This is one of three videos by Roberto Giobbi that is as part of a larger product called "Favorites" on DVD, which features Giobbi performing and teaching a series of three effects for each of three highly respected creators of card magic of the past: Dai Vernon, Alex Elmsley, and Frank Garcia. You can either get this as a separate digital download, or pick up all three as a combined set on DVD. All three videos, including this one, give you access to a digital download which is around 65-70 minutes in length, and about 600-800MB in size. The production quality is excellent, with high resolution camera work, good visuals, and clear sound. Where necessary there are camera close-ups, and even an over-the-shoulder view so that more difficult sleights can be easily followed. The first 10-15 minutes features Giobbi performing a routine of three effects that he's chosen, and which he has carefully connected and constructed into a mini-routine, followed by a careful explanation.
Frank Garcia left behind two more significant works - Super Subtle Card Miracles (1972) and Million Dollar Card Magic (1973). But as Mr Giobbi points out, in doing so he was often standing on the shoulders of the giants who preceded him, heavily borrowing from their work, and without always providing the kind of carefully documented attribution that we expect from creators of magic today. The Frank Garcia tricks Giobbi selected are not as strong as the ones chosen from Vernon and Elmsley, although in the right context they certainly will leave spectators gobsmacked. The first of these, "A Lady Up My Sleeve", takes its cue from the well-known expression "I have an Ace up My Sleeve", and is presented as an exercise of the Aces magically and impossibly appearing wherever the magician states they will - naturally this includes the magician's sleeve.
"Ace Faroleros" sees the four Aces being produced in different ways, with a final twist occurring when they turn to Queens.
The final trick of this trilogy is "A Surprise Package", which is a remarkable effect involving a sandwiched signed card that impossibly travels from between one set of queens to another. Giobbi notes that he's personally not that fond of sandwich effects, but this is his own favourite in the genre, and he's seen it generate many strong reactions in performing it many times.
I would give Roberto Giobbi's teaching in these videos the highest praise. He is incredibly articulate, has deep respect for his sources, and has a real gift for analyzing and explaining the small nuances that are essential for the construction of strong magic. It's very obvious that he is a clever and deep thinker that gives careful thought to every aspect of his magic. His teaching approach encourages both creativity and personalization, and doesn't just help us learn magic, but understand what makes it work. The explanation helps one appreciate how carefully constructed Giobbi's routines are, both technically and presentationally, in view of all the subtleties he has built in!
So what kinds of things might you learn? Let me give some examples of the gems that he shares in this video about Frank Garcia:
- the importance of language and what it communicates in subtle ways (hence the preferred diction: "choose a card")
- subtle language to use when spectator returns a card to deck to avoid him placing in wrong spot
- simple 'outs' when classic force fails
- a nuanced handling (and sleight of tongue!) for the double undercut
- the concept of 'actus interruptus' where you rewind and repeat in order to erase the first occurrence from your spectator's memory
- useful ways of revealing a selection
- how to manage and associate visual information and spaces, in order to obtain a more powerful effect and a safer secret that is harder to penetrate by the intelligent mind
- the need to have motivation for all elements of trick construction, and to justify your actions
There is some relatively easy material here, but there are also routines here that require advanced card-work. They are absolutely lovely to watch, and Giobbi's own sleights and technical ability are flawless. So this is not material for beginners, although intermediate magicians will appreciate that Giobbi does explain and teach all the sleights he uses. But even if you never go on to learn or perform any of these tricks, this video's worth lies in the many insights that Mr Giobbi shares, which have application to card magic far beyond the tricks he teaches. Even relatively beginners can learn a great deal from the way he approaches magic, and can benefit from the many insights he shares along the way.
I give this video series my highest recommendation. Get the entire set of three! If you are serious about your card magic, and want to learn from the very best, then you really can't look past Roberto Giobbi. Highly recommended! - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame