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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Is Coin Magic/Mentalism an Endangered Species? (26 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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IMAGINACIAN
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Of late, I've been having an uneasy feeling that coin magic, especially coin mentalism, is heading towards extinction. I would really love to be wrong. I travel quite a bit. Here are some facts which may be contributing to this.

1. In many countries coins are slowing going out of common circulation. People are simply not carrying loose change anymore. Magicians/Mentalists are increasingly finding it difficult to borrow coins freely from audience members.

2. Hardly 5% of all new magic released relates to coin magic. Even that is generally expensive. So looks like new ideas in coin magic are now very few and far between.

3. Generally, coin magic is sleight intensive and works best in close up. So probably the new generation of magicians is no longer wanting to specialize in this branch.

4. Is any coin magic specialist making good money these days, still?

So my question is - is there any way interest in coin magic/mentalism be revived among the new generation of magicians? is there any other way this enormous coin magic legacy is not finally lost on us?

PS: Although I do not do much coin magic, I've always loved watching and been fascinated with coin magic/mentalism
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Animated Puppets
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#1 In what countries are coins going out of circulation?

#2 There is plenty of material out there to work with. Just because it hasn't been rehashed into something 'new' doesn't mean it doesn't work.

#3 Are you talking Mentalism or Coin Magic? Max Maven's Invisible Penny, Nickel, and Dime. Has been a staple of mine and plays big (for me).

#4 No idea.
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George Hunter
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In performing mentalism, I perform two effects using pre-decimal old British coins. People find the coins interesting, charming.

One should have a reason to perform with them. I perform from a Victorian theme.

George
mindhunter
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Many standard coin effects can be adapted via patter/presentation to take on a mentaliam bend (pun not intended, but certainly appropo!)

A simple switch and then having the participant THINK air coin changing /bending /growing, etc.... having THEM "will" it to happen certainly can take it out of the realm of magic.

I do an effect called Patina that relies on a coin gimmick, is super easy on any sleights, that takes the party on a journey through time... in their hands.... using their thoughts. I'll write it up for a future eBook...

I love using coins in mentalism presentations for a myriad of reasons... Keep this thread going!

Bryn
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Dr Ross
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Funny - I've recently been having similar thoughts on the topic of coin-based mentalism. Smile Consequently, I attempted a thorough search for any recent(ish) work in this area (excluding coin bends as they do not suit my style). I didn't find a great deal. The majority of effects were either:

1) 'Which hand?' effects, - for example, Vox 2 (Manos Kartsakis), TH (Mark Elsdon), Operation Gemini (RedDevil), HandWhich (Dustin Dean), BOHT (Bryn Reynolds)

2) 'Heads or tails?' effects - for example, 'HOT and COLD' (Nefesch), 'Flip and Tell' (Alexander George), and the variants of Maven's 'Positive Negative' (e.g., Guinn's 'Positively Positive', Vanderlay's 'Positive Positive' etc).

Note** - the above observation casts no aspersion upon these effects and routines. They are all very good.

One publication I came across was 'Coinucopia' (Mark Goodman). In addition to a 'Which Hand?' and a 'Positive Negative' effect, this work also contains other interesting sounding routines. I've actually just purchased it because it has some good reviews here on the Café. A different (i.e., reading-based) publication is '3 Coins 4 Your Thoughts' by Paul Voodini. I also come across 'Coin'cidence' (along with 2 variations of it) by the Unknown Mentalist.

Most effects require the use of a physical coin/s. And as IMAGINACIAN says, fewer and fewer people carry coins on their person. This doesn't mean, however, that coin mentalism has to die out. If we have coin effects in our repertoire, we can simply ensure that we carry the necessary coins on us. We could also consider adding some propless (imaginary) coin effects to our arsenal. For example, on my recent re-watch of 'Freeform' (Peter Turner), I was reminded of his propless 'Which hand?' effect.

On the back of this thinking and research, I have created a 3-phase propless coin routine. I have been test-running and refining it like crazy and, so far, I've got it working great with good reactions. I hope to maybe share it with the community one day (if people were interested).

