Retro Magic – A Review: Sop Up the Gravy, Feel the Love!

Retro Magic – The DVD

Alex Lourido is a talented and charismatic magician, inventor, and now video producer.  You know Mr. Lourido’s work to include Osmosis and Butter Coin.  He has good stuff that is well made and original. 

 

Mr. Lourido was kind enough to let me review his new DVD set, Retro Magic.  I am flying to Las Vegas as I write this and have just finished watching it for a second time.  To my left sit two other businesspersons who alternated their gaze between my computer screen and the mini-DVD player on the far passenger’s lap showing Showgirls, starring Elizabeth somebody.  The girl from Saved by the Bell; she used to stick up for Screech.  Her name will come to me. 

 

Retro Magic is a wonderful resource.  It does not fit neatly into any one category.  It has teaching segments, performance segments, a neat set of scenes chronicling Mr. Lourido’s maturity in magic.  However, the first thing you will notice — and the first thing my wife noticed — is the DVD case seems more appropriate for Girls Gone Wild than a magic video. 

 

Picture a typical L&L DVD case; say Michael Close’s latest.  Wherever you see Mr. Close, replace that image with a scantily clad teenaged woman.  Front and back of the case shows front and back of the models.  They are all clothed and there is no pornography on the cover or within the magnetic fields of the DVD — I know, I looked. 

 

It is not clear the market Mr. Lourido seeks with this presentation.  My guess, based on my enjoyment of the DVD, is that it is likely magicians for whom the images entice, repulse or have no effect.  The magic is good, the production quality is very high and Mr. Lourido is charming as our host. 

 

At the outset of the presentation segment, Mr. Lourido uses what he describes as a “cheesy camera trick” to cause the models clothing change to swimwear.  The fact that he calls it a “cheesy camera trick” made it funny when it could have been considered offensive or pandering.  The entire DVD is shares this…

Retro Magic – The DVD

Alex Lourido is a talented and charismatic magician, inventor, and now video producer.  You know Mr. Lourido’s work to include Osmosis and Butter Coin.  He has good stuff that is well made and original. 

 

Mr. Lourido was kind enough to let me review his new DVD set, Retro Magic.  I am flying to Las Vegas as I write this and have just finished watching it for a second time.  To my left sit two other businesspersons who alternated their gaze between my computer screen and the mini-DVD player on the far passenger’s lap showing Showgirls, starring Elizabeth somebody.  The girl from Saved by the Bell; she used to stick up for Screech.  Her name will come to me. 

 

Retro Magic is a wonderful resource.  It does not fit neatly into any one category.  It has teaching segments, performance segments, a neat set of scenes chronicling Mr. Lourido’s maturity in magic.  However, the first thing you will notice — and the first thing my wife noticed — is the DVD case seems more appropriate for Girls Gone Wild than a magic video. 

 

Picture a typical L&L DVD case; say Michael Close’s latest.  Wherever you see Mr. Close, replace that image with a scantily clad teenaged woman.  Front and back of the case shows front and back of the models.  They are all clothed and there is no pornography on the cover or within the magnetic fields of the DVD — I know, I looked. 

 

It is not clear the market Mr. Lourido seeks with this presentation.  My guess, based on my enjoyment of the DVD, is that it is likely magicians for whom the images entice, repulse or have no effect.  The magic is good, the production quality is very high and Mr. Lourido is charming as our host. 

 

At the outset of the presentation segment, Mr. Lourido uses what he describes as a “cheesy camera trick” to cause the models clothing change to swimwear.  The fact that he calls it a “cheesy camera trick” made it funny when it could have been considered offensive or pandering.  The entire DVD is shares this self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek philosophy. 

 

Before I go on, I have two requests: 1) Do not buy or not buy this DVD because of the models — buy it for the magic and neat presentations; 2) if you remember the name of the actress on Saved by the Bell and Showgirls, send it to me.  They are showing the scene where she and the entertainment manager are alone in the pool.  I will be back in a second. 

 

The Incredible Alex Lourido

Mr. Lourido takes us through several close-up routines in the presentation segment that begins the video.  He demonstrates the effect it has on a captive and presumably well-paid audience of four swimsuit models; and then he takes the same effects into the streets to perform for real people.  (I am not saying the swimsuit models are not real.  They look real but I am guessing they were specifically hired for the shoot.  The surprised couple in the supermarket, however, clearly was not plants.) 

