As some of you may have seen in my latest, non-80's music related poll, I posed the question, "Is the ridiculous set-up for modern close-up magic really worth it?". Many of you said no, it wasn't. Two of you said it was. Well I hate to tell you this, but you two guys are WRONG!!!
Kidding. Well sort of. There is a time and place for some set up. If you are doing a show for some high profile clientele and want to blow them away with something that takes a ton of prep time right before, or on a TV show where you know it will pay off... sure. Go ahead. However, for those who do walk-around or repetition magic where you have NO control over your surroundings, easy reset is king.
The trend in a LOT of magic over the last 5 years or so, is that of right place right time. I blame the Asshat and Criss Fishing Rod mostly for their TV magic shenanigans. Effects like Ladybug or the newly released Frost or Xile, where you have a window of opportunity to perform it just baffles me. I just assume they get played with for a while, then after realizing it's more trouble than it's worth ends up in the junk drawer or for the current generation, e-bay.
There is always a dialogue that should be brought to your attention when considering a new purchase. "Will this fit me?" Well I suppose if your style is that of homeless street urchin, then probably (or you could go from looking like Jon Armstrong to "random street magician #286" to sell your trick because the man said so). Usually what goes thru my head when I see this stuff is, "What the hell were they smoki.." er.. "Do I have something just as strong if not stronger in my repertoire."
The answer is usually a resounding, Hell Yes!
This kind of thinking is great for TV and great to sell to kids with their parents money, but in the real world that insect farm you had to order in the mail isn't going to hold a candle to a properly done sponge ball routine.
Besides, how much pocket space are you willing to dedicate to bleach pens and Tupperware?