Saturday Night Contest - Inside The Magic Box

Aug 18, 2012
For me it started when my grand father passed away and behind if he left a small wooden box in the bottom of his wardrobe. One day we were cleaning out his house and i found it. Inside was some magic props and a marked deck of cards. I played around a bit with it them and from there grew my passion for magic. That was 9 years ago and now i perform for friends and family all the time. I am just sorry my grand father never performed for me.
Apr 16, 2011
"Don't make excuses for failures. Do not let yourself justify mediocrity. Demand EXCELLENCE and you could accomplish amazing things" ~WAYNE HOUCHIN~

Hi I'm PJ, I am a magician residing in the Philippines. I would like to share this story of mine on how I began in MAGIC and how this love of MAGIC grew.

I began to have interest and love watching magic when I was 6 years old when my dad's friend showed me a trick,it was an oil and water trick (well, obviously I don't what the trick is called at that time). But I never practiced or try to start practicing magic at that that age. I just enjoyed watching magicians perform on tv or right in front of me.

It was until I was 12 years old when we are studying for a MATH an SCIENCE CONTEST, when my MATH teacher showed and taught me this simple trick that uses the Double Lift. By that time, that was the only trick I know. A months have passed and my curiosity and love to learn MAGIC grew. Since I have no such money to afford stuffs for magic and knowledge on magic sites who sells such BOOKS AND DVDs at that time, I try looking for children's books in the school library and some free magic ebooks on the web. I have learn basic forces, shuffles, controls, peeks, etc. Since I live in the Philippines, I just use some cheap, plastic, no good for fanning, Made in China playing cards. But it still worth in doing magic and entertaining people.

After months of practicing every night after doing my homeworks and school studying, I began performing my first magic on my friend's birthday, who was my first love :). I perform tricks that involves the peek, the one with the Glide, and my favorite and the trick that blew everyone's mind on that party is Dai Vernon's Triumph.

The rest is history. After that night, everything went flowing, performing close-up magic on our MATH MONTH Event for a small group of people, performing for my teachers, classmates and mentors. Actually, I think I am the only one in our school who can bring cards on school because my teachers want to see a trick if they have time. I love entertaining people in our school. I was known as a magician in school.

My magic also continues to improve when I discovered sites like here, theory11 that I discovered in 2009. Although I don't know how to buy online here honestly, I can still buy cards and DVDs of your brand in stores here in our country, and although the price is doubled here, I still persevere in saving money just to buy magic items.

But even though, I began to rise as a magician, I never forget to also stay very focused in my study. In fact I am consistently an honor student on our school, being a representative of our school for contest. I use magic as my asset to get known.

So people, especially younger magicians, NEVER FORGET YOUR STUDIES. CARDS,MONEY, AND SOLID ITEMS may be stolen but, KNOWLEDGE is a thing that cannot be taken or stolen away from you. So again, I repeat, don't just focus 100% on magic, give time to other important things in life.
~P.J. dela Cruz~
May 30, 2010
My first exposure to magic was on the television screen around when I was 10 years old, when the David Blaine specials came out. We all know that he revolutionized magic performing it in the streets. And the times of Mondo Magic, by Chris Korn and JB Benn. I was fascinated by this pair , but I was not hooked in the the magic world. This was for two reasons, one, I felt that Magic requires one to be very gifted and are chosen, and two, it's strictly can be learned in so called Magic Circles. I didn't have both so I didn't bother learning Magic back then.

Fast forward, Magic had still not crossed my mind. Although I still enjoy watching David Blaine, Chris Korn and JB Benn perform, my fascination for the art remained with me as long as the television was still on. I was in Collage. I was in my third year Nursing Course. I was one of those achieving students. Those type that would go the extra mile to get additional points and those that wouldn't mind burning the midnight candle just to master a certain topic or chapter. I was a hard knox student. I was a nerd. But I guess in a good way because my scholarship still stood till the end.

