I love tricks it when a trick exceeds my expectations even if in the case of S’Pendulum I had pretty low hopes.
Steve Marchello is a likeable Indonesian magician who has put out some fairly average card gimmicks previously, UP and Minime for example. S’Pendulum however is a departure to mentalism and a non-card gimmick.
The standard effect is that an ESP card is selected and shuffled back amongst the others. The magician introduces a necklace with a pendulum on it, which is going to divine the chosen symbol/card. The participant holds the necklace with the pendulum hanging freely. As each card is held underneath the pendulum nothing happens until suddenly it starts swinging as a card is passed underneath it. Yes, it is the chosen card/symbol.
The beauty of this effect is that the pendulum is held by the spectator completely still, making the moment it starts to move really powerful. It is a strong magic moment for sure.
It is a good-looking pendulum, which would suit most people but probably more Russell Brand than Piers Morgan. The design certainly lends itself to any story you wish to attach to it, whether you picked it up in a Chinese market with a couple of Mogwai or a family heirloom handed down through generations.
You also receive some ESP cards which have been boldly designed to allow you to know the selection. I appreciate the clarity of the system but others may find it too obvious, in my experience if you don’t draw suspicion on the cards these are ideal.
The cards are not marked in anyway so feel free to use any ESP cards you wish, Steve teaches a trick with standard playing cards and if you have basic card skills you can easily come up with your own.
The secret gimmick is simple and crude but very effective. It’s design makes orientation and fit straight forward, it isn’t over designed it just works. It also hides very well throughout the routine allowing fair displays and handling. The trick is really appears very clean.
How you get set up with the secret gimmick is entirely up to you, but I would suggest while taking off the necklace or having it inspected. It can easily be ditched at the end too.
Steve Marchello also teaches a bonus routine, a which hand plot with a borrowed banknote and obviously the pendulum. This hints at the versatility of S’Pendulum, if you want something that isn’t card based this system can easily be adapted.
The tutorial is subtitled but very easy to follow and with just the one spelling mistake thrown in which I love, much like on an Indian restaurant menu.
I’ve always stayed clear of pendulum effects, as I find them quite dry, for some reason today S’Pendulum has got my creative juices flowing. Add a nice back story and say 5 random items from the audience and you have some original material.
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