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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A Hundreth Pleasant Conceipts - by Curtis Kam » » Ch 1: FRONT FINGER HOLD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Curtis Kam
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The Front Finger Hold

Usually considered little more than the first step in a back palm, the grip Bobo christened Front Finger Hold (FFH) has long been under appreciated. However, John Kennedy’s effect “Translocation” changed all that. It turns out that this grip allows you to conceal a coin at your fingertips in the position your hand naturally assumes when pushing other coins around on the table. Luckily, John was clever enough to figure out how to make “pushing coins around on the table” into a near miracle, and “Translocation” was born. Misers of “the good stuff” like myself managed to keep this quiet for a couple of decades, and you probably wouldn’t have any idea what I’m talking about if not for Dean Dill, and his “Explosion” of creativity based on this effect, and David Roth’s Chink-a-Chink.

As you know, the FFH is ideal for unnesting certain appliances while making miracles out of “pushing coins around on the table”, and from that discovery, an entire body of work was born.

The key to getting this to work for you is partly a matter of luck. The coins you work with have to be just the right size to comfortably span your second and third fingers. If your favorite coins are too large, or too small, you’ll have to change your coins, or your fingers. I suggest trying the coins first.

Sharply milled edges are a plus, and you should give some consideration to the surface upon which you try to perform this. A soft surface with some “give” can make many things possible.

But I want to bring the FFH to the attention of my less fortunate readers, who perform standing without a table. There is a concealment based on the FFH that I use quite a bit, and I think it will be of value to you. In many instances, it can provide moments of cleanliness that heretofore were only possible through the use of a shell. I’ve described it in detail in my lecture notes “Dangerous Notions” that should be widely available through The Magic Bakery any day now. The applications are more carefully explored there, but here’s the basic idea: Place a coin in FFH position. Now, place a second coin on top of that one, stepped forward (towards your fingertips) so that it covers about half of the first coin. Place a third coin overlapping the second, and covering the rest of the first coin.

Properly done, the first coin is completely concealed from all angles. This is the functional equivalent of a Deep Back Clip, without any of the angle considerations. With minimal practice, the position is not at all hard to get into, and provides the perfect display just before the last coin travels across. With additional coins added to the spread, this is also a very convincing display to use just before the coins are placed in a spectator’s hand. Again, something you would otherwise need a shell for.

Fiddle with this a while, and the little quirks of the concealment will become obvious. The proximity of the coins to the fingertips makes this very easy to get into, and obviates any need to close the hand into a fist before the coins are placed into a waiting spectatorial hand. At first, the position will feel cramped and artificial, and to be honest, that feeling never goes away entirely. However, it does not look to the audience as contrived as it feels. I have had skeptical children stop me, and peer into my hand just to check on the number of coins there. They see the coins in this position, and tell me “oh, okay” and allow me to proceed.

More good news: this concealment, which I’ll call “Front Finger Holdout,” works even if the coins are a bit too large for FFH. The fact that your fingers are slightly spread to accommodate the wider coins actually makes everything seem more casual, and the parts of the hidden coin that are exposed are mostly visible only from directly underneath. If you find you have spectators in that location, make it a practice to drop a coin or two on their faces at the start of your set. This tends to encourage them to find better seats.

There are moments in the Kurtz handling of the “Visual Coins Across” where a coin is made to disappear simply by sliding it behind two others fanned at your fingertips. If you play with this a while (or get my notes) you’ll discover that the coins fall from that position into FFHout almost automatically. This is marvelously deceptive and efficient.

I hope you’ve given this a try with coins in hand. Even moreso, I hope you’ll try this on an audience. You’ll come away convinced.

Of course, FFHout can conceal more than one coin, but I find two is about the limit for my fingers. Those with pudgier mitts or thinner coins might be able to do more. At that point, the FFHout is better than all but the most expensive shell sets.

A final word about FFH. It is NOT “Purse Palm” or Morrit Grip. That’s an error in terminology usually acquired by those who also insist on saying “Matrix” (or worse, “Coin Matrix”) when they mean to say “Chink-a-Chink”.

One can conceal a coin, or coins, using the Morrit Grip in much the same manner as FFHout. In fact, that was the original purpose of Morrit Grip, as will be related much later in MCM. Michael Rubenstein has taken this concept to new heights, and is generously sharing some of that work in his recent lectures. Ask him when you see him.
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A Hundreth Pleasant Conceipts - by Curtis Kam » » Ch 1: FRONT FINGER HOLD (0 Likes)
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