Reviews written by Dan Watkins
Back to Contents
The COINvention Inaugural Collection is a two volume DVD set that was filmed during the first ever COINvention at the Las Vegas San Remo Hotel on September 17, 2003. It is a 2005 release by Five Star Magic Media.
Many of the greatest names in sleight of hand gathered for the world's first convention devoted solely to the art of Coin Magic.
You can read my full article written in 2003 on the event here.
Looking back, I am glad I spent the time documenting the COINvention as it will allow me to add some pictures to this review where applicable. I will also borrow sections from my article for this review especially the descriptions of the discussion panels, since I already wrote in detail what was covered.
The video and sound is pretty good considering most of the videos are live shots from a convention performance and some explanations shot up in a hotel room. It is not up to professional studio shot quality, but definitely considered good quality.
Both DVDs are about 1:45 in length each (3:30 hours total of coin magic gluttony).
The back cover gives the metrics: The DVDs contain 36 performances by 25 performers and 20 of the performances are explained. So that is a little more than half the material explained. Plus two panel forums on coin grips, and "Three Fly".
There is so much content is on this DVD set, that I am going to give create a set of contents that you can click on for easy access to sections of this review.
DVD #1 Contents:
David Roth's "Wild Coin"
Curtis Kam performance
Geoff Latta's Five routine show.
David Neighbors' "Coins in the Hat" and "Purse Frame Pro"
David Roth's "The Planet" and "The Big Finish"
Michael Rubinstein's "Ultra Reverse Coin Matrix"
Apollo Robbins' "Interchange"
Doug Brewer's "The Magic Caldron"
Shawn Greer's "The Miser's Dream"
Kainoa Harbottle's performance
Reed McClintock's performance
Bob Fitch's "Abracadabra"
Jeff Haas' "Down's Eureka Pass"
Chris Korn's "Origin of Palms" & "The Tooth Fairy"
Mark Strivings' "Borrowed Quarter Date Prediction"
Dan Watkins' "Three Way Crossing" ("Coinvention Crossing")
John Born's matrix performances
Geoff William's "The Miracle Coin Vanish"
The Three Fly Forum
DVD #2 Contents:
Danny Archer's "Sub-Atomic Coin Routine"
John Born's "Translocation Backfire"
Marc DeSouza's "Six coins Thru and Flew"
Dean Dill's "Call Shot – Explosion"
Bob Fitch's "Tornado"
Garrett Thomas' "Hangin' Clean"
Kainoa Harbottle's "Slapping for Compliments"
Curtis Kam's "The Coin Trick that Cannot Be Explained"
Roger Klause's "Sun & Moon" ("Soleil Et Lune")
Chris Korn's "3 Korn Vanish"
Reed McClintock's performance (repeat from DVD# 1)
Shoot Ogawa's "Double Matrix" and "The Coin & String"
Mickey Silver's "Human Slot Machine"
The Grip Forum
DVD #1 material:
It would not be appropriate to start the COINvention DVD without starting with David Roth:
David Roth lectures (Performing Wild Coin).
David Roth performs and teaches "Wild Coin": Four silver coins are dumped out of a cup. One at a time, 3 of the silver coins change to copper and are dropped into the cup. The last silver coin changes from silver to copper and back again four times. The silver coin is dumped into the cup full of copper coins. The coins are swished around inside the cup, and dumped out to show they all turned back into silver coins.
This is one of David's many Wild Coin plots. It is published in Expert Coin Magic and is also taught on Expert Coin Magic Made Easy Volume 2. It is not terribly difficult to learn. It is extremely visual and showcases a very nice spellbound sequence with the last coin. This is an example of how you can a lot of mileage out of a simple concept and proper routining. The spellbound sequence is classic Roth routining. All the changes look great because each phase leaves the next coin where it needs to be to make the next change; there aren't any adjustments made to reposition coins.
Curtis Kam performs (does not teach) a variation John George's "Invisible Prediction". The routine starts with Curtis explaining he will show us two things, something invisible, and something you cannot see. There is a difference… He places the item that he does not want seen in a spectator's closed fist. The second item is an invisible coin purse that contains an invisible penny, nickel, and dime. He places the invisible coins onto the table in front of a 2nd spectator. He asks spectator #2 to pick up one of the invisible coins and say which coin he chose. The spectator picks the penny. Curtis takes the invisible dime and nickel and puts it back into the invisible coin purse. He asks spectator #2 to toss the invisible penny into the air, catch it and slap it on the back of his hand. Curtis asks which side is up, heads or tails. The spectator replies, "tails".
Curtis instructs spectator #1 to slap the "unseen object" onto the back of his other hand, and continue to cover the object.
Curtis then moves his hand over the invisible coin purse, and a small little coin purse becomes visible. He opens it and dumps out a dime and nickel – the coins spectator #2 did not choose.
He asks spectator #1 to remove his hand and shows that he has a dollar size penny tail side up on the back of his hand, matching the invisible tail side up penny spectator #2 had.
Curtis does not teach the routine, but obviously if you have a small purse frame with a dime and nickel and you give the spectator a dollar sized Penny to hold, that has to be the ultimate outcome. The routine hinges around what reciprocal actions you take depending on which invisible coins spectator #2 picks. With a little thought, you can work your way through the combinations. For those of you that like coin work that contains barely any sleight of hand, this routine will apply. Curtis informs me that the routine is available at www.johngeorge.com as part of his John George Close Up Magic Vol. 1 video.
Geoff Latta performs (does not teach) five separate routines. The first four are part of an extended coin sequence. The last is a completely different routine.
Latta routine #1: It is a Coins Across routine whereby the coins travel one at a time from his right hand to his left. After each coins travel, he brings his hands closer and dumps out the left hand coins, and then moves further away and dumps out the right hand coins.
This is a pretty straightforward Coins Across, it eliminates any coin counting or hands touching. The right hand does have to approach the left hand briefly during the left hand's dumping of its coins. This is necessary for the method of the routine. (Even though the method is not explained on the DVD, it was taught by Geoff at the event.)
Geoff Latta performs "Open Travelers"
Latta routine #2: "Open Travelers" Geoff continues after routine #1 by arranging three coins in a line on the front of table and one coin to the rear of the table near him. He explains that in order to make coins travel invisibly, first he has to make the coin invisible. He picks up the front left coin and puts it in his right hand. He opens his right hand to show that it is invisible now. He places the "invisible" coin down near the coin at the rear of the table.
He picks up the two coins at the top of the table, tosses them into his left hand. "That makes two coins here that are visible." He places them back onto the table. "One coin here that is visible." He points to the rear most coin with his empty left hand. He turns his left hand down over top of the rear visible coin. When he lifts his hand, there are now two visible coins at the rear of the table.
He picks up the two front visible coins, and decides which one he wants to make go now. He makes one coin invisible and puts it down near the two rear coins. He places the remaining coin back at the front of the table.
He covers the two rear coins with his empty left hand, when he lifts, there are three coins.
He takes the last coin, squeezes it, and tosses it at the three coins at the rear of the table. The coin turns invisible. He yet again covers the three coins with his empty left hand. When he lifts his hand, there are all four coins.
This was also explained at the event, but it is not on the DVD. I appreciate the construction of this routine. It demonstrates a few things to me including holding out a coin as you transfer coins back and forth to make it look like you have the proper number of coins when you really don't. There is a sequence that looks like Geoff just picked up a coin, while in reality it reloads a gaff, cleans up an extra coin, and sets you up for the next phase all at once. Pretty fun!
