Ter Five Spatial Distance

(hap nn one of Tommy Wonders DVDs, he performs three versions of the led Watch to Nest of Boxes. If you want to do this effect, you're faced embarrassment of riches. Each version is so clever in conception J-Lnious ¡n detail that picking one could be a challenge. Trying to ^ipare and evaluate all the intricate aspects of their methods could easily i?erwhelm you. ... f

If, however, you appreciate the importance of proximity, the compari-becomes easier. "The first version, as clever as it is, requires the per-frmer to be near the box for what seems like an eternity. Through most ftlie long handling, the performer is close to the box and the spectator ° far from it- This is the opposite of the ideal. In the second version, the "¿former handles the box, but more briefly. In the third, he never touches [he box or even comes all that close to it. Wonder underscores this with his patter: "I haven't been near that box. I haven't touched it. And I'm not going to touch it."

C That's why the second version is stronger than the first and the third is stronger than the second. Not surprisingly, this is also the order in which Tommy Wonder created them. The third, no-contact version is the one he preferred. The development of Wonder's versions is an evolution toward distance.

In Totem and Taboo, Sigmund Freud observes that, in magic (the real kind), "distance plays no part." A magic spell will be just as effective no matter how far away the individual being targeted is. No doubt, the reason that he thought this worth commenting on is that it isn't true anywhere except in magic. And everyone knows that instinctively.

Remember David Roth's observation? "Once you open your left hand to show that the coin is gone, the spectators will look at the other hand." Wljy do they think the coin is in your other hand? Why don't they suspect that it's in your mouth or your ear? Because your left hand was never near your mouth or your ear. It was, however, near your other hand. When seeking causality, people always look nearby. To defeat this universal tenancy, we'll now consider how to build a spatial wall between method and effect.

1 Chapter 4: Temporal Distance rojinoning Mimmiv ntuiuu NI

Overcoming the rip-offof contiguity (physical contact) -challenge in constructing a deceptive magic effect. Each of d/5,tfle CCr'::;| in magic has a contiguity problem. In a transposition, the " need for contact between the objects thar will change places r is ^ cation, it's contact between the object thar will travel and th, "' eventually travel to (i.e., violating the no-conract conditio/d^ ''^ Strong Magic). In aproduction, it's contact with the point of tt,KlBKdi> a vanish, it's contact with the point of the ditch (e.g., the sleev* ° ''*''' the table edge). In a transformation, it's contact between the^' ^ ^ being secretly exchanged. (The card and the deck must touch dw" change. The copper coin and the silver coin must almost toucl -bound). 1 ln fytll-

In each case, contiguity can provide a clue ro the method unl take steps to camouflage It. This leads to a fundamental goal ^

feet design: separate effect and method in space. " " Stron8tf

The first Step is ro analyze rhe effect you're working on from two speenves. First, identify the belts of the method (what rhe key elem™

magic happens in the minds of the audience). It's only after you've deal positioned the method and the effect in space that you can sirive to iZ pose distance between them.

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