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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Gimmicks vs sleight of hand (coins) (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dick Oslund
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Once you've set it up ( a FEW MINUTES) YOU CAN REPEAT IT ALL NIGHT, WITH NO MORE SET UPS!

I wrote up the "story" of the Coin Go in my book ("DICK OSLUND -- ROAD SCHOLAR". which is still selling all over the world.

I described the handling in detail. (Joe Stevens carries my book in stock.)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mb217
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Quote:
On Aug 9, 2019, countrymaven wrote:
Some very old magic books say the most deceptive magic is that which uses sleight of hand and gimmicks that are secretly brought in and out of play. Not necessary all the time, but it works for me. I do things with only sleight of hand, of course. But gimmicks can greatly enhance an effect.


Yep, I completely agree...But like my grandpa used to say, "I can show'ya better than I can tell'ya!" Smile



*Or, you can just do things the old fashioned way... Smile

*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Bearded_Ste
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It really isn't an 'either or' answer on this one. There are lots of effects that use a gimmicked coin that end with you being able to end clean and able to hand out the coin for inspection. For me it's more a case of pocket space or enough space for hold outs. If you can organise your gimmicks so that you can easily get to them when you want without them interfering with other objects you use then why not. The main thing is the impact on your audience.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Aug 4, 2019, mkhodadoust.24 wrote:
Ive been doing coin magic for only 4 months, what is an SOH

most likely I know what it is but don't recall the abbreviation

Is this about how you feel about the tricks or what's practical when you perform for people?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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The various answers here prompt me to approach this from a different angle.
There are many reasons why you might be performing. Let's pretend for a moment that your objective
is to have the spectator telling his friends, "must be magic - no other explanation." How might you accomplish that?

The first step is to only perform if the expectation is "magic," or at least the possibility is in the audience's experience.
The second step to to create astonishment - a disruption of the normal brain processing functions of data and stimuli.

possibilities are:

use a gaffed coin such as a C/S that can change its appearance and derail expectations.

use a gimmicked coin such as an EXP [ that allows one coin to appear as two and confabulate expectations.

to use SOH such as a fake-take to cause the observer to think the coin is other than where it is thought to be.

to use a series of sleights to cause the coin to be elsewhere than where it is known to be,

to use a psychological ploy to make the observer believe the coin is other than where it is known to be.

to use a psychological ploy to have them believe a coin exist at all.

to create conditions under which magic is expected and occurs regardless of method.

I suggest that any accomplished coin magician should be able to use all of these approaches and interchange them according to setting and audience.

There may be approaches I have not listed. I am hear to learn.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Jonathan Townsend
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If your method is deceptive the audience won't know whether you used a mechanical table, stooges or hypnotism.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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Three more for my list Smile
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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countrymaven
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Yes I used to think of gimmicks versus no gimmicks. But when you get better, you can bring gimmicks in and out. Without them being aware of them. So as you get better, it is more like I can bring a gimmick in and ditch it. It is more like if I want to use a gimmick, I can, and they will have no clue because it will be gone before they even look for it.

I love this: If your method is deceptive the audience won't know whether you used a mechanical table, stooges or hypnotism. Thanks Jonathan!!!

The problem is I still can't figure out how to bring a mechanical table with me when I need it. I also don't seem to have stooges available just when I need them either. But I will just have to work on my hypnotism. hehe.
Jonathan Townsend
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The audience needs to feel that you did something. Whether you demonstrate some spooky force of nature or you're showing off a mechanical table - it's something. It's the rug you pull out from under them later. That can be as cute as the cartoon bit of wiping your eyeglasses with a handkerchief and later passing the handkerchief through the frame as you clean it. For the table, maybe the coins penetrate though one spot you cover - you take away the cover and pretend there's a trap door. You fold the door closed after the last coin has dropped through the table - eye the area and drop the coins onto it - all but one land safely and no trap doors spring open. You look around - get some help and lift the table. The missing coin was under one of the table legs. Just presentation. Make it interesting for the audience. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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Quote:
On Aug 22, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
The audience needs to feel that you did something. Whether you demonstrate some spooky force of nature or you're showing off a mechanical table - it's something. It's the rug you pull out from under them later... Just presentation. Make it interesting for the audience. Smile


This would meet my definition of "magical" rather than "magic" - but admit my views may have to change (and have been for years)

I will always champion those effects that can possibly produce a 30 year memory of "must be magic,"
or the preparedness of any magician to do so when the conditions are right.

