Review: Card on Ceiling by Jamy Ian Swiss

It’s something that most magicians do, have done, or will do at least once, but did you know the card on ceiling plot is by no means a recent development? In fact, it’s over three hundred years old (it’s mentioned in The Merry Companion by Richard Neve, which interestingly is the same book that first described a version of the Double Lift)! There are numerous different versions and methods to pick from though, each with pros and cons compared to others. On this DVD Jamy Ian Swiss teaches three different versions: JC Wagner’s Card on Ceiling, Scotty York’s Card on Ceiling, and his own Card on Ceiling. Covering how the effect has changed and developed from each version to the next.

The first two versions make use of a tack (or drawing pin) to attach the card (and in this case some money) to the ceiling. Although most modern versions don’t use a pin, if you are busking (in a suitable area), or doing bar magic, the addition of including money with the effect allows you to increase your tips dramatically, people tend not to insist you give them their money back if it’s pinned apparently well out of reach. Something well worth thinking about. Scotty York’s Version even includes a thrown tack pinning the card and money, so for bar magic, you can bring in another member of staff and hopefully increase amazement and the tips you are both given.

The “mysterious adhesion” version is the one you are most likely to see now, but Jamy still adds a couple of tweaks to this, including a set-up kit you can keep on you as part of your EDC if you so desire.

Personally, card on ceiling has always been a favourite of mine, not just because it plays so well, and it really does. But the fact you can often return to a venue years later and find one of your cards from an old performance still magically clinging to the ceiling. It’s more versatile than many magicians think too, many a time I’ve stuck a chosen card to a pitched roof of a canvas marque at outside wedding gigs. You need to use more “mysterious adhesion stuff” than usual, and really have your throwing action down, but it still works great (make sure you do practice first if you want to try this though).

There are separate full performance videos for each variation on the DVD too, something I really wish more magic products would include. You can learn just as much from watching those as you can from the explanations, for example, how Jamy deals with a loud group interrupting his performance in one of the demonstrations.

Jamy is a skilled teacher, but here he presumes you already know the basics of the effect. You could learn it from scratch watching just this, but he does skip over stuff that would help a total beginner get up and going. The exact amount of “mysterious adhesion stuff” to use, for example. You can see how much he uses, but he doesn’t go into any more detail about it than it being on screen for a bit. This seems a bit of an odd choice, most people who already know the effect are likely to give it a miss incorrectly thinking “Oh, I already know how to do that.” and totally beginners aren’t fully catered for. But of course, if you are a total beginner and do need a little more guidance to help you get started, asking in the Peoples Palace of Prestidigitation is the obvious thing to do, we’re always happy to help.

So is this DVD worth getting? In my honest opinion, yes. Regardless of your skill level with this trick, or stunt even if you prefer, you almost certainly will get something from it.

If you want to buy this, you can do so HERE.

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