Phase One Silver Bullets

To begin the routine, hold the box in your left hand, positioned over the inner phalanges of the fingers. Thus, when the box is lifted from the hand, the coin hidden in its recess is left in perfect position for finger palming.

However, this palming is not done yet. First, with your right hand, remove the lid from the box and set it on your close-up mat near the inner right corner. Next tip the contents of the box (three silver coins and one copper) into your right hand. Immediately close the right fingers around the coins, preventing the spectators from seeing the copper coin. You wish to delay its notice briefly for presentational purposes.

Now, with your right thumb, push the three silver coins, one by one, from the closed hand, placing them in an overlapping row at the outer left corner of your mat. As you move to set down each coin, turn your right hand over, letting both sides of the coin be seen. Do this in a natural manner, calling no attention, either verbally or physically, to the fact that both sides of the coins are being shown. In this way you establish the ordinary nature of the coins without undue stress that might arouse suspicion.

Pause a moment; then, employing the same actions, place the copper coin at the outer right corner of the mat. Pause again, giving the audience a chance to perceive the positions and nature of the coins. Make special mention of some distinguishing feature on the copper coin, such as "Look, there is an owl on this one." As odd as it might seem, people are genuinely interested in an unusual coin. Take advantage of this to focus attention on the coin while your right hand picks up the lid and replaces in on the box. You then move the box from your left hand to the inner right corner of the mat (Figure 2). This leaves the extra silver coin in your left fingers, which hold it in finger palm as you turn the hand palm down in a relaxed position. Thanks to the very tight frame of attention you have created around the copper coin, these actions pass essentially unnoticed outside the frame.

Now reach forward with your right hand and pick up the copper coin. Under cover of this larger action, shift the left hand's finger-palmed coin to classic palm. Using the pretense that you wish to give the spectators on your left a good look at the copper coin, you swing your right hand in that direction. As the right hand makes this movement, with your left hand gather the three silver coins at the outer left corner of the mat, clearing the space for the right hand to deposit the copper coin there.

You now have four silver coins in your left hand, one of them classic palmed, and the copper coin is at the outer left corner of the mat. At this point, make a remark to someone on your right, turning naturally in that direction as you speak. Comment on the copper coin and glance over at it.

Your next intention is to pick up the copper coin, but to do this with your right hand would be awkward in your current position. Consequendy, you toss the silver coins into the right hand, freeing the left hand to pick up the copper coin. At least that is the audiences perception of your actions. Actually you execute the Benzais friction pass, propelling the upper two coins of the stack into the right hand while the bottom coin is retained on the left fingers by friction (Figure 3). In your left hand you now have one coin lying hidden on the loosely curled fingers, and another in classic palm. The first steal of the routine has been made, under circumstances that provide natural motivation for your actions.

When you have caught the two coins in your right hand, immediately toss them a very short distance into the air and catch them again. This is done in a playful manner and gives the spectators a few flashes of silver. But more important, it causes the coins to jingle. Your left hand uses this sound to cover any noise its coins might make as you press the stolen half dollar into classic palm with the one already there. Next, move your left hand to the copper coin and flip it over two or three times on the table, displaying both sides and focusing everyone's attention on this coin before you pick it up. This distracts their thoughts from the tossing of the coins into the right hand, an action you wish them to disregard. It cannot be stressed too strongly that the throwing of the coins be done without flourish or intention of display. The transfer of the coins must be perceived simply as an expedient to picking up the copper coin. You focus your attention solely on the copper coin, placing no importance on the actions of the steal.

To this point in the routine, outwardly all that has occurred is the introduction of the props. Yet, you are already two steps ahead of the audience, having secredy obtained two silver coins in your left hand, while stealing one from the right. Thanks to solid blocking and direction of attention, you are in a particularly strong position, making it possible for you to create a greater impact than would be possible if you were suspected of doing something other than merely showing the coins.

Now the magic begins! Having picked up the copper coin with your left hand, close your fingers around it while letting the coin lie on the fingertips. Then hold both closed hands apart in front of you, backs uppermost. Look at your right hand and give it a shake, jingling its two coins. Quickly turn your eyes to your left hand and release one of the classic palmed coins, letting it clink against the copper one. (Releasing single coins from a classic-palmed stack has a deserved reputation for difficulty, but when there are only two coins, and especially when they are heavy ones, releasing them one at a time is relatively easy.)

