Posts Tagged ‘Brad Christian’

FOUR POINTS: Reasons why teaching the ACR took a full video

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Despite the amount of material we’ve released over an almost 15-year period, our older material still draws attention, and none more so than Crash Course 2. The video teaching the ambitious card routine (ACR) has been one of our best-reviewed videos because it features Brad’s teaching style at its best, and it’s packed full like a Southern bell’s suitcase with sleights, moves and ideas.

Released in 2003, it marked a departure from Crash Course 1, which taught several stand-alone routines from beginning to end. With a concept of teaching the ACR, it taught so much more than a routine — it taught how to make OUR OWN routines. The ACR is a classic of magic: It was a specific variation of that trick that Dai Vernon used to fool Houdini. It can be done myriad ways with a borrowed deck of cards. Every card worker has their take on it, and usually relies on some form of it as their go-to trick.

That means there’s no one way to teach an ACR. There are multiple ways, and that’s exactly the approach Brad Christian took with the video. And that approach makes Crash Course 2.


Crash Course 2 offers some of the best examples of learning by watching. The video was PACKED with performances of the effects taught. It gave watchers a chance to see exactly how the sleights played to real people, and how some performances don’t exactly go as planned, but still look magical. We also got to see so many great reactions, from the kid with the “Jackass” shirt to the girls Nate Staniforth performed for.


At its core, Crash Course 2 is a video packed with controls — a lot of different ways to accomplish the same thing. How many different ways do we REALLY need to know how to get a card to a certain position? The serious answer is simple: A LOT. For many, Crash Course 2 was a first toolbox, or arsenal. It gave magicians many options of accomplishing a certain task, and that freed up creativity.


The moves taught in Crash Course 2 go way beyond one-hit wonders. Many of those moves can be adapted for other purposes. Take the push-off double lift, for instance: It works at either the front of a trick to show a card going somewhere it’s really not, or it can be used at the end of a trick to reveal what a card really isn’t. By learning all the different uses for a sleight, the video taught a powerful lesson about using sleights in different ways.


This is probably the most important point: The other three points basically give magicians the power to create their own routines based on their performance character. David Blaine got many interested in magic, but one thing the video drives home is that people don’t want to see magic tricks performed — they want to see a GREAT MAGICIAN performing magic. Learning a variety of sleights and different ways to use them lets magicians take ownership of their own magic, and that’s the best lesson of all.

FOUR POINTS is a regular feature that celebrates magicians’ favorite number by highlighting four critical bits of importance, awesomeness or otherwise. Send your suggestions to

Brad Christian: Your sleights mean nothing

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Consider this a late Christmas present. Remember the letter and video Brad Christian sent out on Christmas? We’re happy to show you round two.

And this one is dedicated to the movemonkeys. Yeah, you. We see your well done invisible pass in your videos, but we don’t see your face. We don’t hear your voice. In this vid, Brad explains why mechanics will always be trumped by presentation, and talks a little bit about how to make a presentation engaging, realistic and relevant. Enjoy.

Monsters of Magic unite for dance jam

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Yeah, yeah, it’s a week after Halloween. With all the Arcane craziness last week, the below video features the results of a top secret project that Brad Christian, Jason Brumbalow (I think), David Mitchell, Aaron Fisher and Lee Asher have been working on. It’s going to be a MONSTER. Check it out:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Seriously, whoever took the time to do this is all kinds of awesome. Was it you, Lee?

Royal Mail strike messes with U.K. deliveries

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Dear magic-loving Britons and U.K. Ellusionist customers:

We do not envy you right now, what with the Royal Mail on strike. First of all, it’s an incredibly detailed yet confusing schedule of strikes you have to deal with. No drivers one day, no carriers the next… yet none of those options help you pay your cell phone bill on time. It’s also a complicated, polarizing issue — mainly because the headlines and photos don’t seem to match.

We can only imagine how your lives are being affected. Seriously: We can joke about how it’s terrible that you might not get Arcanes at the same time as everyone else, but that’s shallow. You have bills to pay and checks to receive. This strike could cost you extra money and may even threaten your ability to care for you and yours.

With all the postal drama, we have some good news at Ellusionist: We offer shipping through UPS. We just checked a fake order of a brick of Shadow Masters to Buckingham Palace and found that our 1- to 3-day and 2- to 5-day options cost a little bit less than USPS Priority Mail. But the best part is that UPS delivers all the way to your doorstep: It does not rely on Royal Mail for any mail delivery. So, you can get your Arcanes on time, after all.

We have no opinions on what needs to be done regarding the strike. We only wish for a speedy, amicable resolution so that you don’t have to put up with this hassle anymore.


Vintage videos discovered of Christian, Angel

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

A couple of interesting vintage videos unsurfaced themselves last week. Check out this video of Billy Joel’s “Big Shot,” especially at :53 in:

Forum user DaveyG made a special, edited version of Christian’s appearance in the video.

Also, forum user Brandon Sheffield sent us a link to a video that we had no idea existed. Mindfreak fans, get ready to see Criss Angel rock it out
’80s-style, complete with magic tricks: