Coin Magic Events

Articles written by Dan Watkins

Contents: (click the title to read the article):

  1. NYC Coin Magic Seminar.

  2. COINvention.



NYC Coin Magic Seminar

Marc DeSouza's Lecture Theatre July 16, 2005


David Roth, Mike Rubinstein, Geoff Latta, and Mike Gallo are legendary New York Coin Magicians.  They have teamed up and have started a workshop/seminar entirely devoted to the art of coin magic.  The NYC guys invited Kainoa Harbottle as a special guest lecturer for the event.  From this point forward for the sake of ease, I will refer to them collectively as "The Guys."


Left to Right:  Geoff Latta, Mike Gallo, David Roth, Mike Rubinstein, and Kainoa Harbottle.


Marc DeSouza's Lecture Theatre is near Philadelphia, PA and was the site of the 2nd NYC Coin Magic Seminar (the first being in New York itself the year before).  Marc's house is a fabulous place to see magic. He has a 30 seat lecture theatre with tiered seating and cushioned movie theatre seats with cup holders, etc.


Attendees at Marc DeSouza's Lecture Theatre.

As we arrived at the seminar each attendee was given a nice package that contains multiple lecture notes from each lecturer, a few DVDs, video tapes, unpublished notes, etc.  It is a very nice package of product.  There were a few products also available for purchase in addition to the pre-packaged items.


The seminar started at twelve noon, and was scheduled to end at 6:00 PM.  The guys had so much to share that it did not end until 10:00 PM.


A full day of coin magic is definitely an enjoyable day for me. I sat front row, center seats to make sure I got the close view – which also made me default "can I borrow your hand" guy for the day.


I am not going to detail the contents of all the material taught, but here is a general idea of how the day started:


Mike Rubinstein kicked off the event with the performance of a coin set that included various routines from his repertoire that flow directly in to each other without any delay or setup in between.  Most of this set and the material can be found and explained on his 2004 Lecture DVD available directly from him.  Since I have reviewed his lecture DVD, I won't go through the description of everything.  Just click the link and read the review.  I had the chance to see most of Mike Rubinstein's lecture material from a recent lecture he had done at Marc's.  I enjoyed the refresher.  Mike is very smooth with his presentations and a pleasure to watch and learn from.


Next up was Geoff Latta who performed a Sun and Moon routine, "A Trick with 3 Coins" that he performed on the LVMI Live! 2003 DVD set, and his version of John Ramsay's "Cylinder and Coins."  My personal highlight was seeing his take on the Cylinder and Coins, which is a favorite routine of mine.  Actually, Mike Gallo performed a version of this as well later on.  I always enjoy watching the various takes on this plot.  It is an interesting puzzle.  You need to convincingly vanish several coins, but you need to be able to subsequently produce several coins after revealing them in the cylinder and covering them again.  Seeing the ways different people attack this puzzle is always intriguing.


Mike Rubinstein performs as David Roth looks on.

Geoff Latta performs.


David Roth performed a few of his classic showpieces, including "The Portable Hole,"  "The Purse and Glass," and "The Tuning Fork."  All the routines can be found in his book, Expert Coin Magic.


It is always a pleasure to see David Roth work. His routines are so "tight" they are performed exactly as they are on his DVDs and videos, word for word, motion for motion; he does not skip a beat. The man is polished.


One of my favorite Roth moments was his setup of his "Purse and Glass" routine.  After he completed his setup sequences I could not help but laugh, remembering the first time I ever saw that routine.  His setup enables him to annihilate the spectator with what comes next.  Roth noticed my reaction, and said, "And it is DONE"!  Which got laughs from all the guys in the room.  Not many crowds can react to a routine before he supposedly does anything.  J


Unfortunately Mike Gallo had some travel problems and was not able to make it until around 4:00 PM.  So his performance and teaching was delayed until later in the seminar.  His opening set however included:  An instant transposition of three silver coins with three copper coins in a coin purse.  A coin routine using a coin purse, that features productions and vanishes, and a silver dollar splitting to two half dollars.  He made the half dollars fuse into a silver dollar, then split into four quarters!  An okito box routine featuring multiple coins and multiple color changes.  And finally his rendition of John Ramsay's "Cylinder and Coins."  Since Mike arrived late, he also did his Coins Across and copper/silver contributions, which were featured plot segments at the seminar.


Everything Mike Gallo did I had not seen before, so I particularly enjoyed his segments.