It was a Monday and I was assigned a topic to be reported on the following day. We were in the bottom half of the first semester and this was the reporting phase of our curriculum. So each day, a classmate would report a topic, we have a discussion, then a quiz by the end of the class. Then the cycle repeats itself the following day. And on Tuesday, it was my turn. Our professor, a stout stern lady, who seemed bored from the usual, read-your-report-in-front-of-the-class type of report, approached me and told me that I should make my report enjoyable, and motivating so that I could get extra points. Clearly she was bored and counted on me to make her class exciting. That was a lot of pressure. I was a nerd, not a clown. And even if I were, it would only be a matter of time before my jokes expire and boredom kicks in.

I contemplated on my way home that Monday afternoon after my class. How could I make my report exciting? I could do parlor games, or I could draw pictures on my visual aides. Those were good options, but the problem was I wasn't great in giving instructions or explaining a game, making it exciting enough for my classmates to join. And although my drawing skills were good, one night ain't enough for me to make things captivating enough. I was in a pinch. being a third year, this was a big problem , especially for an achiever.

As I went home, I slouched down on the sofa, tuned in to AXN. I wanted to clear my mind before I would go and bury myself in my report for the next day. Mondo Magic reruns were on. I saw Chris Korn perform in my opinion, the fairest and cleanest Coins Across. And I saw JB Benn perform a sort of Spoon Bending Routine. I watched as their spectators smiled and laughed. I watched as their eyes brighten in amazement. I watched as their crowd grew bigger and bigger, and applause was given by the end of their performance. Some remained for more, some left with a puzzled and perplexed look. And then it hit me...

I could perform Magic in my report.

Still hanging on to the belief that only special people can perform magic, I searched the net for simple party magic. What I found were no where near what I saw on television. The simple Unpeeled but Cut Banana, and Cut and Restored Straw. I may not be able to perform a Spoon Bending Effect, but these simple tricks I can do. These I can take!I told myself. It took me the entire night to ready the props, I had to refrigerate the Banana that I prepared. It was idiotic to prepare the banana the night before where in fact, I could've done that in the morning before school. I realized that fact too late. And I got a straw and some cardboard.

Tuesday morning, my report came. I started things out with the usual discussion. I somewhat was able to remember my report, that it was a habit of mine not to bring cue cards or even glance at the visual aide. I am able to explain my topic without any help. Occasional glances to the board will suffice. And when I realized that my classmates are getting bored, and in the background, I saw our professor nearly dozing off, I pulled off my first performance in my entire life.

I had a bestfriend, Roby. He's not the brightest of the bunch in my class, but whenever I needed a Main Man to help me get through a pinch, he's reliable. Although he had no idea that I was going to perform Magic, he cheerfully volunteered to help me out. I gave him a bread knife, as I showed the class my nearly rotten banana, but still there was more yellow than brown. I asked him to act as if cutting the banana from a distance with the knife. Roby happily obliged, as he acted it out, like a crazed clown. Everyone laughed. But when I peeled the banana, an eerie surprising silence filled the room when they saw that the banana had indeed been cut in several places. Applause filled the room. Being there in front pulling off my first trick, was satisfying. It was a different ecstatic feeling like any other. Like I had won a million dollars. Even Roby applauded. It was our first piece of Magic in a long time.

After that major turn of even in Magic, I soon realized that David Blaine, Chris Korn and JB Benn are all normal people. Not exceptionally gifted with otherworldly powers or geniuses in a sense. They were just normal people with a great amount of passion for the art. They were artists. I just performed a simple effect that received somewhat the same reaction as those that I had seen in television a million times. Anyone with the right amount of passion can do this.

The feeling of satisfaction of brightening one's day, or giving them an experience is what actually got me into magic. I also learned that Magic is not for entertainment purposes only. It can change your life and change your way of thinking. I used to be a uptight student, and strict bookworm. I was stiff. After that experience and that realization, I learned that Magic can break your mental boundaries and let you live twice as much. My stone hard mind was softened and became flexible.

I no longer was an uptight student, but a balanced person. I still spent time studying but I also gave time to relax, learn and practice magic, and giggle at myself in the mirror as I mastered a sleight. If anything, Magic had set my mind free.

I graduated with Honors, and was known as the student who performs Magic on campus. A hilarious mix of a student. But somehow, I liked it.

