Performing Magic in School

Sep 3, 2007
Performing Magic in School

Its jut a normal Tuesday morning as John walks into school, granted that he’s running a few minutes late. As he walks in the direction of his first class, someone shouts his name. “John!” He slowly turns around, surprised to see a group of people he’s never seen before motioning to him. Cautiously, he walks over to them.

“I heard you can do magic,” says one of the guys… obviously one of the more popular people in the school. Naturally, John says yes, and nervously pulls out a deck of cards. He’s been practicing his ACR for months… he’s ready, and now is the perfect time to show it off.

As he has a spectator withdraw a card from the deck, John begins to notice all the signs of nervousness on his part: his palms become sticky with sweat, his right leg begins to tremble uncontrollably, and butterflies are doing back-flips in his stomach.

“Relax,” he thinks to himself. “It’s just like you practiced… you’ll do great.” As their signed cards jumps to the top, he begins to notice that his nervousness was slowly going away… he was growing more confident and comfortable with his audience.

As he again slides their card into the middle of the deck, somebody shouts, “You had two cards!” Quickly, quietly, John responds, “Good eye,” and gives a knowing smile to the noisy spectator. He is now confident that the heckler won’t interrupt his performance again… but the heckler does.

“You hear that everybody? He had two cards! My card wasn’t really in the middle, it was a different card!” Everyone begins to look around, whispering. John hears one that stands out in particular, “Of course he did… Brent’s right!” As the whole crowd begins to talk, John attempts to quiet them down.

“Everybody, please quiet! If you believe this jerk that I had two cards, I will disprove his little theory! Brent, please take your signed card… make sure it’s one card… and place it anywhere in the deck.” Brent complies, and places the single card in the middle. John executes a flawless Riffle Pass, but in the midst of it, all the cards drop to the floor. He cursed under his breath, but decided to try to recover. “Brent, I’m going to be honest with you… I just screwed up big time. But, I’m going to try to recover from it. Please, reach down there and grab one card… but don’t look at it yet.”

Brent slowly but surely selects a card from the mess of cards scattered around the floor. He lifts it up a few inches up off the ground. John says, “Brent, please… turn over the card.” John just about wet himself when it was Brent’s card! The audience started screaming… a few ran off. “Maybe this won’t turn out as bad as I thought,” thought John to himself. As everyone is reveling in the amazement of the last phase, John crouches down and gathers up the rest of the deck, and begins again.

As Brent grabs the deck to examine it, John remembers what his mentor once told him… you are always in control of your performances, and you do not have to give in to the spectator. John gently pulls the cards back from Brent… this is his performance, not theirs. But there is a problem… Brent won’t give the deck back. “How am I going to get out of this?”

“Well, guys, it appears as if Brent no longer wants me to continue performing. Thanks for watching… Brent, you can keep the deck as a souvenir of my performance.” John walks away, but, not surprisingly, the crowd viciously pulls the deck away from Brent, gives it back to John, and begs him to continue.

Relieved that this tactic actually worked, John told the audience, “This time you will actually get to see Brent’s card jump from the middle… to the top of the deck.” As he is saying this, he puts a large bend in the card, and replaces it in the middle of the deck. He counts to three, snaps his fingers, and the audience’s jaws drop to the floor as they see their bent card “pop” to the top of the deck.

At this point, the girls are on their feet screaming, the guys are cussing in amazement, and John… John is fairly satisfied with his performance. It was not his best yet, but he could definitely see improvement… and a lot of room for more improvement. As he puts the cards back in the case, John gives Brent his signed card to keep as a souvenir, and walks to class.

As he is walking, John begins to review the performance in his head? What went wrong? How could he fix this? This was all part of his after-performance “ritual”

First and foremost, he let Brent grab the deck from him. Of course, he wasn’t using a trick deck, so he didn’t have to worry about him finding anything, but he should not have gotten a hold of the deck in the first place. Once again, his mentor’s words came into his mind… you are always in control of your performances, and you do not have to give in to the spectator. The next time this happened, he would not let them have the deck, but rather take control of his performance and keep his props in his own hands… not his audiences.

The second problem that arose during his performance was, well... Brent. Brent may have spotted what he saw, but he was very rude about it, and seemed like he was just out to get John. John reviewed how he handled Brent. Should he have called out Brent, and let the audience take care of him themselves? He didn’t think so; he thought he did the right thing. But what if the Brent hadn’t stopped? He could have completely ruined John’s performance in less than a minute. There were so many things wrong with his performance, and John began to feel worse and worse about it.

And what about that recover from dropping the deck? How in the world did that happen? Maybe God wanted him to succeed… maybe it was just luck. Either way, he knew that it would eventually turn out bad. Word would get out about it, and the horrible part was… he would never be able to repeat it. Maybe it was something he should look into developing a method for. Either way, he had to work on his Passes before performing them again.

The last thing was his actual performance. While his technical skills were as close to perfect as they had ever been, he didn’t feel that his presentation was quite up to par. He began brainstorming ideas to make this better as he sat down in First Hour Algebra. Perform more often, perform for larger groups of people, and most importantly: perform material that he is very comfortable with.