David Roth performs "Purse and Glass."

Mike Gallo performs.


Essentially from that point forward, the lecturers took turns explaining various routines, moves, grips, sleights, changeovers, coin switches, Classic Palm, shuttle passes, including unpublished material.  They also performed a few times more, and also featured vintage video footage including footage of John Ramsay (with sound), Al Flosso, Dai Vernon, Slydini, Goshman, Arthur Buckley, Manuel, etc. This was really great to see.


There was one entire segment of the seminar devoted to Coins Across routines.  Geoff Latta highlighted the Han Ping Chien, and Floperino vanish used within Coins Across.  David Roth highlighted his Champagne Glass Concealment.  Since Mike Gallo was late, he performed his coins across routines as part of his opening segment.


Geoff Latta performs a Coins Across for yours truly.

David Roth's Champagne Glass Concealment.


From time to time, the guys would walk around to each of us individually to showcase a particular sleight of hand move.


Geoff Latta and David Roth teaching up close and personal in Marc's beautiful Lecture Theatre.


Another entire segment was devoted to Copper/Silver Spellbound work.  Mike Rubinstein explained a lot of the intricacies of different moves that apply to this plot.  One of the best looking changes is his "Wave Change" (also taught on his 2004 Lecture DVD).  Mike also taught his matting techniques.  As part as Copper/Silver, David Roth taught his "Purse and Glass" routine, immediately followed by Geoff Latta's "Purse, Coins, No Glass" which was inspired by Roth's original routine.  After this, Mike Gallo arrived, and just by circumstance his opening effect was dumping 3 copper coins and 3 silver coins onto the table.  He puts the three coppers into the purse and closes it.  He picks up the three silver coins and instantly they all change to copper.  He opens the purse, and dumps out the silver.  So Mike's routine was the super speedy fast handling of the similar plot.  It was a funny contrast to see that routine immediately after David and Geoff's more involved versions.  Mike Rubinstein says, "That's David and Geoff sped up!"  Latta tells Gallo that, "There were not enough moves."  Gallo responds, "No, you just missed them!"  Funny stuff.


Rubinstein, Roth, and Gallo instruct from the sidelines.

Geoff Latta teaches his "Purse, Coins, No Glass" routine.


Kainoa Harbottle teaches "the work" on Edge Grip.

Kainoa Harbottle's performance and lecture primarily featured his Mutobe Palm and Edge Grip work.  His coin work is really hard.  He can do some really kinky things (as he would say) with coins on edge.  He was a very fun guest to watch both for the magic and the bloody technique.  His work included color changes, vanishes, productions, changeovers, click passes, coins across, through tables, etc. all using the edge techniques.  He also taught the Fingertip Muscle Pass.


During the breaks I got to meet and chat and session with some of the guys in attendance. This was really fun; I wish I had more time to spend with everyone there.


Afterwards a group of us went out to Dinner.  That was very enjoyable to sit down in a casual setting and chat.




Mike Rubinstein and Mike Gallo listen to...

David Roth and Geoff Latta teach.


Group shot after dinner at Chili's for those who hung around to midnight.


The day was very enjoyable.  If you love coin magic, the seminar is definitely time very well spent.  I think any coin magician of various levels of expertise (beginner through expert) would gain to take part in any future seminars that they may offer.


Back to Contents




Las Vegas San Remo Hotel September 17, 2003


You can read my review of the COINvention Inaugural Collection DVD by clicking here.


Prologue:  The year 2002, IBM convention, San Diego, CA, Curtis Kam, Reed McClintock, and Kainoa Harbottle engage in some serious coin sessioning.  Curtis Kam's Palms of Steel volumes 2 and 3 are filmed at the same event.


Not long after the IBM convention idea is born:  an all coin convention; a first ever Coinvention.  Curtis Kam begins a thread on November 15, 2002 at the Coin Purse Forum (a forum shared by both and  Over the remainder of 2002 and the first part of 2003 the idea is discussed on the forum and Curtis brings the idea to reality by teaming up with Danny Archer.  The idea was to have the Coinvention the day after the Las Vegas Magic Invitational (LVMI).


The idea became a reality as some of the worlds top coin magicians signed up for attendance.


Most also attended LVMI, thus creating a very coin inundated environment for four days.  Since this is an article about the Coinvention, I am only going to skip through LVMI simply pointing out some of the coin magic highlights…


On the first day of LVMI, Armando Lucero lectured primarily on card magic, however lecture ended with a performance of his much talked about matrix routine.  That performance was the third time I have had the opportunity to see it, and it is still bar none the most beautiful multi-phase matrix routine I have ever witnessed.


