Geoffrey Latta

This is a terrific routine for laymen - and it'll even fool magicians, too. Geoff doesn't claim the presentation, but his combination of it and some wonderfully deceptive handling make it unique. It's simply a one-at-a-time four coin vanish that can be done standing and surrounded.

You need three coins and an expanded shell to match. To begin, lay the coins on your palm-up left hand as in figure 540; the bottom coin is in finger palm, the shell is directly above it, and the other two coins above that. All are spread outward toward your fingertips. Say, "I've got four coins. What's going to happen is I'm going to close my hand, take one of the coins, and throw it away." As you talk do exactly what you say, closing your left hand into a fist and turning it over. The shell will automatically slide over the bottom coin. Your right hand comes over and, though it never gets closer than about six inches, pretends to take a coin from your left hand and toss it away (fig. 541).

Continue, "And when I do this, of course, I'll only have three left." As you say, ". . three left," turn your left hand palm up and open it revealing only three coins. "And now that I've explained the premise, we'll get on to the magic." You should be able to see the action of the patter - you're going to ignore the fact that the magic is actually happening.

Go back to the last patter line because the action starts from there. When you say, "And now that I've explained. . on to the magic," your right hand comes over and your right second and third fingers push the three coins into a stack (fig. 542). Your thumb rests on the stacks inner edge and presses downward so that your second and third fingertips can move beneath it and ]ever it to a vertical position (fig. 543). Your right hand takes the coins and moves to the right.

Do Roth's technique for Classic Palming One Coin of a Group, turning your hand palm up afterward to display the coins with one in classic palm position. Don't stay in this position too long or the shell's edge will be spotted. After a brief pause turn your right hand palm down while loosely curling your fingers. One coin will remain in palm and the other two will fall onto the insides of your fingers. Move your thumb onto the inner edge of the shell and, as you turn your hand partially palm up, lift the shell and spread it inward as already described in Cosmic Coins Across. Your right hand appears to hold three coins (fig. 544).

Transfer the coins onto your palm-up left hand with the lowermost coin in finger palm and the shell above it. As you transfer say, "That's three coins left. I'm going to close my hand and throw one away." Close your left hand and pretend to throw one away with your right hand as before. The shell slides over the bottom coin. Open your left hand, turning it palm up to reveal two coins and continue, no, throw one away - at that point there will be only two left. Are you following this?"

"All right, there are only two left." As you say that do the Utility Switch, your left hand turning palm down and your right hand turning palm up. One coin is tossed from hand to hand. The shelled coin is retained in left-hand finger palm. Two coins are visible afterward in your right hand. "I've been telling you what I'm going to do." As you say that bounce the right-hand coins into classic palm position. Turn your hand over curling your fingers. Both coins are retained in palm, though it must appear as if you've turned your hand over and dropped them onto your curled fingers (fig. 545). Say, "I'm going to take the two coins and put them in my hand ..." Move your right thumb behind your curled right fingers and straighten them as if they held the coins (fig. 546). Move your right hand over your left hand, which turns palm up as if to receive the coins (fig. 547).

With a bit of practice the finger palmed shell will be between your right thumb and fingers when your left hand turns up (as shown in the illustration). Your right thumb and fingers immediately grasp the shell, lift it, and move it a little to the right so that it lies overlapping the real coin (fig. 548). Continue without pausing, ". . close my hand, and throw one away. Then there'll be one left." Do exactly as you say, closing your left hand and turning it over. Your right hand pretends to throw another coin away, and your left hand turns palm up and opens, showing one coin. Say, "I can see you're having problems with this.

"Look, I'm going to take the coin, put it in my hand, close my hand, and then throw the coin away." As you patter your right hand lifts the shelled coin and, holding it shell side toward audience, does a Retention Pass. When you do the vanish hold the coin over your left thumb crotch (fig. 549). That way the spectators will think you've hidden the coin behind your hand - you'll see why that's important in a moment.

". . . and it'll be gone, right?" At the same time raise your closed left fist, holding it backs of fingers toward audiences (fig. 550). Open your hand, keeping your thumb pressed tightly against it (fig. 551), saying, "...Right! I mean it'll be ... oh, forget it!" As you say, "...forget it," your left hand makes an appropriate gesture, like a downward swish, so that its back is seen (fig. 552).

In Addition: Geoff does this thing tongue in cheek. You have to if you're going to use this patter and not sound obnoxious. Geoff often laughs with the spectators as he's doing the routine: it get progressively funnier as each coin vanishes.

The sucker bit with your left thumb at the end is Manuel's, and it serves an important purpose. It takes the heat off your right hand, which is in a vulnerable position at that point.

Here's the unbroken patter. "I've got four coins. What's going to happen is I'm going to close my hand, take one of the coins, and throw it away. And when I do this, of course, I'll only have three left. Now that I've explained the premise we'll get on to the magic. That's three coins left. I'm going to close my hand and throw one away ... no, throw one away - at that point there'll be only two left. Are you following this? All right, there are only two left. I've been telling you what I'm going to do. I'm going to take the two coins and put them in my hand, close my hand, and throw one away. Then there'll be one left. I can see you're having problems with this. Look, I'm going to take the coin, put it in my hand, close my hand, and then throw the coin away, and it'll be gone, right? Right! I mean it'll be ... oh, forget it. Wait, I've got another trick. . .

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