Saturday Night Contest - Inside The Magic Box


ceo / theory11
Team member
Jul 23, 2007
New York City
Hey everyone!

This past week, R. Paul Wilson posted a phenomenal short film called "The Magic Box." If you missed it, watch it here - it's outstanding. The film tells the story of a grandfather, his grandson, and a simple magic box. It's a moving story, and it shows how magic can be an important part of our lives - and generations to come.

After watching this, I thought a lot about how I started in magic. The first magic show I saw - I was 5 years old, and David Copperfield was performing at a huge theater in my home town. I was hooked. Fast forward a few years, and I happened to meet Chris Kenner at 13 - and all of this started with that.

Tonight, we want to hear YOUR story. Share with us how you got started in magic or cardistry. It can be one sentence, it can be one page - whatever you want. There's no minimum length. Tell us how you discovered the art - and what inspired you to be a part of it.

The winner tonight will be chosen at random from all valid entries. You have until 11:00pm EST tonight to post your story in response to this forum thread. Limit one post per member.

Tonight’s winner will receive 1,000 Elite Member Points, a six pack of Artisan playing cards, and a surprise we can't tell you about yet (you'll love it, trust me), shipped on the house.

Good luck! And now, tell us how it all began...

Note: This contest is now complete (see results here), but we'd love to continue hearing your stories!
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Apr 22, 2011
For me it all started when I was around 7 when my dad showed me some coin tricks. I only remember two effects but at the time I was astonished. My father wasn't a magician but got inspired watching show like David Blaine and felt compelled to do some coin tricks since they were so simplistic yet powerful. A few years passed and tragedy sprouted its vines around the edge of joy. My father was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away when I was 9. Being the most painful moment in my life I forgot about the astonishment magic brought as I struggled to find my true self and personality. Time had passed and I was shown a video of Criss Angel doing a trick with fruit in a grocery store where he smashed a lemon and egg inside a grapefruit and opened up the grapefruit and found the lemon and opened the lemon and found the egg and cracked the egg and found the bird. I was amazed and later that day searched him up and found some ravishing and amazing videos that compelled me to decide I wanted to do things like that and be a magician. It's been 5 years since then and I've grown. Thanks too magic I developed my originality and still am. I have widened my knowledge and study all forms of deception or at least want to. Thanks too magic mixed with my goals I have learned about people and know how to be social. I am introverted but I know how to speak. My goals are to lead the broken and the lost to light and show the world what love and faith is. Magic too me only exists when one believes and can inspire the flames of hope and will in others. What I do with cards and coins and mentalist is all trickery but what I do with the hearts of those hurting and in need those who are oppressed for not conforming is true magic for there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends and all those hurt, outcasted, neglected or misunderstood are my friends and family. This is magic to me this is what I've become. I am Kirkland butcher.
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Apr 27, 2013
My Introduction into Magic

Hello everyone! I'm new to the site, but thought this would be a pretty good way to het started! Here is my beginning into magic. It's a bit odd, but hopefully will be of interest to some, and maybe others can relate.

It all started in June of last year. I was 19 years old at the time. Probably a bit later than most people start, I assume. My girlfriend at the time (now ex-girlfriend) had just gotten back from a vacation to Vegas. My souvenir from her was a deck of cards from the Luxor, the first ever deck of cards I had received. This sparked my thoughts; I could perform a magic trick with the deck she bought me, to impress her! I put in hours of work, learning how to force a card (the Queen of Hearts, romantic?) and how to have her card the only face down card in the deck. Simple, yes, but I was hoping it would wow her none the less.

The day finally came to show her my trick. I was nervous, but was able to pull off the effect successfully. And, well, to put it simply, she completely hated it. She thought it was boring and really silly. I was devastated.

But, from that day on, I used that as my motivation to keep going. I've been practicing for over a year now, getting better each day. I'm not the greatest, but I love what I do, and so does my current girlfriend and my entire family. Performing for people and seeing their reactions is such an amazing feeling. And, so far, no more disapproval of any of my tricks. If it wasn't for my ex however though, I never would have gotten started, and I never would have had the motivation to be as good as I can be!

Thanks for reading this, and I look forward to hearing how some others got started as well!
My senior year of highschool we went on a band trip to Gatlinburg TN. While the lower band was performing, the upper band got to walk around the city. I spent my entire time in this magic shop that I had found. I was blown away by the reactions people were giving to the magicians demoing effects. I decided to purchase a pen through dollar and some spongeballs. However the thing that got me hooked was when I asked the magician ringing me up for his business card. He produced one seemingly from nowhere and handed it to me. At the time I didn't know what a back palm was so I was blown away by this impromptu piece of magic he did for me. For the next several months I tried to figure out where he hid that card, until one day I figured it out, and joined the magic community.


