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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Ben Blau Performs “D.E.N.I.M.” (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Francois Lagrange
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On Sep 29, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:

Knowing someone’s card is trivial. Each procedural phase in this routine serves a purpose for me. I could do the same trick with NO procedure if I wanted to, and so could anyone else. I have my reasons, but I’d expect anyone to bring their own sensibilities to any routine they choose to perform.


What are your reasons? I'm genuinely curious as I think in a diametrical opposite way and strive to remove any excess process.
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IAIN
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On Sep 29, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 29, 2017, IAIN wrote:
If you can apparently hear an answer someone is only mentally projecting, then they don't need to go through the long physical processes at the start, right?


Knowing someone’s card is trivial. Each procedural phase in this routine serves a purpose for me. I could do the same trick with NO procedure if I wanted to, and so could anyone else. I have my reasons, but I’d expect anyone to bring their own sensibilities to any routine they choose to perform.

It's not about the process, it's the skillset you are claiming...experiments are great, if there has to be procedure then let the skillset define it...

You're asking them to answer a question in their mind, so it's body cues or whatever else...and you can sometimes pick up on them...

So you 'do something' with your skillset to get the answer. At the root maybe they have to visualise something first - hence the picking of a random card...once that's done you use your skillset...

The cards should probably be dead to you by now as their purpose was a random choice...for me the delivery isn't a straight line and the premise seems a little fuzzy..

If you've read the above with me sneering, it's certainly not, I'm just chatting..I enjoy the plot and presentation side of things hugely...I sometimes imagine how Hemmingway would present mentalism...then compare that with say, how Dali would...
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Ben Blau
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Quote:
On Sep 29, 2017, Francois Lagrange wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 29, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:

Knowing someone’s card is trivial. Each procedural phase in this routine serves a purpose for me. I could do the same trick with NO procedure if I wanted to, and so could anyone else. I have my reasons, but I’d expect anyone to bring their own sensibilities to any routine they choose to perform.


What are your reasons? I'm genuinely curious as I think in a diametrical opposite way and strive to remove any excess process.


I’ll elaborate on that when I film the explanation video. But my reasons are my own. Other people don’t have to see things my way. Robert Bullock just sent me a video of himself performing this routine with his own spin on it. It’s not the way I would do it (if I were me), but it suits him perfectly.
Mr. Woolery
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Out of curiosity, what does D.E.N.I.M. stand for?

I enjoyed the revelation, but I confess the selection of the card and burying it in the deck felt kind of overly procedural to me. We have to make a compromise in these things because our methods require more than just getting a thought into our participant's mind. However, in my casual performances, I try to make the selection aspect as natural as possible. I'm a civil engineering student and most of my classmates are half my age. They are willing to challenge a process they see as too detailed and will ask questions like"could you do it without me putting the card in the middle?"

I've watched several of your videos recently and you really are good at getting a lot out of a routine. It isn't a simple thing to turn a card find into 10 minutes of interaction. That's rather inspirational, actually.

Patrick
Tom Cutts
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On Sep 29, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
It’s not the way I would do it (if I were me)...

Kudos on this very dry humorous passing comment!
Smile
Ben Blau
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On Sep 29, 2017, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Out of curiosity, what does D.E.N.I.M. stand for?

I enjoyed the revelation, but I confess the selection of the card and burying it in the deck felt kind of overly procedural to me. We have to make a compromise in these things because our methods require more than just getting a thought into our participant's mind. However, in my casual performances, I try to make the selection aspect as natural as possible. I'm a civil engineering student and most of my classmates are half my age. They are willing to challenge a process they see as too detailed and will ask questions like"could you do it without me putting the card in the middle?"

I've watched several of your videos recently and you really are good at getting a lot out of a routine. It isn't a simple thing to turn a card find into 10 minutes of interaction. That's rather inspirational, actually.

Patrick


Very kind of you to say. I’d like to request that you reconsider the naturalness of the selection procedure. Having someone cut into
a deck is a very natural hands-off method of having a random card chosen.
Mr. Woolery
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Yeah, it is a natural way to look at a card. The less natural aspect is how it is buried in the middle. Any process where I need to have a dry run first because it is different from what a participant would most likely do on his own is going to be a little awkward to me. This is meant constructively, as you are a more experienced performer than I. I really don't like having to do that much setup, even if they can't see how I could have done anything with it. For cutting to a card, I would want (as a participant) to lift up the deck and look, then put it back where it was.

But, again, you've got chops with keeping folks interested, so I suspect the process of burying the card is forgotten by the time you reveal it. I may be overthinking.

Patrick
John C
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On Sep 29, 2017, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 29, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
It’s not the way I would do it (if I were me)...

Kudos on this very dry humorous passing comment!
Smile


I enjoyed that as well but didn't know how to respond.
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Ben Blau
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On Sep 29, 2017, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Yeah, it is a natural way to look at a card. The less natural aspect is how it is buried in the middle. Any process where I need to have a dry run first because it is different from what a participant would most likely do on his own is going to be a little awkward to me. This is meant constructively, as you are a more experienced performer than I. I really don't like having to do that much setup, even if they can't see how I could have done anything with it. For cutting to a card, I would want (as a participant) to lift up the deck and look, then put it back where it was.

