Magic and Misdirection –
A Beautifully Symbiotic Relationship
Magic is all about deception – If told to a magician, he will request that this statement should be altered a bit, the modified version reading as magic is indeed about deception but that which is achieved through misdirection. So what is this term ‘misdirection’ all about?
To those who are relatively new to the jargon associated with the field of magic, misdirection could be described as a technique that is employed by the magicians to distract their audience in order to make their secret move without being noticed.
It could take any form like waving a magic wand, scratching your ear or keeping an attractive object on the table but its sole purpose should be to keep the attention of spectators riveted on the action.
Once this objective is achieved, the magician is free to make his move and if he is discreet enough no-one is any wiser even if things go completely wrong.
Successful misdirection calls for certain amount of manipulation, meaning being able to direct the senses of the audience where the magician wants them. The link of Magic and Misdirection is very strong.
Of course, certain amount of help is provided by external sources too in form of props, lights, pyrotechnics and assistants.
However, all of this works only when he is at a certain distance from his spectators because when he is just a few meters away the only form of misdirection that works entails proper seating.
In such a situation, angles play a crucial role and once these are correctly determined, half the battle of enacting seemingly impossible feats is already won.
One of the most essential requisites of misdirection is eye contact – the magician must, at all times, maintain constant eye contact with his audience.
Not only is it easier to carry out the secret move but chances of a fumble being discovered are much lesser.
If it is still visible, then it needs to be concealed further under relevant gestures that would be more effective in drawing attention away and keeping everyone fixated for a few moments.
For a misdirection to be successful, it needs to be relevant to the theme and the trick being enacted at that moment.
For example, when you are dealing with cards, distracting the onlookers with the help of cards would be much more convincing than perhaps involving animals or coins.
Therefore, how to misdirect is something that the magician must think about and apply his creativity to in order to be able to conduct it impeccably on stage.
Having mastered the art and science of misdirection, the magician can actually look forward to amazing his audience with his tricks and hope to create a formidable good impression that will draw big crowds to his shows for many years to come.
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