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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Gimmicks vs sleight of hand (coins) (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mkhodadoust.24
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Hey guys. Yesterday I was having a discussion with a friend of mine on whether to do coin magic with gimmicks or with sleight of hand. I was arguing for sleight of hand while he opposed and was arguing for gimmicks . My argument was that with sleight of hand at the end of any routine you can hand out the coins to be examined and can perform magic anywhere rather than only when you have those altered pieces of silver on you. His argument was that with gimmicks you can solely focus on your presentation and can perform surrounded.

Can you please tell me your thoughts since this is an argument most magicians have and I want to know where I stand. I do own a lot of gimmicks but not nearly as much as him. To conclude my state, I want to know what you do coin magic mostly with, if you started coin magic with gimmicks or sleight of hand. Or if you keep switching out the gimmick for the real coin...

Thanks

Milaad nasser mehran khodadoust
funsway
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Both approaches require special moves and handling - and most gimmicked/gaffed coins still require sleights.
Ideally, both have a "never happened" orchestration in a routine which is more important than your choice.

So, it may come down to "What does your audience expect by way of magic," and "What are your trying to accomplish as an end result."

Many of the sleights you might learn can be used with other objects than coins, while a coin set cost money and has limited uses.
This is why many performers might have a C/S and an EXP [ and can perform dozens of effects.

Thus, I guess that I disagree with "argument most magicians have." Nothing to argue about as there is not "better than," just "other than."
To choose one over the other is to limit oneself and place too much importance on prop over audience engagement, routining and appropriateness.

Certainly, I have a CSB, TUC, folding coin and more, but ...

I made a list of 43 effects using small objects that I have mastered using only six sleights. This includes the effects using "special coins."
If "surrounded" the choices drop in half, but that has little to do with the nature of the coin.

Maybe the real question is, "Do you plan on doing tricks or doing magic?"
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Dick Oslund
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I began "doing" coin stuff when I was 15. --Mainly, Misers Dream (with Downs plm). At 18, I could do 5 coin star, and a year or so later, a 4 coin roll.

I met Bobo when I was 21+ and, continued with sleights. I did experiment with a few gaffed coins, but soon forgot about them, and stayed with sleights.

Bobo and I were friends, until he died.
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David Neighbors
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You use the right Tool for the Right Job. I like To combine the two ! So then it can't be S.O.H. Because you did This And it can't Be a gaff because You did this ! What you want is for it to look Like MAGIC !!! But Yea You should Lure You S.O.H . 1 st. the old masters use to say " the only one who can get away with the Judicious use of a gaff is someone who does not need one. Most of the Stuff yea You can Do With just S.O.H. But does it look Like you are doing something Of does it look Like MAGIC ! The Big thing Is not HOW but WHEN ! Most people Don't want to take the Time to lean WHEN ! Then is a lot of sell, And Acting in Using a gaff! And people know that you got something There! So it takes as much as time to use a gaff Right As It does To Lean S.O.H. right ! So using a gaff! You have to Ask ! WHO ? WHERE ? And The Big one Is WHEN !!!
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Michael Rubinstein
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My rule if thumb is to use a gaff if it makes your sleight of hand look cleaner (such as a [ instead of an extra coin) or if it allows you to do something that can not be done with only sleight of hand (such as a cigarette through quarter). The first requirement depends on your ability. As many performers can perform good sleight of hand without the need for a gaff.
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Mb217
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Lots of good thoughts here, 😊 and I agree that both genres have their place. It’s good to mix the two when you can, it usually makes for even more magic with a bit of impossibilia to it. But for me, SOH is first and foremost, the basic math to any greater calculus here. You know why....because gimmicked coins present an easy way to doing a trick, most time it allows you to skip by the harder work. But the harder work is truly the good stuff, it’s the building blocks, and to understand it is to understand the old adage about, “...Teaching a man to fish...,” or something like that. 😊

I’m happy I took the time to learn & practice good SOH, it has made me a much better magician & performer. And don’t get me wrong, I still like the little tricky coins too, love some of the things you can do with them. There’s a load of good stuff out there, but I’ve had a great deal of fun over the years with some of the simpler pieces, like a [ and or the old, C/S coin. Lots of good magic in those, and I think I would’ve been a bit less as to my coin magic without them. 😉
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David Neighbors
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Nothing wrong with good old Hard core S.O.H. I Have a few routines Where I Back-palm 3 Coins. Or 2 and a Shell !!! Smile But when I work for Layman Give me 4 coins And A shell. And a close up pad ! And I can go on for Hour's !!! Smile
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mkhodadoust.24
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Ive been doing coin magic for only 4 months, what is an SOH

most likely I know what it is but don't recall the abbreviation
David Neighbors
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Slight Of Hand ! Smile
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Makaveli
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I think that gimmicks are inevitable if you want to step your game up to another level but I'd suggest firstly to master everything you possibly can with sleight of hand because there is so much to do. You can perform miracles with sleight of hand only if you do it right. But yeah, gimmicks are a game changer.
Al Schneider
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Mkhodadoust.24

It doesn't matter.
Gimmicks can be more difficult to handle than straight props.
Yes gimmicks can be more magical but the work can be triple.
Drop a [ (turtle?) on the table and it bounces funny.
Be careful when it tinks against another coin.
And be careful when one rests beside another coin. They can look different.
Then put a turtle on a solid when on a surface that has fibers, a fiber can be caught between them.
This can be very embarrassing as the trick progresses. Been there, done that.
Then, you could bend it when carrying it around.

