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Topic: Schneider's Classic vanish
Message: Posted by: Seth (Feb 22, 2004 11:32AM)
Hi there! I'm reading Schneider On Coins now and can anyone explain to me why Dr. Rubinstein's handling of the Schneider's classic vanish violates Schneider's concepts?
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Feb 22, 2004 03:12PM)
Can you describe Dr. R's handling? I am not familiar with it. Perhaps via PM or email (which I prefer) would be better due to the secret nature of the discussion.

Kirk G

Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (Feb 22, 2004 09:50PM)
Hey Seth, I've been doing that vanish for over 25 yrs. What seems to be a violation?
Message: Posted by: MrCyNic (Feb 23, 2004 07:36AM)

I've just sent you a breakdown of the apparent discrepancy via PM. I hope that's useful.


Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (Feb 23, 2004 06:19PM)
Hi, thanks for clearing that up. I have the original first edition, and read that book over and over as a youngster. I guess my best answer, is that I disagree. My feeling is that the move should duplicate exactly how I would put the coin into the hand, and that's the way I would do it. With all due respect to Mr. Schneider, of course! I think its a GREAT move, and everyone should do it - in the way they feel it works best for them! Best, Mike
Message: Posted by: Seth (Feb 24, 2004 06:25AM)
Thanks for the explanation Dr. Rubinstein, different strokes I guess...
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Feb 27, 2004 05:18PM)
Dr. Rubinstein,

I haven't read your write up of the move, so forgive me if I am in error here, but if you have changed the move shouldn't you re-name it? Like show the orginal handling with the orginal name and then show your version and whatever name you want to give it?

It doesn't seem right to attribute a different move to the creator that is in conflict to his magic ideas.

I am not disagreeing with your thinking of keeping slights and real moves looking the same, just changing a handling and then, by not changing the name, attributing that handling to the orginal creator.

Kirk Grodske
Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (Feb 27, 2004 07:47PM)
Well Kirk, that's a pretty strong statement coming from someone who hasn't even seen the move. Whenever you do a move, regardless of whose move it is, you will perform it in your own way due to your own hand size, ability, and personality.

In my original video series (that L&L later edited out for the DVD series), I state that very fact in the introduction to each tape. Performing a move in your own way, however, does NOT give you the right to rename a move. That would be extremely unethical, unless the move has been changed so dramatically as to give the move a different feel, structure, or purpose entirely (with credit to the origin of the move).

I feel that the way I do the move is, in fact, the way it was described by Mr. Schneider in his book, regardless of these rather strong comments of "violations" (you'd think someone broke the law!).

The mechanics of this move in the way I have taught it, for about TWENTY NINE years, are true to Mr. Schneider, is ALWAYS credited to him in all of my work, and his book is wonderful and should be read by all. I suggest that you contact Mr. Schneider himself should you have any further concerns about the way I perform his move.

Best, Mike
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Feb 28, 2004 12:06PM)
Mike, (since that is how you signed your name),

I don't think that is such a strong statment, as I qualified it as I made it. In fact, I wasn't even making a statement, I was asking your opinion on the matter as you are the one who is most familier with all parts in question. Then, contingent upon your response, I asked another question. Then, I followed that up with my opinion.

Mr. Schneider has pretty clearly indicated his opinion with your handling, so I don't think that is in question. Perhaps the two of you should discuss it and then let the rest of us know what you come to? (note, this is a suggestion in the form of a question).

I will also follow up with Mr. Schneider, but I expect it would be more effcient and carry more weight if you did it yourself.

Kirk G

P.S. I will agree 100 % with you that differences in hand size etc will insert variations in each magicians execution. But where do we draw the separation to those variances and just doing the move "wrong"?

As an example, in Magic By Gosh, which I am sure you have read, he details his tossing vanish. Specifically the keeping the hands apart. Now if you move the hands, not just closer together, but actually touch, are you not defeating the primary component of his vanish?

