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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » ASYMPTOTES. New book coming soon from Ben Blau (23 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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IAIN
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Quote:
On May 21, 2016, John C wrote:

"most" any card trick can be performed as mentalism. This isn't my opinion it's more of a fact. If I have to explain this here then whomever needs to read the explanation won't get it anyway.


you might have to explain it to me, cos I certainly don't think that its more of a fact...its an opinion...and its mine that too many people would agree with you John
Smile Smile
Ben Blau
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Some people just can't get past the idea that playing cards can be used effectively in mentalism. Obviously, I don't share this opinion. The cards, in and of themselves, are just things. Some of the most impressive mentalism I've ever seen uses playing cards. And most of the least impressive mentalism I've ever seen uses the ubiquitous staples of the typical mentalist's toolset. Cards are NOT the problem.
Ben Blau
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FYI -

Some of the online vendors are have now been resupplied with copies of ASYMPTOTES.

For those of you who have been waiting, it appears that they are now avialable.

-Ben
Zedd
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I've worked my way nearly through - WOW, what a great book!!!!!! I give it a 11 out of 10!!!!!!

Please keep going, Ben!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best regards,

Zedd
Ben Blau
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On Jun 5, 2016, Zedd wrote:
I've worked my way nearly through - WOW, what a great book!!!!!! I give it a 11 out of 10!!!!!!

Please keep going, Ben!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best regards,

Zedd


Thank you, Zedd! I've got some things in the works that I think you'll really enjoy!

-Ben
John C
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Quote:
On May 21, 2016, IAIN wrote:
Quote:
On May 21, 2016, John C wrote:

"most" any card trick can be performed as mentalism. This isn't my opinion it's more of a fact. If I have to explain this here then whomever needs to read the explanation won't get it anyway.


you might have to explain it to me, cos I certainly don't think that its more of a fact...its an opinion...

and its mine that too many people would agree with you John
Smile Smile


I guess you wouldn't get it anyway. Smile
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
John C
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Quote:
On May 21, 2016, Ben Blau wrote:
Some people just can't get past the idea that playing cards can be used effectively in mentalism. Obviously, I don't share this opinion. The cards, in and of themselves, are just things. Some of the most impressive mentalism I've ever seen uses playing cards. And most of the least impressive mentalism I've ever seen uses the ubiquitous staples of the typical mentalist's toolset. Cards are NOT the problem.


I agree 100%
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Tom Cutts
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It's not the playing cards. It's the tedious process. And yes, tedious process is not limited to playing cards but it's use with them fascinates magicians.
Ben Blau
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On Jun 5, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
It's not the playing cards. It's the tedious process. And yes, tedious process is not limited to playing cards but it's use with them fascinates magicians.


I'm not against there being a "process", unless it's illogical or unmotivated. It's quite possible for a process to be engaging, and fun for the participant. A process that seems to exist for no apparent reason is obviously problematic. Assuming that an effect has a technical requirement for a process doesn't make it bad. The performer needs to apply his/her talent and creativity to make the process congruent with the theatrical intentions of the performance.

-Ben
Robb
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Well fellas, just wanted to mention "process" is different from procedure. What I don't like is overly complicated *procedures* with a ton of shuffling, dealing, etc. Anything that focuses attention to long on the cards (or any prop in play). The *process* is the act of the participants doing the thing they're doing: reading minds, predicting the future, etc. The process is what we often overlook and leaves a routine feeling flat... nothing seems to be happening in the minds of either the mentalist, the participant or both. The process might be subtle or overt, but it needs to be there. Otherwise, no drama, no emotion, no hook.

Procedure should almost always be kept to a minimum as it's not what the routine is about, but sometimes it's unavoidable due to method constraints or the necessary setup for the process to unfold.

Ben, I'm curious, do you do *other* types of mentalism routines, that don't involve cards (playing cards or otherwise)?
Ben Blau
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On Jun 6, 2016, Robb wrote:

Ben, I'm curious, do you do *other* types of mentalism routines, that don't involve cards (playing cards or otherwise)?


Yes. But why do you care?
Ben Blau
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On Jun 6, 2016, Robb wrote:
Well fellas, just wanted to mention "process" is different from procedure. What I don't like is overly complicated *procedures* with a ton of shuffling, dealing, etc. Anything that focuses attention to long on the cards (or any prop in play). The *process* is the act of the participants doing the thing they're doing: reading minds, predicting the future, etc. The process is what we often overlook and leaves a routine feeling flat... nothing seems to be happening in the minds of either the mentalist, the participant or both. The process might be subtle or overt, but it needs to be there. Otherwise, no drama, no emotion, no hook.

