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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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oombob
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Hi guys,

As a graphic designer I always love the opportunity to work on any magic / mentalism related stuff. Thanks Ben for being a great client!

More Asymptote pics here:

http://goo.gl/XlTKPm
Waters.
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Oombob,

Really nice design work. It looks fantastic.

Though I had an early copy, I had to buy this book (and I did). It's just better being able to get away from a device and sit for a while (with the tactile joy of) holding a real book. I am looking forward to this. I have not bought a book with card material in some time.
Follow the link...
www.experience-architecture.com
BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

I will be continuing my review in the next couple of days, but Id thought Id chime in and actually tell you about 2 of the effects within my past review that I have already practiced sufficiently, road-tested, and tried on real spectators.

The first effect is SORT OF THE TRUTH, and it is as I stated above an impossible divination of a card. As Ben stated, you do not locate the card, but rather just name it, after apparently the cards have been messed up.

This is a really fun effect to perform, because the spectator will not have a clue as to how you divine the card.
I have already performed this a dozen times, the first time being with my wife, and it passed the wife test.

The second effect is CREEPFEST.
For this effect, you need to use the CABOLO MANUEVER that Ben teaches you, so before I even performed this for my wife, I practiced this move, and got it down smoothly in about 1 hour or so, then I just kept repeating the same actions, and now I feel very comfortable doing it.
As I stated above, CREEPFEST is great, because you not only name the spectators thought of card, but the card that they merely mis-named, appears in your pocket.
I have also put this through the works, and both routines are now part of my working repertoire.

Like I said, I will post a review of more effects soon, just wanted you all to know my experience with the book, thus far.

Thanks

Alex Alejandro
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BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

Continuing on with my review, the next effect is called @
It is an ACAAN, with a twist

Effect:As in the traditional ACAAN format, one Participant (Tom) thinks
of a playing card and a second Participant (Mary) thinks of a
number. When Mary deals to her thought-of number, Tom's card
will be found in that position.
In this version, however, a prediction is incorporated as well. The
prediction is written down by the Performer prior to Mary dealing
to her number, but not revealed until she has done so.

Thoughts: This is a very easy and practical ACAAN that is different than most ACAANs. All that is required is a deck of cards, and one other item that you can find at your local office supply store.
The presentation is well scripted, and at first, upon reading the effect it reminded me of Atlas Brookings and Andrew Browns Crusade, but it is altogether different. It reads similar to that routine but it is very different.
This is something that I will perform at one point or another, since I like collecting ACAAN methods, and this is not hard to do at all.

The next effect is called MANHATTAN

Effect: An audience Participant fairly selects a random card and a number
from one to fifty-two. He removes the card and places it into his
pocket. The cards are thoroughly shuffled.
As the Performer sits with his back turned, the Participant deals
through the cards face-up, dealing the cards onto a pile on the table.
The Participant is asked to mentally count the cards as they are
dealt When he reaches his thought of number, he is to just
imagine the card in his pocket, in place of the actual card that
shows up, and then to continue on with the deal. Otherwise he is
to give no sign or clue as to either the name of the card or the number he has in mind.
Without any questions or further mucking about, the Performer
turns back, take the cards under the table, and removes the mate
to the thought-of card. He places the mate to the thought-of card
at the position in the pack that matches the Participant’s thought of number. He brings the cards up from under the table and hands
them to the Participant.
The Participant deals through the cards himself, and finds the
mate to the thought-of card at the number he has in mind.

Thoughts: This is not impromptu, well I take that back, you can make it impromptu on the fly, requires a partial setup, but you don't need to memorize a deck of cards for this, and also uses another very clever principle that has been used by many performers, like Pit Hartling, Dani DaOrtiz, and more. Also, uses layering, to hide other principles at work. Very clever.
This routine is also not hard to execute, and with enough practice, you will have it down in no time.

The next routine is the one that many of you saw in a demo that Ben shared the link to, called ISHIN DENSHIN

This is a Thought of Card to a Thought of Number.

