Because of the ongoing pandemic, this lecture by Ben Williams was a virtual lecture conducted over Zoom.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, this lecture by Ben Williams was a virtual lecture conducted over Zoom.

It took place on the evening of 15th June 2021 from 7.30 pm to 10.15 pm, and attracted an attendance of 32 people.

Our host, Tommy Chiang, welcomed Ben, who then introduced himself and spoke about how he got started in magic.

In his opening effect, Ben caused a freely-selected card to vanish from the deck and reappeared folded inside one of his shoes nominated by the spectator. After he had taken out the card and unfolded it to show that it was the selected card, a can of Coke magically appeared inside the same shoe. This was his “Thought-Of Card In Shoe”.

In his next effect, Ben wrote something on a small piece of paper, set fire to it and it transformed into 3 small pieces of heart pips. It turned out that the selected card was the three of hearts. When the card was taken out of the deck, it now had burnt marks and there were 3 cut-outs where the 3 heart pips were. This commercial effect was aptly named “Heartless”.

After a 15-minutes break, Ben showed how he could balance the cap-end of a ball-point pen horizontally on this forefinger. The pen could then be handed out for examination. This was “Off Balance” and could be done with a borrowed pen. Ben also showed how to use this same gimmick to balance a fork or a pair of spectacles.

This was followed by “Mystery”, which was Ben’s take on the mystery card plot. A signed card was shuffled back into the deck. A folded card that was placed conspicuously on the table all the time was unfolded to reveal that it was the signed selected card! Ben showed how to use this clever card switch in a mentalism effect. A spectator hid a coin in either his left or right hand and the performer tried to guess which hand had the coin. This was done 3 times. A folded business card on the table was unfolded to reveal that the performer had already predicted which hand would hold the coin each time!

A sugar packet was examined by a spectator. Ben vanished a coin using a cigarette lighter. The coin was then found inside the sugar packet. The sugar packet had to be torn apart in order to retrieve the coin. Ben taught us how to gimmick a cigarette lighter so that it could be used to vanish a coin. He called this gimmicked lighter “Utilight”. Ben also taught how he prepared the sugar packet for this effect.

“Anything” is a clever take on the one-ahead principle. A spectator thought of his favourite word. Saying that he was not a mind reader but an influencer, Ben wrote the name of a playing card on his business card which later proved to be the card selected by the spectator. Just when we thought the effect was over, Ben took out a folded business card from his shoe, unfolded it to show that it contained the favourite word of the spectator.

“Linking Card” is Ben’s signature trick which he performs at weddings. The centre of a court card was torn out leaving 2 card frames, one smaller than the other. He had the bride and groom each signed on their respective frame. He then proceeded to link the 2 frames together and gave it away as a souvenir.

In the final effect, Ben had a spectator choose a simple house-hold object. His selection was a bottle of Coke. This spectator also chose a playing card. Ben torn a corner off this card and vanished the corner. A prediction container was shown to contain a bottle of Coke. Stuck on the label of the Coke bottle was the torn corner of the chosen card. Ben shook the bottle and magically, the label on the bottle magically moved from the outside into the side of the Coke bottle, and the seal on the cap of the bottle was shown to be unbroken! It was an unexplainable miracle. It was called “Labelled Evolution”.

As Ben explained the various effects, he went into much details on the psychological aspect of why he designed and performed the effects the way he did. When asked to give a word for our Singapore magicians, Ben said that “Always be yourself – don’t clone other performers. Have fun with magic – keep things simple and don’t complicate matters.” Ben also gave us all links 3 of his video tutorials.

We thank Ben Williams for an enjoyable evening, and for his generosity.