I believe, based on conversations and lectures with Mr. Goshman, that one of the principal, but under mentioned components of his vanish, is the "letting go" of the coin by the tossing hand or the opening of the tossing hand. The absence of the clutching or retrieving action that is common to some finger palm vanishes or retention vanishes is a big part of the convincer in his vanish. Remove that and or the distance part, and it is not the same vanish.

Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (Feb 28, 2004 12:59PM)
Kirk, Chris Korn has been teaching my R.O.P.S. move in his lectures and DVD's. He does the move well, but his pointing hand is more open then mine. He does the steal on the third tap, not on the second. Yet, if he called it his move, it would be wrong, as the mechanics of the move are the same.

Slydini did a retention pass in a very slow and meticulous way, as was his style. If you tried to do the move at the same speed and with the same intention as Slydini, you would be nothing more than a imitator of the man (unless that was your style as well). You can do the same move as he does, but at a different speed and with a different intention, yet it will still be Slydidni's move.

I pulled out Al's book, and the mechanics of catching the intended coin at the fingertips are the same. The idea of starting with the coin in classic palm position is true to Al. This is the ESSENCE of his move, and what makes it different than all other classic vanishes. If I decide to put the intended coin in my mouth, toss it into the air, pretend to stick it into my pocket, place or toss it into my hand, it is STILL Al's move, as the mechanics of getting the intended coin from classic palm to the fingertips are the same.

AL's ORIGINAL book (right here in front of me) talks about the extra motion of moving a coin to classic palm as violations of good body language and one point in beat misdirection principle. I agree with him, which is why I love the move, and the angles it gives you.

Reading a book (as opposed to seeing a video of the performer, which was not in existance at the time Al put out his book) gives you the lattitude to perform the move in the way you best interpret the meaning, which I have done.

If Al has modified his E book to specifically discuss me, that's his deal. I have no intention of purchasing another copy to see, or even contacting Al to discuss this, as it is trivial. I greatly respect Mr. Schneider as a thinker and performer, and refuse to believe that he has lost any sleep over the fact that I place the intended coin into my hand rather than let it drop. He knows where to find me, and can discuss it with me as he sees fit. I feel my handling is true to Al's mechanics, and I would be roasted if I put my name on it. I stand by my opinion that if you do a move, you do it in the way it serves you best. That is my philosophy, and that is the way I teach. And if you don't like the way I do the move, then don't do it that way! I have nothing further to say on this topic.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Feb 29, 2004 02:39PM)
Me either Kirk
Message: Posted by: Review King (Feb 29, 2004 02:49PM)
Dr. Rubinstein's statement, "Performing a move in your own way, however, does NOT give you the right to rename a move."

I think that says it all.

He's all class!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Mike Wild (Feb 29, 2004 04:42PM)
Michael, you are 100% right regarding your last post. When I became good enough at sleight of hand to actually attempt to invent my own, or more commonly, to alter the methods I saw others using, I found that no matter how I decorated a La Homme Masque, or how hard I tried to improve a shuttle pass to suit my hands and style, I wasn't inventing anything new, and was therefore simply using those moves that I learned from guys like David Roth, JB Bobo, and Dai Vernon.

It wasn't until I stopped trying to re-invent moves, and focused more on filling in the blanks of what I found to be lacking in my routines, that I actually mangaged to create originality. I would get a routine down solidly and then ask myself, "How could this routine be better? What moves are unnecessary? How can I get from point a to point b in a better way, and how will it look to my spectators if I do it that way?". As most of us have only two hands, 8 fingers, and 2 thumbs, it became obvious that in creating my own style, my own moves, I treaded precariously close to using mechanics invented by others before me.

There ARE only so many ways to get a coin from here to there, and there ARE only so many ways to palm, vanish, steal, or load a coin. This is reality. So even a slight variation of the basics of any given move, changes that move into something unique to the person making that change. But, as you wrote, spinning a wild trail of precurser moves just before you execute a Bobo switch, dosen't change the fact that it's a Bobo switch (or, if you will, a Schneider classic vanish).

I'm sure Al would have some very succinct advice for me if he ever saw me perform one of his moves, but I do it the way it suits me best. and so, while my performances are not blatant rip offs of anyone in particular, they do glisten with the combined talents of many. I take credit for my original effects, and I give credit for those effects which were created by people whom I respect. And it's out of respect, not fraud, that I perform those particular routines, using their moves, done my way, and try my best to do them all justice.

I suspect that I fell off topic there a bit, but I found your comments pertaining to teaching people to do moves in the ways that serve them best to be very true. So many magicians, especially younger magicians, seem to feel that if they don't pull off the 4 Co Pro exactly like Reed does it, then they've failed some how. I wish more magicians thought (and taught) as you do.

Kind Regards,

Message: Posted by: KirkG (Mar 4, 2004 06:39PM)
Not saying anything, just bringing this up to the front so Al can more easily find it. Kirk

P.S. Just to be clear, I never said slightly change the handling so you can call the move your own. I said, when a principal component is changed, it would be nice to call it "So and so's variation of the Schneider Classical vanish" and then show both the orginal and the modification, along with the reasons for the change.

OK. So I said something! I couldn't help myself. :)

Kirk G
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Mar 5, 2004 08:08PM)
I have been quite hesitant to enter into this spirited conversation but after having spoken with a few coin guys off the Café, I am feeling a bit feisty so here goes.

I have been doing the Schneider Classic Vanish since 1974. It was taught to me by Al and it was a year later his book, Al Schneider on Coins was released.

Since that time many people have misinterpreted his thinking and his moves. Maybe I can clear some of it up. Many people felt that the gist of the move was the apparent dropping of the coin to the fingertips. Actually this is only half of what makes the vanish as deceptive as it is. At least when done properly.

The real work is closing the hands beneath the fingers "dropping" the coin rather than around the fingers. Al studied people and their movements extensively and found that dropping a coin is far more common when transfering a coin from the finger tips of one hand to the palm of another. That is what makes the move so deceptive. Placing a coin seems incongruent. People may not see what is wrong, but they inherently know something is up.

I would encourage anyone interested to revisit the original book, or the newly revised e-book. Really study the theory behind the move as it is key to making the move deceptive.

Al has stated a number or times that over the years people have approached him and said that his classic vanish "sucks". When he would have them show it to him, invaribly it was done incorrectly. Once corrected the result was far more magical as well as natural in appearance.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Mar 6, 2004 11:40AM)
Thanks Frank,

I expect we will here from the man himself in a day or two.

Interestingly, I just saw an advertisement for the Dr. R DVD's and it lists in the contents, the Schneider vanish and Dr. R's version of the Schneider vanish. If that is the case, then what are we all getting so worked up about? That is what I suggested as an appropriate course of action in the beginning.

I never had a problem with someone modifying a vanish with due and deliberate thinking. Certainly Dr. R. has the credentials to think up new approaches. It was put forth however, that he showed a different variation and still called it the Classic Vanish. This advertisment seems to disprove that, so the point is moot.

We can all get into the debate of whether or not the variation is an improvement or not, that is part of the fun of being with a group of magicians.

I am still going to review the DVD myself to confirm what is actually going on. I expect, I will find that all is well in magic land.

Kirk G
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Mar 6, 2004 11:53AM)
A little bit of basic mime/acting technique can be a good thing. Trying to analyze the mechanics of the process without a robust language to describe the internal work and the external appearances can be difficult.
Message: Posted by: Rob Elliott (Mar 12, 2004 02:52PM)
So what exactly is the difference between the two versions? As the owner of Knockout Coin Magic (great stuff, Mike!) I'm familiar with Dr. Rubinstein's version, but how does Al Schneider do it? Is all this fuss really over whether you pretend to drop the coin vs. placing it in your hand? <GASP!> Horrors! Oh, the humanity!
Seriously, what's the big deal?
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Mar 12, 2004 09:13PM)

I guess you will have to go and read the Coin Magic of Al Schneider for that one. Then let us know what you think. Al is reluctant to get into the fray, but his thoughts are on record and he is considering a second Ebook, just on this sleight.

Kirk G