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Topic: Gimmicked coins
Message: Posted by: Bob Parnez (Oct 18, 2003 12:58AM)
Out of all of the gimmicked coins you know of, which one do you think is the most amazing to spectators?

Also, which coin do you think is the hardest trick to figure out if you were a magician, and didn't know the secret?
Message: Posted by: sleightofhander (Oct 18, 2003 01:34AM)
The shell of any denomination will always amaze. :crazydude:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 18, 2003 01:48AM)
[Amended slightly to assist the facile. 10/20/03]

A gimmick [itself] is not likely to affect spectators. Perhaps impress, though for the WRONG reasons.

There are not so many really good uses for gaffs as you might expect. [you switch them in, they do what they do and then you switch them out. They are like special effects in a movie… not the plot or characters.]

If you focus on PRESENTATION and clarity of routining you will get better reactions.
Message: Posted by: sleightofhander (Oct 18, 2003 01:57AM)
I've only been messing with coins for about two years now, so the gaffs help build the confidence till the sleights get better. Maybe it's false confidence. But they still help.
Message: Posted by: Bob Parnez (Oct 18, 2003 01:30PM)
I know gaffs aren't that impressive, but they're still fun to use.
Message: Posted by: richgerb86 (Oct 18, 2003 03:50PM)
Gaff's are not that impressive? Putting a coin into a bottle, pushing a pen through coin, almost any trick with a shell (shadow coins for example) always seem to get a great response & impress spectators. I do agree presentation is the main focus of any effect. With gaffs you can do some wonderful illusions. Don't overlook them. Another great trick that uses a gaff, …Ultimate 3 Fly.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 18, 2003 04:08PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-18 02:48, JonTown wrote:
A gimmick is not likely to affect spectators. Perhaps impress, though for the WRONG reasons.

There are not so many really good uses for gaffs as you might expect.

If you focus on PRESENTATION and clarity of routining you will get better reactions.

[/quote]
I respect your knowledge and views but I'm really surprised by this particular posting.

In my view, there are incredible uses for gaffs (usually combined with sleight of hand). Following up on richgerb86's posting:

I can't think of a cleaner way of performing coins across to spectator's hand (which absolutely kills laymen) than through use of a shell (and sleight of hand).

I can't think of a cleaner “two coin transposition” than through use of a Chinatown Half (and sleight of hand), a gaff I know you're intimately familiar with.

I can't think of a cleaner object through quarter penetration than though use of a trapped quarter.

I can't think of a cleaner “coins to glass” routine than through use of gimmicks. In fact, I perform my version of that effect as a closer to my stand-up act and there's absolutely no way the effect can be performed as cleanly without gimmicks.

Just four examples…

Of course I focus on presentation and clarity of routining, but clarity of effect is sometimes aided by use of a gimmick.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Don Wilson (Oct 18, 2003 07:32PM)
An old-time gag that is used by many before starting a coin effect is to place a similar coin you will be using for the trick on your forehead (a little sweat or spit will hold it.) You notice a spectator looking at you funny, "Oh yeah, here is the coin I am looking for", as you pretend to unscrew the coin from your forehead, and toss the coin with a big screw or nail on the table (Bobo switch), rub forehead "good thing I heal quickly!" Easy, cheap, but … gets their attention. (Epoxy or solder the screw to the coin.) Don
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 18, 2003 08:27PM)
You can also put a dot of red magic marker on the side of the legitimate coin that you stick to you forehead, so that when you pull it off, it leaves a little red-colored hole... looks funny.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 19, 2003 02:35AM)
The two I used the most is Magnetic Siver Copper and Cigarette thru Quarter. The spectators do not know it is a gimmick coin.
Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Oct 19, 2003 05:09PM)
If you combine sleight of hand with a gaff you can kill!!! I have done it for the last 30 years! I have always thought that you should learn your sleight of hand first! But ringing in a gaff like a shell or a c.s.b. gimmick or 2 coin gimmick at the right time can kill! Working on presentation is always good! But some times a gaff can help clarity of routining! I would go for “Does it look like magic?!” It's not about if you are using a gaff or not!
Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 19, 2003 06:04PM)
Reread the original post before you are so quick to criticize Jon. It asked specifically about which gimmicked coin is the most amazing to spectators and the hardest to figure out to magicians. NOT what amazing magic can you accomplish with the use of a gaff. Jon's answer seems appropriate given the obvious nature of the question. The focus needs to be on effect, then on method, not vice versa. It seems to me that was the point of Jon's response, but I could be wrong.

