By Tim Woodbridge – Thursday, May 19, 2022
Hello again and welcome to the fifth and final installment of How a Pen Made Me a Coin Magician—the special blog series where I, Tim Woodbridge (aka The Curly Magician), share the core routines that influenced me the most when learning coin magic. All in an effort to show you that coin magic is not as big and scary as it first seems. In fact, with a bit of patience and affection, coins are a magician’s best friend.
If you’re new to the series, and want to find the routines that got us here, be sure to check out part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. I’ve carefully structured the order of the posts based on how my own journey progressed; so I recommend starting at the beginning and working your way back here. If only for that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you complete something.
Today, I bring this series to a triumphant close by talking about a routine that makes sure your audience is involved, engaged and plotting to burn you at the stake.
A coin disappears from their hand and appears in yours. Then magically appears back in their closed fist. (While this is unbelievably strong enough on it’s own, in recent years, Garrett has sprinkled in some other mind-blowing phases inbetween to truly bring this routine full circle).
The best description I’ve ever heard of this trick came from Eric Jones: “it’s sponge ball strong.”
If you’re confused as to why this would grab my attention, you should definitely go back and check out my post about “Sponge” by Jay Noblezada and how sponge ball magic is such an important part of learning coin magic.
A lot of people avoid learning coin magic because it just seems like showing off. Done poorly, it can feel like you’re performing at someone; distancing them from the experience and putting them firmly in the spectator category. “Imagination Coins”, however, makes your audience more than a participant. They are a key component of making the magic happen. The presentation is all about them, and the magic happens in their hands.
A magician’s hands are full of trapdoors and lies. A layperson’s hands, however, are a sacred place devoid of all sneakiness. So when a coin vanishes from, or appears in, their closed hand—that’s about as strong as magic can get. What makes “Imagination Coins” so great is the core phases happen in their hands.
The one question that has haunted coin magicians through the ages is: “can I see your other hand?” Garrett Thomas solves this problem and avoids the question, by implying the other hand is empty; rather than telling or showing them it is. This is incredibly deceptive. Like Teller once said: “nothing fools you more than the lie you tell yourself.” This level of thinking is applied to all areas of “Imagination Coins.” It’s a real masterclass in deception through subtlety.
“Imagination Coins” is a devastating mix of sleight of hand, a near-invisible coin gimmick, and a well thought out routine. They all come together to make one of the most impactful coin magic tricks a working close up magician can perform.
This routine taught me to make my sleights look more natural and to think deeper about each move. This insights have made their way into the rest of my magic and, without realizing it, made me a better magician overall.
There are so many more amazing things about this project. Like the fact that Eric Jones is featured heavily in the explanation, there is a longer version of the routine you can do and even a optional kicker ending. I would list them all but I think it’s better if you find out for yourself.
Buy it. Enjoy it. And I’m confident you’ll fall in love with performing it just like I did.
It’s Time to Stop Fearing Coin Magic
That’s it. This series is done. I have enjoyed writing it and I hope you have enjoyed reading it. But just before I go, I want to talk about what I think are the most important things in coin magic.
It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize coin magic is mainly based on productions and vanishes. That’s because there is a tidal wave of different techniques and ways to make a coin disappear and reappear. So dive in and try a bunch. It’s always good to have a variety of different life jackets you can put on in different settings.
To help you get started, here are some of my favorites: L’Homme Masque Load and David Roth’s Retention Vanish. Make sure to also check out resources like Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic, “[Basic Coin Magic]”(/close-up-magic/basic-coin-magic-volume-1-david-roth/)* by David Roth (or the abridged “Basic Coin Magic 2.0” by Ian Kendall), as well as other resources from talented coin magicians like Eric Jones, Michael Rubinstein and Kainoa Harbottle.
The most important thing about coin magic though is…attitude.
Taylor, the magician who inspired me to start learning coin tricks, instilled in me that something can be worth doing precisely because it’s hard. Keep that thought in mind if you’re struggling. It certainly helped me. Go out there, find something that is difficult and learn it. Push through the tough parts and enjoy that feeling of being able to do something that you couldn’t do and others still can’t do.
Thank you for reading. Go forth and be the coin magician you wish to see in the world.
-The Curly Magician.