Elite Member
Dec 1, 2011
Cairo - Egypt
When I was 10 years old I was watching every episode of David Copperfield then when I was 13 I watched Criss Angel's show (Mind Freak) I thought they sold their souls to the Devil so I made a research about them and magic I found that all the things they did were just tricks and every one can do it so I began to learn some tricks and I practiced well to become the magician how I'm now and the thank to Theory11 Team for giving us the opportunity to learn from them ,share magic with us and leading us to the right way to success and I want to say that Theory11 Team have never letting us down
Oct 6, 2012
I got started recently when a friend showed me a trick with the invisible deck. When he showed me, I was stunned, shocked. I couldn’t believe it. So I went home and googled it and discovered the trick. This led me to wanting to perform magic, getting great reactions from people and making them happy. That’s how this obsession started.
Jan 19, 2013
Well for me it all started when my uncle showed me the finger separation trick and I always wanted to know how it was done. I kinda gave up and didn't pick it up till I was 10. I wanted to be a clown at my church festival so I learned a card trick and a coin trick and I started from there. What really kept me into it was seeing an ad for the Criss angel magic kit on tv and I ordered it immediately. And from then on I was hooked. I've been to about 8 shows and been to 2 conventions. I've met some amazing magicians such as Justin Flom, Dani DaOrtiz, Justin willman, Joshua Jay, etc. magic is not just a job or hobby for me, it's a lifestyle that I will never give up.


Apr 27, 2013
The first time I saw a magic trick was when my uncle showed me two tricks. I was like maybe 7 or 8 at the time, but I was so amazed that I had to know how he did it(like any 5 year old). He showed me one trick(the other he kept for himself making me very upset :( ) which I wanted to show my colleagues, but my teacher took my deck, put it in a drawer and then the deck disappeared (after the class cleaning).
Sep 22, 2012
Unfortunately one of my moms ex-partners was the person who got me into the art. We didnt get along and he drank to much. However he used to do some basic tricks with thumb tips, making a lit cigarette disappear, mustve hurt thinking about it. He also taught me how to do a one handed cut I later learnt over 10 years later that it was a charlier cut. This isnt a positive way to get into the art but its how I got into the art. For those few minutes he was doing magic we got on and magic was the reason for that. The fact that someone who I see is a negative person in my life got me into something positive (in this case magic) well, doesnt make sense. But thats what magic does.
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Jan 15, 2012
I was 6 years old when I had that feeling, that feeling you only ever truly get once. That feeling of amazement, confusion and utter awe. I was at a party when a magician vanished a card right in front of my eyes. It was amazing, it felt like pure magic. He went on to vanish a whole deck showing the fronts and backs of his hands. I followed him for the rest of the evening and pretty much ended up being his assistant! He would do a trick where he made the spectators ring vanish, he would then past it to me while I was standing behind him and then reveal I had it! I felt proud of myself, even though I hadn't done anything I loved the feeling of entertaining someone and giving them the same feeling I had at the start of the party. The magician taught me how to back palm a card and I just kept practising from then on. Today I am still practising and learning new things every day. To this day I have never seen that magician again and I don't know who it was but I guess that is also I part of magic, the whole mystery of it all! I hope that one day, I too will be able to give a child the same feeling I had when I was 6 and then maybe he can go on to become a great magician and continue a never ending cycle of pure amazement.

Thank you.
Oct 4, 2012
I was an orphan and I lived under the stairs until my eleventh birthday when a giant.... wait that wasn't me that was Harry Potter. Anyway I do remember the first bit of magic I ever saw. I was at a birthday party for a brother of a friend and they had hired a clown. I don't remember being too entertained, but then the clown to the red plastic thing out of his pocket and told us it was a vase. He opened it and inside was a yellow ball, he took the ball out and placed it in his pocket. He closed the vase back up waved his hand over it and when he opened it the ball was back. Closed it and with another wave the ball had jumped back to his pocket. He put the ball back in the vase and put it all away and did no more magic that evening but I still remember those ten seconds very well. That effect is also the first one I ever learned and I now know what a lackluster performance the clown did but for those ten second several decades ago I saw real magic.
Sep 23, 2012
my magical story begins three years ago when he accidentally was looking for antiques in an online store of my country, and accidentally saw for sale a very beautiful deck, peek into the matter and I found videos of Dan and Dave. and they inspired me to begin what would be a deep study in the world of magic.


Elite Member
Oct 18, 2011
I always liked Magic, but I really got into it thanks a cereal box... It maybe sounds strange but this is what happened... One day, my brother bring this box of cereal, and in the back of the box there was a "Magic trick to surprise your friends" or something like that... It was a quiet simple and effective trick, that it made me go crazy... I started to watch magic on Youtube and Google some magicians, and suddenly, I was into Magic... Practising some easy-to-do card tricks and learning about Flourishes (something I didn't know it exists until I watch D&D videos)... I think it's not an interesting way to get started with Magic, but it's my story...
Aug 11, 2012
My Grandpa pulled a quarter from behind my ear. He was the reason for everything i've done with magic. Miss you pops.


