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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Which is stronger - coins across to your or spectator's hand? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mike Walton
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I'm researching coins across routines to better understand the performances, make-up, different handlings, etc.

I've noticed that some routines such as Doug Brewer's routine using English Pennies and a Chinese coin and Paul Green's routine have at least one phase of a coin traveling to a spectator's hand that is covered by the magician's hand.

It seems the “coin falling to the spectator's hand” handling, though beneficial because of the spectator involvement, allows easier reconstruction of the transfer origination. Again, this is my perception and I'm struggling to look at it from a spectator's point of view.

It's like a “coins to glass” routine. While magicians call the routine such, spectators could very easily see it as “coins falling from center part of hand into glass” thereby their reconstruction is "must have been in his hand all along." Is the effect too perfect so spectators take a simple step back?

Other routines like Winged Silver rely on the coin transferring between the magician’s hands except for the final phase, which is different altogether and not related to my question. When a coin travels from a magician's hand to his other hand, IMHO there is just enough uncertainty to possibly avoid that reconstruction while not taking away from the strength of the magic. These are just my early thoughts as I've only been studying these types of routines for six weeks so please share some of your experience.

Among the two described, do you view one handling as stronger than the other? Your thoughts?
S2000magician
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I believe that the involvement of the spectator outweighs the possibility of reconstruction.

In my experience I have had a few people - not the spectator into whose hand the coins fall, but others who are watching - say things like, "I know how it got over there (to the spectator's hand), but I have no idea how it left there (the magician's other hand)." They're still baffled.
Daegs
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An important question is whether or not a good effect has to defy any reconstruction.

Should *every* effect we do be a jaw-dropping stunner?

What makes an effect good?


Here's another important thing:

What do you want or expect the spectator to think during a coins across?

That a coin magically disappeared and appeared somewhere else?

Once you figure out what you want them to think, what they actually think, and how to modify the routine to make those move closer together, you'll have your answer.
Ramon
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I think I'll go with the involvement of the spectator. As long as they play a part, the reaction will be better.
CardiniMan
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No contest. In the spectators hands. But how you get them there is important. Here's a handling I use that might help you.

First though some tips: First off, don't let them know you are about to have coins vanish from your hand to theirs, but how do you get them to hold out their hands...good question. that's why I use old silver coins (either liberty halves or morgan dollars, I use dollars). I explain what kind of coins these are and you can tell they're solid silver by their weight. I then tell the spectator to hold their hands together like cupping water...I drop the coins into their hands..."See how much heavier these are...but watch this"...or whatever you come up with to go into your routine.

Another tip (or hotlick as a good friend of mine always says). Before you produce a coin in their hand, with your dirty hand tug gently on their thumb as you drop the coin. This does two things: You've misdirected their attention mentally and physically. Sometimes they don't even feel the coin fall, cover this with patter as well. " It will go from my hand to yours (pull their thumb).

The first coin is the surprise. The second coin catches them off guard, but they knew it would be coming. Now that they know another coin is coming, as soon as you travel the third, open your hand as if you were going to show them the remaining coin to travel over...as your hand opens it is seen to be completely empty...just as clink of a coin hitting into their hand is heard. Do whatever method you've got to look like you are putting two coins in one hand but still retaining them in the other. I use the Han Ping Chien.

In my humble opinion, the best way to end a coins across into the spectators hands can be found in Allan Haydens book, Bulldogs and Haydenizms. It's his Jumbo Coin Production.

I hope this offers you paths to think about.

Glenn
Dan LeFay
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Interesting question Mike. I encountered some of your worries when I first explored the spectators-hand-involvement years ago...

I agree partially with Glenn.
Tugging the thumb is my way of defining the magic moment. Also I do not cover their hand with mine constantly.
For example: When a coin is resting openly on the palm up hand of the spectator I direct attention to the other coin(s) in my left hand. I show my right hand empty by making a gesture (Kaps or Ramsay subtlety). Now I close my left hand and say a coin "travels". I gently pull their thunb. They hear (and feel) it. My right hand still hides their hand from view. I open my left, to show one coin has vanished. Now I remove my right hand to show the coins over there.
I guess it's the timing of things. Plus the added benefit that the spectator first feels and hears something (and will react), but the other spectators have to wait before they can digest what happened.
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blade
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Spec's hands... magic is best served with audience participation... they feel like they were partly responsible in making magic happen... am I right?
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Mike Walton
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I do agree that spectator imvolvement is important.

Quick note, for now the spectator will be involved with the final vanish. For a gimmicked version, I really enjoy the ending phase that includes a spider vanish of the remaining coin and the resulting reappearance in the spectator's closed hand.

Thanks for your posts and excellent insight...
Curtis Kam
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Very perceptive question, Mike. This is the sort of thinking you want to be doing as you develop your own approach...what is the spectator thinking and precisely what illusion am I creating?

The concensus seems to be in favor of the coins appearing in the spectator's hands, but with the inclusion of some throwoff techniques. Along these lines, I would direct your attention to:

Gary Kurtz's technique (in his "Full Frontal Assault" notes) in which your hand actually hovers about the spectator's wrist. As you direct attention to the vanishment of the coin in your other hand, the "hovering" hand moves over the spectator's palm, releases the coin, and then moves back out of the way. The coin appears on the spectator's hand more or less uncovered.

Derek Dingle's technique using the purse palm (See "Silverquick" from Apocalypse or The Complete Works of Derek Dingle) First the covering hand is shown empty, then the spectator feels that there is nothing in your hand.

Finally, since repetition is both the point and the potential pitfall of this routine, you might consider estabilishing the effect by doing the first coin across ala "Winged Silver", then making it more impossible by putting the coins between your and the spectator's hands, and ending with the coins in the specators's hand entirely. By varying the effect for increasing impact, one creates a climax, and eliminates some of the repetition that tips the method.
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tpdmagic
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I am sold and have been for years on Paul Gertners Ring Thing. The whole routine uses the spectator and it is very very strong magic. With a nice kicker ending.

tpdmagic
mike gallo
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Anytime you can involve the spectator in an effect...that is a plus for you. Coins across in a spectators hand is that...a plus, since it involves them. They will take more interest in the effect...the magic is stronger in their eyes due to the fact that it is happening in their hands...not yours. However, there is one down fall to this type effect. It only has maximum impact for small intimate audiences. A straight coins across will play better for a larger venue. You have instant visibility of the coin going across in your hands...no delay of the spectators trying to see it in someone elses hand. So what do you doin a situation like this...easy, learn at least one variation of each type method and chose accordingly to the size crowd you are working for!

Mike
David Nelson
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I'm glad that mike pointed out the potential problem with coins across in a spectator's hand. It's stronger for that spectator but can be potentially weaker for the rest of the audience if they can't see well enough to experience the magic.

In order to maximize the impact of this type of routine you ought to carefully choose the audience member who gets to have the magic happen to them. Someone who registers no surprise or amazement will diminish the effect while someone who is obviously amazed and enjoying the effect will make it seem bigger to the rest. Use David Blaine as an example here, the audience reaction can make the effects seem that much better.

Dave
Magicmaven
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As long as the trick runs smoothly, transfering the coins from your hand to the spectators', is better than from your left hand, to your right. Of course their are a few exceptions.

Rmax
hocopoco
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I am a strong advocate of Derek Dingle's Quick Silver. As I mentioned in other posts, he performed and I do as well, this effect with English pennies.

I perform this effect at least 30 times per week, and without doubt, it is one of the strongest effects possible. Impossible to figure out in the spectator's minds.

Re: Mike Gallo's comment about being limited to a more intimate audience...While I do agree in principle, I have performed this for groups of 20-25 people. Although I am sure that they can't all see the coins in the spectator's hand, they CAN see her visible reactions to the passage of each coin.

I also understand that Michael Weber has a version where he stands behind a spectator, focusing the attention on her facial reactions as each coin passes.

Although this trick is not easy to perform, and will take practice, it is worth it's "weight in gold" if you'll put in the time necessary.
Dan Watkins
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Mike,

I had to wait to reply when you first wrote this thread.

I think that coins across in a spectator's hand is just killer.

When you wrote this thread, I had a routine I was not ready to tip yet called "4 Coins, Your Hands". I just released Coinvanish Volume 2, which tips the work on it.

Here is an excerpt from Coinvanish Volume 2 regarding this routine, and my thoughts about this concept:

"“4 Coins, Your Hands,” is what I and a number of well respected professionals believe is one of the best Coins Across routines ever created. Why? From the spectators' perspective, all of the magic happens in the spectator’s hands. The coins vanish from their right hand and arrive in their left. I can find no stronger routine than to have ALL the magic happen in the hands of the spectator. In reality, the magic happens within a “sandwich” of my hands and the spectator’s hands. Since my hands only act as cover, she holds all the coins at the moment the coins apparently travel.

Previous routines have featured coins traveling from the magician’s hand to one of the spectator’s hands or to a glass. These routines contained the groundwork of techniques to cause a coin to travel to a place that was not simply the magician’s “other hand.” In most such routines the magician had to control the sending hand because he had to manipulate a gaff, or there was an inconsistency in the number of coins that needed to be concealed. In either circumstance, the magician needed to control the method in the “sending hand.” As a consequence, the spectator could not be both sender and receiver of the traveling coin. I believe having both the sending and receiving of the coins in the spectator’s hands during the entire routine to be a revolutionary improvement in the plot. My routine offers that breakthrough feature.

The appeal of this routine is that, from the audiences perspective, they are part of the magic. I cannot stress how strong this is in the mind of the spectator, it absolutely kills any idea of trick coins or sleight of hand, it all happens in their hands! How could it even be possible? They openly see the number of coins, they feel the coins in their hands, they hold all of the coins during each phase of the routine, and they can fully inspect the coins at the end of the routine. I show my hands empty after every coin transit. As I present the routine, they do the magic. They get the applause, they have the experience, yet they will have no clue how it is happening."
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Clarioneer
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Dan - wonderful write-up of your own effect Smile but is it a knuckle buster or easily doable with basic sleights by the average coinician - and is it ungaffed?
catch you later

Clarioneer
doug brewer
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I will speak for Dan here and say this is a great routine - a real "worker". It does use a gaff, but don't let that stop you. The moves in the routine are relatively easy and the payoff huge.
Dan Watkins
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It's easy to do. The only sleight needed is the Classic palm and the ability to pick up coins Smile. There is one gaff.
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Clarioneer
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Which gaff is required...
catch you later

Clarioneer
Dan Watkins
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I just updated the writeup to spell out which common gaffs are needed in general, and which routines need gaffs - though I don't want to exactly spell out what gaff is used for each routine. I don't want to tip the specific methods publicly.
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