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 19, 2003 07:24PM)
I assume you were directing that posting to me.

I wasn't quick, and I wasn't criticizing (assuming you're using that term in a negative way). I find nothing wrong with and will continue to share my thoughts in a constructive manner, which was my intent versus your characterization of my posting as something negative.

Jon and I PM'ed each other yesterday. He agreed with the examples I included in my posting, and he explained his remarks which were based on the nature of the question and which I assume he has decided not to expand on publicly or he would have by now. My thoughts were based on the sentences "...A gimmick is not likely to affect spectators..." and "...There are not so many really good uses for gaffs as you might expect...." He clarified, I understood, and it's a non-issue.

Of course the primary focus needs to be on effect, with the secondary focus on method only to the extent that it influences effect.

Best regards, Larry Davidson
Message: Posted by: Dbzkid999 (Oct 19, 2003 09:01PM)
Coin Bite and the Raven are the best!!!

Hope that helps.

Adam
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Oct 20, 2003 01:49AM)
Right on David!
There is nothing wrong with using Gaffs.
I just don't understand the mentality or ego if you will of some magicians that say gaffs makes you less of a magician. That is Bull with a capital B.
The end always justifies the means in magic.
The effect on the audience is the only thing that matters.
I combine sleight of hand with gaffs and it does Kill!
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 20, 2003 09:12AM)
This is in response to Larry. Larry,

There were four posts regarding gaffs, all clearly in response to Jons' post, so your "assumption" that my post was directed to you is wrong. It was a general response.

You also "assume" that my use of terms was meant in a negative way, and you further "assume" that my "characterization" of your post was negative, then you "assume" that Jon is not going to expand on his views. You make an awful lot of assumptions!

Then, having "assumed" all these things, you defend yourself. Sort of like throwing mud on someone and then calling them dirty, don't you think?

I use gaffs daily, and find them incredibly helpful. In fact I agree with your statements about clarity of effect being enhanced by the use of various gaffs. The point/question in the original post, though, was not about effect, but about the gaff, in and of itself. The answers didn't seem to address the question, with the exception of Jons'. You did, as an afterthought, give a nod to presentation. My fear is that someone new might think the prop IS the effect, a dangerous supposition, and that was the point of Jons' post, and my support of it.

I hope this clarifies my views to your satisfaction. If you want to make any further assumptions about my intent feel free, but I think asking for clarification might be more productive.

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 20, 2003 11:14AM)
Paul,

You're right, I did assume.

I assumed your first posting was directed to me because it stated "Reread the original post before you are so quick to criticize Jon" and I was the only poster who specifically mentioned Jon's posting. What was clear to you wasn't clear to me.

I assumed that your advice "Reread the original post before you are so quick to criticize Jon" meant that you felt "criticism" was inappropriate or something negative in this case.

I assumed that Jon was not going to expand on his post because he hadn't in days and could have immediately after we PM'ed each other.

My intent was not to throw mud on you and then call you dirty, but I will make another assumption...that you agree the written word can lead to misunderstanding.

In the future, I'll ask for clarification as you suggested vs. making assumptions.

Regards, Larry D.

P.S. - Although my nod to presentation was posted as an "afterthought" in this particular thread, presentation is in fact always my "end" and "method" is always nothing more than a "means" to an end. I agree 100% with your statement that thinking a prop IS the effect is a dangerous supposition.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 20, 2003 03:41PM)
I've revised my post to clarify my position on gaffed coins.

