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J.G. the magnificent
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A lot of magicians struggle with their basic retention vanishes and false transfers. Many people will say the larger motion covers the larger yet I believe it to be over rated even if true in a majority of situations. For instance when doing a vanish the hand you want watched after using it to either take or receive the object you raise up and out faster than the guilty hand. Yet if you think about it the speed difference is so little I don't believe anyone really notices. Also you certainly do not want the guilty hand faster though as many beginners including myself have done. People will notice a bad slight more than they will a good one though. So it is good to have your timing down right.

I realized this and since a casual speed for lowering an arm is rather quick. This means the other one that is being raised is much quicker looking poky and awkward. A way to compensate for this would be to simply do the opposite keeping the upwards hand at a casual speed with the downwards hand being slow. Yet if done too slow is just as bad as moving it quickly. Also to really throw a thought out their if you look at a juggler you always look at the balls in the air moving slower than the hands throwing and receiving them.

There is more to misdirection than pacing though it is also about the slight itself. Beyond the motions you must also understand what is normal looking and even appropriate for the current situation. For instance there are many flashy ways of displaying empty hands. Yet if I try one with friends they ask me to simply hold my hands front and back side by side. When I have a properly paced routine they find it entertaining and baffling. Also as there are three slights really two. False transfers such as shovel pass and thumb clip. Or retention vanishes like the French or pinch drop in which you grab. Depending on your timing you may while doing a retention vanish either typically grab or have the guilty hand approach the other hand so it may receive being kind of a third way of vanishing.

So depending upon if you are doing a penetration, vanish, transposition, or whatever else which do you use? Also what is what?

For starters I would say one of the biggest giveaways in a vanish is people will tend to know it is in the other hand. I have read books explaining that the audience should look at both the eyes and the hand supposedly containing the object. Yet none giving the fine line on when they should do one or the other or if both which should come first. I think if your patter is very good they become accustomed to making eye contact. I would say make sure they are looking you in the eyes first. So you can use your eyes to lead theirs to your hand. If you just automatically assume they will look at your hand they are supposed to they may not. Look them into the eyes to not only lead them but to see when the moment is right. Then after the slight eye contact should be made again. Yet I realize that a lot of times people are too busy being baffled to do that. Plus I wonder about group control and how to get eye contact if you can’t? Evidently not feeling a need to look at your slights unless they are bad.

To go a bit more or less off topic when doing a shovel pass I find the finger palm more obvious but the basic slight more convincing with it. If I use the classic palm the slight being awkward but hand appearing emptier. Both have one factor making up for the other. So my question here in addition to the other is whether the spectator recognizes the guilty hands finger position during the slight? If so I would go with the finger palm otherwise if it doesn't matter I would go with the palm.

Yet they really shouldn't look there if your misdirection is right. So typically the finger palm would be appropriate and more traditional anyway. However if they do see the guilty hand because your patter and or pacing is off. A way around everything is to use the finger palm and on the offbeat moment slip the item into a classic palm just in case they look. This is only one move though. Any thoughts at all?
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Don't worry, be happy! Don't make it too complicated. You want their eyes to follow the path of the coin to the vanish.

Keep their attention always riveted on each point of the imaginary path of the coin.

Keep doing it for people. It will make sense and seem easy soon enough.
The Burnaby Kid
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All of the stuff you're talking about needs context to be appreciated more properly. What's the effect? What object are you working with? Why are you doing a false transfer? What other objects are in play? Are you using it as a switch of like for like, or to vanish it completely? How are you getting into the move? How are you getting out of it? etc.

One other thing to consider is that getting eye contact, while effective at making sure that they don't see a move, can often betray itself as a distraction tactic. If their eyes are going to come off your hands while you're doing something, when the eyes travel back down they're going to need reassurance that they didn't miss anything. Say you FTed a coin to the other hand. A Finger Palm can be useful for getting a Ramsay's subtlety if you're holding a wand with the dirty hard. A Classic Palm can be useful for getting a Kaps subtlety if you're letting the dirty hand rest by your side. Either one of these can be feasible concealments -- it's the effect that's going to determine which one you'll want to use. But the best technique in the world isn't going to help you if the misdirection is too heavy.
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funsway
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"misdirection" is too broad a concept to deal with all of your examples. Study the difference between "Inference," "Implication," "Patterns of Performance" and "Directed Focus."