But the bottom line is what your audience enjoys.
They are the judge.
Do both. Then do the one they like the best.

Entertainment is senior to the magic. The quality of the magic supports the quality of the entertainment.
Again, the audience is the judge. You bow to them at the end of an act.

Al
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Dick Oslund
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I still PREFER Sleights, but, to be honest, I get a lot of "mileage" from "COIN-GO" (I've sold hundreds at lectures!
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Al Schneider
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I used to hang with Larry Jennings. He tells the story of an incident when he just got into magic. He bought a Coin Go.. He thought it was a common knowledge trick. At a magic meeting he did it for a few of the guys. One guy said he really liked his handling. Larry did it again for him. The guy appreciated it and said something about the handling again. This happened several times. Eventually the guy swore at Larry and walked away. Larry finally figured out the guy wanted an explanation on how it worked and got upset when Larry did not share. Larry thought the guy knew.

If you are new to magic, get a Coin Go and master it and do it often. You will get a reputation of doing great magic.

Al
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funsway
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For me, the ultimate coin effect is a "vanish to empty" in a spectator's hand, i.e.
they "know" there is a coin in their hand, feel it, protect it - but it vanishes.
This is easier to do with an EXP [, (two coins in hand and one extracted), but even more astonishing when done with a single coin requiring sleights alone.
BUT - both require the ability to condition the spectator to know there is a coin in their hand (believing is not enough)
This requires psychological ploys, tactile conditioning and trust that have nothing to do with the choice of gaff/sleight.

It also requires the forbearance NOT to perform it unless the conditions are right.

I only mention this approach because if you rely mostly on gimmicks as a shortcut or convenience you will never be able to perform an effect such as this.
You may not wish to pursue such a level of impossible magic, and that is OK.

The key is to create the conditions under which magic can happen. If a gaffed coin/gimmick serves that end, use it.
But the tail never wags the dog. I created 38 new effects for the TUC to accompany those from Mr Tango and other contributors for the book "T.U.C. Appreciation."
How many do I perform? 2-3. That fact that I have several TUC and know 60+ uses doe snot mandate that I use them.
But, the experience of writing the book also led to many new effects not using the TUC or other gaff/gimmick.

Again - no argument found here, just creativity and embracing awe&wonder.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Last Laugh
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Forgive my ignorance, but can someone enlighten me a little about Coin-Go? Not familiar and I don't seem to see them listed on coin gaff sites. Is there another name?
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Dick Oslund
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I was in the Navy in Norfolk, VA.,in 1951. I visited the now defunct EdMar Magic Shop. The owner was friendly. I would help out behind the counter. There was a "pile" of COIN GO(S) on a shelf. They were $.25. They weren't selling, I showed Earl Edwards, the owner, how to do it. We sold hundreds after that.

I've used it for 60 years, especially in strolling work in hospitality suites.

I was working the Magic Castle in '79, and, drove the young guys nuts with coin go!!! I have sold hundreds of them at my lectures around the country, for years, at $5.00 each!

I'll think it over, friend Cassidy! (This is very "inside!")
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Hare
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The topic of sleight of hand and "self working" coin tricks is more of matter of the magician's own psychology, then it is about what the audience sees.

For me anyways, solid sleight of hand skill gives me more satisfaction and a sense of wonder about what I am doing. It is almost like you the magician, with no props or help of any kind, ARE doing ACTUAL magic.

This adds a sense of accomplishment, a knowledge that no matter where you are, who you are with, and whatever the circumstances, you can always amaze people with your ability alone. Which, is what a real wizard would do.

If you think about it, it is a powerful and very satisfying feeling to be able to perform uncanny coin mysteries with just your own two hands.

Props and gimmicks are fun. I think that for the most part, I buy stuff like this for my own amusement, as much as to entertain others with them. Very occasionally, a very solid and versatile item will pop up that can be integrated many different ways into a sleight of hand routine. TUC comes to mind, and Quiver, Blackout, and a good old Down's coin rattle all offer many possible uses. I guess I enjoy gimmicks that are versatile tools to add to- not replace, sleight of hand skills, mostly.

There are magicians who are very charismatic, and who most enjoy interacting with people, over the more technical and tedious sleight of hand work. Very visual, colorful props, I think, tend to be favored by the naturally gifted actors among us, and the more quiet and introverted a magician is, they more of a reader and studier they might be, the more he or she is likely to immerse themselves into the more self-pleasing hand magic. Just my opinion, of course.

It's an interesting topic.
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Mb217
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Just wondering here, but is this like the old "Coin Catcher & Vanisher" trick? If so, I used to have that thing. Had a lot of fun with it too. Smile
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Hare
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It sounds to me like it could be Jim Swoger's "Vanishing Nickel" little gem of a gimmick.
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Mb217
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Would that also be like Fickle Nickel (John Cornelius)? I had that one too. Nice trick but practicing SOH out-paced it for me, but mileage may vary on that.
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
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