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Learn magic tricks with these helpful tips.

What Is Magic? Stepping Behind The Curtain To Understand The Illusion

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What is magic? Does it really exist? Or is there a logical explanation behind every trick in the book? We did a bit of research on the subject and this is what we discovered.

What Is Magic?

Despite puzzling generations for hundreds of years, there is actually a scientific explanation behind magic and all its “illusions.” To put it succinctly, magic is simply a matter of “your mind playing tricks on you” with a magician using psychological techniques in the process. Now, that probably sounds strange because most of what we believe is based on what we see. After all, “perception is our reality,” or so the saying goes.

While it may seem inconceivable, the human mind actually has limitations — especially when it comes to matters of perception. We rely on our vision instinctively and intuitively to make logical sense of what's happening around us. However, not all of our visual experiences are as accurate as we think. Visual illusions are capable of warping our instinctive and intuitive sense of reality.

What Is A Visual Illusion?

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In psychology, a visual illusion (more commonly referred to as an “optical illusion”) is defined as “a perception that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.” A visual illusion happens when there is a disparity between one's perceptual experience and actual reality.

Visual illusions demonstrate how looks can be deceiving. We rely on our ocular sense to capture accurate images so our minds can assess what our environment is like or anticipate what comes next.

More often than not, our approximations are not as reliable as we think they are. These inaccuracies in perception are what magicians take advantage of and specialize in. The brief answer to the question, “what is magic?” is that it is the act of playing on the limitations of human perception.

Examples Of Visual Illusions In Psychology

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To better understand the concept of visual illusion and its effects on our perceptual sense, let's take a look at some examples from studies made by several psychologists such as Franz Carl Müller-Lye and Joseph Delbouef.

Franz Carl Müller-Lyer devised what is called the Müller-Lyer illusion — a visual illusion which consists of three stylized arrows. The shafts of the three arrows are straight line segments of equal length with fins extend from the ends of the shaft either as arrowheads (pointing inward) or arrow tails (pointing outward).

The second arrow with two arrow tails at both ends is perceived to have a longer shaft compared to the first arrow with two arrowheads at both ends, while the third arrow with an arrowhead and an arrow tail appears to have a longer shaft than the first arrow with two arrowheads on both ends.

Joseph Delbouef discovered a visual illusion called relative size perception and devised the Delbouef Illusion. Here, two black circles with identical sizes are placed side by side with the first black circle inside an annulus, making it appear bigger than the second black circle. However, when the size of the annulus is increased and is more distant from the black circle in the center, the circle appears smaller than that of the other black circle with no annulus.

While we are tackling the subject of visual illusion to explain its use in the art of magic, it would be good to note that these scientific studies serve a bigger purpose.

Why Are Visual Illusions Important To Executing Magic Tricks?

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Even scientists learn something new from magicians. It's all a matter of manipulating the audience's perception, attention, and awareness.

For example, misdirecting people's attention to say, a hand gesture, a rolling of the sleeve, or releasing a dove in the air lead to inattentional blindness — distracting the audience from what's really going on behind the scenes, even for a split second. More subtle cues such as eye or head movement can also serve as effective misdirection techniques. A magician also needs to be impeccable in his timing in order to execute an illusion flawlessly.

These tricks, which constitute our perception of what is magic, provide scientists with a better understanding of the limitations of the cognitive processes of the human mind.

What Effects Do Magicians Use To Create Visual Illusions?

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A magician can perform a wide range of magic tricks — from the simplest to the most complex. It all depends on their expertise, years of experience and ability to come up with a spectacle.

As both a performer and an actor, a magician needs to have a deep understanding of theatrics, storytelling, lighting, stage effects, and costumes.

Simple tricks usually require sleight of hand and an effective strategy for misdirection. More complex magic tricks involve the use of bigger props, such as animals, boxes, mirrors, or even people.

In the process of creating these illusions, a magician may use any or all of these effects:

  • Making objects, animals, or people appear or disappear
  • Transposing objects, animals, or people by making them disappear from one place then re-appear in another location.
  • Transforming objects, animals, or people into something else
  • Penetrating objects, animals, or people by placing them in boxes and creating the illusion that they are being penetrated with other objects
  • Restoring objects, animals, or people into their original shape after seemingly cutting them into parts
  • Suspending or levitating objects, animals, or people in mid-air
  • Predicting the future or reading minds
  • Identifying objects chosen by people without knowing what they are
  • Moving objects, animals, or people through the power of the mind or spirit
  • Bringing inanimate objects to life

The extent of effects that a magician uses also depends on his ability to execute each trick with impeccable timing and a flawless performance. What is magic to our eyes actually takes years of careful training for a magician.

Some Simple Magic Tricks And The Methods Behind Them

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There are several tricks in a magician's book that make use of visual illusions. As we've previously stated, they can either be simple magic tricks or bigger ones that make use of props such as smoke and mirrors.

