How to do a Magic Trick

How to do a Magic Trick

After viewing (and editing) hours of archival footage of a magician doing the same tricks over and over again, I discovered a trick of my own: how to figure out how a magic trick is accomplished.

I created a phrase in my head that helps me discern the pivot-point of the trick, where the illusion occurs:

The “trick” of the magic trick occurs at the only moment it could possibly occur, no matter how improbable it may appear at first.

Meaning, if the magician turns around for a moment while holding a deck of cards (for example), then that’s the moment when the swap (or the whatever) occurred, which makes the trick wondrous.

In my case, I was dealing with a spoon-bending magician. This dude claimed to be psychic, or at least allowed people to believe he was psychic, but he was just a sleight-of-hand magician.

He calls himself a mentalist. But that’s really just another way of saying “stage magician.”

And with him, the sleight-of-hand always occurred at the only possible moment it could have occurred. Sometimes that’s when he turns around, sometimes it’s when he walks away to get something, sometimes it’s when he’s distracting people with some other thing, etc…

Even if you can’t tell WHAT he’s doing to make the illusion work, you can at least figure out WHERE the illusion is taking place. And if you know WHERE the illusion is taking place, you can study it in detail

You can rewind it and replay it and watch different angles of the trick to discover that it was, actually (& all along), a particular technique in sleight-of-hand…

This analytical-technique can be quite practical. Idea actually helped me discover, years later, how the street scam artists in Miami Beach pulled off their three-cup monte bit during Spring Break.

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