Elite Member
Dec 26, 2010
I was 5going years old my dad showed me a simple trick and I was hooked. Ever since then I've always have a deck of cards somewhere. I get serious in high school I couldn't stop performing for me it was my drug. I can't get enough of someone's reaction when I amaze them.

Jay Adra

Elite Member
Jul 11, 2011
A fairly standard story.

I was bought a book called "101 Cool Magic Tricks" (quite young at the time). A basic beginners magic book. I liked that and did those tricks for a while, then stopped. A few years later I saw James Galea doing his "673 King St" card trick on a morning show and was dumbstruck. I'm pretty sure that triggered something off. The details are a little hazy, but soon after I had found a deck of cards and decided to learn some card tricks.

Going from dodgy YouTube tutorials to better resources (eventually finding T11) and now wanting to buy lots of books, it's now about 2 years on and magic is now a great passion of mine.
Oct 14, 2012
For me, it started when I visited my grandmother for the holidays during middle school. She bought me a small orange box that cut a pencil in half and then put it back together. It was a really dinky box and that was obvious, but I thought it was amazing. I showed my friends, and then they teased me about it. A few years later my grandmother bought me a stripper deck, and I showed my friends magic with that, and they were dumbfounded this time. Then I was asked to do it with their deck, and I couldn't so they teased me again.

I wanted to show them a really good trick. So I spent the next few months practicing magic with real cards and not a trick deck. So I learned the Two Card Monty (or at least a really bad version of it) and fooled them with that, and when asked to do it with their deck I could. But one does not simply do one magic trick. I learned more and more, and kept performing for anyone who would give me their time; and one day someone came up to me and said, "You have really inspired me with your magic, I've started doing my own art again because of you. Thank you."

That's when magic went from being just something I did, to something I loved. I realized that in some strange, magical way I could help people with this art. Since then I have performed for so many people. For my entire school, an elementary school, and even a small village in Haiti! Magic has truly made my life fortunate, and I am excited to see where it takes me next.
Apr 27, 2013
Floating Dreams

I started in magic,when I was 7 years old.I went to a trip and a Chinese man do a levitation card trick.After a few years a man float his entire body like Criss Angle.And that make me want to learn magic I started to admire magic and
Until now I still learning some new magic trick and illusion
Dec 29, 2011
I've had a big background story when it comes to all kinds of juggling, mostly toss juggling at first, which became contact juggling when I began performing it, among fire twirling, (mostly poi), mountain unicycling, fire breathing and just about anything else of the sort, as well as piano for the last 10 years, though not really related. So for the last 6 or 7 years or so I've constantly had something to practise, which I enjoy greatly. So about this time 2011, I was at a party where a long time friend I hadn't seen in a while was around, I knew he'd got a bit into magic and flourishing, and I knew there was a deck around somewhere, so he ended up teaching me a basic swing cut flourish, which from then I didn't stop practising.
That was it basically, after that I went on youtube and found all the basic tutorials for things like in the hands riffle shuffle and some other flourishes, at first I thought I wanted to be a flourisher, but it soon bored me. I ended up stumbling across the Sentinels trailer and youtube which absolutely blew me away, and so I found this site, which was when I began learning from proper tutorials. Magic very quickly became a major part of my life, and even quicker I became 'that guy' at parties I went to, which is the basis of almost all my performance, except when I was still busking I would also do magic then. Its really stuck with me as opposed to juggling, which is a bit on the side recently, I guess because its so interesting. Even purely within sleight of hand magic, which is what I mostly do, practising the sleights themselves is only half of it, the whole misdirection, tension and relief, and just the idea or practising something so much purely so no one will see it, even though you show it to them is such an amazing idea
Two years later, I've stepped back a bit to fundamentals, with much less focus on attaining all the magic material I can, and redefining my character, which I was losing a bit for a while there.
I find a lot of people talk about hope and inspiration, but to me magic is just about doing tricks for people, showing them something impossible that will briefly amaze them. I think magic is just giving someone a card, oh look now its the card you chose before, push it in the middle for me, oh now its on the top, now its in my wallet, watch me push a coin through this tabletop. Not many people seem to think about it this way, but I guess that just makes me a little different.

So thats pretty much my story from the start, I hope someone found interest in it.
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Elite Member
Apr 6, 2013
It started in the fall of last year when I experienced magic for the first time. Standing outside the campus bar my flat mate who Ive only known for less then a day asks my friends and I if we would like to see some magic. After 10 minutes of our cards jumping from the bottom of the deck to the top and his mouth then to his pocket we were left amazed. Bored on a Saturday night with no plans I decide to find out some more about magic and how its done a hour later is had bought a deck of bicycle reds, The Royle Road to Card Magic and was downloading a video by Jonathan Bayme on the classic color change (a move i used all the time ). That all happened three months ago and now while not great at magic I have fun preforming for anybody with 5 minutes to spare, and all it took for me to love this art form was a 10 minute ambitious card routine.
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