Originally published in The Daily.
The most important rule of magic — other than remembering to check for rabbit-droppings before putting your hat back on — is never to perform the same illusion twice on the same occasion. The temptation can be excruciating: The trick has already proven its ability to fool, and the audience has proven its susceptibility. But the magician who gives his audience a second chance to catch him out always slips up eventually, especially if the audience includes an eagle-eyed fellow magician.
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