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Jeff Haas
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Back to Matrix...

The key difference between the original Sympathetic Coins and Matrix is the concept of the effect.

In Sympathetic Coins, you spread a handkerchief on the table, you put four coins at the corners, and then cover the coins with two cards. The effect is that you pick up a coin, bring it under the handkerchief and make it pass up through the handkerchief to join one of the coins covered by a card.

I learned a version of this and it's still quite effective. The coins make a nice clink when they gather under a card.

Al Schneider's idea was to dispense with the handkerchief, and to simply use the cards as covers. No fancy flipping the coin up in the air, no using the card as a just cover the coins, gesture, then uncover them and one has moved. Apparently you do nothing.

This is also related to the Chink-A-Chink routine, where you have four objects in a square on the table, cover them with your hands, and they move. There's a version in Stars of Magic. But since you cover them with your hands, it's potentially suspicious. (Although that may not really still plays well too!) I once saw Al Goshman do the routine with bottle caps. It works well with non-dairy creamers, too.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Al Schneider first published Matrix in 1961.

Jonathan Townsend
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I'd like to go with the convention that a coins across where you close your hands is 'classical' and one where you don't close your hands is 'visual'.

These terms are not emotionally loaded and can help make our discussions more productive.

It happens that what was a secret, that it is possible to do routined magic without resorting to closed hands, was let out of the bag and spread far and wide. The 'it' alluded to above is a basic premise about what is possible. 'IT' is no longer a secret. 'IT' was like a cat let out of the bag so to speak. A great loss that what should come as a surprise has been lost. Now instead of the surprise of 'what' he are discussing the 'how'. A true loss to the art as far as magicians are concerned.

Chris's published version of the Visual Coins Across is problematic to discuss in that it is unauthorized and takes much of its mechanics from uncredited sources.

There are issues which can be discussed among concerned parties about the uncredited mechanics exposed in that routine. Such is not really appropriate for a public forum, as the premises, sleights and routines referenced are * underground * and should stay there till the owners/authors choose to publish. Such is their right.

I am curious to see what others have found in their explorations of the options for doing visual coin magic.

As we discuss our findings, I would consider it a favor if we could use the less emotionally loaded language and differentiate between the premise of a 'Visual Coins Across' and the contents of a particular published routine. all the coins I've dropped here
Chris Berry
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On 2004-03-10 20:52, Decker wrote:
Let me clarify "IT": The generic class of this effect. The idea was Johnathan's and now that we know that, (and since he is a regular here) maybe we could stop being ignorant and call the genre VCA. If you mean Kenner's specific handling from his book, then call it Menage Et Trois... he also released the "3 Fly" manuscript.

I am new to this line of reasoning, but I do believe it is reasonable. I think we should be considerate of Johnathan's artful contribution and AT LEAST recognize that "3 Fly" is a handling of Visual Coins Across as is "Menage Et Trois" etc.

You have ANY idea how much time and argueing you would have saved if you explained yourself in the first post?

Yeah, I can understand what you are trying to do. But the way I see it, it is a one man battle. Magicians all over the world are still going to call it 3 Fly no matter what.

All I can say is congratulations on starting a thread full of bickering and not explaining yourself throughly.

Dan Watkins
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With Decker's clarification I agree with his reasoning. A little more description goes a long way, more than a few phrases opening a thread.

From reading Jon's draft and private communications with him, I can see his viewpoint.

I think it will be a good thing when his book is made available, and I believe that everyone that even has even the tiniest interest in the VCA plotline should start with his history lesson. Fans of the plot will obviously need the text for completion.
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"He had alot to say... He had alot of nothing to say..." --MJK
Doug Conn
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Hey, let's not forget Gary Kurtz... He was the first too publish a 'VCA' routine (Kaufman printed it within the 'Trio' routine... found in "Unexplainable Acts".)

For more info on the origins of VCA/Trio/3 Fly: There's a lonnnnnnnnnnng/informative thread on this subject over on the Genii forum;

David Ben mentions that Kurtz was working on the effect in the Early 80's...

Johnathon: Curious, when do you develop your handling?

Sidenote: on that thread, there's an interesting mention of a Kaps routine, which seems to predate EVERYONE:

"In Phase I of the Kaps routine, four coins are produced from Down's Palm. One-by-one, they appear at the right fingertips, are taken by the left hand and disappear, only to appear again at the fingertips of the right hand."
Jonathan Townsend
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Doug you are a bit late into the discussion...

Gary visited NYC and 'borrowed' some of what he saw there. This is not the place to get into details... just suffice to say there weren't that many folks working on that kind of coin material at the time. As to Kaufman's publishing a 'borrowed' move that should not have seen print... well that is an issue between the inventor and the publisher.

If it's important to folks, I can date the three coins going from hand to hand, one a time at the fingertips to 1977.

If you look at the Kaps routine, let us know if he has coins vanishing from a fan at his fingertips. If memory serves, he was doing a Downs/Buckley type thing which involved closed hands and so would not be doing any sort of VCA... more classical. This would be the routine with the glass?

Hope this helps all the coins I've dropped here
Doug Conn
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"Doug you are a bit late into the discussion... "

Late? This thread started yesterday (less than 24 hours ago!) Anyway...

I thought mention of Kurtz was appropriate to the subject at hand (as he was the first to print a "VCA" style routine.)

Thanks for 'the scoop'... Your 1977 date clears up alot.

Re Kaps: The quote I mentioned is another magi's interpetation (not mine.) Alas, my copy of "Routined Manipulation" (where the Kaps routine was published) is long lost. Perhaps someone else will take a look and give us their viewpoint?
Jason Wethington
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Upon further consideration of the Kurtz routine the last phase isn't visual. It is the classic style. The coins of the left hand are allowed to fall down into the closed hand. After the vanish they are pushed to the fingertips. As far as the routine itself is concerned I think it warrants some merits as far as methodology (first to use a shell, First to use the Ramsay vanish of a coin). Kurtz allowing Kaufman to publish the Latta vanish is a travesty. None of this changes my thinking that Kurtz was D'Man when it came to his routines. And "Unexplained Acts" is still one of my favorite hardcore sleight of hand books.

When Jon's manuscript comes out we will be able to see his progression through the effect. The time all this occured was a tumultuous one for coin magic. Wait for the manuscript you won't be disappointed.
Randy Sager
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In reffrence to the kaps routine,Coins In Glass.

The coins are not held at the finger tips in a fan and vanished one at time at any point in the routine. There may have been another coin routine that Kaps did that maybe did that but it certianly is not the coins in glass.
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