To give you an idea of how magicians use visual illusion to accomplish what is magic, let's explore some simple magic tricks as well as the methods used in their execution. It's what you call a sneak peek behind the magician's curtain.

1. The Disappearing Ball Trick

2. The Vanishing Coin Trick

Don't Over-Analyze, Just Enjoy The Show

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Awareness of the principles of visual illusion and what magicians do behind the scenes may altogether change your perception about magic tricks. While it's good to know more about how the human mind works, sometimes, all you really want is to relax and enjoy the show.

This is the reason why magic has been around for centuries — it's one of the oldest professions in the world. The tricks may have evolved and become more complex and sophisticated through the years, but the sense of awe, amazement, and fascination that magic shows bring to a receptive audience remain.

Watching magic happen is like seeing a movie on the big screen — you don't sit in a theatre for two hours just to deconstruct the film and pinpoint all the flaws (unless you're a movie critic or a film director yourself, maybe). You're there to be entertained and amazed by the spectacle.

And no, there is nothing wrong with you — the reality is that the human brain has limitations that only science can explain. Magicians spend their lives learning how to exploit these weaknesses and use them to their advantage in order to give you something to wonder about.

Magic is not about witnessing the impossible, it's actually about the audience's willingness to suspend their disbelief. After all, a magician spends years and years mastering his craft and goes to great lengths just to give you a splendid and awe-inspiring show.

So, what is magic really? Magic happens when the audience is genuinely amazed and entertained. For a magician, it means a job well done.

What Is Covert Hypnosis? Discover The 4 Stage Covert Hypnosis Formula

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What Is Covert Hypnosis?

Covert hypnosis is the attempt to communicate with a person’s unconscious mind without them knowing that they are being hypnotized. Because it is attempted without the subject knowing, usually during regular conversation, it is called covert hypnosis.

Much like a covert mission James Bond would embark on, covert hypnosis is a stealthy way to hypnotize someone. There are a few different definitions of covert hypnosis that approach different perspectives and angles.

Definitions of Covert Hypnosis

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According to Covert Hypnosis Revealed, “Covert hypnosis gives you the scientific breakthrough and ultimate power to covertly control minds, change behaviors and hypnotically make anyone eager to fulfill your every desire, without them ever knowing it.”

According to the questionable people-driven Wikipedia, covert hypnosis is “an attempt to communicate with another person’s unconscious mind without informing the subject that they will be hypnotized.”

According to the site Conversational Hypnosis Techniques, “Conversational (or covert) hypnosis means getting whatever information from someone by using hypnosis system tools while the participant is awake. It is a very powerful and controlling tool used to influence people without them deliberately being aware of it.”

Hypnosis Unlocked defines covert hypnosis as “a form of mind manipulation also known as conversational hypnosis or sleight of mouth. The whole point is to communicate with someone’s unconscious mind without that particular person taking notice.”

However you define it, covert hypnosis simply means to hypnotize someone covertly. The subject of the hypnosis is not aware that you are trying to hypnotize them.

Covert hypnosis is about changing people’s thoughts and behaviors intentionally without them knowing.

Why Use Covert Hypnosis?

man in a state of covert hypnosis

People use covert or conversational hypnosis for many different reasons. We hope that people who use this learnable skill use it to manifest positive intentions. However, there are always those extreme cases of negative (take Hitler for example) that stand out as an exception to the good-intention guideline.

Our hope rests on those who learn or are interested in learning how to do covert hypnosis. We hope that they use it to possess abundance and goodness in their lives and everyone else’s.

Covert hypnosis is considered an art form and a stealthy but effective way to mind-control someone. Some learn conversational hypnosis to simply impress friends and family. Also, others learn covert hypnosis to produce certain results in their life, like money and riches. Meanwhile, others use it to entice a certain person into their life or to create certain advantages for themselves.

Covert hypnosis is a sure-proof way to get what you want, that is for sure.

Where Does Covert Hypnosis Come From?

There are a few men who can be given credit for bringing hypnosis and medicinal hypnotism into the world. These men are James Braid and Milton Erickson.

Milton Erickson

B&W photo of Milton Erickson in front of microphone

Covert Hypnosis and hypnosis in general is said to be the seedling of the wise Dr. Milton Erickson. Dr. Milton Erickson put an extensive amount of time and hard work into medicinal hypnosis, the hypnosis industry and using hypnosis as a means for family and self-therapy.

Erickson became the founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and an associate of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association. Further, he has written widely popular and used books such as The Nature of Hypnosis and Suggestion, Hypnotic Realities and Healing in Hypnosis.

Milton Erickson influenced some of the leading pioneers to trek the hypnotic field and paved the way for modern day hypnosis and hypnotic techniques. Also, Milton Erickson would overcome his dyslexia by having experience he described as “flashes of light” and “creative moments.” Further, this breakthrough would later be named as spontaneous autohypnotic trances. This would help shape Erickson’s life and life work.

