Here are a some thoughts on recent releases that were discussed in past issues of X-Communication. I didn't want to limit the audience for these ideas to those who get that newsletter, but I also didn't want to post them publicly here as they hint at or discuss methods to effects that aren't mine to discuss. So they're on password protected pages that can be accessed by people who own the things being talked about.
In X-Communication #6 I gave some thoughts on Chris Ramsay's At The Table lecture. For me, the strongest effect in the lecture was his handling for the Voodoo Card effect. It's essentially the same effect as Guy Hollingworth's original, but the card can be signed. Tomas Blomberg has evolved the handling further, incorporating a justification I mention in my review that really solidifies the effect and a switch with a retention of vision aspect that makes it pretty much invisible. His handling also allows for the multi-stage reveal in the Hollingworth original, which I think is a more satisfying structure.
You can see Tomas' handling and read the relevant section of my review on this page. The password is the word that Chris Oberle uses about 20 seconds into the lecture during his introduction. It follows this phrase, "He has a big ______" -- just the first word after "big," lowercase.
In the Christmas issue of X-Communication I gave a positive review to Stegosaurus by Phill Smith. I particularly like the structure of the trick. It starts off with a couple of phases that seem like a word puzzle. And while we often say, "This is a puzzle, not magic," as a critique of something, I think these first two phases will capture the interest of intelligent spectators. And those phases will lull them into a false sense that they know what's going on. And that only makes the final phase that much stronger.
While I like and recommend the effect, it's not something that I would ever plan to perform ahead of time. It's more the type of effect I would get into when I'm with a group of people and we unexpectedly have some time to kill. So I've made some personalizations to the effect that allow me to perform it in a more impromptu manner. I've also come up with a presentation for it that I think helps justify the somewhat odd procedure of the trick. At least it does so to my satisfaction.
You can read those ideas on this page. The password is the word that appears at position number 10 of the list on page 10 of the Stegosaurus pdf.