practise, what this enables you to do, is to know the location of any card in the deck.
It will take you some time to put in the ‘work’ on your deck – and will need an extra tool to do so – easily obtained in a variety of shops. There’s also a clever and sneaky technique for putting a mark in a single card on the fly in the course of a routine with a borrowed deck.
The teaching itself is simply shot – Landon standing behind a card table for the most part. It is largely easy to follow, but I felt it would have benefited from some more close up shots – particularly at the point where he explains the marking system itself.
A key technique with many of the routines is the skill of estimation – working out how many cards down a particular one is. In one sense this is not a ‘difficult’ technique – but in another it requires quite a bit of practise to get good at it. I hope it doesn’t drive you over the edge! He does teach a way to practise this. But a tell-tale comment in his explanation of what to do when you’re out by one gives you a clue as to the level this is pitched at – “Just a simple matter of doing a second deal”… !!
He teaches multiple methods to spot and cut to a particular mark and once this skill is under your belt the world is your oyster. As I’ve already hinted, this is not beginner stuff, but Landon knows what he’s talking about and is a good teacher.
There are some really impressive effects here. From a freely shuffled deck you can locate a named value card in a variety of increasingly impossible ways. It looks like real gambling skill – or real magic! It is a joy to watch Landon perform his material – apparently so effortlessly.
Although he does explain some of the routines in some detail, it is really more about sharing techniques and elements which you can combine into routines that you enjoy. Because most of the routines require some element of ‘jazzing’ in order to perform them – so you will need a degree of confidence and competence with cards to make the most of this.
If you are interested in gambling-demonstrations and effects, then I would suggest this whole series is essential viewing. I’m struck that it would also complement very nicely another recent release – the beautiful Butterfly Marked Deck – which depends on a similar technique.
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.
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