The fair that I’m performing at has me staying at a rental house with a couple of other performers. There’s another magician and a couple of musicians. The magician asked about my Take Up Reel one night and I got it out and chatted with him about it. The musicians asked what it was, and I explained what it did. One them them wanted to me to show them the trick, so I grabbed a coat and did the vanishing bird cage.
This led to something very interesting. The musicians knew how the trick worked, but were blown away when I did the trick. They knew the cage went up my sleeve, but had not idea how that was possible. The had seen the gimmicks, and how they operated and they trick still fooled them.
So what’s the lesson?
You don’t need to be super protective of every little secret in things that you do. Some tricks will stand the test of still being a fooler when the audience knows how the trick works.