Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WMF Ben Salinas



I got an email today with a link to a video. In that video I could see, Ben Salinas from Pennsylvania doing a really bad version of Gene Anderson's Newspaper Tear.


That in itself is not a bad thing if you like bad magic, BUT he sells this on DVD.

Aside from the fact that I doubt he has the rights to do so, I really have a hard time to believe that anyone can learn from such an untalented magician. But let's not judge a book by it's cover. On his own website Ben Salinas advertises with this video:



Let's breath in and out slowly... And repeat after me: "The palms are not hinted at with the unnatural look of the hand palming the sponge ball. This is a good routine with the sleeves all the way down."

That doesn't help, right? And it doesn't help either knowing that Ben Salinas is the teaching drone of Magic Makers.

Arrrrrrrrrr, he is just so average, yet he obviously feels proficient enough to teach magic.

I will not dig into the possible psychological motifs for such actions, but just judge the actions itself. Bad magic taught to magicians. A friend of mine actually sent me the Modern Coin Magic 4-DVD Set (Magic Makers) which was advertised as the video version of J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. It was such a disappointment. Having read Bobo and having learnt the sleights from the pages I expected much more. Instead we got this:



Mind you, the production of the DVDs is actually pretty good. But if Magic Makers would have chosen a performer who could actually do all the sleights, then, and only then Magic Makers would have had a product that they can actually be proud of.

But instead they got Ben Salinas. Serves them right.

9 comments:

Ultimagic said...

The spongeball vid above is priceless. What a horrible performance. Dropped balls, Claw-like hands and that stupid face. I can't even stand to watch this guy.

Just one thing. I don't think he qualifies as a WMF. I don't see him being a better performer next week or ever. Maybe "Lifetime Magic Failure" would be a better title.

Prince Blog said...

I don't agree. I think he is great.

Hans Masing said...

I've actually seen Ben perform in person, and he doesn't come off nearly as stiff as he does in the video. My guess is that when Magic Makers produces these videos, they do a whole bunch all at once, and he probably only gets one shot at a performance before the move on. He also has to know enough to competently perform (or not - your opinion) so many sleights, that I'll bet that if you dipped in to his regular repertoire, you'd see much better proficiency. I was really impressed with what I saw in person, and I've worked Sleight of Hand for about 25 years.

Anonymous said...

I have several instructional dvd's that feature Ben Salinas. He knows A LOT OF STUFF! Some things he does better than others but my guess is if they put Mr. Ultimagic next to Salinas, Ultimagic's flame would be snuffed in short order. It must just be a case of jealousy.

Fernando Ruiz said...

Don't be jealous man

Fookutoo said...

Simply a fraud. Who has an interest in sleight of hand magic, but unfortunately hasn't the necessary discipline or patience to actually learn the sleights before making an instructional video about sleights.

I'm not a doctor, but I think he may be retarded.

Fookutoo said...

Simply a fraud. Who has an interest in sleight of hand magic, but unfortunately hasn't the necessary discipline or patience to actually learn the sleights before making an instructional video about sleights.

I'm not a doctor, but I think he may be retarded.

danny k said...

While you are probably right that he is a performer with very little personality, you cant criticize him for the Bobo DVD. He taught everything in the video coherently and clearly.

David said...

It's weird that Ben Salinas openly titles it "The Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear" on his own YouTube channel , but from what I've seen of how the DVD is titled (I only saw portions of the DVD once at a magic club meeting , but I don't own it) on the DVD he refers to it as "MY Favorite Newspaper Tear" and introduces it saying something like "after years of studying all the various newspaper tears I've put the best features of them all into what I call 'My Favorite Newspaper Tear'." So he's basically taking credit for this variation , although from what I recall of watching it he's just teaching the Gene Anderson method. He does credit Slydini on one of the newspaper tear versions he shows on the DVD , but no mention of Gene Anderson's name from what I remember.

QUESTION: Does anyone know if the version Ben teaches called "Instant Reset Newspaper Tear" on the DVD is in fact the same as the Alan Shaxon version ? (which I've read was Shaxon's slight improvement on Patrick Page's "10 Second Newspaper Tear"). This looked good to me when I saw it on the video and the set up seemed simple, although I must confess that I've forgotten exactly how the fold and gaff was set up , so I'm looking for where Shaxon's version appears in print (probably in the big Shaxon book "Sophisticated Sorcery", but I can't afford that at this time.) I've also read that Joel Bauer basically taught the Shaxon/Page version with a few touches of his own on the DVD "Joel Bauer's 'Trade Show' Newspaper Tear", but didn't properly credit Shaxon and Page. I guess Joel Bauer figures people are buying * JOEL BAUER's * presentation , not so much the method , but that's still lame not to fully credit.

Does the Shaxon tear appear in any other written sources ? (lecture notes ? Magazine ?)

Anyway, it's a shame that Ben Salinas and Magic Makers aren't upfront with crediting Gene Anderson (and possibly not crediting Alan Shaxon and Pat Page) on their DVD.