Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
That said, one of the things that hasn't been discussed in this thread is that some of the versions named are gimmicked and others are not. The Kohler version used an expensive gimmick that must be strictly controlled or it gives itself away instantly.
For my money, the best versions use no gimmicks whatsoever: just three (or four) coins and no shells of ANY kind.
Richard, what you state about the use of gimmicks is true no matter what the trick - if you use a gimmick, it has to be controlled or your nailed.
I believe when you can mix excellent sleight of hand with proper use of a gaff - miracles are possible.
Take a look at Roth's shell coins across. It is hard to find a more straightforward, direct use of a shell with in a coins across than his. It is easy to follow and simply kills.
With Kohler's 3 fly routine, I would argue that the control of the gimmick needs virtually the same amount of control an extra coin in an ungaffed version does. If you don't control your 4th coin in an ungimmicked version, it gives the routine away just as fast as mismanaging the U3F gimmick.
For me the pro's of his gimmick are too numerous to not use it (assuming one has the money for it).
1. 3 coins are cleanly shown at the beginning and can be handled by spectators if need be.
2. When the 3 coins are taken back and fanned - you can cleanly show both sides of the coins and an empty opposite hand.
3. During the routine, you turn your hands down to show the audience your point of view (showing both sides of the hands).
4. You toss the coins into the air - one in one hand, two in the other - can't get more fair than that.
5. At the end, the right hand holds the fan of coins - the empty left is shown, and one by one the coins are dropped into the left hand while counted - 3 fall, and the right hand is shown empty.
6. The coins can be handed back out if you wanted.
With all those "proving" items in a 3 fly routine, it makes it a VERY convincing 3 fly.
One may argue - you don't need to "prove" your routine to that degree. True - but it's sure fun to do so when you can.