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Taylor Lewis - Liquid

Taylor Lewis - Liquid

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 Taylor Lewis - Liquid

 

"Liquid", a DVD by Taylor Lewis, has at it's core a vaguely interesting idea, but with horrible visuals and an awkward handling, it simply fails to stack up with other "card through window" routines out there.

"Liquid" begins with a spectator freely choosing a card from the deck and signing it. The card is replaced in the deck and given to a spectator to shuffle. A cocktail napkin is then placed over a window or similar pane of glass. The deck is then thrown at the window, waved over it, or what-have-you. The shadow of a card is now seen behind the napkin. A small section of the napkin is torn over this shadow, revealing a small portion of the chosen, signed card. The spectator can tap on it to prove it is behind the window. The card is then slowly pulled free from the window by either the performer or the spectator.

There are other versions of this, but none of them are intriguing enough, or throw off the central idea enough, to be worth discussing.

In a word, they're all bad.

Let me get the good news out of the way before I get too rabid here. "Liquid" requires no set-up: carry the gaff, the cocktail napkin, and the deck and you're ready to go. There's no reset either (though common sense tells you doing this one over and over is going to weigh you down with cocktail napkins). It'll also work with pretty much any clear surface since there's no preparation involved. The gaff itself is small and certainly doesn't take up much pocket space which is very nice.

But from there, it's the A-train straight downhill.

According to the ad copy, "[Liquid] SHATTERS what you know about card through windows". That's certainly true. What I always knew about "card through windows" routines was they required convincing visuals, an open handling, and as much of a "hands off" working as you can muster. "Liquid", you see, has none of that.

The visuals killed this for me from the beginning. The card is never really seen clearly except by, maybe, one or two spectators. The small tear in the napkin allows for an extended glimpse, but that's about it as the rest of the napkin obscures everything else.

The handling is, in a word, tight. Watching Taylor perform this offers us a new definition of the term "grip of death". It's necessary, though, for this to work even have a chance of working. Of course, this handling further hampers too much viewing of the proceedings and we're back to poor visuals again.

As for being "hands off", forget about it. No matter the version, you're very much "hands on" here, whether it's introducing the napkin and covering the window or tearing a hole in the thing or holding it all together. With "CTW" routines, the more you're involved, the weaker it is. "Liquid" is that weak.

And I won't even go into the horribly shoddy production values and Taylor's problems with instructions which, taken together, make this a hard DVD to watch or learn from.

Is "Liquid" totally worthless then? The next big "destined for the sock drawer" item? I'm close to calling it that, but I refrain for just one reason: it's an interesting idea. Poorly executed? Yes. A minefield of practicality issues? Yes. But there's something there that someone, somewhere may make into something more than the routines given on "Liquid", defeat all the problems in a brilliant fashion and make me eat all these words about it.

But it ain't going to be me. For my money, I expect something halfway workable, halfway magical, before I spend the time adding to it and making it work the way I want it to. "Liquid" doesn't give me that or inspire me to expend my time on top of my money when there are other versions out there that give me the pluses "Liquid" lacks.

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