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Coin Man Walking DVD Review

January 29th, 2014 1:51am
Rating:
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
This is a great DVD for anyone that wants to venture a little further beyond the Bobo book on coin magic into the intermediate stage of coin work.

First things first: The DVD menu is very easy to navigate and it is broken up into three sections for easy browsing: Performances, Explanations and Schoolcraft Interview. Inside of each section, each item has its own tab to go directly to it.

The video and lighting are very good, clear and crisp, as is the audio. There is one little spot toward the very end of a performance where the audio and video are out of sync, but it does not effect the performance because it was in a comment made after the effect was done.

For some people, sitting through this video may be a little boring. While Dan is an excellent technician, his pace and presentation/tonality (while original) are a little lackluster and can drag on. There are plenty of times where you can see that he is thinking a little too hard during a performance with the script and in some of the explanations. Now, having said that, Dan is an excellent teacher and leaves nothing to be desired. Everything is clearly explained and he makes things easy to understand.

Instead of a list of credits rolling at the end of the video, Dan verbally gives any due credit at the beginning and/or throughout all of the explanations. There are plenty of his own ideas here and many are based on some older ideas, tweaked to great effect. Dan also assumes that most viewers already have a most basic grasp on coin sleights, with the ability to execute them properly, such as the Bobo Switch, an ROV, etc.

I will have to say: Even if you do not use any of the material on this disc, you should at least get this to watch it because it is a very good and practical lesson on how to structure a set or show. Most of the effects on this disc all flow from one right into the next. Dan even tells you (where applicable) when effect "A" goes right into effect "B" because they fit so well next to each other. This all makes it easy to pick and choose the ones you like and plug them right into your own working set(s).

Quick side note: A great thing about all of the effects on this disc is that there is absolutely NO tables required because these can all be done in the hands - either yours and/or the spectator(s). This is also mentioned in the ad copy, which in itself is very accurate.

As for the utilities/effects, I will not repeat what the descriptions already tell you (and accurately so), but I will give my own opinions and observations about some of them.

The Middle Finger Back Clip is another name for an already existing sleight, but what Dan brings to the table is a great way to get into it for many of his effects, but which will also work well with other effects using this sleight.

The Holster Holdout is a great utility that was based on a common cell phone design at the time of the taping. It is still readily applicable to the modern cell phone designs today, even though the phone itself has nothing to do with the holdout. Very useful idea!

Fingertips Coins to Pocket is a wonderful update on one of my favorite effects, The Gadabout Coins. The one thing I do not like about this handling is the Muscle Pass, or rather, the way it is used although it does clean up the ending. In using the Muscle Pass here, it is used openly to set up the finale. Dan also teaches a "gag" version which accomplishes the same thing if you cannot do a Muscle Pass. While I can do an M.P., I prefer not to do it openly but rather as a secret (unseen) move, so within the context of this routine, I prefer the "gag" to get into the ending. That is just my personal preference and opinion on what is otherwise a very good handling.

CSB Assault is a great no-pocket, no-cross hands and in-the-hands version of the "standard" CSB routine, such as you would find on the instruction sheet for the Johnson Products version of the CSB gimmick. This is very magical to the spectator and one of my favorite ways to do this effect to date.

Coinvention Crossing is a great routine with parts reminiscent of the work of Homer Liwag, mostly because some parts of it are based on his work. Those familiar with "Four Coins and a Filipino" and his "CoinONE" will see some familiar ideas. Very nice effect!

Double Take, Flash Hop and Lightning Copper/Silver are all great takes on the Copper/Silver Transposition plot, and Flash Hop is a great one to learn if you like Hopping Half Coins - it can be done on the fly because it is almost identical to Hopping Half but without gimmicks and it looks great!

Flash Bill Fold is based on an idea from the second volume of coin magic by David Stone and is used within the Flash Hop routine as a surprise finish. Very nice way to end it. It can also be used with other routines requiring a similar fold.

Four Coins, Your Hands is an excellent and very magical take on the Coins Across plot using the hands of an audience participant as the working surface. In this version, the magician does the work but the participant holds the coins. It is brilliant and I really like using this one myself. Eric Jones has a version on his 3 disc set, "An Extension of Me" that takes this plot even further where, for a couple of phases, the spectator actually holds the coins AND does the work (though they do not know how they do the work!).

Cylinder and Coins is one of my all-time favorite coin magic effects and is what many coin workers (myself included) consider 'our' version of the Cups & Balls. Dan does not teach his handling but presents his very well-structured performance.