In Joe Givan's lecture, he had a wonderful coin routine that was based off of David Neighbors work with a coin rattle box, and a three coin hook gimmick.  The combination of sound with the ability to obtain and ditch three coins with ease makes for some very interesting combinations of effect.


Also on the first day, a select few individuals were able to take part of an extra cost workshop with none other than the modern day master of coin magic, David Roth.


The first night was also killer to witness Geoff Latta holding court out at the bar with his brand of technically superb coin magic.  As well as routines that Geoff would lecture on, he was doing some copper silver work utilizing a deep back clip recovery that was blindingly fast.  Something I aspire to learn eventually!


Armando Lucero performs Matrix.

Geoff Latta and Curtis Kam sessioning at the bar.


One guy I have to mention is Mickey Silver (great name for coin magic).  Mickey was out at the bar performing his "Human Slot Machine" which I have to admit is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen with coins.  He literally spills coins from his eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and rapid succession with coins clanging loudly against the table.  It really sounds like a slot machine.  He also would pass coins from one ear to another and into his mouth – it looked fabulous.  Many guys roared with laughter watching him perform this bit.


The Human Slot Machine...

Mickey Silver


The second day of LVMI featured some of the coin work by Apollo Robbins and Shoot Ogawa such as the recently released "Trinity" and "Neo Purse Frame" from their CULTURAL EXCHANGE DVD.


The Jam Session at 2:00 PM (which is an open session for attendees to perform) was exclusive to coin magic performances.  The coin magic was wonderful and featured a selection of the Coinvention performers/lecturers as well as other LVMI attendees.  This was personally a very memorable moment for me because it was the first time I ever performed for a room of well versed magicians.  I performed a routine called "Molecular Spellbound" which is a two phase quadrouple spellbound routine.  It was the first time I performed the routine in public.


Shoot Ogawa and Apollo Robbins lecture at LVMI.

Dan Watkins performs Molecular Spellbound at LVMI.


The day concluded with a lecture by Curtis Kam, where he taught a selection of coin routines spanning all three volumes of the Palms of Steel series ("Coins in Silk", "Beijing Coins Across", and "Through and Through".)  See my reviews of Palms of Steel:  Fists of Fury and Silverado for descriptions of the effects.


The third day of LVMI was momentous.  It marked the first public performance and lecture of Geoff Latta in decades.  It was one of the absolute highlights of LVMI and Coinvention to see Geoff work.  The man performs incredible technical magic.  Geoff lectured on some coin material that he would cover again at the Coinvention, as well as some his wonderful card magic.


Curtis Kam lectures at LVMI.

Geoff Latta lectures at LVMI.


Below is a selection of photographs depicting some of the coin magic sessioning going on during LVMI prior to the Coinvention:


"The Charming Cheat" Martin Nash entertains at the bar.

Chris Kenner performing "3 Fly".


Dr. Michael Rubinstein entertains at the bar.

Reed McClintock performs "Freedom Fly "

for Dave Neighbors.


Chris Kenner, Mac King, and Reed McClintock talk shop.

Bob Fitch performs coin magic

for Doug Brewer and crowd.


Dave Neighbors and John Born play

with entirely too many coins.

Mac King and Bob Kohler.


Dan Watkins, Reed McClintock, David Roth, and Dr. Michael Rubinstein strike a "coin pose".


On the fourth day, the historic occasion started… The first ever Coinvention.


The day started with an introduction by Curtis Kam who explained the origin of the idea that culminated into the event we were attending.  Shortly after the first panel discussion took place; the topic:  "Three Fly".


The panel consisted of:  David Neighbors, Chris Kenner, Reed McClintock, David Roth, Kainoa Harbottle, and moderated by Curtis Kam.


Curtis Kam introduces the Coinvention.

Curtis Kam moderates the "Three Fly" forum.


Chris Kenner talks about the history of "Three Fly".

Chris Kenner started the discussion with a brief history of the effect:  He was in NYC in the early 1980's; he and Bob Kohler saw Jonathan Townsend perform "Visible Coins Across" which is a routine where Jonathan would hold three coins in a fan at his fingertips and one at a time they would travel to the other hand which was held in a palm up display.  Jonathan's handling utilized back clipping in the receiving hand.


