In this series we will cover some basic How To’s. Practical, yet over looked ideas that might save you precious time and give a you fresh perspective. These following blog posts will be little bits of wisdom I’ve gleamed from my near two decades of performance and practice that may help you in coin magic and other aspects of life, too!
How To Number One: Find Lost Coins.
Simple. Don’t loose them in the first place.
Easier said that done, right? Coins typically go missing for several reasons: being misplaced, getting dropped, becoming stolen property, being destroyed (think natural disasters like fire or flood), or vanishing by real acts sorcery. For the scope of today’s post, let’s just look at the most common reason: being misplaced.
Trying to find misplaced coins can be a real time-sucking and frustrating life event. I struggled with this for years until I finally implemented several strategies. If I misplace my coins now, it’s rare and due to pure laziness.
My simple solution above is true: Don’t misplace them. But how? It all starts by preparing ahead of time. Let me give you some proven tips that work.
1. My first strategy is for you to find a good coin carrying case and always use it. We have some great wallets on the site: Traveler and Viajero. But even if you don’t use our wallets, use a small purse, a bag, or something that can identify your coins and hold them together! (Bright colors can help). I’ve been carrying my every day coins in the same Traveler for over 16 years. A good case lets you keep them together and immediately identify them.
2. The next strategy is to always store your coins in the same place. I have a drawer in my house that the coins and other personal effects go into each night. If I’m traveling and my coins are not in the drawer, they will be in a specific zipper in my backpack. And if they are not there, they are in my pocket.
3. This next one revolutionized my day a few years back. I like to always know what’s in my pockets. So I never leave the house until I count to five. In this strategy, I count my five items: billfold wallet, keys, cell phone, glasses, and coin wallet. If I get to five, I’m good to go. I even know that my items have specific pockets and locations. For example, my coin wallet is always in the front right pocket. This allows me to tactically count with my hands and it’s almost a reflex.
This system only needs a super-quick, brushing check when I go out the door at home, a restaurant, at Church, the store… If something is missing, I can retrace my steps usually to the room I was last occupying.
4. The final strategy is very simple, but there is a bit to explain. I call it the “Fire Drill.” History: I often take off my glasses when I sit down. They only help with distance, so I remove them when I want to read or when I’m on stage to remove the audience...those people can be very visually distracting to making a good show so I take my glasses off to not be able to see past the first row! Haha. For years, I would misplace my glasses, which is why I have them in my count strategy mentioned above. A friend taught me a method to remember their location because I was always loosing them.
Every time I set down my glasses, I imagine that they burst into flames. It’s like as soon as they touch down I visualize a little explosion and mushroom cloud that burns a hole in the table where they sit. It also burns a nice visual marker in my brain encouraging me to remember.
Juan Tamariz teaches in Mnemonica that the best way to memorize stacks of playing cards is to make up visual stories with lots of details about each card. By linking the name of the card and it’s ordered number to a visual story, it is much easier to remember it’s location. Corinda’s 13 Steps of Mentalism teaches some of the same stuff, and it really works!
So in my Fire Drill illustration with my glasses, when it’s time to remember where my glasses are located, I don’t just think, “Where did I put my glasses?” I think, “Where did I last see my glasses burning ON FIRE!...with the sparks and fallout debris. They are smoldering, quite a sight! Where were they? Oh yeah, by the couch.” The more visual clues I add in when I set down my spectacles, the better.
The same strat works for coins. If you have to set them down in a new place, use the Fire Drill and you will remember right where you left them burning!