Three Fly?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Brian Marks
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Brian Marks » August 2nd, 2004, 6:20 pm

The Wilson Routine is based on the Sankey routine and is not 3 fly.

Jonathon's routine is the real deal.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » August 3rd, 2004, 3:10 pm

How hard would it be for each and everyone of us to ask Jonathan Townsend for permission to perform his visual coins across, in any variation, and if we receieved the answer no, not perform it. Perform something of our own? Would that be so terrible? And what if he'd said yes?

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 1st, 2004, 10:04 am

Originally posted by Mithrandir:
How hard ...to ask ...for permission ??
To do so could spoil the delusion of that one can steal fire from the gods...that one has some divine right to take what one will and do as one pleases. In short, to believe oneself creative while acting like the mice and roaches one calls vermin.

Not a good thing to take what was shown in secret and publish from faulty memory. It is most unseemly to be inspired by unpublished works, and to publish upon those works. A foundation built upon sand. Our community deserves better, even if some of its members deserve much worse.

Till we choose to think better of themselves as people, and from that self respect find the ability to honor others with our actions, there will be values issues to discuss.
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Pete Biro
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Pete Biro » September 1st, 2004, 2:34 pm

Don't you think the premise of coins going from one hand to the other is older than the soil we walk on? Whether you hold the coins up, down, sideways, or? makes much difference in the eyes of the audience?
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 1st, 2004, 3:20 pm

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Don't you think the premise of coins going from one hand to the other is older than the soil we walk on? Whether you hold the coins up, down, sideways, or? makes much difference in the eyes of the audience?
Okay Pete, let's take that road for a few steps, and follow that premise to where it leads.

Since our notion of numbers is also thousands of years old, and according to our commonly held notion, numbers are ideals anyway, even the ones 10-16 digits long... someone who believes as Pete suggests won't mind if folks use their credit card numbers, their bank account number, their bank's routing number, their phone number for whatever purposes themselves, and sell the information....so others can enjoy variations?

Don't you all feel just like Pete suggests and want to offer your numbers to whomever wants, so they can do as they please? After all, they are just numbers and numbers are as old as the hills.

I for one do not. And I suggest that the argument Pete offered was specious at best. However, if Pete wishes to make good his premise... he can offer his numbers and we can proceed to test his argument that they are not so personal or important.

There are a few things I detest more than vermin. One is sophistry.
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Bill Hallahan
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Bill Hallahan » September 1st, 2004, 4:06 pm

The coins being visible and at the fingertips does take the effect of Coins Across to an entirely new level. Surely we all agree with that. And I have seen Jonathan Townsend credited with that idea in print.

Magicians often hide effects with the hands, handkerchiefs, and boxes, usually because they have to. Seeing a magical effect happen right in front of your eyes is qualitatively more amazing than a hidden effect.

This was an original idea.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Pepka » September 6th, 2004, 6:28 pm

This is definatly not my area of expertise, but I just love to chime in. I have 2 coin routines in my regular repitoire, and 3fly is definatly not one of them. I don't really know one handling from the other. But one of the highlights of MAGIC live 2 weeks ago was at the ending party witnessing Chris Kenner perform a (the original?) version. It was one of the most magical things I've ever seen. Maybe because I'm not that familar with the trick, though I have seen it before. Or it may be that this is one of those tricks that Al Baker was speaking of when he said most tricks are killed by improvements.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 6th, 2004, 7:10 pm

I'm glad you liked the trick.

I'm told Chris does a good job performing it.