Whenever back clip work is used, it limits the effect to a few people that are typically close enough so that you can reach out and touch them.  Chris changed the structure of the routine so that it could play for a larger audience by bringing the receiving hand up to chest level as well.  This was the birth of the "Fingertip Coins Across" effect that Chris would publish which eventually would become known as "Three Fly".


Chris Kenner also touched on a few specific bits of information regarding his handling.  He said that spectators are much more aware then magicians often give them credit for.  Early on it was very apparent to spectators that four coins are used to create the effect.  Therefore, Chris devised a method to really vanish the last coin.  The methodology employed has been held pretty tight by Chris and has been shrouded in mystery.  Chris said he never used the last vanish he published in his book (which he stated was Geoff Latta's "French Pop" vanish) when he performed the routine.  The reason why he did not publish the real method is that it was very involved.  He did not want to write the real method in his book because he knew the great majority of readers would not bother with the routine if they read what was needed.   He mentioned that he has read books that have routines that necessitate a ridiculous amount of extra preparation and unique objects, which would make him gloss over the effect and forget about it.  He did not want to write a routine like that.


A few other points Chris made were: 

  1. Three Fly was not originally an effect in itself.  He framed it with a production, then the Three Fly phase, and then a vanish of the coins, to make it a complete 3 phase routine.
  2. Three Fly needs to be done live, it does not play well on TV because you cannot misdirect the TV camera.  He tried doing Three Fly on a big monitor at David Copperfield shows.  It was a failure.
  3. Chris believes anyone not using silver dollar size coins is completely missing the effect, and that smaller coins are too hard to see in the display fans.
  4. Chris also acknowledged Gary Kurtz and his early contribution to the effect.  He believes Gary's routine did not catch on like his did because Gary's routine was buried within a very technically demanding multiphase routine called "Trio" in his UNEXPLAINABLE ACTS book.  Gary had difficult coin magic that looked wonderful in his hands, but was often too hard for others to perform.
  5. Chris also stated that many people do not perform the routine deceptively, and that the critical issue for making it look deceptive is proper timing.


David Roth presents his views on "Three Fly".

David Roth was the next panel member to speak.  He does not currently perform a Three Fly effect; however, he has worked with Bob Kohler's Ultimate Three Fly.  He made it clear that nothing is wrong with the effect, that he does not dislike it.  He may learn a Three Fly routine in the future – it sounded like Bob Kohler's U3F set would be the first place he would start.


David also mentioned that coin magic crazes come and go.  He has witnessed crazes in the past over the Han Ping Chien move, matrix, and now Three Fly.  David stated that there is a time and place for everything; that when a routine is needed to be done standing for a larger group of people, the visible nature of bringing all the coins to chest level has advantages.  He did point out that Three Fly lacks the element of suspense that traditional closed fist coins across routines have.  He did not present this as a bad or good thing, just pointing out a fact.


As an interesting aside:  immediately after the panel discussion, David and I spoke regarding key elements in history that have some relation to Three Fly.  One is a T. Nelson Downs poster circa 1900 that shows Downs holding coins in a fan that has a caption "before the pass" and another picture showing Downs holding the coins in a fan with one coin in the other hand.  The caption on the second image states, "after the pass" indicating that Downs may have had a Three Fly type routine – however there is no way to know by which method Down's coin pass worked, he may have completely concealed all the coins during his pass and the pictures only depict the initial and final display.


Another interesting fact David mentioned was that in Professor Hoffman's MORE MAGIC (1890) there is a method to un-shell a coin and display the coin and shell at the fingertips.  This may be the earliest piece to depict a Three Flyesque sequence.


It was interesting discussing such things with David, but he made it clear that Chris Kenner really deserves the credit for making the version of the routine as we have all come to know it.  If Chris had not published his version, the effect would never have become as popular as it is today.


Reed McClintock was the next up on the panel.  Reed performed three versions of Three Fly for those in attendance and explained the rationale behind the versions.  He performed a version with a shell coin that was his first personal handling.  Next he performed his "International 3 Fly" which uses a silver half dollar, copper British penny, and a brass Chinese coin with a hole in it.  Last was his most current "Freedom Fly" from his COIN PATRIOT DVD.


Dave Neighbors performed one of his Three Fly versions as well as an International 3 Fly.


Finally, Kainoa Harbottle briefly touched on using Edge Grip for his Three Fly routine, but postponed the discussion and explanation of this technique for the next forum, "New Grips."


