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Topic: So where's the hollow coin?
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 8, 2007 01:21PM)
Ok yesterday I did a routine for some people one of them works in the same office as me but didn;t really know him and he before hand did not know I did magic. well today he walk by my desk and we are chating and he mentions jokingly " so wheres the hollow coin, that's the only thing I could figure out how you did that." now that telles me he didn;t see anything but I am a bit shocked that the idea came across to him. what do you guys think
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jun 8, 2007 02:23PM)
Either the guy has some knowledge of coin magic or he likes to solve magic tricks.
If he was correct then he's a pretty good detective.

The only other thing I can thing of is that he may not have seen anything but your handling was somehow suspect.
Message: Posted by: C-Taylor (Jun 8, 2007 04:41PM)
If he knew what it was-I'd think he would have called it what it really is. Did you maybe flash it?Or like Jaz said he may like to figure things out.what was the routine?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 8, 2007 05:25PM)
Remember the joke with the punchline "how else"?

Or if you want to be clever about it, the "too perfect theory".

Either way if you lead someone to a workable method and leave them with that hypothesis as valid, what can you expect but for them to suspect if not believe you?

Such is one of the reasons I did not like doing the visual coins across into a fan of coins and also developed the DBC stuff ... to make sure the coins would go CLINK and not "scrape" at bad moments. ;)

This is not a caution against gaffs, just a reminder that if you set them up to believe you have a hollow coin... they will. And if you do anything that looks like you are taking something away at the end... you are pretty much confirming the belief.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jun 8, 2007 05:34PM)
Do the trick again using sleight of hand, and let him handle the coins.
Message: Posted by: Mediocre the Great (Jun 8, 2007 11:35PM)
Yes... Dan's right. Do something with sleight of hand.

Sometimes people will say you have a trick coin or trick deck when they see magic they can't explain. They may not really know, but they use logic.

When such a suspicion arrises, I try to dispel that by having them aboslutely verify the authenticity of the prop...(better yet, use something borrowed) then blow them away using sleight of hand. After that, they credit your skill to the prior effect they suspected a gaff.

The other thing is don't take fooling them too seriously. Keep the magic rolling along with lots of fun. Sooner or later they will probably stop trying to figure out how it's done...and give you credit for being entertaining and clever.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 9, 2007 12:07AM)
I'm pretty sure the handling was good I had a friend watching and he loves ot rub it in when I screw up and he did not, he said it looked very impressive. the coins where inspected by a spec at beginning and end, so I dunno. it was triune btw I was doing
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 9, 2007 12:10AM)
Being entertaining is my first priority, it just really struck me to hear a total lay person come up with that. I'm pretty sure it was a stab at the dark but a close stab for sure. maybe that's the price I pay for doing magic in the data analytics department =D
Message: Posted by: Wes65 (Jun 9, 2007 12:00PM)
I was berated (I think by Jonathan Townsend) some time back for making the statement "gaffs will let you down". He made it clear that it was not the gaff letting me down but me not handling the gaff correctly.

That is absolutely correct.

When I use gaffs really have to practice more.....esp just before I perform. I'm not doing sleights that have become second nature, I'm handle coins that require a proper touch and handling.

I have a mortal fear of dropping a nested coin and the s---l rolling one direction and the coin the other.......not much can be salvaged from that.
Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 9, 2007 01:01PM)
I have a friend who is very smart and analytical. She simply cannot relax and enjoy a trick; she has to figure out how it's done. Sometimes she'll call me days later and say, "I know how you did that". Then 75% of the time she'll explain the method correctly. The rest of the time she'll come up with a method that is perfectly plausible - in fact, sometimes it's better than the actual method!

There are just some people like that in the world.
Message: Posted by: mitchb2 (Jun 9, 2007 01:15PM)
I have a friend who takes this approach. After he sees a trick, he sits back and states, with great authority,"Oh, you did .... "

He's obviously fishing for a reaction one way or the other.

When he told me that his college buddy used to do CMH and he never figured it out, I immediately learned it just to torture him.

Then when he saw Blaine do the shoelace, I immediately fried him with that.

But what really feels good is when this guy, a busy surgeon, throws me another theory a week later which shows me he is still thinking about it.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 9, 2007 08:44PM)
I think it can be taken as a compliment tho. the routine had enough impact to at the very least cause him to think about it over the next 24 hours. iv seen movies that cost millions to produce invoke less thought out of me. and I think that has to say somthing
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jun 9, 2007 10:25PM)
Yes, but when you're in awe of something fantastic from a movie, you don't sit down and start calculating exactly how they did it. That's the problem with magic that's basically presented and handled as a "puzzle presentation", strictly meant and designed to fool, and not to entertain. Usually the first problem is involved with the word "TRICK". In other words, "lemme show you a new trick", would mean, "here, I'm about to trick you and since I'm smarter than you, after I trick you, you won't know how I did it".

