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or a science?” This single, simple question has evoked heated debate in the many circles of magic, from the hobbyist to the professional. Worked out completely, it can be ascertained that magic is both a science and an art. The science lies in the sleight of hand and technical work that goes into any routine. The art lies in the presentation, the story line and the creative way that any given magician combines several techniques to come upon a logical sequence of events to make magic happen. This sequence, pasted together properly, contains many factors. One factor, whether built in by design or by accident, is misdirection. In the following series of articles, we will be looking at this fascinating tool of our trade, which is a form of mind control, called misdirection. In “The Books of Wonder,” by Tommy Wonder and Stephen Minch, this topic is dealt with immediately at the beginning of Volume 1. So important is this tool to a magician, that Tommy Wonder feels it imperative to begin his 2 volume set with this subject. However, before delving into a serious discussion, Mr. Wonder considers the name, “Misdirection” and whether or not this is a misnomer. Misdirection is a negative word. Consider that we, as magician, are misdirecting our spectator’s attention away from the technical work and directing that attention to where the magic is happening. To fully appreciate the magic as it is happening, the spectator must be unaware of the things that we are hiding. By thinking of our misdirection, we, the magicians, are directing our own thought to the exact spot where we do not want our spectator’s attention to be drawn. As a result, we psychologically and inadvertently direct attention to the wrong area. Therefore, when we consider misdirection in all its technical and artistic glory, we should not be calling it misdirection, but rather “Direction.” Our own thoughts must be on the direction and not the misdirection, to completely give our magic the power that it can and should have. With full consideration to this fact, this article will deal with misdirection as misdirection, as that is the name that we are comfortable with and to change it at this point could be an easy cause of confusion. MISDIRECTION IN THEORY Misdirection is a constant in our lives. Anyone who reads a book while the television is on is dealing with misdirection. Reading while listening to music is also misdirection. Have you ever been reading while your thoughts have gone on to something other than the book? You stop reading, realizing that you have not comprehended anything from the last paragraph or two and now have to go back and reread the whole thing. You have experienced mental misdirection. You are playing a game, such as cricket or baseball, with your friends and two hours goes by like 15 minutes - that would be temporal misdirection. Misdirection comes in many forms that we deal with from day to day, but don’t take the time to consider that fact. Walking along, you hear a loud noise and immediately turn to see what it was. This is misdirection, as is when someone calls your name. You hear your name and everyone who hears it who has the same name as you, looks. Misdirection. There are many more examples of misdirection in our day to day lives. The magician, however, makes a study of this basic principle. To overlook this ultimately important part of our hobby is to overlook a very basic principle of magic. Sleight of hand and gimmicks make magic, misdirection makes magic powerful. Try this experiment: Right now, look at a picture on the wall. Do it, right now. Now you’ve come back to reading this article. How long did it take you to refocus on this article? How long did it take you to find your place? You’ll note that it took a second just to find your place and begin reading again. You were misdirected and now you are back, but for a second in time, you needed to refocus and find your place. You may think that this was no big deal, but if you spend some time considering what just happened, you’ll realize that if you are doing a magic effect and you
there are several reasons to ask them their names and use those names while working with them. The first. One reason is listed in “How to Win Friends and . have you ever seen a card trick like this before?” Using the name immediately draws Bill’s attention . “Bill. you can build your routine. other than for misdirectional purposes. the other spectators are drawn to look at Bill while he answers this question. using only the information that is in this article at this point in time. Also. rather than a patchwork that you’ve added as an afterthought. use the name of the spectator that you’ll be asking the question to. we will get into how to use misdirection not as a misdirection. By deciding to build in the misdirection right at the beginning.This very powerful form of misdirection goes straight to the heart of the psychology of misdirection. Keep this consideration in mind at all times when building a routine and placing misdirection into that routine at key points. that you’ve done something you shouldn’t have. and you need it fast. however. If the spectators look at the deck in your hands. what you’ve done. misdirection should not be overtly used. you are doing some close-up work with a deck of cards and you need to do a pass. You need some misdirection. the other spectators will look at the person replying. but they will know in a deep and base way. this is psychology at its finest. In the next article. which was to misdirect their attention. When dealing with spectators. but it only takes you a second to pull it off. of course. There are several specific forms of misdirection. must be logical