– Eric Jones
Dominic Reyes: So, What do you most enjoy about coin magic at the moment?
Lawrens Godon: Today, what brings me the most fun is improvisation. As a musician I use chords, melody and rhythm. Magicians can do the same with all the techniques, props and misdirection out there at our disposal.
Dominic: In what way? Improvisation of your patter or the full act?
Lawrens: There’s a trend in magic named Jazz Magic, so there’s the possibility to ‘Jazz’ our coin magic!
It’s a wonderful feeling, because it’s possible to directly interact with the audience… for example, keeping various coins in some pockets, a wand in the inside jacket pocket, a silk or two, and depending on what the spectator talks about, I’m ready to improvise some magic trick. Maybe it will be with just a coin (a coin flurry), maybe I will produce the wand too and from here improvise a sequence, or/and I make a coin appear on a spectator or/and in their surrounding (under a glass, for example). See what I mean? Doing this, I’m free and very often I can respond to a direct wish from the spectator.
Dominic: Are all your magic sets formed ‘of the cuff’ do you also follow performing patterns?
Lawrens: Yes, I often do the classics, 3-fly, cylinder/coins, etc… But the point is to be free with your magic, and not stuck in a foregone plan, because each audience is different and they each deserve a personal magic act.
Dominic: That’s interesting. You have a structured pattern of the classics as a foundation, which then allows you to come away from it as each audience brings it’s own situations.
Do you think this approach influenced the development of the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm you teach in Moneypulation Vol 1?
Lawrens: I wanted to share what I discovered in the field of coin magic. I thought that my work would be worth of interest for my fellow magician friends, because the move I developed, is in fact a complete system of manipulation… Just imagine: You show a coin, slowly take (or put) it in the other hand. They clearly see the hand EMPTY, so they can’t help but assume that the coin is where it should be.
Now you open the closed hand, and the coin is gone… this is so strong, that you don’t have to “psychologically” justify your actions.
The same goes with the classic moves, such as ‘Shuttle pass’, ‘Click Pass’, False Count, etc… all adapted to the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm.
Dominic: What lead you to develop the move?
Lawrens: The traditional method of doing the Back Thumb Palm is by first holding the coin between first and middle finger, then from here placing it into position. I wanted to change that and to begin by showing the coin in a more natural way, i.e. between thumb and forefinger. That was my first step.
Also, the old Back Thumb Palm is meant to be use in a very specific way, with the palm of the hand facing upward at belt level. I wanted to make the manipulation more dynamic and versatile… So now the actions happen in front of the magician, at chest level, opening a whole new dimension for vertical coin magic.
Dominic:What about angles?
Lawrens: I would say that the move is a lot more covered with my method than with the old one, where one would be fixed with the hand at the side, and left with not so many possibilities… With the hand on the side, you are very exposed from the side and the back. My method allows you to be covered from all angles: back, sides and front.
Now here’s a tip: The simple fact of doing the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm covers your angles!
Test this with some friends seated at a table : do the ROV and place the coin in the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm, keeping the arms slightly raised. You will discover that the arms block the bad angles from both sides toward the coin which is in Dynamic Back Thumb Palm! This is known as arm blocking technique…
Dominic: But what about in standing situations?
Lawrens: That’s the only condition where Dynamic Back Thumb Palm would be more difficult to use. In walk-around, such as cocktail events, where the magician and the spectators are standing up…
Then it’s up to the magician to adapt his repertoire to the conditions.
Dominic: One of the things that most impressed me about your magic, is the care and attention to psychology, build into the routines. So much of your work shows a very good awareness of behaviour, and how it can be channelled into the magic. Can you give us another example of this?
Lawrens: Sure.. You may know that the fact of showing the palm of the hand is a very strong signal of non-warlike, peaceful behaviour, which belongs to the collective unconscious. So strong a signal that scientists picked it amongst others to represent humanity in a symbolic message, The Pioneer Plaque, which is affixed on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft… the man shows the inside of his hand to be empty… Think about how you can apply this to your coin work.
Huge thanks to Lawrens Godon to take time out for this chat. Lawrens raised some interesting points about routine structure here. He used a jazz magic style, which is very popular with working magicians. However, he does explain that he also uses classic routines that have been rehearsed and structured, so that he can fall back on these when needed.
As you develop your magic, it’s important that you focus on creating a set of structured, rehearsed and mastered routines, before you move into improvisation. The reason for this is: Keeping consistency in your magic act. Your reputation is only as good as your last performance. Jazz magic has an unpredictable element, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Improvising your magic ‘as you go’, keeps things fresh, but sometimes life throws something unexpected at you, and you need to have a safety net to fall back onto.
Lawrens publishes an interesting magic blog in which he posts magical and creative thoughts and links from around the web. It’s well worth reading!
Questions for you: How do you structure your coin routines? What are your experiences of using the Dynamic Back Thumb Palm?
Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below: