I don’t know who first used the line, ‘don’t run when you aren’t being chased’ in the context of magic, but I as with most of what magicians say, it is a stock line. I’ll quote Proverbs 28-1: The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest person is as brave as a lion.
I bring this topic up in relation to Preston Nyman’s latest trick, Discovery because people are concerned that the poker chips used are not examinable. The chips themselves shouldn’t arouse suspicion unless you deliberately draw attention to them or your behaviour transmits their importance. Their state doesn’t change, they don’t animate, transpose, or transform, the poker chips are not the magic in Discovery.
It is a simple, clear mentalism effect and numbered poker chips make a great vehicle for it. The method is smart and well-hidden especially if you follow Preston’s tutorial where there are little displays and touches which will throw those with a keen nose off the scent.
My one issue is that they are printed with numbers rather than the monetary values of a casino chip. You can choose to let this fly or justify it with your patter, it is up to you, but don’t make a thing of the chips being special.
There are plenty of tricks such as the linking rings for example which are entirely about running. The method or solution as a layperson would see it is hanging in the air, the magician is constantly running away from the proverbial elephant in the room.
We run because of guilt. There is a lot to feel guilty about with Discovery, it is easy to do, part of the secret is on the table and as with most mentalism, you’ve been acting and lying through your teeth. You are cheating.
In my opinion it is great trick to learn how to act brave, handle gimmicked props naturally, nonchalantly and openly. Place them down on the table without a care in the world, (Preston’s idea of arranging the chips is a genius subtle way of stopping them being moved.)
If someone did ask to see the chips, then I’d have to admit it was my fault not the trick’s. Something in my performance revealed guilt. I, me , myself put them on the starting blocks and blew the whistle.