Three Fly

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/10/02 08:34 AM

Hey folks,
I'm thinking about starting to work on a Three Fly routine, and I'd like to know which of the many versions out there you'd recommend. Being a hobbiest, Bob Kohler's version is, unfortunately, out of my price range. So that leaves me with the versions from Kenner, Daryl, Wilson, and others. From what I understand, Kenner's unpublished version is the best ungimmicked routine out there. How is the published one, though? And what about the others? Are there any versions that I haven't mentioned that are worth looking at? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
Jim
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/10/02 09:18 AM

Why not take what you know of the effect and work out your own personal handling?
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 05/10/02 09:32 AM

Troy Hooser has a very good method (called Simplify Three Fly I believe) that was printed in "Magic" magazine a few months ago and is in his excellent book "DesTroyers". Saw him do it at a lecture. It looks very good and not difficult to do.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/10/02 11:08 AM

You might want to look up versions by:

Chris Kenner (the manuscript is available used, his book "Out of Control/Totally Out of Control" has a more detailed description")

Daryl -- his "Three Fly III" is available as a manuscript and he teaches it as a workshop (or at least he did a couple of years ago).

Paul Wilson -- "Scottish Fly" which was printed in Genii, I think.

Troy Hooser -- Can't remember the name, appeared in a recent Magic Magazine (i.e. after Joshua Jay took over the tricks section).

Kenner's is the hardest. Daryl's and Paul's are, for me anyway, easier (and equally so). I think Troy's is on a par with Daryl's and Paul's, although I didn't read it very carefully. (Sorry Troy!)

Daryl's is the longest, most involved routine. Also the only one I know of where you end clean (although you can add your own complete vanish of the final coin to any of the other routines and achieve the same result.)

If you are just starting out with this routine I recommend Daryl's manuscript as -- due to its length -- it will give you a good variety of techniques from which you can develop your own routine.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/10/02 11:38 AM

Thanks for the responses so far, guys!

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Paul Wilson -- "Scottish Fly" which was printed in Genii, I think.
Is this different from his "Crowded Coins" at all? If so, do you know which issue of Genii it was in?

Troy Hooser -- Can't remember the name, appeared in a recent Magic Magazine (i.e. after Joshua Jay took over the tricks section).
He has a couple of versions in his book DesTROYers, which I own. I believe that the routine in MAGIC was "Three Fly Simplify"

I'll probably end up looking at all of these and combining them along with my own ideas to make my own version. Thanks guys!

-Jim
PS - Eric DeCamps mentioned on this board about a year ago that he was working on a manuscript where he was going to write up Jonathan Townsend's original version as well as three of his own variations. I've e-mailed him to ask when he thinks this will be available, but he hasn't responded yet. Does anyone have any info on this?
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Postby Guest » 05/10/02 12:43 PM

Curtis Kam has a very nice version in his book "Professional close up", which is full with practical material, and a very easy version can be found on Mark Mason's "Real World Magic" tapes, but Bob Kohlers is the absolute Killer!
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Postby walkinoats » 05/10/02 04:11 PM

Is there a online video demo of Bob Kohlers version of 3 fly somewhere?

thanks,
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Postby Brian Marks » 05/10/02 10:59 PM

Eric DeCamps hasn't gotten around to doing his manuscript on three fly yet due to various circumstances. He still has an intention of doing it. You might want to check out the Jonthan Townson thread on this site as it contains various information on three fly.

I would recommend crowded coins by Paul Wilson on his Knock em Dead video. I use it all the time.
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Postby Guest » 05/11/02 04:20 PM

Back in the mid 80's I did a version of the coins across at a TAOM contest, where the last coin appeared in the fingertips next to the other two. I started working on this after reading something in one of the magic publications (I think it was Genii) about Manuel. I am going strictly from memory but I think it was in a Magicana, Light from the lamp, or something like that... I long ago sold most of my books, and went on a magical hiatus of several years. If anyone has a collection of the 80's era magazines they may be able to find it.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/11/02 08:22 PM

While I used to think David Roth's theory that T. Nelson Downs did a fingertip coins across was wacky, I recently discussed it with him in greater detail and he's beginning to win me over.
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.
Chris Kenner's version in "Out of Control" is gangbusters stupdendous! Paul Wilson's version in Genii, "Scottish Fly" is also excellent (and easier).
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/11/02 08:40 PM

Richard,
Do you know which issue of Genii "Scottish Fly" appeared in, and if it's different than his "Crowded Coins" that's on his "Knock 'Em Dead" video? Thanks!

