When I create my material, I’m constantly aware of making sure the audience is convinced that everything I’m doing or saying is true. This can be difficult because 99% of everything I do before the climax is often a lie. However, if I can get the audience to firmly believe my version of reality, I’ll get remarkable reactions when I show the real truth. If you perform my material, you’ll always see that I go out of my way to prove things beyond any doubt. This sets you up to constantly perform miracles.
Lets look at a few examples. One of my favorite tricks to perform is “Forging Ahead” from my book, Confident Deceptions. It’s a signature transfer effect that involves moving the spectator’s initials from the face of one card to the face of another. The audience doesn’t question what card they’ve signed because they can see it with their own eyes. That’s why when their initials move to another card, they’re in total disbelief. At the end of the effect, I can hand them everything to examine. (I’ve even given away the Sharpie marker if they ask to see it.) This only further proves I really did what I said I did. (This effect is now available as an instant download from your favorite magic dealer.)
In my effect Best for Last, the audience sees the deck in a completely random order at the beginning of the effect. That’s why they’re stunned at the end when I’ve shown I can locate all of the ranks of poker hands. If you never showed the faces and didn’t shuffle the cards, you’d hardly get a reaction.
An effect in my next book ends with me dealing out five powerful poker hands. This effect starts with the spectator shuffling the entire deck several times. There’s no doubt the cards were mixed and that’s why it plays like a miracle. In each of these examples (and in all of my work), I can prove the conditions (with absolutely no doubt) prior to the effect and after the effect. This means they’re convinced I really am doing the things I’m saying I’m doing.
If the audience is convinced you’re doing miracles, you’re going to get amazing reactions. When you’re performing a trick and you notice that you’re not getting the types of reactions you’d hoped for, chances are the audience may not believe what you’re saying or doing to be true in the first place. Remember that first time you did a coin vanish for your father? After you made the coin vanish he probably asked, “Let me see the other hand.” Imagine if you could have shown him an empty hand!
The audience doesn’t necessarily have to catch you red-handed. If there’s the slightest bit of doubt, you’ll see far less reactions. Let’s look at a bill change. If the bill change is done at the fingertips (showing your hands are clearly empty) and the bill stays in view 100% of the time, it’ll be a miracle. If you have your other fingers tucked in or your hand covers the bill only for a second, the audience will sense you’ve done something. They may not know what you did, but the weak reaction shows that they are not convinced you can magically change bills to any denomination you desire. (Done at the fingertips with the bill never going out of view proves you do have this ability. You’ve forced them to believe you.)
Let’s look at some other examples. Let’s say you push a cigarette through a quarter. You’ll definitely have them convinced you can push a solid through a solid. They’re 100% convinced because they’re looking right at it. However, afterward they’ll most likely want to examine both items. When you say, “no,” they’ll begin to doubt everything again. Typically in these types of effects, there’s a sleight just before you hand things out. Your audience is watching closest after you’ve done the magic. So it’s not the best time to have things go out of view. This moment will again create doubt.
When you’re trying out new material or creating your own effects, try to be more aware of moments that provide proof of the conditions. If there aren’t any of these moments, or they’re not convincing, the trick is broken before you’ve even performed it. If you do have moments that prove the truth, make sure that you clearly convey them to the audience to remove any and all doubt. Finally, be aware of effects that don’t end clean. The audience may be stunned at what just happened. But if you refuse to let them examine the things you just did magic with, the effect will fall flat again. Pick the right material and there will be no doubt you really can do miracles.