Deep Astonishment II "The Gypsy"
by Paul Harris & Rodney Whitlock
Reviewed by Tom Lauten

Paul Harris and Rodney Whitlock have revisited a classic.

Deep Astonishment has become a favourite effect of many a performer in recent years. It's a revelation of a "special word," chosen by the spectator, secreted away since the beginning of the effect.

For some, mainly those who didn't perform many card based routines, Deep Astonishment was a fantastic effect that was reluctantly placed aside, sadly not fitting in with their performance theme and style. Suddenly things have changed... Enter "Deep Astonishment II - The Gypsy"

Here's what it says on the tin…

You display a leather gypsy envelope and a beautiful old gypsy fortune telling deck. Each card has a fortune printed right on its face. You ask your "client" to utter the name of a special someone to create a relaxed fortune telling atmosphere. Let's say her special name is "Rose."

You then do a short three card reading for your client. The first card predicts good luck. The second card indicates an impending mystery. The third card hints that this impending lucky mystery might have something to do with an envelope. Could it be referring to the leather envelope lying on the table?

You open the leather envelope and remove a small packet of fortune telling cards. Their backs are a different color than the cards you've been using!

You slowly and cleanly deal the cards from the envelope on the table. The first card has a large hand drawn "R" on its back. The next card an "O". The next an "S". The final card an "E"...spelling "Rose"!

NO Cue Cards! NO Memorization! NO Mnemonics! NO Lead-in Effect!
NO Cards to Hold! Totally Angle Proof! Completely Streamlined!

True, true, true, true, true, true... and true.

The method is diabolical and well hidden. The props are convincing and lend themselves to a "storyline" more easily than the original "DA" props. This story also allows for a more "credible" series of "moves" - everything seems to be in context with the premise. Presented well the word revelation is a truly magical moment and quite eerie.

The "Deep Astonishment II - The Gypsy" package comes complete with a custom-made leather "envelope" and a full-colour gypsy fortune telling deck. The instructions present "DAII" as light-hearted but trust me... done well this could have a profound effect on spectators.

What is most impressive with this effect, REALLY impressive in fact, is the way that the workings and method are so well integrated into a credible routine. This is the real improvement. Everything works in unison with everything else, everything has a logical reason for happening... so much so that the trick becomes an issue of performance only.

Having said all of this, "DA 1" is still a fine effect and may well suit people who prefer a "slick cardician" approach, for them a set of old fortune teller cards would be very much out of place.

If you like tricks with the feel of the bizarre or effects that have a "fortune telling or reading" slant to them, this is a perfect addition to your collection. If you simply fancy the idea of adding a pretty damned clever effect and an impressive set of props to your collection of magical wonders, grab a copy of Deep Astonishment II.

© Tom Lauten, October 2005