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Jonathan Townsend
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On 2009-01-21 10:38, Lawrence O wrote:
But raising suspicion can, within limits, be a very strong misdirection and be quite entertaining. Did you ever do a Spider Grip Vanish with a coin?

Not usually a sound strategy - and rather misses the underlying issue - the "why" of any sense of suspicion.

Do they trust your actions? If not - is that what you want?

And yes I use variations on the Spider vanish often though not using a design that could teach the audience to look at the wrong hand. all the coins I've dropped here
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Harris Deutsch
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Seems like Slydini (and others) would feint a suspicious move....and then go into a HPC.

For some spectators everything we say and do is suspicious. I used to concentrate on pleasing that 1(or 2) out of the group. It is a bit different these days.

still 2 old to know everything
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
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I always just say "seems simple enough, don't you agree?"
-P.J. Synenberg
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"So far so good?"
You know why don't act naive.
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I agree using the "is that fair" brings a question into play that may not have even been on the spectator's mind. One can use a direct statement to eliminate suspicion if need be or to "set" a point in time in the observer's mind. For example, if I take a selected card and place it into the center of the deck...push it into the deck and say, "Now isn't that fair." I have put a question into play. The human mind will respond, "is it really," even if it is not verbalized.

However, if I say something like, "Ok, let's see what we had done so far. You have selected a card, signed it, we placed your card in the middle of the we can" This is true and it involves the observer in creating the event without using a question. Questions often beget other question when used to validate circumstances.


"In victory you deserve champagne…in defeat you need it!" –Napoleon Bonaparte
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I agree that "is it fair?" is more often used in a way that has the possibility of raising questions you may not want the spectator to think, or cause suspicion when it's undesired. But I think it's important to have moments of reinforcement with the audience, where you create agreement with the conditions that you are establishing, and elicit a positive response from one or more audience members which helps condition the rest of the audience to accept the conditions as valid. More often than not, "Is it fair?" is a clumsy attempt to do so. (Or all to often an attempt to force agreement when the performer is unsure whether the audience bought the move or conditions set)

I also agree that the raising of suspicion (or more broadly, tension) can be a strong tool in misdirection. By raising tension (suspicion is a form of tension) then releasing it, you create a moment of inattention where a move can be performed without undue scrutiny.
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On 2008-02-07 22:58, Jerrine wrote:
My father taught me the Fair Enough bit long ago.
Used in sales quite frequently.
Definitely used to get a nod.
Tommy Wonder did it.
I've done it both in sales and Magic.
What am I talking about. Magic is sales.

This is exactly it; it's a subtle, subconscious way of getting your audience or customer to agree with you and when done properly it can be very effective. You’re putting a suggestion in their minds. Magicians are doing this type of thing all the time this shouldn’t be any different.

Here’s the important point, if you’re using a phrase like this make sure what you are a doing does look totally fair. That’s why it worked for Tommy Wonder.
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I feel there nothing wrong with it. At anytime during the trick, if audience it not fair, then it is useless for them to see the magic happen.

An audience see you p*lm a would an audience be surprise if the card suddenly land in your pocket..

"Til now everything is fair" "if I go any fairer than that, you be cheating me"
Some of the lines are good way that seems to give opportunity for audience to stop the magician routine that suit to their knowledge."

Imagine a heckler say "that is a fake egg" , the magician say "to be fair I have you to come out to examine the egg". Then the magician give the heckler a glass to hold and break the real egg into his hand. "Sorry, it not the egg that are fake, is the cup that I give you that are fake."

Another example, ACR, a card is selected and sign (To be fair that you are not use duplicate), next card insert in the deck slowly (To be fair to their eye and let them see everything clearly), card jump to top (surprise)

Next they trying to figure out which part of the routine are unfair. show them their sign card, let them hold it and insert anyway in the deck (Now it got to be fair right now), ask them turn over the top card themselves (to be fair).. card jump to top.

