Distilled by Ryan Plunkett
Ryan Plunkett’s Distilled is a handsome, 200-page volume of practical and professional material, plucked straight from his working repertoire. Like a fine whiskey, this collection of ten routines was distilled and refined slowly and carefully, over time.
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Ryan Plunkett, a founding ensemble member and resident magician at the famous Chicago Magic Lounge, performs this material every night for sold-out audiences.
He teaches clever and intriguing versions of classics like card-through-handkerchief (“Paper and Silk”) and his version of ACAAN (“Any Card at Our Numbers.”) Then there are more unusual plots, like “Fan Mail,” in which a free selection matches a card found in a piece of fan mail, and “Gravity Deck,” a strange vanish of a pack of cards wherein the spectator actually feels the weight of the deck diminish.
As Mike Pisciotta explains in the foreword, Ryan is, “a magician who takes the time to analyze the audience’s reactions to the material time and again, all while honing and fine tuning each piece for maximum impact.” And it shows: Ryan is a favorite at the Chicago Magic Lounge, and performs across the country at private and corporate events.
Any Card at Our Numbers: Two decks begin on the table. One is chosen by a spectator then shuffled thoroughly, while the other is isolated under another spectator’s hand. Two numbers are freely named. Despite nearly impossible odds, the same card is found in both decks at the named position.
Fan Mail: This unique effect can span across the course of your show. A randomly chosen card from a red deck is shown to match a card given away earlier from a blue deck, which is concealed inside a piece of fan mail. It’s funny, amazing, and teaches many valuable lessons about constructing an act.
Ace on Top: The Ace through Five of a named suit are placed in order, then rearranged. Despite repeatedly changing the sequence, the order always remains the same. With several phases, this routine has a lovely build and displays Ryan’s knack for crafting elegant, impactful card magic.
Magnetic Silver: In this multi-phase routine, you cause two coins to apparently become magnetized, attracting to and repelling away from each other.
The Time Machine: This is Ryan’s handling of a classic plot in which you cause a deck of cards to go back in time, step by step.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Ryan has performed and explored this Dai Vernon classic for many years. While there are many variations already in print, in this version, every moment and subtlety has been considered in order to achieve a real piece of wonder.
Versatile Transport: This approach to the Slow Motion Bill Transpo allows for the use of any borrowed bill. It’s a pocket-sized miracle that you’ll be able to do anywhere.
Paper and Silk: Ryan has breathed new life into the classic Cards Through Handkerchief. Justifying the use of the handkerchief to make the deck “sleight of hand proof,” the audience is left convinced that the cards were never touched by the magician. Even so, the card penetrates the cloth with ease.
Muck Off: The magician demonstrates a classic way to cheat at cards: hiding cards in the sleeve and switching them into play. The magician then grants this skill to the spectator, with a card on the table switching with a card in the spectator’s sleeve. Combined with a logical kicker, Ryan has created a routine that will challenge even the most attentive audience.
Gravity Deck: The most unusual effect in the book. Placing a deck of cards on the spectator’s hand, they slowly feel the box becoming lighter. They feel the deck vanish, bit by bit until you display the box to be completely empty. You then cause the cards to reappear inside the box. This highly original effect is as clever as it is deceptive.