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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have recently started to dislike the spider vanish for several reasons. I will be exploring options to accomplish the same thing without it. But before I do that I thought I'd ask if any coin workers here have taken a common routine that uses it - typically a Roth or Latta routine - and changed the method where the original used the spider vanish?

The reason I have come to dislike it so much is that it seems the underlying assumption is that your spectators are super familiar with the French Drop. Clearly magicians are. And I grant that some spectators might be. But is that enough of a reason to do this move? Maybe. But it feels so unnatural to me to structure that part of a routine in order to get a coin into Spellbound display position. I wonder if I'm in the minority.

I was recently watching a discussion on a video from the 70s or 80s where the Professor and Michael Ammar were talking about that display. Both men made a great point. It is a really unnatural way to hold a coin UNLESS you were particularly trying to show someone something about that coin - perhaps the tiny lettering or image, especially if it's on the edge of the coin. But just to suddenly hold the coin like that is a bit contrived, and unnatural things heighten the attention of spectators in general. So that seems to sort of negate the whole reason for doing it.

Anyway, I'm looking for something better. I've had a few ideas but would love to hear others.

Cheers!

Ken
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #2 
Unfortunately I don't have any alternatives to offer.  But as to your reservation about the move...you probably have way more experience with this than I, but the spider vanish is also useful, because when they see that the 'taking' hand is 'empty(?)', people usually look towards the last place they saw it, ala the other hand.  With a fluid sequence you can have the hands look just completely empty.

Then again I struggle with coin work.  My hands constantly look like they're hiding something even if they're completely empty.  It's something I have to work on.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks! Yeah, those things are true. But I think there are other ways to accomplish the same thing. In other words, what's wrong with a simple false transfer to the left hand? Of course when you use a [, that creates problems. Anyway, like I said, I'll be working on a way to do this.

BTW, having hands that BOTH look as though they are hiding stuff even when they are not can be an advantage! As long as both hands always look the same, the spec's won't even know which hand has something and which one doesn't. 

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Ken
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenTheriot
Thanks! Yeah, those things are true. But I think there are other ways to accomplish the same thing. In other words, what's wrong with a simple false transfer to the left hand? Of course when you use a [, that creates problems. Anyway, like I said, I'll be working on a way to do this.

BTW, having hands that BOTH look as though they are hiding stuff even when they are not can be an advantage! As long as both hands always look the same, the spec's won't even know which hand has something and which one doesn't. 

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Ken


Hahah, I never thought about it like that, that's a really cool idea.  A way to play spectators expectations up.  It seems a little advanced for me, but thanks!
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #5 
Roth performed this move alone for me a number of times and it looked really good, I don't think knowing a French Drop had much to do with it.  I think it relied more on inferring what's going on then showing proof every step of the way.  Another good use of this is Kainoa's new release of a Curtis Kam idea called Inferential.  Great trick and almost self working and relies on the spectator telling themselves what's happening.
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Ken.

As others have pointed out, the audience doesn't have to be familiar with the French Drop for this vanish to work.
There are two points to the psychology of the sleight which I feel are important, and in a sense "make" the vanish.

There should be some suspicion on the left hand after the right takes the coin. It should close as if it could contain the coin. John Bannon leaves a finger in the right hand as it takes the coin. The finger is last to leave the hand and is pulled out awkwardly, pointing to the right hand.
The spectators should suspect, but not necessarily be 100% certain, that the coin (or whatever) is still in the left hand. If they dont have this suspicion the vanish isn't as strong. The reason being that the right hand "spider" action to effect a vanish isn't particularly convincing, if the spectators actually believe the coin to be in that hand - what you are actually doing then is taking a coin in your hand, turning the hand palm down and opening your fingers.

The second thing is what happens after the vanish. The sleight tends to work better when the coin (or a dupe) is produced again after the vanish, or things are kept moving somehow. I probably wouldn't use it as a stand alone piece.

As for something to replace it - what are your criteria ?

Is the coin to be reproduced ? Do you need it in a certain hand after the vanish ? Are you looking for a standard vanish or an alternative "leading them up the garden path" type of thing ? Do you already have a place for it in a routine ?


Jim

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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Jim. I only use it in places where David Roth and/or Geoff Latta already do - at the end of Coins to Cup, Shell Coins Across, Coin Cut and Copper/Silver Coins Across (Latta). the purpose is the same both times, to allow you to turn your right hand upside down and demonstrate there is no coin there. They WANT the heat to be on the right hand so you can "surprise" the specs with the fact that there is no coin there (as demonstrated when you turn your hand over). David Roth even says that this is a "sucker vanish." People THINK you just did a French Drop and are trying to fool them by having ACTUALLY taken the coin. But instead, you fool them by apparently not having taken the coin afterall. What you then do with that open right hand, palm-down, is to make a gesture, usually a graceful dip of the hand as if you are actually dropping an invisible coin from it to make it travel through a spec's hand or into a cup or through a deck of cards. Then the coin ends up in those places.

Make sense?

Ken
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Ken.

I see what you are saying, however I disagree with the conclusions.