If you have seen the demo, you will know that this is a whole presentation wrapped up into an impossible type coincidence effect.
All that is required to learn this, is basic memorization skills, don't worry, you wont have to memorize many cards, only very few, under 4.
there is a lot going on presentationally, and everything is bundled up very well here. I have performed this effect 2 times last night for some magician buddies, and they were genuinely fooled, and had no idea. You also learn a really cool false cut, that if you are into cards, you will already know the name of it once you see it.
After the explanation of the effect, you get Tom Baxters take on this effect, and his way of doing it, which I think is a great bonus, that way you can pick and choose which variation you want to learn and perform.

So that's it for this review, I will try to post more tomorrow, but for now, out of these 3 routines, I have already performed 1 of them, and will be trying out the other 2 in due time.

Thanks

Alex Alejandro
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Ben Blau
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Thanks for your continued work on reviewing this book, Alex.

One other point of clarification, though: "Ishin-Denshin" is NOT an "impossible coincidence" effect. The performer first intuits the thought-of card, and then deliberately places it at the thought-of number prior to the reveal.

Tom Baxter's addition to that effect is FABULOUS, and not shown in the demo video. I think people are really going to love what he came up with.

-Ben
Dapperdan
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Hi all... I have to add to this forum that I had the pleasure of meeting Ben for the first time last week at an informal gathering of Detroit area magicians. I am personally not a fan of mentalism and had actually not heard of Ben before meeting him that evening. This (apparently) made me (in Ben's eyes) the perfect subject for a number of his effects. What I learned was that Ben is a very natural performer. More importantly, I realized that you don't have to be a "mentalist", or even perform mentalism, to benefit from any one of the effects that he is including in this book. I focus my work on cards and coins manipulation, but will be picking up a copy of this book in order to add some very different effects to my magic.

One other thing about Ben himself... I have been around the "magic seen" for over 30 years and have met many magicians over that time. Many of them (my Detroit Area Magicians group excepted) have had big egos and tend to think very highly of themselves. (I guess it's a hazard of the trade.) Ben is one of the most down-to-earth, modest, and talented magicians I've met! I'm looking forward to learning more from him!
Tada!...

.
Ben Blau
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I have created a Facebook group for ASYMPTOTES, which is open to anyone who is interested. I will post updates, host discussions, and throw in occasional freebies once in a while.

If you're interested in ASYMPTOTES, please join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1699986893616975/
BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

Alex here.

Continuing on with the review of the book...

A PALE BLUE

this is Ben´s version of OOTW.

This reminded me a lot of other versions out there, but Ben has added a great presentation, and plus he uses a clever principle that almost all experienced card handlers know that is well hidden. Everything is justified within the routine.

As an extra, with the discard pile, another effect is possible at the end as well

This version will not replace my current version that I use which is that of Jon Armstrongs 2 phases Oil and Water from his DVDs, so I will not be putting work in this one, but if you are a fan of OOTW, or want to learn one, this is a great learning effect to do so.

CON-CENTRATION

EFFECT
You explain that you will play a modified game of Concentration
with an audience Participant. You show two sets of cards, each set
consisting of ten cards. Each card of the first set has a hand-drawn
picture of an object. Each card of the second set of ten has a single
word printed on the card. Each card’s word corresponds to a
drawing in the other set of cards. In other words one set would
have a drawing of a plane, and the other set would contain a card
with the word “plane” printed on it, etc.
Each set is thoroughly mixed to start. One set is placed in a pile
and given to the Participant to hold in his shirt pocket. With the
other set, the audience Participant is allowed to switch cards
around in a very fair and open manner. The goal is for them to use
their intuition to try to duplicate the hidden, unknown order of
the first set of cards.
Once the Participant is satisfied with the random order of this set
of cards, the first set is retrieved from the Participant’s shirt pocket,
and the two piles of cards are set side by side on the table, facedown.
The cards are openly and fairly turned over, simultaneously showing the faces of the top cards of each pile and then continuing on,
dealing through the entire packets. Miraculously, in every instance
the Name Card that is turned up matches the Picture Card that is
turned up at the same time.

