I just wanted to talk a bit about something...but I need you to watch this video first, then finish reading the rest of my post...go ahead...we will wait. http://www.dothetest.co.uk/basketball.html Great, so how did you make out? Interesting lesson right? What does this have to do with magic...well, this can be applied. This is what it is to be really misdirected. This kind of misdirection makes people feel “magic”, not like they were fooled into looking away while something else happened out of their line of sight. I often see misdirection used and done poorly. Magicians will think – well, I made them look away, so this is misdirection. Misdirection is an interesting tool, but often misused. Making someone look away is not really misdirection...actually, many pros will tell you that it should be called direction. What made the above clip a powerful message...well, if we played along, we missed the moon walking bear, but why? We were focused on the wrong thing – however, they didn’t try to hide the bear, or make us look away – they had us invested in watching. This is good “direction” as we were directed to watch the white team, and block out other information; however, never did we feel that we were forced to look away or cheated. They didn’t tell us to look away, or make a joke, to flash something quickly across the screen...actually, the item we missed was moving slow and deliberate...even trying to draw attention, yet we still were misdirected away from it. My point – when you are doing magic that needs misdirection as part of the success of the effect, figure out ways that you can build moments of focus, attention and relaxation where the misdirection occurs naturally. This sounds odd, “make something happen naturally”, but there is truth to it. When you make a joke, everyone will relax a moment...when you ask a question to someone, they will all look to that person for an answer...and that person will look at you. However, better misdirection happens in the moment that something else is being focused on – like the spread of the deck with your left hand, while the right plants a card under a glass. However, this kind of misdirection...even though achieved easily, takes much more timing and practice to make it appear as you didn’t make them look in one spot, while the dirty work occurred. Below is an example from a master – Tommy Wonder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ6qT8JvaMY Here is an example of what not to do – as this is a PERFECT example of someone that is doing something to distract, rather than direct. This is poor misdirection, which only accomplishes a reaction, but not a long lasting impression of seeing magic. Once the surprise dies down, the only thing they realize is that it happened when they weren’t looking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ2ftQn45-A Strong misdirection does not make people feel like they missed something, but missed nothing and still didn’t see it. Use it wisely and remember, subtle use of our tools leads to a stronger long-term impact. Good luck.