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The Superlative Magic of Troy Hooser



Coins Across

hree coins are rubbed, one at a time, against the sleeve. They instantly and visually
vanish, reappearing at the performers fingertips. To conclude, all three coins travel at
the same time from the sleeve to the hand.

Troy has various ways of interpreting an effect. Sometimes he changes moves,

phases, or patter. In other instances he may use different props or try a trick in a new
setting. For this trick, Troy has actually manipulated the structure. Using Jonathan
Townsends Fingertips Coins Across and Chris Kenners Three Fly (Totally Out of
Control, 1992) as his starting point, Troy has altered the flow and feel of the trick.
Originally, the tricks plot was for three coins to travel visually from one hand to
the other. Taking a step back to look at the tricks skeletal compositions, it had a horizontal, back and forth direction. Coins traveled from hand to hand, and the eyes looked
from right to left, then left to right (fig. 1). Redirection Coins Across has interrupted
this pattern. The coins start high on the arm, and travel down to the awaiting finger-

Redirection Coins Across

tips. The routine still contains the appealing visual nature of Three Fly but has repositioned the audiences viewing path. This routine happens on a vertical, linear line
that causes the eyes to absorb the trick in a logical, downward motion. The coins start
higher and farther away, and they reappear closer and lower to the audience (fig. 2).

The mechanics of this routine have been altered only slightly from other Coins
Across routines. It is the appearance and structure that has been changed to elicit
a very different response. Redirection Coins Across is not the first coin effect with
a backward-forward coin movement. Gordon Beans Silver through Sleeves (Genii,
August 1978) tackles the Coins Across plot in a similar manner.


The only preparation for this effect is to obtain four identical coins. Troy prefers dollar
pieces because they are easier to manipulate. Set these coins in a nearby pocket or
purse. When ready to perform, bring out all of the coins in the left hand, holding the
coins in the fist so that the actual number of coins is indistinguishable.


Begin by tossing three coins into the right hand. It should appear as though all of the
contents of the left hand were tossed into the right, but one coin is secretly retained.
Although any friction palm would work here, Troy prefers to retain one coin with
his thumb. That is, the left fingers open slightly to allow the stack of coins to spread
forward. The left thumb contacts the bottom coin in the stack, holding it in place (fig.
3). Turn the left hand palm down to allow the remaining three coins to fall into the
open right hand. The fourth coin is secretly pinned against the left fingertips. Transfer
this coin to a finger palm.


With the right fingers, move the three coins to a display position, fanning them
vertically so that the highest coin is also closest to your body (fig. 4). Extend the left arm
out to the audience so that it is aimed at the chests of the spectators. The left hands
coin is held finger palmed in position for an inverted Ramsay Subtlety. This means that
the left hand is palm up and the spectators can see into the left hand without catching a
glimpse of the concealed coin. Move the right hand to
the top of the left biceps (fig. 5).
The premise that legitimizes the coins traveling is
a patter theme of the coins traveling down the sleeve.
Using this patter as a base, proceed with the various
sequences as explained.

To make the first coin vanish into the sleeve, the

right thumb need only retract about an inch. By moving
down and to the right,
the upper coin in the
fan is dragged out of
view, concealed by the other two coins (fig. 6). Done
without any form of misdirection, the move is unremarkable. However, combine the right thumbs actions
with a rubbing gesture into the sleeve, and the move
looks like pure magic. Troy does not move the right
hand back and forth slowly and deliberately. Rather, it
is one quick jerk of the wrist, and in that up and down
movement, the coin is moved behind the others. During
the right hands actions, the left hand moves its coin into
7 view (fig. 7). Be sure to keep the left arm absolutely sta-

Redirection Coins Across

tionary throughout this sequence. Done simultaneously, it looks as though a coin from
the right hand journeyed invisibly to the left hand.

In what appears to be a simple gesture, you will secretly transfer the next coin
into the left hand. Move the coins in the right hand next to the left hands coin. Under
the guise of clicking the coins together, allow the left hands coin to fall into the fingertips. At the same time, the left fingers re-grip the lowermost coin in the right hand (fig.
8). Push up with the right thumb, causing the coin concealed in the right hand to pop
back into view. Move the hands apart. At this point, there is one coin hidden at the base
of the left fingers and one on display at the left fingertips. In the right hand are two
coins, fanned in a vertical position so that the highest coin is nearest the body.
For the second coin, the right hand moves back up to the left bicep. To make the
next coin vanish, it is simply dropped into finger palm. Tilt the right hand back so that
the coins are directly above the right fingers. In the same jerking movement as described above, allow the lowermost coin to fall onto the right fingertips. This action is
covered as the right fingers smear into the material of the jacket.
As the second coin is vanished, the left fingers push the concealed coin into view
and below the coin already displayed at the fingertips. Do this action with a slight jerk
of the wrist. It should now appear as if two coins have traveled.