John knew that once word got out, his performances would have a “snow-ball” effect on each other… people telling all their friends, those people telling their friends… and pretty soon he would constantly be performing. This would mean he would have to practice the material he already knew more, and an even scarier thought… he would have to learn new material, and learn it fairly quickly. He knew that he had to make each of his performances like it was his last, and this was a goal he knew he could accomplish. As John slowly began to daydream about future performances, the bell suddenly rang, and class started…

After what seemed like an eternity, the bell finally rang again… ending first hour. One down, six more to go…
Oct 21, 2007
this is a great post, it made alot of sense... school is is the most difficult place to perform magic because of all the hecklers! but as bad as the situations can get, they can get just as good!
Kids suck at my school. Most don't even care about the art. I try showing them a trick and some get their attention and they might say o thats pretty cool. Or Oh I know how he did it. But they are completely wrong. It sucks. I do perform for some freinds and try to avoid them. But my family loves it so I always show them, and sometimes the best audience is complete strangers..... (or the worst)
Well great post,
Oct 21, 2007
Bergen County, NJ, USA
I loved it. Sadly... things don't always turn out so well. I was caught doing something that I never thought I would. I'm glad it happened when I first started out though. I made a match stand in someone's hand using my M5 and then it happened... Someone said "He has a magnet!" and reached for my wrist. Well that person is now on my don't show magic to list.:p At first I was thinking at how much i hated her even before I did the trick, but then I came to the realization it was my fault. Whenever a magician messes up on a trick, its their own fault, never the spectators.

It is true, a magician is 100% in control of their performances. Pick your audience well, manage them correctly, and don't mess up your sleight of hand.

If you fall, get back up. I've had people YELL at me "YOUR MAGIC SUCKS!", but oh how great it feels when they ask you to perform something and you simply respond with "no", smile, and walk away. It's hard performing in school. I love the reactions, but the slightest mess up can completely throw you off. Sometimes the spectators figure out how you did something not out of knowledge, but stupidity. I mean how the hell did that girl know i had a magnet? Since when is a wooden match magnetic?

Learn from your mistakes. Never give up. Keep going. Ignore what people say. It takes a lot to do so, but people will grow to love you for it. I know people in my school that love my magic, but I have a list of people in my head that I will NEVER perform magic for. If people insult your magic, simply don't show them anything ever. You will achieve everything you want. Thank you for that story, it really spoke to me.


Never stop believing. Cerca Trova.
Sep 1, 2007

If you want to get any respect at school or college doing magic, pull the selected, signed card out of your pants. Trust me. Trust me.
Sep 1, 2007
Performing at school is actually something I really enjoy. Sure you get a bunch of hecklers, but isn't that the time to learn how to deal with them? Ive got a few heckler tricks that Ive designed specifically to work around tenagers and the way they work. I honestly love heckers at schools, because there's so many opportunities to mess with them.

Ive made a name for myself around school, I get asked if I got cards on me at least twice a day, and, of course, I do always carry some with me. You dont actually need that much material for schools, just change the presentation. I played a little game with a friend once, in which we were only alowed to use one move: a top change. We kept this game going on for 20 minutes, doing a full routine each (thats a total of 40 minutes) using only a top change, and simply making the trick seem more and more impressive everytime. It's all about presentation.

To all you kids performing at school though, a tid bit of advice: NEVER YOU GIMMICKS. I never liked gimmicks, but every once in a while, I played with a few and at schools, you can generally get caught at some point during the day.

Annyways, I know im incoherent and such, but I really liked the story, thanks!

Sep 1, 2007
That story was awesome, mostly because I can put myself in that position. I have been caught doing some sleights at school just because sometimes I don't even know that people behind me are watching and what not, but that story really caught my attention, Thanks adjones. One more thing sinful your reply to the story was very motivational as well, Thanks. Anyways performing at school is one of the hardest places to perform but if you get a trick down the pay off is worth the hard work. It not only makes you a reputation but its one of the greatest learning places ever. Good Luck to everyone who reads this.
Sep 1, 2007
Fantastic post. I know exactly what it feels like to be constantly heckled, and it's not a joyous occurence, but there's always a way around it. Thank you for posting that story!
Sep 3, 2007
Wow, I can't believe that my little essay has gotten this much attention! I'm glad you guys love it so much... it makes all the hard work I put into it totally worth it.
Sep 1, 2007
Houston TX
i really like what you guys are all saying
the problem with most kids today is they think they know everything
so do something that will throw them off guard
they cant tell you what they saw if they didnt see anything
so go for the self working tricks or crazy ones that use little slight of hand (here and there)
because no matter how good you get if you perform crazy card slight of hand someone is sure to see it

also XCM is something big that people like i dont know why they just love watching you "shuffle" with the cards so cool
one kid loves my sybil so much that he named it "spider" and still freaks out when he watches it!

hope this helps!
First thing to get off my mind....
Please tell me that was a typo cuz that would be hell....

If you get anymore perfomance like this you can write a book!

this was a fabulos story and I LOVED it !!!!!!!!
Sep 3, 2007
Thanks for the awesome feedback, coin_aholic. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

I do have 7 classes per day... how many do you have? It's really not that bad. If anything, it makes the day go faster.

Just so you know, this wasn't based on an actual performance, it was all fictional.

Thanks for the support!


again superb review my friend.
I'm really having a lot of problems with hecklers laitely and this helped me alot!


Elliot Carver



There are ways to stop hecklers. I like to embarass the hell out of them. That way next time they will keep their mouth shut.
Oct 17, 2007
Hecklers-- can't live with them....

Actually... i could live without them!! :p

But man oh man, today during lunch, I went outside and I did sinful, and while everyone else was like "wtf!?" this guy was just like "Duh its obvious that he put a hole in the bottom!"

First off, I was completely stunned. This man must have really been impressed by me if he thought I was able to 1. cut a hole in the bottom of a can of soda while keeping every drop of the soda still in the can, 2. put a coin in there without having it fall back out and 3. somehow repairing the hole *snaps fingers* just like that. What a dumba**.

So then I was actually really excited cause the guy had an unopened water bottle and I had just learned Factory Sealed! :D So I took the same coin that I used for Sinful and put it through his water bottle! That shut him up real good.
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