for it to be effective and undetected by the spectators. This is the stronger use of misdirection. In the following section. we will endeavour to list several different forms and look at how they affect our routine. or you. but rather as a direction and how to build it into your routines. then any comment that you add will be a patchwork.” However. Using the example above. but may not be the best way to go about using misdirection. or adding in any parts beyond the pass that must be covered. Should you decide to finish the work-up of your routine. identify the weak points. misdirection can make the difference between a trick and a miracle. but it is not the strongest way to go about this. out of human nature. If the question comes straight out of the blue and there is no reason for it to exist. or direction of attention. That question needs to fit into the natural flow of your routine. The Ricochet . They may not know what has happened. Eventually. There are two schools of thought on this subject. This will work. depending on how the magician has built the routine.you’ve used his name and by human nature. All you need to do is ask one of the spectators a question. then the spectators will feel. they will reply and for the most part. they will see you make this manoeuvre. Rather than just ask a question.need a second to make a move or manoeuvre unnoticed. we shall dissect misdirection and its many forms. In fact. you realize that this part of the routine must be covered. This can even be made stronger. this comment will be logical to the effect that you are attempting and may just springboard your thoughts to a logical continuation of the effect based on the misdirectional statement. The second. which is not fully invisible. Considering the above. you build in your misdirection as you build the routine. you ask Bill a question. we come to how to build misdirection into a routine. Bill is instantly drawn to look at you. as it becomes part of the fabric of your routine. Misdirection needs to be subtle. As an example. Termed “The Ricochet” by Tommy Wonder. The question proposed in that example is a suggestion. then add your misdirection to cover these spots afterwards. you must think of a reason to stop at this point to inject the comment for misdirection’s sake. to make you a better magician and to make your magic as powerful as it can possibly be. The specific name given to this (by Tommy Wonder) is “The Ricochet. with Bill. while you ask your question. make for a stronger and more magical routine. Prior to figuring out where your routine is going. 1. We will take an in depth look at what misdirection is and why it works. So. or an afterthought. what will work in this situation? A quick break in the action while you ask a question or make an observation would work. deep down. The misdirection. what you have just learned is of extreme importance. In the example above. This will.
However. When someone likes you and they are at ease. The fact of the matter is. “Hey pal. Bill simply will not look up at you. By using this feeling of being at ease. since deeply emotional things can be entertaining but still not put an audience at ease. he/she is evoking laughter. is more susceptible to the effects of other misdirections. This only serves to show you one very powerful tool that you wield in your misdirectional arsenal. If this doesn’t work on Bill. for example.” does (assuming. By using people’s names. but on a biological level too. Once again. Let’s assume for one minute.influence. a form of mind control. have you ever seen anything like this before?” Joannie will look at you as you ask your question. in that book. Let’s further assume that Bill is with his girlfriend Joannie. having used her name she is compelled to give you attention. Entertainment . they are much more easily directed in the way that you desire. By putting the spot light on Bill. So. The audience. This is very important on several levels. Alright. This.This sounds simple but is probably one of the most important parts of misdirection that we can use. however. you have influenced the spectators to look at Bill while he answers you. like a disturbing and scary movie. It cannot be denied that laughter causes powerful enzymes to be created by the brain – this is a biological fact and has been studied under laboratory conditions. of course. Which brings us to the biological factors of entertainment. you not only get them on your side and help them to like you. The next thing that using someone’s name accomplishes is that it almost forces them to look at you while you address them directly. Bill. you’re using their names and you are entertaining them. This feeling of ease is used by the magician to force the spectator’s attention to where it is desired. Even if he still manages to keep his eyes on your hands. already at ease. that the sweetest sound to someone’s ears is their own name. there are still more techniques to use in misdirection. the astute magician will use this in conjunction with other powerful forces of misdirection. Their attention is drawn to Bill as he answers you. Normally.Bill only wants to see how you are accomplishing your magic.” does not carry the force that “Excuse me.Influence People. hearing another man use Joannie’s name will be compelled to look at you out of curiosity and hearing another man use her name. when the performer is entertaining. you will look at Joannie and ask. This is a very powerful tool. they are much easier to lead along in the direction that you want to take them. when covering up a special manoeuvre and you need a second or two. Always keep the ricochet in mind. she is conversing with another man and she deserves Bill’s attention when she speaks. Influence. he