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Topic: Any thoughts / help on "Retention" by Tri Ryuzaki?
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 3, 2019 04:32PM)
I saw only 2 previous threads, and in general I have noticed that many on the Café eschew the "fancier" vanishes. I get that the technique needs to serve the effect, you don't often want to call attention with something flourishy that you were up to something. But some of these moves, like Tri's, can serve effects but can also fit into some beautify one coin effects where you are just doing a ballet of vanishes as a display. Audiences love them too.

Anyway, I am working on this and having a little trouble. I'm hoping people can contribute thoughts of any kind if they have the video or have seen it as well as maybe offer help privately in PM or the secret sessions if you know some tips.

I can watch it so carefully in slow motion since the video shows things pretty clearly, yet I can't quite mimic it. Is the coin perfectly vertical or at an angle? What is the best finger and thumb position? I can get it sometimes, but my issue is that I have no leverage with the thumb. You can't "pull" something that you don't have a grip on. I have no leverage. I gave up for now on using a half. Seems to work better with the size and weight of a dollar coin. I am trying to use gravity, but not sure that is the trick. And strangely, thought being left handed, this seems to be closer to working with my right.

The perfect way to learn some of these things would be they way they use tennis balls in CGI at people's joints to translate the motion to a character. If I could have a coin and fingers that a video camera "sees" and translates to the image on the screen (either split screen with a cgi hand and coin or superimposed), you could move things until it nailed the match. Somebody work on this! ;)
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 4, 2019 04:16PM)
Well, I am not sure of his handling but my guess is that you do not have a big enough bite on the coin with your thumb. After watching the master do it a few times I think the thumb is extended way behind the coin. This would require the use of at least a half. I have used that in some of my coin work. It works good because the audience cannot see the thumb behind the coin. Could be wrong: I am not the master. Also note that the center of gravity of the coin is on the thumb. That is, the con is leaning toward the worker. I suspect that is critical.

I assume you have instructions on the handling. If so, these points might help.

Anyway, thought you might find the following fascinating. ROV has been kicked around for a long time. As a joke I posted the following video to show all the possibilities. I was trying to cover them all but new ones keep popping up. The point here is that any technique that gets the coin out quick works. In some however, there is a lot finger flutter. And by the way one of the originals was by Dai Vernon. Still looks good.

Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 5, 2019 09:45AM)
Hello Al, thanks for responding. And this is one of those strange coincidences, but I thought I should consult some other references on coins and pulled out an old copy of your "On Coins". I swear I had it open when you posted your reply to me! LOL. I thought just reading about finger position and theory would let me come at it from a different angle.

I think what I have found is that this, for me at least, is one of those "touch" things. You just have to play with it. Even with pictures and videos, you can sometimes miss a small point. In 3D space, what is the orientation of your hand and fingers to a reference point like the ground? Your hand can twist every which way at the wrist. The coin itself can also be oriented in any position relative to your fingers and the ground. And you have 5 fingers that move independently...

I think I've got it and now comes a lot of practice to handle the subtleties of limiting my finger and hand movement and nailing it every time. For whatever strange reason, I mastered the edge palm from Bobo 40 years ago when I was trying everything in the book. That just came the most naturally, even over classic palm (I had difficulty at first getting the coin in the sweet spot in CP every time). So still, EP is one of my favorite controls. I can snap it so fast I can bruise my palm! ;) So I am trying to also have Tri's snap like that, as well as not dropping the coin. LOL. It takes a while to get a move down so that it feels as natural and as reliable as picking a coin off a table.

Thank you for your tips. Indeed the thumb is the most important player here. I did have my thumb "deep" as Tri shows, but I went deeper after your reply and played with the position of the thumb on the coin, both angle and how far off center. Mine is a little more towards the top left or right edge (depending on hand). Initially, I purposely put more of the tips of finger 1 and 2 on the face for stability and have been working them back to the edge as I get better to show as much of the coin as possible.

Interestingly, I am having better luck with the coin pointed away, but very close to vertical. It seems the slide down the tips of those fingers and where the tip of the thumb pushes against the coin to both move it down and angle it to the correct position is they key. The thumb does most of the work, but tiny adjustments of fingers 1, 2 and 3 (along with gravity and momentum) aid the flight until the last finger does the "catch".

It's so much fun learning something new! I was getting ready to see how deep a coin can penetrate gypsum, but decided to save my wall and try more on the "center of gravity" thought you had. Now I have a new fidget move. I have to rest though, because a heavy Morgan is giving the inside of my pinky knuckle a bone bruise the way it snaps so hard and quick. I imagine more practice may alleviate that as I find a balance of speed, force and landing position as controlled by the last 2 fingers. There is something my right hand needs to teach my left as it seems to pull deeper towards the fleshy part of the hand and third finger to give me some shock absorption.