The average spectator is unaware of the French Drop. So looking at it from this point of view, what the spectator sees is you taking a coin into the right hand, then you turning that hand palm down with the fingers open - not a particularly strong vanish. The hand isn't actually shown empty. Now the fact that you then show your left hand empty is moot - if they believe the coin was in the right hand, and you don't show them that hand is empty, then showing them the left is of no significance. If its believed the coin was REALLY taken by the right hand, that is the hand they will want to see empty.

The spider display is a subtlety which can't stand much scrutiny, and needs the misdirection of the feint with the left hand, to take the heat off the right.

When the feint is used and the audience suspect the coin may be in the left hand, the sleight takes on a different dynamic than that above.
Now what the audience sees is you making it look as though you have taken the coin, but suspect you probably haven't. When you then do the spider bit they don't pay as much attention - the implication that the coin isn't there is enough to confirm their suspicion that the coin was in the left all along. Then when the left hand is flashed they realise it really has vanished.

It is this i believe Roth meant by the bluff or sucker aspect.


Jim

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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #9 
Okay. In an attempt to fully understand this, I went to the NY City Coin Magician's Seminar and transcribed David Roth as he described the move. I think I did learn something. You want the spectators to think the coin is in the left hand due to a "bad French Drop." Here is the transcription:
"The vanish of the coin is an interesting vanish. I apparently show both hands empty. It's based on an interesting principle. It's a double-feint vanish...where you're actually faking twice. You hold the coin in the French Drop position and you come in with your thumb going through the whole just as if you're going to do a bad French Drop. But you really do take the coin. You actually take it. It's here (showing the coin in right hand). The left hand closes in a slightly suspicious way. At this point you WANT the spectators to think that they're ahead of you...that they know where the coin is. That's good. You're going to palm the coin in your right hand. You don't need a great palm. Because they think the coin is here (indicate left hand). But you need a pretty good palm because of the move that's about to follow. You're going to make a gesture over the deck as if you're throwing the coin through the top of the pack. So you throw...everybody will look at this hand (indicating the left hand). That's where they thought the coin was all along. Now when you open this hand, they're going to be fooled. so do it nicely."

Very interesting.

Ken
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes, that's it. Obviously Roth says it better than I do. Like I said, the audience must suspect the left hand for it to work properly.

I only do one of the effects you mentioned - coins across. I don't use Roths exact handling though, I use a slight variation of Michael Vincents handling. I use sleeving to vanish the last coin (shell). The handling I use is somewhat similar in concept to the Spider Vanish, in that the audience has an incling that the coin may be in the other hand. Both hands are shown clearly empty though.
Sleeving may be an option if your usual attire has them.

If simply holding out, any decent vanish would probably work in place of the Spider Vanish.

If your coins can stick to a magnet, one placed in the back pocket can be used to get rid of the coin temporarily, so that the hands may be shown empty.


Jim


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Rick Holcombe

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Reply with quote  #11 
Ken,
As an alternative you may want to try what I do. You mentioned the Spellbound display being unnatural, so try this: Hold the coin at the fingertips with the coin being parallel to the floor, or even tipped a little forward. Your thumb should be on top with your palm exposed. Now come over with your other hand, palm down, and simply snatch it right into classic palm. At the same time, quickly turn the hand that was displaying the coin palm down while clenching the fist slightly to sell the illusion.

As another alternative to that, I sometime forego the classic palm and just simply snatch it into a thumb clip. The advantage to this is your able to REALLY flatten out your hand when you do the throwing motion.

Rick
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Rick. I like it! Especially the thumb-clip idea. I already interchange that with CP in some Roth moves, notably the L'homme Masque move. So it makes perfect sense for this. And since I recently discovered a vanish similar to FD but starting out held like you mention (called La Pincette - from "The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic" by Robert-Houdin), thatmakes it even more natural.

Thanks for that!!

Ken
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #13 
Ken, just to support some of the comments above, yes, it is a "sucker" vanish. It is the brainchild of Michael Skinner. It is never to be done alone, but as part of a routine. It is supposed to look like a bad French Drop but after showing the coin to have melted away, the audience looks at the closed hand which opens to show the coin gone after all. It is not going to appeal to everyone. Neither does the "fake put" pseudo explanation Vernon and Gertner do in their cups routines.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks Ray.

Ken
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DashHardeen

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Reply with quote  #15 
Ken,
An alternative to the Spider Vanish is Ross Bertram's Sucker Vanish. It's the same concept as the Spider Vanish but without the French Drop positioning.
You can see what it looks like HERE.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #16 
Great to see Dingle perform.

It's the sucker aspect that the Spider vanish has that makes it useful. Also, it doesn't rub the spec's nose in the sucker aspect. You seem unaware of their assumptions. They just explode as the trick unfolds. I think the Spider vanish is a very good way to make the "it must be in the other hand" feeling dissipate. It's great when you explode an explanation and then immediately use a method that is explained by the original assumption that was exploded. Feels good!

Mike
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks Dash and Mike!

Ken
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