Dr. Joaquin Ayala
Ian Kendall has come out with a new video and the title, in my mind, is almost a play on the word. In magic literature it is used in many different contexts but in our parlance, it also refers to a move that is a type of covert switch - the Gypsy Switch.
That is not the move taught here, but what you will learn is one of the oldest and seldom-seen moves from the world of gambling and cheating, and that is a 2-for-2 dice switch.
The video was not filmed in a studio but the audio, video and lighting quality are very good. There is no menu for this but there are title screens between the various segments. The video can be viewed via streaming or you can also download it. The ad copy is all accurate and honest. It does say the video is 40 minutes long (really it is just over 39 minutes) so there is no deduction from the rating for that at all.
The video starts off with an introduction from Ian, talking about what he will be covering in the video. He then moves on to cover the basic idea of the switch by demonstrating it multiple times, followed by a section where he teaches, in detail, the mechanics of the move which he calls 'Gypsy' - the main move featured in this download.
He gives you all kinds of hints and tips about how to get into the ready position, what to do and what not to do, etc. There is something else though that he talks about and to me, it was a very smart thing: he talks a good deal about *how* to practice this move so that you end up with a solid understanding of it and so that you end up learning it correctly the first time through. If there is one thing in any learned craft that is more difficult than learning the correct way (read: the generally accepted correct way) to do something, it is un-learning a bad habit or un-learning the incorrect execution and starting over.
He also talks about the ways in which to use Gypsy, the ways in which to execute the change. In the following section he demonstrates and then teaches a second type of switch. Again, this move is then taught in detail, followed by a section of hints, tips, practice ideas and so forth.
Ian spends a few minutes talking about angle considerations and how to minimize them, how to use your body to shade or cover certain parts of the moves, etc. This is plain good blocking and good practice, which can be applied to any area of magic in general. Do NOT let the word "angles" scare you off - this is not something that you will be doing for real, but rather (hopefully) as a mere demonstration of a skill that people have heard of but have never seen. Of course, you could use this as a covert switch in a magic effect where you start with two normal dice and switch in two gaffed dice of any type. In this case, the angles are no different than those needing consideration when you palm a playing card or Classic Palm a coin.
Having said that, the Gypsy move is not one you are going to be doing right after watching this video - as Ian says, it will take some decent amount of practice to require just the palming portion, and then some more to acquire the switch itself. Neither the palming or the switch are mechanically difficult, but the accuracy (for lack of a better term), the speed and the cleanliness/smoothness will take some practice to get them down.
On a personal note and speaking from experience, if you are a well-practiced coin magician (or if you are just well-practiced at working with coins) that is adept at a Classic Palm as well as the Palm-to-Palm Change with coins, the Gypsy switch will probably come a lot more easily to you. The same could be said if you are at least familiar with yet another coin move called the Purse Palm, in regards to the second switch you will learn in the video. If not, that is no problem - you will get it all down with practice.
I was already familiar with many other dice switches and the mechanics involved, so this was very easy for me. Having said that, I really like the way Ian teaches Gypsy and I really like the mechanics of it, better than others in some cases. In my estimation he does a very good job at teaching both moves and gives you a very solid foundation to build upon, should this arena of the gambler and cheat interest you further.
For the price you are paying (15 GBP, which is about $19/USD at the time of this writing by my estimation) you are getting a lot of value, especially if dice switches are of interest to you. Even if you do not use the techniques contained in the video, you will at least have a working knowledge of them and you will see, to some degree, how you can easily be cheated by the use of such techniques. It will not make you an expert but the knowledge will serve you well.
4.5 stars for a solid product!