Life Hobbies: Magic Tricks

My introduction to magic

The first trick I remember seeing was a little wierd.

My grandpa, Papa, used to take my brother and I to Waffle House. While there, he would casually hold a knife in his hand, facing up, then act like he fell asleep… ON TO THE KNIFE! White liquid would spill out and I was sure he had poked out his eye.

Turns out he was just holding a coffee creamer in his hand, but seriously – what kind of joke was that?


The first real magic trick I learned how to do was the “Magic Coloring Book.” I just looked it up and it seems like the same thing is still avaible today.

The trick was easy – simply flip with your finger at the top and there were blank pages, in the middle there were black and white outlines, and at the bottom there were full color images. Each section had little tabs cut out so you could flip to specific pages. (Magicians, don’t hate on me for spilling the secrets!)

But, if you didn’t know the secret, it caused a moment of pause. “How did this little kid just do that?”

It was this moment of wonder that I was in search of. I got some books and little kits on magic and learned a few math based card tricks, cut the rope and restore it tricks, seperate and join steel rings, switch the order of balls in a tube, and other simple, but fun to perform acts.

I got really into svengali decks, card decks that were slightly tapered on one end. This meant that I could ask someone to pick a card, reverse the deck, then pull their card out with no questions about it. I spent hours memorizing the patterns on the back of marked decks so that I could read the deck from the back and know what cards people had.


Eventually I ended up taking all my little tricks, bundling them into an act, and doing a show for at least one birthday party. I can’t remember how much I got paid (probably about $5), but I remember the feeling after. It was great! The kids laughed, had a good time, and so did the parents, and I got paid to do something I enjoyed doing!

I don’t really do magic tricks anymore, but I am still a fan of pranks – which will be a later post. I still like instilling people with a sense of wonder, second guessing their assumptions, and making them smile as the realize things are different from how they seem.

Next up – Reading