REVIEW: The Omen by Chris Congreave and Alakazam Magic
RATING: 9 out of 10
LINK TO REVIEW: http://straighttalkmagicreviews.com/omen/
FULL REVIEW: The Omen by Chris Congreave and Alakazam Magic is a great trick that utilizes a gaffed deck. With Omen, the spectator displays a deck of cards and asks a spectator to name any card in the deck. They do so out loud. Let’s say in this case they named the Four of Clubs. Then the same spectator or another spectator cuts the deck and looks at the card that they randomly cut to. The performer then guesses the card and is right and places it on the table. Ok, not such a big deal, right? Then the performer takes another card out of his pocket and it is the cut-to card, demonstrating that he knew the card that would be cut to. Yes, cool! Then the performer takes the two cut to cards and the Joker (which had been discarded earlier) and turns the 3 cards over and with one word on each card it spell “Four” “Of” “Clubs”. Yes, truly amazing.
With this $40 purchase you get the specially made Omen deck and a 32 minute DVD featuring Peter Nardi and David Loosley. The deck requires a one-time set up which is quick and easy, but requires you to mark the back of some cards with a Sharpie marker. Be careful not to mess up. It is not a complicated set-up. Once the marking up is done, you will need to arrange the cards in a special order. The DVD is not as good as your typical Alakazam Magic video. There is a bit of an echo and the DVD menu is a bit out of order in my opinion. The DVD should start off with a performance, but instead it starts off with an explanation of what you received. If you bought this based upon a recommendation and don’t know the effect, you will not fully understand what you are seeing. It will seem out of context. Nonetheless, the teaching is easy to follow and the trick is easy to learn. Although the taught patter involves the description between a mentalist and a magician, I ditched that for my own. I do not think that lay people appreciate that there is a difference, nor do they care and I think the patter will not be fully understood. Instead, you can just replace the patter with a line that you know what is going to happen before it does. That seems easier to follow and more direct.
As stated above, the trick is excellent, but here are a few drawbacks. First, you cannot repeat the trick to the same audience. Second, you cannot at any time let the spectator handle or inspect the deck. Third, you do need to hold the deck in a way that the performers cannot necessarily see everything you see or you cannot have spectators behind you. With all that being said, the above issues will likely not be a problem for most performers and most spectators. Because the reset is very quick, this is a great trick for strolling gigs so long as you do not fear the tables comparing notes.
Chris Congreave has come up with some killer magic and The Omen fits right into the description. It is direct, powerful and unexpected.