What misdirection do you use in your magic tricks?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Jonah Ley, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. I have practiced the classic pass for about 2 weeks, I can do it smoother and faster now. I am trying to replace the double undercut control. I want to know how could I distract audience not to look at my hands while I am doing the pass. And how do you misdirect audience generally?
  2. PAUSE!

    I'll give you two replies. Reply 2 is far more difficult, but also far superior. Here it goes.

    REPLY 1:- Ask a question, the spectator will look up unless they are hellbent on burning your hands. If so, you've probably already given yourself away. A good strategy at this point is to give them the deck, let them shuffle, and begin with a new effect (this out of course, is subject to modifications depending WHEN in the effect you are being roasted to medium rare by the viewer's eyes).

    Look in people's eyes. They'll look at you, again, subject to same exception as mentioned above.

    Look at something else or somewhere else, where the 'secret move' is not happening. Their eyes will follow yours.

    Imagine you did a false transfer, move the non-guilty hand away FIRST.

    Move the guilty hand in a curve, because human eyes follow straight lines.

    The last two ways are of course, usually independent of each other. You don't want to look like a human windmill.

    REPLY 2:- Go to Vanishing Inc's website. Sign up/ in. Go and download the e-book MAGIC IN MIND for free. Absolutely. Free. Read Tommy Wonder's essay about getting the 'Mis' out of 'Misdirection'. After you finish that, the subsequent lines will make sense.

    Masking a smaller move with a bigger move in magic is an example of misdirection built into a sleight. Think, the paddle move.

    Get a feel of doing the usual motion, and then incorporate it into your sleight-motion, or adjust your natural motion to the sleight. For example, I use the turnover pass a lot. So first, I observe very, very, VERY closely (did I mention VERY CLOSELY?) how my hands usually turn over a deck. Then my pass should look the same or as close as possible to that. All required misdirection thus gets incorporated in naturally.

    Don't think about your sleight. Your body language shouldn't scream “ULTRA-DIFFICULT SLEIGHT INCOMING!” That would be like screaming the sleight-version of “MAKE WAY, FOR PRINCE ALI!” People won't know what happened but they will know that something happened.

    You may go on and just read this reply 2 in place of MAGIC IN MIND, in which case you'll be missing out terribly. I want you to read that essay so badly (and to get that book) that I won't even talk about what the essay mentions and how my reply matches with that essay.

    But I will say this:- Reply 2 is far better than Reply 1, but it is so difficult, that even lots of the best magicians (and thousands of professional magicians) ignore it. Even after reading the essay, it becomes difficult to actually use it. But in the rare case that you do, it's supremely better than Reply 1. Get this fact down ===> The misdirection in Reply 1 will do the job, yes, but that's solving the problems in the performance. That is like painting over cracks in a building. However, what if there were no cracks to begin with? Reply 2, when fully understood, and the essay when read thoroughly a million times, the problems will be gotten rid of and the misdirection utilised in the effect design itself.
    RealityOne and JoshL8 like this.
  3. to add on to the above advice ^

    Yes, to think of it more as direction vs misdirection, the last thing you want is for an audience to feel they have been forced to "look" a certain way, or place, or forced in a certain direction and then something happens, versus a natural "direction" that has relevance

    don't just ask a random question, don't just point to a random spot, don't make unnecessary "bigger movements" everything should be "natural" and relevant to the situation you are in

    *coin magicians close your eyes*

    this is one of my main problem with a majority (not all) of Coin magic, I should really say vanishes, there is so much misdirection" that audience members can say "if I had looked at his other hand I would have seen it" and the magic is lost

    also, tension and release, the tension in your hands, in your body, and in *your* direction what are you focused on? where are your thoughts focused on? if all your attention is going to your next move, the audience will feel it, if nothing is happening why would an audience look at it? think of this

    a card selected, returned, your hands remain in the position to do the pass, the audience is waiting for the next step, waiting to see if they can see a move, waiting to see what happens

    a card selected, returned, you relax, drop your hands (or whatever) focus your attention away, hands come back together you pass, continue

    now, why do you need to do a pass? couldn't you do a one card control? Pughe's pass (Chris Browns work on the Orbit control) or even something with better cover, dribble pass, straddle pass etc
    RealityOne and JoshL8 like this.

  4. Hey, thank you for your reply. I've tried method 1 for asking questions. It does work well. I would consider purchasing the course you mentioned when I have better experience for magic.
  5. Yes, you are right. So true that when you are tense people will feel it. For the last part, what card control or pass do you recommend?
  6. One I have always used since before I knew it even existed is "Pughe's Pass", Chris Brown has some work on it for his Orbit Control (the control to cop is underrated)

    with some finesse, you can do it surrounded

    there is always a Straddle pass, something you can always use to get into a palm
  7. It's not a course, but an e-book, and it doesn't cost anything. I second MohanaMisra's advice to get it; the first chapter alone made me rethink my approach to magic (and I didn't have much experience in magic, either).
    If it actually cost something, I'd say it's more than worth the money. Seeing as it doesn't, it's a steal.
  8. Just downloaded the ebook it was great.
  9. @MohanaMisra They should definitely hire you for marketing :D
  10. So, the pass has been elevated to an indication of proficiency at sleight of hand. Truth is, it isn't that useful. To massacre mixed metaphors it is using a hammer when you need a fly swatter and the tendency is that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. There are a lot of easier controls to use. In the construction of an effect, the sleight should be matched to the context of the effect. That is, what control you use should make sense within the greater structure of the effect.

    One problem with most magic being taught on YouTube is that there is a focus on the hands and the sleights. I've seen many beginner magicians look at their hands when they are doing a sleight. People also will stop talking to perform a sleight. Sleights should be done under cover of a natural action (e.g. squaring the deck), during an in-transit motion or on the offbeat. As @Liderc said, you also need to release tension - which is easier said than done when you are doing a pass.

    If you want to use the pass, start out first by doing the move while exhaling and while not looking at your hands. Then work to be able to do it while saying something. In the effect, time it as you square the deck or wait a bit (while holding the break and removing your right hand from the deck). Then do the pass when you bring your right hand back to the deck.
    Liderc likes this.
  11. This is a really good tip. Thank you!
  12. Very true. Really, if a single card has to be controlled, it does seem strange to manipulate two entire packets. It is an unnecessary heavy actions.

    HOWEVER, I think it should also be said that while the Pass is not greater than any other seamless control out there, it's also not inferior. When the angle is absolutely fabulous and the pass has actually been mastered to an extent it's almost invisible, it really can seem as if 'nothing' happened. Like anything else, the Pass has its pros and cons. It must not be crowned as the best sleight ever, nor absolutely discarded (not that you said that, just a PSA).

    Also, the Pass can serve other effects if we broaden our horizons and perspectives a little bit. It's more than a control. Thinking of it as a 'hidden cut' instead, helps. ;)

    See? I'm telling you. Companies are missing out...

    And also shift the weight and the focus. ('Weight', 'tension', 'focus'---> Something I remember as WTF :D )

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