Saturday Night Contest - Inside The Magic Box


Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
My parents had bought me little tricks here and there as a kid, and my first book was the Klutz book of magic. Once in university, I went to a staff function and saw a deck of cards, so I showed people some of the tricks I had learned along the way growing up. They loved it and talked about it for weeks. They asked me to do more and I didn't know anything else really. So I asked a magician friend where to learn magic and he directed me to penguin. I downloaded jokers wild and was hooked. Now I'm a part time professional. And am a huge fan of theory11. ;-)
Sep 29, 2012
If memory serves I got into magic first when the criss angel phenomenon was sweeping the nation. Although I don't personally consider myself having got into magic back then because the extent of learning i had done was going to youtube and typing in card trick tutorials. However, nearly two years ago i got back into cards. I'm not sure the exact reason. I just found myself with a pack of cards in my hand and certain things started to come back to me. I eagerly preformed bad double lifts and old card tricks i remembered in the mirror and then i had a revelation, which was "i'm quite ****e at this." So decided if i'm going to go about this whole magic thing again i might as well do it the right way and at least make it worth my while. So i picked up royal road and then picked up other necessary books like ECT and Erdnase followed by some of Marlo's work and a bunch of gambling stuff. I think it's safe to say that my passion has shifted slightly from the practice of "tricks" to solely that of perfecting technique or sleights as is the more common vernacular. Either way, i don't know what it is about this hobby or craft or art or whatever you want to label it as that has so outrageously interested me in it, but to say i love it would be a large understatement. Like many others i'm sure, it has become somewhat of an obsession. I've stayed up nights on occasion practicing moves until i am to the point of sheer exhaustion and i had my love for this art put into perspective recently. A friend recently asked me "if you could never show anyone a trick for the rest of your life would you still purse magic as a hobby." My immediate answer was i'm not sure but after having thought about it i've decided, yes i would. Now i do think magic is a wonderful art and it should be shared with everyone however i think i would be perfectly content with the solace and peace of mind that shuffling a deck of cards gives me. It is such an indescribable feeling yet i hope someone here will be able to relate and resonate with what i am talking about. I thank everyone who has taken the time to read this. this is just a fraction of what i'd like to say on the topic of magic and my love for it but i shall spare you the bad literature.

I wish you all well.
Dec 2, 2012
One evening, approximately 25 years ago, my parents went for a walk around the neighborhood while I stayed home by myself. A movie about Houdini came on the television, and I was enraptured. I don’t remember the film, only the inspiration. A spark was lit.

Sometime later, an older man, a family friend I did not know very well, heard that I liked magic tricks. He grabbed a coin, rubbing his hands together with great grace. And just as if someone could brush away reality, the coin vanished. I was mesmerized.

Over the next couple of years I beheld the other-worldly feats of a myriad of magicians on television that further drew me into the craft, not the least of which was David Copperfield’s 15 Years of Magic. The trick that sealed my permanent interest: The Floating Rose. I dove into magic seeking to touch every part: cards, coins, mentalism, and others. I acquired a love for tricks, and a desire to be an escape artist like Houdini. Often I asked my mother to bind my hands with ropes to see how quickly I could get out of them. During the summer I would handcuff myself with multiple pairs, diving into the deep end of our pool. Not intelligent, I know, but I had a drive to be good. Finally, I saw Jeff McBride perform during one the World’s Greatest Magic Show’s that aired in the 90’s. Playing cards became my new obsession thanks to a lasting performance by one of the greats.
Dec 16, 2011
My reason

