Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Le Tourniquet

A MySpace magician wannabe posted a message in a magic group dissing the French Drop. I kinda liked my reply. So without further ado (and who needs more ado?) here is his unedited post and my unedited reply:
seems lame to me. if you just cup it behind your fingers like that people will
instantly think you just left it in ur hand, how do i go about switchin hands to
make it look like the coins totally vanished? should i use a quarter or half
dollar to practice with? vansihing is way fun.


Like most sleights, getting away with the French Drop is as much a matter of attitude and audience management as it is technique. It isn't just a matter of, "hold the coin in the left hand, take it with the right hand, make a magical gesture, show it gone." You have to manage the moments before, during and after the sleight.

There are several things you can do, depending on what you're going to do following the vanish. One of the things I do if I'm using it as a one-off trick (a rarity - there are stronger single tricks) is to extend the hand that supposedly contains the coin and ask the spectator to tap it. I stand fairly close to them as I ask them to do this. They are forced to look at my hand as they tap it.

In the meantime, my other hand has already naturally dropped to my side,coin in fingertip rest position, arm and shoulder relaxed. (Tension in the hand/arm that really holds the coin is a dead giveaway.) As they reach to tap my hand that supposedly holds the coin, I ditch the coin in my pocket with as little motion as possible.

I then reveal the vanish.


I then followed up with another post:

Oh, and the management continues...I forgot to mention that before revealing the
vanish, the hand that just ditched the coin moves away from the pocket - I make
a gesture or pick something up - depends on the choreography. If you stay near
your pocket it puts heat on the pocket.

I don't think our would-be conjurer had seen such examples of management before. He thanked me profusely and, in an email, asked for more advice.

There may yet be hope.

1 comment:

John said...

Great info on the drop. The first time I saw it performed, it was done so badly that I swore I'd never use it as a vanish. With personal variations, I use it as often as any other vanish when several vanishes will work.

As with any vanish, I think it is important to see what the actual tranfer looks like and try to imitate that look with the false tranfer.