7 years had passed since that very day, but I still remember it clearly. I had come to encounter a lot of challenges and problems on the road of Magic, but one thing was for sure, this is the road that I'm willing to stay despite all that. I am hooked and this had turned into my passion. This is my story and this is how I started in magic. Thanks.--- Anthony
Apr 21, 2013
Dallas, Texas
My journey into magic began some 23 years ago when I was at the age of 12. My Grandma (whom we called Nanny) showed me my very first card trick then which was a simple self working mathematical card trick known as the "21 card trick". I was amazed by this effect and I HAD to know how it was done.

Nanny handed me the deck and let me ponder over it for a few minutes and I remember holding that deck and it felt they belonged in my hands. And I still feel that away when I hold a deck, I can almost feel them buzzing in my hands. Finally, (what seemed like ages) she let me in on the secret and at first she thought I might be disappointed when I was told how it was done, but that feeling quickly went away when she noticed how thrilled I was to know.

I performed that for everyone at home, at school, anyone who would watch I was like "here, check this out!" I saved my allowance over the next few weeks and bought my first book on card magic and the first utility move I learned was "the glide" and still use it to this day.

Magic changed my life in more than one way like helping me cope with being bullied in school. For a small window of time everyday when I performed magic for others on the playground in grade school or in the hallway during High school I wasn't the overweight, awkward, tall kid with big feet. I was a perception changer, a dream alchemist, and I blew minds. I provided a few moments for those bullies to forget about their own insecurities and hatred they built up inside that they normally directed towards me and others.

Magic has also given me the opportunity to change the lives of others.

My mother recently retired after 32 years as a registered Nurse at a Burn Center. During that time period she would tell me stories about some of the patients and hearing stories about severely burned children was always the hardest. When I had just turned 20 years old she told me about a 9 year old boy named Johnathan who had been scalded by a pot of boiling water that he had accidentally dumped on top of himself. The pot handle was hanging over the side of the stove....being a curious 9 year old, he reached up and grabbed the handle bringing down on top of himself.

He was looking for a long stay in the hospital. While he was there he enjoyed watching what was at that time WWF wrestling (now known as WWE) he was disappointed that a few days after he was going to be released (which in total turned out to be 2 months) WWF was going to be coming to the arena in town but his family couldn't afford to get tickets.

So when I learned about this I knew I had to do something, so I went out and purchased 2 tickets for the WWF show with the money I had been saving from my new job at the time and went to the hospital. My mom was on shift then and we went into Johnathan's room and my mom introduced me to him and his mother.

I said "Hi, would you like to see a magic trick?" and he nodded his head yes. I pulled out a deck of cards and did the 21 cards trick (fighting back tears while doing magic is hard!) for him and he loved it. I then performed some more advanced magic I had learned and practiced over the years and he was totally beside himself.

For my closer I did a torn and restored effect but instead of the paper towel being it's place were those 2 tickets. Him, His mom, me and my mom all busted into tears and laughter all at the same time.

A few years before that when I was 18, Nanny died at 74 of cancer....I was one of 6 grandsons who were pall-bearers. Before the casket was closed I placed the deck of cards she had given me 6 years prior next to her that I had kept in a drawer all that time and I told her: "Thank you".

And thank you for reading.

-- Magnus
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Elite Member
Dec 20, 2010
From the first time i saw Chriss Angel perform on TV show to i saw Cyril on youtube when i was a kid. I was curious and feel motivated on how can they easily make people happy. How they can so easily deceive people and fool people. Since that day, i find myself love this Art. I want to spread the happiness too! ;)
Nov 3, 2012
In 6th grade some kid came to class and did a magic trick. It then became a competition for our class to see who could do the best tricks. I then became obsessed and spent all of my time learning new tricks, and ended up being the only kid in my class that stuck with it.


My dad got out his old magic kit about 3 years ago. He showed me a thumb tip, and from there, I went from dls to clipshifts :)


Elite Member
Jan 25, 2013
When I was very young I went to a department store breakfast with Santa. At the breakfast there was a magician and watching him was the best thing all year. I continued to go to breakfast with Santa well past the age that was reasonable because I did not want to miss the magic act. He did the exact same act year after year, I am pretty sure I could still recite most of it if I gave it a bit of thought, but Christmas just wouldn't have been right without seeing it.

When I was a teenager I signed up for a magic class that was being offered at one of the school in the evenings and continued on until I was invited to an I.B.M. meeting. At that time the meeting were held in an amazing 'theatre under the stairs' in the home of the magician that I watched year after year as a child.

