Bill Abbott Magic Exclusive
SPOTS by Michael Ross - Presented by Bill Abbott Magic*
"When I was 14 years old I saw Michael Ross perform at the anniversary party of a local magic shop here in Toronto. One of the pieces he performed was his original presentation and handling for the spot card that baffled me completely. Even though I had a version of the same prop at home, Michael seemed to make the spots appear like magic and more incredibly with audience members on all sides of him! I am so proud to offer this complete package with Norm Nielsen's beautiful handmade Dynamo spot card and Michaels unparalleled routine. I have added this routine to my show and now you can too."
- Bill Abbott
The performer explains that he will place the audience under a mild hypnotic spell and demonstrate an optical illusion in the form of a card with four(?) sides. True to form the magician proceeds to show a large black domino-like card with white spots. One spot on one side, four on the other, then three on the third(?) side and six (?) on the other! This is shown two more times and then the performer explains the psychological and manual manipulation that creates the illusion of a four sided card. Due to the way the card is held the spots are either displayed or covered by the fingers and the minds of the audience create the illusion of a four sided card. Then things get strange when the performer shows that the illusions have become a reality and spots start magically appearing at every turn of the card. Finally in one final turn of the card, it is suddenly filled with white dots bringing the routine (and hypnotic spell!) to a mind blowing conclusion!
The spot card has been an unsung standard in the repertoire of many professional performers, including magic superstar David Copperfield. Michael Ross, under the stage name of Merlin, has developed the perfect fusion of elegant technique and engaging performance unlike any other spot card routine. With Michael's handling you can perform this up close and completely surrounded as Michael often has in the over 30 years of performing this routine. On the street, at a house party or for 2500 on a theatre stage, Spots is truly a pack small play anywhere routine.
Complete Pro Package Includes:
-Printed scripts for both the adult routine and the family routine.
A 60 minute Online Video featuring:
A Live Performance
Michael performs the routine for an adult audience at an intimate private party. You will experience how Spots plays for a modern audience of professionals in a house party environment.
A Personal History
Michael shares his initial inspiration for the optical illusion presentation from a Pavel effect and his discontent with the traditional spot card handling that led to SPOTS Michael's original spot card technique.
Routines, Audiences & Venues
Michael has performed this routine for every kind of audience and in every kind of environment. Children audiences, family audiences, corporate audiences, comedy clubs and even silently to music. Michael explains how he has used SPOTS as a great segue piece, a lead in into the Invisible Deck or to the Torn & Restored Newspaper effect. The idea, the premise and the patter sets everything up for the tricks he performs during his show. Michael dissects the guaranteed laugh points during the routine, how to play the optical illusion sequence to get a laugh and then how to get two steps ahead of the audience into the multiple spots.
An Audience Proven Routine
This is a not a trick that Michael has performed on dozens of show, or hundreds of shows but a staple in his repertoire he has performed for thousands of shows over the course of 30 years. Michael explains how SPOTS became an audience tested and audience proven effect over years of experience.
Why The Dynamo Card?
Initially using the Tenyo's What's Next spot card Michael explains why he switched to the Nielsen Dynamo spot card due to visibility under various stage lighting, better audience sight lines and the deceptive nature of the method at close quarters. Michael has used the Dynamo card in 5,000 seat venues and up close in house party venues, and it works these environments and everything in between.
The SPOTS Method & Handling
Michael shows how the standard handling and method for the spot card had to be re-worked to achieve the impact that he wanted the trick to have on his audiences. He explains how to hold the card so it doesn't block the audience's view of your face and how to be sure everyone can view the changes and transformations from any angle, even from behind! The surrounded handling is explained and demonstrated so that all the secret movements become invisible no matter where your audience is situated. Even if you don't ever perform this surrounded Michael explains why learning the 'surrounded technique' makes for a better rehearsal experience and overall theatrical competence. Vertical and horizontal positioning of the card for psychological reasons is clarified and explained to get maximum impact from the audiences viewpoint. Getting precise spot movement and how to adjust on the fly if needed is demonstrated in detail.
Walk-Through from The Performers View
A complete routine sequence from the performer's point of view to nail the necessary hand positions perfectly for rehearsal. Every nuance of how to perform the routine and the important "why's" of every aspect are also explained.
Practice Sequence from the Front & from Behind
The routine sequence performed silently from the front (audience view) and then from behind (performer's view), to practice along with. This will help you get the hand positions into your physical memory and get you up and running that much faster.
Adding Glue or Wax to Perfect Your Technique
Michael explains how he used drops of glue or wax when he first performed the routine to help line up the spots by feel under fire. This may be of great help when adapting the routine into your repertoire for the first few performances.
Adult Routine Studio Performance
The entire routine utilizing the adult script (included) is performed for the camera in the studio.
Family Routine Studio Performance
The complete family routine with family script (included) is performed for the camera in the studio.
Set-Up & Prop Placement
Pre-show spot set-up for both sides of the cards and how to get the card in and out of the bag without upsetting the set-up. How and where to place the card before your performance to ensure a safe, secure and exposure-free placement of the prop.
Care & Cleaning
Using the card's felt carrying case Michael shows how to get rid of unwanted fingerprints on the card before performance that sometimes show up under stage lighting.
Conversation with Bill Abbott
Bill Abbott and Michael Ross discuss their professional relationship over the years and how Michael's performance of SPOTS made a strong impact on Bill early on in his performance career. A wide variety of topics are touched on and commented on including; performance commitment vs. strong material, how audiences sometimes resent applause cues, producing laughs by expressing an audience's inner thoughts, letting an audience enjoy the moment, SPOTS as a 'tester' routine for audiences, and much, much more.