Magic and Misdirection: Magic is all about deception - if told to magicians, they will request that this statement should be altered slightly, the modified version reading as magic is indeed about deception, but that which is achieved by 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 employed by magicians to distract their audience in order to make their secret moves 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, magicians are free to make their move and if they are discreet enough no-one is any wiser even if things go completely wrong.
Successful misdirection calls for a 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, a certain amount of help is provided by external sources too in the form of props, lights, pyrotechnics and assistants.
However, all of this works only when magicians are at a certain distance from their spectators because when they are just a few metres 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 in already won.
One of the most essential requisites of misdirection is eye contact - magicians must, at all times, maintain constant eye contact with their audience.
Not only is it easier to carry the secret moves, but chances of a mistake being discovered are much lesser. If it is still visible, then it needs to further concealed 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 cards, distracting the audience with the help of the cards would be much more convincing than perhaps involving animals or coins.
Therefore, how to misdirect is something that magicians must think about and apply their creativity to in order to be able to conduct it impeccably on stage.
Having mastered the art and science of misdirection, magicians can actually look forward to amazing their audience with their tricks and hope to create a formidable good impression that will draw big crowds to their shows for many years to come.
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