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Topic: Over-doing misdirection
Message: Posted by: remf3 (May 24, 2008 12:27PM)
I've been working on some different coins across plots, trying to work out my own routines and practicing different sleights and the click pass. I was watching one video, just for ideas, where every time the person used a click pass they said "Hear the click?" Is it just me or is he drawing too much attention to the fact that there was allegedly no move performed?

I was thinking that the sound itself is the misdirection and there would be no need to draw more attention to the fact that there was a sound.

Any opinions or insight into this? Is it a style thing or am I just over-thinking it?
Message: Posted by: Noel M (May 24, 2008 12:35PM)
I tend agree with you. It's running when nobody is chasing. As a caveat, I have to say that without seeing the routine I can't say it's a mistake; there may be a reason for it.
Message: Posted by: jocce (May 24, 2008 12:54PM)
It sounds a bit weird. Generally speaking I don't find it a great idea to plant the thought that I might be faking to do something when I am in fact doing just that. The sound together with the hand motions and all those clues given away by body language should be enough.
Message: Posted by: remf3 (May 24, 2008 01:01PM)
Noel--I think your analogy is great! I understand it may seem out of context as I wrote it, but I remember based on the moves and plot the phrase just seemed superfluous when you could already hear the coins hitting one another.
Message: Posted by: michaelmagicart (May 24, 2008 01:13PM)
I agree with Noel M and jocce, why draw attention to this obvious, unless you want them to think something else my be making the rattle. People are not stupid, so why would this statement have to be made.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 24, 2008 02:16PM)
All the above are worth listening to.
What happens in the mentioned click pass is not misdirection but rather directing them to something that should be obvious and that you really don't want them to focus on.
Misdirection should be casual and motivated.
Message: Posted by: ViciousCycle (May 24, 2008 08:14PM)
One magic author says, "Misdirection is the art of directing a person's attention to something more interesting than what you don't want them to pay attention to." By this definition, remf3, I wouldn't consider what the person was doing on this video to be misdirection. He's calling verbal attention to something that there's no need to draw excess attention to. A spectator shouldn't have to give a lot of conscious attention to the clicks. If one has a spectator write a secret message with a pen, one doesn't then say, "You notice how this is a standard Bic pen. Why you could write checks with this." The patter you described in the video is equivalent.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 24, 2008 08:30PM)
Without seeing the routine and the context he says it (was the click audible?) it's hard to know what to think. One thing that's worth keeping in mind is this... coins across is a multiple phase routine, and as such scrutiny is going to be increased as the effect goes along. Meaning, the performer is going to be expected to make it more fair as it progresses. I can see a situation where if I was doing it, and the coin had already travelled, and the noise had already sounded, and they were still staring at my hands, looking for a move that wasn't going to come, I might ask if they noticed the coin travelled.

One thing... the sound of the coin is misdirection? What sort of routine is this? Usually the sound is meant to signal that the magic has just happened. I don't know many coins across where that sound is meant for misdirectional purposes.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (May 24, 2008 08:39PM)
Many folks believe that mis-direction is the wrong way to think of things. Tomy Wonder says that you should be directing the audience attention throughout the performance. Misdirecting doesn't make sense in this context. If you are always directing someone then they will see what you want them to see and notice what you want them to notice. There can't be too much misdirection.

A lecturer at an !@#embly meeting talked about a course he took in film making, specifically cinematography. He said that a good cinematographer controlled everything within the frame and that doing this with magic leads to good magic.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 24, 2008 10:12PM)
That's a good point, Marty, which adds to my confusion with the idea of classifying the clink sound as misdirection. It's proof of the effect... don't you want to make sure that they don't miss that?
Message: Posted by: Noel M (May 24, 2008 10:15PM)
The word "Misdirection" has become more of a technical term rather that what its literal meaning might be if we looked in the dictionary. When spectators eyes follow an empty hand thinking it contains coins or a sponge ball they are looking exactly where we want them to look. So how can this be "mis-anything?"

What I think we mean is that we are directing them to where we want but the "mis" part is that the object is really elsewhere. Another way of looking at is, if we want them to look where the object really is, we direct their attention. If we direct them to where it really isn't we're misdirecting them.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (May 24, 2008 10:31PM)
It's a riot what happens with software that tries to censor the posts here.

I wrote "A" "s" "s" "e" "m" "b" "l" "y" "9" and it replaced it with "!@#embly".

Just do the click pass, but don't draw attention to it. Just do it.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 24, 2008 10:42PM)
Oh jeez, wait a second. I TOTALLY misread. Disregard whatever I wrote earlier, completely. I thought we were talking about after the effect, with the coin arriving. Sorry, long day busking, skip a couple of words, think you're all clever at pointing out what others aren't, and you make an !@# of yourself. (same censorship there, I imagine?)

Yes, in that situation, calling attention to the click noise is in all likelihood a bad idea. Al Schneider even mentioned that the click pass itself might be a bad idea, since sometimes people start asking "How did you make the click noise?" if it's obvious that there's only one coin there. Look at the Al Schneider Technique Vol 1 for his discussion on that.

My apologies again. Very embarassing, that.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (May 25, 2008 02:38AM)
Wow, you really dropped the ball there erlandish.. :)
And I thought I was going to be clever and point out that the "click" in a "click pass was a convincer, nothing to do with misdirection..
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 25, 2008 03:11AM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-25 03:38, spatlind wrote:
Wow, you really dropped the ball there erlandish.. :)
[/quote]

No kidding. If that's the harshest thing anybody says to me about it, I'll have gotten off easy. Otherwise, people would be right to pile on. Given some of the smack I've talked elsewhere, I deserve it.

[quote]
And I thought I was going to be clever and point out that the "click" in a "click pass was a convincer, nothing to do with misdirection..
[/quote]

That's right. It falls into that category of convincer which should fly by people not paying attention, and "get" those who are. Pointing it out would probably help those people "get" it who weren't paying attention, and raise distrust in those who were.
Message: Posted by: jocce (May 25, 2008 04:15AM)
[quote]people start asking "How did you make the click noise?"[/quote]
I'll go out on a limb here and say that if I get this question I would probably examine my hand motions, body language and structure of my routine. It's the natural action(acting) together with the sound that make it deceptive. I also feel there has to be good motivation for the transfer of one coin at a time from hand to hand. Personally, I prefer to do it on the off beat since there's no logic in drawing attention to, and deliberately executing something as simple as putting two coins in a hand.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (May 25, 2008 05:05AM)
[b]Bad magician[/b]: [i]"Please note my completely empty hand reaching for an ungimmicked card in this perfectly normal deck of cards..."[/i]

[b]Good spectator[/b]: [i]"That's not a real hand..."[/i]

My guess is that this was a youtube video... I know my advice will fall onto deaf ears when I say; Stop watching them. Unless you're looking for examples of how not to do magic.

PS- when do coins ever go "click"?
Message: Posted by: remf3 (May 25, 2008 10:01AM)
Thanks all for the input. Gaddy's comment is forcing me to come clean on part of my original message. The video in question was actually a borrowed video of a so-called professional magician. The video in question is from a company represented by a flightless aquatic bird and the performer's name rhymes with "Nose-bleeda". I'll not give away more.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (May 25, 2008 11:55AM)
You are correct in your original post: The idea of the 'clink' is that it supplies it's own justification. Pointing out that coins go 'clink' is like pointing out that cards are made of paper.

Although I am a big fan of Tommy Wonder I believe his "you are always directing the attention of folks" to be unhelpful. Although it may be true it is sometimes more truer than others. It's like in the novel Animal Farm: All the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. That is to say that the 'direction' I am manipulating when I show two sponge rabbits, place one in my hand and the other in the hand of the spectator is quite a bit different from the 'misdirection' I am using when I 'steal' the small bunnies. I understand his point, but I don't experience the direction I use in performance as a smoothly flowing whole. It is for me more modular and thus easier for me to define the when and how.

All misdirective movement and action flows out of the necessities of the routine one is doing. Generally magicians do not use logical segues from one routine to the next. Rope routine finishes, take bow. Go to next trick, etc. The very movement from one routine to the next would for me break up the context of Mr. Wonders basic premise....but, that's just for me.

All best,
Message: Posted by: clarissa35f (May 25, 2008 12:09PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-25 06:05, gaddy wrote:
[b]Bad magician[/b]: [i]"Please note my completely empty hand reaching for an ungimmicked card in this perfectly normal deck of cards..."[/i]

[b]Good spectator[/b]: [i]"That's not a real hand..."[/i]

My guess is that this was a youtube video... I know my advice will fall onto deaf ears when I say; Stop watching them. Unless you're looking for examples of how not to do magic.

PS- when do coins ever go "click"?
[/quote]

I agree with you Gaddy. With magic you really do get what you pay for, if you pay nothing, you get nothing. One can say you get worse than nothing because you learn the WRONG way to do things, then you need to invest time in unlearning....and relearning properly...a total waste of time.


[quote]
On 2008-05-25 11:01, remf3 wrote:
Thanks all for the input. Gaddy's comment is forcing me to come clean on part of my original message. The video in question was actually a borrowed video of a so-called professional magician. The video in question is from a company represented by a flightless aquatic bird and the performer's name rhymes with "Nose-bleeda". I'll not give away more.
[/quote]

Hmmm..such Obscure clues... I wonder who that could be.. lol.. Anyway, I want to thank you for that info..I was thinking of getting that for my daughter. I'll stick with Roth and Stone.

