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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Coin box Question (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

warren
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Just lately I seem to have gained an interest in coin box magic, with so many diffferent coin boxes out there some with special features that make for some exceptional magic it got me thinking, do you think it's important to hand the box to be examined at the beginning of the routine if appropriate for the box your using as most spectators haven't come across a coin box before ?
gregg webb
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David Roth was a big believer in having things examined. He wanted to have on his tombstone "Examine this tombstone". Vernon on the other hand believed in not running if no one is chasing you. Ending clean is good though so if someone grabs or wants to examine at the end you don't have to decline. Don't call it a coin box. Call it a pill box like Okito. Say that you noticed that your coins fit into it.
tonsofquestions
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I think there's a middle ground to be had.
Handing things out and saying "please make sure there are no trapdoors, flaps, etc." (not calling anyone out, it's just a common patter line) feels like running without being chased.
Going "hey, I have these cool old coins, have you ever seen one like this?" feels like sharing something neat - letting them examine casually without overstating it.

But it also depends on a lot your persona and how you want to (appear) to treat your props.

I don't have a personal opinion on pill box or coin box. I like the "I found this cool little box to hold my coins" option.
Experiment a little, but ultimately you have to do what feels right, and it will seem less unnatural to the audience.
warren
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Thanks for the input it's much appreciated, personally I just refer to it as a little box rather than a pill box etc and prefer to end clean as mentioned rather than worry bout having the box examined at the beginning although when using a turtle I tend to have coins examined at the beginning.
I guess from the comments it's all down to the individual.
gregg webb
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I probably use the pillbox idea because one routine I do is with an Alka Seltzer tablet which can be initialed with a Sharpie. But, sure, call it whatever you want. The one drawback the box has IN MY OPINION is that it reminds people of when they saw a stack of nickels trick when they were a kid. They forget the details, but remember the brass thing. Probably the other reason I like the pillbox idea besides the Okito connection, is that giving it a source other that the magic shop or joke shop is a plus. I agree that calling attention to the cool old coins is a very good idea.
gregg webb
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P.s. Check out my Tour Around Boston routine in Genii, back a few years.
inigmntoya
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One problem with calling it a pill box is the lid just sits on top. No way to secure it.
Pills would most likely fall out.
mystre71
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IMHO...I think if you can hand it out and it doesn't interrupt the flow of your routine, why not give them that ? As pointed out already they have never seen such a prop. Do you need to hand out it ? Probably not,but it can't hurt and gets them at least involved. They've probably never seen the coins you're using or that tiny silk, you're about to vanish before they had a chance to look at it either. If you can't hand it out and would like to, you could probably work out a handling that makes them feel like they got to examine all the props. Check out Mike Close's Dollar bill routine for this type of thing. In all honesty you could just say something like here's a box with some coins inside and be just fine.I myself like to call it a coin collector's box just because it goes along with my patter.
Walk around coin box work check it out here https://www.magicalmystries.com/products
gregg webb
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Okito developed his idea with an actual pillbox. He saw the lid fit the top or the bottom. A Coin Collector's Box is a good idea. Anything than just let them think it came from the magic shop. I carry an Alka-Seltzer tablet and an aspirin and a vitamin in mine. I use the Alka-Seltzer in a routine. A Sharpie allows a set of initials.
Ray J
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My understanding was the original "box" was made of paper.

Here's some info that is helpful in order to document the invention. It comes from Magicpedia.

Okito Coin Box
A versatile coin magic prop. Can be used to make coins vanish, appear, multiply, travel, etc. The prop itself is ungimmicked and examinable.

Invented by Theo Bamberg (also known as Okito) some time around 19111at his magic shop in New York City.

His partner Joe Klein, who suffered from indigestion, had a pill box full of pills. One day, while Theo was idly toying with one of the boxes, he discovered that the lid would fit on the bottom as well as the top. He started using this idea to make the pills disappear and reappear elsewhere. Theo then conceived the idea of making the box a size to fit a fifty-cent coin and the coin box was born.

The boxes were manufactured by Roterberg, Yost and Company, Sam Bailey, W.D. LeRoy, and Martinka and Company.

1One of the first explaination of this box was in The Magic Wand, Vol. 5, No. 49, sept. 1914, page 30, entitled A Novel Coin Box but not attributed to Okito.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
Ray J
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Many have tried to justify the existence of the Okito Box. And just as many say it is irrelevant and unnecessary. Both sides have points and whether I agree with them or not isn't the issue. The issue is to choose one or the other and no matter which you choose, at least make sure to provide an entertaining and magical routine.

As a side note, has anyone ever been asked to justify the existence of the Hippity Hop Rabbits? Now that would be a trick.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
gregg webb
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Check my Tour Around Boston in Genii, and I have many routines in print also.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, warren wrote:
Just lately I seem to have gained an interest in coin box magic, with so many diffferent coin boxes out there some with special features that make for some exceptional magic it got me thinking, do you think it's important to hand the box to be examined at the beginning of the routine if appropriate for the box your using as most spectators haven't come across a coin box before ?


This is not about method so much as how you get along with your audiences. An answer to your question really depends upon how you structure your routine and show... i.e. do you have time to allow folks to examine the props?