I'd have to say what got me into magic was running into Cyril Takayama while I was in Taiwan a couple summers ago. His performance made me completely speechless and it had a profound effect on me. After I got back into America I started looking up magic , and the rest as they say . . is history.
Aug 25, 2012
I vividly remember my first magic experience like it was yesterday, like most other magicians I was introduced to magic at a very young age. It was a family vacation and we went to one of the most magic places on the planet, Las Vegas, I have always heard about magicians and street performers, this was around the time when Criss Angel was big. My expectation was to meet him (which never happened), we stayed at the "Circus Circus" hotel, I personally hated the aroma of cigarettes that was stained in almost every single portion of the hotel, the beds, bathroom, casinos and carpets. I was specifically drawn to this big magic shop that was located near the elevator, so as bold as I was I asked my parents if we could check it out and inside was my first magical experience.
Right inside the doorway was a young man (no older than 25) performing this amazing effect where he took a card and almost like magic he made it float and do these amazing tricks, it spun through his hand and rose like nothing off of others. I got butterflies deep in my stomach while at the same time asking, "How could this be possible"? There was no logical explanation for it at my age, until my father asked the man how it was done and he took us to the back room. The back room is a place where they would show buyers how an effect worked after they purchased it, but I hadn't purchased this yet and he was willing to show me how this amazing, mind blowing floating card worked just due to my facial expression and how I reacted to his performance. Wax, invisible thread and a single card was all that it took, I purchased the set, used it a few times never showed anybody and eventually lost the set.
I guess the real reason as to why I love magic and what really drew me to the art was how excited I was, I thought others would be just as excited as I would. The feeling that it gave me my first time I was hoping that I could make others feel the same.
Oct 11, 2010
My genesis started with my brother showing me two Youtube card trick videos.
(For the curious reader, they were versions of Chicago Opener and This That and Other)
Though I didn't feel astonishment at that moment (it came later) I was gobsmacked at what I had just seen.
My brother then told me how they were accomplished (he had probably watched bad revealing videos) and I quickly found a pack of cards and got to work.

The Youtube videos evolved into books and the admiration into a full blown love.
I fairly quickly surpassed my brother in knowledge and dedication and I am grateful that he introduced to the wonderful artform.
My story started when I first saw a magic show in my country, like 10 years ago or so. I still remember exactly the time the guy pull a pack of flowers out of a small pocket, a handkerchief, a deck of cards, a coin and so on. After the show, I just ran to the guy and asked "Can you teach me that? The one that you did on the stage?", but he didn't answer me, instead, he just put his hand on the back of my head, and took out a coin from nowhere, then he said "Until you can fool a guy like me, then you will understand how I did it." Brief and short, it make me confuse for so many years until the day I started learning magic, which like 2 years ago. I know this story sound very stereotype, but that is my story. And why I am doing magic, the shortest answer I could have is: "A Smile", nothing make me feel better than making people laugh, and that the reason I keep on doing Magic.
How i got into magic is:

I got into magic later than most. At 15 I Would scour Youtube looking for self working card tricks, after I had learned three or four that i deemed "the best" I was quite content to be done with magic; obviously I changed my mind.

Fast forward a couple months. My dad lost his job and got a new one, three thousand miles away. Too say i was terrified would be an understatement. And while the move was the most miserable time of my life, I got through it without too much hassle. And after all, we had just arrived in beautiful sunny California. There was just one problem, geographically speaking, my closest friend was three thousand miles away.

While "normal" kids would adjust and make new friends, ever the outcast, I worked on juggling. After I became perhaps twice as good i was, I started to get bored with it. The next logical step for me was to get back into magic, so i became a typical "youtube magician". I became quite good (or so i thought at the time) but it wasn't until I received "Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic" as a Christmas gift that i realized magic was my passion.

There's not much to tell after that, countless hours of practice and several hundred performances later, here I am. With the hopes of one day going pro.

And that's my magic story.
Mar 15, 2012
i have been wanted to learn magic after watching david blaine's first tv show, i was very excited but never got to it, due to laziness and school. then couples of years later my family went to a charity event and there was an argentinian magician, if my memory serves me right, he did an ambitious card routine and end it with a signed card in a sealed envelop and it blew me away. i met up with him after the event and he talked to me about magic, how he can use simple objects to create miracles and even showed me a few tricks, so this started my journey on the path of magic, i remember the first trick i learnt was the simple vanishing card with a back palm i learnt from youtube, then i got 3 volumes of jeff mcbride's card manipulation from a suggestion in the youtube comments and never looked back. 3 years later and i love magic more than ever.


Elite Member
Sep 1, 2007
I never really was a big fan of magic. It was never been presented in a good way to me. I enjoyed it for the sake of puzzle solving, demystifying aspect of it all. I even copied some of other magicians from school doing some tricks. This summarizes my experiences in high school.

