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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Please recommend a toss-like false transfer (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob G
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Goldsmith's "Optical" sounds (and looks) great. I watched the "Magic Orthodoxy" review of it and wondered whether it would be suitable for a beginner like me. The review said, "expect to practice a *lot*," but yes beginners can benefit from it. Those ideas obviously are not at all mutually exclusive, but I still had the feeling I should keep this one in keep this in mind and wait till I've tried some other things. But I'd be interested to hear what others think about Optical as a place to start.


Ken, I'll PM you.


Bob
tonsofquestions
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Remember that David (as he points out in the video) is mainly a card guy and not a coin one.
So of course he'll think the coin work comes less naturally, since he's less familiar. Which is not unlike you, I suppose, but you're also excited (at this moment) about practicing and doing the work.

I haven't seen this one (yet, it's on my list), but since it's based on the Okawa retention, it's likely to take a lot of practice to get looking really good. It's probably not as much like the toss-like transfer you asked about originally, but some of his other thoughts/content might still be useful, and it looks like there are two other retentions might be what Dr. Rubinstein was referring to.
Michael Rubinstein
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Bob, I just looked back over this thread and realized that you have the Encyclopedia of Coin Sleights. If you have that you have the instructions to perform the techniques that I have been using since the early 80s. R.O.P.S., Variation Retention Pass, even the Al Schneider classic vanish (with the caveat that Al literally pretends to drop the coin in the hand, while my intended placement is more deliberate). The Shuttle Pass by Roth is on there as well, and doing a half shuttle pass (1 coin) also makes for a wonderful toss vanish. Not to mention all the other moves on that.
Danny does a great retention vanish, but it doesn't matter which you choose. If it looks like you put a coin into your hand, you did your job. And you certainly don't need to do a retention pass if you are happy with another type of vanish. Today all the newbies go on YouTube and show their vanish. No routines, no thoughts, not necessarily something practical, but something they can do on YouTube. Just a vanish. Second to that is a million vanishes and reproductions or a million spellbound changes in rapid succession, but don't get me started...
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Bob G
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Mike,

Point taken! When I'm learning a new trick or sleight I like to try out different variations till I settle on what I'm comfortable with -- but if that's carried too far, one never actually does any magic! Yes, I have your Encylopedia. And thanks for looking back at the thread.


Tons of Questions, Thanks for looking at the review video. Your latest post chimes well with Mike's. I have plenty of resources and people have made lots of good suggestions. So the main thing is to continue practicing. I mentioned earlier on this thread that coins feel awkward in my hands. But so did cards a few years ago, so I'm not going to let that stop me.


Again, thanks to everybody for all the great help.


Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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@Bob, If you have a smartphone or webcam, take a short video of yourself transferring a few items from hand to hand so we can get a sense of what action you wish to model in a coin sleight. If you don't have a youtube account - ask MikeR or one of the other guys here to post it for you. Regards, Jon
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Michael Rubinstein
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Hey Rick, I had missed your post. Looks like you posted just before me. Thanks for finding that vanish. It really is a nice one, and others have since "re-invented" it. For those who have the DVD 2 vol set, it is one of the hiddem "gems".
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Rick Holcombe
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My pleasure!
Jonathan Townsend
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@Rick, Geoff used the "floperino" as part of a coin change - dropping a coin that was concealed by Malini/Kaps subtlety; The coin shown at the base of the fingers flops across the fingers and gets that nice flash of silver - and the other coin drops in from concealment.

Latta's sleight is much less demanding to learn than Roth's catch/grip from his Flash Change. At least in my experience the challenge of not moving the thumb or curling in the fingers of the right hand when doing David's sleight ... much practice and discipline. Similar training required as for his coin vanish from Tarbell - the fingers simply need to stay still when instinct and habit want them to curl.

In direct comparison Roth's sleight has the coin starting at the base of the fingers but then the hand appears not to move a muscle and simply turn over to drop (and yes he also did it as a toss) the coin into the other hand. The apparent simplicity of Roth's sleight happens to catch the light if lighting permits. Latta's sleight adds a small flourish of the coin seeming to trip over his finger and then catch the light - leaving the coin somewhat more concealed.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bob G
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Hi Jon,


I was going to post a youtube video, but then, on revisiting Rick's FP to FP vanish, I realized that his actions were so similar to mine that I could just refer to his video (see above). When I get farther into false transfers I may well post a video.
Bob G
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Ken,


I've PM'd you about your sleights. I also wanted to respond briefly to your interesting remarks about my implicit question: why do (many?) magicians advise against an object vanishing, never to return? I hadn't thought about the connection with death; it's an interesting take, and it makes some sense to me. In my own imaginative world, there's a sense of wonder associated with things that are simply gone. I can't articulate it very well, but there's something mysterious and lovely about looking at something inanimate and realizing that it had been capable of something like life. When I was a kid I'd sit and gaze at the remains of last night's fire in our fireplace with a sense of wonder. Perhaps it's the same sense that many of us feel when wondering how it's possible for "mere matter" -- our brains -- to be aware.


Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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@Bob, okay ... just understand that it takes a lot of work to unlearn any jumpy actions or twitchy setups once they take root. That's why Al mimes the action, why David engineered his sleight and why Geoff worked out the flopping action to convey the coin falling freely from his fingers. All that work to prevent a mixed message of fingers clenching during an action which presents letting go of the coin.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bob G
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Jon,

I see you your point about it being harder to unlearn bad practices than to learn good practices the first time. But I'm confused about your motivation in pointing it out. Are you saying that if I posted a video of my hand motion people could help me avoid getting into bad habits? Please elaborate.


It occurs to me that if I could take a few zoom lessons from a good teacher I could work with them to decide which moves are best for me, and drill with them and get feedback.


Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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It would be wasted effort to point out the obvious to those who are making dance from sleight of hand. Dance is fine. Sleight of hand is a method in magic. Using dance as apparent means to make magical effects happen works for some folks.

As it happens I too use a directed action to transfer a coin. I want to display the magical event in one hand and need to transfer the coin in order to do that. The transfer action is done as a background activity, in passing, with the actual motion starting at my shoulder and is all about getting the coin out of my way so my hand can do something else. Of course some may wish to do Art Carney as Ed Norton warm-up and get-ready actions. But for some of us that's unmotivated prop handling.

If you work on the Schiender, Roth, and Latta sleights you can avoid learning incongruent actions. The fin****lm vanishes work very well if the coin sets comfortably in your hand and can be held in place by a slight flex of one finger. John Ramsay's hands did not look cramped or tense. A similar tell which is hard to unlearn is sticking out the fourth finger. Unless you learned to use a salt dish... don't. Ladies at high tea? Well if you do an act dressed that way... maybe.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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There is also the issue of congruency of actions that are "normal" for you when handling a coin or other small object. To hold your hands in a certain way for one Effect but not for others is unwise. Ditto for body movements. It is much easier to assess movements and postures that are normal for you to practice until you use them in ALL Effects using small objects. For example, if you like a Lower Finger Palm and attendant subtleties (Ramsey, Liwag, Malini), then use the hand posture of having the middle and ring fingers together in every thing you do - eating, brushing your teeth, counting change on your hand, etc.

There is a problem with the "monkey see, monkey do" approach to learning a new sleight. You fall in love with a video shot out of any real context of "what came before or will follow" and then learn a new sleight difficult for your hand size to dexterity. How much better to consider why you like the end results and then work backwards to any sleight already known or needed. Since the sleight is supposed to have a "never happened" quality you also need congruent movements for the other Effects in your routine. Toss actions are no different. You should ask what natural hand and body movements will support getting the coin secretly from one hand to the other? The ability to use In Transit Action or Directed Focus will be enhanced if your movements are so congruous that Cognitive Ease makes the audience Perceptually Blind to your hand positions.

Also, do not get hung up on "toss" meaning "travel across a space." In a majority of the dozen Toss Sleights I regular use (did), the small object does not move at all. It is left to hang in space until the other hand claims it during natural body movement to accomplish some other objective. The object is never "in flight" - your body is with identical movements with or without the sleight.

Say there are coins on the table to be picked up and you want the audience to later believe there is one in your left hand. The natural action is to just pick up one coin with your left fingers and the others with your right. Only a magician weirdly picks up a coin with the right fingers and then does some flashy transfer to the left hand. Instead, pick up the left hand coin and casually show on the open left palm. Then pick up the other coins with your right fingers. Your left hand naturally closes and pulls closer to your body as you reach for those new coins. The left hand coin can be secretly transferred to the right hand by selecting the best Toss Sleight appropriate to the rhythm of the entire Effect. There are no special finger positions or actions "special to that Effect."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Bob G
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Thanks to you both, Jon and Ken. Some disconnected thoughts on what you said: I'm familiar with the principle of making a secret action invisible by doing it during a mundane, everyday open action. The details you give should help me put the principle into practice. And I appreciate the details on the FP vanish. So hard to catch oneself at one's natural actions...


In cards it took me quite a while to get from "I want to learn this sleight" to "I want to learn this trick." Hopefully I've learned that lesson now, but I have to decide on a small group of easy coin/ball tricks to learn.
Michael Rubinstein
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In my opinion, the best way to practice a sleight is to film yourself doing it. Then you can watch yourself as a spectator would see you, and correct the flaws that you see in your performance that you would otherwise miss. I can't tell you how useful it has been for me.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Use your cell phone camera - portrait mode - from about eight feet away. Make sure your start and end positions are in frame. And that your eyes are visible. Do your item of interest a few times in one go - then stop the video and look at what's visible to your audiences.

Mirrors and close-up shots have their uses - but for almost all rehearsal and acting/blocking work... your webcam and cell phone give you what film and directors could not - the ability to see what the audience would see - all that without losing days waiting for film to be developed. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bob G
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I'll try this. I've filmed myself occasionally so distant people could critique my work, but it's good to have this encouragement to film myself often, and the specific advice on how to do it.
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Yes, time to start getting up the stairs and stop looking up the stairs. You can do it! 😊
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Bob G
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Ha ha! Smile You're so right.
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