THE SHIFT

The digital ramblings of an analog conjurer

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September 29, 2016 NEO-MOVEMENT: LONDON

NEO-MOVEMENT: LONDON

HACKNEY, LONDON

13TH NOVEMBER, 10:30AM – 5:30PM

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Neo-Movement is finally coming to London! I have several new things planned so without doubt this will be the best one yet. Places are limited. It will be taking place in an Art gallery in London, Hackney from 10:30am – 5:30pm on Sunday the 13th of November.

This is a 7hr intense workshop in which attendees will receive a specially produced, brand new set of notes (only available at the workshop), learn loads of devastating effects and techniques, while developing new ways of thinking about and performing magic (quotes below from some magicians who’ve attended). Below is a small sample things being taught:

  • The Neo-Movement system.
  • My signature Ace Cutting routine.
  • How to invisibly locate any four of a kind from a shuffled deck, without apparently touching the cards.
  • A impossible coins across which looks like real magic and is simple to do.
  • A coin vanish which looks like trick photography; occurring in slow motion above a spectator’s hands.
  • An incredibly clean two-card transposition that you’ll immediately start using.
  • A Copper/Silver Transposition that happens in a spectator’s hands and uses no duplicate or gimmicked coins.
  • Plus much, much more; including many sleights, unpublished effects and new techniques for executing invisible sleight of hand.

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“Ben is a great artist and has created a new scene. His philosophy and ability is supernatural. His teaching is clear and irresistible, any critical analysis will totally melt away as he leads you to the land of Oz!”
Lennart Green

“It would be hard not to state that Ben is one of the best in the world. I have known him for some time and I always hoped he would translate why he is so good into words… and this is exactly what he has done! I am better because of him. Neo-Movement could be the start of a new magic revolution.”
Rune Klan

“Personally, I feel like my quote is redundant. If you know who Benjamin Earl is, you know what he’s capable of. That in itself should be enough to convince you to spend time training with this mystical being. BUT, if you need more … In my opinion, his skill level, thinking, style and approach is close to unrivalled. A big part of this is his absolute naturalness controlling both props and people. With ‘Neo-Movement’ you are learning his system, allowing you to achieve the same perfection within your own magic.”
Colin McLeod

“It really should come as no surprise that the greatest sleight-of-hand artist of his generation has also discovered a revolutionary approach to learning and performing magic which changes everything. Yes, everything! One cannot overstate the impact Ben’s system will have on the future of magic – the Neo-Movement ideology really is THE game-changer. Ignore it and you will never fulfil your true potential as a performer; embrace it and you will be transformed. You owe it to yourself and your audiences to attend the N-M Workshop. For future generations it may well be compulsory!”
Mark Elsdon

“There’s always been an indefinable ‘something’ that separates the great sleight of hand artists from the average ones. Ben Earl has not only defined that ‘something’ but he’s developed a truly unique system that allows you to perform sleight of hand imperceptibly at the highest level. It’s like receiving a download into your brain that leaves you a better magician.”
Danny Buckler

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June 1, 2016 MOVEMENT: MUHAMMAD ALI

MOVEMENT: MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali is probably the greatest boxer of all time, and unquestionably one of the greatest ‘movers’ that boxing has ever seen. His unorthodox movement was so spectacular, that it redefined the sport and popularised a fighting style which has been adopted by current MMA fighters such as Dominick Cruz, T.J Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.

So, what made Ali’s movement so good? Well, before you watch the video below, bear in mind that he was 6ft 3 inches tall and 220lbs – a heavyweight! Heavyweights didn’t move like that! His movement made world class opponents look like amateurs; effortlessly slipping in and out of range like a dancer, floating between punches like a ghost while stalking his opponent like a panther. 

The video below opens with the title ‘Amazing Speed’, but it should be ‘Amazing Movement’; yes Ali was extremely fast, but it was his movement which allowed his speed to be so effective. Specifically pay attention to his stance, head position, body rolls and slick footwork. However, if you only focus on one thing… watch his head movement; drawing and then slipping punches by millimeters, causing opponents hit nothing but thin air.

Each of Ali’s movements were designed to create false assumptions about space and timing, set-up, interrupt or break patterns of motion, causing opponents to hesitate or overcommit. He was operating on a completely different level, mixing leads and counters with ruthless efficiency to slowly dismantling an opponent’s ‘game’. He made it look easyThe best example of Ali’s ability is displayed in the fight between Ali (Cassius Clay) and Cleveland ‘Big Cat’ Williams (click here), it’s a masterclass in the supreme artistry of Ali… nothing short of poetry in motion. 

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hand can’t hit what the eye cant see.”

– Muhammad Ali

Studying Ali is not only an interesting ‘movement case study’ but also an extremely interesting psychological one, however, a breakdown of his ‘psychological game’ is an article for a later date.

– video by Gorilla Productions

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May 28, 2016 NEO-MOVEMENT

NEO-MOVEMENT

While lecturing across Norway, Denmark and Sweden, I will be teaching many things, including something particularly special called Neo-Movement:

Neo-Movement is a revolutionary philosophy/technique which dramatically improves the effectiveness of all sleight of hand and misdirection; it develops flow, touch, timing and instinct, in ways that nothing else does. By using specific Neo-Movement drills, all techniques rapidly becomes more natural and more deceptive.

Some Neo-Movement will be taught in the lectures and much more in the workshops. Nothing like this is being taught anywhere in the world and this will be the first time I have ever taught it to larger groupsThe game has changed… practice and performance will never be the same again!

When back from Scandinavia, I will try and organise some Neo-Movement workshops in the UK.

 

May 22, 2016 MOVEMENT: IDO PORTAL

MOVEMENT: IDO PORTAL

I have been studying ‘movement’ for many years. In this series I’ll highlight the the work of several different ‘movement specialists’. Let’s begin with the charismatic Ido Portal.

Ido Portal is one the current leading figures within the world of ‘Movement’. He has transcended his capoeira roots and developed a more flexible, functional style. Recently his popularity has sky-rocketed due to his association with Conor McGregor, thus bringing tremendous attention and renewed interest to modern ‘movement culture’. Ido simply refers to himself as a ‘mover’, and runs his popular MovementX training camps around the world.

Ido’s philosophy is essentially about ‘movement complexity’: Functional movement patterns which flow together creating increased mobility, strength and body sensitivity. This leads to greater flexibility, freedom from systems and instinctive action.

Isolation—>  Integration—> Improvisation: Practising movement patterns (isolation), connecting movement patterns together (integration) and letting go of  conscious execution (improvisation). This isn’t a fundamentally new method; any discipline requires you to learn basic techniques, then connect those techniques with other techniques, before eventually developing the ability to improvise and adapt. There are also many ‘movement specialists’ who teach functional, fluid movement patterns for increased health, flexibility and awareness. So why is Ido’s approach interesting? Well in short, it’s because of him: his fluid, athletic, capoeira-based style is beautiful to watch and his ‘guru-esque’ teachings are inclusive and charismatic. Slowly, he is transforming into more than just another ‘mover’, he’s becoming a unique counter-cultural brand.

Modern movement is the means and the end, becoming a better ‘mover’ through better ‘movement’. It’s about function not aesthetics, disembodied from any defined style or system; any external benefits/improvements are natural by-products of better movement. As a performer, thinking about movement in this way is very useful – I am not suggesting that you grow a ponytail and start ‘lizard walking’ everywhere – but becoming aware of your movement at a deeper level, and its potential relationship to your craft, can only improve your physical effectiveness and ability to execute.