What subtleties are there?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Chris W, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. #1 Chris W, Sep 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2009
    This is a two part question that I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on:

    1) After talking with a wonderful member on this forum, Orb, I realized through his helpful advice that Coin magic has so many little subtleties that make ordinary magicians look pale in comparison. What are some of your coin subtleties that you use or know that make coin magic look even better? For example, one would be have the coins as visible as possible. By holding coins at the fingertips and super visible, it makes a vanish seem more impossible than if a coin was originally held halfway hidden. What do you think about or use to practice or perform a coin routine or vanish?

    2) On the same topic, I have been working on 3 fly by Chris Kenner. I keep coming back to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfgwY5HQ5Ug . The only way to describe it is beautiful. I obviously know the method, but he makes it look like pure magic. What do you think he uses to make the effect look so good? Are there other subleties that he uses that make it look better than others' versions? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  2. He holds the coins lightly, does the moves quickly and smoothly and with great naturally body motions to accompany them. It just seems like he practiced his ass off, which everyone should do.
  3. Ermm... I don't think the link works...

    As far as subtleties the two biggest ones would be the Kaps subtlety and the Ramsay subtlety. I don't really no if that's what you're looking for...
  4. I fixed the link...thanks for that. As for subtleties, I mean those small details in coin magic that most people overlook that make the difference between a mediocre magican and an expert. I hope that makes sense.
  5. search up Ponta the Smith on youtube for some beautiful stuff
  6. Finesse. That's the best description. This is something that is shaped by multiple factors, starting from conception to practice, in performance and ultimately ending in taking knowledge gathered from the performance and being reworked into the routine.


    What is the effect you are trying to accomplish? How would this effect look normally. Meaning, if this were to be possible, what would that scenario look like? Now you have to devise a method to duplicate those exact actions, while disguising the sleights in the structure of the routine, ie. the offbeats and the pauses, the scripting and the framing of the routine, then using advantageous settings to expand on that, such as the use of the lap as a servante, if the effect is performed seated, or the use of the body, pockets and spectator as temporary servantes in the structure of the effect.

    The actual practice of the sleights, is where the crucial points of finesse come in to play. The handling you see in really skilled coin magic, is a look of sheer fluidity, The coins become almost whimsical. The finer points here are critical....skilled operators know that the wagging of a coin back and forth between the fingertips catches the light, giving a shimmering point of focus that can be used effectively to strengthen the illusion of vanishes and flash reappearances. As Gary Kurtz would say, a "Full Frontal Assault" on the senses. Using all of the senses, of sight and sound in harmony.

    Small physical gestures seal the deal. The slow opening of a hand to reveal a vanish. The use of Ramsay and Kaps/Malini Subtlety in the open gestures. The way our fingers twitch when they are about to recieve a coin. These things sound crazy, bur are present in the hands of true artists. I gotta say, the time I spent early on with Eric Jones captures this. He has the true finesse that I dream of. Fluid and sophisticated, yet always motivated.

    In performance, we gather from our spectators reactions, how well all of these things come together and function as a unit. From this we can learn to change the timing, when to put in a slight body turn, or emphasize on facial expression. Chris Kenner reminds us by referencing his experience when watching Jonathan Townsend perform influencing his Three Fly effects. The facial expression that Townsend worked into the routine heightened the suspense consideribly.

    In closing, when all of these things come together, you start to gain a bit of ease in working, and that's when the polishing begins as these actions, gestures etc. are reinforced in performance.

    Just my thoughts...

    All the best,
  7. Wow. Excellent post there. Thanks for the advice. I need to re-read that and soak in the knowledge.
  8. Well, it looks natural. You know? Maybe not the moves are natural in your hands, but they are in his. And thats the most important part of coin magic. Or all magic, really. Finesse is how natural you can get it to look. Fishy moves can be made to look natural in your hands. Play with the coins. If holding the coins tighter in your hands makes the magic more natural, by all means do it. If you need a light touch, practice that. The subtleties are what you naturally do with the coins that makes you look natural with them. Thats all to it really. Find whats natural, and you will have your subtleties. the difference between expert looking coin magic and novice coin magic is that novices practice the move exactly as taught, while the expert makes that smae move right for him.
  9. Not neccecarily, my friends. Not neccecarily...