Steve
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 9, 2007 10:30PM)
What specifically does a basic lack of respect for our art and how to present it to audiences have to do with well founded concerns regarding a gimmick used so poorly as to pretty much announce its presence?
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 10, 2007 09:48PM)
Steve well for one, I was asked to do somthing, so the guy that brought this up, had no dialoug that said here a trick for you or anything. now does this routine itself ask for such scrutiny? maybe. there not much story and you could even do it with music. jon, I'm not sure how to take your post. I'm not sure what I ahev done to merit a lack of respect. did I present it wrong... well maybe, I did present it as per the way this routine is ment tho.
Message: Posted by: Chad Barnard (Jun 11, 2007 05:51AM)
He probably just did some searching on Google and discovered that there was such a thing as a hollow coin. He saw you do the trick then typed some key words of what he saw into Google and found it that way.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 11, 2007 08:01AM)
I don;t think so, from talking to him that was just a idea he came up with. after he mentioned the coin and I asked what he ment he said somthign like "that was the only thing I could think of that might let you do somthing like that." that makes him close yet far off. you can;t do that routine with just a shell it does in fact take somthing else to do it. and the coins are examined before and after the routine. so part of me wonders how much that part "really" does matter. do specs forget about thigns like that and focus on the dirty work? or does examination really in fact help remove the heat
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 11, 2007 11:28AM)
I was going after the notion of "watch this trick" as less then useful in performing for people as it diminishes our craft and dispels what we really do want to elicit in our audiences - that sense of comfort when experiencing wonder.

That's a separate issue from how to think about gaffs and use them without telegraphing their presence in performance.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jun 11, 2007 11:36AM)
Joshua, you mentioned that you were performing Triune. I had the pleasure of seeing Justin Miller lecture just a few months ago, and my first reaction to that routine was "too perfect." It certainly wowed a room of magicians, and we applauded the creativity in the routine, but something about it was just, well, too perfect. That's the way it hit me anyway, and if it hit a magician like that, perhaps laypeople will see the same thing and have no choice but to fish for answers because of how incredibly clean it is (how clean it looks would make more sense).
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 11, 2007 11:39AM)
Thanks for clearing it up for me jon. I'm dense sometimes =). this discussion in many ways is putting me more on the kainoa harbottle view on gaffs in that he will do a whole routine all slight of hand then use a gaff for a single part to make it unexplainable. I'm thinking maybe under-use is way better then over-use. I will say in my experience the gaffs work for some routines. coinOne and personal safe, both coins across iv done with out anyone being suspect of the gaff to my knowledge at least. but a lot of things happen in those routines at need slight of hand. where as the routine I did was basiclly more on the gaff dependent side
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 11, 2007 11:50AM)
Folks, I'm hardly a "non-gaff" kinda guy.

Look at the praise offered to Curtis Kam's Inferential Copper Silver Transpo.
Look at the coins through table method in Apocalypse.
Look at all the discussion of using a nesting set on a pull for the VCA.

Then there's lots of unpublished stuff.

Always about the effect.

ALWAYS

All I suggest is that you use the gaffs to strongest effect and in a way that offers the least chance of them getting dropped or otherwise exposed by being fussed over like fragile things instead of the common solid metal items everybody believes them to be.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 11, 2007 11:58AM)
Brian, that's what I'm thinking. I don;t think that makes it not good by any means. I think it mean you have to think about "who" you are performing for, and determine if the nature of the routine is a problem for that bunch or not
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jun 11, 2007 01:25PM)
I agree that it doesn't make it any less good. It seems like a "close up show" would be the best environment for this effect. You've got a table, you can sit if you'd like, people are there for the purpose of seeing magic. I think that lends itself better to the effect. It is a genius effect; no denying that.
Message: Posted by: viris (Jun 11, 2007 05:39PM)
Joshua, sorry I did't see it but what routine did you do?
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 11, 2007 10:07PM)
Triune
Message: Posted by: viris (Jun 12, 2007 04:17AM)
I have a friend like that. He has too know everything. I hate thoses people lol. I look at them with a dead straight face and say "wrong".
Message: Posted by: viris (Jun 12, 2007 04:17AM)
I have a friend like that. He has too know everything. I hate thoses people lol. I look at them with a dead straight face and say "wrong".
Message: Posted by: Johnny Butterfield (Jun 15, 2007 01:40PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-12 05:17, viris wrote:
I look at them with a dead straight face and say "wrong".
[/quote]

