In performing Larry Jennings' "The Open Travellers" occasionally people would claim that they had actually f°Uni th, fall from my empty palm to the table. Since this is exactw" the 2 I'm trying to create, I decided to strengthen this notion with suggestion. At one point, I turn my palm up and say "Y0 a the card while it's palmed." Then I "place" the ace on theY^1 say, "But you can see it as it drops out of my hand." The 88' people who report doing so is now much higher because p"U,nber of the expectation that they will see it. e elated

In the floating effect, David Roth would start by asking the an to watch his feet closely so that later he could tell David just h**0* off the ground he had floated. As he said this, David would far with his hands held six or seven inches apart. In fact, he would81"1* rise a couple of inches off the ground. But his casual gesture cr °f'y an expectation on the spectator's part that he would float six or JmT

--■ or seven inches. Therefore, after the effect he would usually report to David that he had, in fact, risen some half-dozen inches off the ground. Uri Geller would place a secretly-bent key in someone's hand and warn him that he might feel the key move in his hand as he concentrated. Later, the person would often swear that he'd actually felt the key bending inside his fist.

In many cases, it pays to describe the effect in advance to the audience to help ensure that they see what you intend for them to see. My effect "Jumping Gemini" from Darwin Ortiz al the Card Table is a trick done with four cards. At they end, these cards apparently change to four kings. Actually, there are only two kings in the packet; I show them as four kings by means of Brother Hamman's Gemini Count. The Gemini Count in theory contains an element of risk because the same two kings are each shown twice. In my trick, however, experience has shown me that there is not the slightest risk because the illusion is created as much by suggestion as by Ham-man's move.

Just before performing the Gemini Count I announce that the four cards are now the four kings. Throughout the effect the audience has seen these four cards repeatedly change in inexplicable ways. Therefore, my prestige on this effect is at a high point when I make that announcement. The audience is ready to believe they're kings even before the first king is revealed. Consequently, during the Gemini Count they see exactly what they expect to see, four different kings, not two kings shown twice. If I simply performed the Gemini Count without first telling people what to expect, the move would be much riskier.

non-t forget, however, thnt planted suggestions depend for tw

example, atmosphere puts the audience ,n the proper «tat* of „"nd to accept that your planted suggestions might he true. PreSeU particularly .niportanL Since you re the one telling them what to expect, your credibility at that stage determines how much wei g your suggestion will carry.

If you want a deeper understanding of the use of suggestion m creating illusion. 1 suggest you read some books on the history of spiritualism. It's a study that will reward you greatly. Suggestion has probably never been used to greater effect in deception.

Negative Suggestions

Understanding how suggestion works is important, not only so that you can use it to strengthen your magic, but also to ensure you don't unwittingly use it to undermine your magic. Magicians often make off-handed comments that carry suggestions that hurt their magic. The classic example is the performer who says, "I have here an ordinary, unprepared drinking glass." Until he made that comment it had never occurred to anyone in the audience that the glass might be anything other than that or that it might even be possible to prepare a drinking glass in some special way. But the magician's statement has now planted the suggestion in their minds. I once saw a magician do a series of amazing coin tricks for a young lady. Glowing with admiration, she said, "That must take a tremendous amount of practice." He responded by saying, "Actually, I hardly ever practice any more."

At that moment I saw all the enthusiasm drain out of her face. He didn't seem to notice and went on to do several more tricks. He also did not appear to notice that these tricks produced almost no reaction from the spectator. His casual, ill-conceived comment had carried the suggestion: What I'm doing for you is really trivial. And that's just how she perceived everything he did from then on. Almost everything you say and do before an audience carries messages beyond the surface text. Make sure those messages are ones that will create the expectations in their mind you want to create.

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