How a Pen Made Me a Coin Magician - Part 2
By Tim Woodbridge - Thursday, April 28, 2022
Hello again. Welcome back to the Part 2 of this special series exploring how I overcame my coin-phobia to achieve a deep appreciation for the art of coin magic. As someone who was once terrified of coin tricks, I hope that my journey can help you realize how obtainable it is for every magician.
Before you go any further, make sure to read Part 1 of “How a Pen Made me a Coin Magician”. In addition to explaining why i’m here, I discussed why “Triad Coins” by Joshua Jay is one of the best effects for anyone looking to get started in coin magic. It offers way more beneath the surface than you might initially think.
For Part 2, we’ll be taking a look at the routine that helped me finally get over my fear of coin magic sleights, including a look at the role a pen played in making me a better coin magician.
NOTE: As a reminder, this series should only serve as a starting point for coin magic. Those truly interested in coin magic should still seek out the best resources for learning coin tricks tricks like Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo and Basic Coin Magic by David Roth.
A coin disappears, reappears and transposes with a pen.
“Impromptu Hitman” by Rune Klan is a visually stunning and impromptu coin magic routine that showcases the rewards of putting some work into your coin magic. It’s a miracle that you can keep in your pocket. Learning this routine in “Rune’s World” allowed me to understand why Rune Klan is so beloved by Joshua Jay, Andi Gladwin and the rest of the Vanishing Inc. team.
While “Triad Coins” had basically no sleight of hand, “Impromptu Hitman” has quite a bit. But, don’t let that deter you. What makes this routine so special is how using the pen simplifies a lot of the moves.
Before learning “Impromptu Hitman”, I was scared to perform any actual sleights. Anytime I tried, I felt exposed like a naked avocado in front of a hungry vegan. But this routine provided a much-needed safety net early on in my coin magic career. The pen offered somewhere to hide and made learning much easier.
With a pen or Sharpie marker, my classic palm stopped looking cramped because I was holding something. My false transfer stopped looking so awkward because I was focusing on picking up the pen, not doing a move. This routine taught me the right attitude and helped disguise any flaws in my sleight of hand until they were ironed out.
The joy of “Impromptu Hitman” though is that you can add bits in little by little. For example, when asking someone to sign a playing card, I would take out a coin and turn it into a pen. Not only does this get great reactions, but it’s actually quite simple from a technical standpoint. I gradually added in more sequences until I was performing magic I never thought I could.
I highly recommend practicing the whole trick and adding bits into your set when you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to change moves for ones suited to your skill level.
Since its release, many magicians have come out with their own variations of “Impromptu Hitman.” Rick Merrill’s FISM winning close up magic routine was heavily influenced by it. I have performed parts of this at every gig I’ve done for years now. I honestly wouldn’t be the magician I am now if it wasn’t for “Impromptu Hitman” and the creative genius of Rune Klan.
So, now it's up to you. Be brave. Pick up a pen. Have fun.
Join me next time as I share how sponge ball magic can be the perfect gateway to coin magic.
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