This principle plays one of the most important parts in Magic. You must know how much the audience can see when you are in front of them or when they surround you. By practicing before a large mirror, you will learn the various angles of visibility in relation to where you are standing in your performance.
You must study these angles so that you will be able to judge how your hands should be held to conceal things.
We will use "palming a coin" for illustration, as you will learn how to finger palm a coin in the first lesson. This is to teach you the Angles of Visibility, not how to palm a coin. I want you to learn the principle in this ease, not the move.
Hold your hand a few inches away from you at about the height of your waistline. Do not decide on a certain place you are going to hold your hand and then hold it there stiffly, but just let it take a natural position in front of you and that will be right.
Practice with both hands as you must become equally proficient with each.
Now comes the study of at what angle, in relation to where they are sitting or standing, your audience can see what you are doing.
Here are the three basic positions:
1--When your audience is directly in front of you:
Your hand concealing the coin must be held before you with the back of the hand toward your audience and your thumb up. Shake your hand from the wrist at your side until it is relaxed. Then hold it up before you in this position naturally. You will find that your fingers are slightly curved and are fairly close together. When your hand is in this position, the line of vision of the audience strikes the back of it.
2--When your audience is seated so that they can see down into your hand, as in the balcony; or when you have a small audience of two or three very close to you, so that they can look right down on your hand.
Shake your hand again to get it relaxed and take Position 1. Now tilt your hand from this position, thumb end toward you, so that you can see the back of your hand at an angle, with your little finger farthest away from you.
With this position of the hand, the line of vision of the audience looking down strikes the back of your hand.
3--When your audience is below you and you are on a raised platform, so that they can look up into your hand. Or, if they are seated at close range and you are standing so that they look right up under your hand.
Shake your hand again and take Position 1 naturally. Tilt your hand in the reverse direction from Position 2 --so that you can see the palm of your hand at a slant and your little finger is nearest to you. The line of vision upward of the audience will strike the back of your hand in this position.
Remember to practice with both hands, standing in different positions before the mirror. Relax your hands before taking each position so that you will hold them naturally.
When people are very near you, this Angle of Visibility is very important. You must study with the aid of your mirror the amount of slant your hands require in relation to the different places where these people are sitting or standing.
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