One question is he saying you the student.." hear the click?" as a way of stressing the convincer that the coin is also with the other coin? So the student is aware of what proves to the audience that the coins are both in the same hand? Or is this part of his patter for lay people?

I think if the former, it makes sense to ask the student watching the DVD if he hears the click. If the latter... Not sure that makes sense in front of lay people.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 25, 2008 12:32PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-25 05:15, jocce wrote:
[quote]people start asking "How did you make the click noise?"[/quote]
I'll go out on a limb here and say that if I get this question I would probably examine my hand motions, body language and structure of my routine. It's the natural action(acting) together with the sound that make it deceptive. I also feel there has to be good motivation for the transfer of one coin at a time from hand to hand. Personally, I prefer to do it on the off beat since there's no logic in drawing attention to, and deliberately executing something as simple as putting two coins in a hand.
[/quote]

I'll have to recheck, but I believe that Schneider's epiphany came when, after doing the clink pass, the lady asked "How did you make the clink noise?" instead of "How did that coin travel across?" Somewhere in the same conversation he goes on to talk about !@#umptions, and that a spectator might be just as likely to conclude they made an incorrect !@#umption rather than conclude that they saw magic.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (May 25, 2008 12:41PM)
Oh for Pete's sake. We can't say as-sumption on the Café?
Message: Posted by: remf3 (May 25, 2008 02:11PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-25 13:09, clarissa35f wrote:

One question is he saying you the student.." hear the click?" as a way of stressing the convincer that the coin is also with the other coin? So the student is aware of what proves to the audience that the coins are both in the same hand? Or is this part of his patter for lay people?

I think if the former, it makes sense to ask the student watching the DVD if he hears the click. If the latter... Not sure that makes sense in front of lay people.
[/quote]

He was saying it during a performance for lay people. He was performing a coins across routine. He would place one coin in his hand and then perform a click pass with the second coin. The sound on the performance video was not the greatest (what's with Penguin showing all performances for people on the elevated cross walks on the Vegas strip?) but there was a very audible "click" of the coins striking. Then he stated "Here the click?" That's really what prompted me to post my question.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (May 25, 2008 02:50PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-25 11:01, remf3 wrote:
Thanks all for the input. Gaddy's comment is forcing me to come clean on part of my original message. The video in question was actually a borrowed video of a so-called professional magician. The video in question is from a company represented by a flightless aquatic bird and the performer's name rhymes with "Nose-bleeda". I'll not give away more.
[/quote]

Hey, man- He's still young. He's gotta learn someday. He's darned good, but (like all of us) he's still got a lot to learn. The age of home video production has produced quite a few pros who would have been better served by waiting for L&L to produce their amazing new ideas.

Jay lectured in San Francisco a few months ago to mixed reviews. The kids loved him and his free embossed poker chips (for practicing the muscle pass, of course!) the adults walked away feeling a little gyped...

I didn't go, as I had just attended a lecture and workshop by Jeff McBride ($$$). Priorities, you know...
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 25, 2008 07:51PM)
The clink pass is a subtlety and I've yet to see a subtlety that needs to be pointed out. Their entire purpose is to aid an effect in a subtle way.

However, if you perform it for me please point it out (I'm deaf.. :) ).

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (May 26, 2008 06:03PM)
The original question about: "Hear the click?" could it be the timing is wrong?

I have read this thread and in general agree about you needn’t run if you’re not
being chased and other comments along these lines.

But, there are several well know performers’ DVDs where they say something like.
“If you listen closely you will hear the coin travel.” Quite often “watching” the coin travel by moving their head and eyes from one hand to another. Followed by the coin release which results in the sound.

Seems to work for me as well as their audience.
Depending on how it is done there is a large variation in audience response.
It can run the gambit from magical to humorous.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 26, 2008 06:26PM)
Mr. Ree,

That's totally different and acceptable.
The topic is about a Click Pass.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (May 26, 2008 06:45PM)
Jaz,

Thanks. I will have to get a clearer understanding of "click pass".

I don't know how to tell the difference when watching a video, without
an explanation, if someone is doing a "click pass" or what I described.

Guess it must be "known" by what phase the routine is in?
Message: Posted by: clarissa35f (May 27, 2008 12:07AM)
Hard to explain Click pass since this is an open forum. All I can say is... J. B. Bobo Chapter 2: Basic Technique by Paul Morris.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (May 27, 2008 03:42AM)
Clarissa35f: Thanks looking at this now.