A child never forgets the first time he discovers magic. Perhaps he sees a magician perform a show at his school or a family friend pulls a quarter from behind his ear. If you're enthralled with magic tricks, learning a few simple ones of your own can help you open up to others and serve as a good conversation starter. You never know, you may be the next David Copperfield.
Amaze friends and family by showing them you can send the ketchup packet up and down in a plastic bottle at will.
- Small packets of ketchup like you can pick up at any fast food restaurant
- One-liter soda bottle (make sure it has a lid)
- Water to fill the soda bottle
- First, empty the soda bottle and clean it out.
- Remove the outer label and fill the bottle with water.
- Place a ketchup packet in the top of the bottle.
- Screw the lid down tight.
To Perform the Trick
- Tell the audience that you are going to tell the ketchup packet what to do and it is going to obey your commands.
- Put your hand around the center of the bottle.
- Stare at the ketchup packet.
- To make the ketchup sink, say the word "down" but what actually makes it sink is squeezing the bottle slightly. Practice this step so that your squeezing is not noticeable.
- To get the ketchup to rise, say "up" and slowly release the squeeze.
Cut Rope Trick
One of the first tricks that many beginning magicians learn is the cut and restore rope trick. You will first cut a rope and then restore it to its original status, (at least your audience will think that is what you've done.)
- Two-foot long piece of rope. The rope should be about one-half to one-inch diameter.
- Small piece of same type of rope that is about four inches long
- Place the small piece of rope in the palm of your right hand.
- Position the rope so you can easily pull it up when you are folding the rope during the trick. This is the rope you will cut instead of the longer rope.
To Perform the Trick
- Show your friends the long piece of rope and tug on it so they can see it is a solid, single piece of rope.
- Put the two ends together and show your friends the folded rope.
- Grab the center of the rope and make it look like you are pulling it up through the top of your fisted hand but hide the center in your palm, but you will actually pull up the smaller rope.
- Cut the center of the rope with scissors. Your audience will think you are cutting the long rope.
- Say "Abracadabra," and show the audience that your rope is actually full length. Be sure to keep the smaller cut rope in your closed fist.
If you want to get more advanced with this trick, there is another way to perform it in the video below. In this version, you pull up a piece of a single rope and cut that instead of the full rope the audience thinks you are cutting.
Pluck a Coin From the Air
If you've ever seen a magician, then you've probably seen them pull coins from seemingly nowhere. They may pluck one from behind a person's ear or from thin air. This is one of the first tricks a magician learns and it is fairly easy to perform with a bit of practice.
- Half dollar coin
- Conceal a coin by placing it between your forefinger and middle finger.
To Perform the Trick
- Hold your hand with the front of the hand facing out toward the audience and your palm facing your body. You will be able to see the coin, but the audience won't.
- To make the coin appear, take your thumb and place it under the coin and push the coin up.
- The audience will think the coin appeared out of nowhere.
The more you practice this trick, the faster you'll be able to make the coin appear. Performing the trick more quickly will keep the audience from figuring out how you are making the coin appear.
If you'd like an alternative way to perform this trick, there is a more advanced maneuver you can try that takes more preparation. It is detailed in the video below and involves using double-sided sticky tape, a table, books and performing a drum roll to pick up the coin.
Have Fun With Magic
Magic is a fun way to entertain other people. These simple tricks will get you started on performing a magic show. You can then add to them if you find that you truly love being a magician.