I get asked this question a lot: “Hey Reid, do you know of an easy way to impress both friends and strangers?” The answer is “learn magic.” Here are some simple magic tricks you can use to wow your friends.
HOW IT LOOKS: Walk up to a pretty girl, or if you’re a girl, walk up to a guy. Or you can walk up to a girl as well. I guess the gender doesn’t really matter. First, give them a compliment, something like “You look very nice today, I wish I had something to give you” but definitely not “I hope you die in a car fire” because that is both not complimentary and also not very nice. Upon your appropriate compliment, they’ll think you’re charming, and wish you did have something to give them—this is when suddenly as if out of the air itself you substantiate a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
HOW TO DO IT: For this trick, you will need to already be or need to become an amputee. An arm works best, though if you’re willing to also lose a leg then kudos to you, you must be super into magic. Wear a jacket when you wish to perform the trick, and with all the extra sleeve room, you should be able to comfortably fit a full flower bouquet inside. Just be sure to perform the trick quickly before you pass out from the inevitable blood loss. The secret to this trick: most people assume everyone has two arms.
Is this your card?
HOW IT LOOKS: With a friend, offer them a deck of cards, and ask them to at random pick a card. Have them place it back in the deck and allow them to reshuffle the cards as much as they want. Upon receiving the deck back, go card by card through the entire deck, asking, “Is this your card?” Do this with every card, even the jokers, but hold on –their card isn’t here! Feign surprise at first, and then get really angry. Throw over a table, kick someone in the shin, shout, “Where is it!?” Then act as though you remember. “Oh,” you’ll say, “I was using the wrong deck!” Proceed to pull out a brand new deck of cards, unwrap the cellophane, and spread out the entire deck face up. Your friend will be amazed because every single card is their card. Even the jokers.
HOW TO DO IT: I have no idea. But wow! It sure would be impressive!
Coin in the ear.
HOW IT LOOKS: With a good friend, tell them there’s something in their ears. “Oh my God! It’s a spider! It wants to lay eggs in you!”—this is not a good way to do it. They will panic. Try something like, “Did you get your ears pierced? There’s something shiny in there!” or even, “Let’s become more than friends—can I touch your ear?” Upon their immediate, grateful agreement, reach into their ear and pluck out an entire quarter. Act humble as they compliment you.
HOW TO DO IT: For this trick, you need to actually be a wizard. As far as I can tell, magic is a genetic thing, like diabetes, though if you work at it you can probably get it later in life, like diabetes. You will need to study a specific field of magic known as “Coinomancy” at any reputable magic institution, be it Hogwarts or Brakebills. Be ready to commit about 10 years to mastering this, and be ready for disappointment because this is actually the only trick you can perform with coinomancy. If only there were an easier way!
HOW IT LOOKS: Walk to a group of strangers. Don’t beat around the bush, go straight into it: “Hey! Who wants to see this handkerchief disappear?” Allow them to calm down, then reveal an ordinary handkerchief. “By simply pressing my hands together,” you’ll explain, “I will make this handkerchief disappear!” Proceed to push the handkerchief between your palms, and after a few seconds dramatically pull your hands apart to reveal it’s gone! Then ask the person in the back of their group to check their pockets; they will all be amazed when the exact handkerchief appears inside!
HOW TO DO IT: You will need to seek the mysterious and elusive scientist Nikola Tesla. Travel to Colorado where he and his loyal assistant perform their experiments, and spend months gaining his trust by spending your fortune funding their research. In the end, a device will be created that can produce a perfect copy of the handkerchief. But now, every time you perform the trick, there will be two handkerchiefs, so tearfully you must kill the original.
The New Transported Man
HOW IT LOOKS: Wow an entire audience of strangers with this seemingly impossible trick! On an elaborate stage in front of a mysterious and foreboding machine, explain to the audience the mysterious power of a new technology: electricity. “This new force is powerful beyond imagining—what I am doing is dangerous and could very well be deadly.” A flash of electricity will soar through the air, blinding viewers as the machine buzzes and electrifies the air. Step carefully inside the cage of the apparatus, and beckon your assistant to throw the switch; lights will flash and in a puff of smoke you’re gone, only to reappear seconds later hundreds of feet away on a far balcony.
HOW TO DO IT: Mirrors. It’s really that easy.