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Profile of Frankm6
This is what builds coins across: Do it slower and slower. After the first coin they are watching close. Go slower on the next coin. If you can’t do it with them burning you, you need to practice more. It should be so slow and clean that it becomes... Magic. Last coin, do it in the spectators hands that’s an ending/climax. It’s said in the Café over and over- magic in the spectators hands is as strong as it gets.
Coin across is kind of like the Linking Rings- very simple. You can do anything fast, make it slow and clean, and it’s magic.
No stories, it is what it is, an invisible transportation, “watch, one coin goes from left to my right hand... invisibly... Watch... Watch...” If you’re not getting reactions it’s because they are either seeing the secret or you are muddying the presentation so that even if they don’t know how it’s done, they don’t care, because you are going so fast, or are covering so much that you could get away with anything. This is a trick that should have low entertainment content and high magic content. Jokes don’t carry this one. my 2 cents
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Boston, Ma.
442 Posts

HI McGroo..........You say you don't get a good REACTION from performing coins across , using your presentation.....May I add my professional and personal input......REMEMBER: We are talking about "REACTION" another way of saying you are looking for RESPONSIVE FEELINGS from your spectators. I intend to agree with Jason and Larry on the issue..being the performer, as opposed to the coin magic itself. I of course can not pinpoint your problem having never seen you do this.....HOWEVER....I can certainly add subtleties that will enhance your coins across routine tremendously...No matter what way it is performed.
1)SMILE....thats right smile! smile each and every time you look at the spectator you chose to help you with the routine....Whats most important is to SMILE at the people whom are watching.

2)Everytime a coin goes across...YOU ACT JUST AS SURPRISED AS THE SPECTATOR....If not, act more surprised than the spectator..."REALLY"

3)Note: Every time the spectator opens his (or her) hand......" YOU " OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE AS POSSIBLE, also open your mouth a bit, immediately looking out at the people watching, then back to the spectator.

4)Higher your voice just sleightly, everytime a coin goes across .

5) Use words like..."WOW", "O MY GOD", "CAN YOU BELIEVE IT", "I DON'T BELIEVE IT", "YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME", "WAIT A MINUTE, that's IMPOSSIBLE","NO WAY"......ETC..( you get the idea)


7)We must not appear boring..if we can count on the trick being boring to the spectators...with little or no reaction!

8)Showing enthusiasm is absolutely imperative to gaining a reaction... regarding the routine..."COINS ACROSS"

McGgoo PLEASE NOTE: everything I described is to be done in a SUBTLE way, not overbearing. If you put all this together along with your presentation I will guarantee you THAT YOU GET A GREAT REACTION.

REMEMBER, it's all an act incorporated into your routine.

Remember also; As much as the people are watching your magic "THEY" are also watching you.


Mike Walton
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Thanks for such a great post, Mickey. I'm saving the link to this topic to reread and redigest what you shared. So very valuable....
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Profile of Musashi
On 2004-05-29 15:07, Larry Barnowsky wrote:
... It is repetitious and that's why people do different ending like card to wallet and the like. In some people's hands AC gets great audience reaction and in others a coins across does the same.


(I believe) Magic is NOT inherently interesting. PERFORMERS are.

People want to be entertained and amazed. Sell the idea that what you do is amazing and people will be entertained (and amazed; nice coincidence) (pun intended).

Knock 'em Dead!

"Care for a Jelly Baby?"
Mediocre the Great
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Rich Hurley
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I love your post... these are key presentation points.

McGroo, do you have a mentor or more experienced magician you can perform this for to get their first hand opinon. You've got a lot of great advice here, but nothing substitutes one on one pointers...
Mediocrity is greatly under rated!

Rich Hurley aka Mediocre The Great!
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Seattle, WA
3618 Posts

Profile of wsduncan
Great advise Mickey but it's important to note that those are things which work for you and should be tried by McGroo as he's ask for suggestions but might not work for everyone.

Most of what you suggest wouldn't work worth a darn for me (except points 1 and perhaps 3). When one's exploring an effect he/she should try many different techniques but just using someone else's performance persona can be just as deadly as not having one...
Larry Davidson
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Potomac, MD
5267 Posts

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Mickey and wsduncan, good postings!

I agree that one size doesn't fit all, which is why copying other magicians' effects and presentation verbatim is ill-advised.
Darrin Cook
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Another issue is, Have long have you been doing coins across? Some of my best-playing effects started out with so-so reactions. Something happens the more you do a routine (Al Schnieder has said this); you become more comfortable, you learn what spectators will suspect, and when, you learn what parts of the routine need to be clarified or emphasized.

Also, look at the routine technically. Spectators won't always vocalize their suspicions, but there may be certain points where they sense something is "funny." Don't hesitate to go into the routine and try to strengthen sleights, or as Michael Ammar teaches, change the moment in which sleights are executed and when the effect supposedly takes place.

I agree with the previous poster that you should look for ways to make the routine "you." David is a master, and he has a style that fits him (elegant, flourishy moves and low-key, matter-of-fact presentation) --he is a tough act to follow.

I agree with Mickey. In a sense you have to be a salesman, or a carnival barker (but subtler), building up the effect in your spectators' eyes.
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Harris Deutsch
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More Nearly Normal Thoughts on Coins Across and Audiences.

1. Try using instrumental music when you practice, as well as in performance.
2. Realize that some audiences respond differently.
Sometimes you have to "teach them".
3. Use words that end in "ly".(hint from Doc Eason lecture)
4. Look more at your audience than at your hands.
5. Show them that you are having fun.

