"To those who question whether clarity is all that important, I can only say that it is the most important quality in the making of a film"

François Truffaut

The Goal Of Clarity

Dai Vernon often said that confusion is not magic. One might go so far as to say that confusion is the antithesis of magic. One of my personal pet peeves is the habit many magicians have of stating in their patter that they will do this or that "to further confuse the issue." I used to think that perhaps I was overreacting to what ie, after all, only a minor verbal infelicity. However, I felt vindicated when one day in a conversation with David Roth, he expressed the same annoyance.

The patter line itself is not important, but the mentality it indicates is. You'll never succeed in presenting really strong magic until you come to appreciate this simple point: At the end of an effect, your audience must not be the least bit confused as to what just happened.

They must be absolutely clear on what just happened. Only then can they really appreciate that what just happened is totally impossible.

Much has been said about the desirability of performing simple effects. While simple effects can be very powerful, effects with more substance can also be very powerful. Which type you gravitate toward will probably be determined more by your temperament than any other factor. What is really essential for strong magic is not simplicity of effect but clarity of effect. One of the most fundamental essentials

SXT"1® Str°ng,magic is conveymg to the audience a clear picture ot what is supposed to have happened.

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