Copper/Silver

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Kent Gunn » 11/28/11 03:17 AM

So . . .

I was looking up sources for a coin routine I've been doing my entire adult life. I knew I'd gotten most of this trick from "Coin Magic" . . . you probably know who wrote that one.

This is the routine. If you go to about page 199, I think, in the book, most of the ideas that lead to this version are there. The tricks in the book are better than this one.

http://youtu.be/Dp0JP1dRXho

There's a bit of Bobo in here as well. It may sound trite, but this two minutes of coin magic goes over much better than any card trick I do. Hmmm . . . maybe it's the card tricks.

KG
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Postby Jim Riser » 11/29/11 04:23 PM

Kent;
HO HO HO. Tis better to graciously receive than to reach for items. Possibly this routine requires a little additional length. Think about it, try it.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 11/29/11 06:32 PM

Jim,

Merry Christmas . . .

I appreciate your gift. I was playing with a new end(ing) for the trick and forgot the basics.

I'll try your suggestion and stretch things a bit.

Thanks,

Kent
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Postby Brad Henderson » 11/29/11 06:57 PM

I don't like the way the coins are placed into the hands or openly switched from hand to hand. Appears contrived.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 11/29/11 10:29 PM

Brad,

I'm workin' on it. It should getter better. Age has caused me to lose the ability to do the palm change I used in days gone by. If I get something I feel looks better, even with the hands of an old man I'll put it up.

I appreciate the frank criticism, especially when it comes from people I respect, like you and Jim.

I can get better, just give me a chance!

Kent
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/29/11 10:51 PM

I have yet to overcome the telltale wrist break.
I've been informed such things are obvious to folks who are comfortable using their peripheral vision.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 11/29/11 11:25 PM

It's not the palm change, it's the idea of putting a coin into one's closed hand via the thumb hole. It seems - fake. Like something only a magician would do. And, well, yes - we do sometimes handle coins like that. But if the honest parts look suspicious . . .

at about 1:08 you put the coin into your right hand like a normal person would.

I'm also not a fan of the display/grip/hold of one coin at the left fingertips with the other gripped in (essentially) a kinda finger palm. Again, it just looks suspicious.

I look forward to seeing the work as it develops!
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Postby Jim Riser » 11/30/11 12:19 AM

Kent;
The assumption is that it is a work in progress. Before worrying about my suggestions above, I would study what is supposed to be happening. To me things seem a tad confusing. I would suggest making an outline of what is happening or supposedly happening. Then step by step go through things to make sure everything is clear and direct. Do what is necessary to accomplish the goals. If a sleight is out, try another or an original gimmick. Spectators may not be used to thinking or paying attention, so make it easy on them.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/30/11 11:00 AM

IMHO JR's got two great items in the posts above - first about delivery and secondly about basic story outline.

In Jr High School (that means back at age 14 or so) it was pointed out that having a coin change into another coin that is the same size, especially one that is not common to our everyday experience, begs certain questions. They suggested changing a coin with a wrapped candy or key. But at least fussing with that stuff gives us something to toy with. FWIW back then was also when the convention of turning cards face up and then back face down was also challenged. Some students also used cheating strategies where they dropped multiple card down onto a pile as one card in a game where the goal was to get rid of your cards. The things one can learn outside the magic shop. ;)
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Postby Kent Gunn » 11/30/11 01:30 PM

Brad,

I can't do a palm change anymore. The advance of age has rendered my hands far less effective than necessary for a coin worker.

I have some old footage of me doing that routine, back in the day. It looks better than the current version. Even then I was not a very good coin guy. The palm change is a better technique than the cramped thing you saw in the video. I'll keep looking for a method that my hands can do and doesn't draw so much attention to the mechanics. I do appreciate your observations. Just wanted to be clear.

Jim, as the only magician in this thread I've never met, I think your observations showed the biggest flaw. You and I share a fascination with . . . that thing . . . I'm just glad to know there's two of us. Thanks Jim! Hope you'll actually sell me some magic props someday!