Thoughts: This is great and Ben was inspired by something within Worlds Beyond. Everything is clearly explained, and Ben notes that if you don't wish to use drawings you can use playing cards instead. He teaches you the necessary technique you need to know in order for you to do this, some of you might have already learned it before, but, and there is a but, Bens move is called FUTILITY, and it is a variation on the old move explained in Worlds Beyond.
He then goes over THE CONVINCER DEAL, and how to properly represent it during the effect, it is a way to technically and fairly switch cards while dealing.

I like this effect, and have used the technique described before, so I will be practicing this at one point or another.

ESPILON

EFFECT
Phase 1
From a shuffled group of two sets of ESP symbol cards (10 in
total), a Participant thinks of one while the Performer's back is
turned. He also thinks of a number, between 1 and 10. Without
ever looking at the fronts or backs of any of the cards, the
Performer is able to unfailingly read the Participant's mind,
naming both the symbol as well as the number merely thought of.

Phase 2

You offer to repeat the feat again but under different conditions

Phase 3

Spectator as the Mind Reader

Thoughts: If you are a fan of ESP effects, you will want to add this to your repertoire. As you can see there are 3 phases each getting stronger and stronger, and plus, at the end you make them the star.

I think from the whole book, this routine is my favorite. There is a lot, and I mean a lot going on.

Nobody will be able to figure this out, not matter how they see it.

There are many hidden principles at play here, as well as very clever mathematics. don't worry you wont have to do a lot, but I just wanted to advise that math in this effect works, and its very cleverly hidden.

This was inspired by a Martin Gardner effect, and I believe this was one of the routines that took up the most pages to explain, since Ben wanted you to know all the ins and outs of this.

That is the end of this review for now, I will write more at a later time, but I will say that so far, most if not all the routines are ones that you will want to at least try out in practice, and some you will be adding to your repertoire.

Thanks

Alex Alejandro
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yachanin
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Hi All,

Since Alex has described "Con-Centration," I have to jump in here and say that I've had the opportunity to perform this for more than a year now (I use "Old Maid" playing cards rather than the picture/word cards). It is a KILLER routine (and my personal favorite). It always gets shouts of "No ******* way!" and other such outbursts (or the look of sheer disbelief in my volunteer's eyes). The volunteer makes all the decisions, yet all the pairs match... it just doesn't seem possible.

Regards, Steve
Ben Blau
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Regarding the "Futility Switch" referenced by Alex, let me point out that while it indeed was inspired by a Paul Curry technique, it takes it to an entirely different level. To paraphrase Bruce Bernstein's assessment of the technique:

"Really freaking clever... I didn't think that the original ******* ****** cloud be improved upon, but yours is a real addition to the technique."

Bruce told me that I should have sold that technique alone as a separate product.

Also, regarding the OOTW, I'm not aware of ANY other routines that are similar, with one exception ("Couples", again by Bruce Bernstein, recently republished in UNREAL).

My version allows the participant to choose which pile each card goes into from a shuffled, normal deck. At the end, the piles are simply turned over to reveal that the participant has successfully separated the reds and the blacks, with no discrepancy, no cleanup, and no misdirection. There is also no odd change of procedure mid-way through the routine. More importantly, however, are the logical justifications I provide for the steps involved, which lend intellectual credibility to the routine (despite the cleanliness of the method).

Myke Phillips (author of "Olivia", and creator of numerous other mentalism products) told me that it's his favorite handling of OOTW, and that he was "blown away" when I showed it to him.

Bruce thought highly enough of it to give me his blessings to publish it, despite its relationship to "Couples" (which, by the way, is also absolutely amazing).


-Ben
BMWGuy
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Thanks Ben

Yeah I was referring to Couples but everything in your OOTW is so fair. No wonder Myke liked it

I like Jon Armstrongs version which I have used for years

Thanks
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DrewBstoss
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First off - congrats on the release Ben! It looks like some fantastic work! Based on the feedback from SEVERAL people whose opinions I value it looks like this will be a must read.