I believe your point about finger flutter is very important. Your video (thanks for sharing!) is a great illustration of simplicity. It is natural and invisible. There is no attention called to the fact you are doing "magic". You are just taking a coin and placing it in the other hand. And *** Al, that throw move without cover is still invisible! Beautiful! Shazaam!! ;) I need to go back now and have my fingers move microscopically like yours do. I think if I inject botox or novocaine in my first and second finger, that will help. What do you think? ;)
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 5, 2019 10:24AM)
Yes Al, excellent. The thumb is extended yet hidden , quite a bit behind the coin.

To take the ROV classic vanish to another level, balance the coin on the right thumb, and retract the thumb, pushing the coin into finger palm.
Then you can start on the road to a M Silver type vanish. best of luck.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 5, 2019 10:43AM)
Ok I am giving away the farm with your reading of this. Use a "reattachable" glue stick on your thumb to get control of the coin. Later you will find you often do not need this.just a tip that works.
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 5, 2019 10:51AM)
Thanks for sharing a secret! I promise not to tell ;)
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 5, 2019 11:45AM)
You can also remove the coin from finger palm with the thumb, and with great control with the tip above. I could be wrong, but these posts of mine here, if combined,
might help you more than 99% of the videos on the ret. vanish. Why? because you can quickly move the coin with full and total control in and out of f. palm. No more unnatural moves and fidgety finger work. This looks real. If you can't do it, then glue it. hehe.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 5, 2019 04:37PM)
Your suggestions are awesome. However, been on top of this for over 50 years.
I never brought it up because I did not want to rain on Silver's parade.
And my style of magic is different than his so normally I don't bother with glitz like that.
Silver knows this. When I first saw Silver's work long ago I said, "This guy's got it."
I suggest you check out some of my work. It is featured in Genii magazine.

Here is something I played with. It appears elsewhere in this forum.
This is old, very old technology I was playing with one day.
It was a simple practice session but it looked good so I kept it.
It is not slow motion. I am moving very slow to check the technique.

I find this statement a bit offensive.
"Then you can start on the road to a M Silver type vanish. best of luck."

It sounds like you are doing great. I would like to see a video of your work.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 5, 2019 06:52PM)
Sorry Al, I apologize to you. If we were at a magic club or convention, there would be no misunderstanding. I did not mean that in an offensive way. I simply meant that respectfully, since Mr. Silver is considered the master of the Ret. vanish. I meant that there is actually hope in doing the Ret. vanish very well if these tips are followed. I had to labor quite a bit to figure this out. I just want to help a few others who might be able to use this.
I am not implying that it would be exactly the same as Master Silver's. But if they follow your tips and mine above, it can become a great vanish with enough practice.

I am a huge fan of yours. I don't have to agree with everything, but how can magicians do that? We are some of the most unique, nutty and fun people around. We are unique. hehe.

So I appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to help out people on the MC. Wish the very best for you!!!! a fan of yours!
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 5, 2019 06:55PM)
Al, what are you referring to "elsewhere on this forum"? The video in this thread or another?

As for the thumb move, I played around for a while with something and asked Dr. Rubinstein about it and if there were examples of other people doing it. Coin is balanced on the thumb with the thumb bent under the base of the fingers as it comes away from the other hand. The wrist then twists bringing the thumb up. Momentum and a push of the thumb flings the coin into FP. The subtlety is the thumb up (so proof of no thumb palm), the forefinger points at or touches the other hand (misdirection), and then without moving any finger positions, you rotate the hand to Ramsay subtlety with the first finger now pointing up to say, "but..." or "ok, watch closely". It is quick 1,2,3
Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (May 5, 2019 08:32PM)
The Krenzel RP has the coin on the thumb, held at the edge with the fingers. To do the move you withdraw the hand, extending the fingers so the fingers don't seem to move. Can't say more in an open forum.
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 6, 2019 12:01PM)
Dr. Mike, I believe one of the places that is shown in on the Encyclopedia of Coin Slights Vol 3. I'll give ya' a plug in case your 3 foot tall signature line isn't enough ;) I see your March 2017 "At the Table" Lecture is less than $9 at Vanishing Inc. That is certainly a bargain! Tri's "Retention" is also only $10 for anyone lurking.

As an athlete in my younger days, there was always a focus on "fundamentals"; and whenever there was a failing, it was usually forgetting one of those. You think you know how to play your game at the semi-pro level and stop practicing something as basic as "catch the ball with 2 hands". With that in mind, my summer project is to watch and learn again from those of you who do it like it should be done. Stop taking for granted the CP and RV and FP (and in my case, the edge palm) and re-evaluate them, see where they can be improved. Other than flourishes to show off, it really is about the routines. I know others have mentioned it, but you really can go your entire life doing amazing magic with some talent and good routining using just one vanish, one concealment and one switch! Throw in one gimmick (like a s***l) and that could certainly keep someone busy for a long time.

