There you have it, the principles that have long guided me in creating, choosing, and routining material for my professional work. Admittedly, it's only over time that these ideas have crystallized into their present form. But the clearer and more systematic they became, the more useful they became. That is, after all, what craft is all about. It is the process of raising instinctive knowledge and the lessons of experience to a conscious level so that they can be applied more efficiently and systematically.

Over the years, many magicians have had kind things to say about the effects that I have published. The proof of any theory is whether it works in practice. The material in Darwin Ortiz at the Card Table, Cards hark, and Scams & Fantasies with Cards is a good indicator of how well these principles have worked for me.

You can determine if they work for you by seeing whether they help you understand issues of audience reaction that may have puzzled you in the past. If so, the next step is to apply them to help you choose stronger effects to perform and strengthen effects you may already be performing. This means internalizing these conccprs in your thinking.

What I've attempted to do in the preceding pages is, in fact, to propose new ways of thinking about magic and offer new tools for understanding how magic works, why it sometimes doesn't, and how to make-it work better. These are, of course, tools for thinking, not a substitute lor thinking. You won't be able to apply them mechanically. Their use will demand thought, effort, and creativity on your parr. But the rewards can he enormous. , ,. „, f ,

I realize that not every magician aims to give h.s aud.ence the feeling of being overwhelmed by something incomprehensible. I do, how,™ believe chaf the most memorable experience that we as ^f^^Z

people is the feeling of seeing something that « not merely amusing but people is the reeling o 5 ^ ^ something ,|,at amazing, not merely * ^ < licabIt, „„«thing extraordinary. If hey ca„ t apla.n bu o^ J of thinking and the set of tools in settle for less?

1 Chapter 10: Manipulating Mcmi

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