Ryan Plunkett’s Distilled is a handsome, 200-page volume of practical and professional material, plucked straight from his working repertoire. Like a fine whiskey, this tidy collection of ten routines was distilled and honed slowly and carefully, over time.

Ryan Plunkett, a founding ensemble member & resident magician at the famous Chicago Magic Lounge, performs this material every night for sold-out audiences. He teaches clever and intriguing versions of classics like card-through-handkerchief (“Paper and Silk”) and his version of ACAAN (“Any Card at Our Numbers.”) Then there are more unusual plots, like “Fan Mail,” in which a free selection matches a card found in a piece of fan mail, and “Gravity Deck,” a strange vanish of a pack of cards wherein the spectator actually feels the weight of the deck diminish.

As Mike Pisciotta explains in the foreword, Ryan is, “a magician who takes the time to analyze (the audience’s) reactions to the material time and again, all while honing and fine tuning each piece for maximum impact.” And it shows: Ryan is a fan favorite at the Chicago Magic Lounge, and performs across the country at private and corporate events.

The contents of Distilled:

Any Card at Our Numbers​ – Two decks begin on the table. One is chosen by a spectator then shuffled thoroughly, while the other is isolated under another spectator’s hand. Two numbers are freely named. Despite nearly impossible odds, the same card is found in BOTH decks in the named position. This is an ideal opener for formal card magic performances.

Fan Mail​ – This is a piece that spans several tricks, in which a randomly chosen card from a red deck is shown to match a card given away earlier from a blue deck, placed inside a piece of fan mail. It’s funny, easy to follow, and amazing, as well as being a lesson in solid act construction.

Ace on Top​ – This is the most practical piece in Distilled. The ace through five of a named suit are placed in order, then rearranged. Despite repeatedly changing the sequence, the order always remains the same. With several phases, this routine has a lovely build and displays Ryan’s knack for elegant construction.

Magnetic Silver​ – In this multi-phase routine you cause two silver coins to apparently become magnetized, attracting to and repelling away from each other.

The Time Machine​ –This is Ryan’s handling of a classic plot in which you cause a deck of cards to go back in time, step by step.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind​ — Ryan has performed and explored this Dai Vernon classic for many years. While there are many variations in print, this is as elegant and efficient a solution as they come. Every moment and subtlety has been considered in order to achieve a real piece of wonder.

Versatile Transport​ — A result of performing for real people, this approach to the Slow Motion Bill Transpo allows for the use of any borrowed bill, using a deviously practical approach. A stunning miracle you’ll never want to take out of your wallet.

Paper and Silk​ — Ryan has breathed new life into the wonderful classic “Cards Through Handkerchief.” Justifying the use of the handkerchief to make the deck “sleight of hand proof,” the audience is left with the memory of the cards having never been touched by the magician; yet the card penetrates the cloth with ease.

Muck Off​ — The magician demonstrates a classic way to cheat at cards: hiding cards in the sleeve and switching them into play. The magician then grants this skill to the spectator, with a card on the table switching with a card in the spectator’s sleeve. Combined with a lovely and logical kicker, Ryan has elegantly organized clever thinking into a neat package.

Gravity Deck​ – The most unusual effect in the book, in this routine you place a deck of cards in the box, then cause the spectator to incrementally feel the box get lighter and lighter, finally displaying a clearly empty box. You then immediately cause the cards to reappear inside the box. The method will make you smile.

Appointed with over 182 gorgeous photographs and step-by-step instruction, Distilled is a collection worthy of careful study.


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