Erickson’s autohypnotic trance experience

According to his biography, Erickson became paralyzed after contracting polio disease. One night, during the peak of the disease’s strike, Erickson experienced an autohypnotic trance that would become the turning point in his life and career.

Then, as he lay in bed after this experience, Erickson said:

“I saw that vast sunset covering the whole sky. But I know there was also a tree there outside the window, but I blocked it out…I saw all the sunset, but I didn’t see the fence and large boulder that were there. I blocked out everything except the sunset.”

This seemingly meaningless journal entry became the stepping stone for Erickson’s fascination to the significance of non-verbal communication. Determined to push his doctor’s bounds and his own personal bounds, Erickson continued to improve every day.

He took himself on a thousand-mile canoe trip with just a few bucks to his name. Then, when he was done with this journey, he was able to walk unbelievably with the help of a cane. This series of events directed Erickson to leave his career as a farmer. Then, he pursued the life of a doctor, with an intense plunge into the domains of psychiatry and psychology.

His will of using his own experiences proved the power of the unconscious mind. Moreover, Erickson’s ability later became the foundation for hypnosis and art of hypnotization. 

James Braid

sketch of James Braid

James Braid is a key player in the world of hypnotism and its influences in the world today. He is often called the “Father of Hypnosis.” Also, he plays just as important a role as Milton Erickson in modern hypnotism.

He coined the word “hypnosis” himself and brought the taboo world of mesmerism. Further, he produced valuable insights to allow the art and world to come out of the dark shadows.

Braid dove deep into his fascinations with eye fixations, mesmerizing, and the mind’s ability to focus (or not focus). Also, he became entranced with the fact that mesmerized subjects were not able to open their eyes and that eye fixation or attention was crucial to mesmerism. Then, he began practicing on friends, family, and anyone that would allow him.

He found that he was able to induce trance-like states. Braid realized that individuals must focus their attention on a variety of illuminated objects. For instance, flames or small mirrors that are held in close distance to the faces of the subjects.

Braid discovered that prolonged fixation of the eyes brought an entranced-like state to the subject and that certain nervous disorders could be treated while in a state of nervous sleep. He called this state of nervous sleep “neurohypnostism,” adapted from the Greek word “Hypnos,” which gladly sunk into the term “hypnosis.”

He continued to enhance his findings medically. He healed those with long-term illnesses, mobility issues, and sensory-deprived states. Then, his observations and findings from the middle of the nineteenth century are fundamental to the art. And quite frankly, the word hypnosis today.

4 Stage Covert Hypnosis Formula

There are four main steps or guidelines to follow when learning to use covert or conversational hypnosis. Of course, you must take into consideration your skill level, technique, and patience before you dive headfirst into the world of covert hypnosis.

There are many different factors and techniques, but the steps listed below are the basic phases to assume when attempting to use covert hypnosis. Moreover, these four steps were created and founded by James Braid in the 1800’s.

1. Absorb Attention

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The first step to take when attempting to use covert hypnosis is to absorb the subject’s attention. This simply means using intense concentration and proficiency in the art of drawing your subject into you in a way that they are free from any external distractions.

The goal is to absorb the person’s attention so that you can fully receive their undivided attention. Further, you can do this by asking or telling them something that will pique their interests or use more indirect and skilled methods of absorbing their attention.

2. Bypass the Critical Factor

The second step of achieving covert hypnosis is to bypass the critical factor. Its critical factor is the part of your mind that tells you “this is not possible – this cannot happen.” Also, the main reason hypnosis does not work is formed in resistance to the critical factor. Moreover, there are various ways and methods on getting the critical factor and it is different for every case.

3. Activate an Unconscious Response

emotional eye of a woman

After you bypass the critical factor(s), the next step is to activate an unconscious response from your subject. If you can successfully receive an unconscious response of any kind with your subject, you have achieved getting your subject into a hypnotic state.

There are different kinds of unconscious responses including an emotional response.

 If you are not successful in attempting to activate an unconscious response, you have no subject to work with. Therefore, you have nothing to attain the desired result.

4. Lead the Unconscious to Desired Outcome  

The final step of achieving covert hypnosis is the art of leading the subconscious mind to the desired outcome. If you have your subject in a hypnotic state, you can then begin to use hypnotic techniques and methods to lead their unconscious mind to a certain outcome. Using suggestions and keywords to achieve the desired effects can help.

Concluding Covert Hypnosis

We hope that after reading this article, you feel more comfortable on the subject of covert hypnosis. Covert hypnosis is the attempt to communicate with a person’s unconscious mind without them knowing that they are being hypnotized. Moreover, it is achieved by a formula of four steps and using methods and hypnotic techniques.

Finally, be sure to be educated, informed, and well-intended when planning to use covert hypnosis!

