How to do 2 simple magic tricks – and why you should learn them

I could see the golden lion before my cab even pulled up: the billowing mane, the meter-long fangs – the leg muscles knotted, ready to pounce. It was as if he was taunting me into entering the 30-story building he was guarding so aggressively: a huge casino.

It was August 2017 and the lion was a statue outside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I was in Sin City for Magic Live, the largest magicians convention in the United States. But this trip was not just a fun ride. I was there to film a magic trick I had invented, which would then be sold to other magicians through a major online outlet.

The two years leading up to this event had been sensational, almost impossible to believe: I fell into the underworld of magic, made friends with the most influential young magicians in the world and finally became a magician. myself. I rubbed shoulders with David Blaine and Penn Jillette, and even had the opportunity to perform magic for the late Anthony Bourdain. The whole adventure became my first book, “Magic is Dead”.

My trip to Vegas was a success, and the trick is now available online, where you can pay to learn how it’s done. But how did I, the random journalist who stumbled upon this world, come to understand the secrets of magicians? Aren’t magicians just, like, born with their abilities?

Nope. The secret – or method, in magical parlance – behind a trick is normally quite simple, but it’s the performative flair and masterful execution of the magician that brings it to life.

Disappointment as performance, however, isn’t just about finger dexterity or cleverly designed gear. Magic comes to life when shared between two people; it is intended to establish a connection between the performer and the viewer. Moreover, a magician’s goal is not simply to create a fantasy for his audience, but to bend, twist or shatter his sense of objective reality. It’s a powerful thing.

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And when that happens, a deep element of trust is instilled in the magician. Magic shows you what’s possible in the world, and the viewer expects a magician to take them on a journey they can’t get anywhere else. But, of course, we all know that this is just a trick, that some duplicity is brewing. But this break with reality is captivating. It’s something you can’t find anywhere else. Magic isn’t just silly card tricks; It’s the art of deception – something quite unique in her experience, an encounter so profound that we can’t help but carry her with us for a while. The moment of amazement, however fleeting, becomes a crease in your heart.

But what is life if not a quest for the spectacular? This is why humans are naturally drawn to magic. This is the only situation where people readily say, without hesitation, Yes, please deceive me, please lie to me – and don’t tell me how you did it.

And, really: Who, even as an adult, doesn’t want to get away from reality once in a while?

I came away from my three-year adventure in the underworld of magic convinced that everyone should know a few simple magic tricks. Whether you’re at a game night with your friends, a holiday party with co-workers, or an awkward first date, knowing a handful of easy effects can go a long way in breaking the ice, becoming the center of attention or just jazz up a night on the couch with your partner.

Magic can bring people together, and when done right, an unforgettable moment is shared. I myself have become someone people call on to spice up a low-key meeting with a few card tricks. And now I’m going to share with you some of what I’ve learned on my journey alongside the best magicians in the world.

Whether you received a children’s magic kit that gathered dust or met its fate at a family garage sale, or you’re someone who’s never even touched a deck of cards, here are two simple magic tricks you can start performing today.

Brian L. Hartfield