Sometimes I look them right in the eye and say "man, that's a great idea! I'm going to look into doing it like that!"
Message: Posted by: tony2514 (Jun 15, 2007 03:32PM)
Joshua, don't be offended by what I am about to say but when someone comes up to you and demands a trick, you need to make sure you have it down PERFECTLY, or don't do it. It is unfair to your spectators and unfair to you to be put on the spot like that. Say something like "would you go up to a proctologist and ask him to demonstrate his skills on you?"

It sounds to me as though there was a 'tell' in your performance and I think I agree with Jonathan that it may well have been the coins 'talking' which is very easy to do with this kind of gimmick.

I would also do as dan watkins says and find an opportunity to do the exact same trick again for this guy but using only sleights this time. Make sure he inspects the coins himself - even better - borrow his coins to do it.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 15, 2007 03:44PM)
Accully I have triune down pretty well, and there was no talking that I was aware. I drop the coins on each other so the sound is covered completly if there is a sound. I never seen a lay person think, that coin sounds like a "insert gaff". most poeple don't; know a silver coin when they hear it. and I don;t think you know this trick put its like invisible palm aces with coins, I'm not sure of any method to do it with SOH
Message: Posted by: Mysterioii (Jun 20, 2007 12:07PM)
I think everyone's reading way too much into this. Some people are just smart. Some people can figure things out. Do you expect people to watch a trick and not try to figure it out? Especially intelligent people in the "data analytics department"? To expect "lay people" as a blanket term to all be amazed and dumbfounded by a trick (even a well-performed one) is far too ambitious. You're going to encounter people with IQ's anywhere from 60 to 160. Analytical people, engineers, machinists etc. ARE going to be able to occasionally grasp a concept of a "hollow coin" on occasion and it doesn't mean you failed. Heck the guy may have gotten a squirting nickel out of a vending machine 30 years ago and therefore has some exposure to the concept that not all coins are as they seem. Analytical, intelligent and logical people are occasionally going to come up with viable solutions to a problem set before them. It doesn't mean that they would instantly have the skill to duplicate the trick and it doesn't mean you performed it poorly. Give your friend/coworker some credit for being intelligent and observant, don't tell him he was right, and make a mental note that might govern what (if any) tricks you perform in front of him in the future.
Message: Posted by: dxsare (Jun 20, 2007 07:39PM)
I agree with mysterioii, I work a lot with engineering type people and even though they have seen nothing, after a few minutes of thinking they would come up with some very clever ideas where the coins went, and to be honest, they would hit the dime on the head most of the time. And before the thread starts back up.... I would ask them because they are my "goto" guys when I'm ready to perform a routine. Do not underestimate people.. I mean those of you who are professional magicians... you are only magicians, and there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to skills that these sooo called laymen possess.

Stevie D
Message: Posted by: Mysterioii (Jun 21, 2007 09:01AM)
For example, "Popular Science" this month included an article for sanding the edge of a penny then using sulfuric acid to desolve the zinc core, leaving you with a (very thin) copper penny shell, just for fun. Now many thousands of scientifically-minded people have not only been exposed to shell coins but have been taught how to make one (without machining).
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 21, 2007 10:03AM)
The hollow coin is right next to the one that can turn inside out.
Can you tell which is which?
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 21, 2007 12:01PM)
I like that jon =D
Message: Posted by: whateverisisright (Jun 26, 2007 06:26PM)
While it's spawned an interesting conversation, I tend to believe we're overthinking this guy's response. I'm under the impression it was a shot-in-the-dark thought that the guy meant almost as a joke (cause who's ever heard of a hollowed out coin!?).

Of course, only Joshua will know whether he performed the effect up to par and whether or not the man had a serious tone/appearance/etc... But the replies are great...especially the "The hollow coin is right next to the one that can turn inside out. Can you tell which is which?" reply...classic.
Message: Posted by: TWOCAN (Jun 26, 2007 08:23PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-12 05:17, viris wrote:
I have a friend like that. He has too know everything. I hate thoses people lol. I look at them with a dead straight face and say "wrong".
[/quote] I know how you feel man! those kind of people should be tied to a train track and when you see the train comming ask them if they know the exscape trick as well. HA HA Didn't think so...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 26, 2007 09:05PM)
Overthink?

