Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue Crown, be careful

with your advertisement. I really like the newest addition. The Bold Assembly by Ben Train. Really good card trick. Really bold! I like that.

BUT... DON'T call it "McDonald's Aces without the gimmicks". It's not! The beauty of the McDonald Aces is that they are seen in each packet until the vanish. This is not the case in Ben Train's version.


Barry Solayme said...

That guy needs a shave and fewer chemicals. In my day, ace assemblies took at least 7 minutes. AND THE AUDIENCE WAS GRATEFUL FOR THE DISTRACTION FROM THEIR FUTILE LIVES!


darkstar said...

I think Ben is a dude...but I'm not sure why the heck anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together would buy this. I wish him luck though.

Also...agree on the write up.

A bit messy there Blue Balls Brown.

darkstar said...

Dear BS. Oddly the last part holds true in the modern world even today. You bastard you. You silly freak of nature that refuses to die.

Justin said...

I like the concept.

I also liked that music a lot.

However, those cards are so fucking ugly.

The Smiling Mule said...

This kind of stuff really pisses me off. Submit things like this to a magazine for goodness sake.

Magazines used to be good. Maybe they would be again if magicians weren't such petty, egotistical, money grabbing sell outs.


Jack said...

Humbug, why on earth would you publish your hard work in a magazine, knowing you don't get a penny? Are you saying we should work hard developing new ideas and then just give them out for free? Ben has actually done this. He has published several routines in Magic Magazine... just like that. He isn't asking for big money here, and the routine has some fine ideas. Looks like magic to me!

darkstar said...

Its all opinion time. But I agree that routine just isn't something to sell. Its just something to talk about around the water cooler.

I'd bet 80 percent of the folks that watched that video thought of a good 3 ways to do the same routine instantly with no thought. Not that shit needs to be rocket science, but come on.

Justin said...

Besides the awful bluff laydown, it's a great idea.

I agree that it's a magazine trick. To quote Racherbaumer, more of a so-so notion than anything.

The Smiling Mule said...

No, you should "work hard developing ideas" that are going to make you money PERFORMING them. Then when you're done with it, submit it to a magazine.

Failing that, do it for the love of the art, not for the love of the ten big ones you'll get from the 23 people that buy this.

Or, if you're THAT creative, write a book. This trick? Well you'd need about a thousand ideas like this to make it worth writing a book. It takes all of 3 lines to explain. That's a good indication that you haven't actually come up with something worth publishing in its own right.

This is possibly magazine worthy, but would be more at home as a free download as incentive to join someones mailing list or something.

Not impressed.

Laurent said...

Just because a routine doesn't involve 5 new moves and 10 pages to describe doesn't make it rubbish. In fact it's the other way around. Most stuff that plays real strong on laypeople is simple. This routine is strong because it isn't polluted with sleight of hand. The few moves happen at the right times when nobody suspects it.

The Smiling Mule said...

I don't recall anybody claiming that it's rubbish.

It may well be a "nice idea," that's what magazines are for. And what happened to keeping secrets anyway?

These instant downloads are are result of one thing, and one thing only. Greed. They prey on the uninformed beginner and, worse, satisfy the idle curiosity of the layman/magic fan.

If he really thinks he has something of value, try charging $100 for it and see where the motivation truly lies.

All this does is cheapen the art.

Laurent said...

People invent tricks and sell them. As simple as that. Call it greed if you want. I think we should be happy that people like Ben are willing to release routines like this one. $9.95... that what you pay for 2 coffees in my area. This routine is definitely worth 2 coffees.

The Smiling Mule said...

"This routine is definitely worth 2 coffees."

I rest my case.

darkstar said...

What's wrong with 'em these days

Michael Kras said...

Ben's version of the Ace Assembly is, in my opinion, quite beautiful. It has numerous red herrings thrown into the mix and is a wonderfully unorthodox method to accomplish this classic effect. Based on how freaking clean and unsuspicious the routine looks as a whole, I think it's a great ace assembly. Ben showed it to me a while ago and it's been one of my go-to assemblies ever since.

Laurent said...

I would also argue that one reason for this not to be in a magazine is that there are moves in the routine you need to actually see to appreciate. This would be hard to describe on a page.

Tomsk192 said...

"This would be hard to describe on a page."

Anyone for tennis?

The Smiling Mule said...

Well, not that I was saying it's a bad trick, but if you want to get into trifles...

The handling of the 3 indifferent cards is redundant and unnatural. Why spread them nicely, square them onto the deck, only to respired them nicely again? After the show you have to just set them downing that condition, or do the square up and set them down squared.

It might pass once with a little management, but four times it's a tell that sets subconscious alarm bells ringing.

Laurent said...

Yep, that is indeed a weakness. Now here is a nice one...

Well done Roland!

Roland said...

Well done Roland? This is from the mind of Jim Abrahams... I'm just the messenger. But thanks anyway!

Laurent said...

He certainly is one creative dude!

BTrain said...

Hey friends!

Some general thoughts about my release.

