The Art of Misdirection

Misdirection is a huge part of magic and few have mastered it, and many of us lack it, but once used properly it can be our bestfriend.
"The human mind can concentrate on only one thing at a time. The magician uses this to manipulate the "victim's" idea of how the world is supposed to be.
One of the most important things to remember when thinking about misdirection and magic is this: a larger movement conceals a smaller movement."

How do you use misdirection in magic, or do you even use it at all?
What do you feel is important when using misdirection, and what to keep in mind while using it?

Please discuss, there is no wrong answer.

-T.J.
 
May 31, 2008
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If you're a magician, and you don't use misdirection, you're an idiot. Misdirection is the ultimate sleight. Misdirection can be subtle, you can just look at someone, or raise your hand sleightly.

I remember a few months ago a kid at school performed a very poor French Drop, everybody caught him. Someone came up to me afterward and said, "You can really vanish a coin though, huh?"

Of course I couldn't deny an offer like that, but the only coin vanish I know is the French Drop. Do you know what I did? The french drop, but instead of just pretending to take a coin, I pretended to take a coin and rose my hand up, and had someone grab my wrist, and gave the coin a really hard squeeze, and moved my hand around like the coin was dissolving. Everyone was floored, even the kid who had done the French Drop from before, they were all amazed. I had people coming up to me for about two months asking if I could make another coin disappear.
 
Feb 27, 2008
2,342
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31
Grand prairie TX
You NEED misdirection for magic in general.There is almost(I said almost in case anyone wants to be cute) not one effect that doesnt need misdirection.
Ill post more thoughts later,gotta get off for a while.
 

Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Team member
Aug 5, 2008
1,593
824
Seattle, WA
www.theory11.com
After a gig tonight, people who knew me came up and demanded the "Fork Trick" aka Morgan Strebler's Liquid Metal. Nothing but misdirection. And it still floors people who have seen it over and over again.
 
Jan 3, 2009
2
0
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Pleasanton, CA
I was doing a 4 ace production, and needed to palm an ace I had controlled to the bottom.

I just couldn't get the right grip, and it took more than 2 seconds, which is pretty bad if the audience is expecting to see another ace pop out like I did with the other two aces.

So i decided to take one ace on the table, put it on top of the deck, do some obvious "magical" moves, put it down on the table again, and told them to inspect the card.

And while the card was being inspected, I had enough time to palm the bottom card (pretty rough palm), and no one noticed because they were so absorbed in the card I put on the table.

I love misdirection, and I use it all the time.
It works as a fall back, too, if you need it.
 
May 1, 2009
140
0
UK
Misdirection

Misdirection is an art in itself, John Ramsay was a master of misdirection. Yet he never used strong misdirection. It went know further than the direction of his gaze or how he spoke-very light misdirection. This was all he needed because he was misdirecting all the time. There are also two varieties of misdirection: direct & indirect. some good effects have misdirection built into the effect itself, & its a interesting subject.
 
Oct 2, 2008
336
0
UK
Jinai.deviantart.com
Learn to use their eyes and mind against them.

Ask them questions that causes them to recollect in their minds, by the time that happens, though their eyes are looking your way, their mind is elsewhere, it is the split moment where shade is given. Very powerful tool. No need for misdirecting with funny, sneaky movements - direct their mind elsewhere, thats all you need to do.

Maintain eye contact, enter their realm, and overwhelm them. Get them comfortable, and direct their senses with the trust you gained.
 

byu

Jul 1, 2009
73
0
USA
If you're a magician, and you don't use misdirection, you're an idiot. Misdirection is the ultimate sleight. Misdirection can be subtle, you can just look at someone, or raise your hand sleightly.

I remember a few months ago a kid at school performed a very poor French Drop, everybody caught him. Someone came up to me afterward and said, "You can really vanish a coin though, huh?"

Of course I couldn't deny an offer like that, but the only coin vanish I know is the French Drop. Do you know what I did? The french drop, but instead of just pretending to take a coin, I pretended to take a coin and rose my hand up, and had someone grab my wrist, and gave the coin a really hard squeeze, and moved my hand around like the coin was dissolving. Everyone was floored, even the kid who had done the French Drop from before, they were all amazed. I had people coming up to me for about two months asking if I could make another coin disappear.

I personally don't know the French Drop (is it easy?), but I might go into researching it.

On topic, however, misdirection is the only reason why people don't start screaming "I SAW THAT!" when I do a classic pass.
 
Jun 7, 2009
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Basically you gotta do two things.

You have to be able to perform the sleight without looking at your hands and look them in the eye. (and dont have a guilty look on your face as you are doing the work:D)

Even if you dont do the sleight perfectly, they will never catch it
 
Apr 1, 2009
1,067
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32
California
"If you want the audience to look at something, look at it yourself. And if you want the audience to look at you, look at them."
 
Sep 20, 2008
50
0
Israel
Just a short example, that misdirection can be so simple...just talk with them and tell (-program-) them what you want them to believe.

I am no pro, and don't have much of a top change and never learnt the second deal, but I got around that like this:
I was doing an ACR and at one point I was holding their card face down and talking about the routine a bit, to which I proceeded to take the second card from the top and naturally place it in the centre of the deck, saying everything just as if it was the top one.

So simple but it works, and if done well enough you can say whatever you want them to believe...."i am putting this cheese cake inside this top hat, now watch is it magically transforms into a card!"...and they'll buy it.
 
Jul 2, 2009
45
0
"If you want the audience to look at something, look at it yourself. And if you want the audience to look at you, look at them."

Agree. Look at where you want the audience to look. And try to have it away from where the dirty job's going on.
 
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