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Topic: Skin by Benjamin Earl
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Mar 7, 2009 01:50AM)
Note: I did a search and found no reference to this, I'm surprised as heck cuz this is a great DVD.

Title: Skin by Benjamin Earl
Medium: DVD
Arena: Close up mentalism
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Skin, as an effect, is a coin bend. The routine, in a nutshell, is a coin is held in a spectators hand, the spectators pulse slows or stops then they fill a strange sensation resulting in a coin bending and the mentalist then deduces the year on the coin. Nutshells donít tell us much. Skin as a project is a major study of the psychological strategy and design for the coin bend, just like the DVD box says. What I say is it is an amazingly detailed and thorough study on how to present a piece of mentalism that happens to make use of a bent coin. This was a fascinating DVD to watch and if you are interested in the psychology of presenting mentalism, in fact this is the type of information normally found only in books. Benjamin Earl, a nice looking English gent with a very pleasant accent and the Ďlookí of a mentalist, is very knowledgeable about the subject and communicates that knowledge clearly. This is basically a Ďone trick DVDí but it is so far beyond that. I hate to say this but the principles are so valuable the bent coin is almost secondary. Oh, I guess I should say the routine as a whole is excellent and if you present it right you will leave a really strong impression on the spectator you use as well as those that watch the performance.

The quality of the DVDís production is outstanding, absolutely beautiful in every way. The graphics are great, a step above the regularly high standards expected from the producers at Alakazam Magic. The cameras used are high end, the lighting is done the right way, the sound is perfect. Even the performance pieces are clear and of a better quality than many DVDs supposedly shot in a studio, or what I like to call a garage. Note to the rare fellow who contacts me for saying they didnít do lighting or camera work well and complain that they did a great job you should watch this to see how it is done right. As I said before Benjamin does an excellent job performing then explaining every aspect of the effect and then some. There is a fellow who is with Benjamin during the explanation, Iím sorry I didnít note his name, and he was smart enough not to step on the explanations or try to dominate things. During the explanation they would re show parts of the performances so you had the reference to go by. Hats off, again, to Alakazam Magic, they know what they are doing.

I went into this thinking it would be a twenty minute DVD basically saying Ďbend the coin, switch it in, act like you know karate, tadaí. I was surprised and very pleased and while I didnít watch it all at one sitting and am not sure how long it is I think it must run close to two hours, donít quote me on that. I learned quite a bit from this project and also enjoyed reading the history of the effect on the pdf file. Youíll get a lot of mileage out of a bent coin let me tell you. Outstanding DVD all the way around, I canít find a single thing to complain about, and for me that is rare.
Message: Posted by: deputy (Mar 7, 2009 11:55AM)
Great review, I agree. Really a lot of intresting information on this disk, I am just starting to digest all of it
Message: Posted by: animation (Mar 7, 2009 01:55PM)
I also have to agree. But it would have been nice to see all the live performances in full. However, I still think this is an amazing routine, I also like the idea of revealing a thought of word which Ben talks about in the Bonus booklet
Message: Posted by: Pablo_Amira (Mar 7, 2009 01:58PM)
Excelent dvd
cameras,performances, explanation, key psychological points, etc.
Message: Posted by: steve_seguin (Mar 7, 2009 03:06PM)
I'm not surprised, all of his stuff is good. How long has this been out?
Message: Posted by: Turk (Nov 14, 2009 02:33PM)
I value MagicSanta's review quite highly. FWIW, I just purchased this DVD and am looking forward to watching it and learning from it. If it is anything like Benjamin Earl's "Past Midnight" DVD series, I'm in for one he** of a ride and learning experience. I can hardly wait for it arrives.

I'll post a review after watching the DVD and pracitcing the effect. I suspect that all I'll have to do is quote MagicSanta's review and say "See the above". (grin)

Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Nov 16, 2009 09:40AM)
Mike, you should pick up something along the lines of Reality is Plastic to learn "qualifiers" so that you can get the bulk of the Skin routine to work. Earl does not go over such "qualifiers" thus to me, the teaching is really incomplete on Skin. I learned how to "qualify" way before Reality is Plastic ever released as well as way before Skin ever came out. The routine I've used is a modified version of the Hot Ring which is written up nicely in Luke Jermay's Building Blocks book.
Message: Posted by: BlueOwl (Aug 30, 2011 08:09AM)
I have always been a fan of Benís technical card work, so I decided to pick up this DVD on a whim. I was curious to see how a superb card technician would present a mentalism piece. Needless to say, I was quite impressed.

As the reviews above mention, the teaching is quite in-depth and the effect itself is truly psychological in nature. The effect will take some performance chops to effectively present.

Even more than the effect, I enjoyed listening to the information flow from Ben. At times during the explanations he would go into a zone and start talking about variations and psychological principles. Overall, Skin is a thought-provoking and entertaining DVD to learn from. Not to mention you will have a powerful coin bend to add to your repertoire, without the need to carrying around utility devices.

~ Nate
Message: Posted by: John Carey (Aug 30, 2011 03:06PM)
I was fortunate enough to be taught the work on this some time before Ben released it. So well thought out and the effect is one they will remember. Do I care that the coin is not signed? Not at all, it isn't a magic trick. Yes some of the signed versions are very clever, but I wouldn't swap Ben's approach for any of them.

Just my honest opinion.