Thursday, January 30, 2014

3 Lessons from a Master

I was browsing the internets today and found this video of the 3-time FISM winner Fred Kaps.

Kaps, a Dutch magician, is best known for his FISM-winning stage routines. On stage he was in complete control, a master of his art. You could tell by his facial expressions that he truly loved to perform. Here we are treated to his take on the classic Coins Through the Table. (BTW this was recorded with no sound)

There are so many great lessons to be learned here.

First, there is the clean, uncomplicated way he handles the coins. There is no excessive counting the coins over and over, which we see in many of coin routines today.

Second is the natural feel to the moves. No odd hand positions or jerky, suspicious movements,

Third, there is a wonderful continuity to each phase of the routine. Each coin that passes through the table looks the same.

The feint with the 4th coin helps to break things up a bit and adds some humor to the routine. It’s just enough to put the audience off-guard as he manipulates the final coin. Although this video has no sound, I imagine Kaps had a funny line to add to this phase to add to the set up for the final coin. If your audience is laughing, they’re not paying attention and you can get away with some serious sinning.

You can boost the power of your coin magic (and the reactions you get) through the roof if you apply these three simple ideas to your current coin magic.

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Coins of the Apocalypse

It’s often hard to find inspiration for new coin effects. Most ‘new’ routines are just a variation of a standard plot, but done with exotic new sleights. And the presentations are often little more than a narration of what’s happening.

And now the 3rd coin will travel to my right hand” (stab your hand with your salad fork just to stay awake). And it’s even less often that a prop inspires a coin routine.

Enter The Zombuck, the Currency of the Apocalypse!

These dollar-sized coins from Provident Metals feature a design very similar to the Walking Liberty coins. But here the Lady Liberty has been transformed into a Zombie carrying an axe (probably to fend off other zombies). In the distance the shining Sun has been replaced with nuclear mushroom cloud. The reverse side features a large biohazard symbol and the words ‘Currency of the Apocalypse’.

As soon as I saw these coins the creative juices starting flowing. David Roth’s Wild Coin from the Expert Coin Magic is now about the rampant spread of the zombie infection.

Your favorite Spellbound routine can be presented as not knowing who is a zombie and who’s not as the coin changes quickly from normal to infected and back again.

Performing Jay Sankey’s Mass Consumption from his 1990 opus 100% Sankey with the Zombucks becomes the perfect cannibal coins routine.

Let’s dig back even farther to Michael Ammar’s Coins Through Silk from his out-of-print Magic of Michael Ammar. Add the Zombucks and it’s a story of infected coins escaping from the lab.

Coin Matrix becomes a scene from World War Z. Coins Across becomes a lesson in how zombies move under the cover of darkness. And T. Nelson Down’s Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver become a veritable Zombie Apocalypse at the dinner table!

Track down some Zombucks and see how they can make your coin magic fresh and exciting!