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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » David Roth (132 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Michael Rubinstein
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David had sets for magicians, and sets for laymen. When David was hired to do a show, he would do a lot of the non coin items like cards,three ball routine, etc. This was all for walk around. He also did his Castle set for private parties. Once I remember him preparing Rip-O for a show (and I have his gimmick and silk). Funny story about that. One day David's cat Neppi began to vomit. So he brought him in to me, and we couldn't find anything on bloodwork or x rays. After supportive care Neppi was better, and went home. A week later he was back, same issue, and again, after supportive care he went home. The third time, David brought him in because he had a red thread hanging out of his butt. Turns out he ate the thread David was using to prepare the Rip-O gimmick. Usually when this happens, you can find the thread under the tongue and that gives you the diagnosis. But when Neppi was seen and sedated for x rays, my tech did not find it, and the x rays showed no pattern of any obstruction. Usually they don't respond to treatment and the thread is subsequently found, but because he did so well, we never checked again. It figures that a magician's cat would be able to keep a secret!! Anyway, we took Neppi to surgery, got out the thread, and Neppi did well and went home. Lesson learned, David was always more careful with the thread after that.
David loved the color changing knives, and had quite a collection. He also played with dice stacking and thimbles. He performed a wonderful chop cup routine, which you can find on YouTube.
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gregg webb
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Wow. I always forget to mention dice stacking. And I never even knew about the color changing knives. Or thimbles. I do remember him telling me that for a lot of Bar Mitzvah shows he'd only do the endless chain because it worked on that crowd and they liked it. It kept their interest. He also collected bar bets, or at least stories about bar bets, and he loved tricks he could do over the phone. Coins in a row and moving the coins around, card tricks. He's say (on the phone) do you have a deck of cards?" He could do those kinds of card tricks through a door. Person on one side of the door, and he'd give directions, although he only told me about that. His Chop Cup routine was great. Way beyond what anyone else was doing with it at the time.
stevie c
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Great stories Gregg and MR. Love reading this stuff.

BW

Steve
gregg webb
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Thanks. Going back to that unusual HPC where the Chinese coin ended up in the opposite hand. I often wondered if he did some kind of quick move, but I don't remember the kind of quick throw during the slap-down. David had a soft action on his HPC. So, I think he had 2 Chinese coins...one palmed in the left at the start, and then everything else the same as a 2 for 2 HPC with the extra "Odd Coin" and then palming the Chinese coin in the right hand at the end and showing the one palmed all along from the left hand. Just so you don't think I think he sort of threw it over fast. I'm heavily into HPC and can tell those things...although the version where he dropped coins in his lap just when he was slapping down on top, and got the sound right (Is this Slydini?) fooled me. I didn't think anyone could actually do that so wasn't expecting it.
Jonathan Townsend
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@Gregg, great story about doing the HPC trick.

Was that odd (Chinese?) coin smaller than the silvers he was using for the HPC coin trick?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
gregg webb
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I see where you're going. That's an interesting idea. But remember I never knew exactly what he did. For all I know he could have had 1 and "did something" (Vernon Load) or whatever. Wait, I'm thinking you meant a shell Chinese and cut down Chinese (I have a set)...but you're asking if the Chinese coin was smaller than a half, so could be hidden by a half. No. My main theory involves palming, and the whole exercise was in the new plot...which is open to various possibilities. I don't think he was lapping because of the kind of table and where he was sitting. With 1 Chinese coin and do a L'Homme Masque Load at the end would suffice for a version for laymen of this trick...but again, that's not what I think he did. I didn't press him to tell me. I never did. If he showed me something, so be it and vice versa.
Jonathan Townsend
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Was it a "wiggle my thumbs and they go" presentation?

Great to see an item that inspires making magic Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
gregg webb
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No, it wasn't a one-at-a-time across thing. It was just a straight HPC trick and at the end all the half dollars dropped from one hand and the chinese from the other. Just a quickie. A "session" thing. I mean, I can do a whole HPC sequence with an extra coin in left classic palm. I find the plot interesting or plot variation. There are probably many methods. If at a lapping type table there would be even more methods. Slydini used thumb palm for HPC but this wasn't.
gregg webb
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On to a new topic, there's some discussion of Fugitive Coin on another thread. When we filmed Master Coin Magic, he used a Mexican old Peso circa 1958.
gregg webb
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Just practicing my classic palm...realizing I need to work on it every day to keep it good! And remembering one of the best things I learned from David was to, after picking up a coin, and before doing a "fake put" type of vanish (into the left hand) to point to some other object on the table...other coins probably, and saying "those won't do anything - yet ", and it is then that you use your other fingers to push the coin well into classic palm...so when you do the "fake put" into the left hand, the coin is already secure...you're not doing the classic palming while doing the "fake put"...it is already done.
bassinator
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Quote:
On Apr 24, 2021, gregg webb wrote:
Just practicing my classic palm...realizing I need to work on it every day to keep it good! And remembering one of the best things I learned from David was to, after picking up a coin, and before doing a "fake put" type of vanish (into the left hand) to point to some other object on the table...other coins probably, and saying "those won't do anything - yet ", and it is then that you use your other fingers to push the coin well into classic palm...so when you do the "fake put" into the left hand, the coin is already secure...you're not doing the classic palming while doing the "fake put"...it is already done.