Reed McClintock performs "Three Fly".

David Neighbors performs "Three Fly".


The first Coinvention lecturer was Dr. Michael Rubinstein.  This lecture marked the first public performance and lecture from Mike in over a decade.  Mike was not rusty at all, it was quite apparent that he kept his chops over his hiatus from magic.


Mike started the lecture with a performance set consisting of a coin production, vanish, and reproduction sequence.  A coins across, a stand up coins through the table, a spellbound routine, and finally a two coin transposition to a complete vanish.


After the performance Mike taught his matting technique which uses two close-up pads, one on top of the other; the matting technique is a way to secretly place a coin between the two close-up pads.


The production, vanish, and reproduction sequence was taught next along with a teaching of Mike's ROPS (Retention Open Palm Steal) move.  When the move is executed properly, it simply looks like you tap a coin which lies on your open palm.  You close your hand, when you re-open the coin is gone.


Mike's teaching of "Standup Coins Through The Table II" also highlighted a teaching of the Purse Palm Concealment which is a method to show coins on your open palm while hiding one secretly.  Usually concealments of this nature require a back palm or back clip, it is not so with this concealment.


Mike's teaching of his Spellbound routine ("Silver Lint II") highlighted a very beautiful change called the Wave Change.  Mike's Wave Change looks like he simply waves over the coin to cause it to change… a very pretty handling.  Also taught was Mike's Spellbound changeover palm which is a great utility move to use within the sequence.


Dr. Michael Rubinstein lectures.

(Performing "Coin in a Coin Roll")

Next up was a new routine similar to the ball and tube, but with coins called "Coin in a Coin Roll".  A half dollar is put into a penny coin wrapper.  When the wrapper is handed out, to a spectator, it does not fit in the tube.  Mike performed and taught the effect.


Mike has a new Wild Coin routine with a purse called "The Merlini Purse Routine" which uses a coin purse that has a gold design on the bag.  Dull copper coins change to gold every time he touches the coins to the purse.  At the end all the coins are dull copper again.  This routine features a nice Spellbound sequence similar to the coin transposition in Apollo Robbins' "Trinity" routine, as well as Mike's nail grip fingertip touch change.


Mike taught his version of Three Fly (called "Retro Fly") which was a combination of visible coins across with a closed fist for the arrival hand.


The last routine performed and taught was a routine called "Magnetic Coins II" where two coins permanently stick together via static electricity, and then separate again after the static wears off.


After Mike Rubinstein's lecture and following a lunch break, the second forum of the day began covering "New Grips" for coin magic.


On the panel was Kainoa Harbottle, Reed McClintock, Dr. Michael Rubinstein, David Roth, Garrett Thomas, and it was moderated by Curtis Kam.


David Roth started by explaining the history of Edge Grip.  Bobo's MODERN COIN MAGIC listed the concealment simply as "a concealment that should be known to all magicians."  David was the first to name it Edge Grip and pioneered the modern day use of the grip.  One of David's most famous applications is his "Hanging Coins" routine.  In addition to how to get in and out of Edge Grip, David discussed the angle considerations for its use.


Following David Roth was Kainoa Harbottle who has done extensive work with a modified version of Roth's Edge Grip.  Kainoa has a book called COINS ON EDGE which features most of his Edge Grip work.  Kainoa showed some of his applications of Edge Grip to the attendees.


David Roth talks about the history of Edge Grip.

Kainoa Harbottle shows some of

his new applications for Edge Grip.


Mike Rubinstein showed a novel application of edge grip during a quick performance of his Triple EG Spellbound routine.


Garrett Thomas explained his modified Downs Palm which he calls Web Grip.  Garrett's modification allows him great flexibility to move his hand from a front to back display.  Garrett also touched on some of his applications of the grip.


Reed McClintock spoke about a grip he called Demanche grip, which bears its name from the Demanche coin change.  David Roth indicated that the grip is actually a very old thumb palm that could be found in Professor Hoffman's MODERN MAGIC (1876).  This grip has also been called Thumb Crotch Palm in Gary Kurtz' coin work.


Reed McClintock demonstrates old

Thumb Palm and the J.W. Grip.

Garrett Thomas demonstrates a modified

Downs Palm called Web Grip.


Dr. Michael Rubinstein demonstrates Angle Palm.

