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  • Writer's pictureMadison Hagler

People Power by Andi Gladwin

The folks at Vanishing Inc have just launched a new stand up routine by Andi Gladwin. 

I’m going to use a new format for this one, and I will probably continue to use this format for single effects/routines in the future. I’m going to begin with the description from the website and then give my thoughts below it. The description will be italicized. If you’re already familiar with the effect/routine and just want my thoughts, just skip to the non-italicized text. 


“Andi Gladwin’s direct, powerful, and easy-to-do stage and parlor magic routine that plays as big for 20 people as it does for 2,000. This is the rare stage effect that genuinely packs small and plays huge. For over a decade, Andi has been able to command rooms of any size with nothing more than just one slim folder, and now you can too! 

Six people join you on stage for an interactive and engaging game featuring three simple elimination steps. Despite each step being a completely fair choice leading to a seemingly random outcome, you are always able to predict the winner with 100% accuracy. This is not a vague guess either like “the person in glasses will win”. Your prediction containing the winning player’s actual name is locked in before the game even begins. 

You’re getting 5 to 7 minutes of entertaining and amazing audience-proven material that can be put right into your working set. It’s super easy to do and, most importantly, doesn’t require you to lug any heavy or delicate props from location to location. Your onstage participants are the main “props”, and the few other things you need pack flat—high-quality, specially-printed game cards and their accompanying numbered envelopes that all fit into one convenient, slim carrying folder that easily fits into any bag. 

“People Power” is one of Andi Gladwin’s most beloved signature effects. It was the first thing that came to mind when he was asked to perform something truly unique and astonishing on Masters of Illusion. Now, you can get the complete routine and all the props needed to start performing it right away. 

You won't believe how easy "People Power" is to do. This revolutionary new approach to equivoque and Chair Test style routines takes just a few minutes to master. Every detail has been thought out to ensure there are no “bad” outcomes like you often find in this style of this routine and to guarantee each performance flows just as smoothly as the one in the trailer. 

You get Andi’s full presentation, but at its heart, “People Power” is a flexible framework that allows you to add your own personalizations to the routine. You can change the rules of the game, use it as a fun way to select a participant, or simply use Andi’s three-phase routine with several killer moments of magic. 

Everything you need to get started right away is covered in the detailed instructional video. This includes a look at the main three-phase prediction routine, as well as how you can easily adapt the performance/theme to fit various environments and audiences. Whether presenting it as a game show or a showcase of your ability to influence people, there are so many ways to perform “People Power”. 

As an added bonus, Andi also shows you how you can perform the supercharged version he did on TV where you not only guess the winner, but also what prize they’ll select. All you need for that powerhouse routine is just a few extra supplies that you likely already own or can easily get at any store, plus a smartly-used additional little technique to discover the participant’s prize.”

My Thoughts:

The props are really great quality. It should be noted that nothing is gimmicked. The cards seem to be vinyl and have a textured surface that is very pleasing to the touch. The print quality looks great, and they seem very durable. The individual folders for the cards are also top quality. They are made from cardboard and have bold numbers printed on the front. They won’t last a lifetime, but they will last for a very long time. Finally the outer folder that holds the individual folders is a nice quality cardboard. I think it will receive the most wear and tear since it’s meant to be thrown in your bag or case, but it’s important to note that you do use the outer folder during the routine. This is the one item that may need replacing depending on how rough you are with your props. I would advise to also carry around the packaging for travel as that would add an extra layer of protection and help it last as long as the other props. 

The main principle is an equivoque sequence that uses the physical cards as a way to overtly prove that you’re not using equivoque. The cards are large, but on a large stage, the audience won’t be able to read the card so it seems kind of pointless as it could all be a big bluff. If I was performing for a larger crowd, I’d probably have a “judge” on stage who reads the instructions into the microphone to really distance the idea of equivoque. This won’t be a problem at all for parlor-sized audiences as they will be able to clearly read what is written. The method is very practical, but it’s also not bullet-proof (and not meant to be.) Andi says many people have come up with “improvements” over the years to try to make things cleaner, but I agree with him that it is probably unnecessary because the focus should be fully on the audience members and not on you. 

The routine may feel a bit familiar to you if you’ve read the Magic Magazines. That’s because Andi released this in Joshua’s column back in 2004. It’s easy enough to make the whole routine up yourself with a trip to an office supply store, but this comes as a complete package to save you the trip and to save you from having to get anything printed. The quality of this is also higher than you would find there and is sure to last longer.

The additional routine ideas are good but I wouldn’t say they are great. The three phase routine has a magical moment when the first person takes a seat on stage (sometimes,) then has a sneak thief routine using name tags, and ends with People Power as they are sent back to their seats in the audience. The first phase is probability based and may not happen 100% of the time. The bonus routine as performed on Masters of Illusion uses pre-show for two participants. 

As for the prediction, since the person is forced, you can predict the person in ANY way you want. You could just write down their name as Andi does, or you could really get creative and come up with clever, and perhaps more subtle, ways to use this. 

Overall, if you need a way to force one spectator out of 6, this is a great commercial and visual way to do it. It is a fun process that feels big and fills the stage. There are certainly other ways out there to force someone in a line up (Quinta comes to mind as one of my favorite methods for this) but the advantage with People Power is that the selection process is the entire routine. That’s where the engagement and fun comes in, and that’s what the whole thing is built on. If you’re curious about the method, you can read it in “Talk About Tricks: The Complete File” before purchasing to make sure it’s something you could use, but I’m sure you probably already have an idea of how it works by watching the performance. My advice would be to see how you could fit this routine into a larger routine rather than to just use it to predict a name as I feel that’s the weakest way to use this. 

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