Pre-emptive Tangents: The Best Coin Vanish

I've decided that when I have a post that contains a long tangent that could stand on its own I will pop that baby out like a tonsil stone (don't click that link) and use it as something of a teaser for the upcoming post. 

In my next post I'll be writing about a small experiment that I recruited some readers to help out with about a month and a half ago. It took a little longer to complete than expected and it's by no means scientific, but I think it's somewhat interesting nonetheless.

One subject that came up in preparation for this experiment was what the best coin vanish is (in our case we were using it as part of a transformation). This is something I've thought about for a while now. I'm lazy and I generally just want to know one vanish, one double-lift, one pass, one color change. Of course I know more than one of all these, and there are different performance conditions that prevent you from using only one, but in my utopia I would just have one in my arsenal; I'd Eternal Sunshine those other methods out of my brain. 

After years of keeping track of these things in my own performances, I determined that -- for my style -- the most deceptive vanish (not the most amazing necessarily, but the most deceptive) the one I never got busted on, and one of the easiest vanishes to perform was also one of the first ones I ever learned.

Yes, all of you know what's going on there (or should). And presented so straightforwardly in a 6-second gif, it's not the world's greatest mystery. But in the real-world --perhaps with an added delay of placing the coin in the other hand, or using it as a transformation-- it always flies. I think the reason why is this: put a coin on the table and ask someone to take it and hand it to you. The overwhelming majority of the time they will do the identical actions of that vanish, just without the vanish. 

This can't be said for any other vanish.

If I said, "Hand me that coin," and you did this:

I'd be like, "What a nutjob."

If I said, "Hand me that coin," and you did this:

I'd be like, "Uhm... is there such a thing as instantaneous adult-onset cerebral palsy? What just happened to you?"

If I said, "Hand me that coin," and you did this:

I'd be like, "Goddammit, you told me you were going to stop drinking! It's like you love that bottle more than you do me."

You might say I'm doing intentionally bad faux-vanishes to make a point, but it doesn't matter how good your moves are or how smoothly you execute them if they seem affected in any way. Go ahead and record yourself doing the moves of your favorite vanish, but don't vanish the coin. Instead hand it to someone from the hand it's "supposed" to be in. If anything rings false about the action, it's going to be suspect. You may still fool the person, but it's going to feel magic-y rather than magical

One caveat I haven't mentioned recently is that I'm speaking just from my perspective and in relation to my performance style. If, unlike me, you want to be recognized for your skill, then doing something in a manner that is unnatural but smooth is perfectly fine. If, however, you want to reduce or eliminate your presence and influence in the moment you're creating, you must use moves that draw no attention to themselves.

That goes for that goofball double-lift you've been doing too, with all that flippy and flappy action. Just turn over the card like a human for once!

In the next post we'll use this methodology and examine a simple trick performed three ways and attempt to quantify the magical resonance of different performing styles. 

ooh fancy.