Jon . . . my bestest pal. Thank you for all things.

Kent
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Postby Kent Gunn » 11/30/11 01:33 PM

Brad,

I can't do a palm change anymore. The advance of age has rendered my hands far less effective than necessary for a coin worker.

I have some old footage of me doing that routine, back in the day. It looks better than the current version. Even then I was not a very good coin guy. The palm change is a better technique than the cramped thing you saw in the video. I'll keep looking for a method that my hands can do and doesn't draw so much attention to the mechanics. I do appreciate your observations. Just wanted to be clear.

Jim, as the only magician in this thread I've never met, I think your observations showed the biggest flaw. You and I share a fascination with . . . that thing . . . I'm just glad to know there's two of us. Thanks Jim! Hope you'll actually sell me some magic props someday!

Erdnasephile, messaging is broken here. I thank you for time and comments though. Email will work; kentgunn@gmail.com

Jon . . . my bestest pal. Thank you for all things.

Kent
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Postby Pete McCabe » 11/30/11 04:57 PM

Kent,

I used to do the David Roth Standup Copper Silver Classic routine before lack of commitment took away my Palm Change.

The one thing I found was that anybody more than 3 feet away could not tell the difference between the copper and silver coin. In your video I occasionally couldn't tell which was which.

I would only do this trick or anything similar if I could use two dissimilar objects, as Jonathan proposes, orat leastif one of the coins had a hole in it.

BTW there's a mini-chocolate candy trick recently on the market, which I think can be used to do this trick. It may or may not fit your personality, but it will have normal objects and be much more visible.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 11/30/11 09:03 PM

David Roth mentioned in one of the early New York Coin Magic Seminar DVDs that he prefers really dark copper coins for effects like the one that Kent showed us. The darkest copper coins are usually the ones from the turn of the century and perhaps not easy to locate. I'm sure he wants to avoid the silver/copper recognition problem that Pete pointed out.

The Sol Stone section of Coinmagic is alone worth the price of this book.

I like your routine Kent, but I also think that putting coins in an already closed fist looks too cozy.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/01/11 06:18 PM

Pete,

Dig the scripting book, lots and tons. Changed the way I do every trick I perform for lay folks. Your book was key in the Sam the Bellhop routine I do and my Cups routine. Thank you.

I don't think I'll use a chocolate thingy. I have another C/S routine based on "A Chinese Classic" from the Vernon book of magic. (I know that makes no sense, you'd have to see the trick)

Leonard,

I will contact Lassen or Schoolcraft to see how to age the copper coin. I think anything to emphasize the heart and soul of the trick would help. Now if I can find a way to make the take/put less cozy.

Kent
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Postby Mark Collier » 12/01/11 07:53 PM

Hey Kent,

A few months ago, a friend of mine gave me two silver dollar sized copper coins that were brand spanking new. He showed me the one he'd been carrying around in his pocket and it was dark brown. He explained that they turn brown on their own but the oils from your hands greatly accelerate the process.

I did an experiment. I left one sitting out but untouched and used the other one to practice the muscle pass, palm change etc. Two weeks later the difference was stark. The coin I practiced with was much, much darker. So I would suggest if you can wait a little bit for the results, just rub the copper coin between your (unwashed but not necessarily dirty) hands several times a day.

Good luck,
Mark (we met at Magic-Con 1) Collier
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/01/11 11:02 PM

Kent;
I was antiquing a brand new copper item today and it is just a matter of minutes to darken the metal.

Get thee down to a local gun shop and pick up a small bottle of Birchwood Casey Super Blue Liquid Gun Blue. It comes in a small plastic bottle. Never mind that it says that it is for steel. This is a lifetime supply.

Clean your coin with detergent and rinse fully. Carefully dry it completely. Put on your nitrile gloves. Dampen a corner of a paper towel with the bluing fluid. Rub it into the coin. The longer you rub the darker it will get. When it is dark enough, dry it off then rinse and dry. Done in less than ten minutes total.

