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CloaknDagger
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Hi
Can anyone recommend any good and easy ways to practise misdirection? Perhaps a self-working card trick or something like that...
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
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Practice misdirection? Can't exactly do that in the mirror can ya Smile

For me, the big thing is to practice / emphasise the importance of a "funny-magic-fella- and-spectator" relationship... rather than trickster out to make you look like a fool and spectator.

If you can disarm people with friendliness, casualness, a good sense of humour (absolutley imperative) and natural movements you will be creating an environment with fantastic 'misdirection' dynamics.

Just my 2 cents... hope it makes sense. (no pun intended there)
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
ViciousCycle
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Misdirection = Creating a frame of mind in the audience where they're caught up in being entertained. If they're genuinely being entertained, then they're in a frame of mind where you can more readily take their attention where it needs to go. As a regular attendee of live performances in Chicago, I see that performers who are highly entertaining can fool audiences and get a lot of applause even from tricks that use relatively simple methods.

On the other hand, if you're being an Annoying Magician, then the audience's focus can shift from being entertained to putting you in your place.

Paid professionals can have an advantage with misdirection. If someone has willingly paid money to see magic, they may likely already be in a frame of mind where they want to be entertained/misdirected. But for those of us who are hobbyists, we can have more of a challenge. We have to create a context for the other person(s) to be entertained by magic. Spring a trick on someone with no context and they may simply turn it into a puzzle challenge that they try to figure out. And then magic becomes a contestant where the spectator wins and the magician loses or the specatator loses and the magician wins, but, really, everyone loses since the magic ceases to be fun.
trickytrav
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CARD TO POCKET from the royal road to card magic is a brilliant trick using a great example of misdirection.
erlandish
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In many cases, the best misdirection is that which is specifically built into a routine. If you can list a bunch of skills you already have, we can probably point you in the direction of a routine that'll help you practice misdirection. A good starting point is to give them points of irresistible interest that are both (a) away from your hands and (b) part of the trick. The "away from your hands" bit is obvious enough, but the "part of the trick" is less so. If you yelled that there was an elephant in the back of the room and everyone looked, and you used that moment to accomplish the pass in an ACR, you'd have successfully directed their attention away from your hands, but the misdirection would be lousy because they could successfully conclude that you used that moment to accomplish your effect.

The same also goes sometimes for asking them their name and staring into their eyes for a prolonged time, or telling them a joke that gets them all laughing and closing their eyes. Depending upon the routine structure, they might feel you did something sneaky at that moment. The important thing is to ensure that the audience doesn't feel like it missed anything.

Again, if you list a bunch of skills you already know, we can probably point you in the direction of a few routines that have solid misdirection built right into them.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
Andy the cardician
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Tamariz 5 Points of magic would be a good start.
Cards never lie
mmreed
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Practice sponge ball hand misdirection and film yourself with a cam corder.
watch it and look for obvious moves or tells.

then go into coin or card work - film it... rinse and repeat.

a camcorder is a great tool for any magician.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
erlandish
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Mark,

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "sponge ball hand misdirection"?
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
Brad Burt
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Here is a superb way to start you thinking and working on misdirection: Get the little Peter Rabbit trick. The original one, not any of the units with 3 large bunnies. Learn how to make the 'steal' for the small bunnies.

Analyze the how, why, where, when, etc. of the steal? When much younger this one trick with it's failures and eventual success taught me more about misdirection than anything I read or watched in the years following.

When you get to the point where you can 'sneek' those little buns out of your pocket or from under your belt, etc. and know WHEN the correct time to do it....you will know some wonderful stuff about 'magic'. Best,
Brad Burt
gaddy
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Misdirection is one of those things that is "easy" (notice the quotes) to do any yet difficult to explain...

A few rules:

The eye follows motion. Move the hand that isn't doing the deed.

Where you look, they will look. Look at the hand that isn't doing the deed.

Look 'em in the eye! They are likely to look back at you. If they are looking into your eyes, they aren't looking at your hands.

Ask them a question (or actually say their name -there is power in a name...) A person will naturally look you in the eyes when you ask a question/say their name. Again, if they are looking into your eyes, they aren't looking at your hands.

Use other sensory input ( sound, touch, even taste and smell! ) to reinforce what the eye is shown falsely.

Act naturally as to give no non-verbal cues to your trickery. However, if your hand MUST move in an irregular manner to effect a sleight, make darn sure that they aren't looking at it by following the rules above.

There are other subtleties, but this is a lot to think about for a beginner.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Jaz
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Erlandish says
Quote:
....the best misdirection is that which is specifically built into a routine.