Enjoy the journey.

Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27134 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I'll stick to my suggestion that he go with the pain and suffering... and ketchup on the coins. If the wonder of the experience does not communicate for you... try the pain and suffering of a medical procedure. If you can pull this off... they should be looking for an EMT by the time you start to work on the third coin. Go ahead... have a cow. all the coins I've dropped here
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Kevin Mc Lean
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I think with any effect you've got to sell it.

Aside from some of the stuff Mickey Silver does, when I do my variation, I

a) follow the flight of the coin with my eyes as it goes through the air from hand to hand
b) drop the hand 'receiving' the coin a little as if it really had caught some extra weight and kick out the thumbs at the same time.
c)let the coin 'click' when it turns up
c) pause before counting the coins out of the hand to heighten tension.
d) count the coins out slowly with the back of the hand showing and keep it that way for the moment (again heightens tension as you can't see inside the hand)
e) look at the audience to let the moment register, look at the other hand
f) count out the coins from the other hand, again with a pause and the back of the hand showing
e) table the last coin with an audible 'snap' to draw attention to it
f) look at the audience to get contact and register
g) slowly turn the hands over to how them empty
h) smile and make an "ah!" with my mouth (you'll be surprised how many of them do it audibly - it's nice to train your audience)

For variety on the different transitions, I

a) pretend that the travelling coin has done a 'loop the loop' in the air (the second time usually) by rolling my eyes as I follow its 'arc'
b) move the receiving hand back and forth as if I'm jockeying for the ideal place to catch it.

There are quite a few varieties of Coins Across and what I do would vary for say children compared to adults, but my advice on working the trick is to

a) get the mechanics down
b) think out the movements and choregraph them (it's just as important as scripting)
c) add words if any.

I seldom use words with my version and it's pretty clear what's happening and I can present it to people who don't speak English very well because I have choreographed it (again, an underated skill).

The other thing to say is enjoy what you're doing. If you're not enjoying it (and are concentrating too much because you're finding it difficult)then the audience won't enjoy it.

It's better to do something simple exquisitely well, then something hard and make it look painful to watch.

Best of Luck.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...


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Darlington, England
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Profile of shanester
Which Coins Across are is Mcgroo thinking about? If it is from Roth vol 1 then it sounds as if it is Winged Silver. This is a tabled coins across using one ahead and requires a good CP to fool people. If you are planning on doing it in the spectators hands then they would be the "impromptu table" and for the first coin you would have to drop the coin onto the receiving hand at the moment that you want the coins to travel (in fact you could do this with all of the travelling coins as it would also provide a sound to announce the arrival). Therefore you have a set up sequence of Open sending hand with one coin CP'd, follow coin through the air (or cry out in pain as it burrows its way through your skin and across the tops of your shoulders) then amazement (or relief) as "chink" it arrives (having been followed by your eyes.

Does anyone use David Stone's coins across in the hands (One Way from his Basic Coin Magic vol 2)? I had a few problems with this- I had performed the second steal and even reviewing it with a friend who saw it, it was clean. But as I held my hand over the spectators, delivering the patter (and providing the time delay) she said "it's going to be in that hand" and lifted her hand (holding the first coin) up to touch the coin in my CP. I obviously couldn't continue the routine after that (moved on to some no coin work), but couldn't figure out what went wrong. I think that after having seen one coin fall from my hand as it was held over hers, she assumed that was what would happen each time I did this action.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Dan Watkins
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Hold your hand on top of hers literally. Your fingers should touch her wrist, her fingers will touch your wrist. With your hands this way - there is no way she can reach up and feel a coin in classic palm. The pressure of your hand controls her fingers.

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Seattle, WA
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Profile of wsduncan
I think there are two possible issues here. The material and the performer. It's impossible for us to know if the problem is either one or a combination of both.

The routine is solid but unexciting in and of itself. Simply mastering the moves will not ensure entertainment. Unlike another popular Roth routine (Shell Coins Across) which ends in the spectator's hands and therefore ensures some degree of commitment from at least one audience member (and by inference all of them) High Flying Winged Silver just isn't all that interesting in and of itself. It requires some reason for the audience to care.

When David did this on Letterman he had several things going for him. He was introduced as "the best coin man in the world" which immediately creates interest. They brought him on playing "Jump" by Van Halen which sets an expectation that he's hip and not some old fogey with silks and hats.

AND his otherwise dry presentation was elevated by the host. Rather that ruining his presentation, his interaction with Letterman (and DL's lines about 'faxing' and 'using your powers for good, never evil') made the trick more enteraining that it usually is...

That's a good lesson. Roth's interaction with is audience shows that he's a true PRO. He's not the least bit intimidated or bothered by the comments. It seems as if both his and Letterman's lines are scripted.

That's a natural part of doing close up magic and he flows with it effortlessly. If you can do this you don't need clever lines or stories.

If you can't do this then that's what needs work and not the routine.

If you can do this then perhaps it's the trick itself. Not all good (or even great) magic works for everyone. Learn to discard effects that you love and worked hard on if the audience consistantly seems unimpressed.

best wishes
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27134 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I read the thread and really don't have all that much of say at this point.

However, if you would indulge me for a moment, I was wondering about a couple of things... just a couple of questions to the person who started this thread

When you do the trick, what kind of reaction are you looking to elicit? Especially for that last coin, what do you want their reaction to be?

When you think about the trick, what do you like about it? all the coins I've dropped here
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Profile of Magicmaven
I don't think anyone gets as good a reaction as Roth. I would just keep practicing, and if you don't practice infront of the mirror, do.
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