How a Pen Made Me a Coin Magician - Part 1
By Tim Woodbridge - Thursday, April 21, 2022
Tim Woodbridge here, aka "The Curly Magician."
I'm a professional magician in the UK and, during my first decade as a magician, I thought coin magic was like jazz music…amazing, but not for me. It couldn’t be for me. My name is not Danny or David and I’m about as dexterous as a dead dinosaur.
But, then I met a coin magician named Taylor. Watching him practice at first, he was as clumsy as a giraffe using chopsticks. Gradually, he got better until he was performing routines for real people that looked like, well, real magic.
I was annoyingly jealous of him. My pockets were so full with gimmicked decks, I looked like a well-dressed sack of potatoes. I said ‘pick a card’ so many times it was starting to make my ears bleed.
Watching Taylor taught me that coin magic was worth learning and entirely possible. All it took was practice, persistence and searching under sofas.
However, when I finally started to learn coin magic, I found the information overwhelming and often counterproductive. Getting started felt as effective as memorizing the dictionary. I found myself gaining a lot of knowledge, without any context for it. There was a notable lack of true beginner coin tricks to give meaning to the sleight of hand I was acquiring.
But, I kept with it and am ecstatic I did. Three years later, after a lot of regrettable purchases and wasted time, I have compiled the five coin magic routines that helped me the most in my journey. In this series, I will be discussing these routines and revealing how a pen gave me the courage to put sleight of hand in my coin magic.
It’s my hope that this series saves you time & money, while also inspiring you to get started down the silver road.
NOTE: This special series will focus on marketed magic tricks; however, it is not meant to supplant the well-regarded resources that have taught countless generations of magicians to learn coin magic like Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo and Basic Coin Magic by David Roth.
“Triad Coins” is like the invisible deck of coin magic. Easy to follow and incredibly powerful. One coin turns into three, then all three coins vanish. This type of incredible visual magic overcomes any language or age barrier. It’s as close to real magic as possible.
When I first started magic, I avoided sleight-of-hand and bought so many gimmicks, I probably single-handedly kept many of the shops in the Magifest dealer’s room in business. But, after a while, I became comfortable enough to start adding sleight of hand into my performance and the combination only made my magic stronger.
I have “Triad Coins” to thank for prompting this evolution. This routine allowed me to practice the basics of coin magic until I was comfortable adding sleights in. While this very easy routine doesn’t have many difficult sleights itself, there is still much to learn from it.
What I learned the most from “Triad Coins” was how to produce a coin magically and vanish a coin convincingly. These are two skills that I have used in every coin magic trick since. I can’t recommend enough the importance of watching and trying as much coin magic as you can, and constantly playing around with your performance.
At first I was too scared to do the final “Triad Coins” vanish so I just stopped when I was down to one coin. It’s still a satisfying end as the routine goes full circle. But, once I got more comfortable, I did the recommended vanish and it completely changed everything. It was such an “ah-ha” moment that led me to play around with more sleight of hand vanishes.
“Triad Coins” is clearly one of the the best coin tricks for beginners. But, in reality, it's just an absolute no-brainer for magicians of all skill levels. Any magician should learn and play around with this routine. It has much to teach you, as long as you are willing to learn.
That's all for now. But, join me next time as we take a look at a routine from one of the most talented and criminally underappreciated magicians in the world.
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