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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Sleeve Pluckers Anonymous (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dan Watkins
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Hi, my name is Dan, and I am a Sleeve Plucker…

I was just reading in one of the other active threads a couple posts mentioning the art of sleeve plucking with minor distain.

As to not hijack the thread, I thought I would make it a separate topic.

So who is a Sleeve Plucker? Someone who produces a coin from the outer fabric of his sleeve…

Troy Hooser’s “exTROYdinary” routine probably popularized the sequence most recently, but other pluckers are most notably recognized such as David Williamson, David Roth (flurry), Chris Korn, Homer Liwag, etc. etc.

In effort to produce several coins one at a time from the hands, there are a limited number of methods available… What is common to the methods is that the hands are holding out several coins and they need to be brought into view.

The easiest most direct thing would be to one at a time push the coins up to the fingertips, throwing in a shuttle pass here or there, and a retention pass vanish and reproduction for good measure, etc. While with proper technique this can be done quite deceptively, it puts all the focus where the coins are… in your hands. I have performed and seen performed routines where you show an empty hand, produce one coin, and in the act of tossing the coin from hand to hand, more and more coins appear. In this case, the focus on the hands is good.

So what does Sleeve Plucking accomplish? It’s only reason for existence is to shift the focus from your hands to another place. In truth, the coins still come from your hands, but you are attempting to sell a different story to your audience. When recollecting and describing the effect, they will say, “He made the coins come out of his bicep.”

Other notable plucking places have also been created to take the focus off of the hands:

“Purse frame pluckers”
“Eye socket pluckers”
“Ear pluckers” (credit: some ancient guy’s grandpa)
“Mouth pluckers”
“Through the trouser pluckers”
“Neck pluckers”
“Nose pluckers”

I have even seen “Crotch pluckers” – yes it’s a cheap laugh.

I’ll stop there.

I understand that many plucking places have been explored in detail in the past, when producing coins there are only so many places to pluck from.

Most logical people know that the coins must have been in the hands all along. Plucking from a place simply shifts the attention from the hands to the pluck place. Hopefully the audience is drawn in and goes with the illusion created and allows themselves to be carried along.

What’s wrong with the sleeve? Is it any less or more of a pluck place than other objects or orifices?

I say no.

Has it been done many times by many magicians over the past decades? Yep. Does a lay audience know this? I say no.

But, for those who don’t like pluck places, is there any harm in trying to shift the audience attention away from the hands?

I say no.

What say you?
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Jonathan Townsend
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Rather than groping for excuses, then seeking excuses for groping, perhaps one might begin with a magical premise then find suitable methods to realize the magic for audiences.

The equating of "plunking" and other forms of self gratifying though well intended behaviors seems quite obvious and when one gets involved with others one does need to learn to focus on gratifying THEIR need for entertainment.

Plunk all you want for yourself. When in public and in company you might want to give them something more than just the sight of you touching yourself.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan Watkins
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Jon pulling coins from behind ears or arms is hardly a self gratifying touching of oneself, please be serious.

What you said about starting with a premise, and finding suitible methods to realize the magic is good advice.

Starting with the premise that I keep coins invisible hanging on my biceps and continuing on...
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Jonathan Townsend
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It's all good Dan.

If you've got the internal logic for why you put coins there, why the coins stay there and can go with it by all means do what works for you.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan Watkins
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What I am interested in is those who don't like it and why, and how they would prefer to magically produce several coins. Just do it straight forward?

I personally don't see a major issue with sleeve plucking, its not the only way I produce them though. I like that production for subjective aesthetic reasons for a stand up chest level type routine.

For closer routines if I want to magically produce coins, I prefer the in the hands sequences. Mike Ammar's Sonic Squeeze comes to mind as a very simple example.

I also personally perform a very direct re-production sequence very fast paced in my Cylinder routine, which is essentially pushing a coin to my fingertips, tabling it, and repeating 2 or 3 more times depending on the amount of coins. In that sequence I was just shooting for a quick rapid fire production. Different goal.
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JTW
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Who started the thing in the first place? The first I saw was Liwag, was it published in Magic Man Examiner? Not near my magazines currently Dan off the top of your head do you remember? Homer used it for a joke.

I also like the Ramsay type production looking at one place while the coin is produced elsewhere.

Internal logic is paramount for a good sequence- I would say external motivation could qualify as well- Reacting to the environment maybe. Should the audience be aware of the logic to make sense to them? Should they be left to their own devices to figure out the why?
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-10-24 13:21, Dan Watkins wrote:
What I am interested in is those who don't like it and why, and how they would prefer to magically produce several coins. ...


From L'Homme Masque to T. Nelson Downs to Al Flosso and Jeff McBride and Jeff Sheridan today, it seems to be a theme that one produces the coins from the air and from other people's ears, sleeves and pockets. I'd go with their example until the muses suggest something better.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan Watkins
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JTW, Troy Hooser's routine was in Magic Man Examiner with the sleeve plucks.

