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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » "Vindicator" - A mental card routine from Ben Blau (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ben Blau
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On Jun 25, 2017, adiabaticman wrote:
Ben, I think the performance in this new demo was perfectly fine. No nervousness was apparent. I think that feeling of nervousness (if any) is only internal. I feel the same when I give talks at work. Other people say they didn't notice anything when I feel I was very nervous. I guess we sometimes evaluate ourselves more strictly than others.


Here's a tip on dealing with performance nerves. I call it "scripting relaxation". I write scripts. In addition to the words, I include things like facial expressions, blocking, as well as specific reminders to myself to actively try to relax at specific moments during the performance. In addition to that, I have a secret inner ritual I carry out just before I begin any presentation. It's an inner mantra, consisting of a single word. The word is "Commit". I relax as I repeat this word several times over and over again in my mind. I find it to be incredibly helpful. Problem is, sometimes I forget to do it. And when I do forget, my performances always turn out worse than what I'm capable of. This was the case for the Vindicator video I shot with Patrick. I was preoccupied with things that shouldn't have distracted me, such as whether or not there was enough free space on his camera SD cards to keep me from having to start over.

But, again, what I put out and want people to see is all done in the spirit of honesty. The performance was "just okay" from my point of view.

Ben
landmark
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Ben, thanks. As always your careful attention to scripting and performance increases the impact quite a bit.

You mentioned that people accuse you of using a marked deck in the trick. As with much of Aronson's and other memdeck material, the problem is often how to disprove the notion of marked cards in performance. Proving afterwards is much weaker, in my opinion.

I think a future script might point out that when s/he turns over the packet with the selection that "even if I were peeking now, even if the cards were marked, there's no way I could read the back or front of your card. And for good measure, shuffle your packet, so I wouldn't even know what card to look at if I could!"

People don't even really know how using marked cards works--you can help them to understand and then dispel it as a solution for them at the very same time.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"--Abraham Lincoln

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Ben Blau
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Thanks, Landmark. I generally prefer not to verbally introduce the idea in the first place. I'd rather have people think that I have no idea what marked cards are in the first place. As well, I like to rule out as much as possible in the audience's mind via structure. In this routine, a marked card (in the spectator's mind) wouldn't help me, because I never see the front or back of their selection. The magicians who watch this often suggest using marked cards not to identify the selection itself, but rather the indicator that cues it. Besides, if I'm performing for strangers with my own deck, I give it to them to keep when I'm done. That is good enough for me.
landmark
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Yes, you are congruent enough that it could well be that you're a guy who happens to have some cards, rather than a card guy. After that, it's a matter of balance between keeping your assumed naivete and dispelling possible solutions. I can appreciate that your performance style can lean towards the former effectively.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"--Abraham Lincoln

You can read my daily blog at Musings, Memories, and Magic
Ben Blau
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I've finally seen the explanation footage. I think it has more to offer than the performance video. Only Patrick has the power to decide how and when this will be released. I think it turned out particularly well, and am personally eager to share it. Let's hope Patrick comes up with something that makes us all happy!

Ben
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I really enjoyed watching you perform Vindicator Ben, great stuff, I'm well impressed. You looked far from nervous to me. I'm a musician [among other things] and I'm mostly never satisfied with any recording that I do in the studio. I think it's just knowing that I'm being recorded that puts me off a bit. Anyway, your performance was great, and I like your remarks about not letting a particular s**k dictate what your routine is going to be. The word 'Flexibility' springs to mind.

Will.
A Man's gotta know his limitations ... A Magician sets those limitations.
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