Do you remember the Masked Magician? Yeah, neither do I really but Fox aired a few TV specials in the ’90s with the bloated title Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed
. Fox was a perfect fit for the Masked Magician since their news team was so adept at creating illusions but the magic community’s feathers were understandably a bit ruffled. The Magician’s Code may be most famous through episodes of Arrested Development
medy aside, illusionists really don’t take the revealing of their trade secrets lightly. Unfortunately for them, the internet exists, bursting a big spoiler alert bubble all over their house of cards. Still, I tip my hat (and the rabbit in it) to the hard-working illusionists of the world as I share two tricks you can do at home. Don’t worry, David Copperfield, I won’t reveal how you get your hair to look so lovely.
Okay, so heres two magic tricks you can learn pretty easily, and if you already using them, spoiler alert!
Resurrecting a can of Surge at a 10-year-old’s birthday party raises you just above the water-to-wine trick in those impressionable minds, so deadbeat dads take note of this illusion. First you’re going to need a full can of soda and the clear conscious that you’re about ready to waste about half of it. That’s because you’re going to use a thin pin or needle to puncture the side of that can about halfway up. Of course, you’ll want to do this over a sink or your magic show will unintentionally turn into a comedy show that Gallagher would find juvenile. The soda will come spraying out of this almost undetectable hole and you should make sure to empty the can about halfway (or keep it full about halfway if you’re an optimist). Next, you’ll cover the puncture with a rectangle of clear tape. Use a black, non-permanent marker to color in the still-sealed tab.
Now this is where showmanship really comes into play. You may want to crumple the can slightly, maybe put it inconspicuously at the top of a trash can, or tip the still-sealed can over when starting the trick to get your audience of rubes even further suckered in by the mystique. Of course, you’ll be holding the can so that the tape is facing toward you and away from your spectators and keeping the can at a safe enough distance that some smartass kid won’t point out that the seal is simply colored in with marker. Then, start swishing the can around and the carbon bubbles will stir up, pushing the slight crinkle out as if you’re the necromancer of dead soda. Then, use your thumb to casually and elegantly wipe away the marker from the tab in a single mysterious swipe, creating the illusion that you just manifested a new seal. Finally, pop that tab and blow some minds, pouring some of that sweet carbonated nectar out in front of the astonished crowd in tribute to all the cans of soda who didn’t make it out of the hood. And if you screw the trick up, just give everyone some more Surge and you’ll still be sitting pretty.
Card Through Glass
This is one of the most mind-boggling of the tricks you’ve probably seen on TV and it’s almost a bummer to find out how easily it’s done. It pretty much relies on pushing the card you need your target to choose. There are tons of ways to do this but here’s one of the simplest and how you can use it to drop some jaws. Start out with two decks of cards. Choose a card from your dummy deck and use a bit of moisture, wax or some inconspicuous adhesive to affix the card to the outside of your window. This window shouldn’t be immediately visible to your audience but one that they will still have access to see by the end of the trick. Now, take the same card from the second deck and put it at the top of the deck. Select your rube or better yet, have on volunteer, and ask them to cut the deck in half, placing the cut face up. Then ask them to cut the deck even further down and place the cut atop the deck, face up again. Spread the cards in presentation to the audience until you come to the first face down card in the pack (this should be your card). Ask the rube to look at the card, memorize it, but not to show you. Then do some fancy shuffling and keep in mind the almighty word “showmanship.” Choose a card and ask the rube if it’s their card. They’ll say “no” unless it really happens to be their card in which case you may actually be magic. But in most cases, it won’t be their card, at which point you throw the deck “in rage” at the window. When everyone recovers from your nervous breakdown, someone will notice a card stuck to the window – the same card that your rube chose. But jaws and loads will drop alike when the audience realizes…the card is on the other side of the glass.
These tricks are pretty simple which is really just a reminder of how important spectacle and show can be to an illusionist’s act. Run through a few practices before springing this on your friends. Sure, it’s not making the Statue of Liberty disappear or levitation but those tricks would probably seem just as simple if you were on the other end of them. But with these minor reveals, I can rest assured knowing that this article wouldn’t put any professional illusionists out of work and you can rest assured you’ve got a new way to earn love, impress people with minimal effort, and an excuse for big hair.