I've realised I have a liking for coin-related mentalism and keen to learn more. So as Bryn says - keep this thread going! Smile
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DocBenWiz
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IMHO it depends on your personal presentation context and specific effects.
For example, in a couple of my (storytelling, mystery, "spooky") favorite routines I use an 1895 Morgan silver dollar and in a JTR and other historical routines I used other aged coins..!
Doubt the latter routines will go "out of style".
So sometimes it just means adapting!
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Oscar999
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I combine Kenton's Ghost Coins (from vol 1 of Wonder Words) with the trick that fooled Einstein ... and that solves the problem of participants not carrying pocket change.

But, I also don't think coins are going anywhere any time soon.

Oscar
NeverMind
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Yes, borrowing coins from specs is increasingly becoming difficult. Also, there are very few good coin mentalism effects out there.

But I guess coin magic is not going away anywhere anytime soon.
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Senor Fabuloso
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Jay Sankey's "A Very Good Year" from the Extremely Mental DVD is an amazing coin mentalism demonstration that works with any coin from any country (so long as there are dates on the coins) and a great piece. Now if I can only get past his annoying Boris Pocus character, I might find another gem or two.
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Dr Ross
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Jay Sankey's "A Very Good Year" from the Extremely Mental DVD is an amazing coin mentalism demonstration that works with any coin from any country (so long as there are dates on the coins) and a great piece. Now if I can only get past his annoying Boris Pocus character, I might find another gem or two.


Is it bad that I found Boris quite funny actually? ("...This one is like acid down their pants. Very strong"). But I did (a long while ago) find some gems in the DVD.
"If you want to be taken seriously, always check your fly" - Corey Taylor (of Slipknot/Stone Sour)
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2018, Dr Ross wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 5, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Jay Sankey's "A Very Good Year" from the Extremely Mental DVD is an amazing coin mentalism demonstration that works with any coin from any country (so long as there are dates on the coins) and a great piece. Now if I can only get past his annoying Boris Pocus character, I might find another gem or two.


Is it bad that I found Boris quite funny actually?


Nah, just a personal preference is all and even palpable to my taste in small dosses Smile
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warren
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I actually believe that one day we won't use actual cash to purchase things it'll all be digital ie online.
Matthew Crabtree
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2018, warren wrote:
I actually believe that one day we won't use actual cash to purchase things it'll all be digital ie online.


I see it being more bars of gold pressed latinum. That is why I have been working on effect with those.
tejinajoka
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I find the comments on coins very interesting. I am not a mentalist so appologise in advance if what I say here is not relevant. Whilst it may be preferable or vital to borrow coins. Would it not be better to provide your own? I live in the U.K. and France (6 months in each) and use American coins. I have never had to explain why, but let a couple of Spectators look at them as they have rarely seen them. Possibly a lot of U.S.A. citizens have not seen Walking Liberty half dollars or Morgan dollars. Again sorry if I am sticking my nose in where it is not wanted.
Finally I consider the likelihood of coinage going out of use very unlikely, although here in the U.K. they do keep changing the shape and or size of our coinage.
If it's worth doing it's worth doing well. Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (U.K.) in 1746
Signet
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Is anyone making a living doing mostly coin tricks? Yes, Eric Jones. Every time you turn on the TV, he's on. The best routine on Penn and teller was Eric Mead doing the Ramsey coin routine. I think coins continue inspire a fascination in people.
The only coin you're going to borrow these days is a quarter. That being said, what's wrong with using your own coins? If you're projecting this image of being able to do magic or read people's minds, wouldn't it help to use unusual coins from the past? I think you just have to frame things differently. I think coin magic in one form or another will still be done 100 years from now.
Poof-Daddy
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If you read almost any older coin book, you will see somewhere in the instructions that "you now borrow a half dollar from an audience member". Yet coin magic did not die when halves went out of general circulation (although Kennedy halves and Ike Dollars can still occasionally be found at the bank along with $2 bills). Most people have never seen these coins/bills much less the older ones (Barber halves, Walking Liberty halves, Franklin halves, Morgan dollars and Peace dollars) and most magicians who prefer to use these "silver coins" over their more known "clad counterparts" never seem to give up on coin magic. Carrying your own coins, as a magician, is very common (practically expected). You can usually borrow a quarter or a Dime and Penny and do something quick to "prove" your coins do not make the magic happen if you feel "that" is the issue but I have never once had someone question the "realness" of my coins (yet I get accused often of using "magic" cards). I find that funny because I use way more gaffed coins than I do cards.

