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MorrisCH
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I encountered misdirection from the book 5 points of Magic
and was fascinating by his crossing the gaze technique but never understood this concept

The first time I saw this idea in live was Gene Matsuura's talk in EMC 2010
and over the years, I have apply it to only Vanish with small object
now I've seen Tom stone's penguin lecture, I literurly apply to almost every trick I do now (coin card works)

glad we are in the same club, for more information on misdirection with Gaze, Tom stone also wrote a Ebook call Scribble 2009
there are more stuff in it.
1KJ
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Misdirection is such an interesting topic! There is a lot of scientific study that has gone into how, what, and why misdirection works. For example, if you subscribe to Reelmagic magazine, in episode 34, Apollo Robbins talks about misdirection based on scientific study. Here is an example:

If you take your hand straight away to show a coin and move your other hand toward your body, the spectator eye will revert back to the hand going toward the body. However, if you make a turning motion as your hand goes to show the coin and your other hand goes to your body, say to a pocket, the spectator eye will stay on the hand showing the coin.

The theory, which was proven through testing, is contrary to what many magicians have said for decades. The proof shows that people will follow a slightly un-natural move, like an unusual way of showing a coin, more than a natural move.

If you watch good and bad cups and balls routines, you will see the different ways the hands are moved to provide good or bad misdirection.

kj
Dick Oslund
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Oli! CONGRATULATIONS!

You certainly have "stirred up" this topic! --and, you've succeeded in motivating some experienced, and some relatively new, magicians, to get involved and contribute their thinking!

I believe that THREADS LIKE THIS are the kind of help that most young--and old, beginners, really NEED. Too many start out by trying to "buy" "tricks", thinking that tricks are "it".

I make it a point to quote S. H. SHARPE to newbies, as he said it so much better than I: "...Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

It's the performer, and his presentation (misdirection is a part of THAT) which makes magic happen in the mind of the spectator! The prop is only a physical vehicle! which is used in performing the trick. (I have the entire audiece in my high school program perform an illusion! --and there AINT NO PROP!) Their minds are "misdirected" by their senses. Result: ILLUSION!!! --and, ENTERTAINMENT!

I thought that I knew a lot about misdirection. (Well, I HAD seen Harry Blackstone vanish the ducks in his "Duck Inn", and I even KNEW Nick Ruggiero, who was one of the "corps" of assistants, over the years, that provided the misdirection which made those ducks disappear.)

I had been performing for many years. Then, Gene Anderson showed me the Juan Tamariz "crossing the gaze". WOW!

I probably will never get to see Tom Stone's lecture, but, from what the guys have said in this thread, it should be "required reading" for anyone who wants to be a magician.

Thanks again, Oli for your OP! --Fitzkee would be most pleased!

I hope that it becomes a mile long thread.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Magic Oli
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Yes Dick, you're absolutely right , crossing the gaze is a real gem of misdirection. I hope more people start thinking about how they perform, you see way too many people on youtube performing a magic trick in that stereotypical monotone bored teenage voice and just showing the trick. Magic is supposed to bring the life in you out and make you more social via performing and interacting with people, I fear that these other young guys and girls will turn magic into something boring and not entertaining :/
Dick Oslund
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Hi Oli!

If I do it too much, I may become cross eyed! HEE HEE (CROSSING THE GAZE) Actually, many of those bored teenagers are not PERFORMING. --They are DEMONSTRATING!

Too many "magicians" simply do not understand that MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY ENTERTAINIING. The magician's "task" is to make it entertaining by his PRESENTATION..
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Magic Oli
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I think too many people become lost in the world of amazing and difficult moves and become move monkeys and end up making their magic about the skill they posses and not the magic that is created. I think audiences only respond to the "hey look at all my skill" style of performing for a few minutes before they feel like they are being belittled and fin it unentertaining.
Dick Oslund
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Oli! If you will change "magic" to "effect", that is created, (above) I'll agree.

Yes! those "magicians" who insist on doing a "watch me do this clever stuff, are, as many old pro's would say: masturbating on stage.

Those who interact, and involve the spectator as they perform will continue to have "work" in the future.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
drmagico
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Some observations from someone who has been doing this for over 30 yrs. I do not think about "misdirection". Think of it as "directing". By engaging the audience with your personality mixed with a great presentation you will find that the audience will naturally follow you where you want them to go.
silvercup
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I'll just put this here:
The Secret Art of Magic by Eric Evans and Nowlin Craver
KenRyan
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Great thread! My new hero is Tom Stone:). I am so new to magic that ... well, I don't really have a joke for it, other than to say I'm on (according to the pdf) page 37 of 1,313:-P. But I started Tarbell a few days ago and wanted to offer this quote from Chapter 2 that is immediately relevant to this tread: "And "Right here, let me give you a big point in Magic that you must never forget. SHOW YOUR HANDS EMPTY AT VARIOUS TIMES BUT DO NOT CALL ATTENTION TO THE FACT. MAKE IT A NATURAL MOVEMENT. The audience can see for themselves that nothing is concealed in hand. DO NOT SAY IN WORDS, "MY HANDS ARE EMPTY." The suggestion of showing the hands is enough. An ounce of DEMONSTRATION is worth a pound of talk."

The signs are everywhere:).

Ken
TStone
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Quote:
On Nov 4, 2014, Dick Oslund wrote:
Dariel Fitzkee wrote a whole book ("Magic By Misdirection") pub: 1945. Like Maskelynne and Devant's "Our Magic", the "theory" can be a bit dry, but the real stuff is there IMHO.