But, again, you've got chops with keeping folks interested, so I suspect the process of burying the card is forgotten by the time you reveal it. I may be overthinking.

Patrick


None of us are immmune from self-delusion. I can only go with my instincts, and gauge the quality of responses I get. I think that if anything, the process is interpreted as a measure of establishing conditions. The performer’s affect has a great deal of influence on what audience memebers will take at face value. I think that people accept that the process is (1) fair, and (2) a way of guaranteeing that the performer has no opportunity to see the face nor the back of the selected card.

Knowing for sure whether or not we are overthinking is a challenge we all face, and I don’t think anyone has complete objectivity when it comes to these kinds of judgements in magic. I’ve seen some things that I interpret as absolutely wretched and transparent, and yet audiences seem fooled, mystified and entertained.
Mr. Woolery
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I actually chuckled at that last line, Ben. I did a simple LD routine today that depends on the ST p**k. The subject is a PhD professor in the Geological Engineering department (I'm civil) and I know he's a very analytical person. I still don't know how this technique flies past people.

In contrast, your performance is much more deceptive than that! And your method is better hidden.

-Patrick
Ben Blau
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I had what I think is a pretty substantial creative breakthrough with Denim today that not only shortens it, but makes it far less procedural and yet simultaneously even more deceptive. I just performed it at Wunderground Magic, and the mentalist I performed it for offered me $200.00 on the spot for the secret. That’s a good sign.
Claudio
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Are you saying you're now performing Dai Vernon's ER? Smile
Ben Blau
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On Oct 3, 2017, Claudio wrote:
Are you saying you're now performing Dai Vernon's ER? Smile


Exactly! 🤣

JK. If anything, it’s even less like ER now.
Claudio
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@Ben, a (long) while back I developed a sequence to fool magicians familiar with the Vernon handling. It's very fast and direct: i.e. nearly zero process. PM me if you're interested. I very much doubt it'll be the handling you've newly adopted.
Ben Blau
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On Oct 4, 2017, Claudio wrote:
@Ben, a (long) while back I developed a sequence to fool magicians familiar with the Vernon handling. It's very fast and direct: i.e. nearly zero process. PM me if you're interested. I very much doubt it'll be the handling you've newly adopted.


Will do. My new handling removes a lot of the process.
Ben Blau
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Here is the new version with some important presentational changes. I think this is a lot closer to what I had in mind compared to the last video I posted.

Please have a look:

https://youtu.be/NIpXPwkcc5M
Claudio
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Yes, the presentation is tighter and the selection handling far more direct. It's looking good and deceptive.

You could use a Darwin Ortiz handling here: when you cut off the top packet as a demo, you can show how to screen the packet with both hands to look at the bottom card, while it gives you perfect cover for the required p*** and is nearly totally angle proof. Darwin describes his handling in his latest book: Lessons in Card Mystery.

One can see that the presentation is still work in progress. So here's a suggestion:

Instead of keeping asking, "You've sent me an answer, you promise?" or "Were you sending me an answer?", which sounds awkward and unassertive, you could ask your spectator to let you know when s/he has sent you an answer and then you react accordingly and table the cards face-down. Maybe an even better way would to try to synchronise their sending answers with a visual and or auditory clue from you, like snapping your fingers, or something more subtle.

Even if you don't adopt this suggestion, you should cut down on repeatedly asking the spectator whether they have sent you an answer. You ought to know as you have already reacted accordingly by tabling cards.
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On Oct 5, 2017, Claudio wrote:
Yes, the presentation is tighter and the selection handling far more direct. It's looking good and deceptive.

You could use a Darwin Ortiz handling here: when you cut off the top packet as a demo, you can show how to screen the packet with both hands to look at the bottom card, while it gives you perfect cover for the required p*** and is nearly totally angle proof. Darwin describes his handling in his latest book: Lessons in Card Mystery.

One can see that the presentation is still work in progress. So here's a suggestion:

Instead of keeping asking, "You've sent me an answer, you promise?" or "Were you sending me an answer?", which sounds awkward and unassertive, you could ask your spectator to let you know when s/he has sent you an answer and then you react accordingly and table the cards face-down. Maybe an even better way would to try to synchronise their sending answers with a visual and or auditory clue from you, like snapping your fingers, or something more subtle.

Even if you don't adopt this suggestion, you should cut down on repeatedly asking the spectator whether they have sent you an answer. You ought to know as you have already reacted accordingly by tabling cards.


Thanks for the suggestions. My script is actually substantially different for that particular phase when there are other spectators present. Since we were alone, I couldn’t involve the rest of the audience in the way I normally would. I do appreciate the feedback very much!

Ben
Ben Blau
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Sorry, I meant “state”, not “country”.
Mr. Woolery
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I like this version better. The selection process feels more motivated without the dry run.

Still curious what DENIM stands for...

And I will take “podunk” for my school.

Patrick
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