Brian -- thanks for the update on Eric DeCamps's book.

-Jim
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/11/02 09:37 PM

Absolutely cannot remember when "Scottish Fly" appeared in Genii. Must be within the last two years!
Also have no idea if it's the same as the other routine you cite. Perhaps Paul will check in and answer your questions himself!
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/12/02 08:44 AM

Well, it was before I subscribed, which was August of 2000, so I guess that narrows it down a bit!

Ah! I just checked the back issues listed on the website -- it appeared in July 1999. I'll have to check that out. Now, if anyone knows what the difference is between this and "Crowded Coins," I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!
-Jim
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 05/12/02 10:05 AM

As a magician-fan, I appreciate the underlying concept that seems to "drive" the Three-Fly Effect and all its variations. Jonathan Townsend of course is the unsung hero of this trendy business. As a magician, I also personally celebrate all of the routines; HOWEVER...

...unless you carefully and deliberately present it, the routine has a whiff of "CONFUSION" about it. The elements of misdirection are also too obvious. Lay people are likely to say, "Wait a minute! Do that again..." (And they DO...)

The most clarified routine I've ever seen is by Norman Beck. He uses poker chips. Two are black; one is red. Only the RED chip invisibly travels. THERE IS NO CONFUSION.

Onward...
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/12/02 11:22 AM

Jon -- I'll admit to not having seen a lot of Three Fly routines. I saw Troy Hooser perform his, and a few years ago I saw Jamy Ian Swiss perform one. I do understand your point about the confusion, and it's something I'm going to try and take into consideration.

Richard -- can I put back issues of Genii as well as one of your books in the same order? On the website, there's two different places to order from, one for back issues, and one for books. I'd like to pick up Totally Out of Control as well as the July 1999 issue of Genii, with "Scottish Fly." Thanks!

-Jim
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/12/02 02:04 PM

Jim,
Genii and Kaufman and Company are two separate entities, so you need to order the items separately IF you order online.
You CAN order both together if doing it by phone:
(301) 552-5800 during East Coast business hours.
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Postby Matt Sedlak » 05/13/02 12:22 AM

Jon brings up some good points about the weaknesses of the Fingertips Coins Across premise. I would also like to mention a few others. First is the hand position. While the coins are being held at the fingertips, the audience cannot see into the hands, which can be suspicious. There are of course ways around that but it depends on the routine. Also, the fact is that the hands should never come near each other during the routine. While that is true of all coins across routines, the visibility of this particular plot makes it stand out.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/13/02 08:27 AM

Frankly, 3 fly (to me) is almost a 1 on 1 for magicians to view - laymen? A lot of easier, better stuff is around.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/13/02 08:27 AM

1 on 1 stuff is ok, just depends on who you are working for, trying to impress, etc. :rolleyes:
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Postby Steve Bryant » 05/13/02 08:51 AM

I've seen Chris Kenner do it for a small computer trade show, and it played very strong. Of course Chris is a strong entertainer and he has a killer ending that is still not published (as far as I know) . (Genii should do a story on Chris some day. How does a guy get from Mr. Three-Fly to Binky the Clown? Ah, the stories he could tell.)
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/13/02 09:15 AM

Richard -- I thought "Totally Out Of Control" was still available. At least, that's what you said in another thread about a month ago. I just got an e-mail about my order saying that it was out of print and unavailable. Should I start searching the used book places?

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 05/13/02 10:16 AM

I agree with those who say that Kenner's unpublished handling is the best. And the best part of all is his follow up effect, for those who've seen it. And Jim, if it is out of print, someone on the forum was selling a copy (paum, I believe).
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 05/13/02 01:56 PM

I believe the Ricki Dunn issue had Paul Wilson's Scottish Fly in it. It is a well thought out method and not difficult to learn. I have seen Paul perform this and follow with a four coin effect which I would like him to also put in the magazine for me to learn.

Larry
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 05/14/02 03:03 PM

3-Fly can have a great effect on laymen. Just last night at Monday Night Magic I saw Jamy Ian Swiss do an extremely clean version close-up for some laymen and it got a very good reaction. His patter was in the same family as "I can't do it any slower," which seemed to mitigate the confusion factor Jon mentioned in his posting....
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Postby Guest » 05/16/02 08:52 AM

walkinoast: You will never see any filmed demo of Bob Kohler's U3F. U3F owners haven't got the rights to do so (and they certainly don't want to spoil such a great routine neither).

