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Coin Magic and the Bobo's Coin Magic Study Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Advice - Magic for Hobbyist
Opie Houston wrote an excellent magic guide for to help other magician's learn and study J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. Read more to learn a structured approach to learn these magic tricks.

Bobo Coin Magic Study Guide

by Opie Houston

Participants will learn selected sleights and tricks from Bobo's classic. The selected readings, of course, are subjective and represent what I consider to be the essentials. The more serious student of magic may want to seek supplemental sourses of material related to his or her own interests.

Dig out or order a copy of Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.
Gather the following materials to start: A few American half-dollar size coins; a few American dollar-size coins; two half-dollar size copper coins; other assorted coins; and a handkerchief.

WEEK ONE - Basics
1. Read the Preface, Braun's Introduction, Acknowledgments, and the Prologue.

2. Skim Chapters 1 and 2. Read every word, and do not stop reading to try some of the sleights. It is very important that you understand Bobo's theories and philosophy before you tackle the hard stuff.

3. Review Chapter 1, Coin Concealments, and practice all the sleights, with emphasis on the following:
a. Classic Palm; b. Edge Palm; c. Downs Palm; d. Finger Palm.

NOTE: Give the various Clips and Front/BackPalm a look, but concentrate on the sleights listed above. Carry a coin at all times for practice.)

4. Review Chapter II, Basic Technique, and learn the following techniques:
a. Bobo Switch; b. Utility Switch; c. Click Pass; d. Bottom Steal; e. "Fumble" suggestions.


WEEKS II & III - More Basics
1. Read Chapter III, Coin Vanishes. Read every word before beginning a re-read and emphasis on the following effects:
a. Standard Vanish; b. Thumb Palm Vanish; c. Illusive Coin Pass; d. A Coin Vanish; e. Gone; f. Flyaway Coin; g. Vanish for Several Coins.

NOTE: Play around with all the material in the Chapter, but concentrate most of your efforts on the items listed above and the basics from the previous chapters.)

2. Read Chapter IV only after your have at least a working knowledge of the material in the first three chapters.

NOTE: If at the end of three weeks you have not gained a working knowledge of Chapters 1 through 3, it would probably be best to continue practice and review of those chapters. But, do not become frustrated, because all of us have or have had problems with some of the material. JUST PLAY WITH IT. It is not life-essential material, but it does form the important basic foundation for more advanced coin work.


WEEKS IV & V - Putting it Together
1. Read Chapters IV, V, and XVI. Wow! There is a lot there, isn't there? And we haven't even scratched the surface yet. So, it is time to start putting it together, so to speak, and begin tailoring our own performances, complete with compatible routining and personalized patter. But, before we do that, let us do a little self appraisal.

2. Rate yourself on the following more-or-less desired skills, using three grading levels: Excellent, Good, Needs Work. Make a list of the "Needs Work" items and practice them before proceding to the next week's level.
a. Chap I, Coin Concealments: Classic Palm, Edge Palm, Thumb Palm, Finger Palm.
b. Chap II, Basic Technique: Bobo Switch, Utility Switch, One Hand Switch, Click Pass, Bottom Steal, "Fumbles"
c. Chap III, Coin Vanishes: Standard Vanish, Simple Vanish, Thumb Palm Vanish, Illusive Coin Pass, A Coin Vanish, Pinch Vanish, Gone, Flyaway Coin, French Drop, Handkerchief Coin Vanish, Vanish for Several Coins.

3. Using all the knowledge you know and information from Chapters I through V and Chapter XVI, put together a Single-Coin Routine, using the first three suggested routines in Chapter XVI. If you do not know the effects suggested in those routines, look them up or substitute an effect you already know.

(NOTE: When you have organized and perfected a good Walkaround/Standup routine, per 3 above, you will be ready to proceed to the Conquering Bobo Checklist which will take you the remainder of the way through the text. You will find it on page 6.

1. If you have completed the "Weeks IV & V" checklist on page 5, you are ready to plan your own personalized advanced study through the remainder of the Bobo text. This checklist will assist you by suggesting some short cuts, and, most importantly, it will point toward the classic coin tricks you should know.
NOTE: Spend about a week on each of the following items with emphasis on learning at least one new trick per week or the number suggested for the item.

2. Week VI -
a. Read Chapters VI and VII.
b. Play around with the material in those chapters.

3. Weeks VII and VIII -
a. Read Chapter VIII.
b. Spend two weeks on this Chapter, and, as a minimum, learn four effects. (Some may require you to visit a magic shop.)

4. Week IX and X -
a. Read Chapter IX.
b. Spend at least two weeks on this chapter and learn at least three of these classics.

5. Week XI -
a. Read the remaining chapters that you have not read. JUST READ!
b. Now, go back and make a list of effects you wish to learn from those new chapters.

6. Week XII - and forever thereafter...
a. Begin on page 1 and Re-Read the whole book. Stop and play whenever you like.
b. While you are playing, however, make a list of the tricks you really like and play around with different patter/presentations of each one.......
........that is the secret to learning magic--constant evaluation and improvement.....



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