    Rick Merrill won FISM by giving the impression that he has no skill whatsoever...

    Not the most elegant thing in the world, and rather unnatural. But its superb, and more magical than most because you think "there's no way that guy can use sleight of hand to do that. It must be magic."
  10. hes my inspiration man, the one that got me into coin magic, but that is also much harder to do.
  11. That was a great video to watch. His sleights were great, which was why it was enjoyable. Also, his persona as a guy who doesn't seem to be great made for it being that much better. That could be consider a little bit of a subtelty as well.
  12. the smoothest 3fly ive ever seen. it all looks so natural and fluid... this is what i aspire to.


    its the little convincers and how open he makes it look that really sell it.
  13. Great minds think alike!

    I had this set in my mind since he uploaded that... My all time favorite 3fly.
  14. I think its a great 3fly as well. But, again, my question is why is it so good? What makes his 3fly that awesome? What little things does he do that makes i that impressive whereas my 3fly looks nothing like it and not nearly as good?

    Does he hold the coins at his fingertips so its much more visual and doesn't look like he is hiding anything? I'm wondering if we can get down to these small subleties and not just say its smooth. I would love to hear what you think.
  15. the smooth and fluid way in which he handle's the coins shows profesionalism and make it look so much more magical. his added nuances such as the coin roll and the varied switches and passes are surely a great substitute that add to it. However at several points one or the other hand is left clean because of his added sleights and he is able to display it completely openly giving the audience more of a convincing idea of only 3 coins. He also makes the appearances and vanishes very clean and natural. Its all about practice, this guy is one of the best and it shows because everything looks so natural and almost easy in his hands, but definitely being able to look natural like your not hiding anything is a big one.
  16. Thanks for your response. Do you think he would be able to do this in a live performance? Or is he just a camera performer?

    I would agree that he has practice which is why it looked so natural. Its definitely enjoyable to watch.
  17. yeah in coin magic there is WAY too many little subtleties to list some to use consistently though are a)mirroring everyone should know this already though if you got a coin f***er p***ed in one hand, don't have the other hand wiggling its little fingers freely or people WANT to look at the one sticking out like a sore thumb

    b)eye movement- this still applies in coin magic more so in card magic but spectators tend to look where you do, if your doing a move/ get ready in one hand thats by your side casually then look at something else (great example is a coins across i do where they see one coin in your hand you toss it in the air and it lands they hear a clink and see two coins obv. to magicians but just follow the coin in the air with your eye and to them once it lands its like the coin "splits" as it lands)

    c) whats natural to other people might not be natural to you- learn a coin sleight and play with it till it fits YOUR hands and looks natural when you do it don't try to imitate someone else's hand "style" cause it probably won't look natural on you

    if you guys want some more tips feel free to PM me or ask i've been a professional close-up worker for almost 8 years that's another thing once your good at a sleight (in your eyes) try it out on people and refine it
  18. There are countless subleties in coin magic! I am by no means a master on the subject but I feel after being a coinworker for the past 40 years I've learned a thing or two !! So one thing that comes to mind that I didn't see here was body movement and posture. It's only my opinion mind you but I found it to be important . I tend to lean forward a little and then a little more after each phase building tension and then when it's over I rock back on my heels and that's almost an automatic applause cue. An almost inperceptible sublety. That's just one tiny thing that coinworkers think about!! Immitate reality is another one. What does it look like when you put the coin in your hand? You do the actual move or action repeatedly and then try to replicate it as close as you can . In the act of replication your hands should look " natural " that is to say as close to the real action as possible. Misdirection.... A realm all to itself but absolutely essential in coin magic. Sometimes the sublety can be as simple as changing your stance or looking up from your hands to the spectators eyes and smiling and in that waning instant the " move " is done. If you want or need more feel free to ask!
  19. I think the Kid Moritz Muller and Mo-Fly does this routine super well. Check him out here if you haven't seen him.
  20. He's talented no doubt!! If he's that good now just imagine how good hesh gonna be in 10 years!!
    JohnnyG likes this.

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