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Kamaitachi
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Hey,
I'm just starting out with magic, doing cards and coins by now. I'd like to know more about "controlling spectators", as in.. controlling where they look at, or what they do.
I heard about that "card to mouth" routine, see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlAYoMYXZeM

After the "magic" is done, I'd like to keep his/their eyes on the deck for as long as possible. How would you manage to do it?

That card to mouth effect is a good way to practice this.. gaze controlling thing, isn't it?
Do you know of any other good effects which use this skill?

Also, if you do a sponge ball routine, you sometimes need them to close their hands without them double checking what's inside.
How would you make sure they don't do it?

Are those two priciples in any way related? Does it have a certain name in the magic scene? Like.. spectator control or such? Smile

Thanks in advance, and sorry for my english =)
-- Alex
Irfaan Kahan
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Seems to be two things here: Misdirection and Audience Management

Misdirection is when you "control" where the audience focuses their attention. E.g, you would use misdirection to make someone look at your face whilst your hand palms a card. Misdirection is a vast, complex, and most incredibly fun topic to learn.
I suggest you look up the masters. Tommy Wonder's Books of Wonder comes to mind. Also Eugene Burger. Misdirection can only be perfected by messing up in front of people - but once you get it right 90%+ of the time you will be having tons of fun with it.

Audience Management is when you get the audience / spectator to follow instructions correctly and / or pay attention to the correct things. E.g. you place a double f**er card in their hand with the instruction not to turn it over (bad example - but you get the point). You need to impress on them in one of 2 ways not to turn it over:

1) Attach no importance to it. That is, he/she is just holding the card for you whilst you do something VERY INTERESTING in that requires both your hands.

2) Attach importance to it. The spectator is your friend, he thinks, and he's there to help you. He likes you so he doesn't want to make a mistake. He will follow your clear instructions carefully to avoid disappointing you.

Apologies for the short answers. But these topics can fill volumes. I'm sure the other members here will be able to refer you to some good literature.

P.S. Watch as much magic as you can. You will learn more about the secret of good magic from a performance than you ever will from a book. Books teach methodical secrets, good magicians teach magical secrets.
I'm a Magician playing the part of an Actor
Kamaitachi
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Misdirection is what I was looking for, thanks.
I'd love to hear about some info or effects which use a great deal of misdirection then. Smile
Irfaan Kahan
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You need to start out small. Try the pass or half pass moves.
Or try a simple Cups and Balls or something like Sankey's Permanent Press.

When you're ready then go for Tommy Wonder's 2 Cup Routine. If you pull this off (I have done this twice for CLIENTS, and it worked both times but what a rush!!!) then you've developed a good understanding of the principles.

Good luck
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Kamaitachi
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Hm you're right. Practicing the pass would be a great idea.
I don't know any of the other moves you mentioned, though Smile
Irfaan Kahan
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Well, then try a top change (see any popular card text) or a palm.

See Dan Garrets Fautus Ring routine. There's a point in the 1st phase that requires very basic mis-direction.

Try stealing spongeballs out of your pocket whilst focusing attention on revealing something in the spectator's hand.

Just make something simple up! I've done this at least once I think: I placed a coin in my left hand, looked the spec in the face and made a comment whilst gesturing with my right hand. While they were looking at my face I simply dropped the coin into my right hand then showed the vanish and transpo.

Simple stuff. Trust me. It's fun.
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Kamaitachi
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Ah, you're right. I haven't read the Royal Road to Card Magic in years... Pass and top change are two good moves to practice though. Thanks again for your help Smile
airship
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I'm just posting so you can read my signature, because I think Henry Hay said it best.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Spellbinder
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Kamaitachi wrote: "Also, if you do a sponge ball routine, you sometimes need them to close their hands without them double checking what's inside.
How would you make sure they don't do it?"

We teach our Wiz Kids to place the sponge ball(s) into the spectator's palm, and use the thumb to close his or her fingers around the sponge ball, then turn the spectator's entire hand over so that if he or she opens the hand, the ball(s) will fall on the ground. That stops them from checking what's inside, but you also give them something else to do, like pressing the "magic button" on their wrist when you say so, etc.
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cmdash24
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Haha that's a good idea Spellbinder. "magic button" Smile
The Burnaby Kid
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As Irfaan said, it's a long and complex study. Some resources to consider...

