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Profile of mch64961
Dear Café members,
Recently I have become extremely interested in coin magic and have been practicing various slights ALOT. With this practice I have come to noticing, when watching other magicians perform, when sleights are performed and this makes this effects less magical to me. Does anyone else have this problem?
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Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
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Profile of Stanyon
It's all part of the process. Once you know, the wonder is reduced a little. It does help if you watch exceptional coin workers. Of course if you watch the unexceptional you will learn what and how not to do.


aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
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Spokane, WA
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Profile of Atom3339
Mike, The "work" is suppose to be INVISIBLE. Your new awareness of HOW sleights are done will give you insight of possible moves performed to do the magic. But the performance of the effect SHOULD hide the means. POOR performances tend to give away the secrets. GOOD performances hide the secrets well and LOOK like real Magic!

Occupy Your Dream
Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Profile of Lawrence O
On 2013-02-26 10:35, mch64961 wrote:
Dear Café members,
Recently I have become extremely interested in coin magic and have been practicing various slights ALOT. With this practice I have come to noticing, when watching other magicians perform, when sleights are performed and this makes this effects less magical to me. Does anyone else have this problem?

I suggest that you try and avoid showing off the illusory capacity of sleights that you learn. Try and do things to look magic. The way to do this is not to do ONE move that is not justified by the fact that you have to do such a move TO BE ABLE TO do another one, AFTER glancing at your hand destination. For example, you don't put a coin int the other hand TO VANISH it.

You may glance at your left elbow and false transfer the coin TO BE ABLE TO tug your sleeve as you explain that you cannot send anything up your sleeve as this is "old magic" (even though it is not) and that your wristwatch prevents you of doing that pointing at it with the coin in fingerpalm or classic palm. This pointing at the watch is called an Obliteration Parenthesis and aims at placing an action before causing a vanish so that when people (and yourself psychologically) rewind mentally what has happened, the last move is around your wristwatch and before that the tugging of your leeve and not just the hand to hand transfer. After this display cause the magic (blow on your fingers, bring the coin in the palm and wiggle the fingers, tap with a wand like David Williamson, snap the fingers that conceal the coin...) to create the magic moment... and then reveal the magic.

If you follow this type of procedure instead of just tryinng to do a false transfer that simulates properly a false one before immediately revealing the effect, your sleights will seem much more magical both to you and your audience.
Magic is not sleights it's as Robert Houdin used to say "an actor playing the role of a magician". May I suggest that you read the first chapter of the Vernon book called The Vernon Touch

There are much more to say about a simple vanish but already get this and come back for more inforamtion on how the receiving hand collects the coin during the "In Transit" (false) transfer. No human being places a coin into the left palm, a coin is passed at the fingertips: if you want it to appear going into the left fist, (false) transfer it first to the left fingers and after you've shown your wristwatch with the coin seemingly at the left fingertips, give life to this virtual coin by pantomimming it being brought into the left palm (closing your fist) before causing the magic and creating the magical moment.

May I suggest that to learn coin sleights and their variations, you buy Michael Rubinstein's Encyclopedia of Coin Sleights and apply the rules of misdirection to the moves described in this brilliant DVD. Then go for one of the DVD version of Boboo and learn routines by applying the sleights the way you feel comfortable to do them after studying Michael Rubinstein's technical advice. Later on you will be able to go into the David Roth or Curtis Kam routines.

I wish you a lot of success: learn misdirection in your sleights as suggested above and the magic will come back to your own eyes.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
David Fillary
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Profile of David Fillary
Wow Lawrence O,

That has been one of the most insightful posts I've ever read and has completely changed my perspective on misdirection. I will definitely be applying those ideas. If there was one book you would recommend to cover misdirection in the way you have presented it, what would it be?

Mike - I know how this coin routine is done, but it's still one of the most magical routines I've ever seen.
It will most probably fool you the first few times as well!
David Neighbors
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Profile of David Neighbors
Yea Good! Smile And try to think " If it where Realy magic How would it look!!! " Then try to get as close as possible! Smile
David Neighbors

The Coinjurer
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Profile of Jonathan Townsend
On 2013-02-26 10:35, mch64961 wrote:
Dear Café members,
Recently I have become extremely interested in coin magic and have been practicing various slights ALOT. With this practice I have come to noticing, when watching other magicians perform, when sleights are performed and this makes this effects less magical to me. Does anyone else have this problem?

