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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Practicing Misdirection (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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I don't know this specific work of Michael, but I know him to be a very knowledgeable magician and an absolute first class person.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
kal
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How I practice misdirection is to record myself. It becomes frightening clear how obvious something may be. Although as a magician you do have to realise you might be trying to see the move too hard.

Moreover I think it best to understand the overall principle and not worry about it for each specific effect. Try and understand when, and how, you are able to misdirect people.
Practicing moves of misdirection when there's nothing really at stake (such as an actual performance) is the best method. One such way is to have a trick that DOESN'T need any misdirection (or suspicious moves) and insert one anyway.
You can work on WHY it worked, and try various methods worry free. If someone does see it, it becomes part of the trick. You can say "you saw that? good. that's how some guys get away with this"...and you insert a self-imposed restriction so that move couldn't possibly be used...and yet the trick is still successful! For the audience who caught you they are now thoroughly confused, the idea they had is null and void. Maybe you actually wanted them to see it as a bluff?!
The added benefit is that whenever you are caught you can ask them afterwards what gave it away, very innocently, and all under the guise of complimenting the spec/showing how cleverly devious you are to have fooled them.
I'm always honest about when I'm lying. And I'm always lying...
StuartNolan
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To ask the question raised by this topic in a slightly different way, what simple effects are good examples of different aspects of misdirection? I'm thinking of how a beginner to misdirection would practice.

For example, I think the Ten Count demonstrates how an object coming into view will draw the eye.

Anyone got any more examples?

s
"One should always be a little improbable." - Oscar Wilde
The Great Heathini
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Virginia
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Oh my, I HAVE to make the point that misdirection is extreamly important for all that dare take on the title of magician. I cannot even begin to express just how important this is!
Instead of writing a essay, let me recommend a book that should be in every magicians collection.
The title is: Magic and Showmanship, by Henning Nelms. Their is a chapter dedicated to misdirection, as well as a wealth of information that WILL make your presentations possess maximum inpact!
I hope that you find this helpful,
Brent.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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You practice misdirection by being aware of your audience. It's actually very simple. Watch them. Learn to carefully direct their attention and guide their focus at all times, then reward them. That is the first ten years.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
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Go to the boys and girls club. Those darn kids WILL (at least 3-5 of them) let you know EXACTLY what they saw or thought! Then go back in a month and see if you improved!
David Fillary
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Card to mouth (as they push the card into the deck) and coin to shoulder are some of the best misdirection practice tricks. The first few times doing card to mouth it probably won't work, and then you start being surprised when it actually works!

I'm not very good with card sleights, so I use misdirection to cover my sloppy false shuffles, DL etc. Not ideal, but I keep up with my fellow magicians this way.

My favourite one was when a girl wouldn't stop looking at the deck, so I held it in front of my crotch and said "have you finished staring at my crotch?" She immediately blushed and looked up, allowing me to do the secret move I had been waiting for!
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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David,

This sounds incredibly crude.
If I were you I wouldn't ever do it again and I'd never tell the story again.
We all make mistakes but let this one lie.

Do something else till you feel confident enough in your work to go ahead even while being burned.

-Mary Mowder
David Fillary
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Mary,

I wouldn't do this to all spectators, but this was with a close friend and it got a giggle. Obviously it would be terribly inappropriate in pretty much all other situations. My sleight of hand with cards isn't that bad, but I still rely on the first card control taught in Royal Road, which is less than ideal as one move is suspicious, but misdirection can help avoid this being spotted.

By practising misdirection on tricks that don't rely entirely on them, your confidence with misdirection improves, and that was the point I was trying to make.

David
Mary Mowder
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I'm so glad that isn't your normal way to misdirect.

-Mary
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