The Final False Solution

We've seen that falsely framing an effect, not only leads people to ask the wrong question, but also causes them to accept the effect's major false premise as a given in formulating that question. Another great tool for getting the audience to unwittingly embrace the false premise can be found in Juan Tamariz's wonderful book The Magic Way. He introduces a concept he labels the final false solution: "...a solution that will later turn out to be false. But it must appear possible for a few seconds.. .You must now conclusively demonstrate that the solution is incorrect, totally false, almost absurd!"

Thc idea is to fashion the effect and presentation in such a way that the audience initially perceives a possible explanation. You leave that possibility open until almost the end. It provides the audience something to cling to. When you finally disprove this hypothesis, the audience has nowhere left

Thats whcn the trapdoor opens under their feet. That red herring t0 ?" final false solution.

¡the"" describes the characteristics that a final false solution must ^anialfrlloWs: "On the one hand, it must be easy to pcrceive. That is.

ssess as ^ to point it out or make it too obvious, in order to get

...„.Id not ^ anj follow it. On the other hand, it has to be easy shou

'^/^„stTate that it's not the real solution, and this demonstration has 10 be definitive and complete, leaving no room for doubts or confusion of

,ny Jjarfo's spider-grip vanish illustrates thc final false solution in its most ■ ped-down form. You place a coin in your hand and vanish it through Tfsimple ploy of keeping it classic-palmed. It's such a simple ploy that it "^Id never succeed without some psychological cover. Thc cover is that after you transfer the coin to your right hand, you keep the left hand dosed nd slightly cramped. In other words, you encourage the audience's natural tendency to suspect the other hand. Now you reveal thc vanish by opening your right hand (palm downward to conceal thc palmed coin). To thc audience, this merely confirms that you kept the coin in the other hand. That belief is the final false solution. When, a moment later, you gesture with your palm-up left hand, showing it empty, the audience is left with no explanation.

Keep in mind that this is not a Ramsay-style sucker move. The audience should never suspect that you deliberately lured them into a false suspicion. Even after you've disproved their theory, they should think that it was all their idea. Although you orchestrate this little drama in the audience's mind, you must appear unaware of its existence. When their theory is disproved, as Tamariz writes, "The spectators will think, 'Oh no. How suspicious I am. The truth is that there is no logical explanation.'"

Here is the fascinating part. To embrace the false solution—that the coin is in your left hand—the audience must also embrace the false premise that the coin is not in your right hand. Yet, even when their final solution is proven false, they never go back and question the false premise. If they did, the spider-grip vanish wouldn't fool people. Many coin men can attest thar it does.

Here is an example straight from The Magic Way. Since I've incorporated it into my own Ambitious Card routine, I'll explain it as 1 do it. The ambitious card is supposedly in the middle but actually second from the |°P- By means of a double turnover I show that it has returned to the top.

turn the double down and push the top card into the middle of the deck but leave it protruding from the side at an angle. I then push ' until only about a quarter inch is protruding. Finally, J carefu]| ** ¡n card further until slightly Jess than the white border is protrude ,lle rate for a moment, then turn to a spectator and ask her to prcss ^ ' W ger against rhe side of rhe deck to push the card rhe rest of the ^ The point of this by-play is to get the audience ro suspecr tha T trying to keep track of the position of the card. Of course, ( Woun be reason to do that if the card in question weren't really the select i0 n° time J hesitate in squaring the card, the spectators become cnnvjn°" and more thai I'm trying ro control the card. At the same rim^ our realizing ir, they are convincing themselves more and more h ^ sidejogged card really is the selection. Having bought into rhat "" ^ they've unwittingly painted themselves into a corner. When I h^'^' spectator push rhe card squarely into rhe deck, the audience has to^ that I have no way of iocating the selecred card. Better still, they haveT^ since acccptcd that it is the selected card.

Another good example is the cent vanish of the final ace in La I Dings' Open Travelers. (Ifyou use che rub-a-dub vanish instead, the foil, ing analysis still applies.) Your immediate goal is to vanish the card i"*' convincing manner. Your more fundamental goal, however, is to peroe ate rhe lie rhat the card in your hand is an ace. In feet, the ace is alread^on the table with the other three. You place the "ace" cantilevered on the deck and pretend to palm ir. If you've done the actions of the tent vanish well the audience will believe that the ace is hidden in your hand. They will' therefore, be quite startled when you turn your hand over to show it empti' But the moment that the surprise wears o(E most people will suspect thai the ace is actually on top of the deck. (It's like lookmg at rhe righ, hand when the coin vanishes from the left hand.) This is a good thing because it provides the final false solution.

Sensing this suspicion, you turn over the top card to show that it's not the ace. Now the audience has nowhere to turn. They've hit a dead end.

V Ww acMP[ 'hit the ace has truly vanished. Just as importandy, in suspecting that rhe ace was on top of rhe deck, the audience locked itself Ulto the fake premise that the card in question was an ace. From the moment they asked themselves, "Where did the ace go?" they were doomed, lurmng over the top card of the deck disproves the false solurion but leav« them committed to the false premise.

is in°u °lrhe dCW cSt aPPiicJ™ns of'the final fake solution that I've seen Mac Kings performance of Looey SimonofFs Earth Shoes. Hie effect f the performer taking offhis shoe and dumping out a huge rock °f 'T^S'm rui f""" 1™» !»<*« as yau lV he shoe "P 10 waist "S hand,i"8is the performer

W l -shoeso that the rock falls out and hits the Bound ll„. „ ...1.:

he ground. Ihcresultin i»vH vcs that it's a real rock, not a collapsible foam-rubber fake. Mac ciaih. Juration is that he doesn't drop the rock from the shoe to the Boor. W catches it in his hand and then drops it to the floor.

'"n »n't SOLll,d Utc nU'CK °f 3 dlffereC":':' does it? No1 ""less you look . front the audience's point of view. When that huge rock drops from -it " t, to the performer's hand, the audience knows that he couldn't have lh' S walking around with 1 real r"ck in his shoe this time. Therefore. !*C" t be a real rock- Everyone has seen thc very convincing fnam-rubber " cks sold in novelty stores. Clearly, that must be what thc magician has f „ walking around with in his shoe. King holds the rock in his hand ■ ""long enough to allow this final false solution to form in the audience's Inind He then crushes the theory by allowing the rock to smash to the

P'°Tlie moment that che audience assumes that the lock is a foam-rubber lake, they're accepting the premise that it's been inside the shoe throughout the entire performance, Having bought the false premise that underpins [he whole effect, they've boxed themselves in. When the rock hits the floor, they lilt jhe wall.

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