What was the first trick you ever learned?

Jan 2, 2016
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835
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California
I was thinking about this and it took some thinking. I think technically the first trick I did was one of those roll up appearing wands that I got as a party favor. I showed it to my mom and then proceeded to make her reset it for me so I could show her again. I was 5 so...

What was your first trick? How did you learn it? How old were you?
 

DominusDolorum

Elite Member
Jul 15, 2013
894
1,116
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Canada
I remember doing a magic show for my parents when I was really young, like around 6 or 7. I just watched a David Copperfield special and thought it was amazing, so I put together this little show for my parents. I don't remember what kind of tricks I did, apart from that I had my little brother hide behind this table and do all the "secret work." The finale was producing my brother from nowhere.

At that age I knew the assistants do most of the work :p

This was before I REALLY got into magic though, so what I consider my first trick was either Red Hot Mama, or That's It. I learned them at the same time from my mentor, who set me down this road.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,750
2,859
I've said it before, I will inevitably say it again - being older before you get into magic is a good thing. So is having a limited budget.

Being older means you probably already have an established personality (so you're not as likely to use magic as a substitute for a personality, as many who get into magic young do), and you'll also likely have a bank of other interests and experiences to draw on to create unique and interesting presentations.

Having a limited budget helps prevent the "trick collecting" impulse, and kind of forces you to think about each purchase and study the material instead of just piling up the products in a drawer.
 
Aug 15, 2017
656
439
Interesting. Reason being...the first trick I learned was not the first trick I performed.

The first trick I learned was the Rubber Pencil Illusion.

Of course, I am omitting the very few and small card tricks shown to me by my father, which he taught to me, because I never performed them to anyone before as a proper magic performance. I basically presented them as puzzles IF I ever did present them to anyone, that is.

The first trick I did was a super-cringy-ultra-obvious colour changing kind of routine. Long story short, I had seen a magician on stage. I had seen a magician on Doraemon, Ninja Hattori and the likes, so I wanted to do it PROPERLY, and made up a trick. To sum it up, I wanted to change the colour of a green frisbee to yellow. And I actually am going to expose the method...

I had hid the yellow frisbee inside my T-shirt on my back, obiously. So I took the green frisbee, put it behind my back, and with as little motion at the elbows I could achieve, I put it in my T-shirt and brought out the other frisbee.
It was actually supposed to be a proper show, my parents and sister as the audience. And they clapped SO hard and appreciated me so much!

While today I prefer honesty from them, since they are my guinea pigs...if they had criticised me even a little that day, I would not be doing magic...


TLDR; First trick I learnt was amazing. First trick I performed was trash (in a way).
 
Jul 26, 2016
561
776
Like Andrew & Antonio, I made my "Debut" sound 5-6 years old. My very first trick, which became a mainstay of my "show" (lol), was a trick I did with my uncle. I cannot remember where I learned it, but it was hella cool. Basically, his dress shirt was put on in such a way that his arms were not inserted into the sleeves, yet the buttons at the cuffs were buttoned and the main buttons of the shirt were buttoned up as well. He also wore a necktie. With his suit jacket worn over all, it looked normal. But when I unbuttoned the buttons of the shirt and cuffs, and loosened the tie, I could pull the shirt up and off, making it appear that it penetrated through the jacket. He was left wearing the jacket and tie with just his undershirt underneath. It was quite funny - especially to a bunch of adults who had had a few drinks...
 
Jan 14, 2017
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149
At a very young age (probably 6ish) my father - whom was an amateur magician HIS entire life - fooled me with a coin and the French Drop. After 'teaching' me the maneuver I practiced constantly and it would be a GOTO effect when in a group.
This led me to an interest in Magic. My name was the ONLY one, repeated dozens of times, on the card in the back of the copy of Professor Hoffman's Modern Magic at the local library. I would renew the book endlessly.
Reading other books by Scarne and Lorrayne and occasional articles (in Popular Science, I think) by Martin Gardner provided me an adoration and affinity for Card magic.

With his suit jacket worn over all, it looked normal. But when I unbuttoned the buttons of the shirt and cuffs, and loosened the tie, I could pull the shirt up and off, making it appear that it penetrated through the jacket.
I was the 'stooge', as a Cub Scout when my father was the PackMaster and performed this stunt on me.
It is such a vivid memory for me because he carefully crafted it in such a way that I WAS THE MAGICAL ONE; not him.

I've said it before, I will inevitably say it again - being older before you get into magic is a good thing. So is having a limited budget.

Being older means you probably already have an established personality (so you're not as likely to use magic as a substitute for a personality, as many who get into magic young do), and you'll also likely have a bank of other interests and experiences to draw on to create unique and interesting presentations.

Having a limited budget helps prevent the "trick collecting" impulse, and kind of forces you to think about each purchase and study the material instead of just piling up the products in a drawer.
I heartily agree with your sentiment here. In my case, though, magic became the way a very shy and insecure young boy could learn to interact with people. Ultimately, it helped me to be self-confident, and I have no doubt, contributed to my general success in career and in life.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,750
2,859
I heartily agree with your sentiment here. In my case, though, magic became the way a very shy and insecure young boy could learn to interact with people. Ultimately, it helped me to be self-confident, and I have no doubt, contributed to my general success in career and in life.

I hear this a LOT due to my day job. A line from an interview I listened to a long time ago, paraphrased, "I was painfully shy as a child. But when I learned magic, I always had three words I could say to anyone, 'Pick a card.'"

There's nothing wrong with using magic to open doors (metaphorically speaking) - but I bet we all know a few guys who can't be around other people without doing tricks. To me, that's a problem. That is a big part of what creates the image of the dorky magician in the public's collective mind. It's important to be able to hold a conversation without resorting to performing. People can sense when someone is using performance as a shield like that.

