How to Invent a Magic Trick

Learn how to invent a magic trick from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic video.

"Magic 101: How to Invent a Magic Trick

My name is Ben Nemzer and I’m a magician. One of my specialties is close-up magic which is magic with ordinary objects; decks of cards, ropes, rubber bands and I do that all over New York City. I’m going to teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away. There’s a lot of different ways to invent a magic trick, different creative processes. But, one of the really interesting things to think about is people would argue that it’s impossible to create a new magic trick because magic is breaking the laws of physics. And there’s only so many laws that can actually be broken. There’s making something appear, there’s making something disappear, there’s making something levitate, there’s making something suspend or not fall, there’s a transposition which is changing places, there’s a prediction where you predict the future, there’s changing the qualities of something. There may be a few more but there’s only so many things that you can actually do to create magic and everything falls into those subcategories. You can take old ideas that already exist, old methods, old ideas, old presentations and change them into your own and that’s what most people do. I like to visualize what I would like to see. You forget about methods, you forget about how you’re going to do it, how the mechanics, how the technical aspects are worked and just use your imagination and visualize what you would like to see happen. You know one of the greatest stories I heard is there’s a great magician, one of the best in the world named Lance Burton and he tells a story about his levitation. And he had a dream and about him floating with a lady and you know obviously he didn’t dream how it was going to happen but he dreamt what it was going to look like. And then he came up and developed methods and put it into a show. So, one of the way I like to create magic, I forget about methods, I forget about technique and I forget about the how to part and I just think about the goal and then it’s you know it’s guess, test and revise almost like a scientist. And you figure out you can use old principals that have been around, new principals that you can invent yourself, it depends on how technically inclined you are. But there’s lots of different ways to invent magic tricks and that’s usually the approach I like to use."