Procedure should almost always be kept to a minimum as it's not what the routine is about, but sometimes it's unavoidable due to method constraints or the necessary setup for the process to unfold.



"Procedures" such as shuffling and dealing are congruent with establishing conditions, and providing clarity with regard to a participant's choices. Again, if something is illogical or unmotivated, it's a problem. But shuffling and dealing, in and of themselves, are not. Some of the most spectacular mentalism I've ever seen involves decks of cards being shuffled and dealt. Besides, you're leaving out the most important detail, which is how the performer ties all these actions together. It can be done well, and it can be done poorly.

-Ben
Robb
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2016, Ben Blau wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 6, 2016, Robb wrote:

Ben, I'm curious, do you do *other* types of mentalism routines, that don't involve cards (playing cards or otherwise)?


Yes. But why do you care?


Just curious. Nothing good or bad about it either way.
Robb
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2016, Ben Blau wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 6, 2016, Robb wrote:
Well fellas, just wanted to mention "process" is different from procedure. What I don't like is overly complicated *procedures* with a ton of shuffling, dealing, etc. Anything that focuses attention to long on the cards (or any prop in play). The *process* is the act of the participants doing the thing they're doing: reading minds, predicting the future, etc. The process is what we often overlook and leaves a routine feeling flat... nothing seems to be happening in the minds of either the mentalist, the participant or both. The process might be subtle or overt, but it needs to be there. Otherwise, no drama, no emotion, no hook.

Procedure should almost always be kept to a minimum as it's not what the routine is about, but sometimes it's unavoidable due to method constraints or the necessary setup for the process to unfold.



"Procedures" such as shuffling and dealing are congruent with establishing conditions, and providing clarity with regard to a participant's choices. Again, if something is illogical or unmotivated, it's a problem. But shuffling and dealing, in and of themselves, are not. Some of the most spectacular mentalism I've ever seen involves decks of cards being shuffled and dealt. Besides, you're leaving out the most important detail, which is how the performer ties all these actions together. It can be done well, and it can be done poorly.

-Ben


Hey man, I did say a TON of shuffling, dealing, etc. Obviously some amount is necessary for card work. Though, heck, half the time I could just skip the shuffling and it wouldn't affect the routine impact in the least. Sometimes it's even psycholgically advantageous to make virtually zero effort at establishing conditions. I find that if my internal state is one of a complete lack of concern for "fairness" the participant senses that and it's more convincing than physically establishing anything... *** Sometimes! ***
Tom Cutts
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FYI, "process" and "procedure" are synonymous and I use them as such. The actions taken by a participant to arrive at a selection, thought, etc. shuffle the cards... Cut the cards... Shuffle the cards... Now cut them this way.... Deal them out on the table... Let me peek at them... Pick one... I will pair up some cards but not matching... Now cut them again how I showed you... And so forth.
Robb
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On Jun 6, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
FYI, "process" and "procedure" are synonymous and I use them as such. The actions taken by a participant to arrive at a selection, thought, etc.


Well, that's your prerogative. Most guys I know regard the terms of specific to two different aspects of performance. Ross Johnson did reference the fact that many are not aware of the usage of the terms in his Penguin lecture. I think it's important to differentiate them.
Ben Blau
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In the context of a mentalism performance, these terms are most definitely not used in the same sense. "Procedure" refers to physical actions and steps carried out. "Process" is the apparent means by which the claimed ability is achieved (e.g., pseudo-telepathy, muscle reading, clairvoyance, NLP, what have you).
Robb
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On Jun 6, 2016, Ben Blau wrote:
In the context of a mentalism performance, these terms are most definitely not used in the same sense. "Procedure" refers to physical actions and steps carried out. "Process" is the apparent means by which the claimed ability is achieved (e.g., pseudo-telepathy, muscle reading, clairvoyance, NLP, what have you).


Correct.
Tom Cutts
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I simply don't buy into that schism. But as you say "to each their own". Or better yet, ask your audience what "the process" was. Then ask them what the ability displayed was. In the end it's a matter of clearly communicating and I choose to not reassign the definition of synonyms which can easily be confused.
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2016, Ben Blau wrote:
In the context of a mentalism performance, these terms are most definitely not used in the same sense. "Procedure" refers to physical actions and steps carried out. "Process" is the apparent means by which the claimed ability is achieved (e.g., pseudo-telepathy, muscle reading, clairvoyance, NLP, what have you).


Thank you for proving the confusion. Telepathy, clairvoyance, etc are abilities, and that is precisely why I choose much more precise language, but feel free to do as you like.
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