The Advantage Of Movement

In my experience, the trick in question is not much use to puzzle a conjurer who happens to visit you in your home. A certain amount of movement is necessary to cover up the secret manipulation, and this brings up a point of considerable importance in magic, namely, the advantage of movement. The following story will illustrate my meaning.

Some years ago, a well-known magician gave a private demonstration of one of his pet tricks to a few of his confrères. I thought it was TERRIBLE ! In fact, I was surprised that a performer of his reputation dared to show such a clumsy trick, especially to a company composed of experts. The (alleged) secret manoeuvre was palpable to us all. However, on several occasions since then, I have seen him perform the same routine, in exactly the same way, but on the stage, and the effect was outstanding. Without troubling to use strong misdirection, he calmly executes the secret "move" as he walks slowly across the platform from one volunteer assistant to another. Even I myself—who knew what to look for and when to look for it— cannot detect any suspicious movement of his hands. It is one of the best items in his splendid act. Think it over.

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