Latta Routine #3: This is simply a three coin one at a time vanish-reproduction sequence. He picks them up one at a time from the table (supposedly hanging invisible coins). Geoff says even though the coins were hung in the air, strangely enough they come out of his elbows. Suiting action to words, he produces them one at a time from his elbows, where he puts the coins one at a time on the table.
This was a bit lackluster compared to the three coin routine of Latta's showcased on the LVMI Live! 2003 DVD set. It is straightforward, but one thing I did not get was "hanging coins" in the air, that get reproduced from the elbows? The trick is not bad per se, but not up to par with other routines similar in nature.
Latta Routine #4: "Slow Motion Coin Vanish" Geoff gets rid of all the coins except for one. He makes it vanish by squeezing it into a tiny object that cannot be seen. Then he goes through a series of finger contortions as he apparently is squeezing the coin to show his hands empty. Then he tosses the tiny invisible coin into his left hand, with a wave of his right, the coin appears at the left fingertips. Then he says if he did it real quick it would look like this: And he tosses the coin to his left hand, and then reveals that it vanished.
This is something magicians like to screw around with (I know I played with it quite a bit at the convention.) Again, he did teach this both at LVMI and the COINvention, but it was not put on the DVD. It really boils down to a "look how clever I can be at keeping a coin hidden from view" routine. The motivation behind the hand displays is squeezing the coin down into a little invisible particle.
Latta Routine #5 "Purse, Coins, No Glass": A coin purse is displayed. It has six coins inside; three silver, three copper. Three silver coins are lined up on the table with the copper coins slightly overlapping them.
An overlapping set of coins is picked up. The copper coin is placed onto the table. The silver coin is shown, front and back, tossed into the left hand, and dumped into the open tabled coin purse. This is repeated two more times for the remaining sets. All the silver coins are in the purse and it is snapped shut.
A copper coin is picked up into left hand spellbound position, and with a wave of his right hand, it changes to silver. The silver coin is shown front and back, and then placed onto the table. This is repeated for the other two copper coins.
There are now three silver coins on the table. The purse is opened. Three copper coins are dumped out.
This is one of my favorite routines on the DVD set. It is a big disservice that the explanation was not included on the DVD, because it was explained at the show. The explanation of this routine is almost as fun as the routine itself because the whole routine, in Geoff's own words, is a lie. EVERY thing you are supposedly doing, you are not. It is really funny. This is one of those routines that will give you a "I can't believe I am getting away with this" feeling if you perform it. It gets its name from David Roth's "Purse and Glass" routine in Expert Coin Magic. Obviously the "No Glass" part of Geoff's routine is because he is umm… not using a glass, but the plot is similar. That is where similarities between the routines end. Methods are completely different. Geoff utilizes gimmicks in very convincing ways to accomplish the routine.
David Neighbors performs (does not teach) a version of John Ramsay's "Coins In the Hat." – He brings out a solid glass hat and puts it on the table. Showing both of his hands absolutely empty, he turns to the left reaches out with his right hand and grabs a handful of invisible coins and audibly jingles them. "Three Coins." He turns back toward the audience and opens his left hand and it is empty. "Wrong Hand." Three coins are now fanned in his left hand.
David then mimes placing a couple invisible "sky hooks" up in the air to hang invisible coins from.
David dumps the three coins into his right hand, withdraws two coins and waves them over his fist. He opens his right hand to hang an invisible coin on a "sky hook".
He repeats this by dumping two coins into his right hand, withdrawing a one coin, waving it over his fist. He opens his left hand to hang an invisible coin on a "sky hook".
He transfers the last coin back and forth a bit and then drops it into his glass hat.
He removes the two coins that were hanging on a sky hook – as he does so, the coins become visible. He removes a third coin by magically plucking it out from the side of the hat.
He repeats the sequence, hanging two coins, and putting one in the hat.
He also repeats taking the coins off of the sky hooks and magically withdrawing one from the side of the hat.
He repeats the hanging sequence for a third time – showing his hands completely clean after the two coins are hung, and then drops the last coin into the hat.
He repeats for the third time taking the coins off the hooks, and magically withdrawing them from the hat.
This time however he shakes all the coins in his right hand, you hear them jingle, but when he opens his hand, they are all gone.
All three coins are found to be inside the glass hat.
Before I get into David's handling, let me just go on a mini rant about "Coins in the Hat." As much as I love Ramsay's "Cylinder and Coins", I could never say the same for "Coins in the Hat". The modern day versions of the Cylinder tend to be very streamlined. Coins vanish once, show up in the cylinder, and get reproduced once. Short, sweet, and to the point. The effect is easily understood, and not riddled with over repetition. "Coins in the Hat" however was always too repetitious for my personal preference. David's rendition is no different. It is no fault of David's – you need to do the sequences three times to get the three coins in the hat, but just having the technical skill to perform the routine does not suffice. You have to be one heck of an entertainer to make the repetition not start to get old quickly for your audience. Even trying to briefly describe the effect gets tedious, read: "2 coins vanish, one dumped in a hat. Two coins appear, one comes out of the hat. 2 coins vanish, one dumped in a hat. Two coins appear, one comes out of the hat. 2 coins vanish, one dumped in a hat. Two coins appear, one comes out of the hat. All coins vanish, all coins found in the hat." I would love to see someone figure out how to shorten it up, or make the phases more palatable… I can't figure it out myself.
Now with the mini rant over… David's handling departs greatly in method to Ramsay's original manipulation of six coins. Even though David does not explain the handling, if you know his techniques, such as rattle gimmicks, as well as ditching and retrieving coins from his side (David tips a little bit of in the next item on the DVD set) you can follow to some degree what he is doing. David's techniques are interesting as they can provide clean "shows" of the hands when you otherwise could not in the traditional routine. My favorite part of his routine was the very first production – you can tell from the crowd response, they felt the same way.
David Neighbors performs and teaches "Purse Frame Pro": David shows his "Las Vegas" purse (a purse frame) in his right hand. He takes it in his left hand, squeezes into a fist, and it vanishes (he shows his left hand empty), only to reappear behind his right leg. He does keep something in there however, and reaches into the purse frame with his left hand and produces a silver half dollar.
He displays the purse frame and the coin palm up in each hand. He then puts the purse frame away in his left pocket.
The coin is put in his palm up left hand at the fingertips. He closes his hand into a fist and opens it. The coin splits into two coins.
David puts one coin in each palm up hand at the fingertips. He closes both hands into a fist and opens them, the coins split into two; for a total of four coins.
I have always appreciated David's mind for coin magic. He really can come up with some really interesting ideas. This particular routine may be more involved then others may want to get into because it does involve the use of either coin clips or holdouts to retrieve a coin set. Also showcased is David's use of the back palm (not back clip) in close up work. Not many people I know do this. I have seen routines where David back palms stacks of coins; he is quite adept at it. The production was to the point, and not confusing, so it is good in my book.
David Roth performs (not taught) his classic showpiece, "The Planet". This routine can be found and explained in Expert Coin Magic or his Classic Showpieces video. Four silver half dollars are placed on the close up mat. A small globe is then put on the table.
David picks up one of the half dollars and explains that on his travels to France, he learned how to make coins vanish. His half dollar vanishes and changes into a silver coin! But it is not the same type of silver coin – it has changed into a French 5 Franc piece.
He learned how to make coins appear from an African Witch Doctor. If he waves a half dollar around the world and takes a little bit of Africa and tosses it at the coin, it changes into a copper African coin from Kenya.
He learned how to make coins change in China. He simply waves his hand over a half collar on the table and it changes into a Chinese coin.
That is three half dollars turned into three foreign coins. The last half dollar he has a spectator mark the coin with a Sharpie marker.
He places all four coins into his left hand. He shows his right hand completely empty, asks everyone to watch his left hand, and watch the globe.
Instantly he opens his left hand and all the coins have vanished! Where in the world can they be? All focus goes to the globe.
He splits the globe into two halves. All the coins are inside the globe. He pulls the coins out and dumps them on the table. The spectator's marked coin confirms that they are the same coins.
What can I say? David's showpieces stand the test of time. In his hands they look wonderful. Everything makes sense. The coin changes are justified. All of them vanishing is astonishing, and then they all reappear in an impossible place. It is a beautiful routine.
The next item, David Roth's "The Big Finish" is actually just the very beginning and a video edit to the very end of David's "The Sleeve" routine from Expert Coin Magic. He closed his formal close-up set with this routine because it ends with a big fat solid jumbo silver half dollar clanging against the table.
Michael Rubinstein performs and teaches "Ultra Reverse Coin Matrix." Four half dollars are arranged in a square and all the coins are covered with playing cards. One at a time the cards are lifted to show that a coin has vanished and traveled to under the card at the upper left position. The upper right coin goes, and then the lower right, and then the lower left. The lower left card is placed back on the mat and the upper left card is lifted to reveal all four coins, but there is only one! All the cards are picked up to show all coins are back to where they started.
This matrix is one of the smoothest matrix routines I have ever seen. No snappy pick up move is used. Everything is done very slow and deliberate. Cards are turned up slowly and fairly. There are few matrix routines that are this squeaky clean looking. It relies heavily on Paul Harris coin steals. The really cool thing with this matrix is that Michael has actually stolen EVERY coin before the trick occurs during the card lay downs, and you don't see it. Mike has a routine similar to this called "Quadra Coin Reverse Matrix" that uses dissimilar coins on his 1986 lecture DVD available exclusively from him.
Apollo Robbins teaches a move he calls "Interchange". This is a transitional technique to bring a coin from Deep Backclip to third finger curl palm. This is a move Apollo has also taught as part of his "Flip Tip" and "2B Gone" routines from his DVD Cultural Xchange Vol. 2. It can be pretty angle sensitive, but when done right, and I have seen Apollo do it in person, it looks really good. Apollo teaches how to get into Deep Backclip, the "Interchange" move, the third finger curl palm, and JW grip.
Doug Brewer performing "The Magic Caldron"
Doug Brewer performs and teaches his routine "The Magic Caldron". He lights a candle and shows his little magic caldron (a small metal cup). Inside the caldron are three rolled up pieces of paper (spells) which he dumps onto the table. He takes the first spell and touches it to the fire, it bursts into flames and he tosses it into his other hand. In the midst of the flames, a coin appears.
He repeats this sequence one more time to get another coin. He shows the caldron to be empty and then he then places the two coins into his caldron. He burns the last spell and tosses it into the caldron as well.
He dumps three coins out of the caldron – the last spell made the coin appear inside. He drops the coins back into the caldron and repositions the candle and the cup.
Continuing on, he claims since they came out of the fire, they can go back into the fire. He dumps the coins out into his hand and puts the caldron on the table mouth toward the audience.
He takes one coin and tosses it back toward the caldron; it vanishes. He does the same with the second coin, but the last coin he keeps as a souvenir and places into his pocket.
But it does not stay in the pocket, while his hand is in his pocket, he is able to pluck the coin out of the flames with his other hand.
He removes his hand from his pocket and places the coin into that hand.
He blows out the candle, and allows the smoke to billow into his fist. He shows that all three coins have returned, and dumps the coins to the table.
Not a bad routine. At its core, it is a three coin production, vanish, and reproduction sequence. The "flash coin" productions always look nice… fire… ohhhh ahhhh! He uses the gaffed properties of a Miracle Coin Cup (which Doug sells a book on) to create some of the magic. There was only one phase I did not particularly care for, and that was putting his hand in his pocket right before the final coin appearances. I just think doing that right before the final productions takes away from the mystery of where the coins came from, and lessens the impact of the ending. Other than that nitpick, I thought it was a nicely presented routine. I am glad to hear that since filming, Doug has worked out a handling that eliminates the pocket trip and ends with a cascade of a dozen coins from his hand.
Shawn Greer performs and teaches one hell of a misers dream/coin flourish routine. He goes through a whole sequence of plucking coins from the air and tossing them into a cocktail shaker. After the misers dream sequence is over, he dumps the coins out and performs various coin roll out displays including four coin roll outs (two different types in each hand all at once), five coin roll outs in each hand (called roses), a full circle roll out (both hands come together and display 10 coins creating a full circle). Then he does a coin roll out to five coin spread (collapsing the roll out and then balancing all of the coins on all of his fingertips and thumb tips). This is in both hands simultaneously. From this position he claps both hands into a coin star display. He allows five coins to fall into his hands as he holds the other five in a coin star. He dumps the five coins out of the star into the cocktail shaker, and then immediately pushes five coins out into another coin star display before dumping them as well into the shaker.
This was impressive. The misers dream sequence was excellent, and the flourishes are mind boggling. The guys that like coin flourishes are going to absolutely love Shawn's contribution to the DVD set. Some serious practice will be involved to perfect this routine, but it is an absolute joy to watch.
Kainoa Harbottle performs (not taught) a routine whereby he starts by rolling a silver half dollar down his knuckles from hand to hand. After a few knuckle rolling passes from hand to hand, he blows on the silver coin and it changes immediately to a Chinese coin which he continues to roll down his knuckles from hand to hand.
He places the Chinese coin into his right hand, squeezes, and it turns back to a silver half dollar. He holds the coin at his right fingertips and gives it a little rub, in so doing, it changes back to a Chinese coin. He rubs it again and it changes back to a silver coin. He rolls the coin down the knuckles of each hand and then drops it from his left hand to his right hand. As he drops the coin it changes into Chinese again. He touches the coin with his finger and it changes back to silver.
He then says sometimes you don't even need to touch it, you just need the air. He blows on the coin and it changes into Chinese.
He then explains that in order to do these tricks, often you need to have more than one coin. He drops the Chinese coin and it clinks against another coin. But when he picks them up they are two silver coins. For some reason they are both silver, but you have to have another one too, but for some reason it is also silver (he shows a third silver coin).
Kainoa explains that he is lying to everyone that the coins are not silver. He squeezes the silver coins in his right hand and drops them into his left whereby they change into three Chinese coins.
I don't know the work on the routine, but I assume it is pretty hard. Kainoa even tells us as much while he is doing the routine, "If you only knew…" The changes look good. With all the flippy knuckle rolls and changing back and forth, you don't expect to see three silver coins or for that matter three Chinese coins at the end. I liked it, it made my eyes happy J
Reed McClintock performs but does not explain a routine that goes like this: He starts with a little bit of imagination, and turns the imagination into a coin that appears at between both hands at the fingertips, and he keeps it at his left fingertips.
He takes the coin from his left fingertips and puts it onto his left arm. It immediately travels back to his left fingertips.
Reed says he will do it again… It is a solid coin, he will make it go up his sleeve, across his chest, and then back into the original hand. He asks if that would be a good trick. Obviously it would not, since there is no effect.