Sometimes other words are used in books and DVD's for these concepts, but you have to consider what is going on in the spectator's mind at that moment rather than trying to change their thinking to something else.

So -- same as what Andrew said, but different words.
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J.G. the magnificent
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Quote:
On 2010-11-04 03:38, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
All of the stuff you're talking about needs context to be appreciated more properly. What's the effect? What object are you working with? Why are you doing a false transfer? What other objects are in play? Are you using it as a switch of like for like, or to vanish it completely? How are you getting into the move? How are you getting out of it? etc.

One other thing to consider is that getting eye contact, while effective at making sure that they don't see a move, can often betray itself as a distraction tactic. If their eyes are going to come off your hands while you're doing something, when the eyes travel back down they're going to need reassurance that they didn't miss anything. Say you FTed a coin to the other hand. A Finger Palm can be useful for getting a Ramsay's subtlety if you're holding a wand with the dirty hard. A Classic Palm can be useful for getting a Kaps subtlety if you're letting the dirty hand rest by your side. Either one of these can be feasible concealments -- it's the effect that's going to determine which one you'll want to use. But the best technique in the world isn't going to help you if the misdirection is too heavy.

I am talking about objects, sleights and misdirection in general regarding sleights. I will work on it though thanks.


Quote:
On 2010-11-04 13:56, funsway wrote:
"misdirection" is too broad a concept to deal with all of your examples. Study the difference between "Inference," "Implication," "Patterns of Performance" and "Directed Focus."

Sometimes other words are used in books and DVD's for these concepts, but you have to consider what is going on in the spectator's mind at that moment rather than trying to change their thinking to something else.

So -- same as what Andrew said, but different words.

Good suggestions I shall look those up. I am keeping in mind what the spectator is thinking though. I guess I put it so complex it is hard to understand exactly what I am saying. I tried to make it simpler but couldn't.

Posted: Nov 4, 2010 3:44pm
P.S. I am slowly learning. Occasionally I vanish a coin or ball without palming it or anything. Holding it at the tips of my fingers the whole time still fooling them. This does not get everyone though.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2010-11-03 23:35, J.G. the magnificent wrote:
A lot of magicians struggle with their basic retention vanishes and false transfers. Many people will say ...

For some reason you have to get the thing you have in your hand into your other hand so you can do something. The rest is context for the audience and technique that goes unnoticed (we hope).
...to all the coins I've dropped here
J.G. the magnificent
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I just thought I suppose a way to keep the audience from thinking of the other hand. Aside from what I have said would be to have an excuse for switching the hand the object is held with. Like holding something, putting and item away or retreiving another item. All of which would require the use of the other hand. For instance reaching over to grab a silk draped over an extended forearm.
Jeremy Gates
Jonathan Townsend
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An excuse that who is supposed to believe?
It's not about excuses to act but instead reasons to act toward goals the audience can understand and perhaps even anticipate.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dick Christian
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Pardon me for saying so, but with the possible exception of funsway's post, the fact that the entire thrust of this discussion so far has been limited to which hand the spectator's attention follows in certain effects betrays a terribly superficial understanding of misdirection -- one that comes close to confusing misdirection with distraction -- and that barely scratches the surface of a far more sophisticated and complex topic.
Dick Christian
Jonathan Townsend
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How do you think it would be more productive to discuss the topic Dick?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
panlives
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Quote:
On 2010-11-05 18:11, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
How do you think it would be more productive to discuss the topic Dick?


...and the gauntlet has been thrown down...
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2010-11-05 18:11, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
How do you think it would be more productive to discuss the topic Dick?


How about by at least recognizing that there are many other forms of misdirection: e.g., by separation in time, distance, verbal, psychological, etc. The visual component (as in retention/vanish) is but one of many and to limit the discussion to that alone reflects, at best, a superficial understanding of the concept.
Dick Christian
Jonathan Townsend
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Misdirection - a term used like invisible paint - and then lots of typing to rationalized the poor use of language. meh. There are already fine words to use where folks type "misdirection" - including cover and distraction - and for the learned - foreground shift and from the theater "thowing focus" - all pertaining to attention. What is it that so restricts their attention that they will not notice other things happening? Such can be internal mental activity (trying to recall or describe a thing or puzzle out what you mean by a statement) or gross external attention direction by way of surprise or as mentioned by some - larger gross action to trigger a shift in priorities (from gross threatening gestures to the appearance of appealing assistants).