A couple of things that kept this from being a full five stars were minor annoyances, but because Bob Kohler videos are usually spotless, they contributed to the rating drop in my opinion. One was that for a good chunk of the explanations, there was visible equipment on the left edge of the screen (a mic boom or something) that kept moving up and down and it was an annoying distraction at times.

The second did not really have anything to do with the rating drop, and it may just be my nit-picky OCD here, but it was annoying. Whenever the different phases of various effects were being explained, a background graphic appeared and then the text came up, "Phase Two, Phase Three, etc." The graphic swatch was straight and stretched the length of the screen and the text was (purposely) skewed, but it looked out of place. They could have at least centered the text on the graphics bar. Again, this may just be my own issue.

All things considered, this is a very, very good coin DVD with lots of workable and commercial material on it and I highly recommend it!

Product info for Coin Man Walking DVD

Author: Dan Watkins
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Dan Watkins’ Coin Man Walking features nine coin routines and three utility sleights/items from his professional repertoire. The material is designed for the strolling / walk-around performer. There are “No Tables Required” to perform any routines taught on this DVD. The routines on this DVD are designed to be interactive with your spectators often having the magic occur directly in their hands. This allows your spectators to personally experience the magic instead of simply watching you perform.

Dan Watkins operates one of the most popular internet websites devoted to coin magic, www.coinvanish.com where readers can find the latest news and product reviews related to coin magic. A professional businessman by trade, Dan uses the material found on this DVD to entertain his customers at various business functions. Dan’s material is extremely deceptive and well thought out. Each routine is a blockbuster that will amaze both magicians and your audiences.

Dan’s routines are polished professional level presentations. The explanations are detail oriented with nothing is left out. The running time is 2 hours & 11 minutes! Coin Man Walking will set a new level of quality instruction in the art of coin magic!

Contents:

The Middle Finger Backclip “ An extremely useful and deceptive utility sleight that enables you to show your palm up hand empty, while concealing a coin. Dan teaches everything you need to know to effectively utilize the technique for a couple of his routines.

The Holster Holdout “ An innovative one coin holdout that can be worn in plain view. It instantly delivers a concealed coin to your hand at your will.

outsDANding “ Adding to ideas of Troy Hooser and John Ramsay, Dan teaches a very clear, direct, and entertaining three coin fingertip production-vanish-reproduction sequence utilizing three solid silver dollars. Also taught in great detail is Dan’s “Ramsay Feint” variation that eliminates the traditional false take of the last coin.

Fingertip Coins to Pocket “ Dan’s version of “The Gadabout Coins” (two in the hand, one in the pocket plot) from J.B. Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic performed at the fingertips. Also taught is a new muscle pass/click pass application to setup the final vanish of all the coins.

CSB Assault “ is Dan’s stand up Copper/Silver/Brass routine. The routine features a rapid fire, triple transposition that occurs in and out of a spectator’s hands, without the magician’s hands ever coming together.

Coinvention Crossing “ Dan performs a very clean stand up coins across routine where three coins travel, one at a time, from the left hand to the right hand. Before and after each coin travels, both hands are clearly seen, palm up, to contain the appropriate number of coins.

Double Take Transposition - A spectator is given a silver coin to hold and the magician holds onto a copper coin. With just a wave of the hand, the coins change places! The effect is then instantly repeated and the two coins may be examined.

Flash Hop “ A quick variation of Mark Jenest’s “Short Hop,” (Hopping Half routine without the Hopping Half gimmicks) ending with a surprise dollar bill production.

Flash Bill Fold “ Dan teaches his new money folding technique to create a self contained 1” x 1” packet that can be secretly manipulated and then instantly produced at the fingertips.

Lightning Copper/Silver “ Dan places a silver coin in his left hand and a copper coin in his right, somehow they change places! Quick, visual, no gaffs!

Breaking a Dollar “ Dan appears to bend a silver dollar at his fingertips. Instantly, the silver dollar breaks into two half dollars. The two half dollars are placed into his right fist, whereby they fuse back into a silver dollar.

4 Coins, Your Hands “ This is one of Dan’s most reputable effects. It is a Coins Across routine that is revolutionary in both method and effect. All of the magic apparently happens in a spectator’s outstretched hands. The coins appear to vanish one at a time from their right hand and arrive one at a time in their left; the last coin travels to her enclosed fist. This is interactive coin magic at its best!

Cylinder & Coins (Performance Only) “ Dan performs his favorite formal close up routine: An exceptionally streamlined version of John Ramsay’s famous “Cylinder & Coins.”


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