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From Issue #6 December 20, 2012

Hocus Focus

Look over there.

By Lex Friedman Twitter icon App.net icon 

The real trick that magicians perform happens long before you’re amazed. When many non-magicians picture magic tricks, they focus on sleight of hand: some fancy fingerwork alongside misdirection that allows the trickster to get away with monkey business that wouldn’t play if looked at directly.

For magicians, sleight of hand is the (relatively) easy part. Of course it plays a key role in close-up magic; without it, most tricks won’t work. But the prestidigitation distracts from where the hard work takes place, such as practicing card tricks endlessly, privately, in front of a mirror, until the moves become deeply ingrained and subconscious.

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