Power Of Equivoque Magic And How Magicians Mastered This Trick

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Equivoque magic is known as the magician’s choice. It is a means and highly trained technique by a magician to make the audience believe they have freedom of choice, when really the end result is already set in place by the magician. It is one of the greatest powers a magician can possess, yet also one of the most detrimental.

Equivoque takes an extreme amount of practice, attention, to detail and a way with words. Without supreme delivery of equivoque magic, this hidden trick is of no use at all. It can be hard to understand the concept of equivoque magic, so we will break down a basic example for you below.

Example of Equivoque Magic

To help explain the art of equivoque so that it is easier understand, imagine a basic card magic trick. Let us take the simplest example of being dealt two cards in front of you and having the magician ask you to remove one of the cards, but the choice is completely up to you.

Which card do you choose?

Well, with the power of equivoque magic, it really does not matter because the magician will choose the one he or she wants either way.

If you decide to move the card that the magician was hoping you would, they will remove that card. However, if you choose the one opposite of what they were intending, they will still go along with it and say “great, we will remove that one,” and you are still left with the originally desired card.

This may seem simple, but pair this concept with a large deck of cards or an audience choosing or picking, and you have yourself magic deception at its finest. The same card the magician intends to be ‘the one’ is the going to be ‘the one’ whether you pick ‘the one’ or not.

How Equivocation Works

magician doing equivoque magic

Equivoque involves a variety of techniques used by trained magicians and newbie magicians alike to sway their audience in their favor. The power of equivoque magic lies solely in the hands of the magician!

The bottom line of equivocation is that the magician gives the audience the false reality that they are completely free in their choice of a card, door, cup, etc. during a trick. No matter which way the subject decides to go, the magician’s choice is always going to wind up being the choice left at the end of the game.

Equivocation is successful because the subject does not know what to expect at each step of the trick. If the magician tells the subject to pick a card, they do not tell them first whether it will be the selected card or a removed card, so at any time, the magician can switch it up without the subject even realizing they have been fooled.

For example, say a magician lays out four cards in front of a subject in the order A, B, C and D. Let us say for fun that the desired trick card is ‘A,’ but the subject does not know this. The subject picks ‘B.’ Once you pick ‘B,’ the magician might say something along the lines of ‘Okay, if you want to pick that one, we will remove it from the table.’

Now you are down to A, C or D. You select ‘C’ and the magician removes C from the table. You are now down to ‘A,’ the desired trick card or ‘D.’ If you pick ‘D,’ the magician will remove that card and you are left with ‘A.’ If you pick ‘A,’ the magician will tell you something like ‘so keep your finger on this one if it is your final choice,’ and look at that – the magician has used the power of equivocation to produce the desired trick card of ‘A.’

What if you would have picked ‘A’ from the start?

You would have given the magician little work to do and might even fool yourself into believing that you are magical because you picked the magic ‘A’ card.

What is so important about equivoque magic is that the magician must make sure the spectator selects the desired outcome without believing in any way that they have actually been influenced.

That is why it is so important to channel your skill and really practice the art of equivocation to see any successful results.

Mentalism and Equivoque

brain with gears

Mentalism is an act of mind reading and ‘training your brain’ magicians use to invoke the response they want to see out of their subject or audience. It is a part of equivoque in the fact that magicians use it to gain power over people’s mental capacity and choices.

A magician uses equivoque also known as the magician’s choice to force a certain envelope that relates to an anticipated outcome. Mentalism is a performance art used by magicians and mentalists to exhibit highly established and instinctual abilities.

Pioneer Girolamo Scotto was one of the first sleight-of-hand magicians to use mentalism in 1572. This is one of the oldest cited uses of mentalism around the world. Mentalism plays on the senses and the audience’s observational perception of the magician’s tricks.  

The Illusion of Choice

If you have not figured it out by now, equivoque magic is all about the illusion of choice. It is about using serious brainpower, influencing charisma, and established techniques to produce an illusion that the magician’s subject has full control and freedom when it comes to ‘choosing’ something in a magic trick.

Each choice the magician crafts for their subject should leave an impression on the rest of the adventure or magic trick. You create the illusion that the player’s choice is so important that it will have an extreme impact on whether or not the choice will be the ‘right’ one or the ‘magic’ one.

When a magician gives a subject a choice, it creates the illusion that there is a choice. When in reality, there is only one choice to begin with – the magician’s choice a.k.a. equivoque magic.

The illusion of choice must engage the audience. Without audience participation, the magician does not give the illusion of choice to the audience, leaving all validity out of the trick. Classic examples of these mentalist tactics include card forcing, mathematical choice, and the wonderful world of the magician’s choice.

Successful Equivocation

magician raising his left hand

Equivocation is all about making the spectator feel as if they are in total control of the outcome of the specific trick at play. It is about using mentalism and an established skill set to grab your audience by the seats of their pants and have them eating out of your magical palms.