Mike Rubinstein spoke about and demonstrated the grip he calls Angle Palm.  It is also known as the Drobina Palm, Channin Grip, Lamontt Grip, Mutobe Palm, and Wesley James calls it Vertical Thumb Palm.  All of the grips are related, though specific positioning varies slightly.


Continuing Mike Rubinstein's discussion, Kainoa Harbottle featured a stunning routine called "Slapping Mutobe" that utilizes the Mutobe Palm.  Kainoa shows four coins in his open palm.  He slaps the coins and they are gone.  He slaps his open palm again, and the coins re-appear.


Lastly, Reed McClintock ended the discussion forum by discussing and showcasing the JW Grip.


Following the "New Grip" discussion forum David Roth lectured.


David performed and taught wonderful routines from his book and video/DVD series EXPERT COIN MAGIC. 


First was "Shell Coins Across" which is a very clean four coins across routine.  David stated to use a cup to perform the coins across to a cup to play for a larger audience.


David Roth lectures (Performing Wild Coin).

Second was "Wild Coin" which has four silver coins that one at a time change to copper and are dropped into a cup.  At the end, all the coins change back to silver.


David then proceeded to teach the Classic Palm; discussing the concealment, most common problems, and ways to fix common problems of improper Classic Palming.


The third routine was David's "Chinese Coin Assembly" ("Chink-a-Chink").  This was the first bare handed coin assembly ever created.


Last was a performance of David's routine "Out with Four" utilizing a Okito Slot Box.


After David's lecture he was honored as the "Guest of Honor" for the Coinvention.  Thomas Wayne crafted a beautiful two piece screw together magic wand.  The wand had a cocobolo wood shaft with ivory ferrules.  The tips of the wand were inlaid with miniature silver half dollar coins.  Heads on one tip, tails on the other.  The wand came with a hand made custom leather case lined with soft billiard felt.  Curtis Kam presented the wand to David Roth amidst a standing ovation honoring the modern day master of coin magic.


Thomas Wayne hides a surprise for David Roth.

Curtis Kam honors David Roth with a custom

crafted, Thomas Wayne magic wand.


Following David Roth's lecture and the wand presentation, David Neighbors lectured.


David Neighbors lectures at the Coinvention.

David performed and taught a routine called "Pocket Coins".  An actual jeans pocket was put on the table.  Coins invisibly penetrate into the pocket and out during the routine.


David Neighbors next routine was a routine whereby three coins from different countries vanish and return from a pocket.  They then travel from hand to hand, and then all three vanish and arrive in a coin purse on the table.


David's last routine was one with a gambling plot which used a custom Copper Silver Brass gimmick that can be used as a double face coin as well.  All the coins changed into Chinese coins at the end.


After David Neighbors' lecture, the first all coin show featuring "Shooting Stars" of coin magic began.


Dean Dill performs "Explosion".

The first performer was Dean Dill who performed his routine, "Explosion".  It starts out as a Translocation type effect (coins across on a close up mat) then transitions into a bare handed coin assembly.  After the one at a time assembly, Dean performed an instant coin assembly, followed by the Explosion of sixteen coins on the mat.  Afterwards, he picked up all the coins dumped them into a bucket.


The second performer was Kainoa Harbottle (sorry the picture I snapped of him performing did not come out).  Kainoa featured a coin routine based off of a premise of Curtis Kam's.  Kainoa's handling makes use of the Edge Grip.  Kainoa changed a Silver coin to Chinese, back and forth a few times.  He then produced three silver coins, which also then changed to Chinese.


The third performer was Doug Brewer who performed his routine "Down Spout" from his book THE UNEXPECTED VISITOR.  "Down Spout" is a coin in the bottle routine which uses a funnel to push a coin into the bottle?!?  (It works!).  The second routine Doug performed was a Coin Cup routine from a new manuscript on Coin Cup magic Doug recently released.  Coins were produced via a magic cauldron (candle and flash paper).  The coins then vanish via the magic coin cup.


Doug Brewer performs "Down Spout".

Doug Brewer plays with fire.


The fourth performer was Bob Fitch.  Bob featured a routine he calls "One Fly".  One coin visibly travels from fingertips to fingertips.  I must say it was the most straightforward un-confusing coin across ever!  The second routine he performed was a routine called "Abracadabra" wherein he wraps an evil coin in a paper that vanishes as he rips the paper in tiny pieces.