But if he squeezes the coin… it changes into a British Penny. (And it does). Reed asks if the audience knows how he does that. He says he cheats and uses two coins. He wipes his hand past the Copper coin and it changes into two silver coins; which he proceeds to roll over the knuckles to be clipped for display between the first and second fingers.
He says that he knows what everyone is thinking, "Where is the copper coin?" He makes the copper coin appear between both hands fingertips as they come together. He holds the copper coin clipped between the fingertips of his first and second fingers.
He says that no one is impressed by that, so what if he used a fourth and a fifth, and a sixth and a seventh coin? As he says this, two coins appear clipped between each third and forth fingers and two more held clipped by the thumbs and index fingers.
He puts the coins down on the table. He tosses the copper coin into his left hand, picks up three silver coins and places them off to the side on the table.
He picks up the other three silver coins and tosses them into his left hand to join the copper coin.
One at a time he makes the three silver coins travel from his left hand to his right hand invisibly. The copper coin vanishes and is found on the bottom of the stack of coins he had placed to the side of the table.
Reed then asks if he would take the copper coin and place it in his pocket, if that would be a fine piece of magic. He suites action to words and does so. The crowd resounds, "NO". Reed asks, "Do you know why? Because it is a motor skill, which is impressive if you have been drinking as much as I have." He removes the copper coin from his pocket and puts it back on the table.
Then he puts all six silver coins into his left hand with the copper coin on top. With a magical tensing of his hands, he makes the copper coin travel to the right. He puts the copper coin down on the table and the six silver coins down on the left.
He reaches across the table and picks the six half dollars up with his right hand and then immediately tosses them into his left hand. He puts the copper coin into his left hand thumb hole and begins to turn it over and over, six times.
All the silver coins change to copper, he dumps them all out of his hand onto the table.
Reed's coin work is very intriguing and different than the norm. This routine is different for sure. Reed's routines often demonstrate his ability to hold out a lot of coins in Classic Palm. The routine starts out with a coin production, but then I got a little confused on the next two sequences. The first thing he does is ask the audience about making a coin go across, and then back into the original hand, if that would be good. Obviously that would not be good because there is no effect. I was expecting Reed to do a Coins Across, which I assumed he was alluding to. But then out of nowhere, he instead changes a coin to copper. Okay… now we have a copper coin. Then, he says he did that by cheating and uses two coins, and turns the copper coin into two silver coins. I did not really understand the link between the copper and two silvers.
Anyway… Then Reed goes into "Seven the Hard Way" from his book, Knuckle Buster's Vol. 2. which is a pretty difficult coin production/display sequence. That was pretty fancy and got a nice applause.
The coins across phase and the copper coin vanishing and appearing in the stack played well. It was straightforward and magical.
Like Doug Brewer's routine I wrote about earlier, I don't like the overt trip to the pocket too close to the finale. When Reed put the copper coin into his pocket just to ask if it was a good effect, to then exclaim it is not, and then just take the coin back out, it just seems obvious to me at least that he is in there for a reason.
With that said, he did put one effect in as some time delay before the climax. The copper coin traveling over worked. Six silver coins changing to six copper coins is a good finale.
Bob Fitch performs "Abracadabra"
Bob Fitch performs (but does not teach) a routine called "Abracadabra". He gives a nice story about the word. It is a Celtic word that means "Holy". He explained that if there was an object that cut someone and caused an infection, that object was evil. He uses a coin as an impromptu "object of evil". The coin is placed inside a piece of paper that is folded many times over the coin to make an impromptu envelope. That object would be placed inside the center of a pentagram and the syllables, Ab-ra-ca-da-bra would be put in the five points of the pentagram. This would supposedly encircle the evil with holiness to protect people.
Bob has a spectator clink the paper covered coin against a glass a few times. It can be heard inside.
Bob takes the envelope and has another spectator feel the coin inside. He demonstrates that the coin cannot fall out by turning the envelope over a few times and showing his hands empty. Then he proceeds to rip the paper into pieces as he recites, "Abracadabra, Abracadab, Abraca, Abra, Ab" As he finishes the recital all he has is little pieces of paper and the evil object is no where to be found!
Yeow! This is all story, and unexplainable magic. I am not kidding you. The coin is inside the paper. It clinks against glass, he lets others feel it. He turns it over showing it can't fall out. He shows both hands empty after he did that. He tears up the paper, and immediately shows his hands empty. Short, sweet, to the point, and a lot of impact. This is one of the good routines for sure.
Jeff Haas performs (does not teach) his variation of T. Nelson Down's Eureka Pass. He places four coins on each of his right fingertips. He turns his hand into a fist and pounds it down onto his left hand supposedly dropping the coins inside. He brings his right fist behind his body, slams his left hand against his body, and then brings out his right hand with all the coins still balanced on his fingertips.
Chris Korn performs a bit of lunacy showing where the origin of some of the palms come from. Then he does what appears to be a puppet skit with his hands. (See photos). One hand comes out in the "JW Grip position" and yells to the other hand "Who your name is?" The other replies "Ramsay" as the hand is held in a Ramsay gesture, then he produces what looks to be a wad of paper and throws it away. The other hand repeats the query, and gets the response "Korn"; which causes the first hand to run after the second hand and kiss it. Then the table cloth falls down.
After that silly bit, Chris performs (but the teaching is delayed onto DVD #2) a bit called "The Tooth Fairy". Chris starts with a very funny story about how times have been pretty tough and he has had to get a part time job… as a fairy.
Not just any fairy… a tooth fairy.
What he does is take money, and put it under the darkness of a pillow. He holds a coin in left Spellbound position and squeezes it with his right hand. When he moves his hand away, there is a small tooth. He looks at the audience and a coin comes out of his mouth. He smiles, and he now has a missing tooth.
What can I possibly say? The hand stuff was simply silly. The tooth thing was pretty funny. This shows that you don't have to execute hand bleeding sleight of hand to be entertaining. Plus… you get the chance to be a fairy.
The origin of the palms...
Chris Korn as the "Tooth Fairy"
Mark Strivings performs and explains a routine where he predicts the date on a borrowed quarter. He borrows one of the older quarters from a member in the audience. He puts the quarter in a coin envelope, closes it, and gives back to the spectator to put in his pocket.
Usually an entire magic set would be performed. At the end of the set, he would remind the spectator of the quarter in the envelope. He asks the spectator to dump the quarter out and look at the date. The date is 1982. He also has a business card in the envelope. He has the spectator retrieve the business card. On the back of the business card the date 1982 is prominently written.
This is another routine that uses almost no sleight of hand to perform. It's very easy to do. It is a mentalism effect rather than a traditional coin routine. But it does use a coin. The reaction this will get along with the absolute lack of difficulty will make this a sure bet for many people to add to their close up set.
Dan Watkins (yours truly) performs and teaches "Three Way Crossing" (Actually it is now called "Coinvention Crossing.") Three coins are shown in my left hand. One at a time they travel to my right hand. Before and after the coins travel, both hands are shown palm up to contain the appropriate number of coins. In the first phase, both hands close and then open causing a coin to invisibly travel left to right. The next phase I visibly throw a coin from my left hand to my right hand, but immediately show that the coin never went! For the next phase, I simply hold both hands palm up and instantly a coin invisibly travels from left to right. For the last phase, I show the last coin in my left hand, and close it into a fist. I show the two coins that have already gone in my right hand, and I keep my hand open. I toss my left hand up and open to show that the coin has gone, and suddenly, the coin appears on my palm up right palm up hand with the others.
