Krist Anthony Almario
Eric Jones is one of the best coin magicians in of our time. He is one of the best in his field and he is also a good teacher. His lecture structure is more free flowing with no definite structure. He may be a good teacher but I do not appreciate how he runs his lecture. For one, it would help to have a definite structure wherein there is a section where he performs and explains his tricks and another section dedicated to questions, his philosophy, and creative process. Instead, you get a lecture that is all over the place, with tricks, then questions either come from here and there and then more tricks. It seems cluttered in my opinion.Although I admire the content he shares with regards to his philosophy, his creative process, and other related topics, I find it hard to pinpoint where in the download is he talking to it about.
In terms of the effects that he shares, there is not a variety of the things he shares. Most of which can be found in the products that he had already put out. He performs and explains effects that many magicians can review in their own copies of Extension of Me, or in his Metal DVD series. He may offer a few new takes, new handlings and new approaches to certain effects, but these new updates are few and little in between. The range of effects that Eric shows are not that diverse. What I mean by this is that 90% of what he shares are already products in the magic community, 5% are updated handlings or tweaks if ever, and 5% are either new or unexplained effects. As a student going into a lecture, I expect to learn a variety of new information, not a review of previous materials. I would have wished that Eric would with something old, something new, and even something exclusive to the At the Table experience. I don't appreciate that Eric performed the routine he showed in Penn and Teller, and left it that way. For one, that routine had already been showcased on television in two separate tv shows, and even on the internet. Without adding any explanation or any updates to the moves or anything, it becomes only a showcase again of the routine which adds nothing to the lecture. He claims that he will be releasing the effect on his website in the near future, but in my mind, this is a lecture, wherein students come to learn new things that can improve their magic, not an advertisement booth for people to buy products. Advertising new material has its place in the lecture, but certainly not somewhere in the middle wherein more valuable information can be inserted.
When grouped together, a large chunk of the lecture focuses on questions for Eric and reading unnecessary comments from live feeds. Questions regarding an effect he just explained are very much accepted but reading comments like one particular viewer will be late for work because of the lecture should not be mentioned because it wastes time for valuable information that the rest can benefit from.
I understand that the point of the live lecture is to have a good interaction between the lecturer and the students (live audience and viewers), but Eric should acknowledge some requests from the live feed, such as one viewer asks for a long card routine that he might have, yet Eric proceeded to perform a short coin routine instead. Acknowledging even if not performing is a good way to go.
There had not been much editing done to the video download. One significant editing was done at the beginning wherein Eric performed his variation of Smoke. I believe that a professional lecture especially a live one should be more precise than what was presented. The download should have contained a trimmed down version without any unnecessary moments especially during the live Smoke performance. And to Eric, I appreciate the performance but preparing the props beforehand saves time and opens up windows for more elaboration later on. Cuts hadn't been done during in-between moments for the download, where the viewers see Eric fumble here and there under the table or reaching out to certain items. I understand that the live lecture may contain these, but the video download should have a cleaner version before posted.
Overall, Eric's lecture was pretty good. Despite the clutter that I have seen, his effects are all well thought of and even Chris got inspired to start coin magic because of Eric's performance. I believe that is a strong impression his magic has on people. If you are into coin magic, specifically gaffed coin magic, a review of older materials from 5-10 years ago with minute updates here and there, this lecture is for you.