Complaints And Suggestions

When complaints are referred to this does not mean Measles. The term is used reminiscent of the orderly officer's "Any Complaints"?

My first complaint is that too many would-be performers watch a conjurer performing a "Pocket Trick" and thinking they have the idea, endeavour to duplicate the performance the next day, only to find that they are in a hopeless mess and in danger of exposing the secret. It would be far better to take the performer aside and ask to have his permission to perform the effect, then ask to have the moves explained that is, if the performer is agreeab'e. This would partially ensure that the duplicated presentation would be as good if nor better than the original demonstration. Another important point to observe when performing "Pocket Tricks" is the care of the hands. Nothing is worse than to witness a close-up effect and see a delicate move executed with a hand which is begrimed, the nails of which are in deep mourning. Piease don't think that because I say this that I imagine that a man who has dirty manual work to do cannot be as good a manipulator as an office clerk. In some cases I have noticed it is the clerk who forgets to clean his nails before attempting to perform hand effects. What would we think of a doctor or chemist or anyone engaged in the performance of delicate work in which his hands played an important part, if he appeared with dirty hands and nails. An illustration of how this particular fault would be magnified on the Television was given in a lecture I heard on "Television in relation to Magic".

Another complaint 1 should like to make is that magicians will on occasion perform their close-up effects with some of their audience in a position where they can or may be able to get a glimpse of how the effect is produced. Tricks such as cigarette manipulation, torn and restored paper, and other effects where a background is useful, should not be performed with an audience at the side or behind the performer. This is constantly done and in my opinion is in the nature of an unconscious exposure. Surroundings should, therefore, be taken into consideration before the performance and if there is danger of exposing ¡the secret of an effect the best plan is to cut it out. The old excuse that the spectator cannot watch two places at once may be true, but a repetition of a move gives him the opportunity to watch the cause and effect if he has a side view.

I would like to make one final suggestion which is by no means original with me, but will always bear repeating. Never perform in public, an effect of which you are not confident in private . The only way to follow out this piece of advice is to PRACTICE— PRACTICE—PRACTICE.

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