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Topic: Which is stronger - coins across to your or spectator's hand?
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Oct 30, 2004 10:15PM)
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?
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Oct 30, 2004 11:05PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Oct 30, 2004 11:40PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Ramon (Oct 31, 2004 12:25AM)
I think I'll go with the involvement of the spectator. As long as they play a part, the reaction will be better.
Message: Posted by: CardiniMan (Oct 31, 2004 03:06AM)
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.

Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Oct 31, 2004 05:08AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: blade (Oct 31, 2004 01:17PM)
Spec's hands... magic is best served with audience participation... they feel like they were partly responsible in making magic happen... am I right?
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Oct 31, 2004 03:41PM)
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...
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Oct 31, 2004 07:33PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: tpdmagic (Nov 1, 2004 02:21AM)
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.

Message: Posted by: mike gallo (Nov 1, 2004 08:18AM)
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!

Message: Posted by: David Nelson (Nov 1, 2004 06:24PM)
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.

Message: Posted by: Magicmaven (Nov 5, 2004 04:18PM)
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.

Message: Posted by: hocopoco (Nov 6, 2004 07:03AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 11, 2005 05:58PM)

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."
Message: Posted by: Clarioneer (Jan 11, 2005 06:05PM)
Dan - wonderful write-up of your own effect :) but is it a knuckle buster or easily doable with basic sleights by the average coinician - and is it ungaffed?
Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Jan 11, 2005 06:09PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 11, 2005 06:10PM)
It's easy to do. The only sleight needed is the Classic palm and the ability to pick up coins :). There is one gaff.
Message: Posted by: Clarioneer (Jan 11, 2005 06:13PM)
Which gaff is required...
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 11, 2005 06:30PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Bob Kohler (Jan 11, 2005 06:35PM)
Dan tipped the routine to me in its infancy. No doubt that it's a closer. The handling is superior. The power of the effect is devastating. I believe 4 Coins, Your Hands has set the bar very high for the coins across plot. It's about as interactive with a specator as it can possibly be. Since the magic happens in the spectators hands the reactions are off the chart.

Since Jamie Schoocraft made the gaff, I expect a long line to get one. Buy the book, get all of Dan's work. Order what you need before you have to wait a year!
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 11, 2005 07:15PM)

Thanks for the kind words. I showed almost a year ago when I was in Vegas on business. The final version is a little bit more streamlined, but the general concept and structure remains the same.

Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Jan 11, 2005 08:43PM)
Thanks for posting and for releasing the routine. I'll check it out!
Message: Posted by: Magius (Jan 12, 2005 03:48AM)
I think the covering with your hand can become suspicious if they think about it for a while, so I usually don't repeat it, and go on with the routine. If you say, do it in that position for all four coins, it would be pretty useless. Alternate methods between the dropping, muscle pass, dropping the coin softly without them noticing and use it as a delayed across as you direct their attention the the other hand, or add a coin while they hold the three coins in a fist, etc...

I wrote a routine using a shell and 4 halves that uses the spectator's hand for the online visions challenge, but I was too late so I didn't send it in anyway.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 12, 2005 07:12AM)
The methods for routine where coins are both vanished from and made to appear in a volunteer's hands, where even the last coin made to vanish from their closed hand is pretty much described in Scot's [i]Discoverie of Witchcraft[/i].

I've seen David Roth's coins across done ON volunteer's hands since 1977, and Dingle's routine using purse palm done from about that same time onward.

Of course there is always room for improvement in making the trick more entertaining and the handling more streamlined and direct. I'm looking forward to a fresh take on the trick.
Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Jan 12, 2005 10:52AM)
Dan's version is a fresh take. I don't want to seem TOO enthusiastic, since I don't want anyone else doing the routine, but . . . you'll have to look for yourselves.