The fifth performer was Reed McClintock who performed a routine called "Flying Colors" from his COIN PATRIOT DVD.  The routine is based upon Chris Kenner's Hellbound Spellbound.  Reed's version is like Hellbound Spellbound on steroids.  As most coin routines Reed does, it is going to feature piles of coins instead of just a few.  Silver coins are produced along with a copper coin.  The coins travel front hand to hand, eventually the copper coin vanishes to be found with a pile of coins on the table.  The coin is pocketed, it travels back to the hand.  Eventually, an entire handful of silver coins change into a handful of copper coins.


Bob Fitch performs "Abracadabra" with

assistance from Danny Archer.

Reed McClintock performs "Flying Colors."


The sixth performer was Chris Korn who started with a crazy bit featuring his hands talking to one another.  One hand yells "Who your name is?"  The other replies "Ramsay" as the hand is held in a Ramsay gesture.  The other hand repeats the query, and gets the response "Korn"; which causes the first hand to run after the second hand and kiss it.  It was general lunacy.  After that bit Chris stood up, ate a coin and caused a coin to transpose with one of his front teeth.  He smiles, showing a missing tooth and walks off the stage.  What a strange fellow!


"Who your name is?"

Chris Korn causing himself a toothache.


Roger Klause performs a copper/silver transposition.

The seventh performer was Roger Klause who performed a copper silver transposition which was very slow and deliberate and super clean.  The patter Roger uses mentions the sun and the moon which I could only guess gives a clue to his method.  I like straightforward clean magic.  This was really good.


The eighth performer was Shoot Ogawa who performed three routines:  The first was a four coin production to a spectator's hand and arm, the second was a coins across to a clear glass, and the last was Shoot's double matrix routine where he works two separate close up mats each containing four coins and two cards.  The coins on the mat to his left all assemble to a corner and the coins on the mat to his right all backfire.




Shoot Ogawa performs a four coin production.

Shoot Ogawa works two Matrixes at once!


The ninth performer was Curtis Kam who opened with a mentalist coin routine that utilized a tiny coin purse that contained a dime and nickel, as well as a half dollar size penny.  The second routine he performed was a coins across routine with four different types of coins whereby a spectator could call which coin he wanted to go across before it went.  After all the coins go across Curtis performs the coins across again with various scenarios – i.e. "if you chose this coin, it would look like this", etc.  Curtis closed his set with "The Goblet" from Palms of Steel 2.  See my review of Palms of Steel 2 for a description of this wonderful effect.


The last performer was Garrett Thomas.  Since it was an all coin show Garrett had to squeeze his wonderful "Ring Thing" in so he did it with a Finger Gimlet (Karate Coin).  Garrett also performed a one coin vanish and a four coin production, vanish, and reproduction.  He ended with a performance of his "Big Coin Little Purse" routine where he continues to produce jumbo coins from a purse too big to contain them.  It looks fabulous.


Curtis Kam performs "The Goblet".

Garrett Thomas performs "Ring Thing" with a coin.


After Garrett's performance we had a dinner break.  Unfortunately I took a little too long getting back from dinner and missed the first two performers of the after dinner "Shooting Stars" show.


The first performer was John Born who performed selections of bare handed assembly coin routines from his new book, "Matrix God's Way".


The second performer was David Neighbors.  I believe he performed his version of Three Fly where the hands never touch.


I got back in time to see the third performer, Danny Archer who takes the neck concealment to its extreme in a 3 coin vanish, reproduction sequence.


John Born performs selections from "Matrix God's Way".

Danny Archer performs a three coin routine.


The forth performer was Geoff Latta who performed wonderful coin magic showcasing four coins across, an open travelers routine where coins vanish from a hand and appear on a close up mat, and finally his routine "Purse, Coins, No Glass" which is a killer routine based on David Roth's "Purse and Glass" routine – but with no glass.  Six coins are shown; three copper, three silver.  The three silvers are placed into the purse.  The three copper coins one at a time change to silver and at the end, the three copper coins are dumped out of the purse.


The fifth performer was Chris Korn who performed a three coin production, vanish, and reproduction routine.


The sixth performer was a surprise guest appearance by Homer Liwag.  Homer opened with a gag impersonation of a Las Vegas slot machine and dumped a big pile of coins out of his hands.  He then performed a three coin production, vanish, and reproduction sequence – anyone notice a pattern here yet?  I saw more production, vanish, reproduction sequences than I did Three Fly this day!


Geoff Latta performs "Open Travelers".

Chris Korn "passes" the head-mic to Homer Liwag.


