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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » From Conus to Vernon - Exposure as Misdirection (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

fortasse
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One of the unsettling (for some)aspects of the Dai Vernon C&B Routine is the exposure of magical secrets in the ending sequence as a misdirection technique - and a powerful one at that. Because this is an open forum, I won't go into specifics but those familiar with the routine will know what I'm taking about. As an historical point of reference, I should add that this technique is nothing new. For example, in Robert-Houdin's "Secrets of Conjuring" written 140 years ago, there is a detailed description of the C&B routine performed much earlier by Conus. Conus, according to Robert-Houdin,would go so far as to publicly reveal the use of a ****** ball as the key to the whole magical effect. Of course, Conus only did so for the purpose of misdirecting the assembled spectators - precisely as Vernon would later do in his routine.

I'd be interested in hearing from others what they think about the legitimacy of this sort of technique in the specific context of the C&B. The upside to it, of course, is that the exposure of a magic secret (whether how the French Drop works or otherwise) can be a powerful misdirection technique albeit at the expense of committing the gravest of transgressions of which magicians are capable - revealing to one's audience a secret of the craft, even if only in part, as the Vernon Routine does.

Fortasse
Mobius303
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I think you have to look at the context it is used and to what end it is used for.
It worked in the vernon routine.
It exposes the most simple use of the Drop but there are techniques such as the Spider vanish that take it beyond the simplicity of the exposure in the vernon routine.
Later,
Mobius
Ron Giesecke
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I have to admit that I have never laid awake over this.

First of all, Ricky Jay does it. he's the KING of secrecy and obscurity. If it hasn't bothered him, it aint gonna bug me.

Secondly, Laymen never realize that techniques are transferable. They think that move is germaine to that trick.

Lastly, I do a bad (and ultimatley slowed-down and awful) drop that would neither be recognizable at speed or in decent form.

My two cents . . .

Ron
walid ahumada
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Dai vernon,paul gertner and many others make full use of the exposure of magical secrets as a misdirection technique, in my own routine I do not use any exposure since I do not like it, however if some magicians like to use it, is fine to me as long as they use it as misderection.

p.s.- I don't like gazzo's exposure of the 4 balls (i don't understand and I don't think it's funny)
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Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2006-11-14 18:26, walid ahumada wrote:
Dai vernon,paul gertner and many others make full use of the exposure of magical secrets as a misdirection technique, in my own routine I do not use any exposure since I do not like it, however if some magicians like to use it, is fine to me as long as they use it as misderection.

p.s.- I don't like gazzo's exposure of the 4 balls (i don't understand and I don't think it's funny)


The part where you say "i don't understand" really sums it up nicely then.
Michael Baker
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Some magicians understand what their audiences are thinking... and some don't. Those that do, take every advantage that they can. It is a smart magician that will sacrifice small bits to a greater end.

This is not exposure if the audience already holds the belief. The extent of the detail that follows shows how well the magician understands the audience's knowledge.

Denial of these facts make the magician look foolish in the eyes of the audience.

Don't forget that some of the fish you have must be cut for bait if you wish to catch the big ones.

~michael
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Bill Palmer
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There are many techniques that rely on exposure. Or perhaps I should call it "a partial explanation." For example, the spider vanish does not make any sense if you don't know about certain techniques. Then it fools people. I can do a bad drop for you to expose it, then do a good one and fool you with it. I do this to magicians all the time. One of my favorite teaching techniques is to borrow a handkerchief and a TT from a person who doesn't know how to handle them, and fool them with their own tools.

Or look at the torn and restored napkin with the cod explanation. That usually exposes p*****g. Yet at the end, the magician is left with two restored napkins instead of a napkin and a wad of pieces. Would this work if the extra bundle had not been exposed? No.

I like to fool magicians with my Scotch and Soda routine. It's exactly the right thing to perform for people who have a regular Scotch and Soda, and who don't realize that it can be done by sleight of hand. It also has the advantage of fooling laymen.

This said, Gazzo does not always expose the fourth ball. Usually it's an out that he uses when he drops one by mistake. Consider this. Gazzo had a stroke in 1994. He still hasn't got all his left hand dexterity back. But he does the cups and balls better than 99% of the people who do the trick. So, when you berate Gazzo for exposing the fourth ball, remember that the audience still doesn't know how many he has. They usually think it's a joke.
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Bill Palmer
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I should add also that back during the 1930's and even later, Dunninger used to do the linking rings. He got tired of amateur magicians "sharing their knowledge" with the girls they were trying to impress while they were sitting in the audience during his shows. So he would bring out a cheap set of Adams linking rings, expose the whole works, and throw them aside, saying, "Those are the kind of things the amateurs use." Then he would bring out a larger set of rings that worked exactly the same way and fool the pants off everyone with his excellent technique.

If the "locals" had been nicer and displayed some manners, he might not have had to resort to that.
"The Swatter"

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walid ahumada
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So, do they use it as a sucker trick ?
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
Bill Palmer
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No. They use it as a false explanation. It's what we call in English a "red herring." This comes from a trick used by people who are trying to keep dogs from being able to follow them by dragging a fish across their trail. The idea is that The dogs won't be able to follow the trail because the smell of the fish is so strong.

Likewise, if you do a very clumsy version of a sleight, or expose a popular version of a trick, then do the same thing with great skill, the layman will assume that you couldn't possibly be using the same method. The key phrase here is "great skill." A good sleight of hand performer can perform a French drop badly, exposing it in the process, then do it correctly and fool people with it. It's not a sucker trick, though. There's a difference between a misleading explanation and a sucker trick. With a misleading explanation, you con the audience into believing you did something that you really did not do. And you use that to direct their attention away from the real method. In a sucker trick, you do the same thing, but at the end, you make them feel stupid because they fell for your trickery.

Here's an example. You do the torn and restored napkin and you follow it with the false explanation. At the end, you unroll the pieces, and they are restored. If you say, "You stupid people, this isn't a bunch of pieces, it's a whole napkin," you are doing a really bad sucker trick. If you say, "You have to be careful not to allow them to see these extra pieces. If you do, then you have a very difficult job ahead of you. You must wave your hand over the pieces and say a magic word. When you do, this happens, and the pieces are restored." Then you have a false explanation, and a nice piece of magic. The difference is the embarrassment factor.

It's the same thing with the fourth ball. If you accidentally expose the fourth ball, you have to figure out a way of getting the audience to dismiss it. And that's what Gazzo does.

BTW, there are several cups and balls routines which do not use the fourth ball. Ken Brooke's routine is one of them.
"The Swatter"

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Interesting Read

I learned this word from Bill Duncan in his great booklet: Tubthumping.
It has a lot of relevance to magic and the building of a plot.
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Bill Palmer
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I think there are instances in the Wikipedia article in which they are confusing a running gag with a MacGuffin.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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