Monday, October 14, 2013

A rare magician

Most magicians are so good that some of us sometimes wonder if magic is real. All the while fully aware that it isn't. If you put your mind to it, you can often get a rather good idea of how the magic trick was done. But for the most part we keep our brains lazy and enjoy the wonder of seeing reality broken.
Today, I will break magic, thanks to a video of a magic Norwegian on youtube. Go ahead and catch this short video or watch it below (about one and a half minute) and then come back and read how he did it. Better yet, try to figure it our for yourself and then come back here and see if we agree.

Welcome back. So, the magic is that he knocks these paper balls through the table from below. Of course that's not what happens. Why? Because that just can't be done - don't waste time speculating about him actually getting the paper balls through the table.
That leaves us with the question: How does he get the paper balls under the plates? Well, he cheats. Take a closer look at 0:47 in the video when he is laying down the first plate. We believe that he leaves a paper ball below it, but he doesn't. Look at his left hand as he removes it from the plate. You can just see something white between his fingers on the outside of his palms. Yes, that's the paper ball, no longer under the plate but between his fingers.
And when he puts down the second plate, he slips the first paper ball below it - now there are two paper balls below the second plate.
Then he takes one of the free paper balls and takes it below the table, and apparantly knocks it through the table up under the plate. But wait - there are already two balls of paper below that plate, so when we see the two paper balls under the plate, he still has a paper ball in his hand.
Before he puts the plate down, his left hand comes out from under the table, and he slips this paper ball under the plate as well. So, now we have three balls under one plate (but the casual observer believes there are only two balls under it).
He repeats the stunt, taking his left hand below the table and seemingly knocking it through the table up under the plate and shows us the three paper balls we already know are there. And then he uses his left hand again, to slip the fourth ball below the plate, all the while a person is holding down the first plate - which is merely a stunt, since he removed the ball from under that plate at the beginning.
And repeat: left hand under table - this time without any paper balls, and then the reveal: There are now four paper balls under the plate. But it's not magic, just sleight of hand. As you probably already suspected, but now you KNOW.

Oh, and by the way - the two tricks to learn if you want to do magic like this are:
  1. the way he picks up the first paper ball, between the fingers on the outside of his palm. (0:47 to 0:48)
  2. the way he uses his left hand to put down the plates. Remember, he has a paper ball in the left hand and he always brings the left hand up to put down the plate - thats when he slips in the paper ball. It happens at 0:48, 1:01 and at 1:13

A little practise, and your ready to do your own magic.

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