Shifting Location of Revelation

When Slvdini did his revolve coin vanish, he would bcgin . palm-up hand at thc table edge. He would revolve the hand pa|*'J ^ lapping rhe coin and closing his hand into a fist. In a continuing act ^ would move his fist to thc center of the table and nuke the coin J^ the tabletop. The method happened at the table edge, but the revclaZ* the effect happened at table center.

If, instead, Slydini had caused the penetration of the coin to ha near the table edge, he would have fooled few people no matter how ? fcctly he executed the move. Most magicians, I think, can immediately, thc validity of that claim. "They may even think it so obvious as not to £ worth commenting on. What many don't appreciate is that the underlyin principle—doing the move one place but revealing the results elsewhere-! can strengthen countless other effects.

As with the earlier concept of delayed revelation, this is an area where design meets presentation. Consider two different ways of transforming a card using a double turnover. In the first case, you turn over the double to reveal a king. You turn the double face down. You now take the top card into your other hand. Holding it right next to the deck, you snap the corner of the card. Still holding it within an inch or two of the deck, you mm it over to reveal that it has changed to an ace.

In the second case, you turn over the double to reveal a king. You turn thc double face down. You take the top card in your other hand. You rub it against the tabletop. You then turn it over to reveal that it has changed to an ace.

On the surface, the two sequences seem identical. In the first case, however, the effect occurs two or three inches from the deck. In the second case, it occurs two or three feet from the deck. The reason this matters is that the method (a double turnover) occurs on the deck. The more distance you put between effect and method, the more you stretch and attenuate the causal thread linking the two. Therefore, the harder it becomcs for the spectator to trace that thread back to its source.

If you mistakenly believe that the average layperson painstakingly tries to reconstruct effects step by step the way the average magician does, you'll diink that I'm making a great deal out of nothing. If you appreciate the instinctive, intuitive manner in which laypeople pick up clues to causality, you'll appreciate how much more deceptive the second approach is.

«bling act, when discussing bottom dealing, I show how I In P ur CI1S to the bottom despite a spectator cutting the deck, ^„control 0 ^ f0||ows. I openly insert the queens into different parts of Then,l,h /multiple-shift them to the top. 1 then overhand shuffle them ,he 'licti ll" Nest I gamblers' cop the queens and hold them out at the to il'c J011^! 0ffer the deck to be cut. In squaring up the deck after the table e(he copped cards. I then lean forward on my elbows and turn cut1 rifT^e ,,p to reveal the queens on the bottom, thedf-; acdons have to be performed perfectly if the audience is ° ved- Experience has convinced me, however, that the most im-

bc decelV '. , ¡n_ f0nvard on my elbows. This is what puts distance .. irrion IS leauu 5 . , . . , , , . , portantat' ^ ^ effect. The essential element in the method is the between nlctlholjout takes piace at the edge of the table. By lean-

_„blers cop jng forwar

J as I turn the deck face up, the effect registers at the center of

During the holdout, no one knows what the effect will be, so ^ " ^isn't very important. It's the revelation that's memorable, and that drtWsThe audience away from where the dirty work happened.

One reason magicians don't use this simple but powerful idea more often is the naniral tendency to focus on method rather than effect. We're so relieved to have gotten away with the secret move that we can't be bothered to think of a little detail such as where to reveal the effect.

Yet you probably already make instinctive use of this concept in some tricks. If you perform Glass through Table, you probably move the covered form away from thc table edge before performing the vanish. If you do a chop cup routine, you probably move the cup to the center of the table before revealing the load. I'm willing to bet, however, that if you go through your repertoire, you'll find more opportunities to effectively move thc location of the revelation away from the location of the method. This is the value of raising awareness of craft from the instinctive to the conscious. It allows you to apply techniques systematically rather than haphazardly.

Whether you're switching, ditching, or stealing a load, there are many cases where, after you've done the dirty work, you have a chance to flee the scene of the crime. You can move the closed hand, the facedown card, or ®e draped handkerchief pretty well anywhere you want before revealing 1 t the magical effect has occurred. You should virtually always seize any opportunity to do so.

88 I Chapter 5: Sparfail Dirautt

A special case of spatial separation involves ; , the magic occurs. In Strong Magic I described 8 so. Twisting,¡„Aces, which I titled Twisting,he Case U ™din8 for the original until you reach the point where y0u>„ 7 PrarJN. ace turn over, As in the original, you secretly revers, rh' 1° do an Elmsley count to show all four cards still 'acc «»J I

rhe packet in the card case and give it a 180-desrce , You,0 spill rhe packet out of the case and spread it,Zfin T'

Xhc ™ impossibil!ty ofa card turnin6 °ver

The Elmsley count provides the time displacement fin, that temporal d.stance to create spatial distance and isokrin happens in your hands, as is usually the case with sIeiBhr of h j ^happens in the box, apparently eliminating any^osS^

Most experienced magicians know rhe power of marie ha„„ ■ the spectator's hands. However, some effects of this kind f "

others. A key factor is how convincing i, is thatth „ " ""I*" pened while the object was m thc most things ,n magic, this can only be established by a procl ofl


•he Prop „ 2 " -Ihfini™' C°nditi™ haS Thenplacc d Ma, ^ *A ^ her hjd to l=velTtC,!fTso,rnIVWiU 0fen aM™ >™ <° ^ » » ** "» ™.t,„nEd myeff'r«11;;; hrto look for »d° -1 -

hideout to delay the ,'g>" wl,ich uses the ribbonspread of years after 1 publXd T °f 3 C"d 5ilntlwich- Ir wasn'r umil a ™flc spectator's-hands effect " ' rcdilcd tl)" 1 coul<1 make « an itl-thf-

in Ac ^dlLITmtgly ^rspread the Jeck rhe red jacks bet up gather up rhe spread bv I "" " bctw«n-1 now have the spectatol y S on= hand on either side. I instruct her to ring up the deck as it lies on the table. Finally, \ K„e her pick it S"''1' Tld it bet"«" her hands. I perform a magic gesture and have ,he able 'he deck. In the fairest possible manner, 1 ribbonspread the ftt'a',ycan have the spectator do this part also if you prefer.) Between <*>»■ ¡ ficcdown card that proves to be the spectator's selection. (Sec ,lie j"® Lf Garbage in Scams & Fantasies for in effect where 1 use a ver-jl!í Tu. ribbonspread hideout to cause a Triumph-type cffect to happen !i°" wator's hands.) tlie V time displacement is good. Having the magic happen in the ^aI1ds, in the card box, or in some other isolated location is even SpCC" Altays look for ways to parlay the former into the latter. A critical | that occurs in isolation is the best proof you can give the audience '¡¡"That they're witnessing goes "beyond sleight of hand."

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