You prefer we willfully ignore?

How about understanding by asking them and then listening?

Surely folks so clever as to entertain with conjuring are also wise enough to ask "What lead you to believe that there's some sort of hollow coin involved in that routine?"
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 26, 2007 10:03PM)
In fact I did ask him that in a round about way. he said its the only possiable souition he could come up with
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 26, 2007 10:17PM)
Here's a fun thing to pull on folks who think they know...

First look up my "coin go-return"

Start by handling the coins gingerly and by their rims.

Then, when it comes time to do the vanish, place the right hand coin on the closed fist, fingers side up. Now when you open your hand, the visible coin settles into the palm and the wise acres will think you have a gaff and it just nested.

Continue as usual and at the end gingerly table the coins again handling by their rims and ask how good they look.

You know what happens next in their imagination when they turn over the coins.

;)
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 26, 2007 10:19PM)
Joshua, your audience member offered the start of some useful feedback.
Can you ask them what specifically gives them that impression about a hollow coin being involved in the routine? Narrow it down to what they see as the telltale and then you have something to consider re-strucurting. :)


Here's a fun thing to pull on folks who think they know...

First look up my "coin go-return"

Start by handling the coins gingerly and by their rims.

Then, when it comes time to do the vanish, place the right hand coin on the closed fist, fingers side up. Now when you open your hand, the visible coin settles into the palm and the wise acres will think you have a gaff and it just nested.

Continue as usual and at the end gingerly table the coins again handling by their rims and ask how good they look.

You know what happens next in their imagination when they turn over the coins.

;)
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 27, 2007 07:53AM)
That's a funny idea jon =D where is that routine? id like to take a look
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 27, 2007 02:51PM)
The item "Coin Go-Return" hit print in May of 1984 in Apocalypse magazine. The magazine was republished by L&L some time ago. Harry Lorayne may have bound volumes available for sale.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jun 27, 2007 03:25PM)
There are is a volume at the local shop ill see if its the right one
Message: Posted by: sleightofhander (Jun 27, 2007 11:27PM)
I would just look at the guy and say " what the hell is a hollow coin? "
Message: Posted by: Wes65 (Jun 28, 2007 12:34AM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-27 15:51, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
The item "Coin Go-Return" hit print in May of 1984 in Apocalypse magazine. The magazine was republished by L&L some time ago. Harry Lorayne may have bound volumes available for sale.

[/quote]

Is this a gaff or gimmick that is on the market or something that you have to make? I've Googled this and only came up with forum posts. Perhaps it goes by a different name now?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 28, 2007 05:02AM)
The item is mine and it "goes by" the name given by the magazine's publisher who is not only still alive but a Café member if you want to contact him...

Try the magazine issue or the hardbound volume if you want that data. I really don't want any of my work (mechanics, not names) made accessible outside it's original or authorized (by ME) published source be it in print or here at the Café or wherever I put the item. Not sure if the Conjuring Arts Center as that magazine indexed yet for online search.

Isn't it a good thing that Google does not yet have indices for our magic magazine articles at ready access?

Or do we want any muggle to find things like the retention to EG, the "Flying Shuttle Pass", the EG2FP transfer etc at a quick search?
Message: Posted by: Mysterioii (Jun 28, 2007 12:49PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-26 23:19, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Joshua, your audience member offered the start of some useful feedback.
Can you ask them what specifically gives them that impression about a hollow coin being involved in the routine? Narrow it down to what they see as the telltale and then you have something to consider re-strucurting.[/quote]

Maybe it's something like this:

1. The guy is smart.
2. The guy might not believe in real magic, might have a subscription to Scientific American or the Skeptical Inquirer, or is signed up for Randi's newsletter, or he's an athiest or is in some other way unwilling to believe that you're a deity or sorceror capable of performing true miracles.

That being the case, the possible solutions that suggest themselves are: sleight of hand, "some trick device", or a combination of both. I guess perhaps you could feel sleighted that he thought you used a trick coin instead of crediting you with sleight of hand skill. Keep in mind that while he might not "be a magician" he may have had a basic book of magic tricks or two as a kid. A lot of people did... especially intelligent, thinking, curious kids.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 28, 2007 07:29PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-28 13:49, Mysterioii wrote:...
Maybe it's something like this:

1. The guy is smart.
2. The guy might not believe ...
[/quote]

You can ask them and find out directly if you have rapport with the person and express an honest openness to their opinion and feelings.

I get the best ideas from audience members who feel like sharing what they imagine or desire or believe.