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Topic: The problem with Matrices
Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 22, 2003 10:19AM)
It's been about a year since I posted in this section. I've been laying down the groundwork for cards up until now. It's now time for coins.

In one of my first posts I stated that I was not all that keen on coin magic (and not all that familiar). Dan Watkins managed to raise my interest and I'm keen to start making some progress.

However, I'd like to get some honest opinions about Matrix routines. I've seen various routines performed on various web-sites - some by professionals and some not. The problem I have is that, to me, matrix routines look simply like the magician is picking up the coins underneath the cards and putting them down elsewhere. The closest I've come to being impressed with a matrix routine is seeing a clip of Shoot Ogawa's two at a time matrix - however, whilst this is technically very impressive, the complexity of the routine for the spectator comes across as overkill in terms of mis-direction - i.e. it's hard to see the magic happen because there is SOOOO much to take in.

I really like some coins across routines etc. so I know I'm not being specifically biased against coins (and, like I say, I'm keen to learn more).

So here's the question. Do you really enjoy matrix routines? If so, where is the magic in them (because I can't find it).

Also, what top-notch matrix routines are there (I don't care how difficult they are - if they're worth learning I'll work at it)? I'd prefer non-gaffed to help increase my skills.


Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Nov 22, 2003 10:41AM)
The 'Sympathetic Coins' is a strong effect.

The original 'Matrix' is likewise a strong effect.

David Roth has a very intersting version of a hybrid effect called 'Stonehenge Assembly'.

Dean Dill has a specialty setup that allows a really stunning 'Explosion'.

You might want ask your friends to DO these routines for you, or just find them in the original.
Message: Posted by: mystre71 (Nov 22, 2003 10:55AM)

Shoot has some great routines for the Matrix plot but the two at once I believe was just for competition.

I like matrix routines but if your doing walk around/rest. work usualy not enough table room for them.

But, Pick up Reed McClintock's new "Knuckle Busters vol 4" he has a "Chink-aChink" routine in the hands.

Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 22, 2003 02:33PM)
Thanks for the comments so far.

Chink-a-chink - now that looks more interesting and I've never seen any explanation as to how it is done. However, it looks to me (in the chink-a-chinks that I have seen) that the coins are just being dragged around. David Roth's presentation on Letterman is one of the best presentations of this that I have seen and is one of the most convincing.

My general problem with these kinds of effects is that there is an easy and rational explanation as to how they work (even if the explanation is not correct - it is conceivable) so much so that the magic just isn't there.

Does anyone have this opinion too? I don't want to put matrix-style routines to one side because I know some magicians absolutely love them.

Joe - is Knucklebusters 4 on DVD or is it just a manuscript?
Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Nov 22, 2003 03:10PM)
KB4 is an manuscript. But I don't think that would be the place to start out with some coins magic. Try Modern Coin magic by Bobo. It has a lot of great ideas for anyone to play around with. Good luck

Message: Posted by: TheGreatDane (Nov 22, 2003 06:28PM)
I always liked Rubinstein's Two-card Reverse Matrix -- the fact that you only have two cards yet four coins and the kicker ending always endeared it to me. I hear Bill Malone has a pretty good presentation too, though I've never seen it myself.
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Nov 22, 2003 06:46PM)
The only matrix I perform is an impromtu version. I do it at parties. I borrow a towel (to perform on, so I don't mess up the table! :bwink: ), four quarters and use two cards. I'm sure you all know what follows. I believe I've got this in a book somewhere but can't remember the author (Mark Wilson,maybe?). Anyway, do any of you perform your version on a close-up mat? If so and you can't share how you do it on this forum, would you consider sharing it with me via PM? I'd love to do one on my close-up mat. I can't explain why I just do. ;) Thanks in advance, Lee.
Message: Posted by: DaveM (Nov 22, 2003 08:57PM)
You're completely correct in that a lot of people will realize that coins are being "shifted" under cover. So comes the need to go in other directions.

There was a time when I was completely obsessed with matrix routines, trying to make them look more and more impossible. It came to the point where I would do practically anything to burn the audience beyond explanation.