is on your side because he likes to hear his name used and he looks at you because you directly used his name in conjunction with a question. Bill’s greatest desire in life is to catch you doing your special manoeuvre . we have something similar to the ricochet above. It is deeply ingrained within the human psyche that when somebody is talking that they should be given attention. Here we will invoke the ricochet to misdirect Bill. don’t worry. he will be overwhelmingly drawn to look at Joannie while she answers the question since the need to look at her is ingrained into Bill . “Joannie. This not only runs on a psychological level. It is explained. his eyes won’t leave your hands. such as the ricochet. the spectator in question’s name is Bill). Bill. These enzymes. when the spectators are on your side. is not the ricochet itself. however. You see. but you also put them at ease. when people are entertained they are at ease. maybe not all the time. . in turn. a question directed at Bill will immediately get him to make eye contact with you. This is the ricochet. 2. The ricochet occurs when the other spectators look at Bill as he answers your question.this is his girlfriend. He is at ease because you are using his name. give the spectators an overall feeling of well being and this. is what you desire in any situation where you show magic as that is exactly what misdirection is . On the psychological level of entertainment.” by Dale Carnegie. entertainment comes in the form of having fun and enjoying oneself. called endorphins. helps them to like the performer. We’ve put our audience at ease through entertaining them and this opens them up to being properly directed by the entertainer. as a general rule.
you draw off any suspicion of what you are doing.3. you pretend that you have the coin in your right hand while secreting it in the left. the spectator has no reason to believe that you’ve done anything wrong and will not suspect the left hand when it goes into the pocket to retrieve the wand. the spectators believe the coin to be in the right hand. the magician takes the spectators even farther away from the time of the sleight. we can point out that our hand is empty while using a wand wherein a ball is secreted. Then. If you immediately show the right hand empty. . from the physical to the psychological.” One example of a subtlety can be found in a cups and balls routine. Rather than immediately showing the right hand empty. the spectators come to expect that it will be done exactly the same way. Subtlety . Subtlety is proving something fair without actually saying. attention will naturally go to your left hand since the coin must have gone somewhere. the magician and his assistant use temporal misdirection to make the impossible happen. “Metamorphosis. “As you can see. the general belief is that the human hand is only capable of doing one thing at a time. Sounds like a paradox. this is completely fair. By using this misconception.When something is done the same way. One of the most powerful of temporal misdirections is in the classic illusion. we will use temporal misdirection. you’ve not only proved to them that your hand was empty prior to accessing your pocket. the magician leaves the coin behind. You are leading the spectators farther away from the actual manoeuvre and misdirecting them psychologically. as magicians well know. The coin is now secreted in the left and the spectators believe that the coin is in the right. Temporal .This is a misdirection of time. Another temporal misdirection is when the manoeuvre that the magician needs to make to get the magic to happen has already been done and the magician spends time building to the end of the trick. The farther you get from the manoeuvre. You’ve now taken a simple coin vanish and have come closer to a miracle. it becomes very powerful… 4. The above may not be the most powerful of misdirection. Anyone familiar with the workings of this illusion will understand what is being explained. every time. As an example. but it isn’t. let’s look at a simple coin vanish. 5. When you do a specific manoeuvre once. the less are the chances that anyone will figure out the technique that made that magic happen.Subtlety is a way of drawing attention without actually drawing attention. By using the Ramsay subtlety just prior to garnering the wand from your pocket you’ve proven that the left hand is empty in a very subtle way. Repetition . Reaching into a pocket to pull out a wand. The farther the magician gets away from that second when the sleight occurred the harder it will be for the spectator to realize that anything at all happened. but coupled with the next example of misdirection. it may draw attention. Using a French Drop. Now. Temporal misdirection comes in many forms. Using temporal misdirection. time and time again. While the human hand is capable of doing several things while secreting an object.” In this illusion. When you make the coin disappear. when you do it the second time it may garner a passing glance but the third time it will go completely unnoticed simply because the spectators expect it and will pay it little. By using repetition. Subtlety in conjunction with temporal misdirection would be something like this: Using the example above. you move their attention farther away from the point where you accessed the pocket and dropped off the coin. except the wand. In this example the temporal misdirection is both psychological and physical. Using the wand in conjunction with a secreted item subtly tells the spectators that there is nothing in that hand. explaining the use of the wand. if any. attention. prior to accessing your pocket. but you’ve moved them farther away from the time that the sleight was done.