Drop the coins from both hands, while retaining the one silver coin still classic palmed in the left hand. Spread the coins with your fingertips, letting everyone see that one silver coin has traveled from the right hand to join the copper coin in the left.

Using both hands, simultaneously pick up their respective coins and secretly press one of the right hands silver coins into classic palm. Cause the second coin to pass, shaking your right hand while preventing the two coins it holds from talking. Then let the palmed coin in your left hand escape and clink against the others.

Again drop both hands' coins, while retaining the palmed silver coin in your right hand, and spread them on the table. Another silver coin has joined the copper in the left hand! The passage of this coin is particularly strong, as it has been achieved without any extraneous handling.

You take advantage of the surprise and impact this second translocation creates in the minds of the spectators to transfer the palmed silver coin secretly from the right hand to the left. This is accomplished swiftly in the guise of an incidental action: Immediately after the second coin has been shown to have traveled, you turn your left hand palm up and make a casual gesture toward the coins on the table. The left hand then moves, still palm up, to the right wrist and pushes back the sleeve. It is as the left hand passes smoothly under the right hand that the palmed coin is released onto it. The left hand continues to move, without the least hesitation, along the right forearm to the right elbow in a gesture of pushing back the sleeve slighdy.

At almost the same time, the right hand moves forward and picks up its remaining silver coin from the table. In doing this, let the audience see that the hand is otherwise empty (Figure 4).This action captures the spectators' attention, diverting them from the left hand.

Each move here, from the left hand s gesture toward the coins to the right hand s claiming of its last coin should be done casually and smoothly, without looking at your hands. There shouldn't be the slightest impression that you are proving the hands are empty.

The left hand still rests near the right elbow. The right hand nonchalantly flips its coin into the air, catches it and closes. This gesture gives generous cover for the left hand to adjust its coin to classic palm, and the right forearm and elbow help to obscure the left fingers motion. Just before the right hand catches its coin, move the left hand away from the elbow.

Continue to move the left hand to your left and down to the coins on the table. Pick these up, two silver and the copper, and hold them in the closed left fingers. Turn both hands backs up and you are set to make the third silver coin pass. Give the right hand a shake and open it palm down, retaining its silver coin in classic palm. It is easier with large coins to palm one while managing to have the hand appear relaxed.

Immediately as the right hand opens, draw attention to the left hand, which releases its palmed coin, causing a clink. It then drops all four coins onto the mat and spreads them inward in a straight line. As you reach the last of the left hands coins, a silver one, pause briefly before revealing it, adding a moment of suspense to its arrival. This maintains attention on the left hand, while your right hand drops to the inner right corner of the mat and

grasps the coin box there. Further sustain interest on the left hand and its coins by using the backs of the left fingertips to kick the coin nearest you forward, causing it to hit the next nearest coin, which is then propelled forward, knocking against the third coin, knocking that forward to hit the copper coin.

While this rapid chain-reaction occurs, turn your left hand palm up and place the box onto it. In doing this, bring the right palm over the base of the left fingers and secretly release the palmed coin onto them (Figure 5); then bring the box back and set it over the coin, which nestles into the recess in the box bottom. In a continuing, almost simultaneous, sequence of actions, lift the lid from the box. Any slight noise made by setting the box over the coin is excused by removing the lid.

Immediately move your right hand to the right with the lid. In this action, turn the hand palm up while you let the lid settle onto your fingers; then let the lid slide off the fingers and onto the mat. All this, from picking up the box to setting down its lid, takes but a few seconds and should be accomplished before the spectators' attention leaves the tabled coins. By the time they raise their eyes to your hands, you are holding the empty box in your left hand and your right hand is palm up and empty (Figure 6). The transfer of the right hands palmed coin to the left hand and under the box is all managed while attention is held at the left side of the mat. Your actions, combined with suitable commentary and the direction of your own gaze, keep attention where you want it. At no time during this

At this point you have three silver coins and the copper one lying on the left side of the mat, with the lid of the coin box nearby. The bottom of the box sits mouth up and empty in your left hand, with the fourth silver coin hidden under it. Your right hand is empty. At this point we briefly abandon the Coins Across plot to perform a quick penetration effect with the copper coin.

As soon as your right hand has deposited the stack of coins at the center of the mat, it picks up the lid and carries it to the left hand. At the same time the left hand begins to turn palm up while partially extending the fingers. During this, the left thumb retains its contact with the coin in the recessed bottom. As a result of these combined actions, the box bottom is secredy turned over.