It may see print soon.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Pete Biro » September 6th, 2004, 8:48 pm

specious sophistry

Not being a "learned" person, how about a definition of the above words. :confused:
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2004, 4:18 am

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
specious sophistry

Not being a "learned" person, how about a definition of the above words. :confused:
Not being a plagiarist nor desiring to take credit for another's work, I will instead provide you with citations to the material you requested:

For "specious" : http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/specious

For "sophistry": http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/sophistry

A good dictionary has its place on the shelf with Greater Magic, Modern Coin Magic, Expert at the Card Table, The Tarbell Course...
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby John LeBlanc » September 7th, 2004, 4:45 am

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Pete Biro:
[b] specious sophistry

Not being a "learned" person, how about a definition of the above words. :confused:
Not being a plagiarist or desiring to take credit for another's work, I will instead provide you with citations to the material you requested:

For "specious" : http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/specious

For "sophistry": http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/sophistry

A good dictionary has its place on the shelf with Greater Magic, Modern Coin Magic, Expert at the Card Table, The Tarbell Course... [/b]
Just out of curiosity, Jonathan, does behaving disrespectfully towards Pete Biro make you feel better about yourself?

John LeBlanc

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 7th, 2004, 5:10 am

I thought Pete Biro raised a valid point. This is just a variation on an OOOOLD trick.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby John LeBlanc » September 7th, 2004, 5:22 am

Originally posted by Buster Brown:
I thought Pete Biro raised a valid point. This is just a variation on an OOOOLD trick.
Well, I'm not sure I'd use the word "just" -- it does sound to me to marginalize the improvement Jonathan brought to the effect. If we really could do what we claim to do, at the fingertips seems like a good place to do it, wouldn't you agree?

Pete simply asked about the basic premise of coins moving from one hand to another, and the effect on the audience. Not the version of the trick, but the effect.

I happen to think Jonathan improved an existing effect using an original idea. Is it the best way to do a coins across? Matter of opinion.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2004, 5:32 am

Originally posted by Buster Brown:
I thought Pete Biro raised a valid point. This is just a variation on an OOOOLD trick.
The trick in question is a tactic of looters, to blame the victim of a crime for its perpetration. The coin trick in question is my personal and private property. As it was developed just twenty five years ago I resent it's being called old. In fact it is not even "born" yet as I have not published it.

The opinions of those who've had their work taken without consent are of interest to me. The moochers can wait just a bit longer for their free lunch, to which they seem to feel entitled.

I have no interest in being disrespectful to Pete Biro. Just in case... has my email address and can speak for himself if he feels I have slighted him.

John LeBlanc and Pete Biro raise an interesting question about how the effect registers for a lay audience. I also do the Roth Coins Across from his lecture. I can say from years of experience doing both tricks that they register quite differently. The fundamental aesthetic for my coins across is significantly different from almost everything I have seen in conjuring. Like the trick itself, this approach to coin magic is my personal work and I am not quite prepared to offer this material to the conjuring community yet. There is a manuscript on my work in this area that is taking shape nicely.

The rest of the Kenner fans might do well to consider the notion of publication as nativity in our craft, and look upon their beliefs and actions accordingly.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby John LeBlanc » September 7th, 2004, 5:50 am

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Buster Brown:
[b] I thought Pete Biro raised a valid point. This is just a variation on an OOOOLD trick.
The trick in question is a tactic of looters, to blame the victim of a crime for its perpetration. The coin trick in question is my personal and private property. As it was developed just twenty years ago I resent it's being called old. In fact is in not even "born" yet as I have not published it.

The opinions of those who've had their work taken without consent are of interest to me. The moochers can wait just a bit longer for their free lunch, to which they seem to feel entitled.[/b]
Sorry, but I disagree. And I think you're going a bit overboard with the "moochers" remark, Jonathan.

Doing a coins across trick in the hands is old. Doing it at the fingertips is relatively new and, I believe, should be credited to you. But lets not confuse effect -- coins flying from hand to hand -- with method. I believe that's the point Pete was attempting to make.

It seems you're pissed off that your handling was published without your consent. I understand; it'd irritate me to no end if that happened to me. I'm happy to make sure that in conversations -- personal and digital -- I have regarding the thing, that you get credit for it. I'm sure others will do the same.