Easy and quick enough for you?
Jim

If you get it too dark, get out your metal polish.
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Postby Jim Martin » 12/01/11 11:47 PM

Jim -
Thank you
thank you
thank you.

:)
Jim Martin
St. Louis MO
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/01/11 11:49 PM

Jim (Riser)

What Jim (Martin) said.

Thanks,

Kent
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/02/11 04:26 AM

They also make brass black and aluminum black. Brass is best for coins but the steel is easier to find and will work. It is critical that there is no finger print oil on the coin. I have found that it works best on worn coins.

Let me know how things work on your coins.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 12/02/11 04:35 PM

Kent,

I misunderstood you. I thought you were thinking I was commenting on your palm change - not your alternative thereof. (Which led me to think - nope, nothing wrong with his palm change, I didn't even notice it.)

It's nothing like your routine, but Sol Stone did a flying eagles with quarters that I always found beautiful. He had such a casual way of just opening his hand, in the second phase, to show it empty. He used the tenkai penny move. I wonder if you applied that to a c/s coin if that could get you somewhere.

Also, Allen Okawa has some interesting thoughts, first relayed to him by vernon, and then explored on his own, on the size of coins to use. He may be able to turn you on to smaller options. Having seen him work with them, I don't feel any impact is lost by size.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/02/11 06:10 PM

Brad,

I can contact Okawa, via a pal in Hawaii and will do so tonight. I don't know Mr. Stone, but I'll cast about for his routine. I know there's some of his stuff in "Coin Magic". I'll look there first.

Pete,

I've spent about ten hours and have regained the palm change. I forgot that I did this routine with halves, as a callow youth. The dollar-sized coins actually make the move easier for some reason. I've got a full-on script, written down, as well.

Jim (Riser), Just got back from the the local gun shop. They had the brand you mentioned. Told them I needed Birchwood Casey bluing. Like you, they told me to get the Brass Black if I was aging copper. The boys at the gun shop liked the copper silver routine. They too thought darkening the coins would help. They were more impressed with the Nikon badge though . . .

To all again,

Merci!

KG
Last edited by Kent Gunn on 12/02/11 06:12 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Clarity
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/04/11 05:42 AM

Coins have been aged. Adjustments made.

Let me know. It looks ok to me. I can't always see all the warts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEiS-d03eOE

Brad, I didn't blow off your input completely. I think the coziness is necessary to set up the vanishes.

Jim, Dude, you rock!

Kent
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Postby Brad Henderson » 12/04/11 12:18 PM

Looks a lot better. Had an idea to make things clearer a couple days ago that shouldn't chance the technical handling, but I may be wrong. It makes the thumb hole insertion more justified and the whole process more open.

Right now you hold a coin essentially in finger palm of your left hand as you place a coin into the thumb hole.

What if, instead, you placed that normally 'finger palmer coin' onto the back of the right hand and kept it in view as you made a fist. Then insert the other coin into the thumb hole. Now both coins are visible while one is being concealed. And the coin resting on the back of the hand kind of forces you to do the thumb hole insertion

Pick up the coin with the left hand off the back of the hand with your left

This also, I think, has great directive energy and will pull the eyes over to the left and away from the right.

Did that make sense? Pretty sure it will work fine for the first two phases.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/04/11 01:29 PM

That's a terrific idea, Brad. I might add, do that, but for the first phase, have the coin on the back of the right hand change in place (i.e. on the back of the right hand). Then for the second phase, you start the same but take the back-of-the-right-hand coin in the left hand and separate the hands, so no one thinks you're just switching the coins in and out of the hand, etc. You could even then finish with the Fred Kaps ending and have the coin change on the back of the spectator's hand, but that would change the routine considerably.