Start with the simple question "What do you want them to be watching and thinking about?" and go from there. Or stay misdirected and typing away as if Mavis Beacon or Erdnase would care. Up to you.

Or or perhaps you cold sit with the performance art reenactment of the flying saucer landing from Forbidden Planet done as a coin placement into your hand and hope the audience gets the reference and it triggers that internal (transderivational search) TDS and they are primed for a Robby the Robot reference a few moments later.

Or as Dug says, Squirrel!
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Lawrence O
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It reminds me that I had posted this some time ago

"If a false transfer is done out of context it will draw attention to the depositing hand where the coin remained.

Thus I'll try and explain what makes a "larger movement covering the smaller one" IN CONTEXT so that misconceptions will become harder to develop. Thus please let your experience complete, fine tune or temper the following:

A proper sleight
If we could vanish something, we wouldn't need to place it in the other hand for that: you would simply vanish it from whatever hand it is into (actually Geoff Latta and Garrett Thomas developed credible one hand coin vanishes)

Thus it is imperative, on a psychological basis, to have a reason for allegedly placing the sponge, the coin, the ball or whatever in the other hand. THEN we can perform a one hand vanish from that other hand (or wherever it is supposed to be). That's an essential principle with no possible derogation in deceptiveness.

Now how can we do this perfectly deceptively?

Let's suppose that one holds a capped pen in his right hand and wants to take out a deck of card which is in his right pants pocket. He would have to pass the pen in his left hand for his right TO BE ABLE TO get into the right pants pocket and get the deck.
One question at this stage: how can we believe that any observer would, as the deck comes out, have noticed if the cap of the pen was passed pointing inwards or pointing outwards in the performer’s left hand? They wouldn't because this passing is a secondary gesture to a main action: Arturo Ascanio used to call such small transfers In Transit Actions and Tony Slydini used to explain that "the larger move covers the smaller one".

Now in what we call a vanish there are several phases:

1) Establishing what the prop is
“People cannot know that an orange changed into an apple if they didn't notice that it was an orange in the first place.”
Similarly they cannot follow the position of a sponge if it was not initially established. We need a stage where we EMOTIONALLY relate the prop to the audience and therefore the trick to them. We are not expressing that “this is a sponge ball" taking them into your world, we are relating our world to theirs. This can only be done emotionally: it's a "clown nose", or a "make up" sponge or a "safe toy for children not to get hurt”... We bring our prop into something referenced in their world. This is the only way to embark an audience in a magic trick: the ship has to come to the shore for them to embark; if we show them the ship from far, they will not be able to embark, they will watch us but no magic will be involved just a demonstration of skill and jugglery.
If the prop is already established emotionally and we are in a further stage of a trick, its position must be established. “How could they know that the coin flew from the left hand to the right if they didn’t realize that it was in the left hand initially. Thus whatever stage we are in a trick, a sleight has to start with an initially established condition (basically perception of the prop’s nature and spatial position.)

2A) Glance at the destination of a "main action" that you create
For years, picking up the wand was the basic misdirection. This, more than a natural hand position, covered secret moves; However, it had to be announced. Tommy Wonder in his Sacramento (California) lecture performed and taught that Intent + Emotion + Conflict + Skill = Pure Magical Impact. Nowadays, it's more like tugging a sleeve, checking another sponge on the table or in a spectator's hand... The need for the intent however keeps its full power. At this stage we only glance at the destination of a coming larger movement (which in fact has no more real role than the wand but needs to be justified when it is materialized).
Let’s take the sleeve tugging for our example. After having introduced the sponge emotionally and strongly implied its spatial position, we need to announce the next intent: tugging the sleeve to cancel out any possible trickery in that direction.