What more do you want? The handling is out there. You didn't publish it and someone else did. It stinks if someone, anyone published it knowing it wasn't their item to publish, but the damage is done. Is carrying a dead body behind you doing any good?

I learned a version of 3Fly and I'll stand in line to buy a version you publish, not just because I want it, but because I think it's the right thing to do.

I have no interest in being disrespectful to Pete Biro. Just in case... has my email address and can speak for himself if he feels I have slighted him.

The rest of the Kenner fans might do well to consider the notion of publication as nativity in our craft, and look upon their beliefs and actions accordingly.
I tried a number of times to send you a private email in response to your email to me, but I can't get through to you. So, since my remark was made publicly, I see no reason not to state my response publicly:

The reason I asked you if being disrespectful to Pete Biro did you any good was because it seemed to me your two responses to Pete seemed awfully disrespectful. If that's not the case, you tell me that and I'll gladly apologize publicly. But I'd also like to know how you can be respectful and, at the same time, attach the words "tactic of looters, to blame the victim of a crime for its perpetration" to Pete's response.

Finally, whether or not Pete has an email address (he does) and can speak for himself (he can) you posted your remarks in a mostly public forum and I'm entitled to respond.

John LeBlanc

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2004, 6:13 am

Originally posted by John W. LeBlanc:
...it seemed to me your two responses to Pete seemed awfully disrespectful. If that's not the case, you tell me that and I'll gladly apologize publicly. ...and I'm entitled to respond.
John, sorry this has to be in public. I've sent two emails to you this morning. It seems as if our email servers are not communicating. Or perhaps the address on your profile here is out of date The first was at 8:15 NY time just seconds after reading your posted comment:

John,

How is my post regarding definitions disrespectful to Mr. Biro?

Jon
One of the nice things about the Genii BBS is that we can edit our posts to clarify, and in this case I wanted to set a good example of how to cite a work without resorting to copying or plagiarizing. To the best of my knowledge Mr. Biro has neither copied anyone's work nor taken credit for another's published work. He is one of the few people in the community I direct others to when they seek advice, as well as seeking his council on matters myself.

As to my sentiments on anyone doing or discussing the trick... I'm open to all sorts of comments and discussion from those who I have discussed the trick and who I have given the write up. I cite sources and those people who've influenced my work. This sort of lineage is sadly missing from the current context.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby John LeBlanc » September 7th, 2004, 6:40 am

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
The nice thing about the genii BBS is that we can edit our posts to clarify, and in this case I wanted to set a good example of how to cite a work without resorting to copying or plagiarizing. To the best of my knowledge Mr. Biro has neither copied anyone's work nor taken credit for another's published work. He is one of the few people in the community I direct others to when they seek advice, as well as seeking his council on matters myself.
Well, that shows we have a few more things in common. Sorry, it sure didn't look that way to me.


As to my sentiments on anyone doing or discussing the trick... I'm open to all sorts of comments and discussion from those who I have discussed the trick and who I have given the write up. I cite sources and those people who've influenced my work. This sort of lineage is sadly missing from the current context.
Good point. Would you kindly present the lineage in this thread? I know I'd like to see it, and it seems this would be a good place for it to sit since this will become part of the Google index.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Pete Biro » September 7th, 2004, 8:11 am

JT - publish your freaking trick and let's get on with some important things.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 7th, 2004, 9:46 am

It's still a variation of an old plot. Sure, it's a new angle, but it's hardly an incredible innovation in the same way that a move like the DPS is to palming cards.

The visual angle seems to appeal to magicians, but I would think the in the hands version with the shell where it ends in a spectator's hand would be far more powerful.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » September 7th, 2004, 10:03 am

Fire was around for thousands of years, but we still give Edison credit for coming up with a new way to make light.

Preferences aside, the closed-hands version, versus the fingertip version of the coins across produce different reactions from the audience. Their perception of the effect is entirely different. That alone is enough reason to not marginalize Jon's contributions to the coins across genre.

