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Fingers
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Pennsylvania, USA
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I think this forum we have here at the Café is excellent! It gives you the ability to learn about all the new sleights, routines and techniques for this wonderful art of coin magic. I wouldn’t change a thing.

However, there is one area where I think it is lacking and its where I would like something added, and from discussions I have had with other members of the Café, they would too. What I am talking about is more accounts or descriptions of personal real life experiences when performing. It doesn’t have to be a corporate event, but it could be or it could be of your performance at a party, work, the local pub or even just one on one with a buddy.

We would like to know how it fared, good, bad or ugly. It would not only serve to entertain and have fun with here at the Café, but also help to enlighten us. It could give us an idea on what to expect from spectators and maybe what not to expect, what to do in certain circumstances or maybe what to do in unusual circumstances, what could possibly go wrong or just simply the unexpected, how to handle different crowds or what to do when something goes awry.

I have shared my limited performances with you here at the Café at times and learned a whole lot from doing so myself. It can be a great learning experience for both the writer and the reader. I don’t mean when everything goes right either! If you blow it, let’s discuss it and find out how we could prevent something like that from happening again. If everything goes great, let us know that too, it will benefit us to know what happens when things are done properly and how to make them go properly.
I think if every performance a member made was listed here in this forum with the details and the outcome we could all learn a great deal and have fun and be entertained at the same time.

Just for instance I had a small gathering of people at my house the other day and I attempted to perform David Roth’s “Shell Coins Across”. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I failed to mention about three quarters through the routine I went blank. I don’t know what happened, I just got stuck! Now, I have practiced the routine, I don’t know, probably more than a thousand times! Why it happened I don’t know, because believe me I know the routine inside and out, but it did nonetheless.

Now I know what you are saying, “What did you do next?” Well, at the time I wasn’t sure what to do, but I paused. I paused holding the coins for what seemed to me to be an eternity, at least at the time. However, it was only a few seconds longer than normal, thank the Lord, but I was totally blank! I paused much longer than I normally would have, but eventually it did come back to me and I continued. Other than the abnormally lengthy pause everything went well and I got through the remainder of the routine.

What did I learn from the experience? I learned that I must keep my concentration when performing, no matter what and not to let anything distract me. I also learned it is real nice to have patient spectators of which, lucky me, I did have that night.

These are the kind of experiences I am talking about people. They may be little things, but when you are performing they are ”bib” things and I am sure we all would enjoy hearing about them. They don’t have to be bad either. I could tell you about the first time I performed the “Invisible Muscle Pass” I learned from Rannie Raymundo that just happened to go perfectly, even better than in practice and how I could see the shock on everyone’s face all of them being in total awe! I could tell you how it felt. It felt ”really, really good” to practice your heart out on something so hard and to get such a response!!

This is the kind of stuff I think we need more of here. What do you think?
Where I go, so do my coins.....
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
Malaysia
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You have just started a good topic and others would also chip in. This will make this thread a collection of experiences.

I will chip in on my next round. Did too many performances and have to recollect my thoughts on which one to share here. I'll be back.
rannie
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This is a wonderful thing you have started Ray! Also thanks for remembering the Invisible Muscle pass.

Not too long ago... I was in a social function.. and I was requested to do some close up magic. Well... I was not busy at that moment so I obliged. It was a round table of ten. I always have my coins with me so I was ready to go. After doing a couple of card tricks... one of the ladies asked me to do some coin magic. I started with one of my pet routines called the "Not so Gaffless Hopping Halves".... it has always been a good opener for me as I always use borrowed coins for this. Then.... they asked for more.... I do have a limit and I do observe my audience keenly. I usually stop at the highest point and leave them in that state.... Anyway .... I followed it with my okito box routine...I keep my halves in it anyway so it was rather natural to use it. There was one fellow who was quite of a "grabber" from the start. He never heckled me as I would not allow it.... but I kept an eye out for him for good measure. I proceeded and it was one of my best ever performance since I modified it 6 months ago. Now.... I do have a sucker box with me at all times. I never use it as part of the routine but it was put to good use. Right after the climax of my routine... I did a switch. I was standing and used my T$#%T. The best part was that as far as they are concerned the performance was over. I got my applause and it was another successful performance. I purposely left the coins and the sucker box on the table. Not anywhere near my audience but right in front of me. I was nonchalant about it as I signed some cards for souvenir. The set up was perfect... The grabber.... asked his girlfriend to get the box.... He could not even do it himself.... This is when it went wild. They were so perplexed. They could not put one coin in the box. I then did another switch and then gingerly put the coins back in the coin box.



Had this happen to me 15 years ago.... it would have ended differently.... probably in an ugly way. Patience and control of emotions certainly paid off. I would never forget an old video of Don Alan.... how he handled the heckler was so brilliant. I have learned so much from that. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a meaningful pause. Silence is sometimes louder than a scream.