There are different key points or attributes of successful equivocation.

The spectator is made to feel magical. When successful equivoque magic is at play, the spectator will feel in total control of the outcome of the trick, whatever kind of trick it might be.

The spectator must feel like they, in some part, are magical and that their special pick is correct because they have important magical powers.

The card selected is important to the trick in the manner that it is the only thing that matters. To successfully invoke equivocation, the magician must give the spectator a feeling of importance and let them know that their choice is the only thing that matters.

Always create repercussions for the spectator’s choice. Even though the choices will all lead to the same (unvoiced) desire for the magician, the spectator needs to know that the choices are all different. If the spectator knows that each choice is so important as to affect the entire outcome, then they will feel even more powerful in their freedom to pick the ‘right’ choice.

The spectator does not realize their choice was already decided for them. This may seem like an obvious outcome of successful equivocation, but it is definitely the most important. If the subject has any inclination that their selection is ‘rigged’ or does not hold value, the equivoque magic holds zero integrity and power.  

The Power of Equivoque Magic

As you can see by now, the power of equivoque is a fascinating and widely desired trait to possess as a magician. The power of absorbing an audience’s attention, letting them take the wheel, and leading them into an illusion of choice is key to successfully completing equivocation.

If you want to be a successful magician or are on the other side and want to stay away from being fooled by a magician, the power of equivoque magic is one of the most powerful tools to add to your tool belt.

Spotlight: The Magic of Daniel Madison

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Born in England, Daniel Madison is a world-famous illusionist who won his fame through his sleight of hand mastery.

This talent also awarded him president status of the underground magician crew; Magic is Dead, based in the UK.

Daniel Madison: Pros & Cons


  • High-quality and entertaining videos
  • Incredible learning tools
  • Affordable price


  • Not for beginners
  • Most tricks requires intermediate skills to perform

Daniel has shown his technique on Penn & Teller: Fool us as well as online platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. You can watch the video from Penn and Teller here.

Before he got into magic, he was banned from casinos for card counting to cheat at blackjack, leaving only backroom poker games for his skills and attention. He was hired later on as an employee to help catch other card counters for casinos.

After six months as a card cheater, his sleight of hand technique was exposed, resulting in a hospital visit and ending his poker cheating life for once and for all.

After the magic circle rejected his debut lecture notes, Daniel decided to hold a private lecture in 2005 at a convention for an invite-only audience.

It was the success Daniel needed to launch him into the underground world of the industry as a well-recognized artist.

Early Years of Daniel Madison

Daniel has had a rough past, but one that has sent him towards his successful career in magic.

A card cheat influenced Daniel at an early age who introduced him to various sleights and con-techniques.

He spent years developing a range of deceptions from memory training to sleight of hand. Once he took his skills to the casinos, he was quickly caught from casinos and they banned him for life. This led him to play backroom poker games where he was able to make a living for a short while.

Soon after, he was exposed to cheating a game through specific techniques which, as mentioned earlier, landed him in a hospital and a wheelchair for six months.

Through his recovery in his wheelchair, he said that magic found him, leaving the rest to history.

He has been performing since 2001 when he had his first magical performance which helped him decide to continue with magic.

Facts About Daniel Madison

What makes Daniel Madison special?

Well, besides his hard past and fight to the top of the magician industry, his way of looking at the magician community and what it means, truly makes him stand out from the crowd.

How do we mean?

Here’s a list of interesting facts we’ve sniffed out to give you a better idea of who Daniel Madison is:

  • His favorite effect to perform is RIP or anything that includes a vanishing deck, while his favorite effect to watch is Smoke by Derren Brown. As he says, it’s, “Magic at its finest.”
  • Despite this being his favorite trick, his favorite performer to watch is David Blaine due to his showmanship. As Daniel Madison says, he takes simple ideas in magic and inflates them with character, which made the effects seem amazing and real. David truly has a way of freaking people out.
  • Daniel believes that magic is an art form, and what he thinks is wrong with the magic industry today is a magician’s desire to fool people into thinking that it’s not. Instead, Daniel believes that some magicians are more interested in getting props and effects from magic stores. However, it takes more than performing a specific impact to call yourself an artist.
  • Daniel believes that magic would have a better name for itself if magicians had more respect for the art of magic.

Daniel epitomizes the “underground magician” with a modern twist. He’s a fighter and a believer of genuine growth in the illusionist community.

David Madison’s Tricks and Packages

So you admire David Madison’s style and abilities, his incredible sleight of hand techniques and mathematical mind.

Good news: he has some educational and entertaining material for you.

If you check the forward-thinking and modern magician hub, Theory 11, you’ll find tons of downloadable material to learn from.

It includes some of David Madison’s favorite personalized tricks that have given him his fame and status in the magic world.

Which one is your favorite?


In the midst of flicking a playing card it magically and automatically changes.

GLITCH serves as a mesmerizing new color change trick that was inspired by Dave Buck, Dan Buck, and Ed Marlo.

It is the type of practical color change you can learn and use in every performance you have.

Learn every part of this sleight of hand card trick, down to every detail to perfect it. This how-to video contains 10 minutes of high definition, comprehensive instruction from one of the most talented magicians in the business.

Check out the tutorial here.


This trick starts off with two different colored decks. You as the magician ask a spectator to choose whatever card they like and put it on top of the pack of cards. As soon as they do, you do the same.

Somehow, both cards match.

The spectator’s free choice leads the audience and spectator to one conclusion: true magic.

BLIND has a modern twist to an age-old card plot with absolutely impossible conditions:

No doubles, no duplicates, no explanation.

You can learn the whole effect today, on top of extra tips and the psychology that enables this trick to work perfectly.

This is all explained in detail for 10 minutes on high definition video.

Just you, Daniel and some awesome tricks.


In this trick, any playing card is chosen and placed on top of the deck, face up.

The deck is put beneath a glass tabletop or surface and is penetrating up through the glass visually.

Suddenly, it melts back through the glass table again.

BREACH is an amazing card visual that occurs with little cover, using any glass surface you want. This is magic at its finest.

Learn about the details, subtleties, nuances, and variations in just over five minutes. Smooth, detailed and high definition.


In this specialized trick, any playing card is selected freely, then put back into the deck after the individual remembers it.

The magician produces two aces together.

While holding the edges of the two ace cards, the magician pulls them out slowly to reveal the aces have caught a playing card: the original selection.

By watching almost 10 minutes of high definition instructions, you’ll be able to learn this amazing card trick with all the details and nuances.

Check it out here!

In Flight

This card trick is fast and fairly simple for a pop-out flourish.

Any card is selected and gets thrown into the air, lands into your hand in one slick motion. You can learn this definite crowd pleaser in three minutes of high definition instruction. It covers everything you need to know in a concise and digestible manner.

Check out the video here.


This is a classic trick turned modern and a signature card performance by Daniel Madison.

By cutting a regular deck of cards into many packets, you immediately produce any four of a kind.

If you have a basic understanding of cardistry, you can learn an amazing production right now.

ASYBIL is Daniel Madison’s version of Sybil Cut, a classic flourish.

You need to know a basic understanding of the cut to learn this production.

Learn everything you need to know about this cut in only five minutes of high-quality training by one of the most sought-after magicians of our time.


It is a new cardistry sequence used to begin a flourish you’ve already mastered. It can also be used as the basis for a while new creation of your own.

Daniel Madison displays a unique skill that will amaze any crowd or audience.

In only five minutes, you can learn all the details and tricks involved in this flourish through precise expert training in high-definition video.

Dangerous 2-Disc Set

This is a two-disc set that trains viewers to master the work of the underground magician and cardist, Daniel Madison.

Volume 1, Mystique is all about Daniel’s magic, while Volume 2, Motion, includes his signature creations in cardistry.

The magic in this training video is direct and visual, and the instruction is comprehensive and high-quality.

Each trick is presented in great detail with vocal instruction paired with on-screen text, many camera angles and other tips from Daniel himself.

You’ll learn the psychology of the magic, hand positioning and everything you need to know to make the tricks your own.

In MYSTIQUE: Volume 1 you’ll find 11 practical magic tricks that you can try in any situation — totally independent of location and props.

After watching this DVD, you’ll be able to learn Daniel Madison’s tricks such as:

  • Aces
  • Bad Influence
  • Angle Zero
  • Color
  • Catch
  • Heritage 
  • Lapse and many more 

It also includes more shots filmed in the UK.

In MOTION: Volume 2, you’ll find 21 cardistry moves that will gain attention and admiration from any crowd or situation.

Through these lessons, you’ll be able to learn variously specialized flourishes such as

  • Sleepless
  • Downfall
  • 4sybil
  • Aries
  • Lethal
  • Lethal X
  • Mayhem and many more

All cardistry moves are taught in Daniel’s classic style. Check it out here.

Cardistry By Daniel Madison

Cardistry is where Daniel Madison thrives.

When he has a deck of cards in his hands, incredible things happen.

This collection is comprised of 13 of the amazing tricks Daniel Madison achieves, his journey and his skills on camera for you to watch, be amazed by and learn from.

Check out prices, purchasing methods and the list of cardistry tricks you’ll learn through this collection at The Ellusionist.

Daniel Madison Product Pricing 

For the quality of material Daniel Madison provides through the technical and professional videoing support of Theory 11, these prices are very fair.

Remember, Daniel is giving you an all-access peek into his tricks and methods — the very aspects that give him his fame and admiration.