I agree that 4 coins can be redundant, and the covering the hands thing a little suspicious, but this routine really works best with 4 coins (and again, the magic is all happening in their hands).
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 12, 2005 11:42AM)

You are correct; making a coin go to a spectator’s hand is pretty old. What I have done is actually make both the sending hand and receiving hand be the spectator’s. Meaning - I don't simply make the coins go across in my own hands first, and then dump the results into the spectator's. Rather, they see me drop the proper amount of coins into their one hand. I simply cover both of their hands with mine (not picking up the coins). When I remove my hands, one coin has traveled. It really freaks them out.

I believe that I have routined each transit so that momentum builds in the routine with each coin. In the book I specifically address this momentum.

I hope you like my solution.


Message: Posted by: Eric McDonald (Jan 14, 2005 02:09PM)
Over the years I've used elements from Roger Klause "Triple Play", Paul Gertner's "Familiar Ring" and the David Roth coins across.

I've always used a ] for coins across and whether I do it from my hand to theirs or just into mine, I always end by giving them 3 and vanishing the fourth into their hand.

I like each coin across to be more impossible than the last so a combination of some into my hand and some into theirs works best for me.

I can't believe I never saw "Silver Quick" in the Derek Dingle book! I read it today and I like it too. Thanks for mentioning it.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Jan 15, 2005 07:44PM)
I have used coins across to the spectators and as a finish to a regular coins across and wouldn't think of leaving it out.
Message: Posted by: matt.magicman (Jan 21, 2005 06:33PM)
Sounds good to me
I've just ordered coinvanish 2.......
where can I pick up the gaff required for 4 coins, your hands?
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 22, 2005 04:40AM)
On 2005-01-21 19:33, tracematt wrote:
Sounds good to me
I've just ordered coinvanish 2.......
where can I pick up the gaff required for 4 coins, your hands?

Which version of the book did you get? I am guessing hardcopy? If you got the .pdf then you should know this answer.

I'd like to keep the details behind the methods to the routine off the public forums.

If you are just awaiting the hardcopy, shoot me an email or PM telling me who you are, and I'll be happy to give you the info in private (assuming I have you on record ordering it).


Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 22, 2005 05:05AM)
It depends on the situation and how you are handling the spectators, if you are in a pub or in an alcoholic area, then best to do it in your hands. Jon Allen is one of the few routines I have seen I like using the spectators hand for the coins to travel, but then a gain is till prefer bob kohlers 3 fly. I am now, although I will probably be told it is a bad idea, working on a routine around them. I start off by using curtis kams production of dollars from beijing coins across, then do 3 fly, then do gary kurtz coin vanish. or I do basically gary kurtz misty like a dream opening, 3 fly, then vanish the coins in the same way of misty like a dream
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 22, 2005 10:28AM)
On 2005-01-22 06:05, Chuds wrote:
I am now, although I will probably be told it is a bad idea, working on a routine around them. [/quote]

Why would that be a bad idea? Sounds like a good one to me. I use a production sequence and vanish sequence to frame my use of U3F.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 22, 2005 02:58PM)
I have had a few magicians say it is bad because it takes away the magicalness of 3 fly itself, but I see it as the coins are doing all the magic not me. so they come from nowhere, move to anywhere, then vanish as easily as they came prooving it was an illusion all along
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jan 23, 2005 12:23AM)
On 2005-01-11 19:35, Bob Kohler wrote:
Dan tipped the routine to me in its infancy. No doubt that it's a closer. The handling is superior. The power of the effect is devastating. I believe 4 Coins, Your Hands has set the bar very high for the coins across plot. It's about as interactive with a specator as it can possibly be. Since the magic happens in the spectators hands the reactions are off the chart.

Since Jamie Schoocraft made the gaff, I expect a long line to get one. Buy the book, get all of Dan's work. Order what you need before you have to wait a year!


Bob, how would rate this with Ammar's Incredibble coins across?

Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 23, 2005 11:38AM)

The routines are structurally very different. Ammar's routine is 3 coins one at a time leaving his left fist and falling out of his right hand (or out of thin air) into the spectator's cupped hands. The magic occurs in his hands and the result is dumped into the spectator's hand. It is a superb routine, it is just entirely different from mine.