More to come....

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
morgandollarman
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England
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Fingers that is a good idea .It would help to see how some folks get out of sticky situations and what they did at the time ,also nice to hear about performances that have gone well .

I was at work one time,and we was rained off for a while (as we was working out doors) so me and a few guys rushed into a near by barn to get out of the rain.

While we waited for the rain to slow ,we decided to grab some stacks of hay and use them to sit on.Well I always wear jeans for work and also for casual wear as well ( not the same ones lol.)
The guys who I work with know I perform magic,and one friend said have you anything you can entertain us with (well I always carry at least 4 coins with me ,at the time they were kennedy halfs)they fit nice and snug in the tiny pocket just above the big pocket in the right pants side ,(you know which one I mean)this way they can't fall out unless someone holds you upside down lol.

I said sure as it happens your in luck, I have just picked up these silver coins on my way to work this morning from my local jewelers who's polished these for me ( I haden't really been to the jeweler's but had to make this up as it was just off the cuff) so I thought I would just do a simple but effective routine ,and that was Gadabout coins .

I did the routine and the guys were amazed when all the coins on the final phase had vanished , they were wondering where they had gone. This was done with me sitting on the hay still,all coins in the big pocket on my right pants.Well we was talking for another 10 mins or so when we noticted the rain had slowed right down ,so we all got up to go back out side when suddenly as I stood up all the 4 coins fell through a hole I had in that pocket which I had forgotten about and the coins went straight down my leg and stopped at the bottom of turn ups and were stuck in the top of my work boots .

I stopped suddenly and shouted to my work mates ,ill be there in a minute as I started to rub my leg and said I have got cramp in my leg as I tried to get the coins out so I could put them back in the small pocket that I carry my coins in.I had visions of the coins rolling all around and then it would have shattered the magic that I had just created for the guys lol.

Good tip check your pants for holes lol( these were only work pants) but a lesson I learned.

Best

shaun
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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Hahaha.
I'm laughing because the same thing just happened to me.
I've been working on a routine for quite a while and decided it was time to try it out.
I'd gone over it dozens of times, had some minor flukes but felt ready to try it.

Well, midway through I lost control of a coin and could not for the life of me get a grip back on it.
While it troubled me I also had to laugh at myself. I tried to misdirect a couple of times while I renewed my grip but after a couple of attempts I just hung my head and laughed. So did the others. After moving on with a sloppy move I finally finished and was asked what happened. I simple told them that what was supposed to happen didn't and I found that funny.
The reactions were OK and later compliments assured me that it wasn't a total failure.
OK. I lost my composure only little and know how I lost control of the coin because the move was a bit of a problem in practice. I learned and will work it out.

Keep on keepin' on! Smile
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
Malaysia
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I'm back as promised.

A couple of months ago we (few magicians) were having a gathering. One of them brought a set of Fakini multiplying balls to show around. And I was called to show a short routine with it.

Did the standard multiplying balls routine (from one to four) and then vanish the balls one at a time until I have only the s**** and ball. At that point in time I happen to see a large metal cup containing many multi color mini balls nearby. I took it and use it immediately. Did the 'apparent drop move' with the s**** and ball still in my hand. Then pocketed the ball and s****.

Immediately I inverted the cup to apparently conceal one of the Fakini ball. When I lifted the cup and the mini color balls flow out, it was a shocker for the group. The owner of the house (a magician host) was smiling because the cup belongs to him.

The experience taught me to be even more observant with the things around the house. Everyone knew that I was just performing unprepared and the finale was a sweet surprise. The response was also a surprise for me too.
Jaz
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Fingers,
I forgot to mention that there is a place here called "What happened, was this...".

I rarely read it and it don't seem too popular.
Just thought you should know in case you didn't. Smile

Best,
morgandollarman
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England
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Your right Jaz but its along way to scroll down I prefer it up here lol.
JamesTong
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Let us stay here and hope the mods don't notice us here Smile
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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I agree Morgan.

Just that Fingers mentioned this:
Quote:
We would like to know how it fared, good, bad or ugly. It would not only
serve to entertain and have fun with here at the Café, but also help to
enlighten us. It could give us an idea on what to expect from spectators and
maybe what not to expect, what to do in certain circumstances or maybe
what to do in unusual circumstances, what could possibly go wrong or just
simply the unexpected, how to handle different crowds or what to do when
something goes awry.


..and in case he hadn't seen it that I'd let him know.
It could be helpful and I should read it more often.
Jaz
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UH-OH!! The mods are on to us!
There goes those hopes James.
I liked it where it was too. Crap!

