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Mb217
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While I admire gaff coins and actually have quite a lot of them in all the years I've been playing with coin magic, I just have to say that I find SOH with regular coins to be so much more rewarding. Yes the gaffs make it easier to make the magic happen but usually that's the end of it with those coins. Don't get me wrong I like many of these gaffs here, just as much as I liked them as a boy...Loved them things. Smile

But SOH is so much more. Of course you can mix the two and there are many great routines doing just that and I guess that's the best of both worlds. Again, no disrespect to the gaff industry or the makers of these fine coins. Smile
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prototype
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It's true. In fact, I can't think of many gaffed tricks that can't be adapted to do with normal coins. Plus you end clean and it won't break your heart if one slips from your grip and crashes to the floor(haha). But of course, it always fun to sneak one into a routine to accomplish something crazy.
MarkTirone
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I agree fully. The only coin gaffs I have ever used in my magic is Jay Sankey's half coin trick and the karate coin. I feel that ever other gaff effect can be acocmplished by means of sleight of hand. The flipper kind of visual appearance can be accomplished by a tenkai pinch and production. A shell can be accomplished with a purse palm or front finger hold palm up and with 2 coins stacked on top of each other and angled down a little bit. The only gaffs I feel cannot be accomplished with sleight of hand are the karate coin and other effects where something happens that appears perminent.
Bill Citino
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MB,
This is a great post man. It opens a lot of room for debate. I find myself torn though. Ultimately, I'm a purist at heart and prefer to do things without any gaffs. I also agree in part with what Mark and prototype have mentioned as well.

Although, I agree with everything that has been said...I must disagree in part as well. It's true that effects that are accomplished with gaffs can be adapted to regular coins, as Mark says. I still feel that even though this can be done it still can take away from the fairness of any given effect.

To use Mark's example of the purse palm being substituted for a shell (sorry Mark, but the example aides in my argument lol, I'm sure you won't mind Smile)...He's right, that would be one way to do it. But using a nested coin and shell is soooooo much more honest and fair. The spectators actually see one coin, front and back, and your hand is actually empty. Whereas if you're using purse palm to conceal a coin, the situation may seem fair but is no where nearly as clean and open as if using the shell. Not to mention you're limited in moving your hand and angles to make sure the double coins isn't seen.

I guess I come from the school of thought where sleight of hand and gaffs should be combined to make an effect look like "real magic". Don't get me wrong, careful thought and consideration should be taken when doing this because there are most certainly times where sleight of hand will suffice sans gaff. I'm also not saying that using gaffs all the time is right either. Just that it depends on the effect....

Ultimately, to me, there are just certain things that can't be done with sleight of hand, that can be with gaffs. Just one person's humble opinion.

-Bill
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Douglas Lippert
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Quote:
On 2009-03-17 10:07, Mb217 wrote:
Of course you can mix the two and there are many great routines doing just that and I guess that's the best of both worlds.


Do you have U3F? Triple Threat? Cerberus?

I love doing sleight of hand along with custom gaffed coins.

Best,

D.L.
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MarkTirone
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Well Bill, I have to hit one back at you lol. (oh and before I forget and get side tracked, if you are ever in the market for a coin roll with a coin nested inside a shel, Bill has your back Smile) Just when you think I couldn't produce a Miser's dream of "Vertigo" ideas, I have yet another one I havn't told you about (and yes, I'm really just rolling them out one by one now lol) I have a way to combine the Ramsey, Liwag subtlety, and front finger hold as well as purse palm idea, to hold a coin at the fingertips and conceal another coin behind it. I challenge somebody to give me a routine (other than karate coin or effects where the coin is broken or messed up durring the trick)and somehow not allow me to find a way to do it without gaffs.
jprace
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For me, I try to make my magic look as magical as possible for the laymen. They don't don't know if I'm using a gaff or if I'm not. Only magicians care. If the effect is more magical to them, I think that's the way to go.

But Mark, I challenge you to imitate the power of the Flipper Coin, two coins to one coin, while showing front and back of the hand cleanly and empty. I would like you to show me a way to show four coins and place them on the table, show both hands empty, and then continue with a coins across routine that looks as good as one with a shell. You can't.
--People try to imitate tricks with gaffs all the time, but in reality, the one with the gaff is usually better. Maybe not for the magician, but for the layman. Because THEY DON'T KNOW!

But Mark, if you can do those things please show me.

Rewarding to the magician, but not as much to the layman. Real magic compared to obvious skill in sleight of hand.
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prototype
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I think something should be said about the complexity of gaffs. For example, I am much more willing and able to incorporate a steel core, magnetic coin, shell or cop/sil coin, or even a flipper into a routine rather than a Triple Threat, Cerebus, or Sun and Moon and the like( although I do own a Cerebus coin and I love it, killer matrix effects possible with this). It becomes a different question if you're trying to combine just one little gaff or integrate a series of shells or double sided coins. It is beyond simple to ditch one piece, but to have to work with a multi pieced gaff is different and limiting as far as fairness. It's like comparing card gaffs. Would you be more willing to ring in a double-facer to do a good trick and sneak it back out or to switch to a gaffed deck that can't be shown freely to do only one trick with that deck? I guess I'm trying to explain that with pure SOH you can move on and on from one effect to the next, but to use a gaff there are levels. With a Triple Threat you are limited to effects and you have to get rid of the thing at the end, but with one simple addition, like a shell or C/S coin, you can easily accomodate the addition and ditch also, or continue with numerous effects.
MarkTirone
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Because it is easier. That is my question to why I don't use gaffs.It is easier to just go to a bank, buy a few coins, and go to my routines like that. Now Jeff, do you want me to just lay them out, cover them with my hands, and have them go, or is it at the fingers? It makes me feel better to know that when people are at a gig or at a party, and somebody asks them to do a trick, and you have forgotten your flipper or shell, and don't know anything to show them without all these crazy gimmicks. I can and will do a ver good coins across with just 4 coins, open hands. time for a challenge for Jeff here, what would you do if you were doing a coin effect with a flipper where one coin turns into 2, and soebody imedietly asks you to let them examine the coin, and you have no extra coins. Can you get out of that?
krintz
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I respect you, Marion, for your devotion to the purity of SOH.
Maybe you'll eventually do the Dylan thing, and go from acoustic to electric.
Imagine an MB download that mixed the brilliance of the crimp, and a shell/flipper (insert new brilliance).
And, yes... I hope you do the Dylan thing.
A fan,
Krintz
jordanl
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I like the middle ground-I like sleight of hand, and believe every magician should have at least a few effects that can be done with ordinary objects; OTOH if a shell or flipper can make some effects more magical why not use one. I do a few different versions of coins across, and find the finale of making the last coin fly into the spectators hand does get the strongest reaction.
Mediocre the Great
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I started off in coin magic as a sleight of hand purist. I never used gimmicks. SOH is extremely rewarding and frankly, nothing is more reliable or less expensive.

The eye popping perfect illusions created with the combination of SOH and gaffs is very addictive. I met Dean Dill 10 years ago and I started using shells. Then he got me hooked on flippers. Today I only use flippers socially, but I admit I'm totally hooked on shells. I'm even hooked on hook coins.

I'm now in a 12 step recovery program for coin gaffs. I hope I can recover.
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David Neighbors
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It's not about hard or easy, Gaffed or ungaffed! It's about does it Like MAGIC! Layman don't care what we use thay just to see MAGIC! So If it where realy MAGIC How would look? And try to get as close as possable!
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MarkTirone
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Well, like I said, I can take jsut about every gaffed effect and do it with just sleight of hand and look really like Magic, so I guess I will never need a gaff (other than the karate coin)
mystre71
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Mark, You're correct you can do most routines with out the need of a gaff. But, you'll also never have the clean look a gaff can provide.

Best,
Joe
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Eric Jones
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Quote:
On 2009-03-18 17:42, MarkTirone wrote:
Well, like I said, I can take jsut about every gaffed effect and do it with just sleight of hand and look really like Magic, so I guess I will never need a gaff (other than the karate coin)


Of course you can....but truthfully why would you? I, like most of you, was a purist. I personally felt that using a gaff was the easy way out of a doing the trick. I always considered gaffed coin routines to be almost self working, requiring almost no skill. Examples of this of course being Scotch and Soda, Dime and Penny, Hopping Halves,and Lethal Tender. If I could do it with brute force sleight of hand, it would be much more rewarding. I performed difficult routines for laymen with excellent results such as Sol Stones one handed triple change spellbound from CoinMagic and Chris Kenner's Two Coin Symphony from The Right Stuff.

The problems I've had with just sleight of hand include:
1) If your sleight of hand is flawed, the method can become apparent to your lay audience. Regardless of what they actually say something to you about it or not, they CAN sense tension, in both your hands and your body.
2) You're almost ALWAYS holding out. Sure you may have a convincing display while holding out to give the illusion of being clean....but you're still holding out.
3)Adjustments. You know when the magician is working a coin into what ever concealment because the are very obvious tells. From the "hitchhiking" thumb, to the unnatural curling of the fingers, to blinking whenever a move takes place.

If it hadn't been for meeting David Neighbors several years ago. I think I'd still be having some of these problems. I remember David teaching me to, " lead them down the garden path, then turn the hoses on them..." Since then, I've found that when you combine sleight of hand with certain gaffs at just the right time, you have something so magical, it's hard to reverse engineer. Cop/Sil/Brass by Geoff Latta is a great example of this kind of thinking, as was John Ramsey's Cylinder and Coins. The gaffs make the routine much more convincing than sleight of hand alone. If you find using just sleight of hand rewarding. Excellent. But you're depriving your audiences of a real "WTF" moment of astonishment by not using the cleanliness of a gaff to your full advantage.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it....
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jprace
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Quote:
On 2009-03-17 23:28, MarkTirone wrote:
Because it is easier. That is my question to why I don't use gaffs.It is easier to just go to a bank, buy a few coins, and go to my routines like that. Now Jeff, do you want me to just lay them out, cover them with my hands, and have them go, or is it at the fingers? It makes me feel better to know that when people are at a gig or at a party, and somebody asks them to do a trick, and you have forgotten your flipper or shell, and don't know anything to show them without all these crazy gimmicks. I can and will do a ver good coins across with just 4 coins, open hands. time for a challenge for Jeff here, what would you do if you were doing a coin effect with a flipper where one coin turns into 2, and soebody imedietly asks you to let them examine the coin, and you have no extra coins. Can you get out of that?


You are thinking only about yourself. Magic is not for you, but the person you are entertaining. And there are outs for everything, and I've always believed handing out some props for examination breaks the flow of the routine. All though the same basic routine can be accomplished, the magical appearance will be brought down one step. And Mark, please make a video of your routine then.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Some us are unable to do a lot of the difficult coin sleights. My hands and fingers, already short, wide, fat, and inflexible, have been injured multiple times over the years. I've broken every finger at least once in sports or other activities. My left hand has been crushed twice, once in a garage door, and once in a freight elevator door. I had a bottle of a volitile chemical explode while I was holding it. In a fight in high school, a guy intentionally broke several of my fingers. I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand when I was 12 (knife slipped while I was carving).

As a result, I am simply unable to do a lot of stuff. I can do basic palms and transfers, and switches. But I can't do a Tenkai Pinch convincingly. I can't do anything that requires the thumb or pinky to bend very far (I can't even touch the end of my thumb to the end of my pinky in either hand--just too much scar tissue build-up).

So for me, a lot of that gorgeous sleight of hand is out the window. I can't do most of Kam;s or McClintock's stuff, for example. It's not a matter of practice, it's a matter of being physically unable to do it. Therefore, I use gaffs. I simplify. I use variations and simplifications of moves. I use subtleties--a LOT. I use routine construction and audience management to accomplish a lot of my coin work, such that sleight of hand is not needed. Combined with the judicious use of gaffs, laymen seem to think I'm pretty good, although magicians tend to turn up their noses.

And I'm OK with that. Laymen sign my checks, magician's don't! My philosophy: My loyalties lie with the people who sign my paychecks!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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David Neighbors
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If Someone Ask to see a coin your doing it your doing it at the wrong time! You have to know WHEN to do a trick not just HOW!Stuff like that is I Call " Walk On watter Stuff"
You only do it after thay know your god Smile And you can walk on water! I allways say Lurn your Sleight of hand frist so if someone hands you 4 coins you can do something with them! Than after thay know your good you can ring in the gaff!
David Neighbors



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Scott F. Guinn
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Good advice David! I certainly do some non-gaffed stuff, like Flying Eagles, Coins to Glass, Matrix, my Wormhole routine. But none of those require what I would classify as difficult sleights. But yeah, I agree that it's better to start out with normal coins, and after you've established yourself, ring in the gaffs.

David knows whereof he speaketh!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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