agic Tricks

Charles The Clown is a funny, silly, guy ... and he's also a wonderful magician. As a matter of fact, long before he became a clown, he was performing magic tricks for the kids in his class. He started doing tricks when he was about 5. That's when his parents bought him his first magic trick kit.

Charles thinks magicianing can be a terrific hobby, and he'd like to teach you how to do some easy to learn magic tricks. Unlike the expensive equipment used by the magicians that you see on television, these tricks don't cost anything. They can be done with “props” you have around the house ... pieces of string, paper and pencils.

Older children can read the instructions by themselves; younger kids can get an adult or friend to help. Keep in mind that the most important thing about learning a magic trick is to practice. The entertainer has to be comfortable so he or she can have as much fun performing as the audience has watching.

Charles' new book, The Teen Magician ...That's You! is a comprehensive guide that helps kids aged 10 - 18 turn their magic hobby into a real business.

Learn some new tricks

You pick the card, I'll find it

Here’s what the audience sees:

That's right ... someone in the audience picks a card and does not show it to the magician (you). The card is replaced in the deck, and in a matter of seconds, you know which card has been selected. This is a trick that every magician does. There are many, many ways to do it. Here is an easy method, great for kids and parents!

How to do the trick:

Before meeting the audience, when nobody is watching, take the deck and place all the red cards together. Doing this means the red cards are in one part of the deck and the black cards are in the other half.

Fan the deck, face down in your hands, so that only the cards in the upper half of the deck are available and ask someone to select a card. As soon as they do, bring all the cards together into a stack. While the volunteer is looking at his card and showing it to other kids in the audience, fan the deck again so only the bottom half of the deck is available. Have your helper place his card, face down, into the deck. He's just placed a black card into the red portion of the deck! [see photo #2] So, all you have to do is look at the cards and find the one black card in the red section. When doing this, don't let the audience see the faces of the cards.

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The Jumping Hanger

Here’s what the audience sees:
The magician holds a rope between his hands. There appear to be three knots tied on the rope. A hanger is tied to one of the end knots. The magician says a magic word and FLASH, right before everyone's eyes, the hanger jumps from the end knot to the knot in the center!

How it is done (don't tell anyone!):
Use a strong piece of rope, about 3 feet long. It should be about to ¼ inch thick. Take a look at drawing #1 below. It shows FOUR knots on the rope. Knots B, C and D are regular knots. The hanger is tied to knot C. But knot A isn't a regular knot; it is a tightly drawn "slip knot." (instructions for forming a slip knot can be found at the end of "What to do"). The slip knot looks pretty much like the others, but when the ends of the rope are pulled, Knot "A" comes undone.

What to do:
Begin the trick with knot D covered by your right hand. Hold the rope so that knots A, B, and C are showing. Say "Here we have three knots. Notice that a hanger is tied onto the end knot. But watch...Abracadabra!"

Simultaneously, do two things:
  1. Pull the rope very tight between your hands. This will cause the slip knot [A] to come undone. It seems to disappear.
  2. Pull the rope with the left hand, sliding knot D out from your right hand. When you do this fast, it looks to the audience as if the hanger has jumped from the end knot to the center knot.
Practice, practice, practice ...try it in front of a mirror, then when you can do it fast and smoothly, try it in front of your friends and family. It's a great trick.

Tying the Slip Knot:

Start by placing an 18" string or rope in a straight line on a flat surface. Grab the rope at a spot about 4" from one end.

Twist it so that a "circle" is created.

Pull the string through the center of the circle.

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Amazing Prediction

How it looks:
From an envelope, pull three small cards. One has a large black dot in the center, one a large blue dot, and one a large yellow dot. Ask someone to think of one of the three colors. The magician waves a hand over the cards, looks up at the helper and says, "which color did you think of?" As soon as the color is named, the magician shows that he knew the choice in advance!

How it's done:
The back of the black card has this message written on it in light pencil: .."You chose black!"

In the envelope that held the three cards, is a small, folded piece of paper, which is not shown at the beginning of the trick. It is only shown if the helper selected the color blue. That's because the paper says: "You chose blue!"

And what if the helper picked yellow? On the front of the envelope, just about where a stamp would go, if you were mailing a letter, are the words: "You chose yellow!"

What to do:
  1. Display the envelope. Hold your fingers over the spot that says "you chose yellow!" so it cannot be seen.
  2. Turn the envelope over and place it on the table.
  3. Slide out the three cards, which should be face up (so the colors are showing).
  4. Ask a helper to think of a color.
  5. Say something magical.
  6. Ask the helper to name the selected color.
  7. If black was chosen, turn over all three cards. The only card with writing on the back is the black card.                                                                                                                                                                                        If blue was chosen, push the cards completely off the envelope and onto the table.  Lift up the envelope and open it very wide so the audience can see that it contains a folded piece of paper.  Have the helper reach in and pull out the paper, then have the helper read what it says, "You chose blue!"                                                                                                                                If yellow was chosen, slide the three cards into the envelope.  Fold down the flap.  Slowly, turn over the envelope and point to the words in the corner, "You chose yellow!"
  8. Immediately, place the trick -- the cards, paper, and envelope, out of sight so they cannot be inspected.
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The Disappearing, Reappearing coin

Here’s what the audience sees:
The magician shows everybody a quarter. He puts it down on a sheet of paper that is resting on the table. He points to an empty clear glass sitting, upside down, on the paper (near the coin). Everyone can see right through the glass. The magician says the magic words, “Abracadabra”, lifts the glass and places it (still face down) over the quarter. Suddenly, the quarter vanishes! Next, the magician asks the audience to say the magic word … backwards (“CadabraAbra”). As this is said, he lifts the glass and places it where it was when the trick began. Once again the coin can be seen.

The Secret:
It’s an ordinary coin.  It’s an ordinary sheet of paper. But, the glass is not ordinary, it has been specially prepared for this trick. The rim (where you put your mouth if you are going to take a drink) has a circle of paper pasted to it. This paper is the same kind as the sheet on the table. When the glass is turned rim down onto the paper, you can not see that a circle of similar paper has been pasted onto the glass. It looks as if you are looking through the glass to the sheet of paper on the table.

How to perform the trick:
Once the coin is on the table, begin saying Abracadabra, and as you say it, lift the glass and cover the coin with the circle of paper that is pasted to the rim of the glass. Audience members will believe they are looking through the glass and that the quarter has vanished. It is really hiding under the circle of paper pasted to the glass.

Now, have the audience say “CadabraAbra”, and as people do this, lift the glass and place it back where it started (so that it is no longer covering the coin). Doing this makes it looks as if the quarter has returned.

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Spoon Pictures

How it looks:

The audience is asked to sit in a circle. A spoon (the older the better - a large serving spoon, grandma's ancient teaspoon, or a camping spoon) is shown and passed around.

The magician holds up the spoon and explains that in addition to using it to bring soup to your mouth, it is also a state-of-the-art digital camera.  He goes on to say that in a moment, he'll be stepping out of the room, and that while he is away, the audience is to select a photographer who will take a picture of an audience member.  The magician won't be present, and therefore, will not know whose picture was taken. 


A volunteer accompanies the magician into another room, watching to make sure the magician does not peek.  The audience spends a few moments examining spoon-camera, then someone is chosen as the official photographer.

The photographer holds the spoon up to the face of an audience member (the model), taking a picture

The magician is asked to return. 

"Let me see if I can tell you whose picture was taken."

He examines the spoon carefully, holding it up, down, turning it over, placing it to his ear, to his head.  Suddenly, using the spoon as a pointer, he points it directly at the model.

How it is done:

There is nothing unusual about spoon. 

With the "secret help" of someone in the audience, the magician knows the identity of the model

Make arrangements for the "secret help" long before the show. 

When the magician returns to the room, the "secret helper" positions his or her body just the way the model is sitting.  If the model is crossing his arms, the "helper" does this.  If the model is resting his chin on his hand, the "secret helper" does this.  A few glimpses and the magician should be able to figure out whose spoon picture was taken. 

How to perform the trick: 

There is a lot of acting involved in performing this trick.  Look into the spoon as if you can actually see a photograph.  Do not spend a lot of time glancing over to the "secret helper," just glace at him casually, once or twice.  When it is time to reveal the model, do this as if you just now, very suddenly, found out who it was.  Pretend you are as surprised and amazed as the rest of the audience.

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Other helpful links:
Balloon animal instruction:

Magic Tricks and balloons: