Misdirecting the Audience
The magician takes a coin from the left hand to the right and raises the right hand over his head, gazing at it with incredible intensity. With a magic word the magician opens the right hand and the coin is gone. Where was the left hand all this time? The left hand has been quietly performing the actual magic while the magician’s manner and behaviour directed the audience to look the other way. A magician uses misdirection in every trick he or she performs.
What is MisdirectionThe name itself is a great definition - mis or incorrect, direction. If you stopped on the road and asked for directions to a restaurant and were instead given directions to a hotel, you have been misdirected (and are likely pretty upset.) When a magician looks one way or another, raises a hand, points a finger or even says “look here” he is more often than not misdirecting the audience, getting them to look away from where the "magic" is taking place. Many times the magic may not be revealed even if the audience looked right at it happening, but misdirection comes so naturally to a magician that it happens all the time regardless.
Misdirection in magic is getting the audience to look at what the magician wants them to look at, to pay attention to something that seems as if it is relevant to the trick, but often is not. Many times when the magician says the magic is happening it is way after the fact, just a bit of acting and misdirection so that the audience won’t think back over the trick and discern its secrets.