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Topic: Putting it all together...
Message: Posted by: bigchuck (Oct 25, 2003 07:13PM)
Ok, here's a routining question - when routining tricks together like for instance, let's say: spellbound & silver copper extraction, would you finish the one routine and then completely begin the next, for example, from the pocket, or would you 'produce' the other coin within the context of the 'complete' routine? (And if so, do you feel that telegraphs the method behind spellbound?)

I have also wondered about doing coins across and Three-fly - a version of coins across like winged silver seems to inherently hide the method a little better than a strictly sleight of hand variation of three fly. So, in doing both these routines in one LARGER routine, am I making it easier for the spectators to put it all together?

These were just a few thoughts that occurred to me... how has everyone else resolved these issues?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 25, 2003 07:22PM)
The coins used for spellbound need not be the same as the ones used for the two coin transposition or the silver extraction.

Clean handling and attention management hide the 'method' for coins across in general.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Oct 26, 2003 12:37AM)
I've always felt that using an English Penny and Half dollar for Spellbound SCREAMS "I'm using TWO COINS" to the audience.

I would recommend a routine that changes the coin in some dramatic way without the coins identity changing. Derek Dingle has one such routine in Complete Works. It's called Inflation and involves a penny changing to a larger (dollar or half dollar sized) penny and back to normal size. Finally, it changes to a 3" Jumbo penny.

So obviously I wouldn't produce the English penny for C/S extraction after spellbound. But generally, I like the idea of producing the coins before doing magic with them. That "allows" me to use older Walking Liberty of Franklin halves. If I were to pull the coins out of my pocket I'd feel compelled to use currency that a real person might have in their pockets such as quarters or "golden" dollars.
Message: Posted by: Ramsay (Oct 26, 2003 08:16AM)
Spellbound is an interesting problem. I too feel it screams "extra coin! Extra coin!" the best solution I have found comes from John Ramsay, no multiple changes just one.

Another idea I had was to do the first change - smoothly, fluidly and with the least possible motion; then to change the coin back. It would appear, hopefully, as if the spectator thought the saw the coin change. However it was very misty. It changes, then almost as they notice, it has changed back.

This is something I've never really got down, but it's an idea.

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 26, 2003 09:15AM)
The Downs palm/ classic palm / or eg2eg coin switch moves can give you that “I thought I saw...” or “misty” effect you want.

What Ramsay 'spellbound' application are you referencing? -Jon
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 26, 2003 08:29PM)
Spellbound has multiple problems and so, multiple solutions. A silver-plated penny, or a copper-plated half allows the metal to change without the coin changing, helping to eliminate the two coin solution. Talk lines and multiple changes like a triple change spellbound can eliminate the multiple coin solution, as well. I talk about the hands acting as a foreign currency exchange for out-of-circulation currency. Then change old coins to their present value in new currency. As you go from country to country you change your money to suit the locale. It's all in the presentation.

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Oct 26, 2003 09:28PM)
I have always dealt with the ? you have more than one coin in spellbound by changing it to say 4 or 5 coins!
With a clean handling! Or changing say, 3 or 4 coins
a.k.a. Wildcoin! They know you can't be holding
out that many coins!

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: bigchuck (Oct 26, 2003 09:41PM)
Thanks for the insights, its great to be able to bounce ideas off of such creative minds.

That idea of a copper-plated half is something I'm definitely going to have to look into.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 26, 2003 09:41PM)
Given the colorization of the 20 dollar bill, it might be cute to paint up a coin and ask for opinions about proposed colorized coins.

There are some really nice painted half dollars around and also can try some simpler paint jobs and colors.

It might be worth getting a double-headed coin involved to make the mechanics a bit smoother.

What are your thoughts?
Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Oct 26, 2003 09:45PM)
I have seen some colored halves at coin shows! Maybe you could get some of those!

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: bigchuck (Oct 26, 2003 10:10PM)
I agree that Wild coin is one of my favorites, the only version I really know (from Roth's ECM video) has a kind of lame kicker though in my opinion, so I do it into my pocket as opposed to a cup and leave out that ending, as it seems a little anti-climactic to me.

The multi-colored coin idea is something that's got me intrigued and I'm thinking bill switch color changes (old to new) and spellbound into say red, blue and normal silver half can be fun for a while, at least as long as both the old and new bills are in circulation.

Maybe even end on a jumbo half with red, natural silver and blue stripes?

