Sadowitz roots for “Open Triumph”

So it turns out that the casual display used by Dani DaOrtiz in his Open Triumph trick can be found in Jerry Sadowitz’s’ Crimp Magazine under the title of “Psychological Triumph” in issue 47! I personally prefer Dani DaOrtizs’ handling which is much easier and more causal, but credit must go to Mr Sadowitz for the display.

It’s a great idea and so so convincing..

The Dani DaOrtiz Workshop – Sun 29/04/2012

What an amazing day! Having been a fan of Dani for a couple of years now you can imagine how excited I was to attend this workshop. Dani was incredible – fooling the hell out of all the magicians who attended with his loose relaxed and incredibly disarming handling. He was also really really funny and the day included many magician fooling moments and reveals which he’d been setting up since the start – incredible. I’d seen the Utopia DVDs so knew a lot of the material but a lot of the people attending had never seen his stuff before – I can only imagine how much their brain hurt on the way home afterwards.

The day started with him doing a 30 minute or so performance which warmed him up and had everyone geared up for the day. This followed with some explainations of the effects he had done. The rest of the day consisted of 2 or so hour long talks about various topics (classic force, knowing yourself and other tricks) with breaks in between. At the end of each session he tended to do something which fooled everyone – the best for me was shuffled deck held under the table by the spectator – they choose top or bottom several times and transfered cards from one place to another – eventually three cards were inserted face up in the deck by the spectator under the table. The deck was placed in the box and Dani named all three cards! It seemed incredibly fair and he gave the magician so many choices and opertunities to change his mind etc. – it was classic Dani DaOrtiz – magic that happens without him seemingly doing anything.

Another great example was a card at any number he did where the card was the 8 of diamonds and was at position 17 – after the reveal he asked to borrow a deck and the organiser took his out from under his chair. He opened them and counted down 17 cards – the 18th card was also the 8 of diamonds but was also face up! He’d set this up at some point but no one knew how or when – incredible. There was also an opertuniuty for a smaller group of us to sit with Dani during one of the breaks – he was doing some killer things with a glass and nailed me with a cards across routine – his timing is so good you just miss everything!

For me the highlight was the theory – having just re-read Ascanio’s “Structural Conception of Magic” these ideas were fresh in my mind – to see Dani explain and then to put the thoery into practice was amazing. One thing I think the Ascanio book lacks are a few more examples to explain his theories – Dani was able to fill in the gaps. Knowing yourself, naturalness, in-transit actions, timing etc. were all mentioned and applied to the effects he was doing.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough but praise must also go to the organisers of the event which was held in the Ibis Hotel near to Euston Station – they did a fantastic job, the venue was great and they’d taken the trouble to arrange the tables and chairs so that every one of the 32 or so people attending could see perfectly – the third row consisted of raised stools so you could see over the top of the two rows of chairs in front.

If you get the chance to see Dani in action then don’t miss it!!


UTOPIA review – Disc 1 -100% DaOrtiz

Out of all the magic DVDs I’ve ever bought – this set is by far the best. It really is that good. This blog has been a fan of Dani DaOrtiz for a long time and when I heard about the release of a DVD set I was super excited. Up until now all of his routines were only published in Spanish, save for a few routines on the Fat Brothers DVDs. EMC 2010 showed Dani’s talent to a wider audience and EMC 2011 gave him the recognition he deserves. Some will say that these DVD’s are expensive but believe me they are worth every penny. Wonderfully produced (unlike the Green series which for me was a disappointment), the language barrier is no problem at all and the interviews are interesting and informative.

The content is incredible – his philosophy on card magic and casual attitude lower your defences so that he constantly fools you. This is how card magic should be performed – with focus on the entertainment of the audience and focusing on manipulating what they perceive as opposed to what is actually happening.

The Show

A Masterful demonstration of misdirection and applied psychology. Flawlessly covers any errors so that things work as he wants yet at the same time he gives the spectators a feeling of total freedom and choice. Most card magicians don’t apply psychology to their performances – they think they do, but they don’t. Watch Dani DaOrtiz perform to see exactly how it should be done.

Numerical match

My favourite routine on the DVD’s – a version of Hofzinsers sympathetic match. The handling is extremely clean and Dani uses psychological techniques to create a devastating piece of magic.

I don’t remember

High energy universal cards routine with amusing patter. Starts as a card to box routine but the magician cannot remember how the effect should go – this leads to an utterly convincing display of the card appearing to be everywhere, then vanishing to finally appear in the box as intended.


A self working trick explaining how some card effects can be mathematical. This fooled me completely when I first saw it on EMC 2011. The key is in the presentation and misdirection – without this is becomes a boring mathematical monstrosity but in the hands of Dani is becomes a miracle. He explains the importance of doing exactly as him then creates chaos so that all spectators don’t have a clue where their card is. At the end all is resolved in an impossible way. Example of his “focus” theory – making the spectators focus their attention on doing exactly as him and not on the number of cards used in the trick.

Mini Oil and Water

Starts off with small oil and water routine using one of Dani’s signature routines. He doesn’t explain the four card versions (explained on the Fat Brothers DVD’s) but he does explain some very very clever ideas on full deck oil and water after the spectator has shuffled the cards.

Why Aces

Ok routine – very magical but I’m not a fan of the handling. Similar to a John Bannon effect from Smoke and Mirrors. What Dani adds which I think is great is he creates the impression that the spectator names the values themselves – strong stuff.

Horizontal open triumph

When I first saw this I thought he was using double backers and facers. He in fact uses a completely straight deck. Brilliant version of the Dai Vernon classic – out of all the versions I’ve seen this version shows the cards mixed in such a convincing way that even when you know how it’s done it still visually fools you. He takes the mixed deck and has the spectator look closely and touch the cards. The magic moment is great – a blow and they all instantly face the same way except for the selection. Perfect.

The one

A version of a David Williamsom trick which he did perform on Stiff the White Rabbit – Dani takes it to a new level by also adding in a thought of card.

 Triple intuition

Three spectators take cards and find them themselves in increasingly impossible ways – they hold the deck and deal the cards Dani just stands back and watches. Despite their freedom they all have incredible intuition and stop on their cards. Devious method and very strong effect.

Up next – Disk 2 – Fascinations….

Psychological forces

I’d never felt comfortable trying a the psychological stop force until watching disk 3 of Dani DaOrtiz’s DVD set UTOPIA. He breaks down the timing of the move and it explains it better than anyone I’ve read/seen before. I starting doing Dani’s “Numerical Match” routine and you really do start to get a feel for when the spectators will say stop, – it’s wierd. When done right I think the performer actually slows the pace slightly near the end to almost urge them to stop then. Of course what’s so great is that Dani also provides complete fool proof outs if you miss so you really can’t go wrong.

I think many card tricks can be made so much more miraculous if we try adding in some psychological forces. The complete belief on the part of the spectator that they had a complete free choice of when to stop is powerful stuff.


Dani DaOrtiz – 4 disk DVD set

Apparently the guys from EMC are to produce a 4 disk set of Dani DaOrtiz’s material! This is potentially great news – I just hope that they focus more on the effects and explanations than they do with giant screens and fancy filming (e.g The Lennart Green Master Series). Also when Dani was on the EMC his English was very poor – I hope they factor this in (e.g use a translator to help) and don’t just make it anyway – it’s a point they definitely need to address.