Cool Hunting Friday v 3.1

Apollo Robbins (Photograph by Martin Schoeller)

I picked this:

5. The Art of Pickpocketing
While the act of pickpocketing is obviously looked down upon from a moral standpoint, theatrical pickpocketer Apollo Robbins is often looked up to as a quick-handed savant. Known for his “almost supernatural ability,” Robbins combines swagger with an uncanny knack for manipulating people’s attention and bodies without them knowing it. This week The New Yorker profiles the enigmatic man who now plies his trade as a Las Vegas performer.

because I had read this:

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.

“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen….

Pretty amazing.

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