Hmm, now you have me thinking... :idea:
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Oct 27, 2003 01:15AM)
I actually have a script for a spellbound routine that uses one of the painted half dollars Jon is talking about. I left it out of my book Tubthumping because I thought the subtext of the script was too "heavy" for most close up magician to pull off.

I like the colorized coins idea Jon. It's topical and clever.

On 2003-10-26 22:28, David Neighbors wrote:
They know you can't be holding out that many coins!
I don't follow your reasoning... If they don't know how we do what we do, how is it that they do know what we CAN'T do?

I've found that laymen often think we can do things that I would give my left... shoe to be able to do.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 27, 2003 02:01AM)
On 2003-10-26 21:29, pchosse wrote:
Talk lines and multiple changes like a triple change spellbound can eliminate the multiple coin solution, as well. I talk about the hands acting as a foreign currency exchange for out-of-circulation currency. Then change old coins to their present value in new currency. As you go from country to country you change your money to suit the locale. It's all in the presentation.

Best, PSC

[/quote]"It's all in the presentation..."

Amen, Paul! I do Spellbound all the time and I usually change the coin to another country's currency. People gasp, applaud, and cry out "No WAY!" Hardly the reactions of people who "know" there is an extra coin.

Back to the original question, Paul's answer holds true when routining tricks together, as well.
Message: Posted by: bakerkn (Oct 27, 2003 02:08AM)
On 2003-10-26 09:16, Ramsay wrote:
...best solution I have found comes from John Ramsay, no multiple changes just one.


Hi Luke,

The only Ramsay version I know of is "The Changling"...which is two simple changes with minimal handling and lots attention direction. Are you referring to a different routine?

I like your idea of dream-like change. If you never look at the coin yourself and never directly refer to the change you may leave them with a very hazy image.

I've played with the idea of ageing a coin… from bright and shiny to old and tarnished. Changes the effect quite considerably an, to my mind, makes it less obvious that there are two coins.


Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Oct 27, 2003 03:41PM)
I don't know wsduncan,
I just have had a layman say I must just be switching coins when I was just doing 2 coins! When I do 5 coins (with palm up shows) I have never had them say that! Yeah, hopefully they don't know you are just switching coins, But for me if they do it seems to help! If as I said the handling is clean looking it works for me! Ok, … hope this helps!

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: Ramsay (Oct 27, 2003 04:07PM)

Yes Kevin, that's the one. I agree lots of misdirection would be needed but I would think in the long run it could be made to look pretty good.

As always I like your thinking. The old coins to shiny is a nice idea... mmmmmm.

How are you by the way? Long time no see.

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 27, 2003 06:00PM)
I used to do the old and tarnished to shiny presentation for Wildcoin in college. I had an EMPTY bottle of coin polish to pretend to apply/dip coins into to clean them up. I used a shiny/dull coin. The finale was a barehanded liquid polish vanish which was a nice payoff cause there was none in the bottle to begin with. :rotf:

I got my coins almost jet black by leaving them in the bottom of a bottle of tarn-ex like clear dipping solution for a week to accumulate oxides.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Oct 27, 2003 10:08PM)
I have the ability to silver plate English pennies. I can do one or both sides. It is actual silver so it doesn't look like the chrome ones you can get from dealers. I can also, do half of one face so it looks like the change got interrupted.

Message: Posted by: Jason Bay (Oct 28, 2003 06:16PM)
This is somewhat off-topic... but as long as we're talking about doing changes between multiple coins, what about doing a routine where you start with a really old edition of a coin, and progressively change it into newer and newer editions?

For instance, I'm not sure how many editions of coin dollars the USA has printed over the last 100+ years, but I'll bet it's four or five. It might be cool to start with a silver dollar from (say) 1900, and end up with a shiny new Sacagawea. Especially if you had some interesting patter, and could give some trivia about each coin, or anecdotes regarding what was going on in history at the time the coin was printed.

- Jason
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 28, 2003 07:52PM)
Now that, Jason, is a really great idea! Good thinking presentation-wise, and some potentially great, visual magic to boot. The silver Dollar is particularly appropriate because there were so many and they are so different, both in size and in color - remember there is one that is gold(ish)... I'd be calling a coin maker about double-faced silver dollars The Morgan and the Peace and the Eisenhower are all the same size, then there is the Sacagawea to finish - They could be tied to your ancestors, great grandfather, grandfather, father, you - Lucky pieces that each carried throughout his life and passed on to his son. A special coin that changes as it is passed from generation to generation to reflect the time it exists in... Ever evolving with the times as mankind does...
There is a lot to work with here, pay attention you guys!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: mystre71 (Oct 28, 2003 09:45PM)
I just started working on a routine that deals with the subject of dealing with the 2nd coin in spellbound.

