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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Misdirection.....What's that behind you? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Chris "linkster" Watson
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I thought it would be interesting to explore sources of material which go into the art of misdirection or direction of an audiences attention in the context of coin magic.

So far for me the best overview has been Gary Kurtz in Misty Like a Dream in which he describes active and relaxed states and stays one ahead of the audience through out most of the routine.

I have also recently picked up a Chris Korn Lecture (video from International Magic, UK) in which he has two coins on a table and a third seems to materialise there....magical. Chris says he got the idea from watching Albert Goshman perform, and recommends learning some of Gosh's routines as a way of improving all aspects of your close up magic.

So I suppose the questions to all at the magic Café would be:-

1) What reading material would you recommend to study specifically based around misdirection and coin magic?

2) What routines/books that aren't coin related do you feel have been a major influence on this area of your coin magic?

3)What gems have you picked up through performing which have helped you keep an audience focused where you want them?

I generally perform in a bar environment with people all around you, whilst I appreciate that much of it will be on the choice of trick to perform I would appreciate you thoughts on midirection for this type environment.

Chris
JimMaloney
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The "standard" books on misdirection are those by Slydini, Ramsay, Wonder, Carney, Kurtz, and Fitzkee. Those might be good places to start.

-Jim
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Chris "linkster" Watson
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Hi Jim,

Any particular book titles from these magicians you would recommend?

Chris
Jonathan Townsend
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Miss Direction can be had in any theater group that takes works into production. Ask the techies how scenes get changed and ask the director how the timing works.

Looking for coin specific misdirection might not turn up to many references. There are only a couple of Ramsayisms... and they work for closeup / parlor in general.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JimMaloney
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Chris,
Anything from the first three. From John Carney, check out Carneycopia. "Leading With Your Head" is a small booklet on misdirection by Gary Kurtz. And finally, "Magic by Misdirection" is by Dariel Fitzkee.

-Jim
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I would suggest you take a look all those books above and Tamariz's books also (but they are expensive as are the Ramsay books).
Al Leech also has a cheap volume called "Don't look now".

Here's is my 2 part recommendation:

1. Take an easy effect that you already do and apply misdirection techniques everywhere. After that, consider another effect, then another. Apply misdirection everywhere.

Example:
Consider a 2-in-the-hand effect. Any of us can go through this routine at a blistering pace flawlessly and produce magic, but if you think about your body language and where your eyes and attention are focusing, it gives you a different perspective. It trains your body to use misdirection all the time.

Apply what Kurtz talks about in "Leading With Your Head" to that effect. I personally think it is very rewarding to take an easy effect and apply all this stuff.

You should have a reason for every move you make.

Are you looking at your hands during a shuttle pass? Does it matter? You should think so!
Are your hands waist high? chest high? If so, when?
When is your left hand out of frame? How did it get there? Why is it there?

2. For hard core study, read Carneycopia and learn Cylinder and Coins. Even if you don't ever perform it, learning the routine from top to bottom and studying how and why it works will allow you to apply the techniques to all your other magic. This was the primary reason I learned the routine myself and it continues to teach me invaluable lessons in everything I do, stand-up, close-up, strolling, etc..

Frank

There's also Jarle Lierpol's Pocket Power book. He also writes a lot about misdirection and how it works in his effects. Another key buy!
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Darrin Cook
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Tommy Wonder offers great tips on misdirection in his DVD's and books. Specifically the cups and balls and the card-in-plastic-egg trick (Magic Ranch?).
Jamie Schoolcraft
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Juan Tamariz's "Crossing the Gaze" is one of the most beautiful examples of misdirection I've ever seen, it works well with all sorts of objects especially coins like Gary Kurtz used in "Misty like a Dream".
Totof
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You can learn a lot by looking to:
>> Gary Kurtz – Leading with your head (book) available at Jarle Leirpoll website http://www.leirpoll.com/leading.htm
>> Articles on misdirections at Jarle Leirpoll website http://www.leirpoll.com/misdirection/misdirection.htm
>> John Carney – Carney on Ramsey, Lessons in misdirection (DVD)
>> Mike Close – Power of Palming (VHS) for his routine "The Card, the Forehead, and the Salt Shaker"
>> Steve Bedwell – Taped! (VHS). You can learn from the routines "Subtle travelers", "Parked card" and from his award-winning act "The Walkman Act".
>> Doc Eason – Bar Magic Vol 1 (DVD) for his "Card under the Glass".
>> Juan Tamariz – The Five Points in Magic (book) for his beautiful study on the body language.
>> Magic by Gosh with Albert Goshman for his "Coin under the Saltshaker"
>> Roberto Giobbi - Card college vol 2 (book) concludes with a chapter on psychology, misdirection and presentation.
>> Darwin Ortiz – Strong magic (book) has also a chapter on misdirection and much more…

All these are very very good resources for those who wants to learn about misdirection.
Chris "linkster" Watson
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Hi Guys,

Thank you for some great resources, I have just ordered Magic by Gosh which should prove interesting. I have also enquired about "Leading With Your Head" but it appears to be out of stock at Leirpoll - any other sources?