Daryl's handling is an unclimaxed routine, do not make the mistake to work his version first.

The version in print in "Out of control" (menage et trois) is a good one and give you a solid base to come up with your personal handling. You can get ideas to simplify the handling (especially for the second coin) in three fly simplifed (DesTROYers) or in Wilson's handling.
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Postby Guest » 05/16/02 10:13 AM

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.
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Postby Brian Marks » 05/16/02 01:12 PM

If you get caught with a gimmick, you lose all credibility. Your spectators will think all your tricks must somehow be done with gimmicks.

If you get caught with an extra coin, you at least get credit for sleight of hand, not that this is much of a consilation but at least you get credit for having skill.

With the Bob Kohler gimmick, you can not hand out the coins. This alone can be suspicious because people are not familiar with dollar coins. I have seen people kill with this gimmick but I prefer doing a sleight of hand version. I can hand the coins out for examination than.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/16/02 01:27 PM

Originally posted by Brian Marks:
If you get caught with a gimmick, you lose all credibility. Your spectators will think all your tricks must somehow be done with gimmicks.

If you get caught with an extra coin, you at least get credit for sleight of hand, not that this is much of a consilation but at least you get credit for having skill.

With the Bob Kohler gimmick, you can not hand out the coins. This alone can be suspicious because people are not familiar with dollar coins. I have seen people kill with this gimmick but I prefer doing a sleight of hand version. I can hand the coins out for examination than.
From what I understand, with Bob Kohler's version, the coins can be handed out at the beginning and end. That's all that's necessary -- to hand them out for examination in the middle of the routine would just slow things down too much and is not necessary.

That being said, the way I feel is that I'm not going to base my methods on what a spectator would think if they found out the secret. I base my methods on what is deceptive and what works.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 05/16/02 02:11 PM

Originally posted by Brian Marks:
If you get caught with a gimmick, you lose all credibility. Your spectators will think all your tricks must somehow be done with gimmicks.

If you get caught with an extra coin, you at least get credit for sleight of hand, not that this is much of a consilation but at least you get credit for having skill.

With the Bob Kohler gimmick, you can not hand out the coins. This alone can be suspicious because people are not familiar with dollar coins. I have seen people kill with this gimmick but I prefer doing a sleight of hand version. I can hand the coins out for examination than.
Brian,

Thats a pretty fearful position to take in magic if you get caught with a gimmick you lose all credibility. As most magic is sleight of hand and/or use of some concealed apparatus, if you eliminate using the concealed apparatus, you eliminate a lot of strong, powerful bits of magic available to you.

T. Nelson Downs had legendary sleight of hand ability with coins, read his books, you will find many coin gaffs.

David Roth is a revolutionary coin magician, is a superb sleight of hand magician, he publishes routines using gaffs.

Bob Kohler I can attest has most excellent sleight of hand skill with coins, yet he created U3F.

Paul Wilsons sleight of hand Crowded Coins has been talked about in this thread, yet Paul now uses the U3F gaff integrated into his Crowded Coins routine there must be a reason why

At Bob Kohlers website www.bobkohlermagic.com, in the tips section, he writes, All moves must be perfected and work 100% of the time in order for a routine to be finished. Drops , flashes and excuses are unacceptable. It would be a safe bet that Bob has perfected his handling of U3F to the point that getting caught just is not an issue.

We are not perfect beings. Even the best of us can screw up. I would say that a screw up is a screw up regardless of whether it was a sleight of hand screw up or a gimmick mishandling. I would not go so far as to say one loses all credibility in either event. But I would not take any solace into convincing myself a sleight of hand screw up is better than another type. In the end, its just bad any way you look at it.

Regarding handing out the coins It is up to you whether you want to do this, the fact that they are strange old silver dollars might just be a reason why you would like people to see them, you can let them see it and tell them a bit about them they are interesting. And you sure can hand out the U3F coins, Bob actually instructs to do so on the video that comes with the set.

Dan
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Postby Guest » 05/16/02 03:01 PM

Regarding the more recent posts above, I now feel, even more than before, when I made my first post on this topic, that Kenner's follow up effect is not only superb, but it makes more sense than ever! Of course, I'm not at liberty to tip ANYTHING, but will those who've seen it, back me up?
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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/17/02 12:36 AM

Re: Audience examining U3F.

I saw Eric Mead do this at the Castle. He had the coins examined at the beginning. Then he did U3F. It was supremely magical.