Well my opinion of this routine should be evident or I would not have included it on the DVD. This routine is an evolution of the "Three Way Crossing" routine I have a web video of here. I have since changed the name of the routine to "Coinvention Crossing" in Coinvanish Volume 2 to differentiate between the two routines. In the original "Three Way Crossing" my hands always closed before the coin traveled. "Coinvention Crossing" is more of an open, visual routine. The first coin goes like the original routine, but then I added a sequence published in Homer Liwag's "4 Coins and a Filipino" using a Geoff Latta idea of visibly tossing a coin over that is immediately shown not to go. This sets up the next phase for the next coin to go while both of my hands remain open palm up. The last coin of "Coinvention Crossing" is similar to "Three Way Crossing" however, I let the last coin appear visibly on my palm up right hand instead of closing into a fist first.
I was pretty pleased with how the filming of the routine turned out. I use Backclips that can be pretty tough to get on film without flashing due to angles. The routine is meant to be performed only for people who are standing with you close enough that you can physically touch them. I did not flash the coins, though you could catch some finger movement in my left hand during the final coin steal. This movement can be removed by moving your right hand straight up after the steal instead of forward like I did in the video. I did it improperly. Enough of my routine…
John Born performs (does not teach) several effects from his book, Matrix God's Way. The first routine is called "Off the Hook". Four English Pennies are placed in a vertical line on the left side of the close up pad. The coins are covered with the hands. John causes the coins one at a time to travel from the left side to the right side ala "Translocation". This specific phase is also the same as "Translocation Reborn" from John's DVD set, Cutting Edge Cards and Coins.
Continuing… The coins are arranged into a diamond pattern. A coin purse is taken from the pocket and placed into the center of the diamond. The top and bottom coins are picked up and placed at the top corners of the close up mat and suddenly they are silver half dollars! The left and right coins are picked up out of the diamond pattern and immediately change to silver half dollars as well (both sides are shown as John rotates them at his fingertips). The coins are placed at the bottom corners of the close up mat.
The coin purse is opened to show that the four English Pennies are inside. The coins are dumped out. All of the coins are displayed at the top of the close up pad. All four of the silver coins are turned over to show both sides. Then John picks up the four silver coins, squares them up and vanishes them all at once (complete vanish).
When I first saw this routine on the Matrix God's Way CD it fooled me. The Kennedy "Translocation" routine looks pretty standard. But when the coins two at a time change from Copper to Silver he got me. I could follow some of the "dirty" moves by his hand postures, but I still did not understand how he was doing it. John is using a unique custom set of gaff coins. You can learn about it in his aforementioned book since the routine is not taught on the DVD. There are multiple types of gaffs coins at play and John uses them very well to create this effect. The four coin complete vanish was a nice addition to the routine on this DVD. To do that, you will need the coins he describes in his routine "Totally Off the Hook" in his book.
John Born's second routine starts with "4 of a Coin" from his book. He produces the four aces one at a time. The cards are tossed, spun, and set on the table while showing empty hands before and after. Yet, when the cards are slid away, a half dollar is found under each card. After this production John performs the last three phases of his routine "Matrix God's Way" (eliminating the first two phases). He puts one coin in each corner of a close up pad. Waving over the coins, all four instantly assemble in the top right hand corner. Another wave, and without the hands crossing the center of the mat, all four coins are back in their respective corners. The coins are arranged in a diagonal pattern on the close up mat and then put back into the four corners of the mat. Again without the hands crossing the center of the mat, all the coins instantly assemble to the top left corner.
At first, the routine simply appears to be a run of the mill 4 ace production. You don't expect the coin production at all, it literally comes out of nowhere, and it looks really clean. Again John employs some gaffed cards and coins to create the effect.
I previously wrote in my review of John's book regarding the routine, "Matrix God's Way": "This is John's pride and joy routine. I think this is one of the most stunning multi-phase bare hand coin assemblies I have ever seen. I would say that the most startling parts of the routine for me are phases 3 and 4 where all the coins instantly assemble to the top right corner, then instantly backfire without the hands crossing the mat… It is remarkably clean looking with minimal extraneous hand motions." I still agree with my earlier assessment. John did the most impressive parts of the routine in this performance. All the work on these routines is in John's book if you want to learn them.
Geoff Williams performs and teaches "The Miracle Coin Vanish". He takes a coin from his pocket, and places it on his upper leg. He slowly begins to cover it with his fingertips. After it is covered, he spreads his fingers again so you can see the coin. Then he closes his fingers and slowly lifts his hand away as he spreads open his fingers again. The coin has vanished. He turns his hand over to show that it is clean.
You will need a jacket to do it, but it looks very, very nice. It is a real complete vanish.
The last item on the DVD is the "Three Fly Forum." From reviewing my original notes on the forum compared to what is on the DVD, there has been some content edited out, but the core items remain. Most of what follows is an excerpt of my original write-up of the panel discussions in my Coinvention article. I have edited the excerpt to eliminate the items that were edited out of the DVD.
The panel consisted of: David Neighbors, Chris Kenner, Reed McClintock, David Roth, Kainoa Harbottle, and moderated by Curtis Kam.
Curtis Kam moderates the "Three Fly" forum.
Chris Kenner talks about the history of Three Fly.
Chris Kenner started the discussion with a brief history of the effect: He was in NYC in the early 1980's; he saw Jonathan Townsend perform "Visible Coins Across" which is a routine where Jonathan would hold three coins in a fan at his fingertips and one at a time they would travel to the other hand which was held in a palm up display. Jonathan's handling utilized back clipping in the receiving hand. Chris was very complimentary of Jonathan's original routine, and stated he corresponded with Jonathan for quite some time. Chris said it looked good in Jonathan's hands, and that he had an excellent sense of timing, but whenever back clip work is used, it limits the effect to a few people. Chris needed something that would play for a larger audience. Chris changed the structure of the routine so that it could play for a larger audience by bringing the receiving hand up to chest level as well. This was the birth of what Chris would eventually publish as "Three Fly".
Chris Kenner also touched on a few specific bits of information regarding his handling. He said that spectators are much more aware then magicians often give them credit for. Early on it was very apparent to spectators that four coins are used to create the effect. Therefore, Chris devised a method to really vanish the last coin. The methodology employed has been held pretty tight by Chris and has been shrouded in mystery. Chris said he never used the last vanish he published in his book (which he stated was Geoff Latta's "French Pop" vanish) when he performed the routine. The reason why he did not publish the real method is that it was very involved. He did not want to write the real method in his book because he knew the great majority of readers would not bother with the routine if they read what was needed. He mentioned that he has read books that have routines that necessitate a ridiculous amount of extra preparation and unique objects, which would make him gloss over the effect and forget about it. He did not want to write a routine like that.
A few other points Chris made were (on the DVD some of these were put in at the end as "Final Thoughts":
David Roth presents his views on "Three Fly".
David Roth was the next panel member to speak. He does not currently perform a Three Fly effect… yet. He made it clear that nothing is wrong with the effect, that he does not dislike it. He may learn a Three Fly routine in the future.
David stated that there is a time and place for everything; that when a routine is needed to be done standing for a larger group of people, the visible nature of bringing all the coins to chest level has advantages.
David said that he has also remembers Jonathan's original version, and that quote: "It is exactly what Chris said. If you saw his original version, you would say, whatever you would say, but you would say this is not Three Fly that we think of as Three Fly. Chris is the one that really brought the whole thing up here so that all the coins went across at the fingertips, he dealt with the last coin, and that Chris really made what they call a Visible Coins Across to what they call Three Fly."
