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Moneypulation Vol. 1 Review

Official Review

October 23rd, 2019 8:11am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
Moneypulation Vol. 1 is a beautifully made video coming to us from French magician Lawrens Godon. Lawrens is a well-rounded magician (as evidenced by his YouTube videos) and he is a wonderful contact juggler as well. I have had this DVD for a while and have been using the material for about as long (since it came out in 2010). This video contains 14 non-gaffed coin effects and routines centered around one common sleight, what Lawrens calls The Dynamic Back Thumb Palm (DBTP). The DBTP is based on the Back Thumb Palm, a very old sleight that has been explored by many magicians, but to my knowledge, none of them to the extent seen here from M. Godon. It is his unique use and application of the original sleight that makes it dynamic.

The first thing you notice when you start watching is the ease of menu navigation. It allows you to view the trailer, watch the full DVD at once, and also allows for you to select specific chapters. Under the 'Chapters' tab, it is broken down even further. Your first choice is to watch the routines in performance only. The second sub-section has the bonus performances. The third is the demonstration of the basic moves needed for the DBTP - getting into position, the retrieval and finally a flash production from said position. The next sub-section contains the explanations for each of the routines, followed by the final sub-section containing the acknowledgment and credit sections, as well as a video of him doing some contact juggling. For the record, there are also short advert videos for Sick by Ponta the Smith and Joke Magie.

Each effect on this disc is performed silently to music.

That being said, here are the magical contents of the DVD:

The first routine (and one of my favorites) is THE TRAPDOOR. The hands start empty and three silver dollars are produced. One at a time, they vanish into the elbow of the same arm, and later all reappear back on the palm as if they went into a trapdoor in the arm and traveled down to the hand. Overall this is not a difficult routine to execute.

AVA (Appear, Vanish, Appear) is a very visual production and vanishing sequence of a silver dollar. The appearances are very magical because the 'pop' into view and then going into the vanish, it is there one moment and the next it is gone! This is one of the easier routines on this disc in my opinion and is really not that technically difficult, save for one small "knacky" move that will take a fairly good amount of practice to do accurately. Eric Jones made mention of it in his comments about the video - "...Muscle Pass directly into Harada Hold..."

SPELLBOUNDARY is not your ordinary Spellbound routine! It is an amplified version using a silver dollar and a Chinese coin full of unique twists and turns and very magical looking changes, finishing with a complete vanish of the coin. Think the precision and timing of David Roth meets the flair of Ponta the Smith and you have Spellboundary. Beautiful routine to watch! This routine will take some work, and in performing this it is critical (as with all magic effects, but especially coins) to pace yourself - to stop and allow your audience/participants to see the magic happen and let each change register before continuing.

THREE FLY. Yet again, I can hear all the groans from the coin magicians, "Not ANOTHER one!!!" Yes another 3 Fly, but it is quite clean as far as the mechanics and appearances are concerned. The first coin is openly vanished from one hand only to instantly and visually appear at the fingertips of the other, followed by the second coin. The last coin is visibly tossed across to join the other two, and then flies back to the original hand, only to vanish and instantly reappear back with the other two coins at the fingertips. This routine is kind of in the middle as far as technical difficulty goes, but with some practice it will be easier.

SILK CONTACT starts with a silk and three silver dollars in a fan. The whole stack of coins is vanished à la French Drop with a wave of the silk, and there is a wonderful subtlety employed here that makes it oh, so much more! The hands and silk are shown empty, and then the silk is snapped toward the fingertips of the opposite hand where the first coin reappears, followed by a wave of the silk and the reappearance of the second coin, and finally the third. Very clean and magical routine! Overall this is not a terribly hard routine to perform, but certain moments will call for careful execution of the moves so as not to spoil the effect. Once you have gotten to that point, you will have a wonderful effect on your hands!

FLY AGAIN is a performance-only version of 3 Fly . If you are an advanced coin practitioner, you may be able to work it out yourself, but it is a beautiful thing to watch and a bit different in appearance to your normal 3 Fly. The first coin flies not visibly but rather invisibly from the left hand before appearing in the right hand. It is then placed into the left hand (which holds the other two coins) and the right hand takes one of the two remaining coins. The coin in the left fist vanishes and reappears at the right fingertips, and the last coin in the left hand is vanished using a one-handed vanish that is reminiscent of Ponta the Smith and the move from his routine called “Vanish,” and the coin visually appears at the right fingertips, joining the other two.

COINTUMACIOUS is more of a flurry type of routine but with a deliberate pace. The coin vanishes and appears from the hands and elbows. It ends with the coin changing into a jumbo coin. I really love watching this because it is not your standard flurry and it is very pretty. This routine is another that will take some work, and with its built-in pace (which as I said before is deliberate, meaning slower than usual for a coin flurry) allows the audience/participants to easily follow and fully appreciate the magic. This one is a lesson in good routining.