That's a great piece of advice! Thanks!
gregg webb
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No problem. I'm trying to keep David's contributions alive. One thing that I've noticed from seeing videos and live performance and TV shows etc, and sessions and lectures, every time I saw him do the same effect - the patter might be the same but little variations of things like tapping a coin with another coin and how he'd pick up coins and toss them into his hand...each time there was a little variation so if you learned it from the big book or from a dvd or video...it would fool you because it would be the same but slightly different. There were things in the original Hanging Coins that he stopped doing - switching which two are in EG and the visible 2...and doing a feint on the first one and saying "Don't make up your own trick" when it didn't disappear, then 1 did disappear.

One time I asked him about the way he picked up coins from the table which was different than in the book and he just said, "Oh, that's just standard stuff" and I thought "Standard to who?". But the real point is to do some coins each day or you'll get rusty pretty fast.
Mangar
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Tonight I took my mom to dinner at John’s of 12th Street in Manhattan for Mother’s Day and saw an autographed picture of David Roth on the wall. I recognized him immediately as the magician named David that I used to see as a little kid at FAO Schwarz when I was 5-6 years old. I used to go there for haircuts and would always stop by his table afterwards. My memory is obviously fuzzy from so long ago but I vividly remember a trick he’d do where he turned a quarter (or some other small coin) into a larger palm sized coin. I looked him up on my phone while reminiscing with my mom and was saddened to learn of his passing. Like many other hobbies I spent time with over the years I’m not very active in magic today, but I wanted to add my thanks to someone who left an impression that’s lasted 40+ years.
Michael Rubinstein
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David actually lived next door to Johns. He loved that restaurant. All the waiters knew him, and he often did magic for them. I think the photo he autographed was the cover of his Magic Magazine issue, but not sure. It might have been his head shot from his acting days, my memory is a bit vague on that. It was in the baxk of the front room, as I recall.
I used to meet him at his apartment, and we would often go there for dinner. They always sat us in the back, so we wouldn't be bothered when we pulled out the coins and did stuff for each other. Great food, btw, the pappardella in tuscan meat sauce is amazing, and they tell you that they cook it until the meat falls off the bone. David was never a big eater, and would take half of his meal (usually chicken parm) home every time. I, on the other hand, left clean plates Smile
Not many people know this, but Johns was the restaurant used for the scene in the Sopranos where Tony Soprano bashed in the teeth of a guy who bothered his daughter. They were also featured on a show called Diners, Dives, and Bars (or something like that). If you ever go to that restaurant, mention David, and be sure to raise your glass for a toast.
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gregg webb
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On a slightly different topic, I was thinking the other day as I practiced my classic palm...and I have to keep my "hand" in - an apt phrase, because if you don't, you'll lose it. Something David mentioned to me a lot was that he didn't think most magicians practiced enough on their classic palming technique...just like music, every day is the norm...after three days you are rusty. So, anyway, I wanted to mention that David's palm actually developed a ridge from so much use, especially after a convention or such. Sure there are other techniques, but the classic palm is the one that "goes away" without practice. So, back to my workout. p.s. Way back when, billiard balls were my "thing" and that helped develop my palming muscles and attention to angles. A coin is much easier to hide than a billiard ball. I'm talking the wooden ones back when.
gregg webb
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A good exercise for classic palm is to be able (in your pocket) to palm, say, 4 coins at one time. As a unit. Then practice releasing them one-by-one. Palming a group all at once is also good for some HPC work. In some cases the coins are in classic palm but inside a loose fist. The audience would think they are loose in the fist, but really they are classic palmed inside the fist. Getting them there without the tell-tale thumb movement takes practice as does anything with classic palm. Releasing them one at a time can also be done inside a loose fist, or with a flat hand. Let's say you release one inside the loose fist. It ends up in Fingertips Rest position. Back to it.
Michael Rubinstein
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When I cleaned David's apartment I found used rosin, and milled english pennies. It was clear to me that as the consumate pro, David wasn't going to take any chances.
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gregg webb
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But he also practiced every day and some coin guys don't. I have to push myself and I'm pretty into coins.
Michael Rubinstein
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That is true - David practiced ALL the time. He was a perfectionist. And he has a knack to be able to recite things not only word for word, but with the same inflections. I never met anyone else who could do that, whether it was a trick, or a story.
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gregg webb
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On a different topic, Meir Yedid is selling the props for David's Eraser Coin...it looks like you rub part of the coin away with an eraser. Also, he is marketing Mike Rubinstein's Bear Migration (poker chips) routine. Meir is offering some variety in the coins you can choose from. I'm going to suggest even more variety. These days maybe quarters or Susan B. Anthony's. I'll email him now.
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