In this version of the Coins Across which I have been performing professionally over the past three years, I have succeeded in eliminating any superfluous counting of the coins and found logical reasons for throwing the coins from hand to hand and in addition to providing psychological cover for the weak points.
In order to enable interested readers to obtain the maximum effect I have endeavoured to include in the description the important details regarding misdirection which are necessary to achieve this end. It was the description of the Tamariz 'Oil and Water' in a previous issue which gave me the encouragement to describe this effect in somewhat similar manner. I trust readers will obtain as much pleasure from studying my effort as I did from the Tamariz article.
This routine requires an Okito box with a recessed bottom, four silver coins, and one copper coin. The larger and heavier the coins the better.
To prepare — place the copper coin in the box proper followed with the three silver. The remaining silver coin is placed in the recess.
Commence the performance with the box held in the left hand so positioned that when the box is lifted the silver coin in the recess is left in the finger palm position.
The first action is to remove the lid with the right hand and put it down on your mat near the right inner corner. The left hand now tips the three silver and one copper from the box into the right hand, the fingers of which immediately close around them to prevent the spectators seeing the copper coin — it is best that it is not seen at this stage.
The right thumb now pushes the three silver coins out of the closed hand, one at a time, and places them in an overlapping line on the outer left corner of the mat. In the process of placing each coin on the mat the right hand turns allowing both sides of the coins to be seen. Do not call attention to the fact that both sides are seen either verbally or by 'display' — just push each coin out with the thumb and place it down on the mat in a natural manner. Pause a moment — and place the copper coin on the mat at the right outer corner using the same actions.
It is important that the audience are given time to appreciate the position and by pointing they are fully aware that there are three silver coins on one corner of the mat and a copper on the other. Remember that in some conditions it is difficult to distinguish silver from copper, and should this happen the impact of the effect is severely diminished. My own copper coin has an owl in the design and I say "Look there is an owl on this coin." It may seem odd, but people are really interested to see the owl on the coin.
While interest is focussed on the copper coin the right hand casually picks up the lid and replaces it on the box, which is then placed on the inner right corner of the mat, leaving the silver coin from the recess finger palmed in the left hand. This coin is now brought into the classic palm position as the right hand retakes the copper coin.
Under the pretence that you wish the people on your left to have a good view of the copper coin, the right hand moves over in that direction. As the right hand is travelling towards the left, the left hand takes the three silver coins and the right hand puts the copper coin on the mat in the position just vacated by the silver. You now have four silver coins in the left hand — one of which is classic palmed, and on the mat at the outer left hand corner, the copper coin.
At this point make some remark to a spectator on your right. Naturally your body will turn in that direction and as you are talking refer to the copper coin and glance at it. The next move is to pick up the coin but it would be an awkward action to do so with the right hand, therefore, it becomes a perfectly normal action to toss the silver coins from the left hand into the right hand leaving the left hand empty? to pick up the copper coin. This you appear to do, but in reality only two silver coins are thrown into the right, one being retained in the left. This latter is moved into the classic palm position on top of the one already there as the right hand jingles the two silver in its loosely closed fist. Without hesitation the left hand flips over the copper coin a few times before bringing it within the half closed hand. This business of flipping the copper coin centres the interest of the audience on it and takes the 'heat'
off the throwing action which immediately preceded it. It cannot be stressed too strongly that no display should be made of the throwing move — from the point of view of the audience three silver coins have been tossed into the right hand leaving the left free to pick up the copper one. The playing down of the throwing move is an important piece of misdirection which, combined with the fact that the copper coin has been made the focal point ensures that the audience will be completely unaware that one of the three silver coins was retained in the left hand.
So far, only the properties to be used have been displayed to the audience and already you are two moves ahead i.e. two silver coins in the left hand, the spectators being aware only of the copper one. In the right hand are two silver, the spectators believing it contains three.
This very strong position has been reached by routining and using misdirection to cover the moves and from the point of view of the audience, nothing, other than showing three silver and one copper coin has taken place. In consequence the effect will have greater impact than would be the case if the performer was suspected of doing something other than merely showing the coins.
