Ten people will have dinner with legend Paul Harris at Brad’s place

December 23rd, 2008 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General, Products

The words legend and legendary are thrown around so casually these days. But we think they don’t do Paul Harris justice.

The legendary magic creator is ready to release his magnum opus to the world. The True Astonishments DVD set will be released this January.

Originally intended to be a video edition of his incredible Art of Astonishment books, collaborating magicians added to the effects and made them even more incredible. The end result is a 9-DVD set contained within a beautiful wooden box. This is not a casual purchase. This is an investment into some of the most mind-boggling, beautiful magic you have ever seen.

Harris has collaborated with David Blaine, Doug Henning and David Copperfield. He has created hundreds of incredible effects used by magicians around the world. True Astonishments will be Paul Harris’ current, definitive and final legacy. This is a monumental project of the highest caliber, from the production to the material. True Astonishments is one of the most important projects to be released in the last 30 years.

In other words, it’s a legendary work created by a legend. And the legend is working with Ellusionist to present a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime promotion.

At 1 p.m. Pacific (4 p.m. Eastern) on Jan. 6, Ellusionist will begin taking pre-orders for True Astonishments:

  • If your order is the 26th through the 50th, you will receive an Art of Astonishment DVD signed by Paul Harris.
  • If your order is the 11th through 25th, you will receive a set of the Art of Astonishment books signed by Paul Harris.
  • The first 10 pre-orders will get to hang out at a special meet-and-greet at the house of Brad Christian on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009.
  • Every order will come with a three-pack of Ellusionist’s custom playing cards.

True Astonishments will be available from Ellusionist on Jan. 15 for $300. The nine-DVD set will come in a beautiful wooden case; a special package of props to get you started will also be included. For a description of the effects, as listed from The Astonishment Project, keep reading:

The following descriptions were written by Jason Messina, of The Astonishment Project:
Twilight Angels: Wayne Houchin performs a beautiful rendition of this classic PH effect. If you’ve ever seen this done in person by a master you’ve probably already fallen in love with it. PH has said repeatedly that this may BE his all time favorite effect.
Backlash 2: Paul teams up with TA Director Bro Gilbert to raise the bar on one of my very favorite effects from the AOA books. I like easy and I like multiple climaxes. Bro and Paul tore this puppy apart, rebuilt it from the ground up and pumped up the ending till it explodes.
New Leaf: Another ingenious organic piece of strange from Paul and Bro. This new version of Leaf moves into the spectator’s hands completely, and with a simple rubbing, everything becomes whole again. The next time you’re in the middle of the woods and someone asks to see something, you’ve got a lifetime supply of props and a beautiful little moment to share.
Cheng’s Change: This is absolutely mind-blowing. Perform the classic Zapped! effect with normal cards. 5 cards visually morph into 5 different cards right under their noses. Did I mention NO GIMMICKS?
PH’s Big Tiny?: A spectator’s signature reassembles itself and multiplies in their hands. They do all the work. They honest-to-god truly mix up the cards!

The New Las Vegas Leaper: Ok, this is so brilliant and so simple, you’ll wonder why no one has ever entertained the thought before. Basically, you do the original PH routine and add a whole new twist to end on. I guarantee this is going into every worker’s act immediately and once you see it, you’ll kick yourself for not having thought of it.
Tubular: Paul’s impromptu miracle where Two signed bills impossibly morph into one bill with both names..all in the spectators hands hands.
Cheng’s Riser: Cheng is back again with his underground handling of The Ambitious Card. The card visually rises and rises through the deck (visually), until it stops just short of the top. Then with barely a wave of the hand it melts right through in a heart-stopping moment. No gimmicks, just beautiful methodology.
Growing Card by Tomoyuki Shimoumura: This bizzarre piece of strange happens in full view. A card visibly squishes out of shape as it slowly stretches and grows to twice its size in full view. Beautifully performed and taught by Robert Smith. Comes with special Grow gimmick.

