The purpose of my articles here at HowToee is to explain clearly, concisely, and conveniently, two hundred mystifying tricks that can be per formed by the average person. If you follow my articles carefully you will be able to become a magician who makes money through magic.
Magic is not difficult to perform, and digital dexterity is not essential to the impromptu magician. The object in performing tricks is not to display skill, but to mystify. Many of the best tricks and illusions are performed by comparatively simple means.
None of the tricks in my HowToee articles requires elaborate apparatus; nor are any of them beyond the skill of an average person. Therefore, the reader can concentrate his efforts upon the actual presentation of the various mysteries, without having to spend time or money in the technical details.
Presentation is the important part of every trick. The best tricks can be spoiled by poor presentation; on the other hand, very simple tricks can be turned into excellent mysteries by good presentation.
In presenting tricks, try to build a little mystery around them. Do not attempt any trick until you have practised it, and feel sure you can do it. Your talk, or patter, is an important item. Fit it to the trick, and have something. to say at the crucial moments.
In performing a trick, do not state what you are going to do. By keeping your audience in doubt as to what is to occur, you will often prevent them from obtaining a clue to the trick.
When you have finished a trick, never explain how it is done. A trick always loses its charm and its interest when its secret has been explained. Of course it is quite all right to explain a trick to a person who really wants to learn it; but you should be sure that such a person is not just a curiosity seeker. There are many persons who always try to find out how they have been mystified, and who will promise faithfully to keep secrets to them selves; and yet they will immediately turn around and expose the trick some time while you are performing it. Such persons have no interest in magic; they will never take the trouble to read explanations of tricks in books. Only the real student does this. So it is advisable never to tell them the secret of any trick at all.
It is very easy merely to smile when some one asks, “How did you do it?” That is your own secret, and you can say so. But when some person sees a trick and then says, “Do it again!” you will be confronted by a more difficult problem. A trick should never be done twice, although there are a few exceptional tricks that prosper by repetition. The best way out of the “do it again” dilemma is to go on with another trick—particularly a trick similar to the one you have just shown, but one that involves a different working method.
Even if you are sure you will not be caught, repeating a trick is bad policy, for the element of surprise will be lacking.
The best way to learn magic and make money through it is to do magic. Pick out a few tricks and learn them; then do them often, and you will find that they improve with age.
The foregoing remarks should be carefully remembered, for they apply to all tricks, and they are not repeated during the book. Some authors go to the extreme of giving patter with every trick; but outside of a few suggestions, patter has been eliminated from this volume, for two important reasons:
First, because very few persons ever follow the patter that they read in books. The working method of a trick may be adhered to, but presentation—and patter is part of presentation—is a matter of individuality.
Second, because my articles are designed to explain a great number of tricks, and the available space can be put to no better use than the description of workable mysteries.
Study the effect of your tricks upon your audiences, and you will soon learn why you are successful with some tricks, and why you fail with others. You must use your wits when you perform magic. Some beginners in the art feel disappointed because no trick is perfect. If there were such a thing as a perfect trick, there would be no satisfaction in performing it. The fascination of magic lies in the art of concealing the imperfections in tricks, and thereby producing perfect effects that seem unexplainable to the onlooker.
Please refer to my HowToee author page and read all my articles, practice the tricks I have explained and when you found yourself confident enough, entertain people and make money.