Have you ever seen a magician do something and thought to yourself, “That’s impossible!” Even in our modern skeptical culture, magicians can still manage to awe us. So how do they pull off their physics-defying tricks, producing rabbits from nowhere and predicting things weeks in the future?
Most magic trick secrets take advantage of our brain’s desire to explain things in a rational way. Read on to learn how these tricks work and what kind of magic you might expect to see at your next event.
One of the most common types of magic is production magic. This is when a magician does something like produces a dove or a bouquet of flowers out of thin air or pulls a rabbit out of a hat. The way the trick works can depend on what’s being produced and from where.
Many of us are familiar with the coin from behind your ear trick, where a magician palms a coin to make it appear as though it has vanished and then reproduces it from behind your ear. When a magician seemingly pulls a rabbit out of a hat, they actually have the rabbit hung in a special handkerchief behind their table. When they flip the hat over, they pull the rabbit into the hat, where it can emerge.
Magicians may also make it appear as though objects have disappeared. They might toss a ball into the air a few times, only to have it disappear on the third or fourth toss, or a lighter might vanish while they’re playing with the flame. In most cases, these tricks rely on our brain’s tendency to fill in logical gaps it can’t explain.
When the magician tosses the ball into the air, they’re getting your brain accustomed to seeing it go up. On the last toss, they act as though they’ve thrown the ball, but keep it in their hand. Our brains actually fabricate a ghost ball that vanishes as soon as the ball is supposed to come back down.
You might have heard about magicians transforming one thing into another right in front of your eyes. Maybe a dollar bill becomes a $100 bill or even a dove, or perhaps a flower changes color. These rely on clever sleight of hand and a diversion to keep your eyes elsewhere.
When the magician turns your $1 into a $100, for instance, they start by folding your bill up. Meanwhile, they have an identically folded $100 bill concealed in their hand or their sleeve. Once the $1 bill is small enough to be concealed, they swap the two and produce the $100 bill, magically transformed.
Some magicians specialize in restoration, destroying objects and then reproducing them, completely healed. One popular example of this involves pulling a signed card out of a deck. The trick begins with the magician asking an audience member to sign a playing card and then hand it back to them.
When the participant hands the signed card back, the magician swaps it out with another card from the deck, unbeknownst to the audience. They then rip up the “signed” card and proceed to do a standard “Is this your card?” trick. They pull the real signed card from the deck, miraculously restored to complete wholeness.
In some tricks, a magician will transport an item from one place to another, seemingly impossibly. For instance, you might watch a card, say the ace of clubs, being turned over on the top of a deck, stuck in the middle of the deck, and then reappearing on the top of the deck without your eyes ever having left the middle card.
When the magician first turns over the “top card,” they are actually turning over two cards so the card you’re seeing is the second card in the deck. They flip the cards back over, pull the actual top card off, and stick that in the middle of the deck. With just a snap, they can “transform” the middle card to something else and the top card you saw remains on top.
Levitation is one of those tricks that amazes even the most skeptical of viewers. There’s no way to sleight of hand your way into hovering inches off the ground, is there? Well, as it turns out, there is.
Some smaller levitation uses tricks like dinner knives concealed inside the sleeves to hold a book or plate to the magician’s hand. For something like self-levitation, the magician will get your attention going somewhere else and then will pantomime like they’re about to rise off the ground. When they begin to “levitate,” all they’re doing is raising themselves up on one tiptoe and keeping their other foot flat and held off the ground.
And finally, one of the most popular forms of magic is prediction magic. The magician may have audience members pick a number between one and a thousand. They then select a few audience members at random, adds their selected numbers together, and show that, weeks ago, they predicted what the total would be.
The prediction is real and the audience members aren’t plants, but the trick lies with the notebook audience members write their numbers down on. This notebook has two identical sides, and when the audience is distracted, the magician flips the notebook over to where his own numbers have been written in. The total of those numbers will equal the figure that’s in the prediction from weeks before.
Discover More Magic Trick Secrets
Magic is an amazing entertainment that can reignite the wonder we felt as children. Many magic trick secrets rely on distraction and panache from the artist; in effect, we’re willing to believe anything they can convince us to believe. So next time you’re planning an event, consider hiring a magician to dazzle your guests with impossible feats.
If you’d like to find the best magicians for your event, check out the rest of our site at Blue Sky Atlanta. We can help you get the entertainment you need with no hassle so you can get back to focusing on the important things – your guests. Contact us today to make your next event a magical night to remember.