2B) Pass the sponge in the other hand TO BE ABLE TO do the move that your glancing announced
This is what most young magicians call a "vanish" when it is not, but it cannot be a move where the mid stops at. We are simply passing a ball or a coin in the other hand for the right hand to be able to do something else (tugging the sleeve). To do this with the sponge on your extended right fingers, just put your thumb on it, rotate your hand palm down, and as the tips of your right fingers touch the curled left fingers (at left curled first finger level), retract your right hand slightly curling the fingers in relaxed position as the left fingers loosely close (I will come back on this at the end of this explanation). Remember, you are not doing a move, just seemingly passing something to the other hand TO BE ABLE TO do the move that your glancing announced. The “burn” in a Retention of Vision Vanish, that impresses so much the magic beginners, puts the sleight off mark if it requires getting noticed. It should be there but not be stopped at.

2C) Do the main action
We'll say here, to use another example than discarding sleeving, that we are taking out of our pocket a salt shaker with glitter in it (Fred Kaps’ feint). The right hand, which has been allegedly freed by the transfer in the left hand, then goes into the right pocket, ditches the ball, takes out the saltshaker and shows it explaining what it is: this is a main action, remember. The MAIN action, rather than the larger move (even if it refers to the same context) screens the smaller move. Thus this one has to be acknowledged. This main action is essential for it creates a step in the mental sequence followed by the spectators' logic. Since they cannot rewind indefinitely, this move becomes the one preceding the vanish and therefore it obliterates the previous movements. Since, from the performer's point of view, it is the main reason for this main action to exist, it is called an "Obliteration parenthesis". When people will rewind the trick in their head afterwards and will get there, it will be classified as initial patter and blah blah, thus stopping the rewinding process to the action coming next. It obliterates what happened before that action.

3) Establishing a pretended initial position
Just raise the left hand in a position that expresses that the ball is in there and freeze briefly. You are not making a big demonstration here. The facts have been established at Phase 1 and you are just reminding them something they know. In reality you are establishing casually where the trick actually begins for the audience. Everything before was a sort of introduction or preface. As far as the audience this is the initial moment where the trick actually begins. This is where they will rewind to when they reconsider the effect afterwards

4) Cause the magic marking the magical moment
This is a key element that virtually every your magician skips and which marks the difference between the masters and the beginners. You have here in the Café entire threads about how to do this with comments by seasoned pros like Whit Haydn, Scott Guinn supplying advice on this... For the audience this is the second step immediately following the first one, the just preceding one.

5) Create a time digression
This is a very brief and subtle step. When you vanish something, it generally isn't a vanish, it is the disappearance from a place to reappear somewhere else or it is a change of nature (a red sponge becoming a yellow one means that the yellow vanishes and a red one appears). Let's take the example of a vanish in a transposition from hand to under a cup to describe this phase: You have initialed the trick in the eyes of the audience, you have caused the magic marking the magical moment; now, for this phase (to create suspense and announce the effect) somehow focus the attention on the destination. It could be a sprinkling of the slat shaker over the cup, it could be tabling the salt shaker to be able to tap on the cup with the right finger tips (flashing the hand empty along the way to cancel the post-effect rewinded alternative that the ball had remained in the other hand). If you are using a wand it could be simply placing it under your arm pit, if you tugged your sleeve, it could be showing that your cuffs are too tight for a ball to get in there... Just create a brief suspense under some other pretense

6) Reveal the effect
Again, don't be spectacular here, the magic is the hero, you are not. Should you try making yourself the hero of the vanish, you would be challenging the spectator, leading them to be willing to catch you. Conversely, if you make the magic the hero, their imagination will concur in making the miracle. Two rules exist to that effect: don't look at the revelation, look at them during the revelation; and make a face that seems not to understand how this is done. Forget the idea that you "fool" them you can cross out this word from your vocabulary if you want to become a good magician. You are sharing your marveling in front of a miracle that you can do without knowing how it can happen. Challenge kills the magic: Dai Vernon wrote it, Robert-Houdin wrote it, Fred Kaps wrote it...

7) Focus their eyes to the future
Use a gesture or words to turn their minds to the future implications of what they have just seen, to prevent rewinding to the immediate past. For example in a C&Bs routine, the vanish is generally done to let the ball arrive somewhere else start pointing with your body (chest movement, shoulder pointing, wand pointing, open hand pointing...) at the future of the vanished ball.