Reed McClintock was the next up on the panel. Reed performs Three Fly for those in attendance. He performs and teaches a version with a shell coin that was his first personal handling. I liked his handling, it was very well thought out.
Dave Neighbors performs one of his Three Fly versions that ended with a one at a time vanish of the coins.
Next Reed performes his "International 3 Fly" which uses a silver half dollar, copper British penny, and a brass Chinese coin with a hole in it.
Dave Neighbors returns for his "International 3 Fly" that uses a Morgan Dollar, and matching sized copper and brass coins.
Personally, though I can appreciate them, I never cared as much for the International variations of the effect. For me it was always about the simplicity of three coins traveling from the fingertips of one hand to the fingertips of another. Mixing in the colors I think is a fun thing for magicians to try to accomplish, but clutters the main effect in my mind. However, David's version has a pretty awesome gaffed set to make it look pretty darn clean.
Reed McClintock performs "Three Fly".
David Neighbors performs "Three Fly".
That wraps up DVD #1, onward to DVD #2:
Danny Archer performs the "Sub-Atomic Coin Routine"
Danny Archer performs and teaches the "Sub-Atomic Coin Routine." Three coins are held in a fan at his fingertips. He explains that he had surgical incisions made behind his ears in behind his elbow. He takes the first coin from the fan and squeezes it in his right hand until it turns into a tiny sub atomic particle. He places this "coin" behind his left ear. He repositions the fan of two coins into his right hand. His left hand takes a coin, squeezes it until it turns into a tiny sub atomic particle, and that "coin" is placed behind his left ear. The remaining coin goes into his elbow. First he tries to put the coin into his left elbow, but it does not go. The surgical slit is in his right elbow… so he then successfully vanishes the coin into his right elbow.
His hands are shown legitimately empty. He is wearing a short sleeve polo shirt.
Danny then reproduces the coins, one a time. One behind each ear and one from out of his right elbow.
As performed this is a very straightforward, un-muddled three coin vanish/reproduction sequence. In the explanation he teaches it has a production/vanish/reproduction. The routine is based on Troy Hooser's "exTROYdinary" routine from his book DesTROYers. In Troy's routine he had a ditch that can have some balance issues. Danny has devised a simple gaff to make this ditch sure fire, and additionally you can ditch multiple coins. I am being vague as to not give things away, but it is a very interesting solution to a problem. The result is a coin routine you can do seemingly impromptu in short sleeves where you start with legitimately empty hands, after the productions, there is a complete coin vanish phase with clean empty hands. The structure is sound, the logic in it comes full circle; it is a very good routine.
John Born teaches his Translocation backfire. This backfire is also taught on his Cutting Edge Cards and Coins DVD set as part of "Translocation Reborn." It is really a half backfire since he openly slides two coins back to the left side of the mat, and then magically the other two instantly go across. It looks good.
Marc DeSouza performs and teaches "Six Coins Thru and Flew." Marc was not actually at the convention, but rather filmed a segment at his lecture theater for submission. He is the only one that took Danny and Joe's invitation to send something in if you could not make the COINvention. The routine is a combination of a number of classical and neo classical ideas that flow nicely into a cohesive routine.
He starts with six silver dollars and a ring from his finger. He places three silver dollars in his right hand along with the ring, and three silver dollars in his left hand. He makes a suspicious movement with his hands coming close together. Recognizing that we now doubt the position of the coins, he slaps the three from his left hand to the table and picks them back up. He slaps the three from his right hand and the ring to the table and then picks them back up. He brings his right hand underneath the table, hits his left hand on the top and causes the three coins from his left hand to penetrate the table and join the three coins and the ring in his right hand below.
He removes the ring and leaves only the six silver coins. He puts three in each hand, makes a suspicious move again, and immediately goes under the table with his left hand. He slaps his right hand onto the table and looks up and notices suspicious looks. He moves his right hand back to show that three coins are still there, and then covers them to push them through the table. Strangely enough, instead of the three on the top going through, the three from the bottom penetrate up through the table. Six coins now lay on the table.
Marc says that he knows what is confusing us. It is the table, so let's do a routine with all the coins above the table. Again he separates the coins into two piles of three. Each hand takes a pile. He slaps his hands down on the table and instantly all six coins are under his left hand. He peels off the top three coins and squares them up again on the right side. Each hand takes a pile of coins. This time he simply turns his hands over and opens them to show that again, the three coins traveled from his left hand to his right. The six coins cascade out of his right hand onto the table.
The routine is based on classic routines. The routine progresses with each phase, getting more impossible than the last. It is a nice logical progression. It is primarily sleight of hand except for the last phases, Marc rings in an easily made gaff that you can make at home. The routine combines elements of the work of Slydini, Mike Gallo, Tim Conover, and David Neighbors work. Nice set Marc.
Dean Dill performs.
Dean Dill performs (does not teach) "Call Shot", "Call Shot Instant", and the "Explosion" finale. It begins with a "Translocation" sequence where four coins are lined up vertically on the left side of the close up pad. One at a time two coins travel over to the right under Dean's hands.
The coins are then re-arranged into a square formation. Dean begins to "call" where the coins are going to travel. He first makes the lower right coin travel to the upper left. Then he makes one of the upper left two coins travel to the upper right. The remaining upper left coin travels to the lower left, and then immediately to the upper right (a bank shot). He pushes the remaining lower left coin to the upper left position, and then magically makes it travel to the upper right to join the other three coins.
The four coins are arranged in a square on a close up pad. He moves his left hand back, and keeps his right hand forward. He reverses the placement of his hands and instantly, all the coins travel to the upper left corner.
He places the coins back into a square formation and begins to wave his hands over the coins. As he does so, coins begin to appear all over the mat until 16 coins are laying on the mat.
This routine shows the versatility of Dean's "Explosion" set. He just demonstrated how you can use it with his other routines, and still get the Explosion finale. "Call Shot" and "Call Shot Instant" are both taught on his Extreme Dean Volume 1 DVD. Dean's matrix/assembly/translocation routines are always top notch. He well known for this particular type of coin magic. It always looks great.
Bob Fitch performs and teaches a routine called "Tornado." He shows a spectator two coins, a silver half dollar, and a copper British penny. He places both coins onto her palm up right hand and has her turn her hand over. She reaches in and removes one of the coins half way out of her thumb hole. Bob takes the coin and shows that it is copper.
The coin is spun on a table and the spectator is instructed to slap her hand down on it. She does so a couple times, eventually, during one of the slaps, the coin changes to silver.
She opens her hand to reveal that she is now holding the copper.
Bob calls the routine Tornado because of the spinning of the coin on the table. This routine combines the Fed Kaps in the hand ending to a Copper – Silver routine with a novel way to cause a coin color change. (The spin on the table). The routine is short, straight forward, and looks good.
Garrett Thomas performs and explains a routine called "Hangin' Clean". He takes a coin out of a coin purse and demonstrates how he can hang it in the air, turning it invisible, and then bring it back and make it visible.
Garret further explains that he likes to do
magic with more than one coin, and he makes one more appear. After he does
that, he reaches out and makes a third coin appear. Then, he produces a forth
coin from behind his ear.
He continues by reversing the process. He makes one coin turn invisible and he puts it behind his ear. He proceeds to take the remaining three coins and hangs them invisibly into the air one at a time.
He then reaches out and produces the three coins and places them onto the table, and then produces the last coin from his ear. Instantly the coin from his ear vanishes and arrives on the table with the other three coins.
