Beginner Magic


Learn The Art of Magic!
Ask anyone who has ever seen a magic show and you'll hear, "Magic is fun!" Not only is magic fun to watch, but it is also fun to perform. Magic can make people smile, laugh and marvel at the mysterious wonders the magician presents. In order to get started, you must first learn the basic rules of magic that all magicians follow.

  1. Never tell how a trick is done. This is the most important rule in magic and is what makes magic special and mysterious. Good magicians never reveal or expose their secrets.
  2. Never tell your audience exactly what you are going to do before you do it. Think of opening Christmas presents - if you don't know what is in a wrapped package, you will be surprised when you open it. Likewise, keep your audience guessing and surprise them with your next feat of magic.
  3. Never repeat a trick for the same audience. If you show the same trick again, your audience will be watching more closely because they will know what is going to happen.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! First, learn the trick inside and out. Then practice until you can do the trick smoothly. Next, practice what you will say when you are presenting the trick. Magicians call this patter. And finally, perform the trick often and make your magic entertaining.
  5. Be yourself! When you present your magic, do it your way. Don't try to be Houdini or Criss Angel. Develop your own natural style and just be yourself.

You should study these rules and review them from time to time. Remember, good magicians have been following these rules for hundreds of years, so they must be important. And now, here are some tricks to get you started!

The Linking Paper Clips

Without touching a pair of paper clips, you cause them to link together! Ready for the secret?

Take a dollar bill, or similar sized piece of paper, and fold it into thirds, as shown in Figure 1. Do not press it flat. Attach two paper clips to the upper edges of the bill as shown, one holding the left end together wit the center, and the other holding the right end with the center.

For the magical linking, pull the ends of the bill apart in the direction of the arrows. The paper clips will hop off the bill and automatically link together.

The Magical Jumping Rubber Band

Amuse your friends by showing them a rubber band and wrapping it around your first two fingers as shown in Figure 2. When you straighten out your hand, the rubber band magically hopes over to your last two figures.

The secret lies in what your friends do not see. Unknown to your friends, you slip all four fingers under the rubber band from beneath, as illustrated in Figure 3.

When you straighten out your fingers, the rubber band will automatically jump over to the last two fingers, as show in Figure 4. If you repeat this process with the rubber band starting on the last two fingers, it will hop back to the first two fingers.

Walking Through a Piece of Paper

Hold up a sheet of paper and tell your friends, "I can walk right through this piece of paper!" Naturally, they won't believe you.

So, to prove it, you fold the paper in half, as shown below, and cut it along the dotted line with a pair of scissors. Be sure you cut only the dotted line area. Do not cut the sides of the paper.

Next, cut slits in the paper, as shown by the lines below, being sure not to cut past the ends of the paper.

When you have made all the cuts, open the paper as shown below, and step through it pulling it over your body and head.

"See," you tell everybody, "I really did walk through this piece of paper!"

The Impossible to Break Toothpick!

Place a toothpick in the middle of a handkerchief and fold the ends over to cover the toothpick. Tell your friends to listen for the 'snap' as you break the toothpick. SNAP! Everyone sees and hears you do it! You can even let them break the toothpick if you wish. You then shake the handkerchief and the toothpick falls out unharmed and totally restored!

Prepare this trick by placing a toothpick inside the hem of a handkerchief. This hidden toothpick is the one you break, leaving the original toothpick unhurt.

Producing a Magical Tree

To perform, first show several sheets of rolled up newspaper. You then make some cuts with a pair of scissors. Next, you reach into the middle of the newspapers and begin pulling the newspapers upward and outward resulting in a tree several feet tall. The more newspapers you use, the taller the tree will be. Trees as high as 15' tall are possible!

Before You Do the Trick: Lay several sheets of newspaper on the floor so they overlap, as shown below. Remember, the more sheets you use, the taller the tree will be.

When you are ready to perform the trick, cut the rolled newspaper tube about halfway down in three places as shown here.

Now, lay the scissors aside and hold the tube as shown below.

Spread the cut paper aside and reach into the middle of the tube. Grasp the inside of the tube and pull that paper upward, which starts the tree.

Once you get several feet coming out, you can use your free hand to work the tree upward and out of the tube until it reaches its full height. Your friends will be amazed and amused!

As a beginner in magic, there's one important thing to remember - your magic MUST entertain! Magic should be more than just doing tricks. Make people smile and laugh and enjoy what you are doing. They will have fun and so will you!

About the Author:

Jim Stott has been a professional magician since 1976. He is a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Jim has written Birthday Magicology and Restaurant Magicology to help other magicians learn how to perform successfully. He is also the founder of The Magic Classroom at where professional magicians come to learn and share. Jim and his wife, Diane, reside in Kuttawa, Kentucky. You can visit Jim's website at
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