Anyone do the final phase of a visual coins across in the spectator's hands? There's at least one standard coins across routine whose final phase could be adapted to accomplish this.

-Jim

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2004, 10:47 am

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
...a visual coins across ... last coin...into the spectator's hands?
Would this be the one associated with Michael Ammar involving a no-hands coin drop into a volunteer's cupped hands?

The appearance is amazing, I'm a bit baffled by the vanish part. This could be friggen amazing.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » September 7th, 2004, 11:09 am

You bet, Jon.

The vanish of that last coin, as always, it seems, is what needs work. But, as you said, this could be friggen amazing.

To go into that Ammar book some more, perhaps the Carney Fingertip Vanish would be suitable here.

1...2...3...gone! (point to their hand...nothing) (pause) *clink*

-Jim

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 7th, 2004, 3:25 pm

Anyone do the final phase of a visual coins across in the spectator's hands? There's at least one standard coins across routine whose final phase could be adapted to accomplish this.


Actually I do....well my nephew does. I'm not a big fan of vca/3fly (sorry), but my nephew loves it....he has bought several versions and feels uncomfortable in certain parts of all of them. So I worked out a method knowing his style...and yes, the last coin appears in the spec. hand...giving some closure to the effect.

Mike

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2004, 3:37 pm

Originally posted by Mike Gallo:
... the last coin appears in the spec. hand...giving some closure to the effect.
I'm curious how you coordinated the timing of a coin appearing on their hands with the last vanish.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 7th, 2004, 10:52 pm

Originally posted by Jim Maloney: Fire was around for thousands of years, but we still give Edison credit for coming up with a new way to make light.
I agree he deserves credit for the variation, even though the conceptual breakthrough in your analogy is on a totally different scale.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Bill Duncan » September 8th, 2004, 12:00 am

Perhaps a magic analogy is more apt?
  • A woman in placed in a box and the box is sawn in half.
  • A buzz saw slices through the bare back of a woman.
Minor variation?

I recall some time back there was a furor over someone who was doing Gypsy Thread with dental floss and how that someone was ripping off the originator of that idea...

As if that notion hadn't occurred to practically everyone who ever saw Eugene Burger do his "Vampire-like teeth" presentation of the effect.

Odd that an obvious notion like the dental floss idea should warrant such a claim of propriety but a less obvious notion, with no ambiguity of source, doesn't.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 8th, 2004, 3:51 am

I just think it's a matter of degree. The 3fly variation is to coins across as the Rhumba count is to the Elmsley count.

Sure it's a development, and it deserves credit, but the amount of carry-on that I've read about it on this board, you'd think it was some kind of truly groundbreaking concept.

Pete Biro's right - publish it and get credit and move along instead of clogging up bandwidth with snide attacks.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 8th, 2004, 5:22 am

Originally posted by Buster Brown:
I just think it's a matter of degree. The 3fly variation is to coins across as the Rhumba count is to the Elmsley count.
Writing as someone who does have a published variation of Elmsley's Ghost count, I can compare and contrast the two.

In my count, you appear to show both the face and back of each card singly. I have also noted that the procedure is applicable to situations where you wish to display an even number of cards. In my write up of this procedure, I made it clear that this is a small variation on Alex Elmsley's procedure, and it was written up in the form of a thank-you to him, and to someone I knew long ago who had a trick that just begged for this kind of count.

By the way, this count was recently published again, and the more perceptive readers will have noticed that if you start with the packet face up you get the net effect of Bro. John Hamman's Gemini Count. Not a bad finding.

Okay, back to the coin trick. It was a testbed for something I'd worked on for a while, and has its place in that context. Taken out of context as a coins across routine it has a significant difference to the classic approach. The magical moment, and the procedure leading to that moment are part of a display as opposed to a holding procedure. The general aesthetic I'm working at is very close to a live version of those old TV show moments where they have to stop the camera to make stuff appear, vanish or change. :rolleyes: Okay, minus the nose wiggle or blinking... not my style. :D

I'm glad folks like the trick, and they like to play with it. Fine. Why was it published? Why are variations published? Why are people attempting to claim credit for works which are derivative of something which remains secret? Why is the community tolerating those publications?

