This chapter was chosen as the opener for Part Two of this book because of its practical application of the previous discussions.
It would be unreasonable to suggest that a newcomer to magic wouldn't first be attracted to its secrets and, once a new trick were learned, to want to run out and show his friends. We probably all started that way and we all got caught somewhere along the road to learning. If we were to examine all the problems and questions that magicians ask, the one that would probably be the first on the list would be, "How do I not get caught?" Let's examine this topic in detail.
All magic starts at point A, where everything is normal, and arrives at point B, where something impossible has taken place. Somewhere in between, the magician has taken a detour which the audience in unaware of. As long as the audience thinks the magician has traveled as the birds fly, he is alright, but the moment the audience learns about that side trip, the jig is up. The magician is exposed and there is no mystery.
It should go without saying that to compose and perform an effective mystery, the basic magic fundamentals of that routine must be sound. Again, The Tarbell Course in Magic is filled with such fundamentals. Principles such as angles, misdirection, subterfuges and others are all there and are proven from experience. It should also be apparent that the magician must practice his routine time and time again until it is perfect. There can be no hesitations or sudden moves to attract the audience's attention or suspicion. But there still remains a factor that is little understood and is a constant cause of concern. How can one magician do a routine and be completely successful while another gets caught? What is the magic formula that will make it always work?
The answer is simple. No matter how perfectly the magician performs, he still projects an attitude. This attitude operates on a level that is akin to telepathic communication. It is almost impossible to see or measure, but it is there in force. If the magician is worried or concerned about getting caught, the audience just knows it. The word trick might as well be written across his forehead. He projects his deceit and gets caught every time.
So now we are beginning to nail down the cause of the problem. If the magician feels as though he is deceiving his audience and is afraid of being caught doing something unethical, he projects it. That inborn part of humanity that C. S. Lewis calls the natural law is at work. He feels guilty. If, however, the magician has his aim set to creating an artistic event of true wonder, something good and desirable, he simply won't have those feelings. If the magician wants only to create a mystery that will bring happiness, fun and excitement to his audience, he is doing something honorable and has nothing to hide. Because his heart is in the right place, he will not project deceit and he will never be caught. His magical routines will flow smoothly and his audiences will be thrilled and entertained.
You may think this logic is quite a jump, but the theory can be proven by your own experience. In your repertoire, you must assuredly have one effect that is your best. That effect always works and always gets a stunned reaction. When you perform it, you look towards the end when the card is turned over, the coin vanishes or the spectator's ring is produced. You anticipate the stunned reaction of your audience and can't wait to see their faces light up. You are so sure your routine will work and so sure of the positive reaction it will get that you never worry while performing and never give a second thought about the actual method. Why? When you do that routine, do you feel dishonorable? I suspect not. I suspect that you know what you are trying to achieve is a good thing and you can feel proud of yourself for having done it.
Please examine all of your magic in the above light. Please read Part One of this book again if you have any doubts. We are in the business of creating extraordinary events that will be remembered for years.
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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.