Hence, how much audience fool by a magic trick is determine by how fair he thought the magician have done. In coin across routine, if you can show a coin before it disappear in the fairest manner and reappear in the other hand slowly. That is a great magic (COIN ONE BY HOMER LIWAG)

Warning: If you ask your spectator that is what you did just now, is fair or not, be prepare for them to shuffle your deck of card, check the location of the card...You need to do lot of impromptu stuff and impromptu patter line which most magician are no skillful enough to do...

Gregory Wilson, David Williamson, and perhaps Luchen from Taiwan and definitely Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller who always practice how to end a trick under different circumstance.

"Judge a magician skill not with point of view of a magician, but point of view of a layperson or amateur magician."

"Most layman have some kind of magic knowledge, asking him to show you under what condition he feel fair, and perform it in that condition. He will be fool badly, and that is one reason magician move from stage to the street."

Layperson know magician use smoke and mirror on stage, so magician in order to be fair move to the street, that is FAIR ENOUGH TO FOOL ME.

Being fair is not easy, mean you need to do extra work. But that what going to make you a legend. Malini,on one seating with Dai vernon and other magician in a fair sitting, always able to produce a Big cube of Ice under his head.
"Seeing Joy, Sadness, Anger,Contempt,Surprise, Disgust,Fear on people faces are the motivation of my MAGIC" Charlie Werner (C.C.L)
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People always want to be special. Imagine a spectator fooled by you and tell her friends and family that, a magician torn corner of the card which magician usually don't, but to be fair and specially done for her alone. The card jump into bottle she just hold. She feel special.
"Seeing Joy, Sadness, Anger,Contempt,Surprise, Disgust,Fear on people faces are the motivation of my MAGIC" Charlie Werner (C.C.L)
Paul Budd
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Patter and verbal misdirection has become a very fascincating part of the art to me. I've seen/heard some great guys say this phrase......I another commenter had mentioned, in sales, you're trying to get the customer saying, "Yes" during your pitch.
Sometimes, the greatest magicians understand that words have an intrinsically hypnotic effect if/when used properly.
I'm kinda on the fence on this one. (I'll probably use this phrase next week!) Smile
His face isn't really this long in-person!
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I saw the "Expert at the Card Table" play with Guy Hollingworth, and he made the use of this phrase very hilarious, because it was incredibly obvious to the spectators that he was not actually being fair. I think it has its place, but can be easily misused, like anything else.
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I use this phrase sometimes, but only when I'm doing something that is, in fact, completely fair, such as the shuffle sequences in Out of This Universe. Wouldn't use it for anything with a discrepancy or that couldn't stand up to the strictest scrutiny. Particularly for effects with several procedures, where you are intending to do a summary of the sequences before the reveal (such as OOTU), I don't see where it hurts to lay down "checkpoints" as you go along, and gain agreement from the spectator that each sequence appears to be fair on its own, as the effect progresses.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
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Profile of WillStagner
Richard Osterlind seems to use this phrase constantly, and it works well for him. I don't see why it's so bad.
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I was just about to bring up Osterlind. I think this phrase does not help him.
Maybe it suggests that the performer always has skeptics accusing him of chicanery...that's the justification for the line.
On the other side of the covers, one of the things I like about Marc Spelmann is that he seems to explain a "weakness" in an effect by making it seem like a way to make everything more challenging. For example, in his drawing duplication on the 1st volume of Chapters, he's one behind so he can't show the audience the first drawing. He tells the participant on stage to be sure she doesn't let anyone in the audience see, because some people think he gets a signal from someone in the audience. That subterfuge isn't original with Spelmann, but that's the way to convince the audience that all is fair.
Philip Busk
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Great topic. I found at one time watching video of my performance I was using several "cue" words that I wouldn't use if I was really doing magic. Someone performing miricles wouldn't say is it fair.

but, there are time I think it works. Depends on the performer and the situation. Moderation.

If I feel I need to make a point of the current situation at hand I tend to lean toward a quick re-cap of what has happend. "you shuffled the deck," "you thought of a card and then you held the deck", etc.
Philip Busk
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Profile of arizona
It doesn't hurt CA's pockets one bit.
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Profile of KarstenMeyerhoff
I use phrases such as: "Does that seem to be fair? I hope it seems to be fair. It's not, but I hope it *seems* to be ..." That fits my stage persona.
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