Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kostya Kimlat - A Review

I've been reading through Kostya Kimlat's "Card Work, Card Play" and "A Lecture Collection." Kostya is a talented close-up magician from Florida. I met him at Tannens Magic Camp last summer, and he's an incredibly nice guy with some great ideas on magic and performance. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on his published material.

In short, I love it. All of his stuff is fun to perform, something rare with most magicians' material. I also enjoyed the fact that Kostya's card magic was expressive. With his effects, the cards can represent anything from a security code to a contract with Satan. And his presentations are down to Earth. They're easy for people to understand, and they avoid such complicated, phony angles as 17th century slaves or the fall of the Roman Empire.

Almost everything requires some sleight of hand, but nothing that's overly difficult. Kostya's material is also efficient. He always works with the shortest possible path between method and effect. There are no unnecessary sleights or wasted actions. To reach this level of purity, Kostya uses a variety of new and interesting forces, switches, and culls. His work on culling is absolutely amazing, and I’ve been practicing non-stop since I bought the notes.

I particularly enjoyed "License to Steal," a trick that involves producing a spectator's license plate. Yes, you read that correctly. "Catch," an effect about security codes was also great, as was "Hallucinogenic Gaze," a stunning piece of visual magic.

Several profound essays about performance were also good.

All in all, it was one of the best magic purchases I've ever made. For $40, you get two collections of material and a companion CD with high quality video. E-mail k@kmagic.com. I highly recommend it.

You can visit Kostya's site here

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