Also, and I hate to say this, but even with the newly aged coins, a couple of times I can't tell which is which on the new video. That doesn't mean it won't work in real life, but I think it is indicative of just how hard this problem is to solve.
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 12/04/11 02:26 PM

How about Stripes & Checks (shades of Stars of Magic)?

This may not play with the routine (nice work Kent), but I used to incorporate the following in my routine:

C/S placed on back of right hand (containing coin matching the visible part of the C/S). LH points to coin on back of the right hand, touches tip of first finger on coin pressing it against the back of the hand. RH revolves palm up opening to reveal change, then LH finger slowly pulls C/S out from under palm to reveal changed coin still on the fingertip. Seems blatant but plays really strong with spectators (if you have any grabbers they go for the first coin revealed)...

It's a pretty reveal and one I'm sure others must have played with...
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Postby Brad Henderson » 12/04/11 03:28 PM

Thanks, Pete. And your idea about escalating the impossiblity is excellent. The trick requires repetition for the vanish to be a surprise. Subtle changes in the conditions with the attempt to build to the impossible gives the routine forward momentum and justifies the repetitions.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/04/11 07:57 PM

I almost like the feint of the direct, studied and suspicious looking transfer.
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/04/11 10:03 PM

Pete McCabe wrote:Also, and I hate to say this, but even with the newly aged coins, a couple of times I can't tell which is which on the new video. That doesn't mean it won't work in real life, but I think it is indicative of just how hard this problem is to solve.


I wonder if poker chips (ala Biro/Porper/England/Crabbe, etc.) would be a viable option?
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/04/11 10:06 PM

Back of the hand thing is showing some real merit. I'm likin' it!

I'm crawling back in my cave now. This little germ is nearly cast in stone. If'n I don't lock down the sequence, I'll being playing with one trick the rest of my days.

To my coin-temporaries, I thank you as a clutch. I'm trying to flesh out a complete seventeen minute show. this effect doesn't play large enough for inclusion. I'll keep doing it for smallish groups though. With the back of the hand idea incorporated, I'm happy with this.

Thanks for watching my stuff. I'll work harder to not put up anything as unfinished again.

To Mr. Riser, especially - I thank you mightily!

Although he didn't comment here, from another place Mr. Kam was very encouraging. That guy can indeed do a coin trick.

And to all a good night.

Kent
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/04/11 10:17 PM

Nice job, Kent. I think your latest handling is really effective--especially the refined vanish.

The single thing I like best is that it avoids forcing the audience to guess where the coin is and/or framing this as memory "test".

(Whenever I see those presentations I always want to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7X9SSW6WME )

Anyhow, I like it!--here's hoping you post the final, final version after you road test it for a while.
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/05/11 04:04 PM

Kent;
You are welcome. I think that C/S effects fall into the category of not looking great on video. Reflections can cloud the effect. Up close and personal such effects are amazing. There is a great deal of magic that does not do well on video - mostly close-up items. It is what it is. I would encourage you to still post under development items now and then for input. We understand that such performances are not polished performances.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 12/11/11 03:18 AM

Jim,

For me, video is the last step before I show a trick to non-magicians. I really don't feel that my poorly lit little magic room is a very good place to shoot videos.

I do the videos so I can ensure I don't flash or my handling don't look awfully contrived. The place where the rubber hits the road is in public performance. I went to a dinner party this evening where my status as a magician is understood.

I rarely, if ever, perform for more than five minutes for a group. Three trick sets is all I have. I've opened with a Simon Aronson idea from Bound to Please for five years. Ambitious, from Stars of Magic then I closed with the copper/silver routine.

I'm no Vinny Marini, but the folks at the party seemed to genuinely enjoy the set. Our hosts at the party had never seen me do coin magic before. They were especially kind.

When asked where I learned the coin trick, I spoke of this place in glowing terms.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. To those who do not, Happy Holidays.

Kent
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/11/11 01:39 PM

Kent,
The real test of your performance is whether you got invited back. And, if so, with or without the magic ;)
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