Yes, you should choreograph your moves and patter to a certain degree.

Gaddy says:
Quote:
Misdirection is one of those things that is "easy" (notice the quotes) to do any yet difficult to explain...


Well, I think you just did a darn good job. Smile
CloaknDagger
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Wow! Thanks for all great replies so far!
I'll definitely check out the tricks mentioned and you have all given a lot to think about... I'll try the camcorder idea thanks, Mark.
I have also heard of creating 'downbeats' in your patter - I guess this ties in with what you were saying, Gaddy.
Erlandish, as far as card skills go - I have made it to the end of Card College 1 and would now like to work on palming etc (would also like to do a center tear routine) but have often been spotted making the sleight which then perhaps ruins the method for any tricks later on. I think I have the actions down ok, but am obviously drawing attention to the move, unwittingly.
Thanks again for your advice so far...
Craig
erlandish
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If you're getting busted on moves, hold off on palming for the moment. It requires great misdirection and good routining to be deceptive.

If you've thoroughly practiced the moves in Card College 1, you already have some great things at your disposal, so focus on them. You can do some good things with nothing more than a force, a keycard placement and a shuffle control (others would also praise the double lift). Get them down before moving onto the more difficult stuff that can fail entirely without adequate misdirection (palming, top changing, etc.). There are some excellent tricks already in that book -- don't think they aren't worth your time performing just because they're easier.

You'll know you're on the right track when you can misdirect off moves that already have decent cover -- for instance, getting them to look in your eyes the moment you place the key card using a shuffle, or else not stare at your hands during the entirety of your shuffle control. Do it well, and if they're burning you it should still be difficult for them to perceive what you actually did, so you're safe from that vantage point, but if you misdirect even off those moments you'll be better prepared for techniques that must have misdirection at a certain point.

Regarding center tears, I'd also hold off on the mentalism for the time being as well. It requires a much more subtle approach to performance since you're claiming a specific power, and you need to know how to avoid those things that'll detract from your claim. You'll know you're ready for it when you can force a card, name the colour and rank, apologize for not being able to name the exact suit, and they're still amazed.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
mmreed
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Spongeballs are a good place to start with misdir...

use a camcorder to record yourself and pay attention to how you present a ball while clipping another and going for pockets, etc... I say sponge balls because starting out, they stick out like a sore thumb if you are not keeping attention away from them.. using a cam corder allows you to see you as the spectator sees you. As you are showing a sponge ball, can you see the one being clipped? when you go for a pocket, does it look natural, when you want them to look at the ball in hand, are you doign something to cause them to look elsewhere?

Shuttle passes with coins, etc.. all are best practiced with a camcorder...

or if on a budget.. use a webcam.
Mark Reed
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Tina I
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A nice way to help you understand how misdirection work is to try to notice where *you* look when observing other people. When you casually look at people, say in a line at the mall, on the buss or wherever try to notice what get your attention and why. Don't over think it, just try and notice.

You'll probably find that it's usually only a few things like movement (why did you really notice that the person took a can of peas off the shelf), eyes (what made you turn your head and look in the same direction as that other person) or body language (how come you know that a person feel uncomfortable).

Again, don't over think it. Just observe your self observing others.
andre combrinck
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reading the Books of Wonder and viewing Visions of Woder made all the difference to me.Just watching Tommy Wonder's Cups and Balls will amaze you(this is what misderection is all about).And his explanation about relaxation, made me understand all about the timing(I consider myself a mentalist).His works are brilliant.Read them, view them, get them.
Slydini was also a hero where misdirection was concerned.

AJ
sethb
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One of the best and most readable booklets on misdirection is "Don't Look Now," by Al Leech. Click HERE for more info. For $7, it's a worthwhile and inexpensive introduction to the art and science of misdirection.

My other suggestion is to perform your sleights and moves often enough so that you can do them without looking at your hands, for obvious reasons. This does require some practice, because you have likely spent hours watching your hands to make sure you got the sleights down correctly! But if you look at your hands during performance, so will the specs and you will have "telegraphed" the move to them. So there is a bit of adjustment needed, but it's absolutely necessary. Good Luck! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
gaddy
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I second "Don't Look Now!"

awesome book for the price.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
NeoMagic
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Also, check out the: Misdirection Resource Center
See and download my latest free card-suits-themed desktop wallpaper | HERE
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2008-04-15 16:57, NeoMagic wrote:
Also, check out the: Misdirection Resource Center


wow, thanks for that link!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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