With all that in mind, I wouldn't think "that part of mentalism" is going to end soon.
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J-Mac
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You don’t see as much coin magic publicly as other types of magic mainly because it is hard. Card magic allows you many places and methods to hide cards. A deck of 52 with a multitude of ways to control a given card using the deck. With coins, there really aren't many places to hide one or more coins. Routines generally must be fluid and hand positions and finger movement are critical. Even then, spectators naturally look to the other hand when one is shown to be empty. Performing an entertaining coin magic routine close-up is one of the most difficult things I have done in magic.

Jim
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2018, IMAGINACIAN wrote:
... coin magic/mentalism be revived ...

They're as vital as ever. Evolving as performance meets audience. Maybe the NW trick where you predict how much loose change someone has in their pocket has evolved into a bit where you ask someone to shake their cell phone and then predict how many emails they have in their inbox.... but so what... magic moves on.

Have you tried any of the material from the Ganson books? There's one where you borrow a penny and drop it into a glass of soda then make it rise (by force of will?). This is a performing art so it's up to you demonstrate what you wish to inspire in others.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
mr_misdirection
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Coin magic is why I got into magic in the first place many moons ago. When I was about 5 my dad performed a trick whereby he had me sign a 5p (the older larger UK one) make it disappear and it appeared inside a matchbox which was inside tin foil which was inside a ball of string. As obvious as it is to us now that trick started me on a educational path I will always be grateful for.

I was also fortunate in that he worked in manufacturing so had custom Okito and Boston boxes made. Over the years I would perform tricks with my friends coins. The Boston box fried them, always. On one occasion my friend had me perform the same trick about ten times so that they could fathom how it was done. At that time period they never could work that out.
What made coin magic special for them was that it was their coins I used, no gimmicks (or so they thought). To this day I still perform a fair share of coin magic. People in general love money so I use that love to create emotion. Especially when it's done with their money in their hands.

I am at a loss as to why coin tricks are not performed as much. With something so readily available and being your spectators own property it surprising as to why so little modern effects are released or even learned in the first place. I've met magicians who swear that coin magic is outdated and that effects have become more sophisticated. You know the same ones who then perform an ambitious card routine thinking for their audience it's something new.

For me no effect is outdated, only the way we present it is.

Of course we've moved on from balls of string but I'll make a prediction now: When coins go out of general use some magician somewhere will market an effect based on nostalgia, a time when coins were actually used to pay for goods and not just found down your sofa or in that ripped pocket lining you alsways meant to fix. They'll have someone sign it and then it'll disappear and turn up encased in some impenetrable object, Want to be magicians the world over will watch it on their retina implanted screens and will electronically pay £50 to find out how it's done. And all the while they could have been performing it if they had just read Mark Wilson's book Smile
art85y
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2018, IMAGINACIAN wrote:
Of late, I've been having an uneasy feeling that coin magic, especially coin mentalism, is heading towards extinction. I would really love to be wrong. I travel quite a bit. Here are some facts which may be contributing to this.

1. In many countries coins are slowing going out of common circulation. People are simply not carrying loose change anymore. Magicians/Mentalists are increasingly finding it difficult to borrow coins freely from audience members.

2. Hardly 5% of all new magic released relates to coin magic. Even that is generally expensive. So looks like new ideas in coin magic are now very few and far between.

3. Generally, coin magic is sleight intensive and works best in close up. So probably the new generation of magicians is no longer wanting to specialize in this branch.

4. Is any coin magic specialist making good money these days, still?

So my question is - is there any way interest in coin magic/mentalism be revived among the new generation of magicians? is there any other way this enormous coin magic legacy is not finally lost on us?

PS: Although I do not do much coin magic, I've always loved watching and been fascinated with coin magic/mentalism


This is purely a personal point of view, with no evidence at all to back it up, but I feel that, these days, sleight of hand magic smacks of trickery rather than actual magic. Audiences know they have seen a clever trick but I don't think the word magic enters their thinking. As an example I have just commented on a card trick video on --Xtube. The tutorial included a thumb break, a pinkie break, a double turnover and an elmsley-ish count. Although the guy was skilled (ish) it all looked rather cumbersome, contrived and samey. No thank you, give me move zero, sleight free any day. I could take any trick from Bannon's "Move Zero" collection and get better audience reactions.

There are, of course, notable exceptions. I use Ted Karmilovitch's "Dime & Penny" intuition routine often.
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