Before the left hand has turned fully palm up, place the lid in your right hand onto the box. When these actions are properly timed, the audience never gets a glimpse of the silver coin in the recess of the inverted bottom.

Without a pause remove the box from your left hand, leaving behind the copper coin. This coin is still concealed from the spectators by the curled left fingers. Turn the left hand palm down, letting the coin slide onto the curled fingers, which remain relaxed. Simultaneously, give the box a little shake, making the silver coin trapped in the recess ratde. The audience mistakes this noise for the copper coin believed to be inside the box.

Place the box on the back of your left hand, which should now be positioned directly over and about six inches above the tabled stack of coins. With your right forefinger, give the box a little tap, and at the same time let the copper coin slip from the left fingers and fall

With your right hand, pick up the copper coin and drop it into the box. Then, with the same hand, stack the three silver coins and set the stack, with a smart little rap, on the center of the mat. As all attention goes to this gathering of the silver coins, turn your left hand palm down, simultaneously curling the fingers inward until they are half closed. With your left thumb, contact the silver coin in the recess of the box bottom (Figure 7).

onto the stack of coins, making a dramatic appearance. The copper coin appears to have penetrated through not only the box but your hand as well!

As attention is focused on the fallen copper coin, with your right hand lift the box from the back of your left hand, grasping it between the second finger at the far side and thumb at the near side. At the same time, slip the tip of the third finger very slighdy beneath the box (Figure 8). Turn your left hand palm up under the right hand and let the bottom of the box drop onto the left fingers while your right fingers hold back the lid. As the box begins to fall, it trips over the tip of the right third finger (Figure 9) and, aided by the weight of the bottom, turns mouth up. The silver coin in the recess goes along for the ride. The drop is made from a short distance, with the hands close together so that your fingers conceal the turnover from the spectators, whose attention should at this point be on the copper coin. Any noise made by the coin and box bottom as they turn over, it will be thought to be from the lid leaving the box. (This, of course, is a standard turnover method, although it is usually done with a longer drop. I prefer to keep the hands close together, providing cover for the turnover.)

Display the empty box bottom to the spectators, then replace the lid on the box and, with your left hand, deposit the box, with coin still in recess, at the inner left corner of the mat. This is done by lowering the thumb onto the lid and pushing the box forward, off the fingertips (Figure 10). Care must be taken here to prevent the coin in the recess from talking, but this is a knack quickly acquired.

Phase Three: Perverse Reverse

For the duration of the routine, the extra silver coin is not needed and remains hidden under the box. Three silver coins and the copper one lie in the center of the mat. Your hands are empty. We will now perform a second Coins Across sequence with a humorous twist. You claim you will make the copper coin fly from hand to hand. However, the copper coin remains stubbornly in place while the silver coins one by one travel to the opposite hand.

The comedy arises from your seemingly losing control over your props, and the amount of humor derived from this is in direct proportion to your ability to act convincingly bewildered by the perversity of the coins. This phase, by the way, is closely related to an effect by Juan Tamariz (see "La Materia Indómita" in his book monedas, monedas. .. ¡y monedas], 1969, p. 68).

At the end of Phase Two you deposited the box and extra coin on the inner left corner of the mat. As your left hand performs this task, turn the audiences attention to your right hand, by reaching out with it and picking up the three silver coins from the center of the mat. Immediately turn to your left to tell a spectator there that you will now make the copper coin, which has not yet made a magical journey, fly to join the three silver coins. Having turned to the left, you have again created a natural reason to transfer the coins from hand to hand: so that the right hand, which is most convenient in this position, can pick up the copper coin. Therefore, as you talk, payin^no attention to your hands, you casually toss the silver coins from right hand to left, but secretly retain one coin on the right fingertips, using the Benzais friction pass.

Close your left fingers around the two silver coins and move your right hand to the copper coin on the center of the mat. As you pick it up with thumb and forefinger, press the retained silver coin into classic palm. As you grasp the copper coin between your right thumb and forefinger, keep the other fingers loosely closed.

Announce that the copper coin will fly from your right hand to join the three silver coins in your left hand. Pause briefly to create a moment of suspense—then, with your right thumb, flip the copper into the air and catch it in the left hand. This wholly unmagical flight of the copper coin should bring a laugh from the audience. This bit of business, though, has a more serious purpose: It breaks the spectators concentration, and consequently they will forget that your right hand ever touched the silver coins.