Honest answers to those questions can serve to start some of the 'more important things' mentioned earlier. If you look in Kaufman's CoinMagic, you can find evidence of the process we lived with back then. Those with derivative works waited till the inventors published findings and their works using those findings. After that, the variations found their place in print. The process at that time served to preserve the lineage of invention and recognition to those with the insight to invent or apply materials in constructive ways.

I do want to publish. Part of that is honoring all those whose works and insights and products and routines which led me to the way I do coin magic. Till that recognition is published, it makes us look less than honorable to students seeking some history in this context.

In this case, previous publications offer disrespect by omission of credits to folks from Downs, Buckley, Cardini, Roth, Slydini and others. Much of my annoyance with the present situation comes from this issue of the gap created by my routine's unauthorized publication.

Some have asked, mooched, demanded ...that I publish. Fine. Such is my intent. Preparing a work for publication is not trivial for me. You can help by recognizing that and being more supportive to the process. If you have questions, please let me know so I can make sure to address them. My email is listed and your perspective is of interest to me.

:)
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 8th, 2004, 9:19 am

Originally posted by Buster Brown:

Pete Biro's right - publish it and get credit and move along instead of clogging up bandwidth with snide attacks.
Snide attacks? - I've followed this issue through many posts on many threads on several websites. Jon has ever been the gentleman, in my opinion. Perhaps too much so. Sometimes by trying to spare the feelings of the community at large, and to avoid inciting all kinds of negative response, one can be too obtuse. That may well be the problem here. I believe we would all be best served by a point-by-point accounting, and the reasons that Jon feels ripped off - in plain, unadulterated anglo-saxon!

This is a significantly different approach to the Coins Across plot, in the same way that "Card Warp" was a significantly different approach to the original creation, Jeff Busby's "Into the Fourth Dimension", or in the way that "Spellbound" is different from Edward Victor's "Changing Coin".

Pete and I go back a long way, and I am mightily impressed with his credentials, and grateful for his contributions. I also differ with him on some subjects. This would be one of them.

This is not merely another version of the CA plot. It is a SUBSTANTIALLY different approach, and it generates a substantially different response from the audience. Whether or not that is a good or bad thing is not the issue - the fact that it IS different IS the issue. So, value judgements aside, I'm not advocating for/against the thing itself, just for it's right to exist as it's own entity, with credit to the proper people for its' development.

I've said this before: we, the 90% of us that are lovers of the art but non-professional, that is, we do not derive our primary income from magic, do not support our families with it, are fairly compensated by one thing:

The recognition of our peers.

Let's face it, few of us get rich at this thing we love. In forty years, the best compensation I've recieved is the knowledge that my few contributions were appreciated, that my peers respected my work, and that they thanked me for it. It IS important, and if you doubt it, wait until the fruits of your labor are harvested by someone else!

Best, PSC

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Tabman » September 8th, 2004, 11:35 am

Originally posted by pchosse:
Let's face it, few of us get rich at this thing we love. In forty years, the best compensation I've recieved is the knowledge that my few contributions were appreciated, that my peers respected my work, and that they thanked me for it.
And there you have it in a nutshell!!!! Cheers!!!
-=tabman

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 12th, 2004, 2:12 pm

With all due respect to Mr. Biro, I can see few more important issues in our Art right now than ones such as these, and this Art is important to me , whatever your feelings for it. With this in mind, I would like to adress the following aspect of this issue.

I have noticed some of you clamoring for Jon to publish his book, here and in other places, and even here, people have asked that he post the page from his book that he has on the lineage of the trick. Here is a bit of correspondence I sent to Jon a few days ago:

In a message dated 9/7/2004 8:52:49 AM Eastern Standard Time, director@torneospanama.com writes:
One more thing.