Casanova Inc: Steve Haynes contributes two simple and elegant handlings of the breakthrough Casanova Concept with business cards. If you’re not familiar with the Casanova Concept, now is chance to get aquainted. Powerful technology does all the work for you.
Half Moon Trading Company: Paul has devised a brand new principle that is guaranteed to expand your mind. Here’s the effect: Shuffled deck, someone chooses a card (free choice) and then mixes it back into the deck. An imaginary version of the card is thrown at the card case. Inside the card case is one card and it’s the one they freely chose, with their name scrawled on the back!
Half Moon Voodoo: A new version of Voodoo using the Half Moon Principle. You can freely show the deck before the start of the trick. There’s nothing to find.
Pack of Lies: TA Director Bro has re-wired the PH vanishing deck. Includes revamped gimmick and a knock-out handling that will forever change how we vanish our decks.
Solid with Happy Ending: Paul’s completely new method for the classic Solid Deception. The deck goes solid just like before but this time the cards happily undo themselves.

Dr. Fun: Ok, this one is near and dear to my heart since I made an itsy bitsy contribution to the evolution of the method. Paul literally threw away about 40 different methods before he discovered the perfect answer. This has all the impact of Deep Astonishment and The Anything Deck, except you can use ANY deck. Imagine the emotional impact when you are able to predict the happiest moment of someone’s life!
Name Dropper: Spectator is able to mysteriously and visually print her own name thanks to our friend PH. In the words of the late Johnny Carson, “This is weird, wild stuff!”
Lubor’s Lens: This is the definitive work on Reality Twister. For everyone out there who just couldn’t figure out the right presentation, the wait is over. Along with a brand new presentation, you get your very own Lubor’s Lens included with the set.
Naked Strange: Paul worked very hard to one up himself with this gimmickless, impromptu version of Strange Travelers. I’ve had a lot of fun road testing this one, so simple and powerful.
Gerard’s Warp: Andrew Gerard not only warps cards and minds in this new version as he adds a new psychological twist and turn that left Paul and Bro speechless. Andrew warped their minds so thoroughly, they had to go back to the tape and re-examine what they thought had happened. This results in a very funny phone call that you have to see to believe.

Transcendental Bar Bet: This is a completely hands off, in your face (and on the table), card vanish. Oh yeah, the deck is completely normal and you never touch it during the vanish. The spectator actually vanishes the card herself. And yes, the vanished card is really gone. Paul is particularly proud of the transcendental nature of this one.
Extraordinary Proof: Andrew Gerard is back with a self-working Stop masterpiece that fools even the most hardened spectators. All you have to do is show up and deal.
Tensegrity: Patrick Snowden’s strange improbably balanced card sculptures have been pumped up to a new gravity-defying level. Can be done anywhere, surrounded, etc. True pieces of strange that leave one dangling from the crumbling edge.
Reswindled: After thousands of variations, adaptations and modifications, the definitive version of Reset has finally emerged. Caleb Wiles has come up with the real work. The two piles never touch and he’s added a fully integrated big finish. If you liked Reset, you’ll love Reswindled!

Smoking Eye: This beautiful feature PH creation with a couple of signed examined matches was inspired by Paul’s kid sister Janet when, after surgery, wisps of smoke began coming out of her eyeball. Proof that astonishment can strike in even the oddest of moments.
The Weirdling: Michael Weber has taken a stack of those coffee cards you get at your favorite local java joint and flipped them inside out. A topological wonder that you’ll be leaving with your spectators. Comes with your own special coffee cards.
Ripped and Fryed: Charlie Frye has come up with the most incredible Torn And Restored Technology to date! Whether you play with this in the mirror or on the town, you will love doing this!
Cellmates: Meet your soulmate!. She gets your number, you get hers and you both share plenty of laughs along the way. Cellmates is Paul’s no pressure romance inducer with a no worry ending that puts the odds in your favor.