Look out at the audience with an "Isnt it marvelous" expression on your face. Then, with your hands still widely separated, announce that the copper coin will fly back to your right hand, this time invisibly. Shake the left hand and pretend to catch an invisible coin in your right. Then turn the right hand palm up and open it, revealing the silver coin there.

With an expression of unconcealed amazement, quickly open your left hand and let the copper coin and one silver slide off and onto the mat while you openly retain the other silver coin on your fingers. Meanwhile, the right hand lays its silver coin down on the mat.

Because a silver coin still lies on the left fingers, it is natural for your empty right hand to pick up the copper coin to examine it. Look at it as if you are trying to discover some reason why it didn't fly. Finding nothing, you drop it onto the left palm.

Your right hand picks up the silver coin that was previously in your left hand and seemingly returns it there. However, here you do a click pass. The one I use, which is very deceptive

(far more so than it may appear on the page), is JuanTamarizs, again from his monedas, monedas... (y monedas) (p. 69). With your right hand, pick up the silver coin, positioning it over the forefinger. Bring the right hand up to the left hand, letting the right third and fourth fingers lightly contact the backs of the left fingertips (Figure 11). Then, without hesitating, revolve your right hand palm down as you apparently drop its coin into your left hand and gently brush the left fingers closed. In reality, you bring the right thumb down on the silver coin, retaining it in your right hand (Figure 12)—and the silver coin on your left fingertips drops against the copper coin on the left palm, creating a convincing auditory illusion to complement the visual one.

Move the left hand away from the right, continuing the motion begun by the right hand. When the hands are clearly separated, reach out with the right hand to pick up the coin still on the table: the silver coin that has already flown across. In this action use your right fingers to press the stolen coin secretly into classic palm.

Hold your closed hands apart, as before, and shake the left. Then release the right hand s palmed coin, letting it clink against the other coin there. Open the right hand, expecting to see a silver coin and the copper; but instead you find two silver coins! Turn your left hand palm up and open it, showing the copper coin still there by letting the remaining silver coin slide forward onto the fingertips.

We now have a rather difficult problem to solve. The audience will at this time be anticipating the flight of the last silver coin to your right hand, and their attention on your hands and the coins is intense. Yet, you must somehow get that silver coin across without detection. To manage this we will employ a diversionary feint in the fashion of John Ramsay.

Close your right hand around its two silver coins. Then, using the right thumb and forefinger, pick up the copper coin from the left hand and display it as you say, "Normally the copper coin really does fly." Replace the coin on your left palm, but as you do this, your right hand naturally obscures the left hand's silver coin. This arouses the suspicion that you are stealing the coin away. Move the right hand away from the left and close the left fingers without exposing the left hand's silver coin or letting it clink against the copper coin.

As the left fingers close, turn the hand palm down and use the fingertips to slide the silver coin over the heel of the palm and toward the wrist, so that it lies clipped by its edge at the very fingertips (Figure 13, shown from below). In other words, you position the coin for the Han Ping Chien transfer.

Go through the motions of readying for the copper coin's passing, but then pretend to notice the suspicion in the eyes of your audience. Stop and open your right hand, showing its two silver coins. "No, no," you say. "There are only two silvers here."

With these words you apparendy let the two silver coins drop onto the table, freeing your right hand, so that it can gesture toward the left hand. While doing this you say, "It is the copper coin that has to fly." However, instead of letting both of the right hand's coins drop, you execute the Han Ping Chien transfer. That is, you retain one coin in right-hand classic palm as you drop the other and simultaneously release the silver coin from the closed left hand to join it.

After having gestured toward the left hand, your right hand picks up the two coins from the table. It now holds all three silver coins! The Han Ping Chien transfer is extremely effective in this context, being performed as it is at a moment when the spectators are relaxed and amused at having mistaken your actions. This, then, is the very moment when you do precisely what they suspected you of moments before!

Continue with the actions of making the coin pass from left hand to right, then open your right hand to discover that the third silver coin has traveled there instead of the copper coin. That coin is found residing obstinately in your left hand.

Phase Four: Bertram Redux

With the three silver coins in your right hand and the copper coin in your left, you now swear that the copper coin will fly this time, as it has no other choice. You close your hands around their coins, but the copper coin still doesn't move. Instead, as a final surprise for everyone, the three silver coins fly all at once back to the left hand, leaving your right hand empty and your left hand holding all four coins!