As Theory 11 knows well, Daniel Madison has a special and unique flare to his magic performances and tricks. These prices not only help him continue to do what he does best but are bite-sized educational pieces for you to learn from and start developing your unique style.

The most expensive product is the Dangerous 2-Disc Set

Learn from a pro. Gain confidence and educate yourself on new techniques for a super affordable price.

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Customer Rating


What We Think and Public Perception

While Theory 11 products haven’t been rated yet, Cardistry by Daniel Madison has been reviewed 40 times with an average rating of 4 ¼ stars.

The majority of customers say that it’s an incredible learning tool, especially considering the price, while the only downfall is that the buyer’s level in cardistry needs to be fairly high, to begin with, to gain valuable insight from this lesson.

If you’re looking for a cardistry performance that amazes for a low price and high definition video, we believe that Daniel Madison is your guy.

As an underground magician and illusionist, he brings a unique and attractive flare to the table, a kind of style that you can emulate and mold into your own, without making any outlandish financial investments.

10 Famous Magicians That Every Magician Could Learn Something From

Career, Learn Magic

Whether you are brand-new to the world of magic or you just want to brush up on your magician history, there are quite a few famous magicians you should know about.

There are so many different magicians that have shaped the community and the tricks that are performed today. We will be looking at ten famous magicians that everyone who practices or is interested in magic could learn from.

This list has individuals from different types of history, giving you a great overview of the people who started it all.

Ten Famous Magicians
Harry Blackstone Sr.

We are going to start with one of the famous magicians of all time. Harry Blackstone Sr. is an American magician from Three Rivers, Michigan and was born in 1934.

Over his lifetime it has been estimated that he has pulled 80,000 rabbits from his sleeves and hats. He developed a lot of his performance routines and modernized a lot of the traditional tricks that he performed. Blackstone also created four different levels (beginner to advanced) of magic kits that sold better than any other kits at the time.

He also appeared in a lot of commercials on TV for magic kits and Jiffy Pop popcorn in the 1970s. In 1985, he donated to the Smithsonian Institution of the original floating light bulb designed by Thomas Edison, along with the original Casadega Cabinet (used in the “dancing handkerchief” illusion).

He also designed a lot of the illusions used at Seaworld’s water show that featured the DC Comics superheroes.

During his active years, Blackstone traveled to the United States frequently and extensively. When he went on tour, he would go to dozens and dozens of different cities to perform. During his Magnificent Musical Magical Show, which opened in May 1980, he played in 156 cities.

He received the Academy of Magical Arts Magician of the Year Award in two separate years, once in 1979 and again in 1985.

Siegfried and Roy

This next in our famous magicians is a German-American duo. Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn were both born in Germany and migrated to the United States to start their magic careers.

They specialized in working with white cats, specifically a lion and a tiger. They started out as a duo performing on cruise ships in Germany. Then, then owner of the Astoria Theatre in Bremen, Germany saw and recruited the two of them to perform at her nightclub. This ignited a career of working at nightclubs around Europe, and they then started to work with tigers.

In 1967, they were discovered during a performance in Paris by Tony Azzie and were asked to come to Las Vegas. In 1981, they were a part of the Beyond Belief show that was created by Ken Feld of Irvin and Kenneth Feld Productions. A version of this show went on a world tour in 1988.

In the early 2000s, October of 2003 to be exact, Roy Horn was dragged on the floor and bitten on his neck by their male, white tiger, Montecore. This event caused Mirage to close the show, and Horn spent several long years in recovery and rehabilitation afterward.

In April of 2010, the pair completely retired from show business after a long, exciting, successful career.

Harry Houdini

This is a name you have heard before, even if you know nothing else of the magic world.

Harry Houdini, who was born Erik Weisz in 1874, was an Austro-Hungarian-American stunt performer and illusionist. He was very famous for his incredibly sensational escape acts. He gained fame starting as “Harry Handcuff Houdini” on tour in Europe. He challenges the local police to keep him locked up.  After this, he included ropes hanging from skyscrapers, chains, straitjackets under water, and escaping from a sealed milk can.

Throughout the early 1900s, Houdini was extremely popular in the United States. He escaped from jails, ropes, straitjackets, and many other tight and constricted objects and places. After other magicians began to imitate him, he started escaping from a locked, water-filled milk can. Anything that could result in great injury or death was of interest to him and his fans.

After a few years, Houdini even started inviting the public to come up with different contraptions to trap him in. These included different ideas like the belly of a washed-up whale, wet sheets, nailed packing crates, and other terrifying locations.

In 1913, he introduced the Chinese Water Torture Cell. This consisted of him being suspended in a locked glass and steel cabinet filled with water upside down. He would hold his breath for over three minutes while escaping. This became a very popular act for him and the audience, and he performed it for the rest of his life.

Houdini was also the president of the Society of American Magicians from 1917 until he died in 1926. This was a society founded in 1902 in a magic shop in New York.