For that matter, do you have the pacing/routine working in a way that even permits a volunteer to put one or more coins into the box?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Ray J
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Quote:
On Sep 29, 2022, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, warren wrote:
Just lately I seem to have gained an interest in coin box magic, with so many diffferent coin boxes out there some with special features that make for some exceptional magic it got me thinking, do you think it's important to hand the box to be examined at the beginning of the routine if appropriate for the box your using as most spectators haven't come across a coin box before ?


This is not about method so much as how you get along with your audiences. An answer to your question really depends upon how you structure your routine and show... i.e. do you have time to allow folks to examine the props?

For that matter, do you have the pacing/routine working in a way that even permits a volunteer to put one or more coins into the box?


Much can be said about having props examined. Everyone has a theory on whether it is appropriate or not. Some say if you invite examination it actually creates suspicion when maybe there wasn't any. Others say because it is a somewhat strange object, having it checked is necessary. To that, some will say yes, but they've had people look at something and say, "well it looks OK, but I'm no expert, so I'm not sure it isn't gimmicked." Like the oft-repeated story where the lady is handed a deck of cards in order to prove they aren't gimmicked in any way. She is told she can keep them. Her remark is basically, "well I'm no magician, so how would I know what to look for?"

In other words, you really can't win all the time, no matter what you do.

I like Jonathan's idea about having the spectator insert coins. Maybe even arrange things so that the spectator holds the box at some point. To me, just having the props out on the table, within arms reach of the spectator is disarming itself. Add to that allowing the volunteer to touch things or interact with them by inserting a coin or whatever and it reinforces normalcy.

Pacing is the other thing. I have seen performers spend way too much time having stuff examined, to the point where there was more examining going on than magic. And that's a shame, in my opinion.

If you must "justify" the prop, and I don't necessarily agree that you must, the easiest is to just explain that the box protects your valuable coins from damage. Even regular clad half dollars are rare to find in the wild, so they qualify as "valuable". And if you use exotic coins or silver coins such as Walking Liberty half dollars, or Morgan dollars, then the box is more than justifiable.

Or just do as some and call it a "magic box", with which you intend to demonstrate how you can transport solid coins into and out from the box. And get on with it.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
warren
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Quote:
On Sep 29, 2022, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, warren wrote:
Just lately I seem to have gained an interest in coin box magic, with so many diffferent coin boxes out there some with special features that make for some exceptional magic it got me thinking, do you think it's important to hand the box to be examined at the beginning of the routine if appropriate for the box your using as most spectators haven't come across a coin box before ?


This is not about method so much as how you get along with your audiences. An answer to your question really depends upon how you structure your routine and show... i.e. do you have time to allow folks to examine the props?

For that matter, do you have the pacing/routine working in a way that even permits a volunteer to put one or more coins into the box?


Thanks for yours and everyones elses input it's much appreciated, to answer your question my routine does include phases where the spectator puts coins inside the box and actually takes coins out of the box so they do get to handle the box.

When I performed my routine for my daughter to get some feed back she mentioned perhaps it would be better to get the box examined at the beginning plus I noticed in Sean Goodman's routine he gets the box examined at the beginning hence my original question.
Ray J
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In my opinion, having the spectator handle the box is the same effect as examining it. Remember, people sometimes will only get suspicious about something when the magician seems to make a big deal out of it.

"See, my hand is completely empty!" The audience is going to be thinking, "I guess you are really good at hiding it". Better to let the audience notice for themselves that the hand is empty.

And what is "completely empty" anyway? Or "completely disappeared". Is there such a thing as somewhat empty or nearly disappeared?

I guess what I'm saying is we, as magicians should be aware of how what we say impacts the audience. A good way to do that is to record your performances when possible/convenient and listen objectively. You might be surprised at what you say at times. And it is a great barometer to measure the effectiveness of your magic via audience response.

John Mendoza recommended placing a tape recorder underneath the table where nobody was aware of it. That way you don't run the risk of people being aware and maybe hamming it up. One of his points was that by doing this, you can listen later and see if they are reacting strongly to the things you expect them to, or if maybe you might be surprised at the little things that get even stronger reactions. Often it is the stuff we're jaded about that will garner the most applause.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
inigmntoya
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Quote:
On Oct 1, 2022, Tortuga wrote:
John Mendoza recommended placing a tape recorder underneath the table where nobody was aware of it.


A word of caution about that.

In many localities it is a criminal offense to record people without their knowledge. In some places, all parties must be aware that the conversation is being recorded. In others, at least one party must be aware. Often some expectation of privacy is also relevant.

While it could be a great tool for capturing candid reactions, it's probably wise to review the local statues and regulations that apply to where you plan on recording and ensure the act of recording is legal - consulting an attorney if necessary.
funsway
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On Oct 2, 2022, inigmntoya wrote:

A word of caution about that.



Yes, and even in States where only one party need give permission, folks get upset when learning they were recorded. Someone will know and tattle.

Weird - people who think nothing of crossing a No Trespass Sign to take wedding snaps with people's permission will cry "First Amendment violation" if you record them cuss', when you toss them out. They will take secret films of your performance even when forbidden, but would draw their concealed carry and shoot your recorder if discovered - you too. Why risk it?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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VernonOnCoins
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Don’t worry about having it examined. Bring it out and do your routine. I perform a rather long routine that begins and ends with a Boston box. I perform the routine and put it away. Never had an issue.

As far as explaining what it is, not sure that matters either. Call it what you want. No one’s really going to challenge you if you keep things moving.
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