(Close Window)
Topic: A Challenge for Coin Performers
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 23, 2015 08:11AM)
The challenge is to routine three coin effects under restrictive conditions, and then to explain why you placed the selected effects in a specific performance order.
The focused theme is “routining” as related to audience appreciation/astonishment and NOT why you like particular coin effect.

The following “conditions of contest” are for those desiring to post a response and probably not of interest for those who do not.


1) you will have a corner table in the hall outside of the theater where a musical is being performed. Each program announces that you will perform “Amazing Magic with Coins” during the intermission.

2) your audience will be about twenty (20) people who will have taken care of personal business and give you reasonably focused attention.

3) half of this number has never seen a live magic performance before, and many are confused over what magic means in today’s culture.

4) you are being paid “big bucks” for the single, seven minute performance each night for a week. A stand hold flyers about you with info for future bookings.


1) you must perform three different, multi-phase effects. (an ROV followed by an empty hand is not an effect).

2) one must feature a vanish/production or invisibility; one a Transportation of coin(s), and one a penetration by the coin(s) of another object.

3) none may directly involve a spectator in the effect (time limitations) in a physical way.

4) "coin" can include poker chips and foreign coins or tokens generally accepted as substitutes.

Any popular effects can be selected – hopefully ones most magicians will recognize. You do not have to justify the selection, but may suggest a scripting idea if appropriate.


Here is the whole point of the exercise.

List the order in which you plan to perform the selected effects. Explain why!

Please give attention to audience engagement, creating expectations and anticipation, creating a lasting memory of magic, etc.

There is no right answer. I believe the responses will be helpful for coin performers in many venues, and certainly those new to coin magic.
Message: Posted by: Mb217 (Jul 23, 2015 09:01AM)
Great post funs! :D

Since there is no right answer, here's what I do along these (perhaps not so strictly as put) lines when I get the chance to spend such time…

-I begin with the magical production of 3 half dollar coins from nowhere. Each one is picked from right out in front of the specs nose, and materialize when tossed into my right hand. I then do my [b]KrazyKoinZ[/b], where the 3 coins cross from one hand to the other invisibly in some unique ways for a coins across, each way more perplexing than the way before…Kinda crazy! :D
*One leg down.

-I then say something like, "Sometimes 3 coins is 1 coin too many for people," and I put one coin away.

-Now with just 2 coins, I do pretty much my [b]Ike & Mike's Revenge[/b]…An extended play on Tenkai Pennies where one coin keeps joining the other, though "clearly" shown as one coin in both hands. I even show them how I do it, and it still happens right before their very eyes. :D
**Two legs down.

-Alas, I say again, "Perhaps 2 coins is still 1 coin too many." I put another one away and perform the finale, [b]Down The Rabbit Hole[/b], where the one coin tells a little story of how my grandfather taught me to catch a little rabbit I saw running atop a hill. In it, the coin (errrr, I mean the rabbit) :D is clearly seen rolling over my knuckles and then runs down his hole and vanishes. My hands are completely shown and the rabbit is nowhere to be found…Until my grandpa tells my how to catch him, and so I reach deep down into the hole (my closed left fist) and pull him out by the tail, and voila, the coin is miraculously produced from where absolutely it was not. I then put that coin away too and enjoy all the awe and smiles. :D
***Third leg down, and done. :)

I have done this set just this way often enough when time permits. Each 1 of the 3 parts takes away one coin supposedly aimed at making it simpler to follow for the specs, only it remains for them perplexingly not that simple. ;) Of course, these effects are modular and can be done adding a coin and going back the other way. You can also substitute other effects if you like. Sometimes I will do a neat vanish of the coin as well and take a bow to usual smiles of applause. :) And if I was permitted here to engage a spec "physically", I could then end the effect by amazingly turning that last coin into a ring, via my [b]Ringa Dinga![/b]. :D

And in true illustration here, I have at one time or other, posted all these modular effects online…Taking it from theory to truth. It is a simple thing to imagine going from to the other, as I speak of here, with the same coins. :)
Message: Posted by: CarpetShark (Jul 23, 2015 01:44PM)
Agreed Mb, this IS a great post/idea. There is a ton of material on the physical side of coin magic but not that much on what it takes to perform effectively. Posts like this one really help noobs such as myself, so kudos to Funsway :D

I'll let this thread fill out then print it up to add to my 'special' binder. Cheers
Message: Posted by: Ken Abbott (Jul 24, 2015 01:13PM)
I produce three coins and then vanish them using Larry Jennings routine "THE HOOK"
Next a 3Fly routine using various techniques.
Then a coins to pocket routine by Doug Brewer from "Unexpected Visitor book, where three coins are placed into pocket, then individually plucked thru the pocket, then one at a time go back into the pocket invisibly
Message: Posted by: Ken Abbott (Jul 24, 2015 01:21PM)
Forgot to explain my reasoning. The coins are produced from nothing. The first time I saw the Larry Jennings routine I was in magic for about two years. I thought it was the most magical thing I had seen, especially the vanishes.

Then next logical step in the progression would be to make some coins do something like fly from one place to another without spectators seeing them.