but they will know that you used overt misdirection to get them to look away and did your dirty work in that instant. temporal and repetitive misdirection) and. Jonathan explains that it took too much mind power to do and he can’t do it again. Now. Jonathan holds up a spoon and explains that he will bend it with his mind. so they must take his word for the fact that the spoon bent by power of his mind. It is in this that we see misdirection as . with entertainment added in you’ll have a real winner from something that started off as a mere coin vanish. in conjunction with the Ramsay subtlety. and that is directing attention and not misdirecting. hence the comedy behind it. Suddenly. raising one eyebrow and bulging out one eye. Don’t fool yourself into believing that just because you can make someone look away that they won’t know exactly what you’re doing. This explosion is almost impossible to ignore and the audience immediately turns to look. from off to the side of the stage there is a big explosion with a boom and a flash. misdirection is a subtle thing and if you don’t use this powerful form of mind control subtly. which is why I am repeating it here. you need to believe it yourself and you need to react to that vanish much the same as your audience. So. He begins to concentrate on the spoon. This point is driven home in a routine by The Amazing Jonathan. You will not master this technique that is so important in our art until you believe in your own magic. you are using the off stage explosion technique. as Jonathan is a comedian first and a magician second. They will. He cocks his head and his mouth becomes taught. the spoon is of course bent. you must lead them along and keep their attention on the entertainment to successfully use misdirection. However. Of those 5. you will never be anything more than a trickster. if you’ve flipped over any cards in a different way prior to executing a double lift. there are many ways of executing a double lift to make it look completely fair. Repetition is a very important thing to remember when putting together any routine. However. it will always go unnoticed. when doing a double lift. if you’ve reached into your pocket earlier in your presentation and used the wand. the audience can see. the repetition of going in to retrieve that wand. Never forget. you will have noted that we have already discussed 5 important forms of misdirection. This is a psychological subtlety and one that you are strongly advised to study. you will immediately draw attention to the manoeuvre. Jonathan seizes on this chance and openly bends the spoon with his other hand. learn and use throughout your career as a magician. will overwhelmingly go unnoticed by even the most discerning of spectators. The audience is misdirected. Nobody is fooled by this display.As an example. Using the coin vanish example above. Honestly. you must entertain. entertainment is the strongest of all the forms of misdirection and we will soon discuss more methods of misdirecting. if you’ve turned over every card prior to your double lift exactly the same way that you execute the double lift. your magic just becomes more powerful and more convincing. entertainment is really the strongest. the suggestion being that the spoon was bent with mind power but. If you have been following this article since the beginning. the audience missed it. that Jonathan is putting everything he has into making the spoon bend. When something disappears. in a humorous fashion. no matter how fair the double lift may be. By entertaining your audience. you must stop to consider that entertainment is what paves the road for your audience to follow along with the magic that you are presenting. you are taking them along for the ride. You’ve now moved from a puzzle (the coin vanish) to a near miracle (the coin vanish with subtlety and temporal misdirection) all the way to impossible miracle (subtle. We’ve taken the time to consider that misdirection is probably a misnomer of what we are actually doing. Any time that you can use several forms of misdirection in conjunction with your routine. Think about the fact that misdirection happens naturally during entertainment and you don’t need anything overt to misdirect with. This is an important consideration in the study of misdirection. This really is the difference between strong magic and weak magic. consider that when you openly misdirect attention. you are directing attention to where the magic happens and that is where your own attention belongs. No. you are not misdirecting attention. of course. unfortunately. By the time the audience looks back. This is all in good humour. However.
