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J-L Sparrow
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Actually, there was one person who had noticed my thumb tip (one who had never used a thumb tip before).

I was in school at the time, and I had just bought a thumb tip and was eager to show it off. Unfortunately, I didn't have a silk handkerchief with me, so I vanished small piece of paper in front of a fellow student. He didn't say anything nor show any expression of surprise, so I was starting to think that he knew of the thumb tip, and that the "secret" was quite obvious.

Since we were on the subject of magic tricks, he began to tell me about a guy he knew who was so good at sleight of hand that he could hide an entire handkerchief by balling it up and concealing it between his thumb and index finger. To clarify, he pointed at my hand, right at the space between my thumb and index finger, and went to touch it. Just as his finger was about to touch my hand (his finger was less than an inch from my thumb tip), he pulled back in surprise, pointed to my thumb, and exclaimed, "What the heck is that?!?"

That's when I realized that he didn't notice the thumb tip during the trick after all. He was looking at a spot on my hand literally less than one inch from the thumb tip, and it wasn't until he almost accidentally touched the thumb tip that he realized something wasn't right.

And even then he still didn't know what the thumb tip was. It's not like he recognized it as the means of doing my trick.

(As magicians who know the secret, we often think that once a spectator sees a gimmick (accidentally or otherwise) then that person automatically knows how the trick is done. But that's not true at all. Spectators can see a gimmick and have no idea how it's supposed to work. It's like when you see a special gizmo or doodad for the first time in your life without ever being told what it is -- you've never seen it before in any context, so how are you supposed to know how it works?)
J-L Sparrow
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On 2012-02-16 15:11, Ekuth wrote:
NEVER- EVER- Stop and acknowledge a spec's reveal of an effect, or gimmick.

I totally agree with Ekuth here, but unfortunately I learned this the hard way:

Once I was performing a particularly clever card trick for a very intelligent friend. I was a little nervous about it because this was the first time I was performing it in front of a spectator, having practiced it for a long time. After I finished the trick, he thought about it for a little while and said, "I think I know how it's done."

Somewhat let down and embarrassed that he figured out the trick, I started discussing the trick with him, starting to tell him the parts I thought I needed more practice on. It was not long before I realized (from what he said) that he had no idea how the trick was done.

Now I know that when a spectator looks like as if a light bulb has turned on and says "Oooohhh..." in a knowing manner, it doesn't necessarily mean they have figured out the secret. More often than not, they haven't. So I've learned to never reveal anything when the spectator claims to know how the trick is done.

(It's not that they're trying to deceive you when they say they know how the trick is done. It's just that they're probably wrong. And even if they are mostly right, they might be wrong about part of it.)
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When we practice a trick with a gimmick we are constantly looking at it in the mirror. and we all get the impression that the spectator is too.but their not a all.most of the time they are looking at what you want them to look at. if you performing it right.
Andy Gemini
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Thanks again guys. Many of my fears were, as mentioned above, it seems so obvious when practicing with it that it's there but obviously the audience do not.

Thanks Volto, I shall check those DVDs out.
John Long
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One person that I performed for, knew of TTs, and after I did a bill change, he asked me if I used a fake thumb. I bite my thumb, and said, nope, its real. (btw: I had performed a tipless bill change)

Eric the Excellent
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I was performing at a fashion show this weekend, so, of course, there were lots of people around. Stage techs, makeup artists, and the like. Obviously, one of the stage hands had missed my "do not touch the wizard's equipment or he will make your spleen disappear" speech, because I was just about to go on stage and I caught him with one of my thumb-tips, trying to cram it over the folded second knuckle of his index finger.

So, he knew that I had "fake fingers" in my gear, but had no idea then, or even after the show, what they were actually for.
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