It's a great routine I almost hate to tell you about it

It's Curtis Kam's "Inverted Spellbound" from his lecture notes "All the Worlds A Stage"

Curtis' words: (I hope he doesn't mind?)

The objective: To eliminate all implications of a 2nd coin by changing the effect, and to eliminate all evidence of a 2nd coin by varying the method of spellbound.

Instead of the half changing color (or another coin) it turns inside out!

Almost wish I kept this to myself. :rotf:

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 28, 2003 10:11PM)
Joe, Inverted spellbound remains an almost unknown effect.

Just bringing up that effect takes me back to the building stairwell that afternoon in Tannen's.

I used the principle in a routine using a mirror where blobs of silver are extracted and formed into coins. Lots of uses for the spellbound sleights and a good secret turnover move… and not a whiff of clever coin switching.

Thanks for sharing Curtis!
Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Oct 28, 2003 10:29PM)
Hi Jason,
About 20 years ago I had a routine where a new coin went back in time! …From a new Kennedy to a 64' Kennedy to a Ben Franklin to a Walker to a Barber to an old Roman coin! It then vanished going back in time before coins were ever made!

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 29, 2003 07:13AM)
Johnson used to (maybe still does) make an effect with a lump of metal and a clear half dollar. I think the name of the effect was "Silver Extraction" but I could be wrong. I used to perform a spellbound where I'd simply wipe my hand across a half dollar and make it look like I pulled the metal out of it leaving a clear coin.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 29, 2003 09:28AM)
Silver Extraction is a trick by Dr. Boris Zola. Zola invented several popular close-up tricks during the 1950's including a salt pour and a trick using, of all things, miniature toilets! But, back to Silver Extraction…

The original trick, and the one Johnson sells today, was as Larry described it - you borrowed a half dollar and extracted a lump of silver from it, leaving a clear half. I know a lot of people that "used to do" this trick. I don't know anyone who does the trick. Why do you suppose this is?

Here are some of the reasons this is a hard trick to sell - you can't borrow a half anymore, so you have to introduce one. This takes time and slows the trick down. When you extract the silver and drop it on the table, no one "gets it", so you have to explain what has happened. The coin you are left with, the clear one, is difficult to see from anything over twelve inches, so it has to be passed around for anyone to understand what has happened. Also, the coin is so peculiar, that all the interest is on the coin, instead of you. Try regaining the audience’s attention after you pass the clear coin around! You lose momentum, and the coin becomes the final focus instead of you, the performer. You are in a fight with an inanimate object for the attention of your audience - this is a losing battle. Finally, the switch takes place at the wrong time, when all the focus is on your hands. All in all, a great idea, but poor theatrical construction.

There is a version that addresses all the presentational issues that make this trick hard to sell, and turns it into a first class miracle. I have done it for over a decade with wonderful response, and it is in print! Nobody seems to know about it, and that is fine with me, but if there is any interest let me know and I'll reveal all.

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 29, 2003 09:53AM)
The version where you use a match and the silver drips off is quite strong.
Message: Posted by: Kainoa (Oct 29, 2003 10:34AM)
Oh my gosh! Someone else owns a copy of “All the World's a Stage”?! It would be you, Joe. Inverted is a killer routine... and Curtis should resurrect that one. I think I'm mixing metaphors now.

But to get back to the topic a bit, the question was the magical/practical sort of debate, right? When is it okay just to pull stuff out of your pocket and when should you produce it? How often do you all include productions or do they seem to take away from your "effects"?
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 29, 2003 11:15AM)

I would love to hear your solution! I stopped performing the effect mainly because of one of the problems you mentioned -- the clear disk is not that visible so people wanted to look at it immediately after the transformation, which created dead time instead of immediately garnering a strong reaction. My solution to that was the second way I performed the effect, i.e., in reverse. I'd explain how coins are made and would hand out the clear disk and lump of metal. After the spectators looked at the items, I'd transform them into a real half dollar. That way, there were no visibility issues to contend with and no delayed reaction. At the bottom line, though, it still didn't play strong enough for me to retain in the repertoire.


Regarding the question originally posed, I sometimes produce an item before performing another effect with that item, and I sometimes don't. It really depends on the particular effects. For example, when I used to perform a version of Matrix, I would produce the four coins first and in a way that they immediately appeared in Matrix position (one coin would appear in each of the four corners of the close-up mat.)