As a parallel - I watched a video by Aurelio Voltaire, the singer/songwriter. When he first got to NYC and was trying to start a career as a singer, any time he talked to someone and had a chance to tell them he was a singer, he'd end up singing something for them. A capella. It did not take long for him to figure out that this is very weird behavior. While not quite as weird in the context of magic, it's still often a bit too much.
 
Feb 1, 2017
229
235
I hear this a LOT due to my day job. A line from an interview I listened to a long time ago, paraphrased, "I was painfully shy as a child. But when I learned magic, I always had three words I could say to anyone, 'Pick a card.'"

There's nothing wrong with using magic to open doors (metaphorically speaking) - but I bet we all know a few guys who can't be around other people without doing tricks. To me, that's a problem. That is a big part of what creates the image of the dorky magician in the public's collective mind. It's important to be able to hold a conversation without resorting to performing. People can sense when someone is using performance as a shield like that.

As a parallel - I watched a video by Aurelio Voltaire, the singer/songwriter. When he first got to NYC and was trying to start a career as a singer, any time he talked to someone and had a chance to tell them he was a singer, he'd end up singing something for them. A capella. It did not take long for him to figure out that this is very weird behavior. While not quite as weird in the context of magic, it's still often a bit too much.

Probably why the GOATS don't really have friends. And if they do, they're friends who are just like them.
 
Oct 19, 2015
317
220
I think I was 9 or 10 and I had a good friend who's big brother (in High School) was a magician! I was really interested, but had no way to get tricks. I saved up my money from hunting pop bottles, selling all occasion cards, and shoveling snow (I lived in the high mountains of Colorado). That summer I went to Denver to spend a few weeks with my Grandparents and they helped my find a magic store. I bought a set of cups and balls, a silk vanisher gimmick with a silk, and a milk pitcher! Later when I got home, I talked my friend into telling/selling me how to stick pins in balloons, I saw his brother do it and I had to have it! My friend charged my $5 for that information....that was a ton of money....for something that was really simple to learn/figure out. Those were my first tricks....
 
When I was getting started, so was magic being revealed on the internet. All that was available were basics like ashes on palm, 2 in the hand one in the pocket. The first trick I ever purchased, once I learned there were actual online shops because there's no physical stores where I live, was Bob Hummers whirling card! I think that was about 16 years ago now. :)
 
Dec 3, 2018
2
1
I was a teenager, LDS missionaries came over and one of them did card tricks. He eventually taught it to me and the middle part is what got me started with my love for sleight of hand. You'd make 3 small piles of cards then say and demonstrate that you would "slap it, flick it, or touch it" and move it to another pile, On the slap you would add a card and be moving it to the other pile. I still love that trick but don't know the name of it.
 
May 11, 2017
64
54
30
Ukraine, Odessa
I was thinking about this and it took some thinking. I think technically the first trick I did was one of those roll up appearing wands that I got as a party favor. I showed it to my mom and then proceeded to make her reset it for me so I could show her again. I was 5 so...

What was your first trick? How did you learn it? How old were you?

It was a lot of gambling slights first, with no tricks at all..
First trick - Triumph with a Zarrow shuffle - Jason England - At the Table.
Until now my favorite)
 
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Jul 26, 2016
561
776
One day, when I was 6 years old, my Uncle Alfred, a fabulous amateur magician, taught me 2 tricks. First he performed them, fooling me badly with both, and then taught them to me. (It's amazing what a little begging can do). I can't remember which one he showed me first, so I'll write about both. One trick was a classic coin trick that is overlooked by many contemporary magicians because either they don't know about it, or they look upon it as a beginner's trick and turn up their noses to it. But it's real fooler. Unlike most coin vanishes it is a complete vanish, and can be performed in short sleeves - the coin disappears and the spectator has no clue. The magician is sitting at a table and announces he/she will make a borrowed penny (or nickel or dime) disappear. The magician rubs the coin against his/her elbow twice and is unsuccessful. On the third try, the coin has completely vanished without a trace, both hands being shown completely empty.

The other trick was a card trick. The spectator picks a card, looks at it, and it is then placed face-down on top the deck. The magician then brings the deck behind his/her back and proclaims that the identity of the card will be determined by the sense of touch alone. The deck is brought back into view and the deck is held with the bottom card facing the spectator. The magician says that it is a difficult trick and would like one clue, and so the spectator is asked: "Is your card the same color as this one?" It doesn't matter what they say. The deck is again placed behind the magician's back and after a little acting, as if concentrating intently, the magician correctly announces the name of the selected card. A very simple method. When the cards are first placed behind the back, the top card is turned face-up on the deck, so when the deck is shown to the spectator, while the spectator is looking at the bottom card, the magician can see the top card because it is face-up. When the deck is again placed behind the back, the magician already knows the identity of the selection, and flips the top card face-down again, hiding the evidence as to how it was done. Very easy to do, but actually pretty clever.

After that little session with Uncle Alfred, I announced to him that I wanted to become a magician, just like him.

And I did...
 
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Jun 8, 2020
44
55
I was 4, and my 13 yr old brother who was into magic let me hang out with him one afternoon. He showed me some magic performances, and asked me if I wanted to learn a trick. We watched a video of someone teaching the trick where you have someone pick a card and then make a giant pile of face up cards and say "the next card I flip over will be yours", only to flip over their card which you had already passed up in the pile. (we called it 'wanna bet', not sure if that's the actual title). Anyways, since then I had been interested in magic, although I didn't start actively learning until this January, when I was bored and found the Scam School books in my brother's stash of magic books.
 
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