The magic begins with both hands held apart with their backs uppermost. Shake the right hand, and allow one of the silver coins in the left to drop from its classic palmed position onto the copper which is positioned on the fingers of the half closed hand, causing a clinking sound. This may seem difficult, but with heavy coins it is quite easy.
Drop the coins from both hands (retaining the classic palmed silver in the left hand) and spread to reveal that one silver has passed from the right to join the copper in the left.
Both hands pick up their respective coins simultaneously, and the right hand is again shaken and in the process classic palms one of the silver coins taking care not to allow the coins to clink. The left hand releases its classic palmed coin allowing it to fall onto the other two coins with the familiar clink. Both hands drop their coins on the mat and spread as before, to show the arrival of the second silver coin, this time the right hand retains the classic palmed silver coin. The passage of this second coin has extra impact because the effect has been achieved without any moves whatever.
Advantage is taken of the effect this real piece of magic produces on the minds of the spectators to secretly transfer the palmed coin from the right hand into the left. Immediately the second coin has passed the left hand turns palm uppermost and makes a casual gesture to the coins on the table and the right hand pulls back the left sleeve a little, and with a continuing movement the left hand pulls back the right sleeve. During this last movement the palm up left hand passes under the right hand which releases its palmed silver coin dropping it onto the open palm of the left hand. In reality the left does not actually pull back the right sleeve, but merely holds it as the right moves forward to pick up the third silver coin, which it does very deliberately, at the same time allowing the hand to be seen empty.
All the movements from the pointing gesture to picking up the coin should be done casually without looking at the hands. It should in no way appear that you are 'proving' both hands to be empty. The right hand moving forward to pick up the coin helps to keep the attention of the audience away from the left hand.
With the left hand remaining at the right elbow as the coin is spun into the air and as it is spinning the left hand moves its coin into the classic palm position. The right elbow gives some cover for this action. Just before the right hand catches the coin the left moves away from the elbow.
The left hand next picks up the two silver and one copper. To cause the last coin to appear to pass across, give the right hand a shake, and open it palm downwards keeping the coin in the classic palm position. It is relatively easy with large coins for the hand to appear relaxed with a coin palmed.
Immediately the right hand opens attention is directed to the left hand which drops its palmed coin onto the other three it holds. All coins are then dropped onto the mat and spread out in a straight line by drawing the hand towards yourself.
When spreading the coins keep the hand over one of the silver coins for a moment to create suspense before revealing the arrival of the third and last coin. As all eyes are on the left hand and the spectators are watching to see the anticipated arrival of this third coin, the right hand is quietly brought to rest on top of the box ready to pick it up. The spectators interest is further kept centred on the coins and away from the right hand by kicking the nearest coin with the left fingers causing it to hit the next coin, which in turn hits the next one and this latter hits the copper coin. Meanwhile the right hand has picked up the box and passes it into the left hand immediately that hand has 'kicked' the coin.
In passing the box into the left hand the right hand moves slightly beyond it so that the extra silver coin can be dropped from the right palm directly onto the base of the left fingers. Without hesitation the box is placed over the coin to bring it within the recess of the box, and still without pause the right hand moves away with the lid. Any noise made by the box coming into contact with the coin will be attributed to the removal of the lid. In moving away the right turns and the lid allowed to fall onto the open palm of that hand and allowed to slide onto the table.
All the above takes only a couple of seconds, and is over before the spectators eyes return to look at the hands, when they see the empty box in the left hand and the empty right hand. In making the left hand and coins the focal point by creating suspense and the 'kicking' flourish plus suitable accompanying patter the attention of the audience is drawn away from the right hand with its palmed coin to the left side of the mat where the action is taking place. The misdirection is further strengthened by the performer keeping his eyes either on the coins or the spectators. At no time should he look at his own hands which would reduce the effectiveness of the misdirection.
(to be continued)
HAPPENINGS By O'Bie O'Brien
Greetings once again from the land of the deflated dollar, the big U.S.A. This time it's U.S.A. and Canada happenings, the NYCAN Convention held this time in Toronto, Canada.