ON/OFF is a quick vanish and reappearance of a coin from the fingertips, multiple times, using a wand. Flick one end of the wand at the coin and it vanishes (OFF), turn the hand holding the wand over to flick the opposite end of the wand and the coin reappears (ON), hence the title. Not only is this a beautiful application of the DBTP, but during practice sessions, this makes for a good exercise (and I mean exercise as in a workout!) for your fingers and is great for developing a normal pace (normal for you) and accuracy in the execution of the sleight! This is another of my favorite routines. This particular routine is better suited after you have a good grasp on the basic handling of the DBTP and can perform it correctly, smoothly and reliably at a fairly good pace. What I mean by 'fairly good pace' is that due to the nature (visual appearance) of the effect, it requires you to be able to quickly get in and out of the DBTP position. That is why you can use this as an exercise during practice to help develop the muscles used in DBTP and to help with practicing the smooth execution of the sleight.

FAKE DROP is a utility as opposed to an actual effect. The title is self-explanatory and it is very deceptive when properly executed! This utility is not technically difficult to execute, but again it is better suited for use when you can perform the DBTP reliably.

WANDED is a routine that ties with The Trapdoor for my favorite routine on the disc. Starting with a wand and a silver dollar, a Williamson Strike Vanish is executed to cause the coin to vanish, then the wand disappears, followed by the simultaneous reappearance of the coin, and as the coin is held at the fingertips of the hand, it vanishes as the wand simultaneously reappears. A spin and a tap of the wand and the coin reappears at the fingertips. This routine can be done slowly or quickly and either way, it is smooth, beautiful to watch and very magical! Overall, it is not too difficult to perform, but timing is critical with this one and that alone will take some practice.

CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION is exactly that. Lawrens does 3 or 4 productions, but you can do it as many time as you need. This is perfect for a Miser Dream routine, and with a bit of careful routining, it can be done with the bucket/coin pail in hand. This is another one that can be used specifically as an exercise for the fingers (easier than the other "exercises" for the most part) during practice sessions, but overall it is not difficult at all.

What follows is the explanation section which begins, as it should, with the section showing you how to get into position and execute the DBTP. Lawrens then shows you how to retrieve the coin from DBTP, followed by a flash production from the DBTP position.

Each effect is explained silently to music with over-the-shoulder views, side views or front views, accompanied by titles where necessary. The use of slow-motion sequences makes learning the effects even easier. Each effect is clearly explained with nothing left out. For those of you who really care to critique such a thing, the music used in this video was very nice and each routine/effect was, in my humble opinion, expertly paired with music that matched its pace. I like the music because it was not heavy and it does not blast your ears out, nor does it detract from the experience of watching the magic.

Everything you see on this disc is stuff that Lawrens uses in his daily work on the streets, as well as various other types of venues and situations. With practice, this material is all very useful in many different situations and venues. I have enjoyed using things from this disc myself and based on my experiences in using it, it never fails to please the audience.

Jeff McBride once was watching the trailer for this DVD and his exact words were, "That looks hard!” He was right - this DVD is most definitely not for the beginner - even some advanced coin handlers will find that some of the sleights or moves will take some practice to get used to, or to get the hang of them, and to make them smooth. That should not deter the intermediate coin magician from purchasing this DVD - everything on here is attainable with the practice it deserves and you will get an immense satisfaction out of using the material!

Lawrens has some unique combinations of sleights/moves that are not normally used in conjunction, but that is what makes his magic so unique and visually appealing. He also uses U.S. silver dollars on this disc (specifically, Peace Dollars), which makes everything more visible because of their size, but if you cannot handle silver dollars (or other coins of similar size), not to worry - everything can be done with half dollars or other similar sized coins.

According to sources, Moneypulation Volume 2 is currently in the works, and if it is anything like this DVD, it will be a hit!

I highly recommend this DVD!

Dr. Joaquin M. Ayala de Cedoz

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Moneypulation Vol. 1

Author: Godon, Lawrens
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Visual Coin Techniques for the Advanced Magician

14 no-gaff, stand-up routines and techniques!

In this volume Lawrens Godon reveals a revolutionary system of coin manipulation based on a single sleight, often neglected and rarely used.With this knowledge at hand you will have a whole set of INCREDIBLY visual utility sleights and ideas at your disposal.

No-talk teaching and slow-motion sequences make everything easy to learn.

Original, deceptive and elegant, designed to be performed for larger groups as well as under most close-up situations, these coin effects are right up the alley of those who enjoy working at chest level.

Moneypulation is not a DVD for beginners, but any magicians familiar with intermediate level coin techniques will be able to learn the material taught.

Content :

The Dynamic Back Thumb Palm
The Trapdoor
A V A (Appear-Vanish-Appear)
Three Fly
Silk Contact
Fly Again (performance only)

Bonus :

Fake Drop
Continuous Production
Crystal (glass ball routine)

"The Coin Magic of Lawrens Godon is incredible! I was completely fooled. I had long awaited the release of his DVD on the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm..."
- Ponta The Smith

"I spent some time with Lawrens during the European Coinmagic Symposium in Milano and had an opportunity to see some of the most difficult coin magic look absolutely effortless. Anyone who can muscle pass a coin directly into Harada Hold EVERYTIME is someone I need to watch...closely. I recommend Lawrens Godon's work to anyone."
- Eric Jones

Running Time Approximately: 49min

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