A complete and practical guide to drawing-room and stage magic for professionals and amateurs, including a complete exposure of the black art.
Do not cultivate quick movements; at the same time it will never do to be painfully slow; but endeavor to present your tricks in an easy-going, quiet, graceful manner. It is generally understood that “the quickness of the hand deceives the eye,” but this is entirely erroneous. It is impossible for the hand to move quicker than the eye can follow, as can be proved by experiment. The deception really lies in the method of working the trick, and in the ability of the performer in misdirection, as will be seen from a perusal of the following pages.
A little well-arranged patter as an introductory to an entertainment will be found to put you on good terms with your audience. A few words, something like the following, will suffice: “Ladies and Gentlemen, with your kind attention I shall endeavour to amuse you with a series of experiments in legerdemain. In doing so I wish it to be distinctly understood that I shall do my best to deceive you, and upon the extent to which I am able to do so will depend my success.”
In concluding these remarks I must enforce upon the novice the necessity for constant practice, without which the clearest instruction would be useless. This applies, not only to conjuring, but equally well to any form of amusement, so the would-be magician may congratulate himself on the fact that the difficulties to surmount are not in excess of those of any form of entertainment.