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Profile of Ednigma
Hey folks,
One lesson in magic that I've had to learn the HARD way, is this:

People really DO sense uneasiness...If you act natural, no one ever sees anything (provided that the secret move is done correctly!).

What are your views on this?
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New York
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Profile of DanielTyler
I think it's very true. It's important to eliminate stilted body language, as in twitches, crazy eye contact, fidgeting, biting your nails, scratching, tapping when doing anything that makes you nervous.
- Daniel Tyler
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
You are absolutely right.

There is another thread on the Café that says, "don't worry about the spectators' noticing that you peeked at at card".

That is simply terrible advice.

If the spectators see that you did something unnatural -- a peek, a pass, or whatever -- it doesn't matter that they don't know what it was; seeing "something" is as bad as seeing exactly what it was!
The illusion is destroyed, the trick is ruined.

Naturalness is, of course, the BEST misdirection. Or, as someone pointed out quite accurately, the BEST "direction", since you are, in fact, directing the spectators' attention away from one thing and to another.
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Profile of Jaz
Daniel T. is right and this works, but there's more..

Let's face it.
When magicians do some sleights they're not really done in a "natural" manner.

There's a millisecond when there's a brief display and a silent message saying, "I'm doing this." Retention of vision sleights require this brief display.

Tucking a silk into your fist is not natural. It's display.

In effect, you're pretending to show the audience what you are supposedly doing.

Am I about to be flamed here??
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Profile of Justin2200
True, Jaz. That's why you must use misdirection to your advantage. Catch their eye and talk while you're doing the dirty work. And then, like you said, we just do some stuff for display.

Maybe we should ask ourself: Is it necessary to show the audience that we tuck a silk into our fist? Maybe we could just catch their eye and say something like now you see it now you don't and it's gone. They saw enough to know that you didn't ditch it on the ground or in your pocket.
The Presitidigitationist
Father Photius
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Profile of Father Photius
I agree 100% with Dai Vernon, if you act natural and appear to have a reason for any movement you make, nobody will notice anything. I'm constantly amazed at what we as magicians get away with. The truth be known, every thing we do that is "sneaky" is seen by the audience, but they simply want to 1) believe 2) don't pay that close of attention to detail 3)we are playing a game with them, one in which we don't tell them the rules, and if they start to catch onto the rules, we change them. Comfort and naturalness is the very best for of misdirection.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Profile of alson
Naturalness is a great form of misdirection. One thing I have found is to do whatever you going do in a way of sleight or move and do it enough time and it becone natural and therefore it seem that way to the people you are performing for. So it look just like another move.
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Profile of onezero1
On 2005-05-22 17:05, Ednigma wrote:
People really DO sense uneasiness...

And they will sense any other "feeling" you care to project. A good sort of mood to
create is one that says "we are preparing now to demonstrate a piece of magic" (don't actually say this yeah?)Keep this feeling going, delay the impression that the effect has actually begun for as long as presentational sense permits. Putting that card under the glass is not PART of the trick, the trick starts once its under there.
'though it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the would seem that we are all negligent.
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Profile of MWG_T_H_O_M_A_S
From my limited experience, its when I do a move/ movemement that the audience can see no reason for. To avoid this I try and make a false logical reason for why I'm doing that move etc.

I have no idea if this is the best way to do it?

Not to sure if that makes much sense, I'm not trying to make unnatural moves look natural, I'm trying to provide a reason for the slightly unnatural move and thus I guess making it natural? Smile

Any comments welcomed.
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Profile of ALEXANDRE
This occurs often with the TT. I find, without a doubt, and I often teach this to my students, that naturalness is the best misdirection when using a TT and doing other "moves" with cards or such.

People tend to notice when something unatural is happening, specially the people that know you, they'll often notice that you don't usually "shuffle that way", or "gesture that way", and that tips them off to trickery and is therefore not as entertaining.

Always try to be as natural as possible with whatever move you do. Find what works best and is more natural for you. this takes work and sometimes not easy ... but nothing worth it ever is....
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Profile of mouliu
To my limited experience, being natural also means carefully examine if any "unreasonable move" exists in your rountine.

An example: I do "Bill in lemon". I had hard time making the bill vanish. I try different ways, putting the bill in envelop (Mark Wilson's version), using TT, etc.. They are all workable, but either sidetracking from the final climax or just complicating the trick (for me). I want to make it simple and go to THE bill as direct as possible. Finally I came up with this, which I feel most comfortable, minimal and works fine.

I take a marker out of my pant's pocket, write the s/n of the bill. Rather than putting the marker back to pocket at once, I put it between my lips while I'm folding the bill up. So after fake taking the bill I just carelessly take the marker out of my lips and put the bill and marker together to pants pocket. The marker between lips provides a perfect reason for the ONLY secret move in this trick. So I can concentrate on presentation.

Just my 2 cents.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
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Profile of Gonzalo_nvdp
In adition to what have been said , I recommend the use of a camera. Even a cheap webcam is very useful during practice the entire presentation.
You are aware of pauses, blink of eyes, etc. All unnatural things you do
Chris Miller
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Rochester, NY
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Profile of Chris Miller
Ahh, the blink of the eyes. I wasn't always aware of it, but I've noticed over time that whenever I'm learning a new move, my eyes dart quickly up and to the left. It might sound strange, but its a lot like when I see people thinking about an answer, though quicker. Even when I know I'm doing it and try to stop myself from doing it I can't beat it until I have truly done the move hundreds of times beyond what seems necessary to perfect the mechanics. Something in my brain is wired to have that "tell", and, for me, takes so much more work to become natural. Of course, it IS worth the practice, though. Smile

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Profile of clamon86
Is its easier to direct attention toward something than away from it.

Direction vs. Misdirection
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Busking is work.
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Profile of Jerrine
Definately eye contact, words, and gestures to misdirect. Gestures, words, and eye contact to direct. Naturalness at all times to put you and the audience at ease with the two aforementioned tactics.
The Dragon
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The Dark Shadows.
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Profile of The Dragon
Good thread. You guys might wanna look at John Guastaferro for naturalness. Seeing is really believing.

Bottomline is just don't be afraid of doing it wrongly. Confidence and be natural.

Don't think too much.

Just hit it.
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Profile of denzildon
Great thread!!! With my old old tricks I can easily perform them but for card tricks I always get clumsy. Maybe a camcorder will be a good idea so I can see my faults. Currently my wife is the only ones who sees my card tricks...She's my biggest fan!!!...and she's currently beside me so I have to type this in!!! LoL!!
Imagination is more important than knowledge!!! -- Albert Einstein
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Profile of smartie_28
I'd say that just being comfortable with what you are doing is one of the most important things. If you are thinking too much the audience know that you are "up to something." Also at times doing this on purpose can direct attention away from something that is really happening, but I wouldn't really recommend it too much.
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Profile of Shawn74
This may sound like a silly question, but how do you guys who have been doing this for a while practice your 'internal dialog'? Maybe practice is the wrong word to use, maybe I should say develope. I've read and been told that this little method goes a long way in helping convey naturelness.
Hold your breath...make a wish...count to 3... and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
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