Chris Korn told me they all did that stuff back then but recalls Troy doing it first.

I seem to remember Dave Williamson using it too for a coin production, am I right on that?

Jon, producing from the spectator is good interactivity, I like that as well. Gary Kurtz' "Full Frontal Assault" also pops to mind; combined spectator productions with some nice production vanish sequences himself.
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JTW
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I have seen Williamson use it in person. Whether he has published it or not I don't know for sure.
Okami
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Williamson published it on his Sleight of Dave DVD.
JTW
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Thanks Okami...there to my rescue for the second time today!
cheers,
JTW
wsduncan
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Oh, for Pete's sake. People have been producing coins from other people's clothing (and their own) for years. Are we seriously going to try and lay credit for this on someone from twentieth century?

When working the Miser’s Dream the magician “finds” coins all around the environment. I believe the Down’s text (or perhaps Bobo’s) mentions that one should limit the number of coins that are plucked from the air because it attracts undue attention to the hands. One should find coins in places where they might actually hide, such as a spectator’s tie, or a curtain.

It’s not a huge jump to realize that you might find a coin, then, on your own sleeve. It’s always there and doesn’t invade anyone’s personal space.

As for finding coins on your own sleeve, well, where else would you keep your magic coins? Isn’t that where we keep EVERYTHING?
Dan Watkins
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Wsduncan,

I don't think we were trying to credit producing a coin from someone else's clothing as a stand alone item, but rather only the more recent popular 3 coin production/vanish/reproduction sequences that often utilize the sleeve as a production place. Many people have these routines, I'm squarely on the bandwagon here as well.
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JTW
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Bill you are right people have been finding coins on sleeves for a long time. I think the person responsible for popularizing the technique recently would be Hooser. that's what I was trying to get.
Dan Watkins
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Troy Hooser's routine is where I first started playing with it. My "outsDANding" routine is named after Troy's "exTROYdinary", because his routine had a very big influence on my handling.
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wsduncan
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JTW,
Troy is a fine fellow. I enjoyed his lecture here in Seattle last year very much and had an enjoyable dinner with him afterwards. I wouldn't want to take anything away from him.

BUT, crediting him with producing a coin from his sleeve, or even popularizing the act, is like giving David Blaine credit for popularizing Fechter’s trick “Be Honest, What Is It?” or giving Bob Dylan credit for popularizing the electric guitar.

Best,
bill
MJ Marrs
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I think that the illusion of plucking coins from one's sleeves is VERY logical. Afterall, all magicians use smoke and mirrors and their sleeves, right?

Opening with a remark such as, "a lot of people think that magicians have stuff hidden up their sleeves; well, they're absoulutely right..." while proceeding to extract coins from the sleeve fabric sets up a premise that is a lot more plausible than plucking coins from thin air. At least with sleeve plucking we're admitting, to the spectators delight, using our sleeves while still carrying out the seemingly impossible task of getting coins to come out of the fabric without destroying it.
Of course plucking coins from the air or taking them from a purse frame is still fun to watch, and is something that I won't get rid of from my performances; but I'm glad that guys such as Hooser and Watkins have brought the idea of using my sleeves to my attention.
doug brewer
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Dan: You crack me up, man. Great thread title
Dan LeFay
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Just returned from a gig with totally unmotivated (but hopefully good executed) close-up magic on a boat. My only goal was to enjoy the guests and myself, do good magic, talk about magic and interact with them. We had a ball!

Tomorrow a brunch-time motivational speech with all motivated stand up routines.
Tomorrow night a formal diner close-up show at a private party where I will only do the things one can normally do in formal settings (Dean's Box, Cylinder & Coins, Gypsy Curse, a coin-assembly, a routine based on Derren Brown's Smoke and Cups and Balls.

I feel privileged to have such a variety in venues. I feel even more privileged to be able to do "mindless sleeve-plucking" as well as explaining lateral thinking by means of the Freer tile-puzzle.

There IS room for everything!
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
mike gallo
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Quote:
On 2005-10-24 15:27, JTW wrote:
Bill you are right people have been finding coins on sleeves for a long time. I think the person responsible for popularizing the technique recently would be Hooser. that's what I was trying to get.


JTW, Troy does a fine job of plucking...but I would hardly give him any credit to popularising it. Slydini was plucking before Troy was born with his fly-Away coin routine...a routine in one form or another by many people today is still being done. Then you have David Roth with his Flurry routine which is a standing variation of the Slydini routine...done long before Troy. Al Schnieder's Tri-vanish, while not true to plucking...there has been variations of it where plucking was involved. There has been a host of Mother Pluckers down the pike...so get plucked...it's here to stay!!!

Mike
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