Studio52 Presents: London Underground
What happens when you get 5 absolute masters of their individual arts in a studio together in downtown London, fill it with lager, and point a camera at it? This. This is what happens. And all we can say is... you're welcome.
Over 6 hours of performance, teaching and discussion covering the hyper-visual magic of social media, convention-favourite magician foolers, million dollar stakes at the blackjack table and some of the best card magic ever to come out of the UK.
London Underground is your backstage pass to get up close and personal with 5 titans of the London scene.
From Luke Oseland
The one that took social media by storm, the Lit Vanish is the slow motion, upwards vanish of a lit candle, where the flame hovers in mid-air before melting into nothing.
A highly visual, instant penetration of a rubber band through the fingers of a closed fist. Also includes colour changing rubber bands.
The visual - and audible - penetration of a signed coin into a borrowed can.
Card to Condom
…or pack of Skittles. At the fingertips handling using a little-used concept that visually changes one for the other.
Coffee Cup Counterbalance
A number of presentations concerning the tensegrity principle.
The reformation of a sugar cube from a sugar packet, performed at the fingertips. Luke teaches a number of effects possible with this technique, including Sugar through Table and 3 Fly with Sugar.
How Luke Creates. In a lightning-fast 30 second blitz, Luke demonstrates where his mind goes when creating, his process and the tricks he uses to come up with… uh, tricks.
From Christian Grace
The Knowing Principle
A combination of techniques that will absolutely change the way you perform tricks already in your repertoire. Psychological nuances, ingenious handlings, cunning mechanics and a devious approach combine to allow two freely chosen cards from a shuffled deck to be extracted from the minds of spectators.
With one of the most startling kickers we’ve seen in a long time, this display of card tracking does the impossible - four random face-up cards change into the selection and its mates - a card that had been cut repeatedly into the deck. We would have happily paid the price of admission if this was the only delight Grace brought to the table.
Yours is the Word
One of Christian’s favourite pieces - and the actual trick he performed for his Magic Circle exam that almost got him thrown out of the room. In a stunning role reversal, a spectator divines the word previously written on a folded card that’s been in view the whole time. A truly devious marvel.
From Jack Tighe
Several Second Wonder
An Ace Cutting procedure taking inspiration from Gary Oullet and Father Cyprian, which allows the placement of the aces in a shuffled deck to be memorised and immediately cut into packets. Featuring Jack’s handling of a lift shuffle and discrepant turnover that does without the hassle of the zarrows, injogs and slipcuts usually found in these types of routines.
Technique - Broken Spread Force
A technique that attempts to improve on a Marlo handling, providing more utility to its use - allowing a selection with an incongruent back to be forced unseen during a natural display of the cards.
Technique - Broken Spread Control
A method to create a key card on the fly in the process of having a selection freely chosen, allowing you to dribble, spread, square and instantly control the chosen card without any breaks.
Good Will Hunting
If Irving Quant’s ‘Carousel’ can be described as having ‘almost no sleight of hand’, Jack’s take on the 4 card transposition honouring that effect can be said to occur ‘essentially without hands’.
Jack plays around with Emotional Reaction to create an absolute magician fooler from a borrowed and shuffled deck.
An ace cutting routine where packets are thrown to the table in a revolution of the hands, cutting to each ace in turn. This is one of those effects that really has to be seen - because if Jack couldn’t describe it enough to put in a book - we’ve got no chance of doing it here.
Technique - Do Nothing Key
A technique to control a spectator peeked card during a shuffle, making it easy to retrieve at any point.
Technique - Stripped Bottom Stock Control
A deceptive method for controlling the bottom stock of cards during a strip shuffle.
Now You Don’t
Jack updates ‘Now you See it’ from Royal Road - and in doing so teaches a very natural looking glimpse and sets you up for a surprisingly subtle equivoque… or not-so-subtle slap revelation - revealing the selection - where moments before there were clearly only random cards.
Technique - Gesture Spread Control
Jack presents his work on a hidden gem of Jean Hugard's, turning an easy control to the bottom into a peek, a setup for a key and a shuffle control.
Technique - The Safety Shuffle
Jack’s improvement on Dan Garrett’s improvement on G. W Hunter’s improvement on John T. Halloran’s false shuffle from 1910. There’s probably more credits we could list here, but really, 4 levels of inception is enough.
Magician and professional Black Jack player Steven Bridges sits down (stands up) with Ben Earl to discuss the relationship between card gambling and magic, how he keeps getting thrown out of US casinos thanks to the doppelganger effect, and what happens when you gamble with hundreds of thousands of pounds of someone elses money. During the discussion, Steven teaches his method of basic card counting of a 6 deck shoe with multiple Blackjack hands on the table - just as he would when sitting at a casino.
If you take nothing else from this whole video series, you’ll still feel you got the better side of the deal with this gem alone. As impossible as the impossible card location gets. An absolute magician fooler where they shuffle, they cut, they peek a card - and they shuffle again til their heart’s content. Yet you still pull their chosen card out of the deck. There’s nowhere to hide in this convention backroom favourite.
The Stop Trick
A delectable piece of theatre wrapped in a mental guise, a question of causality. Does a reaction that follows an action occur because of that action? It’s The Matrix’s ‘Don’t worry about the vase’ - with a sharpie and a deck of cards.
A four card production of a different sort, where a spectator attempts each production themselves - to be shown that it’s the performer’s superstition alone that allows him to triumph.
Pull a seat up at the card table as Luke, Christian, Jack, Stephen and Ben talk and jam freely for over 80 minutes. This is the sort of invitation-only, hangout session that happens backstage at conventions around the world, between some of the greatest modern thinkers in magic.