About 350 had a good time on close-up. Warren Stephens with ring off hanky, rope knots and dice had a cute bit with a couple of matches which audience were invited to concentrate on and cause to light — instead the whole box lit. Tim Wright performed standing did Piet Forton's Pop out aces — Matrix — Coins Across and a really beautiful location of two selected cards — card throw from behind his back is caught in the deck between the chosen cards. This young lad who did more card tricks a j has certainly got it — entertaining as well as the jSBk sleights. Chairman for the event Bill McCourt (iffffifflaffl with card tricks which included Rick Johnsson's racehorse trick — Card to Wallet in Envelope — Rising Cards and Joe Riding's Equal, Unequal Ropes. Art Emerson with his Nest of Boxes, also used to carry his act did a version of the old Stamp Album — the hottest packet trick on the market today, the 'Whole Card' originated by himself and Larry West. He ended with the beer can illusion — a la Zig-Zag — I liked it. Bob Little with the act as seen at Tannen's. What can I say!! It was great, of course only for magicians. Lastly Herb Morrissey with flash opening of a cigarette, Coins through Table — and then using his own invention, the Morrissey Chop Cup and Balls showed a lot of new moves that would have made Dai Vernon happy seeing his routine updated using these cups. I guess you could say I'm a little prejudiced because I work for Morrissey Magic at conventions but what Herb showed caused me to get out my cups and try some of the new moves.
Now some news from the Magic Castle. Harry Carroll, a regular at the Forks Hotel on weekends, worked a week in the Vernon Room which is open by invitation only. From all accounts he was a big hit — Vernon liked him. Why was he a hit? Well, anyone who spends time at the Forks Hotel watching Eddie Fechter something has to rub off. Eddie has taught me and many others the value of entertaining. Speaking of Eddie — he would like to sell his place, and if we could find 100 magicians with a thousand dollars each, we could buy the Forks Hotel. I think it would be a great investment. Eddie's health has not been of the best, so he would like to retire and do magic just at weekends — at the Forks, of course. Do you magicians read me?
No doubt readers not close to the magic scene like to know what effects are being worked — here are three I saw and liked. Ray Mertz (a Buffalo regular) showed me the Las Vegas Leaper from Paul Harris' new book. Three different people showed me Jumping Bean Aces from the book Classic Tacklers by Phil Goldstein, and I still like it. Keith Walker showed something (not explained) that Ken Brooke is doing — two cards stood up 'T' fashion, one removed and the other remained standing — no idea how it was done.
Got a nice postcard picture of Tom Mullica's Atlanta bar called 'Tom Foolery'. If you are near the Atlanta area stop by 3166 Peachtree Road.
That's it for now. Satis Superque. I "Obie"
Here are a couple of gags to try out on your f brother magicians. Both require the same prop, j namely one of those long rubber noses sold in v#f joke shops. These consist of a long rubber nose attached to an eye mask.
Cut the mask part off and paint the nose flesh coloured.
Paint the nose to look like an overlong thumb tip. You will also need a normal size thumb tip, however it is best to make this conspicuous in some way. Scratch a little paint off. Also required is a long cigar.
Have the giant thumb tip crushed up in your left hand. The normal tip is on your right thumb. Smoke the cigar.
Remove your pocket handkerchief and drape it over your left hand as in the usual presentation of the cigarette vanish. In doing so, contrive to secretly introduce the large thumb tip into the handkerchief. Also make sure that everyone sees the normal sized thumb tip on your right thumb.
Go through all the motions of doing the cigarette in handkerchief. Stick your thumb in, making a well and leaving the small thumb tip behind (it falls down inside the large one).
Take your cigar and push in into the handkerchief. Act as though you are having great difficulty getting it inside the thumb tip. Finally ram it hard in. It is stubbed out on the proper thumb tip, inside the large one.
By now your colleagues will be wondering how on earth you managed to push such a large cigar into such a small thumb tip. Let them wonder for a moment or two, then stick your thumb into the large tip and draw it out.