I already play with some of this stuff but would like to explore it alot more...it can only help.

Chris
eddieloughran
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Al Schneider's site has a very long essay on the subject.
And its free.
I'm not sure all his idea's are right but it made me rethink a lot of my presentation.

Eddie
Jonathan Townsend
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The two Ramsayisms seem pretty cogent.

1) Look where you want them to look

2) If you want them to look at you, look at them.

Statements containing embedded commands and transderivational search requests (Milton model statements) can serve to direct attention.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Chris "linkster" Watson
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Hi Jonathan...Would you care to elaborate on the NLP suggestions? Any specifics as to where to find the types of phrases which would be relevant within the context of a coin routine.

Should we move this to the mentalism forum?
Smile
Jonathan Townsend
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I got the basics of NLP from the Bandler books. Buy 'Structure of Magic I and II' it should be clear what the tools are. Perhaps a good book on rhetoric might help too.

The mentalists seem a bit uncomfortable discussing the simple 'how to' of pacing and leading. A great loss since that is as basic in some of their work as sleight of hand and choice of props is in ours.

The coin specific ideas are VERY few. Small, shiny, round... and go 'clink'. The associations can be deep though. Money, value, work, energy, old-time-values... all great for painting pictures in their minds.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Curtis Kam
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Want to know for sure how successful you are in controlling your audience's attention? Take one willing spectator into a dark room, give him/her a miner's type of helmet (you know, with the flashlight attached) or those geeky eyeglass frames with lights on them, and perform your favorite routines.

Whatever ends up in the "spotlight" has attracted the spectator's attention. You may be surprised.

Slightly less artificial, have your performance filmed by a specator using a handheld camera. Start with the camera focused on the coin, and tell them they can't mess with the zoom.

I think there was a Japanese television program that did this in an experiment/game show format.
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Chris "linkster" Watson
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Johnathan, Curtis...thank you for the input, there are a few good things to look at there. Are there any particular performers who have influenced you on the midirection side of your magic?
Jonathan Townsend
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Performers...

Slydini for showing how it can be done with grace and class.

Ramsay for sharing how important it is to notice where people are looking and what they are looking for.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Chris "linkster" Watson
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I can see that I will be needing to get a few books to read. I have fancied learning Slydini's one coin routine, any ideas which book it is in?

Any other books you would recommend from either Slydini or Ramsay?
Jonathan Townsend
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There are not all that many books by or about Tony Slydini or John Ramsay.

There may be something better that the two volume set on Slydini's work. One volume is photos and the other is the text. Was a nice idea. There may be a film of him performing around somewhere on a TV show. This would have been a LONG time ago. Dick Cavet perhaps?

John Ramsay seems to have only one living student, Andrew Galloway. The good news is that There are two new videos out at International Magic where you can see the material performed and discussed. Or you could start on 'The Ramsay Legend' and set to work from the text.

There are some folks who've made a point of featuring some Ramsay routines in their work. I have yet to see any of them perform, so I will reserve opinion on their interpretations and books/DVDs.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Paul Chosse
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Aactually there is a lot of material on both Tony and John Ramsey. The problem is that much of it is out of print, so you have to search for it used. Ramsay material includes the four little beans, the torn and restored paper, the cuops and balls, cylinder and coins, all by Farelli, as well as the three volume Galloway series on Ramsay.

Tonys' books include the Magic of Slydini, Slydini Encores, and two sets of books by Fulves. Slydini also issued individual items and published in many magazines including Richard's Almanac and Pallbearer's Review. In addition Tony's material has been republished with annotations by L&L. All of this is off the top of my head. I am sure that there is other material. Oh yeah, just remembered Stars of Magic, Ganson Art of Closeup Magic Volumes one and two. Dig deep enough and there is a ton of material out there...

By the way, no one has mentioned a master of misdirection - MALINI!

Best, PSC
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