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In magic, the performer and the audience share an understanding: feats that appear to be real are actually optical illusions. When executed properly, all magic, deceives observers, tricking them into believing what they see. Magicians pull this off using the art of misdirection.

What Is Misdirection in Magic?

Misdirection—or direction, as some magicians prefer to call it—is the subtle, deceptive art of directing an audience’s attention towards one thing (a magical effect) so it does not notice another (the method or mechanics of a trick). It can refer to both the effect of a spectator’s mind being focused on an unimportant thing, or the action that causes it.