John Carney's Carney on Ramsay

Tommy Wonder's Books of Wonder, particularly the Mind Movie (for overall construction) and Shadow Areas (creating cover spots that you can safely misdirect away from)

Gary Kurtz's "Leading with your Head"

Andrew Galloway's work on John Ramsay, to study how misdirection can be built into a routine

Annotated Magic of Slydini, for tension, relaxation and timing (which are important factors when dealing with misdirection)

Additionally, study the Cups and Balls. It might not seem so straight away, but the skills leaned there are very applicable to pretty much every other form of magic, and misdirection is a big part of that.

Finally, don't neglect the importance of showmanship. One of the key problems with using misdirection is using it in such a manner that the audience didn't feel like they missed anything. What that means is understanding a larger concept that Tommy Wonder talks about, which is that misdirection is less about getting them to look away from something and more about getting them to want to look towards something else. Showmanship can make the magic wand feel very important and thus interesting to look at, and that shift in focus is essentially misdirection that can help cover a move. (Even so, though, when their attention gets brought back to the object (which might no longer be there) you don't want to make it readily apparent that the temporary focus on the magic wand is what made the effect possible)
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Jaz
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JIMclubber64
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Misdirection (at least the basics of it, anyway) is really quite simple. It involves 2 key things: 1, look where you want you audience to look. If you "place" a coin in your hand, look at the hand that supposedly has the coin, and the audience will look there, too, allowing you to put the coin anywhere you want. But the most important thing in misdirection is CONFIDENCE. If you're afraid that the audience will see you go into your pockets, then it's more likely they will. Obviously, this just comes with practice, but it's really not hard. One thing that someone else already mentioned is watch a lot of videos, and see how the magicians use misdirection. Watch this Cups and Balls video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x71M7fZPMFA This kid is very good, and a lot of it is due to simple misdirection. In fact, one production he did was VERY visual, but based solely on misdirection. Hope this helps.
JIMC64
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marty.sasaki
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I think you learn more and more about misdirection mostly by doing. Also get out and watch magicians doing their things. I don't think there is any one source that will give you all of the answers.

Having said that I would recommend Tomy Wonder's Books of Wonder. He talks about audience direction saying that in order to misdirect someone you have to direct their attention first. His cups and balls routine is a great example of what he preaches.

Another example is Michael Ammar's cups and balls routines. In one section of the routine he does something right in the open but the audience doesn't notice it since their attention is directed elsewhere. Well worth checking out.
Marty Sasaki
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Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
spatlind
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Juan Tamariz's Five Points in Magic is also very well worth a read. Although short, it packs a hefty punch.
Actions lie louder than words - Carolyn Wells

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Mysterious
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Misdirection will come to you naturally after years of real world experience.
The more you perform the better you get.
morpheis91
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Hey not sure if this was mentioned, probably was I only skimmed through. I find that spectators look at what you look at vice versa. I would recommend a simple card to lips (or mouth) practice with that and simple things like doing a retention coin vanish and bringing attention to the empty closed fist while ditching in your pocket! just try different things and look at a lot of published books and youtube micahael Ammar's cups and balls he uses a nice amount of misdirection!

Cheers!
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Marcus Nogueira
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Single best tip I've ever read: Practice in front of a mirror. You'll see what sticks out as suspicious and what appears innocent. And as we say in the military: slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. --G.K Chesterton
jjduck
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Kamaitachi,

Check out Doc Eason Live Vol. 1 video, "Card Under Glass" routine. You won't find a better example of misdirection. Even when he tells the people what he is going to do, he still pulls it off. I doubt you will catch him the first time you watch the video. I used to watch Karl Norman do this effect every week at the Forks Hotel in Buffalo, NY and I was always amazed at how he could get away without ever getting caught.

Best Wishes,
Joe
funsway
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At first you will practice "fooling the eye," then explore ways to "fool the mind." Finally you will learn to "fool yourself," to the extent that when you 'know' an object is invisible the audience will aslo not perceive its existence. For example, the concern of 'flashing a coin' is a concern of magicians, not lay people. If you truly engage your audience, they will never see the coin because they "don't wish to." This is sort of the opposite of the "emporer's new cloths" and is the ultimate misdirection.

The rewards of this effort will not be in improved magic performance, but in interactions with people in daily life. People will pay attention to your opinions and seek your advice -- and give you a job or marry you or allow you to heal their fears.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
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