Misdirecting Our Audience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RediSpades, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. So, I was watching the X-Files this morning - and I do love that show - when one of the agents says to Fox Mulder "A lie, Mister Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths." This got me thinking about our "lies" to our participants. We create deception through patterns of the truth. So, how can we, as magicians, take advantage of this more?

    I have always liked the idea of creating simple formulas, it helps me remember the more complex things of life. The thought that came across my mind is to look at some of my simple sleights and just break it down to this, truth to lie and back to truth again. Let's take the french drop for example:

    Truth - I hold the coin in my right hand at the finger tips displaying it so that all of my audience can see. I then proceed to take the coin into my left fist closing it around the coin and I adjust my left sleeve with my right hand explaining something to the point of "Solid objects don't just disappear on their own."

    Lie - I then open my left fist to show that the coin is still there and I push it back to the finger tips setting myself up to perform the vanish. I "take" the coin with my right hand and roll my left hand so that it is palm down. I then smoothly adjust my right sleeve with my left hand, making it appear that my left hand can continue to function as normal. I then extend my right hand up and forward while my left hand moves back to deposit the coin in my left breast pocket.

    Truth - I slowly open my right hand as my left hand rolls out and both my hands are empty.

    I am not proposing anything new here. I am just wanting to focus less on the "lies" we tell and more on how when we tell the truth, it enhances our deception.

  2. That's a great post. However, I think that most magic is designed that way without us realizing it. Simple example is ACR:
    Truth - Show their signed card on top of the deck
    Lie - Putting their signed card into the center (even though we're not)
    Truth - It's back on top again
    It's a simple example, but you will see that almost every trick is designed that way.
    But you are right, the more convincing the "truth" is, the more they are going to believe our "lie". If they don't believe our "lie", there is NO EFFECT there at all. Think about it...
  3. Oh, I agree with you. I just think that we could enhance it even more once we do realize it and take advantage of it.
  4. Yes, I agree. The best counterfeit is almost identical to the original. This means that in order to tell a lie we bury it deeply in truth even if it is irrelevant to the lie. I like the idea of a formula but I would not limit myself to it. I do agree with the idea of your point though :)
  5. When I tell an audience that I am placing a coin held at the tips of my index and middle fingers of my left hand into my right hand, the complete truth is being told. That coin does touch the palm of my right hand as my fingers curl around those fingers of my left, concealing it from view.

    During which time I make no mention of the fact that I am retaining the coin in my outreached fingers and putting it into Downs palm, yet I make no mention that the coin is in my right hand although it has vanished from my finger tips and my right hand is closed.

    The audience 'assumes' the coin is now in my right hand, and it is through their assumption from my actions (not my words) that the coin is now in my right hand, but when I slowly open my hand and the coin has vanished and reappears into my left hand, or shirt pocket etc...it was also their assumption in which the magic happened in their minds.

    The same can be said for when I am performing an Ambitious card routine. If I take their signed card and say "Watch, as I place your card into the middle of the deck." and even though after the fact I do the Pass, and bring it to the top I still told the complete truth.

    I did in fact put their card into the middle.

    "Now, your card goes from the middle to the top." Again, it's the truth...it was in the middle and I brought it to the top by means of the Pass. But obviously they don't know that, but again in their minds it is their assumption by watching my actions is where the magic happened.

    I can take their card again and do the Marlo tilt, and I don't say "Now, I will place your card into the middle of the deck." Insread I say "Now, I will take your card and place it here." And if performed correctly the Marlo tilt looks like I'm placing it into the middle of the deck.

    So from the past experience of my actions the last time I placed their signed card into the middle of the deck + the Marlo tilt that creates the illusion I am once again placing it in the middle, "here" to them based off their assumption means 'middle of the deck'.

    I turn over the top card and say "This is not your card, correct?" they agree because obviously it's not. I turn the card back over and say "Watch, as your card comes to the top." I do a double lift and their card is the card on top of the deck. It's all the truth.

    I double lift again, then I take the card that is not theirs (but again they assume it is) and say "Please hold your hand out palm up." I place the card face down on their palm while saying "I'm going to place the card here and please cover it with your other hand so there is no way I could take it." Notice I say "the" card, not "your card"...again I am telling them the truth.

    Lying has it's time and place in magic effects, of course. However, I feel that a lot of magicians underestimate the power of assumption.

    You're actions make more false statements than your words.

    - Steve
  6. Goatears, I think you touched on a great point. While formulas are great tools, I definitely do not think that we should limit ourselves to it. It is more of a guideline than an unbreakable rule, like "Don't ever do the same trick twice for your audience." True, but there are ways to bend that rule and, at times, break it completely
  7. Assumption is amazing tool, and I definitely agree that we could harness that power a lot more. I laughed as I read your style of presenting because it is so different than mine, which isn't bad at all, I love to compare. I have no problems what so ever telling a bold face lie to my participants, but only to help exaggerate the illusion of the effect. I like to switch it up also, and have them assume what is going on, only to do the classic bait and switch. The Spider Palm Vanish is a great example of that. The spectator has seen it vanish from one hand to the other that they assume that it really did disappear from that hand.

    Great posts Gents! I am loving the feed back, it is getting the mind flowing =D
  8. #8 RealityOne, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2012
    If we believe what we are doing, then we aren't lying. When we vanish a coin, we have to believe that the coin is gone NOT that it is palmed in the other hand. If we don't believe it, how can we expect our spectators to believe it?

    Those of you who know me understand that I really don't like patter that narrates what we are doing with our props (I got a chuckle when I saw someone refer to this as "cooking show" patter - "and now I add three cups of flour and stir. Look, it mixes together and you get cookie dough!").

    One problem (and I think there are many) with using the say-do-see patter is that it raises what I like to call the "resistance to suggestion." Think about everyday conversation -- someone tastes something they ordered at a restaurant and exclaims, "wow, this tastes amazing!" At least someone at the table will ask, "Really? Is it that good?" They don't mean to be rude, but people have a tendency to "test" what they hear - even on a subconscious level. Or someone says, "Did you know that if you throw water softener salts on a fire, it will glow purple?" The response is, "Really? Where did your find that out? Have you ever tried it?" Or maybe, your sitting in your room getting ready to make your bed and your [insert mom, wife, sister, great aunt] comes in and says, "Don't forget to make your bed." You then decide to go to the kitchen to have breakfast first -- merely because they told you to do something.

    OR, you say, "now I'm going to place your card in the middle of the deck and it will come to the top." One spectator says, "That's impossible, I don't believe it." Another says, "Wait, let me see if that is my card." The third then says, "Let me look at the top card."

    What if you didn't tell the spectator anything that you are doing - "I've believe that there is something special about everyone. We all have our individual strengths. Even with that, it is easy to get lost in a crowd [take card and place in middle of deck]. If we believe in ourselves and in our strengths we can stand out in a crowd. [riffle front and back of the deck]. And even rise to the top [give deck to spectator to turn over top card]. In the end, the best lie is the one a spectator tells themselves.
  9. RealityOne,

    I thank you for your advice and it got me thinking about a lot of things. Thanks for being willing to help on the forum =D

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