The first “real” magic trick I can remember being performed for me personally was in a small Gatlinburg, TN magic shop. The close-up trick was called the “Fantastic” and it was a color changing stick that amazed me. I purchased the trick (my parents did actually) and I still love performing it to this day. That started in me a deep love for magic and the history of magic. I have read a significant amount on the history of some of the most well known and beloved magicians (and some who the world has never heard of!). I am fascinated by magic in part due to the nature of communication between the magician and the audience. A great magician is a great communicator, leading the audience to hear and see precisely what the magician wants to be heard and seen. For example, the American magician Harry Kellar was such a master of communicating on stage that he once remarked how “a brass band playing at full blast can march openly across the stage behind me, followed by a herd of elephants, yet no one will realize that they went by.” More than expert technique, that is the part of magic that I find irresistible.
What I want to do in this series of posts on my blog is not write about the history of magic or share my own personal journey through the amazing hobby (such as, I owned an online magic store for two years). Rather, I simply want to post a few videos of some of my most favorite performances, ranging from very old to very new, in no particular order. I will briefly describe what I find to be mesmerizing about the illusion and then let the trick speak for itself. I hope you find this to be a lot of fun, and perhaps even open your eyes to the wonderful world of magic. I have plenty of reading suggestions and even magic trick suggestions for those who might like to try their hand at fooling their friends or family.
The first trick I want to showcase is by a magician that most have never heard or seen. His name is Hans Moretti and he was a German magician who became a legend among other magicians for a few of his stage illusions. The trick that captivated me was his “Cardboard Box” illusion. Most of us are familiar with tricks that involve swords being thrust into some kind of cabinet with the magician escape unharmed. But Moretti did it like no one else. Not only was he getting inside a cardboard box as opposed to an elaborate looking cabinet of some sort, but it was members of the audience who were invited to come and thrust swords into the box! Moretti’s specific secret for how he performed this illusion remains a mystery, and the trick continues to amaze me with a very surprising ending. Take a look and enjoy!