BUT - I now feel that getting any person off of video games and unsocial media to do something LIVE is a good thing.
Presenting "spoking forces of nature," sharing an optical illusion, demonstrating a slide rule or doing sponge bunnies can be a good thing.

I may weep over the loss of new audiences to appreciate 'better magic', but that is also the result of trivialization by Hollywood and marketers.
I am not suggesting presenting unpracticed tricks. Gimmicks may make it easier to do some tricks than learning sleights or even juggling skills.

It is the alternative that I dread even more - a culture where most citizens have only vicarious experience, with little motivation to create or imagine
anything beyond what is fed to them by marketers, politicians, clergy and educators.

If I were king I would require that every person preform something "live and unusual" every week - ideally in an electronic dead zone.
I would be out there performing newly created effects that would confabulate even experienced magicians - but not expect that of others --
and I would applaud the kid who can balance a broom on her finger for five minutes, or push a pencil though a $5.00 frame.

At least, as Jonathan suggests, "you did something." "Rug pulling" can come later.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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padre rich
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As you age skill fades.it's a fact.nobody thinks about their "second act" what to do as an older performer.gimmicks can take the pressure off when your hands aren't as agile.charlie miller said he wished he hadn't spent so much time on things he didn't use.very astute.the big secret of magic is picking the right material at the right time in your life.we've all seen the guys who tinkered w/their acts and eventually ruined them.also,the guys who should've stopped performing all together.sad cases at club meetings, get in the middle of a trick and forget where they are in the routine.clever is better than skill in later life.get ready, it's coming...
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
Al Schneider
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Padre rich

What are you talking about? I am 76, just had quadruple bypass surgery, and a heart valve replaced. Two weeks ago I did an old time country fair. They put me in a tent and I did things like ambitions card, coins across, and matrix. It went great. I haven't recovered totally yet so they put a cot in the back of the tent if I felt dizzy. Fortunately, I did not need it. been doing matrix since I was seventeen. Came up with the coins across routine about a year ago and developed it even more during my performances at the fair. It has become one of my more solid effects. It really wowed the kids. I am just stunned reading your post. ?????
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
funsway
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"nobody thinks about their "second act" what to do as an older performer" - any such universal claim is doomed from the beginning and detracts fro the point of your message.

"hand agility" is just another disability that many persons have dealt with all of their life. We all are more than able is some ways relative to many people, and less able in others.

"Nobody?" I would suggest that most active performers give thought to what to do when faced with changes in physical ability.

I can readily say that I can't do 80% of what I ustacould if one considers hand agility the key factor. But, I have created more new tricks, gimmicks and magic effects/routines
in the last decade than when I was performing regularly. For me? No. To help others, partially. Mostly because I love the creative process. Not a function of age.
If I were to loose my hands completely tomorrow I would still be active in performance magic.

Now, the problem of people performing effects they cannot do for nay reason is a problem. Exposure for one.
I wish that young performers would learn that. To perform when not adequately practiced and rehearsed is a disability too.

I have been asked to perform for guest at my 75th birthday next month. That gives me time to explore the experience and expectations of my audience and prepare.
I have converted a walker to a magic table so that I can stand for 10 minutes. It has a well it in! Such fun.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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padre rich
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Really?you were stunned? all we can hope for is that you recovered quickly.Not everybody can be as lucky as you,al,genetics have been good to you.enjoy life while you can.others are not so fortunate.ever notice James Coburn's hands in later life? nothing he could do about it.......saw Slydini at his last convention.it was embarrassing.i wanted him to be great.the "challenge"approach he did didn't work any more, he came off as an impatient old guy.it was sad...all I'm saying is use whatever you need to augment any decline in raw skill as you age...athletes will tell you, you wake up one morning and can't do it any more.be prepared to adjust...Bette Davis said,"getting old is not for sissies".....count your blessings...
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
Al Schneider
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Oh, now I get it. We should not practice skill stuff but use gimmicks because some day we will be old and not able to roll balls under a cup. Got it.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Dick Oslund
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Hey! I learned to do card flourishes, from Erdnase, in the mid''40s. I eventually could do a spring shuffle (cascade) and, get an 18" spread. I have a picture! I did a shuffle routine for all my performing years. When I retired in 2008, I stopped practicing every day. Recently, I found that I could barely
"get" 12". I still do the old routine occasionally, but now, I'm using a home made "electric" deck. I wrote it up in my book. I got it from an old D.O.P.E.SHEET published by Tommy Windsor, in the late '40s.
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funsway
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Right on Al. Considering that most fast-food assumes the eater has lost all his teeth, sense of small and taste, and is too senile to remember what real food tastes like;
it is reasonable to never teach kids how to cook or try anything more exciting than mac/cheese.