Stepping through the door to my first I.B.M. meeting and being introduced to the person that inspired my initial love for magic was a truly magical experience I will never forget.
Apr 20, 2013
I was a victim of a bully when I was an 8 grader.
I never could walk out to school expecting to not get bashed with a bucket full of flour with an extra couple of spoiled egg and crowds laughing around me.

And then I met a local magician in my area.
He performed simple illusions on a small stage in a cafe nearby.
I was so stunned and approached him, and I tell him that I want to be like him.
I want to be loved by everyone else, by my friends.

He, in a matter of seconds, realize that I have bullying issue in my school.
He helped me through my problems, he became my 2nd dad.
He taught me magic, but more than that.
He told me how to BE a MAGICIAN, how to THINK like a MAGICIAN, and how to ACT like a MAGICIAN.

I spend most of my 8 grades to 9 grades sneaking past bully and sleep over the magician's house.
On the Graduation day in my 9 grader, I performed on stage for the first time.
Nothing fancy, just a simple Book Test by Corinda.

But that is the first time, the bullied, the jokes, the dummy of the class can do something everyone else in the school can't.
That is my first applause, my first compliments, my first true friendly interactions with my classmates.
And after that event, I became addicted to magic. Addicted to everything Magic can give me, and everything that I can give for magic.

Until now, magic has been the best thing that ever happened in my life. To be in the Magic World is something I would never give up on my life.



Elite Member
Oct 16, 2007
Spokane WA
The Beginning

Magic has always been a little different for me. Magic to me reminds me of a new life, an new beginning. When I was very young, my father was a stage magician. He had thousands and thousands of dollars worth of props. Our family was going through some hard times as something very serious had happened to my sister. Out of desperation, ny father was forced to sell every prop of magic he had ever owned. I won't tell you Why, but he did what he had to do. Growing older, he would of course do the close up tricks while never letting the magic die within himself as he always saw the smile it had put on his children's faces. Growing older, I made myself a promise that I would follow his foot steps and return to him every item he had to sell to raise his children. I am still working on that promise to this day. I always have at least a pack of cards on me, I create whenever I can and if I choose to sell my designs/illusions every cent I raise goes into a fund for him to replace the magic. Magic hasn't died and it will always be with him, but he has had to work very hard his whole life just to provide. Magic to me is just back!

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...
Dec 1, 2012
My Dad was the shy type in school and he used magic as a hobby to break the ice with people he didn't know, or when he was in uncomfortable situations. Growing up, I think he saw that same thing in me and so he took two books from his shelf, Simple Tricks for the Young Magician by Allen Green and Harry Blackstone's Modern Card Tricks and Secrets of Magic and he let me read them. Those two books opened up an entire world for me that I had never known before.

And even though those two books were my Dad's entire magic collection (now they sit on my shelf) I had devoured their contents within a year and needed more. Again, it was my Father who found a brick and mortar Magic store in our city and drove me there and he encouraged me to befriend the shop owner (a man who I am still friends with to this day even though we now live in different states). My Dad stayed with me as I looked over every item in all of the cases, looked through all of the books and at the end of it all my Dad simply pulled out his wallet. It wasn't my birthday, and it wasn't Christmas, but it certainly felt like both.

Growing up there were not a lot of moments like that. Moments where my Dad took me someplace just for me, a moment where my Dad and I met and connected on some thing that wasn't shared by anyone else. I am the oldest of six kids, and none of them took an interest in this part of my Dad's life and so to this day it is something that only he and I share.

I decided to return the favor and so just this last year at Christmas, I bought my Dad a set of magic tricks he could learn to perform for his seven grandchildren and hopefully continue to pass on this wonderful hobby.

Today my son who is only five years old has a wooden box in his closet of five tricks; and he can do three of them pretty well.

I had the joy just this week of watching my son show my Dad the color changing rope over skype and I was taken all the way back to that first day.

...two hardbound books from the 1950's

... that changed my life forever

Thanks Dad.
Oct 15, 2011
I saw a boy name the selected card of my friend time and time again. I knew I had to find out how he did it.