The seventh performer was Mark Strivings (sorry I did not get a good picture) who performed a mentalist routine with a coin.  He divined the date of a quarter in a spectator's pocket.  The date was on Mark's business card.  He calls this "Predict-a-date".


The eighth performer was Dr. Michael Rubinstein.  He opened with "Twilight Zone" which is a wild coin routine with a cup.  He followed up with a routine with a business card and a coin.  A sticker is placed on the coin and the spectator marks it.  Three separate times the coin vanishes to reappear under the business card.  Mike ended with a fairly straightforward matrix routine that had an instant backfire.


The show finalé featured David Roth's "Concerto of the Hands" where he performed his classic formal showpieces from EXPERT COIN MAGIC in the following order:  "The Portable Hole", "The Purse and Glass", "The Tuning Fork", "The Planet", and ending with "The Sleeve".  These are wonderful formal routines which garnered applause throughout the performances and a standing ovation at the end.  These routines are hard to summarize with a few words, for a description of these wonderful routines, see David's aforementioned book.  David's work was ahead of his time (and they still are today) when he created these masterpieces.  Without a doubt, the routines are timeless testament to the routining and performing genius of David Roth.


Dr. Michael Rubinstein performs "Twilight Zone".

David Roth performs "The Sleeve" as

part of his "Concerto of the Hands".


The Coinvention ended with a lecture by Geoff Latta.  Geoff fully explained all the routines he presented in the "Shooting Stars" show.  In addition to teaching the three routines, he taught his slow motion coin vanish which is a wonderful one coin vanish where the hands are apparently shown empty over and over again.


Geoff's lecture notes were not available yet, but should be ready in a few weeks.  Anyone who has an interest in coin magic NEEDS to get these notes!  Geoff's "Purse, Coins, No Glass" routine was a personal highlight of the show.  I plan on learning the routine.  Its construction is fabulous.  It needs a table surface to work on, but it can be done standing.  Geoff pointed out in the lecture that this specific routine is a complete lie throughout the routine.  He never is doing what the spectator believes he is doing at all points in the routine.  The combination of sleight of hand lying to create this effect is mind boggling, but the effect it creates is pure, pristine, clean magic.


Geoff Latta teaches "Purse, Coins, no Glass".

Dave Neighbors and Curtis Kam strike a "coin pose".


The last event, Matrix Madness was dropped because it was close to eleven o'clock PM after Geoff's lecture.  We were instructed to head out to private sessions for Matrix Madness!


Coinvention was a wonderful momentous occasion.  I thoroughly enjoyed the performances, forums, and lectures.  The real nice part of both LVMI and the Coinvention is the relatively small size.  It is not hard to spend some time speaking with and mini-sessioning with anyone you particularly wanted to see.  I had the wonderful opportunity to eat lunches and dinners with various professional performers as well.


The bad part of Coinvention was that it was at the end of LVMI.  Staying up until the wee hours of the morning for three days takes a toll on you.  I felt pretty tired by the time the Coinvention arrived.  Also since the Coinvention was all one day, it had a break neck pace.  LVMI by contrast had a good level of longer term breaks to allow you to go sit and relax with friends.  I can't complain too much though, because I was really looking forward to Coinvention and it lived up to my expectations.  If you enjoy coin magic, it really was the place to be.


The future is up in the air regarding future Coinventions.  As it sits, it may become a biannual event.  It really took a lot of effort to create and my hat is off to Curtis Kam, Danny Archer, and Reed McClintock for pulling it off.


Keep an eye out for two DVDs coming out by Joe Givan and Danny Archer's Five Star Magic Media:  A DVD for LVMI and a DVD for the Coinvention.  Many performers had their performances shot along with studio explanations.


[EDIT:  The DVD has been released, you can read my review on it here.]


A group shot around midnight after the Coinvention.

Top row, left to right:  Garrett Thomas, Chris Korn, Chris Kenner, Dan Watkins, Cosmo Solerno, Unknown*.

Bottom row, left to right:  Dean Dill, Kainoa Harbottle, Shoot Ogawa, Danny Archer, David Roth, Geoff Latta, Curtis Kam, David Minkin, Dr. Michael Rubinstein, David Neighbors, Armando Lucero, Apollo Robbins, Jamy Ian Swiss.

The guy who pressed the little button on my camera to take this picture: Kirk Grodske (thanks Kirk!)


* please email me if you know the name of the gentlemen who was unknown to me.


Back to Contents