This final phase is Ross Bertram's closing sequence to his routine "Passing the Half-bucks" from Stars of Magic (1951, p. 134). I do it just as described there, and since it is such

a famous trick in such a classic book (which I imagine is familiar to every reader of this volume), it would be wasteful and presumptuous of me to redescribe it. If the details aren't fresh in your memory, pull Stars of Magic off the shelf and treat yourself to a reunion with some extraordinary material.

I will often perform one more sequence after the four phases just taught. My decision to do so depends completely on the audience for which I'm working. This auxiliary sequence is called "Mud in Your Eye", which I will now describe.

1979

(iBMS S I mentioned at the conclusion of my Coins Across routine, I will often add one more sequence to it, depending on the audience. I'll first explain the effect vIBNw I t^iat secluence> t"ien discuss the circumstances for its performance. v^KfcSSk The Coins Across routine ends with the performer holding three silver coins and a copper one in his left hand. These coins are returned to the coin box that rests on the table, copper coin first, then the silvers. The lid is placed on the box and the performer tells everyone to watch the closed box very closely, for on the count of three the copper coin will crawl out of it. Things go awry though, for on the third count the three silver coins pass through the box and the performer's hand, and when the box is opened it is found empty! Where has the copper coin gone?

Eventually, everyone looks up at the performer's face, and there they see the copper coin stuck in his eye like a monocle!

So, let's first talk about the conditions under which I will perform this sequence. The climax here is obviously the surprising and comical appearance of the coin in your eye. To be a surprise the spectators must not know what to expect. If they do, the psychological cover that permits you to place the coin in your eye will not work and no one will be fooled. Therefore, I perform this sequence only if the audience has not seen it before. If I find myself performing a second time for a group, this sequence is dropped. Consequendy, when I'm working at an establishment that enjoys many repeat customers, this trick is used intermit-tendy, depending on the audience.

With that understood, let's proceed to the method for fooling your new audiences.

At the end of "Coins Across and Back with Interlude" you will recall that three silver coins have just flown to your left hand, joining the copper coin there. These coins are spilled onto the center of your mat. At the inner left corner of the mat rests a Boston coin box with its lid on and a fourth silver coin hidden in the recess under it.

Recommence the action by using your right hand to pick up the box and concealed coin. Set them onto your left palm, immediately remove the lid and place it on the mat. The box is empty.

With your right hand, stack the four coins, taking the copper last so that it lies at the bottom of the stack. Then seemingly drop all four coins into the open box; but you actually steal away the copper coin. To accomplish this, move your right hand smoothly to the left: toward the box. The stack of coins, in transit, passes over the left fingers. Without hesitation, your left second and third fingertips take the opportunity to contact the bottom of the stack and hold back the copper coin as the silver coins continue on their way to the box. The copper coin remains balanced on the fingertips for just a moment, until the stack reaches the box. Then, as you drop the stack of coins into the box, your left fingers press the copper coin up into the right palm, where it is retained (Figures 1 and 2). (This is Paul Morris's bottom steal, from Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic, p. 18, but I've applied it to the action

of dropping the coins into a coin box, which is a task perfecdy suited to the sleight.) It should go without saying that the steal is executed smoothly while you perform an action that looks perfecdy innocent and ordinary.

Now, with your right hand, pick up the lid from the mat. As this action naturally claims everyone's attention, yours included, relax your left hand, turning it palm down as your curl the fingers loosely in. In doing this, let gravity quiedy turn over the box in your fingers (Figure 3).Then return the hand to its palm-up position, with the inverted box resting on the inner phalanges of your fingers (Figure 4). Since there is a fourth silver coin in the recess of the box, nothing seems to have changed. Yes, the stack of coins might seem to have risen slightly in the box, but the difference is small and the audience is not given time to scrutinize the situation. The instant the coins are dropped into the box, your right hand immediately picks up the lid. You allow just a glimpse of the coin in the recess of the box as your right hand places the lid over it.

Make eye contact with someone and say, "Now the copper coin will escape from the box by slowly crawling out of it." As you use this provocative statement and your gaze to draw everyone's eyes up to your face, use your right hand to pick up the box, leaving the three silver coins stacked on your left fingers. Simultaneously, turn the left hand palm down as you close the fingers around the coins, timing your actions so that the coins cannot be seen by the audience.