Cut the nose off the mask as before, but do not repaint it. To the inside of the nose stick some double sided cellotape, so that it will hold in place over your own nose for a few seconds
Announce that you are going to perform the vanishing cigarette without a thumb tip.
Secretly introduce the nose into the handkerchief. Take a cigarette and drop it into the nose. Suddenly sneeze violently. Instinctively hold the handkerchief to your face. Quickly stick the nose over your own. Pull the handkerchief away, showing it empty and remarking "No thumb tip!" 637
BETTER MEN THAN I HAVE SAID THE FOLLOWING:
You will rarely get a layman's reaction to magic from magician's wives! — Harry Lorayne.
Magic is people. You can only learn to do magic by doing it with a live audience and with new faces all the time. This is the only way to Learn the timing and misdirection that are so important. — Matt Schulien.
I'm not sure what a magic technician is, however I think it's the guy, who, when given a choice between a sleight of hand method and a gimmick method, will choose the sleight of hand method. Then as an added measure will contrive to accomplish the effect with still another sleight of hand method etc. Technicians call this approach to magic the only answer. Box magicians call it a bunch of crap. — Mike Rogers.
Magic is not a suitable vehicle for seducing girls.
The main thing when palming a card is to close those fingers. — Charlie Miller.
Really love magic and do not do magic because you love to show off. — Bert Allerton.
People want to laugh. When they go to an entertainment, the thing they enjoy most is a good laugh. Magicians should capitalise on that.
I am not advocating a crop of the "Comedy Conjurer" type whose work consists of a string of funny stories in the course of which he does a couple of pocket tricks. It is not necessary to tell a funny story to get a laugh. — Goodliffe.
It is not enough merely to stand before an audience and do a card trick, no matter how great the technical expertise; the entertainer must employ all the tricks of the theatre to win himself the approval of those present. — Jean Hugard.
Be yourself. Don't try to emulate another's style or technique. Find your own style.
Nate Leipzig always gave magic a great dignity. He never performed his close-up tricks unless he had the undivided attention of everybody present and was sure that they were anxious to see his work. — Dai Vernon.
If they like you as a person, they'll like your act. — Nate Leipzig.
Nate Leipzig would never lend one of his own packs to another magician for the purpose of performing a trick... — Dai Vernon. --
Boldness is one of the most apparent features of truly professional presentation. — Al Koran.
Charlie Miller once asked Malini, "Max, how is it you can always fool people with these sleights of yours?" Max replied, "Well you don't do it when they are watching." — Dai Vernon.
If magic is to be considered as an art, it must include skill in sleight of hand. In my opinion there is no substitute for deftness. — Dai Vernon.
Lots of amateur magicians, getting the applause of their friends let it go to their heads. It doesn't really mean they are ready for the stage because they are the life of the party. — Fred Kaps.
I find it impossible for a mind informed on the principles of magic and the inner workings of illusion to receive impressions similar to one not so informed. — Arthur Buckley.
I do not subscribe to the theory advanced by many present-day writers, that modern methods have eliminated the need for great technical skill. This is a delusion, since the greater the skill of the performer, the greater will be the impression he makes upon his audience. There is no substitute for skill. — Paul Le Paul.
Magic is a gift. If it wasn't, there would be no Scots magicians. — John Ramsay.
As promised in 'Oasis' last month we will bring this column up to date with some observations on the events etc of the past year.
It must hold the record for the number of different close-up magicians appearing on TV. In addition to those mentioned before in this column, several appeared in a series which ran for several weeks. Only managed to see the programme on which Brian King, Anthony Brahams and Bob Read appeared. All were guest artists on separate occasions in which the audience were playing charades with the viewers — a light weight affair in which the magicians had two three minute spots, thus no-one had time to register with the viewers. They could not have had much impact on the studio audience either, because the producer had decided that they should play to the camera with their backs to the majority of the studio audience who were in groups at separate
tables. Surely it would have been better for the performers to have moved into one of the tables at which people were already seated, and obviously enjoying themselves. This would have given the show continuity and the performers would not have been in the position of trying to entertain two different audiences at the same time, which is possible with stage performances, but as this series proved, not with close-up magic.
