Wesley James

Years ago Wes said, "Here's the problem: do a Spellbound type of color change, but it must appear as if you just touch the coin with the tip of your finger - and it visibly changes!" Wes had a method, but he wouldn't show it to me at first because he was interested to see what I could come up with. Here, first, is Wesley's original method. Two of mine, and one of Geoffrey Latta's, follow.

The basic mechanics are fairly simple, but the timing is extremely troublesome. To get into position hold a copper coin in Spellbound position at your left fingertips, and Downs palm a silver coin in your right thumb crotch (fig. 293). At rest position, from which you start, your hands are held in front of you - though just a bit to your left -and about six inches apart. At rest your right fingers are relaxed and slightly curled.

Straighten your right first finger and tap the face of the copper coin twice (fig. 294). You must move your right hand to the left a few inches to do this, afterward moving it back to rest position, your fingers naturally curling again. Repeat the tapping once more, returning to rest position afterward. As your fingers naturally curl continue the movement, curling them farther. Your first fingertip moves above, and your second fingertip below, the palmed silver coin (fig. 295). Press these fingers together, clipping the silver coin tightly between them.

Now, a few things happen simultaneously. Your right hand starts moving to the left as if you're going to tap the copper coin again, turning palm up as it goes (fig. 296). Your first and second fingers straighten, shooting the silver coin to the left - in front of the copper coin (fig. 297). A split second later your left thumb relaxes just enough to allow the copper coin to fall inside your left fingers. Your left thumb and fingers immediately grasp the silver coin in Spellbound position, your right second finger curls, and your right hand turns palm toward you. Your first finger remains touching the face of the silver coin (fig. 298).

In Addition: Seems simple enough - the problem is to make it look as good as it sounds! The timing is crucial here and the only way you'll learn that is through practice. If your right fingers move quick enough, the spectators won't see the silver coin until it's at your left fingertips. Don't be tempted to try and release the copper coin at the same time that you shoot the silver coin across, because the spectators will see the copper fall. The silver must move in front of it first - then let it fall.

Here's my first solution to Wes James' challenge. It's not really true to his plot because you rub the coin with two fingers, even though it never seems to be covered from view.

To start, finger palm a copper coin in your right hand as hold a silver coin at Spellbound position at your left fingertips. Relax your right hand, your fingers curling slightly. Move your thumb onto the copper coin and push it diagonally upward and to the left until its upper edge is just below your first finger (fig. 299). Move your first finger inward a bit, onto the coin's upper edge, and push it upward a little more. Press downward with your first finger, tilting the coin to a horizontal position clipped between your first and second fingertips (fig. 300). All that, of course, takes only a second.

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