The coins to pocket routine allows me to visibly pluck coins thru the material of my pants. It is very visual. Making them go back into the pocket individually and the hands being empty (without going near the pocket) has to be magical to the spectators and allows you to conclude with nothing left in hands.
Message: Posted by: ZachDavenport (Jul 24, 2015 08:59PM)
I would start by doing a coin through pocket routine in which the coin is visually pulled through the fabric of my shorts under the pretense that fabric can't contain the coins. This introduces the coins as magical objects, which is the concept being portrayed. Then I would do a one coin routine in which the coins is turned invisible, but only on one side. This transitions well from the last routine, and further demonstrates the strange properties of the coins. Then I would take out a second coin and do a routine in which I demonstrate how like coins try to stay together, while different ones separate. This gives the coins a personality as well as magic properties, and that brings the routine to a close.
Message: Posted by: Rick Holcombe (Jul 24, 2015 10:48PM)
I have a set that actually fits all your criteria.

I start with Doug Brewer's Famous Three Coin Trick, which it in itself fits all criteria, transportations, penetrations, vanishes and appearances; a lot of magic going on in that routine.

I follow that with Ponta's Coins across. It brings the focus back to a more direct effect now that I have their attention.

Lastly I vanish all three quickly with Eric Jones' KKK routine.

It's got a nice beginning, middle, and end, but you can really stop at any point if you had to
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 25, 2015 06:00AM)
So far I like the flow of starting and ending with nothing, and that the overall impact of magic is more important than the individual "trick."

Hopefully more performers will wade in ..
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 25, 2015 10:49AM)
I would use the same routine I posted a few days ago

The one I use most lately.

1. Dump 3 coins from a coin box
1a. They are dumped into a small singing bowl.
2. Three different 1 coin routines
2a. Each time a coin is taken or returned to the bowl the audience hears a pleasant ding.
3. Production and complete vanish of a 4th coin
4. Coins across with 3 coins
5. Vanish of the 3 coins at the same time. ( which builds on the earlier vanish of single coins.
6. Time is sent backward with a vocal sound effect and then a randomly picked Volunteer pours the 3 coins out of empty coin box.
It's a circular it A. B. A. Type of routine.
From there I gage the audience and either

A. Stop
B. Go on to Beijing Coins. ( Curtis Kam)
or his The Goblet.

Still too old to know it all
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean (Jul 25, 2015 12:26PM)
Hmmm. funsway, I think you just described Eric Jones "Mirage Et Trois". I believe it fits all your conditions.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 25, 2015 01:16PM)
Maybe, Dad -- haven't seen it, but we need the explanation of why the effects are in the offered order.

The thinking is important here - more than the chosen effects.
Message: Posted by: Ado (Jul 25, 2015 03:11PM)
Production of four coins from within 2 playing cards -> Wing(ed?) silver + Chink a chink -> coins through table.

1) Start with the production. That's the obvious way to start. Also, by having a few cards on the table, people guess that it's going to be magic.
2) Say that you actually don't need cards. Go into wing silver. Challenge up! Go into chink a chink. It's still the same effect, in tougher conditions.
3) You're still one ahead, so you can easily go into a coins through the table to explain that it's actually how the coins travelled. After the last one, you can even put all the coins in a clip, and vanish all of them at once by apparently throwing them back at the deck of cards.

Message: Posted by: David Fillary (Jul 27, 2015 05:12PM)
I'm working on a triple coin coin change (most probably identical to one of Curtis Kam's) at the moment, so that's influencing an idea for this. Begin with Extroydinary/CoinTwo/Trifectas (2 coin and ] produce, vanish, reproduce), which includes handing out invisible coins to spectators like in Trifectas. For the final reproduction, reproduce it in the fan with one hand so the other hand can steal 3 chinese coins from the lap. Then say for the next trick we need coins with holes in the middle, and do the triple change. Ditch the halves while getting the ribbon and extra coin to perform Charming Chinese Challenge (with less happening in their hands since that was a condition and the final coin joining the others in a purse or cup). Put the 3 coins away, but produce the 4th one and perform a flurry into a jumbo Chinese coin.

Reasoning: There are vanishes, production, followed by penetrations off of a ribbon and ending with some transpositions in the flurry and the jumbo ending. The triple change is really strong but is underplayed as a mere necessity to perform the next trick. This generates interest in the next effect as that was seemingly nothing for me to perform, so the act must be getting stronger. CCC is more interactive ideally and presents a rarer form of coin magic - most laymen and non-coin magicians seem to assume all coin magic is about making coins disappear. It also includes a strong transposition at the end. The flurry ends the routine with a fast paced climax - kind of like at a rock concert where at the end of the song, they go into a frenzy and end on a single strong note.

What the spectators will tell their friends: "This guy could make coins appear and disappear at will! Then he just made them all change into Chinese coins with holes in the middle! He did it like it was nothing! Then he passed those coins straight off a ribbon even though I felt that they were on there! Oh, and in the end he made one of the coins massive. Like twenty times bigger!"

At least that's what I hope they will tell their friends :P