In misdirection. Of course. once again. 6. give it up. Once again. holding one back in your left hand. while in the middle of saying. they look. If you cannot palm that item perfectly. “Misdirection for Close-up Magicians. You show those three coins to the spectators on your left and.which is exactly where your attention belongs and not on the palmed object. you must use your attention to follow the area where the spectator’s attention belongs. by holding one back. they look back at you and maintain eye contact. it is the most important thing that you can learn from this column. This is a natural thing to do.” Prevarication is. Prevarication in the above example is a mental misdirection. This is a physical prevarication because you have shown exactly three coins but the prevarication is that only three coins exist. go back and reread that. This can be both a mental and/or physical misdirection that requires subtlety to properly use. Overtly used. for the magician must artfully bring about the entertainment that gets the spectators to willingly follow of their own volition. you must also pay attention to that place. using prevarication.an art over a science. you have probably been told that the audience looks where you look. in fact. Please. we are telling our audience that specific conditions exist when. they will know what you did to them every time. in the form of explanation.” after drawing attention mentally to the fact that you have three coins. “These three coins were handed down to me by my great grandfather. there are two ways to go – mental and physical. but you will not be a magician by so doing. naturally. When the spectators feel that they willingly are looking in the area that you want them to. we go back to entertainment and the need for your attention to follow.Time and time again. You must concentrate on the area that your spectators are to concentrate. Rather. there is repetition of action as misdirection.” This is very poor. let’s assume that those three coins are sitting on your left hand with one hidden in your right. requires subtlety to use properly. the magician would say. Subtle. No. This is a terrifically subtle misdirection. in that when you speak to someone. “I have three coins. they don’t. Never forget the power of eye contact with your spectators. they won’t. but effective. for you to read and use. . Eye Movement . you look at them. “These three coins were handed down to me by my great grandfather. in fact. which. or you will lead them away from where their attention belongs . If you follow the hand that is empty. discussed earlier. Prevarication . As an example of using prevarication both physically and mentally. It is in this form of misdirection that we see the extreme importance of practicing our craft. there are four. we shall follow it directly with physical prevarication. You can use the “off stage explosion” technique to get their attention away from yours.This is a term used by Tom Crone in his manual. or to deviate from the truth. Ordinarily called a “shuttle pass. you now have 3 coins sitting on your right hand). along with where the spectator’s attention must be placed. Where you look.” you swap the coins from the left hand to the right. but also pay attention to the fact that their attention follows your attention. which would be a physical example of misdirection. As was mentioned earlier. When the spectators are forced to look in a certain spot. You’ve pointed out that you only have three coins without actually stating that you only have three coins. and either way you go. while the other is dirty. the magician should say. There is a reason you’ve heard this so many times . then so will your spectators. then this form of misdirection will fall flat. That. lying. is the secret. In prevarication. and display the coins openly on your right hand (which. This can go back to the ricochet. As an example. right there. without concentrating on it. dear readers. If you follow the dirty hand trying to get the spectators to follow the area that you are trying to misdirect them to. However. you are lying. prevarication can fall into the form of physical misdirection also and. they will not suspect any misdirection at all. quite literally.” That is subtle prevarication. we shall add on to the example above. 7. we wish to point out that we have no more than three coins when we actually have four. After using the mental prevarication as in the example.it’s true! When you want the audience to look in a certain place.