"The page that you are posting, I consider to be a very valuable part of, when it is released, what I hope will be a very expensive little book.

What value have they to offer in trade?"

You see folks, for twenty years you have been citing thieves, and using stolen works, and more recently many have been cold to the creator for calling them on it. Few bothered to trace the lineage of the trick in the first place, and if they found out after they were already using it, few if any requested permission to continue, attempted to make amends, or simply ceased performing it. (Please see my above post).

And now, you request the lineage, you request the trick published, when by rights, few of you should have ever even seen or heard of it. AND what do you offer? You offer to stop spitting on the creator, and stop citing thieves.... maybe.

In my opinion, it's not enough. To borrow words from Rand, you must take back your vultures, before we even begin to discuss the price of fire.

It is our responsibilty, each one of us to ourselves to make sure we aren't using stolen material, citing thieves, and generally insulting the creators of great works. It is not Jonathan's responsibilty to police us, but it is his right to hold us accountable for our actions if we do not police ourselves.

I believe once it is shown that more people are capable of this, and only then should the work, history, and ideas behind it all be published.

As for the exact nature of the price of this work, once the vultures are withdrawn, I leave you with Jonathan's reply to my above e-mail, for a part of it:

"I would be most pleased if the trade included a commitment to serious study in the art, and respect for those of us who have already made that commitment. -Jon"

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 12th, 2004, 6:19 pm

I've read Jonathan's privately written history of how his seminal coin trick was created. It's fascinating and reveals with startling clarity how his handling was developed.
I hope that someday he'll publish it.
In vain I hope that he'll let me publish it in Genii!
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Pete Biro » September 12th, 2004, 7:47 pm

It is my understanding that Kenner/Liwag DID credit Townsend in their published version of the routine.

If it was "so secret" then how did K/L know it?

If you show someone a move, trick, and it gets around, you shouldn't be surprised.

When you come up with something if you want credit, publish it right away.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 12th, 2004, 8:49 pm

I believe that either Eric DeCamps or Jonathan himself showed his original routine to both Chris Kenner and Gary Kurtz.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » September 13th, 2004, 11:34 am

Pete, as Richard said, Jon did show the routine to Kenner. However, Kenner never had permission to publish his work on the routine.

Even if you credit the creator, it's really disrespectful to publish your own work before the creator publishes his original material, unless you have the permission of the creator to publish. And in this case, permission was never given to ANYONE.

-Jim

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 13th, 2004, 12:28 pm

One issue no one has brought up, is that by the time the routine saw print, the report that was circling around was that Townsend had died.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Brian Marks » September 13th, 2004, 11:46 pm

Thats not true. On a previous thread on Genii forum that I started, I was looking to find Jonathon due to rumnors of his death. I was looking to trace the history of this trick. Here is what I have come up with. Jonathon had shown several people his trick in the NY area and the NY Symposium in particular. 1 person showed Gary Kurtz who was first to publish it using a shell with in a complicated routine. Chris Kenner got it from Jonathon and published it second. Chris published it by itself and used an extra coin. Chris coind the name three fly.

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 14th, 2004, 8:49 am

We did, in fact, think that Jonathan was deceased. Not sure how the rumor got started, but he vanished from the New York Scene and the rumor was the only news we had.
It was during this period that Kurtz and Kenner published their handlings.
Their handlings differ greatly from Jonathan's original, which was designed to be done as a piece of intimate close-up magic because it involves the use of Deep BackClip.
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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 14th, 2004, 8:56 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
...Their handlings differ greatly from Jonathan's original...
Actually the original was done seated, with both hands at chest level and the coins appearing in a fan. It looked like a perfect version of the trick. You had to lap three coins at the end, but there was some cover.