The real beginning comes around in college. I had just started working as a research assistance, taking 18 credit hours in sophomore year, and my grade started to suffer miserably. To top that it all off, I've been playing guitar 2-4 hours a day, every day. I decided that I couldn't have my guitar around me, and had one of my friends take care of it for awhile. Then came a withdrawal. My fingers itched to do something. Every time I was studying, it was irritated. One day, I came across few magic video. What I was interested in were two things: coin jump (muscle pass) and spinning card (pirouette). They were adequate, difficult enough to keep my hands distracted, but it was relatively simple knuckle busting moves. Then I started to take interest in cards and other aspects of magic. Magic offered insight to something no classes has offered before. Real life psychology. The rest then is history. I started to watch, then read, and continuously think about psychologies of how magic works. Then later started to appreciate presentations, etc.

So here I am. I am a hobbyist. I have a job that is unrelated to the hobby. It allowed me to make connections (one can say my current job came to be as an extension of it all) to the right people. I enjoy what I do. I am not the greatest, nor do I want to be the greatest. I want to make impact in people's lives with things I do.

More grandiose than I thought it'd be, but essentially, this is the story I have, and the story I continue to write.
Aug 4, 2012
How I started in Magic?

Hello everyone!

It all started a couple years ago on a cruise ship. My parents went to see a magic show and asked me if I would be interested. Initially, I declined, but they told me it was a once in a lifetime experience. I then said to myself, why not? and went along. Magician Carl Andrews was the host, and put on amazing displays of cards, silks, and other magnificent feats. At the end, he was outside, thanking everyone for coming and selling svengali decks as well. He said they were "special decks" and could do amazing things.

My parents thought it would be a pretty cool thing to play with, so they purchased it for me, and before I knew it, I was hooked. Before the end of the cruise, I had 5 magic items, and continued fiddling with them as we left the ship. To this day, I thank Carl Andrews for inspiring me, and I don't regret anything :)


Elite Member
Mar 28, 2013
the beginning

I remember exactly how i got started into magic.
My grandad had spent 3 years at war in the toughest conditions. He would tell me and my little brother stories about what he had seen.
Every christmas, we would go and see him. And every christmas we would beg him to show us what i know know as "tissue paper matrix".

He would wait until dessert and tear his napkin in four little balls. place one under each cup. He would then grab the little ball from under a cup and push it gently under the table and show us how it had penetrated into the other cup. he would do this 3 times. Every time me and my little brothers would not believe our eyes... we were only 4 and 3 and to us, this was the most amazing thing we ever saw. we would stay up all night and discuss it.
a few years later, maybe 7, i got hurt during a soccer match. I had to spend 1 year doing no sports whatsoever.
I felt bad, very bad.
as i laid in bed one afternoon, i went through my old memories and remembered the trick my grand-dad did. I went down to the kitchen and told myself that if he had a way to do it, i would too find a way. What i thought would take me an hour, took me 6 months, 3 weeks, and 16h. I remember exactly when i finally figured out the trick, asked my dad to take me to his house and show him the trick. I performed a very mediocre performance but at the time i couldn't even shuffle cards decently.
i decided that i enjoyed doing what i did and finally realised that magic had its hook in me.

that's it, not the best story i guess but its what got me started.;)
Apr 6, 2013
I started magic about 4 years ago. I saw a magic show and I was blown away. I went on youtube and found a couple really easy magic tricks and showed all of my friends. I later found out about theory 11 and Dan and Dave. I started cardistry after learning a bunch of the tricks on the trilogy such as Tivo 2.0 portal card to mouth and stuff like that. I also then started getting magic books and learned new techniques that helped me get better. People who have inspired me are Dan and Dave and Andrei Jikh. I really love their style of magic and cardistry and hope to learn more in the future.


Elite Member
Dec 27, 2011

I think my love for this craft started with a magician who came to our school when I was 12. When I saw the teachers genuinely being fooled I have to say that it sparked something within me. I have been fascinated with deception ever since!

Thanks and good luck everyone!