At this point, the handling potentially could get messy. That is why Troy opted for
the simpler, more visual way to handle the last coin. Bring the hands together again
and place the coin remaining at the right fingertips on top of the left hands fan of coins
(fig. 9). Again, the coins are fanned so that the uppermost coin is nearest the body. This
time the coin will travel down the right sleeve. Extend the right arm, keeping the coin
concealed in the right hand in the inverted Ramsay Subtlety position. Move the left
hand to the right biceps in preparation for the last coin (fig. 10). The left thumb slides
the uppermost coin back behind the spread of coins as the right fingers push the finger
palmed coin into view.

Without hesitation, you will now re-reverse the hand position in preparation
for shoving the third coin back down the left sleeve. Extend the left hand, keeping the
coin concealed behind the other two. Move the right hand up to the left bicep. In the
same action as performed throughout the routine, you will allow the last coin to be

popped into finger palm. To do this, turn the right hand
palm up so that the coin is positioned directly over the
fingers. In a quick motion, the right fingers release their
grip on the coin. At the same time, move the right hand
up quickly. If done properly, the released coin will not
fall; instead, the right hand will move up to the coins
level and catch it at the base of the fingers. To help camouflage this move, the right fingers grasp some material
from the sleeve and tug on it a bit.

As the last coin vanishes, the left thumb extends,

pushing the concealed coin back to the top of the spread
and into view. Under the shock of the reappearance, the
right hand will ditch its coin in the left breast pocket. The
hand is already in position and at the same level as the pockets opening. By twisting
the torso to the right, the fingers can deposit the coin into the pocket without any extraneous movement or attention (fig. 11 is an exposed view).


For the final phase of the routine, transfer the

fan of coins to the right fingertips. Pretend to take the
uppermost coin with the left hand, but again execute
the concealment of sliding the coin behind the others.
Clench the left fingers, miming the action of taking the
coin, and move the hand up to the right biceps. Pretend
to push the coin into the sleeve, this time showing the
hand empty afterward. Everyone expects the coin to
reappear at the right fingertips, which is precisely why
this action is not carried out. Act puzzled, commenting
that the coin must be stuck.

Apparently take one of the two displayed coins

into the left hand. Secretly take both displayed coins,
and at the same time, push the concealed coin into view with the right thumb and
fingers. The left hand takes both coins in
view, but only the upper coin is displayed.
The fingers briefly cover all the coins, and
while this happens, the lower coin of the
spread is pushed into left-hand finger palm
(fig. 12 is an exposed view). By separating
the two coins, you emphasize the vanish of
the third.

Place the coin at the left fingertips back

into the right hand, above and behind the

Redirection Coins Across

right hands coin. Extend the right arm and move the left hand back to the right biceps.
Produce the coin concealed in the left fingers at approximately the same place from
which it vanished. The production should look similar to the vanishes, as it is covered
in the larger motion of the left hand waving against the jacket sleeve.

Place the produced coin atop the fan. Offer to try again. Pretend to take the top
coin in the left hand, but slide it behind the others with the right thumb. Pretend to
knead it into the sleeve, and then as the left hand is displayed empty, the right hand
releases its grip on all the coins, allowing them to fall into the fist. Re-grip, pushing all
the coins into a fan to display the appearance of the third coin. This last sequence is performed accordingly to mask the secret action of the right thumb. Too much exposure
to the move may tip the method, so this slightly different approach works well for the
final reappearance.


Position all three coins in a stack and hold them

in spellbound position in the right hand (fig. 13). By
executing a French Drop with multiple coins, you will
actually reap the benefits of a Click Pass without the
extra work. The left hand moves in front of the stack.
The left fingers pretend to grasp the stack, clenching to the palm. At the same time, the right thumb
releases the stack of coins, allowing them to fall onto
the base of the right fingers, out of sight. They will fall
with a loud clink. This noise apparently comes from
the left hand as the coins are taken, when in fact they
are retained in the right hand.

Move the left hand up to the right biceps,

ready to push all three coins down the sleeve. As
the eyes follow the left hand, the right hand maneuvers the stack into a curl palm variant associated with Geoffrey Latta. The third finger curls
around the stack to allow the other fingers to move
independently (fig. 14).


Apparently rub all three coins into the sleeve

with the left hand and then show the hand empty. At the same time, release the stack of
coins into the right hand, clasping them all in the fist. Re-spread to show that all three
coins have traveled at the same time.

This routine, although long-winded in explanation, is actually quite fast in performance. Watching the routine, the magic happens so rapidly that it gives the impression
that it is happening around the performer.



More Superlative Magic from Troy Hooser




blue deck is removed from a red case, so the magician flicks his wrist to change the
entire card box to blue. A card is chosen and lost in the pack. The back of the selected card
changesand then the backs of all the cards change. This color changing deck routine is
over in less than a minute, but packs in five incredible moments. Oh, one more thing: no
table required, and instant reset.

Youll require a red/blue double-backed pack of cards and one normal, red-backed force
card. Troy uses the Ace of Spades. Youll also need a wide-tipped permanent marker.

Place a reverse breather crimp in the Ace of Spades so that you can immediately
cut it to the face of any cut-off packet (for specific instructions on the breather crimp,
see Destroyers, pg 102 or The Vernon Chronicles, Volume 1).

Now you will mark all the red backs (including the force card) in a ridiculous, visual
way. Place a giant X across the back of each red back. This will take about ten minutes,
but once this first-time setup is complete the trick is almost instantly resettable.
To set up for performance, situate the blue backs uppermost and place the force
card face down in the center of the deck (this renders the Aces red back uppermost
with all the other blue backs). Finally, reverse the bottom double-backed card so that
both the top and face of the deck display blue.

The optional opener Troy likes to use is a color-changing box. He uses a marketed
item, available from various dealers under slightly different names. The construction
of the box is such that both a side panel and the top, logo-side of the card box change
visually from red to blue.


Begin with the box flap pulled back and ready to be tripped. Pull the blue cards halfway
from the box (with all the blue backs uppermost except for the lowermost card). Regrip
this elongated card and box in your right hand from above (figure 1).
Give a gentle shake as you allow the
boxs flap to flip from red to blue. The
change is startling and gives you a strong
magical moment that is both surprising
and establishes the color-changing deck
premise you will demonstrate.

Pocket the box and explain that you

would like someone to choose a card. As 1
you talk, perform a Center Hindu Shuffle. That is, hold the cards in left dealers grip.
With your right thumb and second fingers, strip out a twenty-card portion of the pack
above your force card (just estimate here) and pull them completely from the left hands
cards (figure 2). Now perform the standard actions of a Hindu Shuffle, taking care not
to flash the faces of the cards (technically these cards have no faces, but you know what
I meanthe red backs).

Normally I would have you choose a card like

this you say, spreading the cards between your
hands, again being cautious not to spread too far
to risk exposing the red back of the force card. The
objective of the Hindu shuffle and this spreading
gesture is to subtly show as many blue backs as

but instead Ill have you stop me whenever

you like and look at this card. So saying, dribble
the cards from hand to hand. Stop at the breather card and look at the card yourself
as you are instructing the spectator about what she is about to do. The purpose of this
gesture is to again show blue backs during the dribbling process. But more importantly,
Troy uses this gesture as a checkpoint, to make sure he has cut to his breather force

Replace the packets, obtaining a break between them (below the force card). Now
execute a dribble force to the break. Lift the upper packet and display the Ace of Spades
on the face. Ask the spectator to remember her card and then drop this packet squarely
on top of the left hands portion. You can execute another Center Hindu shuffle if you like.


Spread the cards at chest height with the faces toward yourself. Upjog any card
and stare at the face. Although you will be staring at a spread of marked red cards,
you will miscall several of them as potentials for the spectators selection, as

follows. I think you picked this one. Dont give me any clues. The Six of Spades?
Then stop yourself. No, wait a minute. Im changing my mind. Downjog this card and
spread a few more, then upjog another. Its the Seven of Hearts. Or not Repeat this
guessing game a few times and then openly spread to your force card.

Before you even upjog this card, its appearance will evoke a reaction. A ridiculously obvious marked cards appearance is sure to be noticed, and the fan is conveniently
situated at chest height for maximum visibility. Further, the comedic potential here is
strong because the spectators will notice this before you do.
Upjog this card and commit to it. Square the pack in your left hand at chest height
and swivel the upjogged card from the deck and into your right hand. What was the
name of the card you picked?

After she announces her card, you will dramatically reveal it by rotating it end
over end toward the spectator. But there is also more going on here than meets the eye.
As you reveal her card, lower your left hand from chest height to waist height (figures
3 & 4). There is a discrepancy in orientation as you lower your handthe cards should
be face up but will display a face-down blue-backed card on top. This discrepancy goes
by completely unnoticed because of the heavy misdirection provided by revealing the
spectators card.

Notice the mark on the back of the selection and say, Oh, you caught me. Im sure a
few of you noticed I was using marked cards. Thats so embarrassingtheyre all marked.

Place the selection face down on top of the deck. Snap your fingers and spread
the cards between your hands, taking care to spread off a small group on the very top
of the deck to conceal the blue back second from the top. The entire deck now appears
marked (figure 5).




The lovely subtlety of lowering the hand to secretly orient the marked side uppermost
is an adaptation of a sleight by Aaron Fisher (see Revolver, The Paper Engine, 2002).
Bob Sheets was inspired by X-Change and adapted it in an effect he calls, Six Tricks
in Two Minutes (Bob Does Hospitality, DVD). It seems this magical-moment thing rubs
off on people.
Although this act uses a prepared deck, at the end the entire deck is marked in a
ridiculous way, rendering it unusable for other card tricks. This makes it an ideal closer,
and it also provides you with a logical reason to remove a different pack of cards with
which to continue.




Two books from one of the most celebrated creators in the industry!
Destroyers is the critically-acclaimed, best-selling book on the coin and
close-up work of Troy Hooser. After years of scarcity, it is FINALLY
AVAILABLE AGAIN, on the ten-year anniversary of its first printing.
W ritten by Joshua Jay and filled with material that has shaped a
generation of coin and card material, this book embodies the term
neo-classic, hardbound and f ully illustrated.



That was the good news. Here's the GREAT news: Moments is an
the last ten years, Troy has developed a markedly dif ferent approach
to close-up, and this collection features 25 BRAND NEW HOOSER
ROUTINES, seeing print here for the very first time . Hardbound, f ully