I basically use two methods to do that depending on the performing situation, and will be glad to share them with you via PM. Here is one that I like to fry friends with:


All the best,

Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Nov 22, 2003 09:33PM)
Actually, when Shoot performs for lay audiences he does several matrix routines because he knows the effect is so startling that they often want to see it again. Within his routine he'll usually ask, "Would you like to see it happen fast or slow?" Depending on what they want he'll do the routine that way and still fool them. Believe me, I've now seen him do over a dozen variations and he continues to fool me when he throws in a new move or variation... which he does often.
Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 23, 2003 08:38AM)
On 2003-11-22 16:10, Bradley Morgan wrote:
Try Modern Coin magic by Bobo. It has a lot of great ideas for anyone to play around with. Good luck
Already got it my good man :D .

DaveM - that's very generous of you. If you're willing to share I'm willing to learn :thanx:

I've been hunting around trying to soak as much information as I can about this aspect of coin magic and I've got two additional comments.

1. I found Doug Conn's Scramble chink-a-chink effect on his web-site (via an interrogation of the Café database). I thought this was excellent - I'm currently of the opinion that a well performed chink-a-chink is more effective than a standard matrix routine.

2. The problem with many matrix routines that I've seen is that the use of cards is rather cumbersome. A stronger matrix routine in my mind would be one where it looks as if the cards are merely waved, passed or glided above/over the coins rather than "placed" which gives the game away. If this could be performed slowly rather than fast then that would impress me even more. I have Cultural Exchange 2 on DVD and there are two matrix effects on there. Neither impress me at all. The Quick Matrix is so quick that it makes me think "so what?". I know that Shoot is extremely talented, so I imagine that these are at the weaker/simpler end of his repertoire.

Forgive me if I'm sounding overly critical. I'm just trying to gather the necessary information to help direct my attentions.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Nov 23, 2003 10:20AM)
It is not that you're overly critical, it is more that you probably can not view an effect thru the eyes of a non-magician anymore. It seems to me that if you see "something" you do not believe it is worth studying.
I am not attacking you Beetroot, just trying to analyze your look into magic.
If I would only like and perform routines that I was fooled by the first time I saw it performed, I'd cut myself in my fingers...

To get to your first question: Yes I like matrices a lot, but I do not feel the urge to convince you to like it. Why trying to like an effect that you do not see as magical? Because of the method?

The effect that you would like to see is probably Dave Williamson's Floating Assembly. It looks exactly as you describe it, the cards only hovering above the coins. Really, you have to see it because if you only read it in his book you'll pass.
But in the back of my mind I suspect that also that version you might pass...maybe look for another effect.

And I think that magic you're looking for is somewhere inside yourself. Better start looking there. The effects are merely expressions of what's inside...or what's not.
If cards are your tool, go and express your magic thru cards!
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Nov 23, 2003 11:47AM)
With ALL due respect Mr. LeFay, I suggest that Beetroot check out the entire "hardware store". You never know what tool(s) he may decide to express himself with! Agreed that cards may be his forte, but you never know until you try. :goodluck: Lee.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 23, 2003 12:44PM)
Since no one has mentioned ARMANDO, I will.

It may be Matrix, but in his hands it is pure magic, unexplainable.

I think if one really thinks about the effect and the handling in particular and takes the time to practice and develop the material, Matrix can be totally magical and no one will have a clue.

If Armando can do it so can others.

Those I have seen kill with it include, Armando, McClintock, Neighbors, Dingle, Kennedy, Dill, Roth and the creator Al Schneider. (There have been others, but the names don't pop up right now--must be my overload of Robitussin this morning)!
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Nov 23, 2003 12:53PM)
Beet, (may I call you Beet?)

I don't suffer from matrix malaise, but I do understand what you are saying.

You might want to check into Kennedy's Impossible Matrix. It's real strong magic. I perform it and I still get the tingles.

Glad you mentioned Scramble, too...that is one outstanding trick.
Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 23, 2003 01:14PM)
Some good comments from everyone - thanks for you input.

Dan - cards are merely what I started with (not wishing to spread myself too thinly). I saw matrix routines BEFORE I got into the other side of magic and was not impressed. My wife is not impressed either and she is entertained by practically all magic. Unfortunately, as I am now studying magic, the problem will of course be exacerbated. Don't worry - I don't feel attacked by your comments. We're having a good discussion. I suppose what I'm saying in a nutshell is - I understand that matrix routines are loved and there is a reason why - but perhaps I'll only be receptive to the "elite" versions of the routines. Hence, I wish to find them :) . This makes me wanted to study the matrix concept more (not less) which I hope is a good thing.

Blindbo - Beetroot, Beety, Beet, Mr B - I don't mind at all :D . (And I like the phrase matrix malaise.)

Time (and money) permitting, I'll try to follow through all of the leads posted. Thanks to you all - you are a valuable resource.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Nov 23, 2003 01:35PM)
Indeed this is a good discussion and I'm glad you replied with an open end so we can continue!
You are probably right about "elite" versions, and I think that counts for all magic and yes especially coin magic...
Maybe my interest and love for the matrix is based on seeing it performed by true "elitists" Dean Dill, Armando Lucero and Dave Williamson (DO check out his floating assembly)...

Still, I think seeing "through" an effect even it is not completely deceptive to you as a magician is a great virtue to be learned and can expand your "hardware store" (nice metaphore there Lee!!) largely!
Go for it and make shure you let the best inspire you!
Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 23, 2003 02:03PM)
I WILL check out the floating assembly you mention - sounds very appealing. It'll have to wait until after Christmas as I'm not allowed to buy any more magic beforehand (my wife is worried that I'll duplicate the presents she's already bought me).

I'll let you know what I think as soon as I can.
Message: Posted by: Mediocre the Great (Nov 23, 2003 07:47PM)
The Name Dean Dill has come up in many posts... I think Dean has the perfect approach to the coin matrix, and you will find that the routines contained in his "Extreme Dean" 2- DVD set are among the best available. Very commercial.

Dean has perfected the psychology and timing of this effect. I'll tell you that the Tonight Show Matrix absolutely kills. The backfire ending makes the routine long enough to work in a clever and engaging story. The moves are perfect, and really not that difficult to learn. Within the routine, there are many very magical moments... with the right timing you will enjoy every one of them.

I have worked with Dean personally on this effect, and there are many subtleties, like there are with any sleight of hand routine. Be sure to treat it with respect.

I've been performing this routine now for only a few months, but I'm certain it will always be in my repertoire. Audiences scream with delight at the final sequence. They yell things like NO WAY, Wo! and other expletives I must delete here in this forum.

Spend the time to perfect this routine. You will not be sorry.

:spinningcoin: :spinningcoin:
:spinningcoin: :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 24, 2003 12:05PM)
Oh, by-the-way. I showed my wife a clip of Scramble last night and she really liked it. That's my sanity-check done.

I've already got the scrabble tiles out :) .

Message: Posted by: TheGreatDane (Nov 24, 2003 12:05PM)
As far as presentation of the matrix goes...Sankey has a pretty innovative idea (what a surprise, coming from him right?) on his Secret Files vol. 2 -- he puts a little avery sticker down on the handkerchief he performs in on, explaining it in the way of the old Looney Tunes gag of a portable hole deal. It's a small addition, but it gives reason to the effect, which in my mind increases the magic quality.
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 24, 2003 04:13PM)
I recently saw the web shot of Conns Scramble version of "chink a chink"

It looks good. IMHO there are a lot of people that can make matrix look like magic or as you originally described it.

I still do the original method with a kicker.(???Was it Al Schneider???). For Magi I used to do a penny dime nickle and quarter version. For regular folks it seems to be the same effect. It is not in my regular line up these days. I still get requests for it occasionally and when I have shared it, it still plays very well.

I tend to take things out that are in. Sometimes that turns out to be a mistake. A non coin example is I recently put back in a scarf/t_ _ routine with my coins.

A simple vanish of a item whether coin or red "hanky/rag" still can play well. My audiences are not usually magicians. I work from preschoolers to the country club set.
For the past 10 years or so I have been using my Brain Washers. For the young kids I use a Bob the Builder Patter.

Thanks for your honesty, Beetroot.

I would rather be pulled up by reality than held back by "attaboys".

Have a safe and nearly normal HOYC.(holiday of your choice)

You are all appreciated by,

Message: Posted by: Beetroot (Nov 24, 2003 05:16PM)
[quote]On 2003-11-24 17:13, Harris wrote:
Thanks for your honesty, Beetroot.[/quote]
...and thank-you for your comments Harris!
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Nov 24, 2003 10:03PM)
I do Paul Harris's "Silver Slide" followed by a standard 4-card, 4-coin Matrix routine. Even when I've performed it rather sloppily, spectators have gasped in amazement. I know how it is sometimes difficult to "see" the magic when you know the secret. The reactions have sufficiently convinced me that it isn't obvious to most people how the coins travel. I only had one spectator ask to see the cards, wondering if there were some kind of gimmick that enabled me to pick up the coins, probably the result of my poor handling.