Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just A Sunday Post #68

Just a little rant about one sleight. Which is a really nerdy thing to do. Case in point: The Spider Grip Vanish (aka the Spider Vanish, "The Sphinx" in 1919 credited to Walter Gibson.)

Most magicians I have seen are doing it wrong, by not embracing the psychology behind it. Here is the main idea. The coin is taken from the one hand and tossed to the ground (or up, which I think is much better) and it seems to vanish in midair. However the hand not having tossed the coin remains in a suspect position. Naturally the audience suspects the coin to be hidden in there. That hand is then relaxes causally and by that is shown empty. Done right the spectators have no idea where the coin is.

We all know that the coin is put into classic palm of the hand taking the coin and making the other hand the suspect after the vanish makes the spectators assume the coin is in the "clean" hand. Which naturally means they make the "dirty" hand free of any allegations. So this is a very cool concept for a vanish with a build in dramatic structure (as little as it gets).

And most are doing it wrong as they do not toss the coin, so it dissolves in mid air. They do not celebrate the disappearance properly. Most of the time, they jerk their hand to the ground and then opening the "clean" hand way too soon.

So here is what you wrongdoers need to do. After the coin is secured in classic palm, actually mime tossing the coin into the air and follow the supposed path of the coin and "realise" that the coin has gone at the same time as the audience. Meanwhile keep your "clean" hand in an awkward position, BUT not too much. If it is too much the audience will recognize it as some sort of obvious attempt to fool them. It needs to be casual. So the audience actually falls for it. For me it helps to have the hand naturally but with the thumb pressed against the hand (like a thumb palm). And all you do is hold that hand stiff a little too long. Then, and only then, when the audience has all the suspicion on that hand (and off the "dirty" hand) you casually open it. Don't make it a sucker moment, unless your character supports that.

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