John Carney's Legerdemain Manuscripts

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John Carney's Legerdemain Manuscripts

Review by Michael Close

I think we can all agree John Carney has firmly established his reputation as one of magic’s finest creators, authors, and performers. Whatever the magic effect he devotes his attention to, you can be assured every detail has been thought out to the nth degree. Such is the case with Suite for Coins & Handkerchief, the first in a new series of manuscripts under the title, “Legerdemain.”

In thirty pages of text accompanied by copious black-and-white photographs, John explains a five-minute stand-up routine using a handkerchief and three ungaffed silver dollars. The routine has five main phases: 

Three silver dollars are magically produced from the air, one at a time. Each coin disappears from the right hand and lands in an impromptu “bag” formed by a pocket handkerchief, held by the left hand. The three coins vanish from the handkerchief. They reappear, one at a time, as the hank is stroked between the hands. Two spectators hold the handkerchief between their hands, forming an impromptu net. The three coins vanish one at time from the magician’s hands. They reappear, singly. The three coins penetrate through the handkerchief, one at a time, ala Coins through the Table. To end the routine, all three coins vanish.

John has combined elements of Dai Vernon’s Silk and Silver routine, Larry Jennings’s Coins and Handkerchief, and strategies and handlings of John Ramsey to produce a cohesive routine that definitely packs small and plays big. One of John’s gifts is the ability to smooth out the rough edges in routines. Those of you who have had trouble learning the Vernon routine (The Vernon Chronicles Volume 1, page 208) will find John’s handling to be more reliable.

Any routine in which coins appear, disappear, and move from place to place will demand some technical facility. Coins are shifted from one palming position to another and when they are secretly transferred from hand to hand, the transfer must be done silently and under the cover of a natural action. John has worked out the most efficient route to accomplish these goals and gives you all the info you need, but (as you might expect) you will have to put in some practice time.

If this type of routine appeals to you, you can’t go wrong studying John’s approach. Once you get this under your fingers, you’ll have a performance piece you can use anytime, anywhere. Recommended.

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  • Michael Close
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