Now in its 138th year Punch, a periodical devoted to humour is something of an institution. One of its regular articles entitled 'Country Life' consists of clippings of a humourous nature culled from provincial papers. Here is a sample.
"It's Death Defying! See the amazing Escapologist Simon Lovell at the Birchwood Hotel, Dedham. See him escape from a burning coffin inside a bonfire. Admission by ticket only includes Barbecue Meal."
It is the same Simon who contributes to Pabular. He was recently featured in two national dailies. In 'The Sun' sawing one of their Page Three nudes in halves and in the 'Daily Express' blowing a sheet of flame — a most impressive fire-eating picture — the flame occupying almost two pages in the centre spread.
The Magic Circle close-up competition held last December attracted eight entries and was won by Brian Barnes and it speaks much for his presentation as he had nothing new to offer — cards, mostly with a stacked pack, performed blindfolded. Without exception every performer in the competition worked standing. Does this indicate a general trend, or do they all read this column. Tommy Wonder better known to us as Jos Bema has outlined the advantage of performing standing. See next month's issue.
For those readers who were unable to follow the description of Phil Goldstein's 'Cry Wolf' in No.11 Vol.4 here is a brief description of the sleights which were the problem.
In all the counts the cards are held in the left hand as when about to perform the Elmsley Count. This count first appeared in Dai Vernon's Inner Secrets of Card Magic and subsequently in many other publications.
Arrange the four cards required for the 'Cry Wolf' effect i.e. with the ace at the face followed with the two jokers and lastly the two. Turn the packet face downwards.
<, Siva Count (Jack Avis). With the packet of four cards in position in the left hand, take the top card in the right hand and when appearing to take the second card take two cards leaving the first card beneath the original bottom card in the left hand. The right hand coming in to take the third card brings the two cards it holds square underneath the two in the left hand, the thumb of which immediately pushes the top three cards over to the right to be taken with the right hand. The remaining card in the left hand is taken on top of the three in the right.
Eye Count (Edward Victor). Packet of three cards in the left hand. Right hand takes the top card and when seeming to take the second card on top of it leaves it in the left hand and takes the other two. The card in the left hand is then taken with the right on top of the two cards it holds completing the count.
Spirit Count (Gene Castillon). Arrange the cards from the top — joker, joker, deuce, face up ace, and hold in left hand. Right hand takes the top card and shows it to be a joker. It then takes the second card BENEATH the first one taken and this is also shown to be a joker. The right hand comes in to take the third card but this time the cards it is holding goes UNDER the two in the left hand, and as they are momentarily square the left thumb pushes the top three cards to the right. The right takes them and displays the face card — again a joker. The single card in the left hand is then taken beneath the other three and shown thus completing the illusion that all four cards are jokers.
A more detailed description of the above sleights with photographic illustrations will be found in that very excellent and timely publication authored by Jerry Mentzer — Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtlety. It describes twenty sleights in addition to the above and is invaluable to newcomers to small packet card tricks who would otherwise have to expend
To commence you will require to have three black cards on top of the pack followed by three red. This can be easily and quickly achieved by spreading the cards face towards you and locate three red cards in a block and cut the pack bringing them to the back of the spread. Respread the pack and up-jog three black cards, stripping them out and adding them to the back of the pack and turn face down, hold it in the left hand. You now have three black cards on top of the pack, followed by the thre a red ones.
The left thumb next pushes the top three black cards to the right to be taken by the right hand which turns them face up and drops them back square on top of the pack. At this point it is necessary to have a left little finger break under the top six cards, and this could be obtained by pushing all six top cards over when taking the three black ones, and getting the break as the pack is squared after turning the cards face up.
Immediately the three cards are faced and the pack squared, the right hand, thumb at inner end and the fingers at the outer end, lift off the six cards above the break.
