Frequently asked questions

A collection of the questions I'm asked over and over again, about tricks, books, videos, shows and other stuff found on this site.


There are two major TV systems in the world, PAL and NTSC. When you buy a video cassette, it must be recorded in the system that your VCR and TV set can play. PAL is used in Europe, Australia, South Africa and other countries. NTSC is used in USA and Japan among other countries. Some VCR's and TV's can take both systems. Click here for a complete list of TV systems and countries.

Can I watch the DVDs in my region?

Yes, you can. Magic videos are not coded for just one region - they can be played in any DVD region in the world.

Film companies use Region coding to be able to control the release dates in different regions. An example: Usually, Hollywood films are released in USA a few weeks or months before the release in Europe. To prevent us Europeans from buying the film in USA and watch it before the European release date, they put region 1 coding on the DVD so it cannot be played on the European Region 2 players.

Why do they want this? Because the actors make a promotion tour in the region, to make as much brouhaha as possible before the film is shown in movie theatres. Actors cannot be everywhere at the same time. There's also a limited number of physical copies of the film, so they've split the world into 6 regions. They also allow enough time before the release of the DVD, so every little movie theatre has the opportunity to show the film before you can buy it on a DVD. They want you to spend your money twice on the film! First, you watch it in a movie theatre, then you buy the DVD. (And when no one wants to buy it anymore, they put it on TV, and make even more money.)

Makers of Magic DVDs have no interest in controlling when you watch the film - they want everyone to buy it ASAP, so magic videos are never region coded. We will probably not see that until someone makes a magic DVD that's so good it will be shown in movie theatres...

Can I watch the DVDs on my computer?

Yes, you can. But I would recommend that you install a software DVD player if you own a PC. Windows Media Player isn't the world's best DVD player, although it does get the job done. There are several good programs you can download or buy.

Why a Norwegian Mousetrap?

The reason for including the Norwegian mousetrap in the Card in Mousetrap trick is that the Norwegian ones are perfect for the trick. Some mousetraps are not strong enough to grip the card firmly. It's so much more fun to hold the card up and let the trap hang from the card, than to just hold up the card and let the trap fall off. The Norwegian mousetrap will always hold the card firmly, and allow for the final display as seen on the picture. That's the only reason. If you want to, you can use your own trap. Just make sure it's strong enough.

Isn't the Mousetrap dangerous?

Definitely not, if you know how to set it without hurting your fingers. You can watch a video clip here that will tell you how to do this. It's also explained in the manuscript. The routine is structured so you never can hurt anyone's fingers. Not your own. Not anyone else's. Ever.

How long does the Rubber Chicken Egg last?

It will last for thousands of performances! If it gets dirty, you just wash it with water and mild soap (be careful not to get water inside the egg, it takes a long time to dry...). When it's clean it gets a little sticky. To prevent this, you add corn starch on the outside and the inside. Corn starch is used for making sauces and for other cooking purposes, and your mother will tell you where you can buy it. It costs almost nothing.

Where can I get the Weller Egg?

Most likely, you can't. Wes Strong, who made them, passed away a few years ago. But the Rubber Chicken Eggs are even better. They have all the same qualities that the Weller Eggs had, plus they have only one entry hole. This makes them look even more real than the Weller ones.

Can I color the Rubber Chicken Egg?

I've tried tea and other stuff for coloring them, but have not succeeded. I no longer sell the El Niño Brown Rubber Egg.

What is Corn Starch?

Corn starch is starch made from corn. It's used for making sauces and food. Ask your mother about it! You can buy it in the supermarket where they sell food supplies. Here's a list with a few translations:


Almidón de maíz
Amidon (fécule) de maïs
Amido (farina) di mais
Amido de milho

Do you sell the tape for the Almost Ultimate Newspaper Trick?

I'm sorry, I no longer sell the tape... But you should be able to get it from shops that sell tape to the industry. I had a local paint shop order it from 3M especially for me. It's from 3M, and the number is 928. It comes in rolls 19mm wide and 16,5m long. One roll will last for a lifetime! In the USA, the tape has another number: 1 inch wide 3M 9415 comes on 72 yds rolls.

Where can I get Gary Kurtz' booklet Direction and Misdirection?

The booklet Leading With Your Head is an expanded version of Direction and Misdirection. What started out as a thin booklet has now grown into a much bigger one, and has a lot of additional material. The result is what I consider the best magic book ever written.

Should I buy both the Pocket Power video and the book?

Actually, this is not a stupid question. The book contains a lot of theory that I didn't want to put on the tape. It would be extremely boring to watch me just talk. So the theory is best learned from the book. On the other hand, timing and choreography is very difficult to describe in a book, but can be easily seen on the tape. So you should definitely consider buying both the tape and the book.
The e-book version is actually a great combination of the book and the video. You get all the text from the book (plus an expanded chapter on Choreographic Misdirection) and video clips of five routines so you can see the timing etc.

Can I pay with a check?

Sorry, but no. You cannot pay with any kind of check any more. The banks charge so much for dealing with foreign checks that it's not usable any more. PayPal is the simplest and quickest way to send your money.


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©2009 Jarle Leirpoll

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