Gimmicked Coins Can Enhance Even the Best Sleights

The Secret is Skill and TechnologyThis is revised (we made it English) and republished from the January 25, 2006 edition of Inside Magic.

There are two arguments one must avoid when one attends a magic convention

Both will destroy relationships, hurt feelings, cause resentment, ulcers, and emotional distress

They are the elephant-sized subjects we all pretend are not there

One of those two arguments is “should a great coin magician ever use gimmicked coins?”

Please understand our position from the outset. We have no pride — at all. But that is a family trait

Uncle, Billy “Bats-n-Balls” Hardy worked as a juggler during vaudeville’s heaving death-throws

In an unfortunate and inexplicable juggling accident, Billy sliced off his right ear


Continue reading Gimmicked Coins Can Enhance Even the Best Sleights

Prison Was Too Good for Her – Our Take on the Tony Spain Fracas

Miss-Boston-Demonstrates-Grip-Strength-for-Associated-Press-Reporter

Inside Magic’s home base is and has always been in beautiful Mystic Hollow, Michigan.

We are stone’s throw from several other hubs of performing arts, including Puppeton, Michigan (home of the Hand Puppet Capital of the World); Nodrop, Indiana (Home of the Ball Juggling Mecca); Meltmouth, Massachusetts (Fire Eating’s Home on this big blue marble); Bisect, Arizona (the Razor High Wire practitioners’ gathering spot); and Mushgrin, Iowa (The Royal Order of Her Majesty’s Mouth Catchers of Croquet Balls built the first non-UK facility there).

We are not on the payroll of any town mentioned. Indeed, there are some in each of the above hamlets who would prefer their special gathering place remain secret and thereby more special. Each of the towns offer a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet our fellow (and the feminine form of “fellow,” fella) performers in a non-threatening setting.

In modern society, it is considered gauche for one’s breath to smell of paraffin, in Meltmouth it is expected. “It is a strange character indeed,” wrote Chris Flagler in a 1937 edition of The Meltmouth Daily Telegraph, “to encounter a citizen of this town who sports not a single blister on their lips or tongue.” There are few brave enough to brush one’s teeth with anything other than a regulation toothbrush. In Mushgrin, Iowa, you will likely not find a single such dental tool in any shop up and down the High Road. In Mushgrin, most people use a cloth towel imbued with hydrogen peroxide to cleanse their crumpet hole.

So too is Mystic Hollow, Michigan. It is expected that everything will be something other than what it appears to be. A hat is not a hat but a home to birds, bunnies, or a bountiful bonanza of bandanas and bemusement. A coin on the floor will likely stay there because it is attached with a hidden nail; the police do not use handcuffs to restrain evil-doers (alleged) but a special elixir of Magician’s Wax and Velcro attached to the almost always oversized eyebrows of the malicious magi.

So what is our point?

We cannot judge others based on our own perception of what is normal.


Continue reading Prison Was Too Good for Her – Our Take on the Tony Spain Fracas