And just to show my sincerity ... even posted an application of a gaff on the 'expanded shell' thread.

If the gaff impresses someone, they better be a machinist cause you are exposing something and taking away the basic premise that the coins are solid and real.

Rarely will a serious coin-man be fooled by gaffs. This is simply because of the weight and feel discrepancies evident upon examination, and the handling issues which usually telegraph their use.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 20, 2003 05:26PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-20 16:41, JonTown wrote:
If the gaff impresses someone, they better be a machinist cause you are exposing something… [/quote]

True, and funny!
Message: Posted by: Bob Parnez (Oct 20, 2003 09:50PM)
Some people are getting off topic. (hint hint)
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 21, 2003 01:40PM)
Bob, here's the bottom-line in my opinion:

Q: Out of all of the gimmicked coins you know of, which one do you think is the most amazing to spectators?

A: None. Spectators don't experience a gimmick, they experience an effect you perform using a gimmick. A better question might have been, "Which effect do you perform that is most amazing to spectators that also uses a gimmicked coin?" My answer to that would be coins across to spectator's hand using a shell (and sleight of hand).

Q: Which coin do you think is the hardest trick to figure out if you were a magician, and didn't know the secret?

A: None. A gimmicked coin isn't a trick. A gimmicked coin is an end to a means (the trick or the effect). A better question might have been, "Which effect is the hardest for magicians to figure out that also uses a gimmicked coin?" If that's answerable, and I don't know that it is since a magician is not a magician is not a magician (different magicians have different levels of skill and knowledge), I couldn't answer it anyway because I don't perform for magicians, I perform for laymen.

My advice is that you focus on effect and let that drive method (gimmicks, sleight of hand, or both.)

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 22, 2003 03:46AM)
Larry's last post hits the nail right on the head. Gimmicked coins can produce excellent magic, shoddy magic, or no magic at all, depending on the person using them and the routines and presentation in which he is putting them to use. Perhaps your question might have been better phrased, "What do you think are some of the strongest routines using (this particular) gaff?," or "Which coin gaffs do you feel are the most versatile?" or "What is your favorite or most used gaff?" or "Which gaff do you feel gives the most bang for the buck as far as applications for the average magician?"

Gaffs, in and of themselves, are nothing. My coin work relies on gaffs to a great extent, largely because I am unable to do difficult sleight of hand due to arthritic and inflexible hands. However, a couple of my strongest routines use no gaffs at all, and no sleights more difficult than a thumb palm or finger palm! Why are they strong? Because of the routining, construction, psychology, audience management and presentation. In short, because of what the audience perceives is happening. This is what makes a routine good or bad, whether it uses gaffs or not.

There are already topics in existence that discuss the questions I've posed above, but in short, I believe that an expanded shell and a copper/silver coin are probably the most versatile gaffs available (for me personally), and the number of routines you can do with them are very many compared to their comparatively low price.
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 22, 2003 03:18PM)
Gimmicks are indeed a means and not an end.

Sometimes they help with the journey.

Mixing them in and out of a routine can add the right pizzazz.

Although I don't usually work to or for other magicians it is occasionally fun to ring in a C/S or ES with other peoples coins.

It is sort of like adding a duplicate or stranger card to a layman or magician’s deck.

Enjoy the journey,

If any of you coin-guys come through the Kansas City area give me an email.

Anyone know yet if they are going to the Society of American Magicians Annual Convention - St.Louis, Missouri - United States of America in July of 2004?

I hope to make it this year.

Harris
Message: Posted by: Bob Parnez (Oct 24, 2003 12:32AM)
I like gaffs, and your spectators don't need to know that they are gimmicked. Some people that have been exposed to some magic tricks might not be impressed if you use a gaff on them, because they might know about the gaff.

I know earlier I said gaffs aren't that impressive, but I was just agreeing, *cough, cough, good excuse, cough*.