Wow! That's Real Magic
We all know that magic isn’t real but a good magician will make you believe. I’ve found over the many years I’ve been performing that my original style of magic has evolved, as one would naturally expect. Not too long ago – maybe 3 years or so – I used to be complemented with the phrase
“Your control and sleight of hand is amazing, so fast”
This struck a chord with me that has changed my whole style and others experience of my magic too.
I began to realise that no matter how amazing a trick was it would all boil down to – most of the time – great “sleight complements”. I wanted to create magic that would totally butcher this ideology as a mechanism for the results they saw in front of them. I wanted to set myself apart from your average magician and to an extent most professionals I’ve seen too. The first way to do this was to stop holding the cards, sounds silly but let me explain.
Magicians love to hold their deck of cards, we feel comfortable with them but what we don’t understand is that this means even if no one sees a sleight the audience who are watching know it must have happened because the pack has always been in the magicians hand. So my first port-of-call was to eliminate this as a factor and in so doing this would leave the lasting impression that I couldn’t possibly have done anything because the cards haven’t been in my hand!
Now, in order to actually achieve this I use basic psychology, we all see patterns and remember things through imagery. So I exploit this by creating “false” images, that is to say that when I deliberately have the pack of cards on the table with the selected card sticking out from the deck before pushing it in flush I make the point:
“Most magicians won’t let you see this, they will have the cards close to them but we all know at this point they can do a move without us seeing, however, here you can clearly see your card – now YOU push the card in – I want nothing to do with it so you can’t accuse me of doing anything. (They push the card flush) Excellent, now put the cards in the card box for me (they do) and place here. Please can you put your hand on top of the box. Now when we think about something you’ll find it will come to the front of your mind, naturally right? So using that same logic if you imagine the deck of cards like your mind it should then come to the top right? However you pushed the card in, the cards are in the box and I haven’t touched the cards but watch…take out the cards – again I don’t want to touch and look at the top card (He opens the box takes out the cards and looks at the top card – it’s his card!)
Now in reality that little sequence in a book I read about 10 years ago is actually 20 seconds long but has only recently evolved into a mind bending miracle that lasts up to a minute with just a few techniques, the first being “Imagery”, I match imagery with another technique inspired by Derren Brown: “Plausibility and Convincers”, followed then by another technique “False Reality”.
From my example above the images I conjure up are:
- The pack of cards with their card sticking out
- The pack of cards with me moving away
- The pack of cards with the selected card pushed in by the spectator
- The pack of cards in the box
- The spectators hand on top of the box
- The selected card on top of the deck
With all those images left for the audience there is no way they can see any sleight of hand – they wouldn’t even be able to suspect because there is no where that the cards enter my hand. This layered with my second technique completely eliminates this as a mechanism and that is:
Plausibility and Convincers
“Most magicians won’t let you see this”
Highlighting the fact that most magicians would do something here but I’m not going to.
“they will have the cards close to them but we all know at this point they can do a move without us seeing”
“however, here you can clearly see your card – now you push the card in – I want nothing to do with it so you can’t accuse me of doing anything.”
Convincing them that they can see nothing’s happened – their card is still there and then getting them to do everything again convinces them that I’m not having anything to do with the deck.
The last phrase:
“I want nothing to do with it so you can’t accuse me of doing anything.”
Reaffirms what they see before them and directly tells them that they can’t consider sleight of hand as a plausible means because it clearly hasn’t happened. Now take all these techniques and add some “False Reality” and you have a mind blowing effect that has no plausible means – this final technique seals everything.
So the audience have seen images which will last with them. I now exploit these images by recalling truth with fiction. I simply state the images I’ve deliberately created and use Convincers and plausibility to eliminate any left over loops that might help make it easy to recall – I therefore give them a false story which will most likely become their account of what happened.
“Now when we think about something you’ll find it will come to the front of your mind, naturally right?”
That makes sense to them it’s just logic. This technique is used to create a method which is plausible. They have to sort of accept it because it could be possible and they’ve not seen any sleights or can even contemplate it as a method because of the images and convincers used.
“So using that same logic if you imagine the deck of cards like your mind it should then come to the top right?”
I directly tell them to use the same logic if it’s plausible for our minds then maybe the same is plausible for a deck of cards after all you haven’t seen anything that would suggest otherwise.
“However you pushed the card in, the cards are in the box and I haven’t touched the cards but watch…”
The false reality is here 1 sentence wrapped around a plausible method means sleights are out of the equation. They’ve clearly seen I haven’t touched the cards, they pushed the card in, they put in the box and just to clarify I haven’t touched them. This is coherent with their images in mind that there’s only one explanation it must be something to do with thinking of my card OR it really is Magic!
“take out the cards – again I don’t want to touch and look at the top card (He opens the box takes out the cards and looks at the top card – it’s his card!)”
That is what magic should be and it’s a magicians job to create that world not just to perform tricks that everyone knows sleight of hand it’s about a journey and the audience should be involved in that journey.