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Mugshot by Kevin Schaller

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Kevin Schaller
Available from your favourite Murphy’s Magic supplier, dealers contact www.murphysmagic.com
Price: £19.99

Mugshot is a DVD containing 6 effects from the creative mind of Kevin Schaller.

The DVD kicks off with a trick called Mask of Insanity. This is a visual penetration of a drinking straw into a soda bottle. The actual method is very clever and it does look great. You do need to watch your angles when performing this but if you are in the right setting this is an eye pleaser. A couple of swtitches would be necessary should you wish to hand everything out at the end….just something to bear in mind.

Next is Snapback. This is a ripped and restored card effect. A selected and signed card has a corner torn from it. Waving your hand over the card it is magically restored and can be handed out for examination. You do need to make up a gimmick in order to perform this, and if you perform it as Kevin does in the trailer you will need a gimmick for every performance as it does ruin it at the end. The explanation for this didn’t actually show the same routine as is on the trailer or performance footage which I found strange. In the actual performance Kevin is seen to be tearing off the corner completely and laying on top of the signed card but in the explanation it is only partly ripped. Nevertheless it is not hard to figure out how to do it by tearing the corner off completely, you will just need to apply a little something to the corner so it doesn’t move around after the restoration.

The third effect on the DVD is called Sham. This shows Kevin drinking from a paper cup using a straw. When he removes the lid of the cup it is seen to be full of salt, there’s no liquid in sight. I’m not sure how practical this would be in the real world but the trick does have a lot of possibilities. One idea would be that you are seen drinking lemonade and when you open the up it has a lemon inside. Again angles are an issue here when removing the lid. The lid also cannot be examined without removing the gimmicked part. It is a clever idea though.

The next three effects all make use a baseball cap. The first, Dark Horse, is where you show the strap section of your cap. In your other hand you have a rubber band. The band is thrown at the cap where it is instantly linked onto the cap’s strap. The strap has to be undone to remove the band. More DIY is involved here but it is simple to make and the effect is very easy to do.

Firearm is next. A signed card reveals itself by shooting out form underneath a baseball cap. This is very simple to make up and is even easier to do. On the DVD it says that it’s optional to have the card signed. To me, signing the card is pretty pointless. The card cannot be examined at the end and it would also mean that you would need to use another unsigned gimmick should you need to repeat the effect.

The final effect of the DVD is Singularity. This effect shows a card pinned to the strap of a baseball cap. Waving you hand over the card it changes to another. I didn’t really like this effect if I’m honest. In performance it looked a bit clumsy, and although the principle is clever I can’t ever see many people performing this.

The DVD is well filmed and has subtitles throughout. I did find the backing music very irritating after as while as it was the same thing on a loop throughout the whole DVD. I ended up turning off the sound. There was a problem with the navigation on the DVD too. When clicking on the teaching section it played the trailer again. The explanations do follow straight on from the performance which meant having to watch the performances again in order to get to the methods. Thankfully though each performance only lasts about a minute so it wasn’t too much of an issue.

Other than Snapback, which could be used in close-up/tablehopping, the DVD is really aimed more at the street performer. All the effects do need to me made up before you can perform them so if you want something you can buy and do the second you open the DVD case then this is not for you. If, however, you like making up gimmicks then this DVD has a lot to offer. Kevin is clearly a very creative person and this shows in the construction of the gimmicks he has come up with.