Regards, Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 29, 2003 12:32PM)
Unless a presentation calls for a prop to appear... it seems more practical to bring out the props while introducing the theme of the effect.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Oct 29, 2003 02:24PM)
As far as Silver Extraction goes, I think this is an example of a trick that should not be in a "set" show, but rather just when you are working quietly with one or two people and you want to show them something that will blow them away and then don't mind spending the rest of the night talking with them about it. I would save this one for impromptu shows.

If anyone has the props in Walking Liberty, I would love to buy a set.

Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Oct 29, 2003 03:30PM)

Although I would love to claim it, the solution is Ron Bauers'. Typical of his work, it is thoroughly worked out, a theatrical presentation. It originally appeared in The New Tops Magazine (July, 1980), and was called Silver Replacement. It is, essentially, the solution you came up with. The difference is in the way that the stage waits are handled and the way that the fantasy develops. You need a dozen of the clear coins, which usually stops people from doing this version. Also, you need four or five of the lumps of silver. The ones Johnson makes are great because they have a part of the coin impressed in the blob. By passing out the coins to several of the people at the table they get a look at the coin while you spin your tale of woe. Oh, yeah, did I tell you there was a tale of woe? Well there is. And this is it.

Years ago you figured out a way to extract the silver from coins, but that was when silver prices were high, and so was the silver content of the coins. Now the content is low, and the price of silver is even lower, so the best thing would be if you could replace all the silver you removed and didn't sell, and redeem the coins at their face value. Now, the bad news is that you've been getting things backward all your life (obviously, since you are stuck with a bunch of silver you should have sold when prices were high...), but the good thing is - you've been getting things backward all your life! You see, this is the one time when that idiosyncrasy MIGHT actually work to your benefit, since maybe you can get the silver back where it came from! Now, obviously you need to say all this in your own words, but the subtext is there, all you need to do is build the fantasy in your own way.

The trick gets good because you defeat several obstacles in the original version: you kill the stage wait while they examine the coins by making the examination PART OF the effect. And by putting the inspection at the beginning of the trick, instead of the end, the inspection of odd objects actually CREATES interest (What are those things? How the heck did he get them? What's he going to do with them?). Then, the story paints you as a peculiar guy, (Come on, how much money could you really make taking silver OUT of coins? What kind of screwy, get-rich-quick scheme is this/was that?), developing - CHARACTER! And, finally, it pays off in the end, giving you another perfectly good 50 cent piece to add to your already overflowing vacation fund! Man are you smart - and finally getting rich too! And no, you aren't looking for any partners, so if anyone in the audience is thinking about getting in on the deal, they can just forget about it!

If you can use some theater techniques and act a little bit, you have here a truly fun, magical, experience to share with your audience.

Thank Ron Bauer for the great idea, and check out the printed material in the New Tops for the actual mechanics, the handling is clean, classical and tell-free.

Best, PSC

P.S. Bauer's other material, which is all theater-based approaches to great magic, can be found in his series, "The Ron Bauer Private Studies", a complete course in performance, spread out over 24 lessons. See [url]http://www.thinklikeaconjuror.com[/url].

P.P.S. I don't get any money for promoting this stuff, in fact, I asked RB NOT to release any of it!
Message: Posted by: mystre71 (Oct 29, 2003 09:12PM)
[quote]Oh my gosh! Someone else owns a copy of “All the World's a Stage”?! It would be you, Joe. Inverted is a killer routine... and Curtis should resurrect that one. I think I'm mixing metaphors now. [/quote]
Kainoa, Yeah I got my copy from someone off here had a list of books and note they was selling (lucky for me :dance: )Keeping my eye out for other notes :cyclops:

[quote]But to get back to the topic a bit, the question was the magical/practical sort of debate, right? When is it okay just to pull stuff out of your pocket and when should you produce it? How often do you all include productions or do they seem to take away from your "effects"?[/quote]
I don't think in the RIGHT routine it takes away but adds to the effect.
For me it depends on the routine.
Example: If the routine I'm going to do will end "Clean" then I might produce the coins (Produce coins, vanish coins and reproduce coins)

But on the other hand if a the routine ends "Dirty", then I'll usually start with the coins in a purse and place the purse back in my pocket so I have a reason at the end to go back to the pocket and "Ditch" whatever I need to. And bring out the purse to put the coins away.

Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 31, 2003 10:45AM)
Paul (PSC), thanks for sharing.