Elite Member
Dec 26, 2010
My love for magic

It all started when I was 5 years old. My dad had pulled a quarter out of my ear like all dads do. At that moment in time I was hooked. My dad gave me a deck of cards and a magic book that I couldn't put down. I started learning and practicing for hours and hours. Then high school hit and all I wanted to do was magic. October of 2008 I had auditioned to become a magician member at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. I knew this is where I belong talking with other magicians. I was no long an outcast.
Mar 29, 2013
So when I was young, my schoolmate showed me a trick where a bill turns upsidedown, seems preety lame but I was blown away, then on 6th grade, There was a Magic shop near our house, then I bought 1 of their stripper decks and Didn't know how to use it, haha, then when I reached the 8th grade, My classmates told me about this show called "Breaking the Magician's Code" featuring Val Valentino as the Masked magician, then the next day, My classmates and I keeps on blabbering about the show, then on 9th grade, I heard that one of my childhood friend was doing magic, so after a week of hearing the rumor, I tried watching those magic trick tutorials on youtube, and started picking it up from there,. then after a week again, He introduced me to Theory 11, that's where my real magic experience begin, here in theory 11 :)
Apr 27, 2013
Here's my story:
It all started on April 17, 2012... Yes, that's the exact date... Michael from Vsauce on Youtube channel made a playlist called SURPRISE! which basically contains video which surprise him, and one of them is mismag822's tutorial on Best Mathematical Card Trick in the World (/watch?v=POQTbs2YfFs). It blew my mind, and for 3 hours straight I watched A LOT of mismag822's videos.

From that moment I love magic so much, especially card tricks! For me it's just awesome, no other words can describe it. Simple and elegant. I started practicing tricks and improving my sleight everyday. I bring deck everywhere I go. It's just so awesome! Then I started discovering many deck of playing cards, they're all have beautiful and magnificent design. My love for cards have been growing and growing. One more thing that I love from magic is that whenever I perform magic in front of people, they're all surprised and that emotion somehow makes me happy.

Now I'm trying to develop a good showmanship, because it's just amazing. I believe magic which is done gracefully will have more impact. Even a very simple trick, if it's done gracefully, it becomes elegant.

That's all for my story, thanks for reading :)
Sep 8, 2012
When i was younger my grandfather was my best friend. Throughout my childhood, he amazed me with simple coin tricks, and little illusions on the spot. The thing i remember best about him, was the way he smiled when I was was amazed. He always had this one coin with him, the mother of all his sleight of hand. Worn and dented over the years, the perfect vintage item that amused me for hours. Anyways, as time went on my Grandfather became sick and weak; over the course of about 3 weeks we visited him in the hospital. He died 11/20/03. Of course, he was my idol and I was incredibly sad, mad, and frustrated about his death. The day after, my mom came up to me, handing me a small wooden box Grandpa had wanted me to have. As happy as I could be, I opened the little wooden drawer and in it was the coin, the shining beautiful memory of my Grandfather. Next to it, a note: "Julian, I can't entertain everyone, i'm going to need some help, :)." Ever since that year, i've been really into magic and misdirection, each time i pick up a coin, or deck of cards, I always remember what he said, and how he helped me discover the art he loved so much.
Feb 10, 2013
I first got into magic by accident. I was browsing YouTube and found a show called Scam School. I watch the host perform an ambitious card routine and simply had to figure it out so i watched it over and over and over until i realized two cards can be like one. then it was just figuring out how to do it smoothly and that was the first card trick i ever did. I have ADHD and Aspergers syndrome making me extremely intelligent but not very good with social skills so I only ever performed for myself but one day i was at a KFC and i was bored so i performed a telekinetic straw trick using static electricity. Someone saw me and asked "Are you magic?'. Ever since then I've been addicted to learning and performing magic.
Feb 22, 2013
When I was about 6,my father showed me a few card tricks out of which,some used the key card principle or the others were not practical.I was fooled by all those simple tricks in the minor age of 6.Later on,I thought,why don't I try my hand in magic and it fitted perfectly.There were a few magic shows as well that inspired me to move on even though I never saw a live show.Now,I am the one who shows tricks to others and fool them.Now,my thirst for magic cannot be quenched and all this started just from a scratch.My road to magic started just from a few simple tricks and I plan to move on.
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