you follow the clean hand. with misdirection in magic. then you cannot get them to look where you want. So. of course. Slydini has spoken of magic as being like a piece of woven cloth. you will not have as beautiful a piece of cloth as you would have you woven it correctly from the start. The hands must always have purpose and meaning. whatever. However. You obviously want the eyes on the hand that is honestly empty. However.You must give the spectators something of interest to take away their desire to look where you don’t want them to. or the action. or the audience will immediately begin looking for where that object went to and. If you just made a false transfer. even though it may be in your peripheral vision. There can also be a diffusing of attention. These are numbers 9 and 10 in our misdirection technique tool chest. he/she begins to put misdirection into the effect. if you simply make the object disappear. Your attention on the clean hand takes the attention off of the dirty hand. if you do not control that attention. But. then go back and fix any problems with it. we need just two more specific tools. As an example. Control of Interest . even when palming . Consider coming up to a light at an intersection. you will need to draw attention elsewhere. The attention can only go to one hand. If you are palming an object and both hands appear empty. the hand that draws the attention is the hand that moves. lightly salted with prevarication added to entertainment and you’ve got the makings of a miracle when that object disappears. So. The magician has his/her routine all set up then goes back and looks at the different areas where he/she must take attention off of the secret manoeuvres. one drops to your side (the dirty hand) and the other is brought to centre stage in front of you. Hand Movement .8. the only place that it can lead them is to your other hand. The cars that are stationary take up none of your concentration. which is repetition of natural movement). too. of course. both hands move simultaneously. The same for the hands when performing magic to the spectators. If you’ve done your false transfer properly. Misdirection is one of those threads that runs through the cloth. a cup. which is the most common way of using misdirection.The eye follows the movement.especially when palming. We have touched on the fact that misdirection can be built into the routine as an afterthought. then the audience will give attention to the clean hand automatically. then you allow it to swing (which actually goes back to repetition of movement because the hand dropped to the side will naturally swing. as you prepare to go through that intersection. keep in mind. The most powerful way of using misdirection is to build that misdirection into your routine or effect right from the beginning. Sounds like a no-brainer. we must consider eye movement your attention should be on the hand that you want the spectators to follow (and that ain’t the dirty hand!). so you should fill that hand with something . At this point. Before we get into that. In that. If you weave a handkerchief. just make your . there is a more powerful way of using misdirection and.be it a piece of paper. You must offer them something of greater interest than the area where your secret manoeuvre is taking place. a pencil. rather than something to go back and fix the holes with later on. you add your attention which strengthens that misdirectional manoeuvring. so that heat is taken from the secret manoeuvre and placed elsewhere. you’ll find that you can use several of them together to achieve this “after thought” way of misdirecting attention. When the dirty hand hits your side. The hands must always be held in a natural manner. you’ll find that this other way will make your magic so much more amazing. you’ve made the false transfer and you want to move both hands at the same time. but this is so often overlooked. it immediately garners your attention. First. combined with repetition of movement. A person is going to look where ever their attention takes them. while it won’t be easy at first (and will never be as easy as the “after thought” technique). So. then both hands are of equal interest. another two techniques of misdirection. it must be woven in as part of the cloth. which will weigh heavily in the method of using misdirection as a part of your routine or effect as you “weave” it. if a car begins moving to your left or right. 9. In the various techniques on misdirection that we’ve discussed.
or do you desire to simply trick your audience? I am giving you the tools to make you a magician. but this will serve to take you from the level of a good magician to an exceptional magician. As I said. rather than as an after thought. You must highlight the important parts of the effect that you are creating. What this will garner for you is a logical reason to do everything that you do. this will be hard at first. What happens is that your magic will be viewed as a trick.This is a story telling device and is used in every theatrical production worth the time to watch. A poorly directed theatrical production will find its audience’s attention going off in different directions. into your effect along with the sleights that you use to build the effect itself. while the story is being told. simultaneously. you need it there. you want to avoid. consider right from the start that you need to offer something of greater interest. Do not let your audience drift like that. but it is your choice as to whether or not you will use the tools given you and spend the time and effort to elevate your magic to the level that it really deserves. as in number 4 found in as a way of showing the hand empty. They are as follows: 1) The Ricochet 2) Entertainment . Continuous Direction . Do you want to be a magician. simply will not work. so you will use it and all the while your audience will pick up on this discrepancy. not once you’ve completed the effect. to strengthen this even further. even though they may not even realize that they’ve picked up on it. this is terribly important in your overall effect. In other words. also important to understand while putting your routine together. You must spend the time and effort to build your effect or routine with all the power that you reasonably can. It gives reason to your movements. regardless of it’s misdirectional uses. you must offer them something of greater interest. Magic. you will want to use the other misdirectional techniques if you can at this point. The choice is yours. 10. That is the power of building in misdirection while you piece together your routine or effect. It is your job to take your spectators on a journey through your magical realm. Of course. I hope. absolutely. by offering something of interest to pull the attention to the dirty hand as a subtle way of showing the hand empty will be a powerful tool. you will be able to make up a routine or effect and now you have tools for misdirection. you will realize that to build the effect or routine. helps you to build your misdirection into your routine as you go. This misdirection that you are building in will give you reasons to go to the next point of the effect or routine. understand that you can use subtlety. considering this or pondering that. other than your dirty hand. This is where building misdirection into a routine as you go along. and I mean real magic. Taking both #9 and #10 into account as you build your effect or routine will elevate your work to a whole new level. If it comes as an after thought. When given the proper tools. give continuous direction as you work your effect or routine. which you will build. In fact. You must work on this. As you build your routine or effect. It is your job to keep them on the path so that they don’t get lost in the woods. This is something that. You must. The next technique. just as you’d work on creating your effect or routine. Just to recap. it is built into the fabric of your effect. is not easy. Now. we have discussed 10 different points of misdirection. If you really want their attention somewhere else. you must also build these highlights into the effect or routine. it may not logically or psychologically fit into the effect or routine. rather than magic. The consideration of numbers 9 and 10 above serve to show that a good effect or routine isn’t something that you simply come upon. then go back in hindsight and add these two important factors into the effect or routine. Given thought. begins to take shape. Using #9 above to give interest where you want it. but will it work the way you want it to with the routine or effect at hand? Now is the time to figure this question out.clean hand more interesting than your dirty hand. Still.