Looks like I'll have to start reading this category more.
JamesTong
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Jaz, I spoke too soon. Like you, I have to drop by this section more.
Fingers
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Thanks James for your support of this thread and your input. Great story, its nice when things work out good like that. I don't imagine things happening that way often, but it must have been nice.

Hey Rannie, I will never forget that "Invisible Muscle Pass", it got me my best spectator response yet! Cool story, I would have loved to have been there to see the grabber's expression! I bet you could write a book with all the experiences you have had in your career. Keep them coming man, I love it.....

I'll be watching my pants for holes now Shaun. Great story, glad it worked out good for you.....

That must have been a tough situation to be in Jaz, I know the feeling, but it sounds like it worked out for you anyway.....

You were right Jaz. Geeze, I wish they didn't move this thread! I was looking forward to more of these type stories. They can be so helpful and entertaining. I think they might just get lost down here. Well, maybe we could keep things going.....
Where I go, so do my coins.....
JamesTong
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Unfortunately we can forget to drop by here. It is a hassle just to scroll down to this section. Sometimes I miss it too. But ... I will drop by and support this thread often with more stories.
Fingers
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Thanks James, I am sure we will all love to hear from you. Any and all experiences are welcome. I personally don't have much experience on the performing end, so I know there is a lot of "re-directed experience" I could get from posts like yours and others.....
Where I go, so do my coins.....
JamesTong
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Here's another story, fingers...

There was a certain cabaret I was working in ... and I was warned by other magicians that have worked there ... that I will experience the worst heckling ever, if I were to work there one day.

This incident happened when I was performing the misers dream. And halfway during the routine this guy came up and caught hold of my right hand - just to stop the show. He then challenged me to transform one of his coin to a jumbo (3") coin right away. He was basically trying to destroy the show with his nuisance.

I had no choice but to accept his challenge. Fortunately I was warned about these kind of heckling. I then asked him to release his grip on my right hand so that I can place the coin bucket onto my table. After that I took the microphone to do some talking. In the process of placing the coin bucket on the table and taking the microphone, I secretly got the jumbo 3" coin from the table and sleeved it.

Then, with microphone in hand, I walk over to him and talk about why he wants me to transform his small coin to a big coin. And he mentioned that if I am a magician I should be able to do it. I played along with his game - accepting his coin - and then ask him to hold on to the microphone.

I took his coin, then showed it to the audience and transformed it to the jumbo coin I have prepared. He was stunned with the transformation. After that I gave him the jumbo coin as a souvenier. He left the performance area and back to his seat without giving me anymore trouble. But he mentioned that I had to see him after my performance.

The lesson I learnt from this experience was ...

1) Always be prepared. Fortunately I heeded my friends' advice on bad heckling at this cabaret. So I try to have all kinds of items placed unseen around my working table. And fortunately the jumbo coin saved me.

The audience around the Asia Pacific countries (especially when they are drunk) can really give you unforgetable experiences and memories (good and bad).

2) I will always use a microphone whenever such an incident happen. Why? This is to make sure that when I hand it to the heckler to hold on to, his hand is busy holding the microphone and will not give me any physical problems like searching me or taking the magic apparatus to examine. So when he was holding the microphone he did not have the freedom to move around as the cord is not long enough to offer him freedom of movement.

3) I went to see him to find out why he does the heckling. Actually he has been paid to do it - to find good performers for another club that is also owned by the same boss. This other club is much bigger and have better 'up market' clientele. His heckling is one way to filter good performers for this other club. I do not know why they choose to use this method but fortunately I was prepared. And because of that I got a 6 months performance contract at the other bigger club.

Incidentally he mentioned that I am the only performer asking him why he does the heckling. The others don't. We became good friends over time and till now he still talk about the jumbo coin that was given to him. This friendship enable me to get work frequently.

This was a tough and challenging experience but worth it.
Fingers
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Wow, that was totally unexpected James! I don't know if I exactly approve of the methods, but I am glad for you it worked out the way it did! I only have a very short performance history, but I have already dealt with hecklers and I know it isn't easy. I am sure if they offered a course in heckler management a lot of magicians would be signing up. I am glad you were able to put him in his place and land the new job.....
Where I go, so do my coins.....
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
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The journey of a professional magician is always full of surprises - good and bad. But we become better equipped the next time as we experience them.

I believe there are many performers out there having experienced even more challenging situations than mine.

Let us wait and see what experiences others contribute.
Fingers
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I can't agree with you more James.....
Where I go, so do my coins.....
magicblademan
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uk
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James what a fascinating story ,glad it all worked out for you in the end .

Like you say at least now you will always be ready for anything that comes your way .

I guess that's where the true professional shines through ,must have been an alarming experience at first but you did well my friend a true "pro"

Thanks for sharing.
If you put the time in....you will achieve ...
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