about the effect i.e. whether it was sleight of hand, previous preparation etc. Should you be performing in a close-up situation there is always the danger of such a spectator voicing his suspicions. He may not say a word, or know precisely the methods used, but if he is conscious that at some particular instant the performer did 'something', or he suspected that the effect achieved ^as dependent on some piece of apparatus, the magic will have gone out of the trick. When the climax arrives such spectators will be reflecting on their suspicions and trying to relate them to possible solutions, and in consequence will be less appreciative of the performer's efforts.
The only possible way to avoid this situation is by using misdirection in one of its many forms. Misdirection is a very complex subject and requires more space and time than is available at the moment — maybe we can pursue it later in depth.
There will probably be readers who will argue that there are experts among our fraternity who can perform certain sleights so perfectly that they are indetectable under the closest scrutiny — so what is the advantage to be gained by using misdirection. This argument requires at least two separate answers.
First — regardless of a performer's technical expertise there are occasions, due to many factors, when his sleight is less than perfect. When this happens it is a matter of no concern to the performer who has built in misdirection to cover the sleight enabling him to carry on regardless. The performer who has made no such provision is in trouble. The second answer is a question. If the readers claim that the sleight they were watching was indetectable how can they be sure that it was actually being performed? Let us assume they were watching an exhibition of second dealing in which the performer showed the top card and proceeded as follows. The first few cards were dealt slowly, as he explained that the illusion depended upon the cards being dealt fairly rapidly and then speeded up the deal for the next few cards. When he finally stopped dealing showed the same card still on top of the pack. It would be a prediction simple matter for the 'expert' to have a duplicate card with an identifying mark on the back some way down from the top of the pack, and after dealing fair seconds slowly, proceed to deal from the top at speed until he reached the marked duplicate. Perhaps you think that experts are above such ruses. Believe me, they will stoop to anything to fool their fellow magicians.
One last word. It is because JOHN RAMSAY was the supreme master of misdirection that we are remembering him at this time. That's all.
Was this article helpful?
Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.