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Review of Profile/Skewer by Garrett Thomas

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Review of Profile/Skewer by Garrett Thomas

Review of Profile/Skewer by Garrett Thomas

Murphy's Magic
While Karate Coin - the well known effect where you appear to shove your finger through the center of a coin - has been around for eons, I don’t often see anyone performing it. But this process of physically altering a coin as spectators watch may be happening a lot more thanks to Garrett Thomas and his “Profile/Skewer.”

Karate Coin

I performed “Karate coin” early on in my restaurant work. I based my routine on that by David Roth as taught in his “Expert Coin Magic” book. I haven’t performed that close-up routine in years and don’t recall why I gave up on it. But this new meta-physical take on the effect by Thomas may encourage me to take another look at the genre. Of course, if you’re familiar with Thomas, you know that he is master magician who possesses amazing skills (I would say super-human skills) and always applies a brilliant, logical approach to his magic.

“Profile” and “Skewer” are actually two stand-alone routines that come in a single kit. While you can combine and use the effects together, Thomas says that he chooses the effect that he will perform and how he presents it based on his immediate audience.

In “Profile,” you slowly press your finger into a Kennedy half-dollar that seemingly melts and creates a deep impression into the back (reverse/tails) of the coin. At this point, you can simply reveal the coin to have the deep impression and change it back to its original, normal state. Or if you like, you can turn the coin around and reveal that the impression is actually a relief of President Kennedy. His face is pushed out into a rough, 3D sculpture.

“Skewer,” on the other hand, is more like Thomas’ reworking of classic “Karate Coin.” Here, you take a half dollar that’s been examined and then slowly push your finger completely through the coin. Unlike most presentations of “Karate Coin,” Thomas makes the process of penetrating the coin a slow and methodical process. Most “Karate Coin” routines are performed in a fast and forceful manner.

The Kit

The kit comes with two gimmicked Kennedy half dollars - one with the 3D sculptured face and the other with the hole that your finger can press through. You’ll have to provide your own half dollar to match the gimmicks. Of course, this is the one that you show spectators in the beginning and allow them to examine.

The accompanying DVD is thorough and instructive. The trick itself (both “Profile” and “Skewer” require similar handlings) is actually not all that difficult and only requires fundamental sleight of hand skills. On the disc, Thomas teaches four moves for making the effect happen that range from easy to advanced. There are also several performances for real audiences as well as a studio performance for the camera. As you can always expect from Thomas, his handlings are completely thought-through and his approach to magic is brilliant and rock solid. In all, he provides you with all of the tools to learn, practice and perform the routines.

I think that Thomas “Profile/Skewer” has lots of potential to create some magic moments for your close-up audiences. I recommend that you watch the promo video to determine if it may work for you.

Other effects that fall into the genre of mangling a coin and restoring it include: CoinFusion (click here to read my review), and “biting a coin,” which relies on a specialized (and well known) gimmick. David Blaine performed a version of “biting a coin” on his first television magic special. These effects are not to be confused with those that involve bending a borrowed a coin which is a branch of mentalism and fall into a category called “metal bending.” In these effects, a coin is seemingly bent with one’s mind and there’s seemingly no way that the magician could bend a coin with his or her hands. Also, in these effects, the coins are not restored to their original states.

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