Re-reading Al in "On Coins" talking about "Intention of Reality", I thought about acting and from this intention actually believing a coin was somewhere it wasn't. You abandon all fears of, "they will see right through this", and instead have total confidence that your patter, misdirection, posture, etc. in the "reality" you created will work; mainly because you believe it yourself. So I just switched in the most blatant, open-handed, touch the coin with the other hand's fingers "fake take" for a fancier move and people are still mesmerized! They swear they saw you remove the coin. Maybe it is some kind of instantaneous "Mandela Effect" or a form of mind control, But it works! ;)
Message: Posted by: gallagher (May 6, 2019 01:37PM)
Great Thread!
A lot of really interesting thoughts here.
The more I hear,..
the more I start to understand(!).
Not only what I'm doing wrong(!),
but what's possible!
How and Why and Where it's developed.

It's nice having other folk's imaginations, thoughts, and experiences(!)
It's like a jet-pack,
for my scooter!
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 6, 2019 05:49PM)
I may be completely wrong. But a dab of reattachable glue stick to the thumb (yes it is easy to carry around)
allows you to do this like normal magicians can't normally do it. Exact angles don't matter any more. It gives you great control.
I came up with this for myself but don't know if someone else came up with this prior to me.

You don't have to rush it if you have it pretty securely balanced, with a little sticky stuff, on your thumb. The key is to extend the thumb almost the whole diameter of the coin . This is behind the coin and they don't see it, while the fingers are pulled back at the edge. it is a joy to get into and out of f. palm and Ramsay subtlety etc. With the thumb. You don't have to make all the funny finger moves. Check it out. Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 6, 2019 06:26PM)
Well, here is a routine I made late one night when I couldn't sleep. Forgot to comb my hair.
Did it in 2011.


Not particularly in love with this routine. I eventually refined it and sold it as a book, Dances with Coins.

What kind of gimmick do you think I am using. (Rhetorical question!)
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 6, 2019 07:36PM)
[quote]On May 6, 2019, Al Schneider wrote:
What kind of gimmick do you think I am using. (Rhetorical question!) [/quote]

A hair net? Maybe that is how you attain the illusion of a coin going in one ear and out the other ;) I laughed out loud about you mentioning forgetting to comb your hair.

I watched a free tutorial by Aaron Fisher, and while I am convinced he and Jay Sankey are a double sided coin (some kind of evil twins ;) ), they both have extremely admirable work ethics and offer quite a bit of depth in their teaching. Watch Aaron here:

[url=http://www.aaronfishermagic.com/learn-how-to-do-magic-tricks/]The Vanishing Coin Trick #1[/url]

In particular, the level of practice to have the throwing hand be natural and the catching hand to really sell the illusion while using your whole body for misdirection is what elevates you from the lovable uncle who does magic tricks to an artist. I'm still working on just being lovable ;)
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (May 6, 2019 07:58PM)
Wow Al. I love some of that. Really creative and nice. I love the two handed vanish. It looks real.
Message: Posted by: Ado (May 6, 2019 09:52PM)
[quote]On May 6, 2019, Al Schneider wrote:
What kind of gimmick do you think I am using. (Rhetorical question!) [/quote]
I'd do that routine with a small TT with a coin glued to it. (Practical answer!)
That looked great, btw.

Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 7, 2019 12:08AM)
There are some methods that haven't been used in a long time or at least not often. I might go fishing and throw my line in the water rather than go loopy trying to duplicate that. How's that for for a cryptic clue? ;) To know Al's method, though I would think you need to buy his "Dances with Coins" book :)
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 7, 2019 02:17AM)
As Silver might say, "Its not the moves that make it, its the philosophy behind it that make it."

Ado: done that.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 7, 2019 05:22AM)
Here is the secret.
Do the magic moves for real over and over.
Boredom is the teacher.
Then, as you do the move for real watch your hands, watch the position of your shoulders, consider what your eyes do, etc.
Do the moves for hours.
Then your body will know the right moves as you do the false moves and you can correct.
Curiously, even odd moves will become natural and invisible to the audience.
You probably know this already. Just do it.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (May 7, 2019 12:38PM)
I think you misunderstood my thoughts about Intention of Reality.

It is not believing a coin is there.
It is about creating a coin there via intention.

You know there is no coin there. You believe there is no coin there. But there is a coin there that you have intended there.
While this may sound silly the idea is that every fabric of you existence communicates the presence of a coin.
In that picture there is only one thing missing: the coin.
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (May 7, 2019 01:16PM)
Thank you Al! I believe I have the distinction now. It is a "philosophical" one, but like creating a backstory for your character in acting, you foment what you desire.