1. Home

Palms of Steel 5: Pirates of the Rising Tide

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Palms of Steel 5: Pirates of the Rising Tide
Of course, I was aware of Curtis Kam's well known series on coin magic, but this was the first time that I had the opportunity to review one of the titles. I had always assumed that a series with the title "Palms of Steel" would be filled with knuckle-busting, finger-flinging moves that were impractical for real world situations.

I was completely wrong.

Great Material for Walkaround and Strolling Performers

On “Palms of Steel 5: Pirates of the Rising Tide,” I discovered excellent, first rate material for walk-around and close-up performers. All of the close-up routines are practical for situations where the performer is standing - the most common situation in restaurant work - and most are in the hands and don’t require close-up mats. Of course, you’ll need fundamental coin skills before tackling the material here.

For Table Hoppers

Standing Coins Thru Table” offers exactly what the name implies, a “coins through table” routine that is performed while standing and there’s no need to “lap.” Here, Kam adds an interesting theme of a “Zen gateway” to augment the proceedings.

With a nod to David Roth,” in “Copper/Silver Flurry,” Kam combines a copper-silver transposition with Roth’s well known routine. It’s another practical routine for walk around situations. An add-on to a coin routine is Kam’s “Table Hopper's Jumbo,” the addition of a jumbo coin. Here, Kam offers useful technique as well as thoughtful philosophy on the use of a jumbo coin that can benefit all walk around performers.

My favorite, “Table Hopper's Trio,” offers a non-linear, eclectic set of three effects with each of three coins. Kam says that he likes coin effects where the magic doesn’t repeat, for example, as in typical “coins across.” When audiences know what’s going to happen to subsequent coins, the routines often turn into challenges and puzzles.

”Table Hopper’s Trio” is a definite winner. And since I already perform with three coins in my standard close-up sets and already had the moves, I immediately put this one to work in my restaurants.

Doesn’t Leave You “Hanging”

A bit offbeat, and you will only be able to perform this in situations where spectators are focused on your performance (in busy restaurant settings, spectators can be easily distracted), in “Laser Coins,” three coins vanish into a beam of light. Kam has brilliantly adding a theme to classic Roth “Hanging Coins” and the flashlight, which produces the beam of light, acts as a clever “wand” to assist with hand position and concealment. It’s a brilliant adaptation.

The bonus effect, “International Silk & Silver,” by Reed McClintock, offers a variation and enhancement on an effect that was published in an earlier “Palms of Steel.” I wasn’t all that fond of this one that involves the production of coins into a handkerchief and then passing them through.

Throughout, Kam offers thorough explanations and in-depth psychological insights, which shows his extensive experience with the material and real world venues. In the end, I found that “Palms of Steel 5: Pirates of the Rising Tide” offered practical and entertaining routines. There’s definite treasure here for walk around and restaurant performers.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.