When my Dad was 89 a stranger impolitely asked, "Isn't it terrible to be so old and realize how much you have forgotten and can't do?"

Dad replied, "Well, I remember a lot more than those folks who didn't make it to 89! Not sure about can't. Lot's of things I won't do like say mean things."

....

kind of chuckling at the line above "all I'm saying is use whatever you need to augment any decline in raw skill as you age."

This presumes one can only discover a "raw skill" when one is young. At 75 I am still looking forward to skills I never realized I had before.
Augmenting old skills is a sure way to restrict creativity. To only pursue a skill discovered early on might be called "stultification."

Is using a psychological ploy such as Predictive Vision a skill? Can it be augmented at any age? Can its effectiveness ever decline?

Memorizing the multiplication-table is useful skill - at least the ability to do calculations in one's mind is.
This skill is not "augmented" by using a calculator regardless of age. So, if my arthritic fingers can't hit the right button any more, what have I lost?
I don't see how using a calculator in school is a "skill." But I can understand the fear some may have over the power going out.

Sorry - just having fun a padre's expense perhaps. I am looking for value in what he might be trying to say. Is that a skill?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Ray Haining
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One can adapt to changing circumstances. Or one can give up.
Jonathan Townsend
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Entertainers may use some symbols or props associated with magic but not themselves be doing magic. It's okay to demonstrate skill or do theater or comedy which are also performing arts.

After a trick works and you want to move things along ... go ahead and make a joke or something. You'll know if a trick works when you need to do something to move things along. Al has a book about this.
Quote:
On Aug 30, 2019, padre rich wrote:
...clever is better than skill ...
Not seeing any arguments against clever or recommendations to rely only upon dexterity/skill.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jumbopenny
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On Aug 4, 2019, mkhodadoust.24 wrote:
Hey guys. Yesterday I was having a discussion with a friend of mine on whether to do coin magic with gimmicks or with sleight of hand. I was arguing for sleight of hand while he opposed and was arguing for gimmicks . My argument was that with sleight of hand at the end of any routine you can hand out the coins to be examined and can perform magic anywhere rather than only when you have those altered pieces of silver on you. His argument was that with gimmicks you can solely focus on your presentation and can perform surrounded.

Can you please tell me your thoughts since this is an argument most magicians have and I want to know where I stand. I do own a lot of gimmicks but not nearly as much as him. To conclude my state, I want to know what you do coin magic mostly with, if you started coin magic with gimmicks or sleight of hand. Or if you keep switching out the gimmick for the real coin...

Thanks

Milaad nasser mehran khodadoust


At it's root magic is a puzzle presented to spectators with pieces of that puzzle missing. The more pieces that you keep from them the higher potential for that trick. The way to maximize missing pieces is to combine sleights with gimmicks.
With that said, your coin magic is only as good as your sleight of hand skills. Gimmicks and routining just takes it to new heights. At the beginning your focus should be to manipulate a SINGLE normal coin. Master a single coin to the point that it looks like real magic. If you can master that everything from there will look like magic. If your coin routines don't look good then your coin basics aren't there yet. Return to basics.

Your arguments for sleight of hand over gimmicks aren't valid. You say that you can't hand the gimmick out at the end of the routine. Some gimmicks can be handed out. For those that can't be then you just hold them out and hand out the normal coins. Most routines take this into account allowing your routine to be more impossible.
Your 2nd argument against gimmicks is that you can only do magic when you have those "altered pieces of silver" with you. First, how hard is it to carry around several coins in a small coin purse? Even if you only use normal coins don't you Carrie them around anyway? Usually random coins you can gather on the spot are usually too small to be seen or too small to handle. In reality you would only be carrieing around 1 or 2 gimmicked coins depending on your routines.
Also, why would you limit yourself to only performing when you have "altered pieces of silver" with you. Have routines that needs gimmicks and others that don't. Perform with what you have at hand. Decide when you want to perform, and don't feel pressured that you must.
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