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 Post subject: Eye Contact
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:39 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 667
*I am referring to close up tricks, involving 1-3 strangers

Has anyone else discovered how incredibly effective eye contact is?

When I started performing for people on the street, I would often look to my hands to make sure my lifts/passes/fans/etc. were smooth, but then I realized that eye contact adds two things to an illusion:

+When you're making a blank face and staring a stranger in the eyes, they get VERY uncomfortable and weirded out; almost mesmerized

+While you and the spectator are exchanging glances, there is ample time to slip in a pinky grip/find the top 2/3 cards/prepare your hands for a hindu/rifle/false cute/etc.

Easily one of the hardest aspects of controlling someone that I have yet to use is managing eye contact, so the spectator does not notice you fumbling, nor does he stare at you long enough for it to seem suspicious.

Another difficult aspect of this is a proper patter; you can't just stare at them, or they've no initiative to stare back. I like making a blank, semi 'intent' face, and saying something in a monotonous voice;

"I'm going to need you to take a good look at that card, you're going to notice something very weird in a few seconds"

This sort of patter gives them a reason to stare at you while you're talking, a reason to examine their card, and it builds anticipation and suspense for the actual effect.

Within my last few experienes performing for people, I've gotten much better at using eye contact to my advantage; I have literally been able to prepare for mercury after the deck was shuffled by the spectator.

[I told them that I had found four kings, then I did a sort of fan where I slide the top card to the side, and with the other hand slide the bottom two out, I then went into the mercury routine].

I generally use eye contact for a few moments at a time; once I glance back down, so does the spectator.

I use eye contact to prepare for a trick and/or to get my finger's position on the cards perfect.

It's important to note that when using eye contact extensively during a routine, one should be consistant. You should at least glance at the spectator every 8-14 seconds [rough estimate - time flies during a close-up card trick]. If you glance at them once or twice for a long period of time, they may may become incredibly aroused [ in terms of suspicion ;] ], so be sure to be consistant.

Most importantly; never retain eye contact for longer than necesary.

This technique is only as effective as the spectator allows; he/she could truly look away at any time, so be sure that EVEN IF THEY WERE LOOKING, the finger positioning, pinky grips, etc. would not divulge the secret of the illusion.

These are just some thins I have noticed in the last few months of street performances.

Does anyone have any tips for me in terms of utilizing eye contact during a close up illusion?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:09 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Dec 2005
Posts: 1394
Location: Newmarket, ON, Canada
yeah its been used for a long time.
cool though that you figured out that when you look someone in the eyes they almost always take their eyes off of what you are doing and look right back at you. Even if they are starring at your cards or whatever at the beginning they will most likely sense you looking straight at them and will look you right in the eyes. It works best if you ask a question at the same time because then they see you looking at them for an answer. Something like "what's your name?", "how old are you?", "are you right handed or left?", etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:32 pm 
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 667
bucky310 wrote:
yeah its been used for a long time.
cool though that you figured out that when you look someone in the eyes they almost always take their eyes off of what you are doing and look right back at you. Even if they are starring at your cards or whatever at the beginning they will most likely sense you looking straight at them and will look you right in the eyes. It works best if you ask a question at the same time because then they see you looking at them for an answer. Something like "what's your name?", "how old are you?", "are you right handed or left?", etc.


It's funny tha you mention that because now that I think of it I always do ask questions, usually subtly related to the trick:

"this is a black seven , correct?" [ before color change effect]

"have you seen this trick before?" [tricks with twist endings]

etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:10 pm 
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Joined: 24 Jan 2003
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Location: Milford OH
If you have ever watched a GOOD teaching DVD or read any good magic book, one of the first things you learn is..... yep that's the word..... MISDIRECTION. One of the key methods of misdirection is to NOT LOOK at what your hands are doing. If I do an effect where I show an object in my left hand while my right is doing the move, I always look at the left hand. Because the spectator's eyes will follow your eyes and look where you look.

Basic magic 101


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:12 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 667
paddy wrote:
If you have ever watched a GOOD teaching DVD or read any good magic book, one of the first things you learn is..... yep that's the word..... MISDIRECTION. One of the key methods of misdirection is to NOT LOOK at what your hands are doing. If I do an effect where I show an object in my left hand while my right is doing the move, I always look at the left hand. Because the spectator's eyes will follow your eyes and look where you look.

Basic magic 101



I am entirely aware of that, but I was just sharing my experiences with eye contact.


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