The human brain recognizes and is drawn to symmetry and patterns. Using patterns, structures, and routines—what scientists call mental models—makes people efficient. Routines are so ingrained that people can do them without thinking: getting dressed in the morning, driving to work, doing laundry. The ability to go on autopilot means their brain can use that time to think about something else entirely—a distinct evolutionary advantage.
Pass an ordinary piece of paper around your body. Bet your skeptical audience that you can cut a hole in a normal piece of typing paper large enough to step through. Fold the paper in half widthwise and cut a series of strips through the folded edge every 2 in (5.1 cm) or so, stopping about 1 in (2.5 cm) from the far end. Then, rotate the paper 180 degrees and cut along the midline of each strip you just cut from the opposite side, again stopping just short of the far edge. Finally, cut through each folded crease individually and open up the paper to reveal an impossibly-large paper portal that you can slip right through.[6]
How does it work? There are several ways of doing the trick and one of the most popular is all about the magic equipment. The magician wears a special finger stall with a small, but very sharp blade. After showing the audience that the bottle is whole, he secretly cuts a line in it that's big enough to push a phone through. No magic here, really. Just a sleight of hand.
Unlike card tricks done on the streets or on stage and card cheating, cardistry is solely about impressing without illusions, deceit, misdirection and other elements commonly used in card tricks and card cheating.[10] Cardistry is the art of card flourishing, and is intended to be visually impressive and to give the appearance of being difficult to perform.[10] Card flourishing is often associated with card tricks, but many sleight of hand artists perform flourishing without considering themselves magicians or having any real interest in card tricks.[10]
The One-Hand Cut. Known as a “Charlier” cut, this is when a magician uses a single hand to separate the deck into two portions, flipping the upper half and lower half to switch their positions. It adds a cool flourish to easy card tricks, and it’s a necessary move to progress to a more advanced card trick. Plus, it leaves an empty hand free to perform misdirection or additional sleights.
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Make a pencil float in the palm of your hand. This one is as easy as can be—just clutch a pencil in one fist with the back of your hand facing the audience, then grab your wrist with your opposite hand like you're bracing yourself for a great effort. Without attracting attention, slowly outstretch the pointer finger of your support hand and use it to pin the pencil to your palm as you open your fist. When done correctly, it will look like the pencil is hovering in front of your hand.[4]
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