Multiple coin production/vanish/re-production sequences seemed to be pretty en vogue at the COINvention. Garret's works as good as any. The various routines tend to showcase favorite sleights of each performer, Garret is no different. His uses the web grip a few times for vanishes. One of my favorite parts of his routine was the very last bit where a produced coin instantly vanishes and appears on the table. Didn't see that coming, and I wasn't sure what he did. The method is fabulous, it's an idea that I employ in one of my own routines. It's pretty funny when stuff you do yourself fools you when done by another. Good routine.
Kainoa Harbottle performs and teaches "Slapping for Compliments". He starts with four coins in the "sneaky fan position" in the right hand. He takes one of the coins with his left hand, gives it a rub, and it vanishes.
He takes two coins into the left fingertips and places the remaining coin into his left hand, and takes back the two other coins.
He squeezes his left hand and causes the 2nd coin to vanish. He takes the remaining two coins in each hand at the fingertips. He places one into his right hand, and then takes the 2nd coin into his left fingertips and also drops it into his right hand. You can hear the coins clink. He squeezes right hand and opens to show only one coin is there.
He takes the last coin with his left hand and re-inserts it into his right hand. He shows his left hand to be empty. He smacks his open palm down left hand down onto his right palm up hand and the coin is gone. When he wants the coins to return, all he does is smack his left hand down onto his right hand, and all four coins are back lying on his right hand.
Yep… another 4 coin vanish, reproduction sequence. And yes, this showcases Kainoa's style of edge grippy, Mutobe palming stuff. Kainoa teaches some of his edge grip techniques such as the Edge Flip Vanish, 3rd Finger Curl Palm, the Air Click Pass (which is an edgy click pass), the Plural Push Through Changeover, and other fun things such as Derek Dingle's silent steal, and the Mutobe Palm. Kainoa's work is always fun to watch and even more fun to learn because the techniques are so different than the norm.
Curtis Kam performs and teaches "The Coin Trick that Cannot Be Explained". He starts by dumping four coins out of a coin purse: A silver dollar, half dollar, Australian penny, and African dime with a hole in it. He places all of the coins into his left hand. Curtis explains that is going to perform a Coins Across routine. He is going to allow a spectator to choose what coins go across. He demonstrates first by making the African dime travel from left to right. He asks a spectator which coin should go next, the dollar, half dollar, or penny. He chooses the half dollar. Curtis shows the half dollar in his left hand, and then conceals it. He goes to make the half dollar travel, but the penny shows up in his other hand by accident. Curtis looks puzzled and said, hmm wrong coin, and shows the half dollar again in his other hand. He then continues, "Well to fix that, we will make this penny the half dollar, and the half dollar the penny." He tosses the penny out of his right hand and it immediately changes to a half dollar. He opens his left hand to show that the half dollar is gone, only the dollar and penny remain.
The spectator next calls for the penny to go, which Curtis promptly does. The penny travels from left to right. It is placed onto the table.
Now there is no excitement left since the only thing left to go is the silver dollar. So Curtis asks the spectator to choose one of the coins on the table. He chooses the African dime. Curtis picks up the African dime in his right hand and makes the Silver dollar change places with the African dime.
After this Curtis quickly goes through the various options that could have occurred. You could have chosen the Australian penny, he picks it up in his right hand, and immediately it becomes the African coin (he shows it palm up and drops it onto the table). He opens his left hand to show that the penny is now there. If on the other hand if you had chosen the half dollar, the half dollar would have become the Australian penny, and the penny would have become the half dollar. (Again this takes place by the half dollar changing places with the penny in the right hand). The half dollar winds up over in the left hand.
That is pretty much the way it works, and that is the end of the trick.
Only one very common gimmick is needed as well as some sleight of hand (work on your Tenkai pinch). This is a very interesting concept. It makes the Coins Across routine very interactive giving the spectator the opportunity to call which coins should go and when. I like the idea a lot.
Curtis' ending sequences have a flurry type feel to it where stuff is changing so fast and furious you can't really slow down to catch up how the heck it is all happening.
Curtis teaches how to do the routine and what to do depending on which coin a spectator calls. Obviously there is an unknown element to the effect based upon what response you get from your spectator. You need to be able to adapt quickly and know exactly what must be done to meet each request. I think this will be a fun item to play with for sure.
Roger Klause performs "Sun & Moon"
Roger Klause performs and teaches his "Sun & Moon" (Soleil Et Lune) routine. Roger shows a little mystery with two coins. He shows a half dollar and an English penny front and back; a copper and a silver coin. "They say that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I think it is only a theory. The object is to have the coins change places before your very eyes."
He closes the copper coin into his right hand and the silver coin into his left hand. "Watch! Not yet!" He shows the silver coin still in the left hand and closes over it again. He touches his thumbs together and the coins transpose. He shows that the silver coin has now traveled to his left hand; the copper coin is now in his right hand.
Roger says that he will repeat the effect. He will refer to the silver coin as the sun, and the copper coin as the moon. He puts the silver coin at his right fingertips and the copper coin behind his left fingertips. The sun sinks slowly in the west, and he lets the coin slowly sink behind his fingertips, and rises in the east, the silver coin rises to the fingertips of the left hand! And then the moon comes up, he pushes the copper coin up to the fingertips of his right hand. Both hands are shown otherwise empty.
This is one very smooth very slow and deliberate piece of conjuring. It was first published in Richard's Almanac as "Soleil Et Lune". The title meaning "Sun & Moon" tips the gaff. This was one of my favorite routines at the show. It looks impossible and clean, and it is a beautiful use of the gaff set. And it is very easy to do, so this should go immediately to your list of tricks especially if you have the Hopping Half set or a Sun and Moon.
Chris Korn performs but does not teach "3 Korn Vanish" from his DVD, Radical Korn. Chris produces a coin from his left bicep, and a second from his right bicep. He places the coins into a fan at the left fingertips. He reaches to his left bicep for the third coin, but strangely there is now only one coin at his left fingertips. He puts both coins in his right fingertips and reaches toward his right bicep for the third coin. Strangely enough, it is still only two coins. He puts both coins in his left fingertips and remembers now where the third coin is. He coughs and pulls it from out of his mouth.
He shows that from the front side there are three coins, pivots the coins over, and shows from the back side, there are only two.
Chris places one of the two coins into his left hand and waves the remaining coin over it. He opens his left hand once again to show that the coin is still there, and re-closes his hand. Once again, he waves the remaining coin over his left fist. When he opens, the coin is gone.
Chris places the last coin into his mouth and audibly chews it up.
He then proceeds to produce a coin from his left bicep, drops it into his left hand. The coin quickly splits in two at the fingertips. He places the two coins in his right fingertips and reaches toward his right bicep for the last coin, which is not there. The last coin suddenly appears in the fan in the right fingertips with the other two coins.
Yes – another production/vanish/production sequence. If you are familiar with Troy Hooser's "exTROYdinary" routine, then you are familiar with the basic premise of the plot.
Chris' first sequence is fun. I like the repeating simultaneous vanishes and production of coins. This was an idea Troy Hooser put on his Total Destruction DVD set. Troy uses it at the end of his routine, Chris does it up front. I personally use a very similar sequence up front in one of my own 3 coin production/vanish/reproduction sequences, so I obviously like Chris' use of it. On Chris' Radical Korn DVD he stated that the appearance of the last coin allows the audience to relax. This initial sequence prolongs this, and keeps the audience on edge.