There are two issues here as regards the trick and yous truly;

First, as most of you who have met me remember, I am open about almost all of my work, happy that some of my diversions are shared interests. If I show a trick around, that usually means I'm looking for feedback on improving it, and if the thing looks good to you... I usually explain the thing. I'm happy you like the trick. It's given to you to use with only one provision... that there be no showing other magicians, so they can enjoy the same experience as you did, and that you not discuss the trick and its novel ideas with other magicians and certainly not in print.

The second issue is the sticking point here. Derivative works were published before the original. In NY we were careful about keeping the following policy, and it was generally the rule for all magic in print: UNTIL THE ORIGINAL GOES TO PRINT, YOU MAY NOT PUBLISH DERIVATIVE WORKS. For the sake of the young here, I will explain:

For anyone to study and possibly improve a trick, they need some basic knowledge of the work: What is its lineage? Where did it come from? Why was it invented? What methods were used? Which methods are still being used? What is the context of this trick within the inventor's works? It is not possible for a student to know what is novel and what is basic or traditional as regards a work without answers to the questions above.

Such is why we have a tradition of waiting on derivative works. This is why most of CoinMagic had to wait for David Roth to publish his new sleights.

Whether some in the community are ethically challenged or simply immature is not my concern. Unfortunately, a work which was pirated can only have misbegotten children in print. The mistakes of a few have made bastards of many well intended works.

I am pleased that folks like the trick. I am very pleased that some folks perform the trick for laymen. Such was my intention in showing the thing to a few people over the years... that they perform it for laymen and later on they would let me know how they personalized the thing. It was a private thing for a few people. A very personal calling card and investment in the future of our relationships.

The sharing among secret hungry magicians is sad. There is so much more to magic than just the implied value in gossip. The publication of ANY part of my work and ideas puts a less than attractive mark on our literature, documenting a breach of faith and general lack of respect by all involved.

The release of products derived from my unpublished work just adds to a general odor in the market which may drive away other inventors. Who wants to offer their hard work in the form of inventions to a market that has a history of piracy?

This brings up a few questions, and I can help answer one of them. Just as CoinMagic documented the flood of material waiting on Roth's work hitting print, I fully expect there are creative folks who've realized options and extensions of my ideas that I had not considered. There were about five versions of the trick, and today there are a couple of new ones. I had no intention of exploring all possibilities in the field, and there is likely much room for expansion and improvement beyond what I've done. I look forward to reading about your novel accomplishments sometime AFTER I publish. Yes, there is a book. A book about one coin trick? No. A book about the place that grew that coin trick, and the other tricks that grew in that garden, from the same soil and seeds.

Larger ethical and market issues are somewhat outside my control. Each of us has some control. Your money votes for your values. Your patience and consideration for inventors is what sets an example for others who invent. I encourage you to do what is in your own self interest, forgoing immediate gratification of some kind, for a more lasting respect in the community and greater profits over time.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Three Fly?

Postby Guest » September 14th, 2004, 11:47 am

Jonathan, if people thought you were dead, how could they wait for you to publish your original handling?

Hofzinser didn't intend for a big book of his work to be published, as far as I know, but it has, and a more updated one is in the works. Should we have lost that valuable information, just because the inventor was dead?

Should Steinmeyer not have reconstructed Morritt's The Disappearing Donkey?

I'm sure no one disagrees with the fact that you were the inspiration for the VCA or Three-Fly plot, as it's impossible to. If the people who published their versions of the trick could not contact you, believing that you were dead, should they have let such a contribution go to waste. Had they let it go to waste, when you returned to the scene, few people would have known who you were. Granted you had published a fair amount of material in publications like Apocalypse, but after all, there are many names in those pages that people do not remember, nor would they be likely to recognize if that person started posting on internet message boards. Your name was preserved as an important contributed in the history of magic, due to the VCA/Three-Fly publications. If you were indeed dead, as many people thought, that would have been a nice way to remember you.


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