Set the box onto the back of your left hand, immediately lift the lid to allow a glimpse of the coins inside (actually only the coin in the recess) and replace the lid on the box. All this occurs before you have finished explaining that the copper coin will crawl slowly out of the box. Move your right hand away from the box and, as it retreats, let the copper coin fall from classic palm onto the inner phalanges of the loosely curled right fingers.

"When I count one, two, three, on the count of three the copper coin will crawl from the box." While saying this, gesture with your right hand, raising it palm outward to a position near your right eye (Figure 5). There are two reasons for this gesture: The first and most immediate is to let your right hand be seen seemingly empty without drawing attention to the fact. The copper coin is hidden in the curl of the fingers, but the hand gives a convincing appearance of emptiness (a subtle ruse of John Ramsay s). The second reason is to accustom the audience to this gesture, as you will repeat it shortly, and don t wish it to draw attention to itself.

Note the use of the phrase "crawl from the box". This is also important. It is more intriguing to say that the coin will crawl than that it will merely disappear from the box. The mental picture this phrase creates will have the spectators watching the box intendy to see the coin crawl out. That is exacdy where you desire their full attention to be focused as you count to three. You use your gaze and body posture as well to fix all eyes on the box. As you announce that the coin will crawl from the box, and you prepare to count to three, you bend forward a bit at the waist, peering intendy at the box yourself.

Now count "One," and lower your right hand to point at the box. On "Two," move this hand back and up, to a position about midway between the box and your right eye.

Next, timed about half a beat between the counts of Two and Three, your right hand should be raised to a position very close to your right eye. Quickly and smoothly insert the copper coin into the eye like a monocle. Then shoot your right hand forward toward the box in a magical gesture as you count "Three." At the same time loosen your left: fingers and release the three silver coins, letting them fall to the table.

Lets pause a moment here and analyze a litde more thoroughly what has just been accomplished. The spectators are intensely waiting for the copper coin to crawl from the box. Their attention on the box is therefore strongest between the counts of two and three.

Interestingly, we humans find the moment that something happens less interesting than the moment just before it happens! (This is an important thing to remember when using direction techniques.) Therefore, when your right hand makes its upward, arcing motion during the counting, you can put the coin into your eye with impunity between the counts of two and three, knowing that all attention will be fixed unshakably on the box. This attention is firmly sustained when, on the count of three, the right hand shoots out toward the box and the silver coins drop unexpectedly out.

We now resume the action. The right hand, from its position near the box, grasps it. You then turn the left hand palm up and let the box bottom drop onto it, using the turnover technique taught in Phase Two of the Coins Across routine (p. 238). Of course, some care must be taken to keep the extra coin hidden inside the recess of the box bottom. The box is seen to be empty. Turn your right hand palm up to display the empty lid as well.

You now start to look around for the missing copper coin. Pick up the three coins and look for the copper coin among them as you continue to patter about it having vanished. As you keep talking about the vanished coin, gradually straighten up and start to look around at people. Eventually some spectators will spot the coin in your eye, and as they react, others will become aware of the situation. There are usually a few who fail to notice the coin as quickly as the rest. Frequently a spectator or two will look straight at you, and the coin in your eye will still not consciously register with them. Just keep talking to them until they finally see it. Their expression, when the realization hits them, will cause the others in the group to laugh all the harder.

HEN performing close-up magic, it doesn't take long before you meet certain persons who say they have seen through a trick of yours. All of us must have heard this. The solutions offered by your spectators can range from utter nonsense to direct hits. Its sometimes quite amazing how even those people who are obviously intelligent can come up with solutions that are totally absurd.

How you handle the problem of voiced solutions during your show is very important. Your reaction can make all the difference. It can reveal to the audience whether or not the solution is the correct one. The matter of accuracy doesn't matter that much; it's your reaction to the spectators' solutions that can make a difference in the way your capability as a magician is perceived.

Yet, apart from your reaction and the light it throws on your work, when a solution, possible or impossible, is offered, it is never good for your magic. This spectator, after all, feels he knows how your trick was done, and consequently there is no effect for this person! When a spectator feels he knows how the magic is accomplished, your status as a magician is lowered. So it's important to do everything we can to avoid this destructive situation.

Let's first try to analyze the situation, before attempting to find ways to avoid it. I believe there can be several different situations, all of which look very much alike. In all these situations the spectator thinks he sees through the trick, but reality can vary gready; thus, each situation requires a different coping method. Let's look at one possible scenario.

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