David Copperfield

David Copperfield, who is also known as David Seth Kotkin, was known by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. He is also one of the most famous magicians in the world.

Since the 1980s, David Copperfield has been a vastly popular and beloved magician. He has a unique way of performing tricks. It involves many storytelling, which is immensely popular with his audience.

He has earned 11 different Guinness World Records over his enormous career of 40 years, and he was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. As of 2015, he is one of the highest earning celebrities in the world. They consider him as one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

Being a highly immersive professional magician has resulted in a few lawsuits and injuries, which makes sense with how involved and intense his shows are.

David Blaine

David Blaine is an American endurance artist, magician, and illusionist. He is most well-known for his incredible, high-profile endurance feats. He has set and broken several different world records as well.

Blaine’s ideas completely revolutionized the way that we watch magic on television. Instead of focusing solely on the performer, the camera was turned around on the audience watching him.

He has completed an incredible number of different stunts, performed on TV countless times, and has provided an entirely new way of broadcasting magic to the world. Some of his stunts include:

  • Buried Alive
  • Frozen in Time
  • Vertigo
  • Mysterious Stranger
  • Street Magic
  • Revolution
Jean Eugene Rober-Houdin

By far the oldest magician on our list, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin was born in 1805. He is a French magician and is considered the father of the modern style of conjuring.

One of his most famous tricks was to prove that French magic was stronger than any local superstitions. He presented an empty box that had an iron bottom that was easy to lift. He then turned on an electromagnet that was hidden in the floor, making it completely immovable.

Before Robert-Houdin came along, magicians mostly only performed in marketplaces and fairs. He made it normal to perform during private parties and in theaters for audiences. Robert-Houdin also normalized dressing in formalwear for his performances, which many magicians still do today.

Ricky Jay

Richard Jay Potash is an American magician, writer, and actor born around 1948 (he does not like to talk about his childhood, so an exact birthday is not known).

Mark Singer has called him “the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive.” He is also known for card throwing, card tricks, stage patter, and memory feats. In addition to performing live, he has also written extensively on the history of magic and magic itself. He has also acted in movies featuring magicians like The Prestige.

Ricky Jay has paved the way for a lot of magicians. He was one of the youngest to ever perform a full magic act on TV. He is also the first to ever perform in comedy clubs, and most likely the first to ever open for a rock band. In the 1960s, he performed between Ike and Tina Turner and Timothy Leary.

Up until the record was broken by Rick Smith Jr., Jay was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing a playing card 190 feet at 90 miles an hour. He was also able to throw a playing card into a watermelon rind and throw a card like a boomerang. He then cut it in half with a pair of giant scissors on its way back. In his shows, he frequently attacked plastic animals by throwing cards in “self-defense.”

Darren Brown

Derren Brown is a mentalist and illusionist from England. His television debut in 2000, Derren Brown: Mind Control, started his career. Since then, he has been producing many different shows for television and the stage, as well as writing books for magicians and the general population as well.

He specifically states that he does not have any supernatural powers. He goes out of his way during his acts to expose those who do say they have them. He states that his effects are from psychology, magic, suggestion, misdirection, and showmanship.

His books on magic include Absolute Magic, Tricks of the Mind, Pure Effect, and Confessions of a Conjuror. Absolute Magic and Pure Effect are for those who practice magic and mentalism. The other two are for the general public.

Penn and Teller

Penn and Teller are unique because they incorporate comedy into their magic shows. Penn Jillette and Teller are American magicians that have been performing together since the 1970s.

They have been featured on many different stages and television shows like Pen & Teller: Fool Us, and they are headlining at The Rio in Las Vegas currently as well.

Penn Jillette is the act’s raconteur and orator. Teller does not usually speak at all while performing. It is something he picked up from his early days of magic to avoid being heckled. Instead, he communicates through nonverbals and mime.

They have had many global tours throughout the years and are very well respected as a one of the famous magicians duo. 

Harry August Jansen (Dante)

Lastly, we have Harry August Jansen, also known as Dante. He was born on October 3, 1883, and passed away on June 15, 1955. Dante was a world-famous traveling magician that many admired and looked up to.

When he passed away, it has been said that the historical period is known as the “Golden Age of Magic” came to an end. The vast, glamorous traveling magic productions and variety theaters were fading away at this point.

Dante was known across the globe as “Dante the Magician.” He specialized in burlesque, theater, films, television, and vaudeville. His large troupe consisted of anywhere from 25 to 40 performers. He made several trips around the world and performed in a vast number of theaters in the United States.

Learning More

These ten famous magicians are extraordinary pillars of magic history. Learning more about where different tricks and aspects of the industry began can be helpful for new magicians getting started.

Also, these are not the only ten you should consider. There were many, many different famous magicians and illusionists that built the industry and community to where it is today.

Who is your favorite magician on the list? Was there anyone you didn’t see that you think is incredibly influential?