We gave up "magicalness" when we went backstage into the magic shop and started learning the craft. it's all about our audiences now. we have to get past ourselves and look at the tricks through their eyes. it's all about what they experience as magical. even if that means doing the sponge balls. all the coins I've dropped here
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I can't remember where I left my
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Profile of bobthemagicdoerguy
I know exactly what you are going through. I had considered myself pretty well versed in coins, and had been away from the art for a few years. Then, I get on the internet one day and see the whole thing has exploded. I remember watching Ponta's routines OVER and OVER and OVER again and being absolutely flummoxed. I had no idea how he was doing it, and it was the cleanest, most magical stuff I had ever seen. Even with my "knowledge" I would think he was finger palming a coin or something, only to see that the hand was absolutely empty a second later when I was SURE he was hiding a coin there. Needless to say, I got Sick and as soon as I saw how it was done. I sat in awe as a saw the coins dance around his hands in ways I hadn't even thought possible before. Then, I went back to the videos I had initially watched and was surprised to see that not only did I know how they were done, but he was actually FLASHING! I could see coins being hidden where I had been completely fooled before. How did that get past me??

I'm going to echo what Jonathan said and say that the focus shifts from us being amazed to learning how to do that for others. While I regret the loss of feeling amazed as often, I think of it as a challenge to push myself to be better as a performer and magician.

That being said, I still love when someone manages to fool me. It helps me appreciate how the audience sees it. I think is possible to find the nice middle ground - if even Penn and Teller can get fooled on national television, I can still hope that the magical moments will still be there for years to come. And now, because I know enough to not be fooled most of the time, I can appreciate the good ones that much more.

Richard Feynman once said that learning science helped him appreciate the beauty in nature more, because he understood it: "To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in."

... I think something like that is true of magic and performing as well...
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Profile of Mb217
Good post bob and a great way of looking at this stuff, especially after you find out that, like in the Wizard of Oz, that indeed there is a little man hiding behind the curtain and pulling all the strings that cause the magic. Smile First you think WOW! or more accurately, "Oh S*it!" and then, Bummer! Smile

Be that as it may, I am still fooled by magic at times, though I solidly realize there's always a method to the madness whether I know it/ see it or not. I certainly can be fooled and it don't take the SICK hands of Ponta The Smith to fool me either, lesser hands have done it as well. Smile And truth be told, most hands are lesser hands in comparison to Ponta's, IMHO Smile And yes, if you go back and watch over and over again you will see little points where he might've flashed here and there, but you didn't see it the first few times and that's really what counts as it sorta mirrors what a laymen would see of it in a first encounter and how they would overall appreciate it as magical.

And as to the mechanics behind it all, well no matter how well a house is built, it's pretty much built the same ways, big or small. This goes to the moves slickly finessed by Ponta as well. He is using mostly what we've always used to make things happen, just at a higher level with a bit more rythmic flow to it from one move to another, sorta like a flip book, the faster you flip the pages, the better the motion looks in the viewing, or something like that. Smile And yeah, maybe in Ponta's house he has an escalator while most others have stairs but they are still used for the same things, to go up and down. Smile

I too was quite surprise in going through SICK, to see that mostly it was the moves I knew of, with a few nicely updated things that gave even more seeming credibility to old ideas, like his Toss Change used in that Spellbound...Just beautiful to watch. I have worked on that move and can do it pretty well now and I can tell you, it's a real fooler and quite differently put than any change I had seen as to this classic. How about you? Smile I think that's where Ponta really excels, in these little nicely placed gems amidst a heightened flow of movement. Anyway, with this Toss Change, for me there was a lot of practice and thinking as to it to get it smooth and accurate. It really was fun to work on. It's like going back to first learning and all the coins you drop over and over again until you start to get it right, and you come to drop less and less until you are shocked one day that you even drop a coin at all. Smile

I remember once I was teaching my nephew some things as he had showed a real interest to learn. As I began to show him how things were done, he stopped me and said, "No Uncle Marion, show me the "real" magic you've been showing me for years." Smile I was a little sad and happy all at the same time. I guess I had pieced together all the parts well enough to make it appear as just magic to him. All the work and effort to make it look so smoothly that way, was something I didn't want to reflect on either as it sorta reminded me of first coming to learn that the coin didn't really disappear, but that you had to do some stuff to make it seems as though. Smile I too at first didn't want to do the "stuff," I just wanted to do the magic. Smile

Good talk. Smile
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Profile of funsway
There is some hint from the neurobiological side of things that the human ability appreciate mystery and astonishment is gene based. Thus, consider that your attraction to performing magic effects for other is because you lack an gene that allows you appreciate it directly. Any day now there will be pill you can take that will cause you to abandon magic as a performer and join the thong at the Coliseum to be entertained by juggling and wrestling.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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