First, I agree that the comparison to Mcdonald’s aces isn’t a great one. I’ve already mentioned that to The Blue Crown and we should see it removed at some point (hopefully soon!). You guys aren’t the first, or only, ones to pick up on that.

Second, regarding Smiling Mules comment… I did submit it. And it was published. In 2009. What wasn’t surprising though was people’s comments after seeing it in person- they admitted to skipping over it initially because several moves required certain visual elements to make work, and without seeing them actually done, and seeing how deceptive they were, they didn’t bother to try it.

That alone wouldn’t merit a release though. I initially refused to release it, because I too hated “one-trick” releases. But I started thinking about what it actually disliked about such things and realized that it wasn’t that there was only one item included… but rather that the product didn’t offer good value for the customer (which, usually, was me). When I finally agreed to release this item I decided that wasn’t going to be the case. So, for those curious, here’s what’s offered.

Besides the trick shown in the trailer (which includes a full break-down on method and handling) there is…

- A crediting section, which is detailed- Vernon, Cliff Green, Erdnase, Stanley Collins, Marlo, Ponsin, Frank Garcia, Trevor Lewis, Darwin Ortiz, and others- which provides additional sources for those curious and wanting to explore other ideas. And I hope they do.
- A section on theory. Not just for this effect but ideas that, I hope, can be applied to other material in your repertoire.
- Additional routines. The trailer shows the ‘simplest’ version of the routine, but additional handlings make use of four-of-a-kind revelations, O’Henry transpositions, and more. While I prefer the directness of the routine shown in the trailer, much of the positive feedback I’ve received have stated that the ‘bonus’ routines is where the value lies.
- Great production, closing thoughts, additional tips, and more.

…in short, I did what I could to provide more then “one trick” for a few bucks. I tried to provide value.

All that being said- I understand that some of you won’t buy it regardless of what I say. And, believe it or not, I’m cool with that. There’s a TON of great magic out there, and simply not enough time to study it all. Pursue what you like, and do what you love. I’m totally down with that. What I DO hope is that it’s clear that I love magic and didn’t simply release this as a quick cash grab… or at the expense of art.

Although you couldn’t know this, I’ve been approached by numerous companies, for several years, about releasing dvds, books, and downloads. I’m in no rush. I make money performing, and I only release/publish because I love sharing.

As far as your comments about not releasing something until you’re done with it, here’s something to consider. Vernon, whom we all love, released a version of an assembly (which I credit) as part of the Stars of Magic set (Series 6, 1950). Around forty years later a different, modified, version was published in his book. If we aim to only publish perfect material we wouldn’t have anything to publish- everything can be improved upon, even if the changes that are required aren’t the result of any internal fault but rather the product of changing times and performing circumstances.

My aim was to develop something that would be strong enough to be of use to anyone who wanted to use it in a real performance, interesting enough that if they didn’t they’d still get something out of the project, and of enough value that people would feel they got their money’s worth. So far it seems like I’ve achieved those goals. Woopee!

If anyone is still reading this, and has any ideas for the routine, I’m delighted to hear them. Anything that improves my magic is a-ok by me.

With love and respect,

The Smiling Mule said...

99% of magicians skip over 99% of great material that has been published in books. And it's not the fault of the book.

That was precisely my point.

These types of releases only feed the rotten core which is at the heart of the problem with magic these days.

If someone couldn't appreciate the greatness of your trick from the written word, then perhaps it's better to let such a person move on to another hobby instead of prolonging the agony with quick-fix DVD releases for "vizule lurners."


P.S. comparing this kind of thing to a situation where you had one of the greatest thinkers in the history of magic being coerced into publishing some of the most influential material our little community has seen is, well, weak.

And by the way, nothing personal. Since you requested ideas for the trick, I'd suggest that you come up with a way to avoid the "spread-square-respread" sequence, 4 times in a row.

Mark Correia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Correia said...

If you would take a moment to stop and review Ben's comment it is quite apparent that he published the effect in a magazine, and also filmed the video for the pure reason that Ben loves to share. Why leave the visual learners out? Im glad he didn't.

92153e88-eeac-11e0-b2fe-000bcdcb5194 said...

Because being a 'visual Learner' means you learn well through visual media - one of which, the primary one of which - is reading. People who say they can't learn from books because they are visual learners are like people claiming they need handicap parking because they walk well. There are Learning modalities, but if you are going to play the 'woe is me' card, at least play the correct one.

Second, ben's analogy to the Vernon case is not completely accurate. As Minch pointed out in the chronicles, Vernon intentionally published watered down handlinga of some of the stars of magic material for fear ( not sure if it was his or the publishers) that the techniques would prove too challenging for most.

While Vernon undoubtedly worked on ideas throughout his life, there is no evidence he was the type to 'rush to publish' not publish every tiny idea be mahehehe had. And it seems that when he did publish some ideas, he was in fact 'done' with that particular incarnation - having moved on to a more advanced/streamlined/improved handling, usually sharing that with his friends, some of which being published many years later.