Second off - thanks for your in depth review Alex! We ALL appreciate the time you've taken to write up your thoughts.

I've looked through the thread but couldn't find any mention of the anticipated release date (apologies if I've simply missed it!) - but I'm just wondering when this will reach the various dealers.

Best,

Drew
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ARCHITECT OF THE MIND
For more information and to download a free preview visit the link below:
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Ben Blau
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It should be ready to ship by around April 25.
DrewBstoss
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Sounds great Ben - thanks for the response!
"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." Neil Gaiman

Now Available: OMNI-TEST (Limited Release)
www.mindofandrews.com/omni-test

ARCHITECT OF THE MIND
For more information and to download a free preview visit the link below:
www.mindofandrews.com/colleagues

PENGUIN LIVE ACT: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/11689
BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

There will be no more reviews for awhile, but rather than keep reviewing the book, I wanted to really understand and take time to grasp the effects, presentation, concepts, etc, etc.

So I thought I would start by giving my thoughts on my favorite effect from the book, on what the audience sees, and my thoughts on it.

I believe this one effect could be inserted into anyone's repertoire, and you don't need special ESP cards to do it.

I have been performing it with my business cards, and it works great.

The routine is called ESPILON.

There are 3 phases to the routine, and in each phase the moments of magic just get stronger and stronger.
There are also multiple reveals that are made, not just the thought of symbol, for example.

I have been performing this constantly on a daily basis, and is always in my wallet.

This is one of the non-card routines in the book that uses regular ESP cards, and I feel for this one routine, if you take away anything from this book, is the way Ben structures and really develops his routining and actions that fit the patter and effect.

I wish I lived in Detroit, so I could pick Ben's brains and I could see some of these great routines performed live, or just to witness first hand Ben performing the routine to a spectator would be great.

This I believe will be one routine that is apt for being labeled "Worth the price" as are others in the book as well, but this is my favorite routine from the book. You will always have it on you, and if you happen to forget your business cards, you can make this up on the fly.

10/10

There will be more reviews like this one, on specific effects soon.

Thanks

Alex Alejandro
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Sean Giles
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Have you ever been sent a book for review that you didn't like? Smile
BMWGuy
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Hi Sean

Good question

And the answer to that is yes

I try to find value in everything that is sent to me

If I cannot or do not like something I will say something like the idea behind it seems good but I will not be using it
For various reasons

If you get one good piece of solid advice from a DVD lecture or book then to me it has been worth it even if you paid for it or didn't
Time is of the essence and I feel that if I get one thing out of something it has been worth my time

Take the OOTW from this book I wasn't necessarily fond of it but many will swear by it

Different opinions about different effects

What works for me might not for you or vice versa
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Hudson892
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Hey Ben, just a couple of questions, will the price of the book go up after the pre-order finishes and is it a limited run? I only as because I'm not able to buy at the minute and I don't want it to get sold out! Thanks Smile
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On Apr 8, 2016, Hudson892 wrote:
Hey Ben, just a couple of questions, will the price of the book go up after the pre-order finishes and is it a limited run? I only as because I'm not able to buy at the minute and I don't want it to get sold out! Thanks Smile


There is no price change being planned, and the book should be available on an ongoing basis.

Today I posted a "freebie" on the ASYMPTOTES Facebook group. It's a system for memorizing a deck, in approximately 30 minutes. (This is NOT in the book, and has not been published elsewhere.)

If you're not already in the group, please join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1699986893616975/

Thanks!

-Ben
BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

Wanted to say that I performed one of the routines from this book last night at a gig, at every table, and it went down a storm.

The effect has now become part of my repertoire, and I will continue to work it more.

the effect is my favorite from the book and is called ESPILON.

The thing I like about it is, it is different than playing cards, you get to use ESP Cards, or in my case my own business cards, and at the end, I give them out to the group.

doesn't get any better than that. Multiple moments of magic, and 3 phases that just get stronger and stronger.

Thanks Ben

Alex
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