The Secrets Of Magic Tricks
By Hannah Pan
Ever wondered how magicians are able to make cards disappear, transform objects into other objects, cut people in half, and teleport? We’ll give you a tutorial on some small, common tricks and explain the secrets behind more complex magical feats.
Trick #1: Disappearing Card
What you’ll need: Just one card.
How it’s done:
This trick relies on a technique called backpalming: hiding a card on the back side of your hand by tucking in its corners between your fingers.
1. Start by holding the card with both of your hands:
2. Cover the card with your left hand:
3. With the card covered from the viewer, you can now use your right hand to backpalm the card. Place your index finger and pinky around the edges of the card, and slowly pinch until the entire card is out of view. Slowly slide your left hand across as you do this.
4. At this point, you can now flip over your left hand to reveal to the audience that the card is gone:
The hardest part of this trick is the backpalm. But once you’ve mastered this technique, you can do a variety of disappearing card tricks, including tossing a card and making it vanish.
Check out this video for a detailed tutorial on this trick.
Trick #2: Person Cut in Half
What you’ll need: A special box-like table (see below diagram), and one or two people that agree to participate in the trick.
How it’s done:
This classic trick uses two boxes that are initially joined together to look like one, with one person in each box. As you can see in the diagram below, you can move the two boxes apart to create the illusion of splitting a person.
Have the person on the right move their legs around for an extra creepy effect! If you only have one person who’ll agree to crawl into a cramped box, feel free to use a pair of fake legs instead of a second person.
Fun fact: this magic trick may have originated as far back as 1809, with some saying that a magician performed it for Pope Pius VII. This version of trick was popularized by magician Horace Goldin in 1921, and he was even awarded a US Patent for it.
Trick #3: Teleportation
What you’ll need: ???
How it’s done: ???
The “Portal” is one of magician David Copperfield’s most famous tricks, and we’ll probably never know for sure how it’s done. This illusion involves teleporting himself and an audience member to another location like Hawaii, and the rest of the audience sees them via a video feed. Copperfield displays various items, such as pictures of the show’s audience, to prove that the video is not pre-recorded. He then teleports back to the stage.
We can only guess at a few possibilities: perhaps parts of the video are pre-recorded, combined with a live feed; video editing could have been used together with a green screen, or maybe the entire beach itself is a constructed set under the stage.
Check out the illusion here or below.