So now you have a vanish that works and no misconception about the larger move covering the smaller one:
1 establish emotionally the prop
2 Obliteration parenthesis (glance/false transfer/main action)
3 establishing the time for the starting point of the trick
4 cause the vanish
5 create time misdirection/suspense
6 reveal the effect
7 turn their eyes to the future implications

All of these steps are very brief as you realize but the whole doesn't have to be. Take your time and design your vanish with misdirection, showmanship and entertainment rhythm in mind... more than technical consideration.

Tommy Wonder performed and taught that: Intent + Emotion + Conflict + Skill = Pure Magical Impact"
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Brad Burt
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When talking about a Retention Pass I would say the 'misdirection' as it's generally understood in the craft doesn't even come to play. Misdirection assumes a 'directing away from some other focus or foci to something else.' But, when I do a Retention Pass I WANT the audience to watch as I 'supposedly' place the coin into my other hand. It's in fact the exact opposite of misdirection. This is often lost in all the discussion of misdirection. It's a tool that is used at times and for purposes that are specific to presentational needs.

Sometimes we want folks to look elsewhere or "think elsewhere" in many cases. But, there are times that the EFFECT we are attempting to produce is subsumed in the Mechanical Technique that we have practiced. To say that the technique, for instance, of producing a Color Change by doing a perfect Riffle Pass, is somehow using misdirection dilutes any understanding of what Misdirection really is about.

If one argues that the misdirection in a Riffle Pass is inherent in the technique then we are caught in a kind of tautological morass and lose any hope of ever learning what in fact "misdirection" is and how to use it as a tool among all the other tools at our disposal.

Regards,
Brad Burt
Lawrence O
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Hello Brad,

I fully agree with your statement on the ROV false transfer. The same could be said about letting a ball on the thumb crotch of the closed fist sink into that fist. We want them to see that it REALLY gets in there.

Now considering Al Baker's "don't run when no one is chasing you", wouldn't you think that it shouldn't be used as a first false transfer (too much hammering is not really entertaining). Just like opening the left hand comes after the Spider Grip vanish, shouldn't we first use another false transfer before resorting to such "confirmation" sleights later on in the routine?
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crochow
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Some very excellent replies! One is 'missing' I think....Laughter. If you have a spectator laughing/giggling, you can steal an elephant! Smile
Magically,

Chris Rochow
J.G. the magnificent
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 20:49, Brad Burt wrote:
When talking about a Retention Pass I would say the 'misdirection' as it's generally understood in the craft doesn't even come to play. Misdirection assumes a 'directing away from some other focus or foci to something else.' But, when I do a Retention Pass I WANT the audience to watch as I 'supposedly' place the coin into my other hand. It's in fact the exact opposite of misdirection. This is often lost in all the discussion of misdirection. It's a tool that is used at times and for purposes that are specific to presentational needs.

Sometimes we want folks to look elsewhere or "think elsewhere" in many cases. But, there are times that the EFFECT we are attempting to produce is subsumed in the Mechanical Technique that we have practiced. To say that the technique, for instance, of producing a Color Change by doing a perfect Riffle Pass, is somehow using misdirection dilutes any understanding of what Misdirection really is about.

If one argues that the misdirection in a Riffle Pass is inherent in the technique then we are caught in a kind of tautological morass and lose any hope of ever learning what in fact "misdirection" is and how to use it as a tool among all the other tools at our disposal.

Regards,


I am talking about directing their attention towards the hand containing the object.
Jeremy Gates
Jonathan Townsend
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I guess that's a little better than using the term in place of "invisible paint" where you say "i hid the load/steal/switch" with misdirection.

So, why should they be so focused on the hand that supposedly contains the object? Are they expecting you to drop it? That it might explode like a grenade? That it's so tiny or fragile that it might break or slip through your fingers?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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As magicians, magic is suppost to be natural for us, not something weird or forced. So, why should not every move and sleight be natural. Fortunately, we can train the audience in what is natural for us and the setting and character.

Thus, it isn't the Retention Vanish that is important, it is the previous time in which you actually transfered the coin that looks exactly the same that creates anticipation and therefore suprise when a different result is revealed.
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