My routine is 4 coins one at a time leaving the spectator's right hand and arriving in their left hand. All of the magic occurs in their hands. I am not holding the coins in my own fists and just dumping the results. They see me drop the proper number of coins into their right hand. I simply cover their hands with mine, and a coin travels. For the last coin I choose to depart from this structure to have a coin travel from my fist to their closed fist simply because I felt it was more climatic. I do present two endings. One remains true to the construct, the other is the one I just mentioned.

I just wanted to make the differences clear, as for Bob's opinion of how they rate against each other, I will let Bob answer that since you directed it to him. But it is sorta comparing apples with oranges.
Message: Posted by: Bob Kohler (Jan 23, 2005 01:51PM)
The way Dan's routine builds as each phase get better/more visual/more fair really takes the audience to a place of deep mystery

Michael's routine is now a time honored classic. I think it's excellent but to me Dan's routine is superior.
The only change I made to Dan's routine is as you would expect I added the FK Holdout to elevate the handling of the last coin.

By the way, Dan's new book is a fun read that has much more to offer the serious coinworker. If you love coins it's a must have...
Message: Posted by: Paul h. (Jan 23, 2005 05:46PM)
I would just like to publicly add my praise for this book from Dan...I have already done so privately. This routine in particular is what you will be looking for to make them talk about you forever.

The clean shows in this handling are what make it so special. There are many GOOD handlings of coins across, but this one sets a new level of cleanliness.

Just to see Bob K. using it should tell you enough!

Keep the coins working,

Paul h.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 23, 2005 07:55PM)
Thanks again for the compliments guys. I am glad the book and this routine are being recieved so well. The routine has been a favorite of mine for a while now.

On 2005-01-23 14:51, Bob Kohler wrote:
I added the FK Holdout to elevate the handling of the last coin.
Show off...
Message: Posted by: orbit17 (Jan 25, 2005 02:47PM)
Hi Dan - and others - just from reading this topic I will be ordering Dan's book.
I must admit on reading the heading of this topic "Which is stronger - coins across to your or spectator's hand?" I was expecting to find refrence to David Stones handlings of coins into the spectators hands as he shows a few strong examples of using this method.

Many thanks to all for the info in this topic, and to Mr Kohler thank you for your amazing contribution to coin work thus far....
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 25, 2005 04:06PM)
I really enjoyed David Stone's "One Way" from his 2nd video, I learned this and am still use a variation of it occasionally. This is a coins across from his left hand to a spectator's left hand.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 25, 2005 04:39PM)
For those who are not up for the FK setup, there are still cheesy old things like using your sleeves, your pant cuffs, your pockts, hoo coins, and ... for the really brave... and old fashioned pull.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 25, 2005 04:52PM)
...Or Dan's Holster Holdout from Coinvanish Vol. 2...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 25, 2005 04:57PM)
Yeah, that too. A modern approach to holding out and trafic management.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jan 25, 2005 10:25PM)

Do you find silver coins improve the ring?

Kirk G
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 26, 2005 09:03AM)
Kirk, I guess that is sort of off the thread topic, but I don't think coins "ring" unless you balance them on your fingertips and hit them together. In regular use they tend to clink. Softer silver coins tend to have more of a "dead" clink to them. I do like the sound and look and feel of silver better than clad coins however.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jan 26, 2005 06:04PM)

You missed my pun. Kirk
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 26, 2005 10:56PM)
Kirk Sorry... I read up a few threads, I still can't figure out the pun. I am gonna need it spelled out by you or someone who caught it.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jan 27, 2005 12:08AM)
I just ordered Dan's second book and he was WONDERFUl to deal with. he turned me onto Jamie for the proper coins to use for his 4 Coins, Your Hands. I've loved using Ammar's routine, but Dan's sounds so diabolical!! Thanks, Dan!!!