Chris also has a very nice use of Dr. Michael Rubinstein's ROPS vanish in the context of this routine.
After the performance of "3 Korn Vanish" he explains his "Tooth Fairy" routine from DVD #1.
Reed McClintock's performance that I wrote about here on DVD #1 is repeated again for some reason (I guess a mistake).
Shoot Ogawa performs two matrixes at once!
Shoot Ogawa performs but does not teach his double matrix. He explains how in the past he had injured one of his hands so he had to perform a matrix routine with only one hand. Now that he has two good hands, he sets up two close up mats, each with four coins in each of the corners. He covers all of the top coins with cards and performs two simultaneous matrix routines. His left hand works the coins on the left mat, and this right hand works the coins on his right mat.
It starts with both bottom right coins traveling to both top left corners. Then the top right coins covered by cards are shown to have traveled away.
Then he picks up both bottom left coins and makes them vanish.
He lifts the top left card of the right mat to show all the coins have appeared under that card. He lifts the top left card of the left mat to show that only one coin is there, all coins have backfired back to the original corners.
A traditional matrix and a backfire matrix at the same time; this is unique. Shoot is the only one I have ever seen to do this type of routine. I think it works especially well for magicians who are familiar with a matrix routine. For laypeople, it would probably be good to orient them with the matrix plot before advancing to this level. I can't imagine many magicians not enjoying this one.
Shoot then performs and explains "The Coin & String." He brings out a long string with a Chinese coin tied to the bottom. He proceeds to break the string into small pieces and then he restores the string with the coin still tied on it back to its full length.
This is not really a coin trick, other than the fact he tied the string to a coin, it could have been any object. It is a gypsy thread routine. The coin does however give a psychological addition to the routine to help eliminate the idea of switching threads.
Mickey Silver performs (does not teach) a coin going in one ear and out of the other, eating a coin, which then jumps back to this fingertips, and his "Human Slot Machine" where showers of coins fall from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
This convention is where I first met Mickey. I got to see this thing several times standing only 5-6 feet away. The "burn" Mickey gets on the coin to mouth is fabulous. The "Human Slot Machine" is a funny thing to see. Everyone laughed that saw it including me, several times.
The Infamous Grip Forum: On the panel was Kainoa Harbottle, Reed McClintock, Dr. Michael Rubinstein, David Roth, Garrett Thomas, and it was moderated by Curtis Kam.
David Roth started by explaining the history of Edge Grip. Bobo's MODERN COIN MAGIC listed the concealment simply as "an old concealment that should be known to all coin workers." David was the first to name it Edge Grip and pioneered the modern day use of the grip. One of David's most famous applications is his "Hanging Coins" routine. In addition to how to get in and out of Edge Grip, David discussed the angle considerations for its use.
Mike Rubinstein showed a novel application of edge grip during a quick performance of his Triple EG Spellbound routine, as well has how objects can be held in Edge Grip as another object is held at the fingertips.
Kainoa Harbottle has done extensive work with a modified version of Roth's Edge Grip. Kainoa has a book called COINS ON EDGE which features most of his Edge Grip work. Kainoa showed some of his applications of Edge Grip to the attendees. Applications include, how he modified the grip, Retention Pass to Edge Grip, Edge Grip steals, Edge Grip to Edge Grip transfers, how to take a coin from the fingertips into Edge Grip, and the Edge Flip.
David Roth talks about the history of Edge Grip.
Kainoa Harbottle shows some of
his new applications for Edge Grip.
Curtis Kam points out that edge grip allows you to steal from the top or the bottom of a coin stack to create various effects.
Garrett Thomas explained his modified Downs Palm which he calls Web Grip. Garrett's modification allows him great flexibility to move his hand from a front to back display. Garrett also touched on some of his applications of the grip. One really excellent application is how you can show the inside of your hand by turning your hand to the side, and then bring your hand back in front of you, showing the back of your hand in a very natural manner without flashing. Garrett even got a big compliment from David Roth on it – what else can you ask for?
Kainoa Harbottle featured a stunning routine called "Slapping Mutobe" that utilizes the Mutobe Palm. Kainoa shows four coins in his open palm. He slaps the coins and they are gone. He slaps his open palm again, and the coins re-appear. Kainoa uses this technique in his routine previously on the DVD here called "Slapping for Compliments"
Reed McClintock introduces the "JW Grip" and shows a few applications. Garrett Thomas also showcases a few of his sequences for the move.
Reed McClintock demonstrates the J.W. Grip.
Garrett Thomas demonstrates a modified
Downs Palm called Web Grip.
Dr. Michael Rubinstein demonstrates Angle Palm.
Mike Rubinstein spoke about and demonstrated the grip he calls Angle Palm as well as a few applications. It is also known as the Drobina Palm, Channin Grip, Lamontt Grip, Mutobe Palm, and Wesley James calls it Vertical Thumb Palm. All of the grips are related, though specific positioning varies slightly.
Lastly, Reed McClintock demonstrates a really obscure angle sensitive concealment attributed to Al Koran. You have to hold your hand in a strange "okay" type sign with the index finger tip and thumb tip touching. Reed justifies the position by looking through this "O" shape in his fingers.
That is the end.
Most DVDs have at the most, ten routines to cover. This set has 36 performances and is 3:30 long. That is a lot of stuff to go through, I tried to make it a more of a concise read, but there is only one way to go through each routine, describe them, and give my 2 cents on them, and this review is just that. After you are done reading this, there should be no doubt about the content.
Homer did not make the DVD!
There are only two things I think should have been done differently on this set. The first of which is that I would have included the Geoff Latta explanations, at least of his "Coins, Purse, No Glass" routine. There is very little Latta video material available and this was his first time back in front of magicians in decades. The space could have been acquired by not mistakenly repeating Reed McClintock's performance on both DVDs. The other change I would have made was to have included Homer Liwag's coin routine on the DVD. Video of Homer is rare. Of course, it is yet another 3 coin production/vanish/reproduction sequence, but its one of the best around. It definitely should have been there. Since I originally posted this review, I have heard from Curtis Kam that the Latta explanations and the Liwag footage may have been not included in purpose at the performer's requests.
Speaking of multiple coin production, vanish, reproduction sequences… They were definitely trendy at the COINvention. Looking back over the routines, this plot was performed by: Geoff Latta, Chris Korn, Garrett Thomas, Kainoa Harbottle, Doug Brewer (albeit with fire and caldrons), Danny Archer, and Homer Liwag (though his wasn't on the DVD). David Neighbors performance of "Coins in the Hat" could arguably be one as well, but that is much more involved than a straightforward vanish/production sequence. It was interesting to see the different takes on how to produce or vanish coins; which is a very useful thing to know for coin magic. You should definitely be able to pick up some ideas here.
Speaking of picking up some ideas… The Grips forum will give you a whole bunch of different esoteric ways to hold and conceal coins; different than the traditional Fingerpalm, Classic Palm, etc. These grips should give you plenty to play around with.
It is my opinion that any fan of coin magic should own this set. I don't know of any other product available that shows this type of quantity of routines by such varied sampling of top level coin magicians. Sure there will be stuff above your skill level, below your skill level, stuff you like, stuff you don't. There will be things you will want to learn, others you want to just appreciate. If you enjoy coin magic, this set belongs in your library.
This DVD set is carried by Murphy's Magic Supplies so it should be available at any of your favorite magic retailers. It retails for $49.95.
Back to Contents
Click to read my Coinvention article.