you can easily spot these areas and use them. You place a coin on the table and tell the spectators you’re going to make it penetrate the table. without the need to create them. you look innocent as to what happened (even though. and it will always come through for you in a pinch. You will lose their trust.3) Temporal 4) Subtlety 5) Repetition 6) Prevarication 7) Eye Movement 8) Hand Movement 9) Control of Interest 10) Continuous Direction Consider your magic as it pertains to your routines. Take your routines apart. a good thing to do is act like you had not intended such a thing to begin with. Another form of this misdirection can be used in a top change. If you abuse this technique. beginning to end and annotate that routine. As I’ve stated. when. you will find that your audience will quit watching where you want them to and begin watching everything else. If you have your routine written down on paper. All eyes will be on the card that you claimed will change and will give you great leverage as to what can be done with the card that will really change . To take the sting out of this technique. This is the mix up. do not take credit for it . Because these spots are built right into your routine from the beginning. but one that should be used in small doses. In this way. you don’t want to abuse this very powerful form of misdirection. Again. while putting together your routine. you are able to do your dirty work unnoticed. Most all magicians know this old shtick. Reconstruct the entire thing using the pointers given throughout this article to strengthen that routine. deep down. rather than as an afterthought.” These are areas in your routine that naturally create spots where misdirection is automatic. A good example of this is the old “Salt Shaker Through the Table” bit. If you don’t feel that what you’ve read can be applied. keep it in mind when you have something that is very difficult to pull off (again. it must be done in very small doses. then I’ll give you your money back. You say one thing will happen. . These are strong areas of misdirection. Use it sparingly.act as surprised about it as the audience will be. you can claim that it will be the spectator’s card that changes. Not only that. 11) The Mix Up . You’ll find that if you are going to physically change a card.the one in your hand. I want you to consider everything in your routines that you feel is weak. Learn to find them and start using them (go over the list of misdirectional techniques above and find the spots in your routine that have these techniques built in. and while the spectators are watching closely. the best you can hope to accomplish is to build your misdirection into your routine right from the beginning. in conjunction with all of the information that I’ve given you and consider where you can use this set of columns to strengthen those weak spots. in fact. When the salt shaker penetrates the table. By using these “shadow” areas. rather than waiting until the end and putting it in as an after though). you should pay special attention to these shadow areas that are naturally built into your routine. whether it is a spot that doesn’t smoothly flow to the next or a part that you feel is weak in the story telling. Use those thoughts. This is a very powerful technique. Let’s have a look at another form of misdirection. without having actually put them in yourself).Called the “Wrong-Leg Technique” by Tommy Wonder. once again. write them down on paper so that you can read your routine. this form of misdirection relies on the performer to tell the audience that one thing will happen. You then place a napkin over a salt shaker and slam your hand down onto the salt shaker (placed over the coin) and the salt shaker penetrates while the coin remains in place. since it is a natural spot of direction in your routine and not placed there by device. the spectators will know you did it on purpose) and the sting of blatantly lying will be taken away from your audience. though. Tommy Wonder talks about the “Chain of Shadows. but I give you a challenge. but. you are keeping your misdirection to the point of your routine. something else does.
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