 

He begins with a neat effect using a book of matches and a paddle move.  If you have never considered using the paddle move with a single paper match, you should check this out.  The routine is complete and leaves you as clean as a surgeon’s palm. (The spell-checker changed this last sentence to “. . . as clear as a sturgeon’s palm.”  I had to read it a few times before I figured out why it did not seem to convey what I intended.  I may not be bright, but I am lazy!)

 

This effect, by itself, is worth the cost of the DVDs.  It is one you can perform anywhere a spectator has a pack of matches to lend.  Heck, you could even use your own pack of matches if necessary.  I personally have taken up smoking only to justify having a pack of matches on me.  How many tricks do you know that are worth the risk of lung disease? 

 

The effect on the studio audience seemed genuine but the match trick’s effect on the real-world passers by was even more dramatic. 

 

Dang it.  The Showgirls DVD just ended and the owner shut it off before it got to the credits.  I am going to go crazy trying to recall the actress’ name.  I am guessing there must be a Las Vegas Movie Resource Center near my hotel so I’ll worry about this later. 

 

Mr. Lourido’s coin work is his specialty.  I am guessing this because of his recently released “Butter Coin.”  He demonstrates his ability and innovations in three coin effects that work well together as a routine or separately as independent effects.  One of my favorites from this series involves a gimmicked coin and very nice routining.  The magician places two coins into a short glass and the magician moves gently swirls the glass and thus moves the two coins about each other.  Slowly, the bottom coin, a silver one, takes its place on top of the copper one.  The magician reaches beneath the glass and plucks the copper coin through the bottom of the glass.  The magician then immediately hands out the coins and the glass for examination.  

 

Do you recall the first time you saw, “Find the Hole”?  Remember your surprise when you watched the dime sitting on the stretched dental dam visibly penetrate the solid rubber and fall into the covered glass beneath?  This effect has the same visual impact.  To see the copper coin move beneath the silver coin without any assistance is pretty.  To see the copper coin vanish from beneath the silver coin, however, is more than pretty; it is beautiful. 

 

The guy next to me, the heavy guy with the DVD on his chest and drool on his chin, asked me, ?Why are you writing ?Dental Dam??  You know that?s not an effective barrier for disease or to prevent pregnancy, don?t you??  He is starting Showgirls again.  I think he probably knows more about the many uses of Dental Dams than most magicians.  

 

Tom Craven performed his Blue Collar Aces to music in a lecture he presented.  I often wondered if there was a place for a silent (with music) act in close-up magic.  Although Mr. Lourido does not perform the effect silently or to musical accompaniment, this one could be perfect for such presentation. 

 

Mr. Lourido cautions viewers to use their newfound magical talent carefully.  He suggests the performer avoid implying he is smarter, better, or more clever than the audience.  I do not want to ruin the very funny bit by telling you more.  Trust me, you will laugh.  I laughed aloud even though I am sitting on an airplane and wedged between people so tightly that I think I have to get married to the one guy pressing against me. 

 

A final portion of the program features Mr. Lourido demonstrating and teaching effects available at your local dealer or presumably through his shop.  It is in this segment that Mr. Lourido’s talents as an educator shine.  He has an easy manner and seems to be talking directly to the viewer to explain the nuances of the tricks.  Even though two of the effects are commercially available and come with their own routine, Mr. Lourido offers alternative handlings and presentations. 

 

Is the DVD worth the asking price?  Yes and for so many reasons — assuming we set aside the swimsuit models for a second.  As I mentioned earlier, the match opener is worth the price of the DVD for me.  All of the rest is gravy.  It is rich, thick, warm gravy too.  The coin penetration is also worth the cost of the DVD.  His instructions on the commercially available effects are also in the gravy category and perhaps taken together, they too would be worth the cost of the DVD.

 

Then there are the swimsuit models.  Whether you consider very attractive women gravy or bad tasting vegetables to be hidden beneath the gravy is entirely your call.  For me, it was gravy.  It was more than gravy; it was like an au jus or cabernet reduction sauce. 

 

I digress.  I do not think Mr. Lourido’s DVD is out yet.  I will keep everyone up-to-date when it is released.  I highly recommend it for the beginner through professional ranks.  Buy it and sop up the wonderful gravy yourself. 

 

Check out Mr. Lourido’s Web Page here

Re-Read our Inside Magic Celebrity Interview with Mr. Lourido here.

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