9 Secrets a Magician Will Never Reveal to You
Children naturally believe in wonders. When they grow up, they might lose their sense of magic.
However, adults sometimes also start believing in magic when they see the performance of illusionists. Bright Side gives you the opportunity to learn the secrets of the most popular tricks.
9. Invisible wagon
Trick: People surround the wagon, holding hands. The wagon is covered with a big piece of cloth, and soon it starts levitating. Then you see there’s no wagon under the cloth.
Disclosure: The wagon is usually hidden in a special section under the stage. Its shape is preserved because of the thin frame inside the cloth. People do not see the moment of the wagon’s disappearance because the light around it is variegated.
8. Going through the human body
Trick: The magician’s assistant is placed into a narrow box with a hole in the middle. The hole is covered with a curtain. The illusionist goes through the hole from the reverse side of the box. You literally see the man going through the assistant’s body.
Disclosure: The box only seems narrow when the person inside it is standing completely straight. But when the assistant changes their posture, there is enough room for the illusionist to crawl through the hole.
7. Fish in the bottle
Trick: The magician shows a bottle with the lid on it and some water inside. Then the bottle is covered with a napkin, some "magic" words are said, and after the cover is removed, there is a fish inside the bottle.
Disclosure: There is a thin straight arc under the top of the bottle. This arc is usually easily removed. So the fish is on the arc, and we can’t see it because of the lid. When removing the napkin, the illusionist pulls out the arc, and the fish falls down into the water.
6. Swallowing needles
Trick: The author of this trick was Harry Houdini. The illusionist swallowed thread and 50 needles, washing them down in full public view. Then he pulled out an improvised “chain“ with all 50 needles on it.
Disclosure: The magician doesn’t actually swallow the needles but spits them into a glass of water. Thanks to the right light effects, nobody sees this. All this time, the ”chain" is already inside the illusionist’s mouth, coiled around a piece of brown cardboard. When he shows you his “empty” mouth before the trick, he just covers the cardboard with his fingers.
5. Magic chair
Trick: The illusionist sits on a chair. Then his assistants remove the chair, but the magician stays motionless, sitting in the air.
Disclosure: There is an invisible pintle in the platform for the magician to sit on. If the shoe is attached to this pintle, the leg will be safely frozen in place and won’t move. The shape of the chair is the frame, attached to the same leg.
4. Straitjacket escape
Trick: The illusionist puts on a straitjacket, the sleeves of which are fastened behind his back. The whole scene is covered with a screen. After several minutes, the magician is wonderfully free from his straitjacket. In some variations, they also hang the magician upside down or blow him up.
Disclosure: When the sleeves are fastened, the illusionist braces his arms on his chest and takes a deep breath. After breathing out, there is some room inside the straitjacket to move his arms. Houdini once had to dislocate his shoulder to finish the trick successfully.
3. Catching bullets with their teeth
Trick: The illusionist is shot with a gun, but he doesn’t come to any harm because he catches the bullet with his teeth.
Disclosure: Such bullets are made of wax. At the very moment of the shot, they melt down immediately. At the same time, the magician just pulls out the real bullet, hidden in his mouth beforehand.
2. Pole piercing
Trick: The illusionist lies down on a sharp pole, and the public sees he is being pierced.
Disclosure: The edge of the pole is movable, and it hides when it gets to a special hole on the back of the magician. To imitate the piercing effect, there is another special mechanism on the stomach of the illusionist with a pull-out pole edge. It just jumps out at the necessary moment. The special frame also holds the illusionist, and he doesn’t fall down.
1. "Zigzag" lady
Trick: It’s a variation of the famous "sawing a woman in half" illusion. In the Zigzag illusion, a magician divides an assistant into thirds, only to have them emerge from the illusion at the end of the performance completely unharmed.
Disclosure: This incredible trick makes use of several 35-centimeter-high boxes and a 20-centimeter-high mobile platform. As the female assistant enters the bottom box, she stands on top of a concealed spring-operated hatch. The hatch opens down into an empty compartment, located inside the mobile platform. As the illusionist shuts all of the boxes’ openings, the girl slips down through the hatch and sits cross-legged inside the platform’s inner compartment. When the magician finally proceeds to open the boxes, the audience sees a mixed-up version of the assistant’s torso. Of course, we’re talking about mere mannequin parts located inside false openings!
Illustrated by Leonid Khan for BrightSide.me