Interesting.
I read Magic by Misdirection, cover to cover, at least 6-8 times when I was in my early 20's.
But besides the "ring in ball of yarn" idea (which reads well, but looks terrible compared with the standard method), I've never found anything useful in it. I've also never seen any reference to anything specific in that book - the way we, for example, refer to page 26, page 40 et cetera in Books of Wonder 1.

So I am curious, Dick; what does the "real stuff" in "Magic By Misdirection" consist of?
On which page can one find a misdirection technique that can be used in, let's say, a cups and ball routine?
Magic Oli
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Tarbell is absolutely right, too many people over emphasise which draws unnecessary attention. It's like when coin workers do a ramsey subtlety they don't draw attention to the hand and say "look at my hands they are empty", they point to something or move an object to give the audience the subliminal message that the hand is empty.

Also, OMG it's Tom Stone on my thread!!! Your penguin lecture changed my entire thought process when I perform and I now have a more natural means of misdirection that isn't as forced as it used to be, so thank you very much. You have become a true inspiration to me and hope one day I'll be able too entertain and perform with the elegance and skill you do.

My question to you magicians out there is "Why do magic books often leave out where the misdirection should be and why don't they teach the reader how to embed the misdirection into the performance so it's natural?" it seems like we'd have an easier time as beginners to develop good misdirection skills, which has probably been a great struggle for many novice magicians.

Oli
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, TStone wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 4, 2014, Dick Oslund wrote:
Dariel Fitzkee wrote a whole book ("Magic By Misdirection") pub: 1945. Like Maskelynne and Devant's "Our Magic", the "theory" can be a bit dry, but the real stuff is there IMHO.


Interesting.
I read Magic by Misdirection, cover to cover, at least 6-8 times when I was in my early 20's.
But besides the "ring in ball of yarn" idea (which reads well, but looks terrible compared with the standard method), I've never found anything useful in it. I've also never seen any reference to anything specific in that book - the way we, for example, refer to page 26, page 40 et cetera in Books of Wonder 1.

So I am curious, Dick; what does the "real stuff" in "Magic By Misdirection" consist of?
On which page can one find a misdirection technique that can be used in, let's say, a cups and ball routine?


Hello Tom (from another Swede (with a bit of Norwegian blood)!

A good teacher motivates his learners to be CURIOUS. Fitzkee motivated ME to be curious! --And, the more I read, and studied. (Yes, even Al Leech's little paper back!) the more curious, I became. I conferred with many successful performing magicians, and studied their techniques.

(I think I mentioned Harry Blackston Sr.'s "Duck Inn", which is quite definitely not a subtle example of misdirection! (It DID fool many old, experienced magicians.

I never met or saw Fitzkee. Dorny once told me (Dorny was on Fitzkee's show, briefly.) that Fitzkee was a good showman, but,not a very good businessman!

So, you are correct. I think the best thing that I "got" from "Magic By Misdirection" was that I had a lot more to learn! One of the things that I learned "along the way" is/was that one is never through learning. ("Commencement ceremonies when you graduate, mean "beginning", not, "end"!) I "picked up" a line along the way: "When you are through learning, you are through!" I am not planning to quit learning!

I'm retired from the road. I do a few shows, occasonally. I don't need to work, but I am still curious! --and, still learning!

It is not likely that I will ever hear your lecture, but, if you will scroll up to my post on "11-11 at 0832 AM, you will note that I said, based on what others had said, that your lecture should be "required reading". I meant that.

BTW! Other than an occasional very rudimentary demonstration of the cups & balls over a shop counter, I've never done the 'cs and bs'

I've enjoyed watching some of the top cups & balls performers, but, I've never performed them in a show. Maybe I should "turn in" my SAM and IBM cards!! Hee hee


Thanks for what you are doing to help magicians become better magicians!

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TStone
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Magic Oli wrote:
Also, OMG it's Tom Stone on my thread!!! Your penguin lecture changed my entire thought process when I perform and I now have a more natural means of misdirection that isn't as forced as it used to be, so thank you very much. You have become a true inspiration to me and hope one day I'll be able too entertain and perform with the elegance and skill you do.

Heh, thanks, but please don't have that as your goal because that will limit you and prevent you from surpassing me. Instead, look at the elegance and skill that is already inherent and present in your own work, and refine and destill that. That way, it will soon be you who get surprised over comments like "Omg it is Magic Oli on my thread!!!" Smile
Magic Oli
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Thanks for the advice Mr Stone haha
Karli
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Another book to recommend is: sleights of mind. Misdirection and other concepts used in magic explained by 2 neuroscientists. Awesome read
TStone
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Quote:
On Nov 18, 2014, Karli wrote:
Another book to recommend is: sleights of mind. Misdirection and other concepts used in magic explained by 2 neuroscientists. Awesome read

Just be aware that the authors doesn't really understand magic. And their grasp of science could be better as well.
So there are errors in the style of: It is raining because the pavement is wet.
The November 2011 issue of Genii magazine goes more into detail.
Terrible Wizard
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What are the best books on this topic (misdirection), Mr Stone?
TStone
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Wonder, Tamariz, Slydini, Ramsay, a small booklet by Gary Kurtz and my Genii articles from 2009 and 2011 (collected into ebooks at wargmagic.com ).
Magic Oli
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The magician's Mr Stone mentioned are masters of misdirection, just watch tommy wonder's cups and balls routine, one of my favourite routines
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