The Standard

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by praetoritevong, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. A quick thought to share.

    From T. Nelson Downs' book The Art of Magic:

    This passage was written in 1908. Vernon held the book in high esteem.

    Downs writes that just over a century ago, a performer who could not conceal 12-15 half dollars in their hand was considered average at best. To conceal three or four was rudimentary and not even worthy of consideration.

    Most magicians I know are content to practice with one coin, and consider it a remarkable achievement to palm two.

    How do you compare?

    Just a realistic reminder that everyone has a long way to go.
     
  2. when i try to palm a coin it looks like i have arthritis
     
  3. Although I respect Tommy Nelson Downs for his teachings and recognize him as the king of coins. I have to "sleightly" disagree. To say that Ponta the Smith or Eric Jones, or Justin Miller are not worthy of consideration would be completely arogant and disrespectful.Im not saying they can't conceal 12-15 coins in their hand. But if they couldn't would that make them average or not worthy of consideration. No, these are some of the best coin operators known to the magic community. What determines whats worthy of consideration is your connection with your audience, your timing, smoothness of sleights, misdirection and direction. Not many effects require 12-15 coins so whats the point. Misers dream or catching coins etc. But I'am not underminding The King of Coins, just my opinion. I bow to you Mr.Downs, King of Coins.
     
  4. The point is that you're missing the point. He could've said 3 coins, he could've said 30 coins. Not the point, although I'm not surprised it has been misunderstood.
     
  5. Ok? Yet Im not surprised you failed to mention the point of this thread? How do you compare?
     
  6. Disregard my last post. I't was late and I was drunk lol.
     
  7. great post. makes me feel like a loser now.

    but i do agree we shouldnt measure performers on how many coins they can handle. but it does show that coin magic is a lost art.
     
  8. Wow, Coin magic is just so HARD I work at it so much and just does not seem to ever get better :x
     
  9. correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't most coin magicians back then presenting in a stage or parlour setting?
     
  10. Yeah, I guess your right about that. T. Nelson Downs was more of a stage magician but I'm sure alot of them were doing close up coin magic as well. In comparison to these days, back then I guess people were doing more stage oriented sets. So yeah, I guess back then being able to conceal so many coins was a necessity. Havn't seen many stage coin stuff lately though except from Jeff Mcbride or Ponta with the Misers Dream.
     
  11. That's what I thought, because it's depending on necessity whether people will work on such techniques.

    I don't know of many coin magicians nowadays who do full stage acts with only coins, but I'm sure the ones who do can conceal the amount of coins that is necessary for there act.

    Since most coin magicians in the present age are close up workers, it's not necessary for them to conceal so many coins. Because of the types of tricks they are doing, being able to conceal 4 coins should be enough in most cases.
     
  12. Illusive - it's alright. I freely admit I can't even palm a single coin properly. Although in my defense, I'm not a coin magician, I'm a mentalist, so I don't need to.

    The point is this: we often overestimate where we are in comparison to the masters of the magical world. It's so easy to be pleased with where we're at. And you should be, when you've achieved something significant - when you get that sleight down, when you perform for the first time, etc. However, few people realise how much greater mastery you can attain. Above all - never lose sight of the fact that there are always three more steps you can take, when you think you've already reached the top of the stairs. Regardless of how many coins you can palm - just be aware of how many ridiculous things the best can do, and be inspired by that, to not settle for where you are, and to aim high.
     
  13. Very true. Never be satisfied with where you are at because your skill level will never improve unless you keep at it. It's almost like weight lifting, If I'm satisfied with the rusults of a certain amount of weight I'm lifting I won't get stronger unless I increase the weight. With anything mastery comes with extreme endless dedication, patience and practice. I, like many others have a long road ahead. Even though some of us will never attain true mastery, we can always strive to be the best at what we do.
     
  14. I see and appreciate your point praetoritevong, and it is a good one. However, I would be amiss if I didn't note that while an absolute genious with coins, Downs had a tendency to exagerate some. I do, however have no doubt that during a miser's dream routine, he did conceal some 20 + coins at a time.
     
  15. But the question is, were they legitimate coins or palming coins? Also, T. Nelson made a living off of coins, other magician's in modern times (Non-Vaudeville) have to have effects other then coins.
     

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