The thumb of the left hand pulls off the top face up black card of the packet in the right hand onto the pack in the left hand turnirg it face down in the process as you say "On>. black card." Repeat with the new top card oi the packet saying "Two black cards," and finally drop the third face up black card, with the three face down red cards hidden beneath it, on top of the pack as one card, saying "Three black cards."
With the thumb at the inner end and the fingers at the outer end lift off the face up black card and the face down red card beneath it as one card with the right hand saying "One face up black card." Next, thumb off the pack onto the table the top two cards (red ones), one overlapping the other as you say "Two black cards faces down." ___!
Now for the really startling transformation. Push the inner left corner of the double card held in the right hand under the right long side of the undermost of the two tabled cards and move the index finger of the right hand to the approximate centre of the face of the black card. The sketch shows the situation at this point.
Using the corner of the double card flip the two tabled cards face up, and at the same time exert pressure with the right index finger snapping the outer ends of the cards off the tips of the fingers as you turn the hand in a clockwise direction. The double card will be automatically gripped between the thumb and indexfinger and the spectators will see an instant change of a black card to a red one at the same time as they see the red faces of the two cards they believed to be black. The full force of the effect is dependent upon the simultaneous appearance of the faces of the three red cards.
By dropping the double card on top of the pack, turning the red card face down, and dropping the other two cards face down on top of the pack the effect can be repeated immediately. This time the change will be reversed — from red to black.
to find a card previous!}' selected produces one which the spectator denies to be the one he chose. A clothes peg, to which a ribbon is attached, is clipped onto this wrong card while the spectator shuffles the rest of the pack. The pack is then placed into a paper bag which is then shaken by the spectator to further mix the cards before dropping in the clipped card leaving the ribbon dangling outside. The performer, holding the bag invites the spectator to pull the ribbon and when the card in the peg emerges it is seen to have changed into the one selected.
The plot is simple and uncomplicated and on that account easily understood by those watching, but most important of all it gets good audience reaction, and that is all that really matters.
You will require a clothes peg — a plastic one is best — and if you can get one which has holes in the part you squeeze to open it so much the better. It will save making one or finding some other means of attaching the ribbon to the peg. You will also need a piece of double sided transparent sticky tape which is affixed to one leg of the peg and a pack of cards.
With the above properties to hand you are ready to perform. A good idea is to have the paper bag and beribboned peg in your right coat pocket where they are readily available when required.
Begin by having a card chosen and brought to the top using whatever method you wish. Alternatively, a card could be forced and the pack given to be shuffled after which you run through the pack to find it and cut it to the top.
Whichever method is used the trick requires that the chosen card ends up on the top of the pack enabling you to double lift and turn the double face up leaving it projecting over the end of the pack.
Enquire if it is — or claim it to be — the chosen card, and when the spectator denies that it is the card he chose, obtain the peg and attach it to the double card so that the taped leg comes into contact with the back of the underneath card which is the chosen one. See sketch. This is a simple manner — the overlapping of the card(s) enables it to be done without fumbling. Give the pack to the spectator and retain the peg with cards clipped in the left hand as the right gets the paper bag which is handed to the spectator with a request to drop the pack inside and give it a good shake to make sure that the cards are really well mixed.
Next, take the peg in the right hand and holding it by the free ends show the face of the wrong card to the spectator saying "Are you sure this is not your card." When he replies "No" take the bag from him with the left hand in such a way that the bag is an open condition allowing the right hand to drop the pegged cards inside without hesitation. It is an important part of the presentation that no actions on the part of the performer suggest that anything 'fishy' is taking place as the pegged cards go into the bag — for one very good reason. It is during this action that he squeezes the ends of the peg releasing the wrong card which falls amongst the rest of the pack, the chosen one being retained by the sticky tape until the jaws of the peg close over it. The audience get the impression of the pegged cards being dropped — which they are, but not until the card(s) are almost out of sight as they enter the bag.
The bag is held by the performer and the end of the ribbon handed to the spectator who, after being asked the name of the chosen card is requested to slowly pull the ribbon. When the pegged card emerges from the bag it is seen to be the one selected.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.