Craig Petty Lecture on 'Accessible Coin Magic'

Reviewed by Kevin Gallagher

When I first started in magic, like many, one of the first tricks I learned was a version of ‘Professor’s Nightmare’ which involved collecting the six ends together in a bundle and, after a bit of fiddling, pulled them apart to show the appropriate if not totally convincing transformation. I can remember Daryl Martinez lecturing a technique with far greater finesse that turned the clumsy party trick into a beautiful piece of visual magic. This was something of a milestone and brought home rather forcibly that what I was doing at the time was a long way short of where rope magic had evolved to.

On some occasions still, usually at the likes of FFFF or FISM, I see the work of other magicians in some magic discipline or other that have acted as a wake up call that I am a little behind the times again. So it was with Craig’s lecture on coin magic.

For twenty years, I have generally been using little more than an extra coin or have occasionally succumbed to an expanded shell or copper-silver coin. Although I have a drawer full of Hopping-halves and the like, they have rarely managed to make it into my working repertoire. Craig’s lecture served to show that I have simply not moved with the times with modern gimmicked coin offerings, combined with sleight-of-hand, providing a true elevation in the art of coin magic with a cleanliness of effect simply going beyond what is possible with a trusty old expanded shell.

Some years ago, I played around with a flipper coin with an undeceptively thin flap, and had read poor accounts of split-coins. In both cases, the quality of the coins that Craig offers are outstanding improvements. They are well packaged and are supplied with instructional DVDs that include a wealth of material from which to start developments that will almost certainly make it into service. There are other items in the lecture including some very commercial card magic with blank cards but it is the furthing of coin magic that make the biggest mark.

Craig’s lecture is aimed at bringing strong visual coin magic well within reach of everyone that might have previously imagined that to achieve such effects was beyond them and easily practical for most working magicians.

For what has become something of a rarity these days, I actually dug deep at the end of the lecture and came away with a small pile of goods. It is fair to say that Craig’s lecture has provided me with the inspiration and motivation to lift my coin magic and that in a few months time, I will be a better magician for having attended.

- A very worthwhile lecture and little surprise that it is in high demand.

© Kevin Gallagher, January 2009