Just my opinion, but handing the coins out for examination at the end of the routine is a terrible idea. It's a miserable anticlimax.

I've seen many different Threefly routines performed by many different, outstanding magicians (Best I've seen: Andrew Goldenhersh), and U3F is by far the most magical looking.
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Postby Guest » 05/17/02 07:04 AM

using U3F I can state than the coins can be hand for examination. And the problem is still the same in a 4 coins version:
How do you get ride of the 4th coin?
-> that is not an easy question.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 05/17/02 07:26 AM

As a general rule, I agree with Pete on handing things out for examination, gaffed or not. Your inner monologue should always be "these are real coins/cards/whatever that are doing amazing things" so why would you then have to hand them out to be examined? Now, a spectator may ask to examine, and in that case you let them if you can and you get around it if you can't. But I've found that simply changing MY attitude toward the objects has a subtle effect on the way you handle a trick--greatly mitigating that a spectator will even think that these are anything but real coins or cards....P.S., if the reason you use an extra coin vs. a gaff is that so when a spectator catches you with the extra coin at least he will think you have skill, then my advice to you is quit magic....
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Postby Guest » 05/17/02 09:21 AM

I have found that the best thing to do is use routines that involve the spectators handling the coins as part of the routine. They casually handle the coins, without the magician saying - "Here inspect this".

When you ring in a gaff and then ring it out - the spectator should have no reason to expect anything other than what he saw and held was ever at play.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/17/02 10:55 AM

Just to expand on what Dan said, I recall when Eric Mead performed his version of U3F, he started by passing around the coins, and talked briefly about how you don't see them much anymore. This was a natural way for the audience to look the coins over without examining them.

Most other examination issues can be dealt with by just handing the prop to the spectator and having them use it. If you give a spectator a deck and have them shuffle it, they will have no doubt it's just a deck of cards.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 05/17/02 12:08 PM

Dan and Pete....I agree....
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 05/17/02 04:43 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
This was a natural way for the audience to look the coins over without examining them.
I'm also of that school. Too many people interpret the word "examine" as "dude, try to find the gaff". Why insist that the coins are honest, when you can easily script your presentation so spectators arrive at that conclusion on their own? In routines of this nature, I've found invitations far more effective than challenges. There's really no need to drag people kicking and screaming into the examination phase.

When I perform U3F, the coins are conversation pieces. Instead of telling people to examine them, I pass them around and ask everyone to help me point out certain features and even read the dates on the coins. In fact, I squint and hold one of the coins real close to get a better look. It's pretty neat watching the spectators mimic my actions, not realizing that they'll use this memory to eliminate any suspicion of gaffs later on. Sometimes the best way to have things "examined" is to not have them examined at all.

This reminds me of a funny story Al Baker wrote in his book "Magical Ways and Means" (1941):

some magicians always want to prove something that the audience doesnt question. They tell the story about the little repertory company with a special between acts, a magician with no appeal, not much experience. They tell him he has to play a bit in the show, put this cloak on, this hat on and use this rubber dagger. He comes out at the proper cue and stabs the villain. The poor villain comes back at him,

'Gad, what the hell did you use?'

'I used my own dagger.'

'Why didnt you use the rubber dagger that I gave you?'

'You cant pass that out for examination,' the magician replied.

They are always trying to prove something."
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Postby reed mcclintock » 06/23/02 06:02 PM

Hello I thught I would post a little bit about the three fly effect. I have a video coming out very soon with 2 of my versions of three fly. I only do one of them now as there is no element of "oh hes got and extra coin" or the deliberat feeling of misdirection. also no silly joke, here the last on goes visually. Wrong place to have that joke. It took several years of developing and perorming, to make at as powerful as it is. I hope that you all in the maic communitee like it. I showed it around in Hollywood when I was there a few weeks ago. I have been here in Potland doing it for quite a few years now. thank you for your time. :)
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Postby David Neighbors » 07/05/02 06:24 PM

Hi Guys,
I have A One touch Handleing ( IE. the hands Don't touch untill after the 2Th. Coin) In my Las Vegas notes. And also A one touch backfire handleing
in the same notes. I also have some no touch handleings that are not in print yet! And Some On touch, no touch, And backfire, International handleings that are not in print yet Thanks.

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
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Postby mike cookman » 07/20/02 07:42 AM

Gary Kurtz has a nice three fly type of thing in his "Misty Like a Dream." A shell is used, but is not required. Just so you know.
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