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RCarruth
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AT THE TABLE EXPERIENCE .. Rafael Benatar

Rafael Benatar is one of those master magicians who has quietly built a legion of fans through years of creativity. Many of us were familiar with his influence before we were familiar with him. Rafael translated Juan Tamariz's Mnemonica in 2004. That in itself would be quite a career highlight, but Rafael has carved out his own career as an active member of Escuela Magica de Madrid as well as being one of the most popular and respected regulars at the Magic Castle.

Born in Venezuela in 1956, Rafael later went to London to study music. He was a very skilled musician before becoming a very skilled magician. I appreciate that Rafael has mastered English as a second language and can convey any aspect of his magic and his performance style in an easy-to-understand manner.

I'm not sure what I expected from this At The Table lecture. What I got was a number of effects I would love to have taught if I had been in the same situation. There was nothing I didn't like. And, there were two effects I will add to my nearly-famous Book of Secrets. ( I measure the worth of a lecture or DVD by how many effects I will actually take time to learn. Unfortunately, there are often no effects I want to learn..)

These are my thoughts on Rafael Benatar's magic....

Rafael opens the lecture with a four-effect Ambitious card routine. I say four effect because, although the effects harmoniously run one to the other, each is strong enough to stand on it's own. To quote Murphy's descriptions:

Illogical Conclusion: The effect begins with four unseen cards face down on the table and four red cards in Rafael's hands. He openly switches a card, then two cards, and then three cards from one pile to the other, all while the cards in his hands remain completely red. The trick doesn't seem to make sense until he finally shows that the cards on the table are all black. (Inspired by Roy Walton and utilizes only two popular sleights.)

Shadow Does It (Judah-Maven-Benatar): Four black cards are placed face down on the table in a row on a table and four red cards are shown in Rafael's hands. By casting a shadow, and without touching any of the black cards, each red card is switched with each of the black cards, one at a time. ( To quote Rafael: " Kill 'em slowly." )

This Way or the Other Way: The ace through five of the same suit are shuffled together and you show that you have kept control by showing the ace, then the two and the three, which are laid face down in a row. When two cards are left you ask the spectators which one should go next. To everyone's surprise the whole row of cards is reversed. ( Very visual and magical.. Really fooled the crew..)

Ambitious Birthday: This is a version of Larry Jennings' "Ambitious Classic" with a surprise presentation for somebody's birthday. ( Perfect for personalized performances. This one can get you re-hired )

Rafael took time to offer some solid advice on practice and perfecting a move or technique. You can tell this is from the heart of a man that has true conviction. He also discusses his many performances at the Magic Castle and shares information only a true insider would know. I appreciate with Rafael there are no private or secretive thoughts. His willingness to share his best with viewers is refreshing.

Rafael also, a little later, discusses his getting into magic, the early influences.. including Martin Nash, and the singular journey he took to get him to this point in his career. Rafael learned from books.. the classics.. and considers that the best road for a solid foundation. He also digs into the creative process and how to view your audience. Rafael seldom 'lies' to his spectators, but prefers to let them 'see' what appears to be all red cards.. or a single card.. or whatever their mind wants to see. Wise words.

Karate. I can't think of a faster effect. Surprisingly, it's so visual you're left wondering if you saw what you saw. A red Ten is tossed in the air. With a well-placed karate chop, the ten vanishes... and two red Fives fall to the table. And, finally, a use for those Four and a Half gaffed cards we all have in a deep, dark corner somewhere. A Nine is tossed in the air.. and voila!.. two Four and a Halves... Very nice, and something anyone can perform with a bit of practice.

The Christ Countdown. Although I've performed this effect in years past, I thoroughly enjoyed having Rafael bring it back into my consciousness. Inspired by Henry Christ and perfected by Dai Vernon in The Vernon Touch, The Christ Countdown allows a spectator to shuffle the deck, perform all the handling, and still arrive at a card predicted earlier by the magician. Mathematical and virtually self-working, but will definitely fool the smarter spectators.. as they understand the improbable nature.

The Smiling Mule. Another Roy Walton inspired effect. After a bit of comedy, a card selected by the spectator is revealed to be between two cards previously on top and bottom. I know this sounds simplistic, but you have to see Rafael handling to appreciate the complexity. ( Not too complex ). You'll learn a very effective cull technique you'll use for a number of other effects.

The Mystery of Kabala. This is another mathematical effect, but doesn't play that way. After mentally selecting any card, the spectator answers a couple of simple questions from the magician.. and the magician reveals their thought-of card. This is very Derren Brown'ish.. If you're into mentalism, this is precisely your style.
It WILL require some work, beforehand, to master the basic handling.

Oil and Water. This is not your typical Oil and Water.. The first two phases are based on Ascano's classic Oil and Water.. but ends with Roy Walton's Oil and Queens. May be the most visual of all the effects in this lecture and definitely one of my two favorites.

As you can guess, I would definitely recommend Rafael Benatar's AT THE TABLE Experience. The cost of this lecture is $7.95, but you can ge a monthly subscription for $9.95. Stream or download at:
http://www.murphysmagic.com/atthetable/
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BMWGuy
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Hey guys,

I bought this and liked 2 effects from it.

I have a question for those of you that live in Spain or know Spanish.

On the effect Rafael does called The Mystery of Kabala, this was the highlight for me, but would love to be able to do it in Spanish.

I know that it was first invented in Spanish and then translated to English. The principle has to work different in Spanish.

Can someone PM me please so I can explain? The book is called La Magia Pensada by Ramon Rioboo then translated to English.

Looking for people that speak spanish and read La Magia Pensada.

Thanks

Alex
PRESET by Alex Alejandro & Dan Harlan now available for a special introductory price!
Rafael Benatar
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It works equally well in Spanish. The key number (obtained by subtracting the counted cards from 42) will give you the value of the card if it a Spade (Picas). For the other suits the value is 3 less than the key number obtained. Thefishing procedure is easily adapted accordingly. Let's go through it. Yo count the number of cards given to you and subtract that from 42. If it's even you say the value is odd as your first statement, and viceversa. You have 75% chance of being rigth. If you are wrong you know the card is a Spade (Picas). If you are right you know it's not a Spade so now you have ⅔ chance of being right if you say it's red. If not red, you know it's a Club - subtract 3 from the key to get the value. If you are right, fish between the two reds as explained and subtract 3 in any case.
Tim Cavendish
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Rafael is awesome!

Rafael, I was disappointed that the lecture host didn't ask you about your translation projects -- are you translating Tamariz' The Magic Rainbow (and/or any other books) into english? How are those projects coming?
Poof-Daddy
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If you like the lecture also be sure and check out his new releases at Vanishing Inc. It is an absolute steal right now. Buy it before the price goes up. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=218
www.shadowpest.wordpress.com <~~my cancer story



Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Rafael Benatar
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Hi Cavendish, Thanks for asking about Magic Rainbow. I have just been asked and it's a long process but it's being done.
Tim Cavendish
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2017, Rafael Benatar wrote:
Hi Cavendish, Thanks for asking about Magic Rainbow. I have just been asked and it's a long process but it's being done.


Hooray! It is important work. I am glad you are the translator!
zachwyman
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Rafael is great! Always A+ material.
RCarruth
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Looking forward to Rafael's next lecture.. as this one was a pleasure.
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