Elite Member
Aug 21, 2009
I have loved to see magic since I was a kid. I learnt some easy tricks from my cousin and some friends as I grow up. However I didnt realize that I can learn magic from the internet. But one day, while watching some videos on youtube, I see a simple coin vanish trick and I started to look for some more. And the magic trick that made me realize that I really love magic is David Blaine's street levitation. After learning the secret, I decided to become a magician no matter what.
Apr 17, 2013
In 1993 my parents bought a night club in Lexington Ohio. Tom Claytor had just moved to the area and stopped into the club looking to see if we were looking for walk around magic or a stage show. At this time I had only see the TV specials like Doug Henning and Copperfield. I had never seen magic like this. It was more real since it was right there. You could see everything and yet not see how it was done. I knew right then that was it. This was what I wanted to do. So i started bugging him to teach me. I asked three times a week for three months.

Then one night he showed me how to make rubber bands pass through each other, but... I couldn't show anyone til he said I was ready. So, I worked on it every night for a month. It was at the point I was given the blessing to finally show someone. The feeling I got from the joy I gave someone with the slight of had I had learned. After that i would learn one new thing a month on top of making refills for his ITR and splitting cards. In 1994 He took me down to Magi Fest to show off his newest student and had Jep Hostetler Ken Klosterman sign my IBM app. It was also at that Magi fest he gifted me a whole set of Tarbell.


Elite Member
Jul 24, 2010
I started very late, it was in the 90's when I first watched a david copperfeild special on a vhs in pakistan and was totally mesmerized by it, but could'nt learn anything cuz this art wasnt a common thing in my country and there werent any magicshops here. A few weeks after watching the show I forgot about it but it was always there in back of my head. It was in 2004 when it again came back in my head and I started googling for more of DC's special and I saw his famous grandpa ace trick, I was completely blown away by it and wanted to learn it that lead to me hitting on different search like "magic tricks", "learn card magic" on google and came accross a magic website. Dont remember what dvd it was but the first thing I learned was a colour change at the age of 22


Elite Member
Jan 22, 2013
At such a young age, i was taught by my dad how to play cards; poker, texas hold-em etc. During some nights my dad taught me card magic and sleights for cheating. My family and i would get together and play poker friday nights and i would share (my dads magic) with family,friend and relatives. My dad were very humble about this art and wanted to pass it onto the next family generation.
Dec 12, 2011
Hey guys!

So I was into magic on and off for most of my childhood years before I got hardcore into magic. I remember having a magic set when I was around six, which had a marked deck inside. I wanted to use it so bad, but I could never remember the pattern for the markings and gave up.

Flash forward to around my middle school years. I was at an overnight camping event with Boy Scouts, and one of the leaders showed me and three of my friends the effect where you try to find the spectator's card a few times and put all the wrong guesses in a pile, and then when they hit the pile out of your hand, their selection if the only one still in your hand. It blew my mind and when I got home I started looking up card trick, but after a little while I stopped that as well.

Then, in 2010, I was in Maine for another Boy Scout event, but this time for a week. Two of my friends both knew a couple magic tricks that I could not figure out, and it pissed me off. Even one of my other friends figured out one, which was the ACR with the four jacks robbing a bank. Luckily for me, he flashed the cards, and I figured it out, but that got me back in the game again for another few weeks before giving it up again.

Flash forward a little less than a year to spring break 2011. My birthday was the week before, and my best friend got me a poker set. I also played a lot of card games at school (I still do, especially 13 now), so I brought the crappy deck from the set to school in my pocket everyday. For Spring Break my family went to Myrtle Beach, and when my sister and I got our Easter baskets, I saw a deck of Dragonbacks in mine. My mom said I should take those to school everyday and leave the poker deck with the poker set. A couple days later, while we were at one of the souvenir shop centers, I, being the huge child that I am (I was 16 at the time) told my family I wanted to go into the magic shop there, since that was the only place in there that seemed remotely interesting. The old guy working there showed us the Svengali Deck, and I couldn't understand it to save my life. Almost immediately after, he showed us both the pen through dollar and the electronic rating pen tricks, and I went crazy. I couldn't believe either one of them. So I bought the Svengali Deck and went home and learned as many card tricks as I could find for free online. I've been doing magic ever since.
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