Paul mentioned that among this 9 DVD set of favorite effects that this improv show piece that leads off DVD 7, by Bro Gilbert, is near the top of the list. It’s Bro’s unimaginably cool new approach to Doug Bennett’s signed coin in matchbook plot. A genuine breakthrough new method that allows you to improv the prep with a normal matchbook in ten seconds!
Dunn’s Deal: Shaun Dunn presents his version of Galaxy. This time, the spectator is shuffling her whole way through the entire effect. Just when they think it’s all over..you tell her to shuffle again. The effect is bigger than a galaxy but I’m not sure what that word would be.
Invisible Palm by Wayne Houchin: You’ve seen the video of Wayne performing this for years, now learn all the finesse and handling he’s brought to the effect. For the first time, Wayne teaches all of his work on this PH classic.
Truly Screwed: This is the new and improved Screwed Deck. Incredibly visual and a treat for your fingers. And the really screwy thing here, is the worse you do the key move here the better it looks.

Belly Button: A pin-on campaign-style button penetrates a spectator’s shirt while you’re standing several feet away from her. Comes with special stuff to make it happen. Spectator and shirt can be borrowed. This is Paul’s version of doing card through window using the spectator’s own shirt as the window.
SOS: This new version of Color Stunner is more streamlined, simplified and simply a better more joyous thing. Paul basically gives you a knock out three phase routine using just one astonishingly simple idea.
Muscle Bend: A borrrowed coin bend that starts and ends with empty hands. You don’t have to throw away those bulky gimmicks that you used to rely on, but chances are they’ll wind up collecting dust after you learn Muscle Bend. Involves a mystery “organic ungimmicked gimmick” that will change the way you bend coins forever.
Unstable Label: Andrew Gerard shows you how you can do “Label to Inside of Bottle” with no palming or gimmicks. This brand new, self contained label-inside-bottle can be done with a normal bottle in a moment’s notice.

Having fun yet? This 9th and final DVD which includes special custom gimmick will retail separately for $45 in the not so distant future.

What is the TA pen? It’s a new gimmick that makes immaculately clean bill changes, switches and animations. The self contained pen replaces the sleight of hand you’d normally worry about with most bill stuff. Everything about the pen is self-contained and can even be handled and used as a normal pen by spectators.

Effects Include:

The Rub; by PH and Bro, Two borrowed signed bills stunningly change places. There’s just nothing to see except a pure moment of TA. I predict this will become eveyone’s new pocket pal.

PLUS: Short Term Memory by Bro, Bulldog Nightshades by PH, Bulldog Bluff by PH and One Bill Wonders (including a close-up, easy version of Cardiographic on a borrowed bill.)

If you thought this is all enough to keep you busy for a couple of years, you’d be right. But there is one last final thing on DVD 9: Paul’s very own Angel Cake.

Angel Cake is….a slightly troubling breakthrough principle. This slice of ph cake almost definitely will give you some sleepless nights contemplating the philosophical implications of this karmically loaded astonishment.

Angel Cake is…a brand new theory in bill changes that allows you to….well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

As if this isn’t enough, look out for interviews with tons of Paul’s friends and accomplices: Jeff Mcbride, Eugene Burger, Eric Mead, Mac King, Chuck Martinez, Looy Simonoff, David Blaine and The PH himself. In addition to the jam packed reputation making content contained within, you’ll also find yourself twisting along secret passageways filled with hidden treasure. Some of the hidden cookies include:

  • Jeff’s Jump: This looks like a special effects trick you’d see on TV!
  • Butchered Bunny: PH’s work based on the Robert Neale’s classic, The Bunny Bill.
  • Daniel Garcia shows up to teach his take on a PH classic.
  • A beautiful girl performing and teaching Joshua Quinn’s acclaimed linking card, Conjunction. This is the effect that nobody thought was possible till Joshua cracked the code.
  • Joan Dukore performs and teaches a classic bit of astonishment known simply as Orange.


  1. New blog post: Magic legend to release legendary work http://tinyurl.com/6scxxz

  2. Bro Gilbert: The Ellusionist Interview | Ellusionist Magic News on:

    […] Astonishments will be available on Jan. 20 for $300. Ellusionist is offering an exclusive giveaway for those who […]

  3. is there a possibility that you will run out of the true astonishment sent before March because i want to get it for my birthday

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