The word sleight, meaning "the use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive", comes from the Old Norse. The phrase sleight of hand means "quick fingers" or "trickster fingers". Common synonyms of Latin and French include prestidigitation and legerdemain respectively. Seneca the Younger, philosopher of the Silver Age of Latin literature, famously compared rhetorical techniques and illusionist techniques.
Rock up smoothly onto the ball of the foot furthest away from the audience. Transition your weight onto the ball of your support foot fluidly while allowing the foot the audience can see to hover 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) above the ground. Try to support yourself as far forward towards your toes as you can. If you do this just right, it will appear as though you've succeeded in levitating for a brief moment.
Next, you will have to place the bottles into your freezer at a constant temperature of -24 degrees. You can set the temperature knob to 5 or 7. (Make sure you leave the bottles overnight outside the freezer before putting them in the Freezer. This is to make sure the bottles absorb the room temperature.) After inserting the bottles into the freezer, make sure they lie on their sides, and that the distances between them are equal. Close the freezer door and wait for one and a half hours. Open the door and check if the bottles are frozen. If they are not, quickly shut the door and keep checking after 15 minutes. It usually takes about between 2 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours and forty five minutes for the first bottle to freeze. Don’t expect the bottle to completely freeze over. It will still be a liquid albeit with flakes of ice floating about. Gently take the bottles out slowly and make sure you have an audience present. Grab a bowl and fill it with some ice. Now open your bottle and pour out the water onto the ice. You will immediately notice that the water will freeze upon contact with the flakes creating unique cone flakes that you can give your friends. The best way to ensure success with this trick is to make sure you get the temperatures right. Over freezing or under freezing might result in the trick not working, so make sure you get the temperature just right.
Sleight of hand is often used in close-up magic, where the sleights are performed with the audience close to the magician, usually in physical contact or within 3 to 4 m (10 to 13 ft). This close contact eliminates theories of fake audience members and the use of gimmicks. It makes use of everyday items as props, such as cards, coins, rubber bands, paper, phones and even saltshakers. A well-performed sleight looks like an ordinary, natural and completely innocent gesture, change in hand position or body posture. In addition to manual dexterity, sleight of hand in close-up magic depends on the use of psychology, timing, misdirection, and natural choreography in accomplishing a magical effect.
I’m all for helping science. But after I share what I know, my neuroscientist friends thank me by showing me eye-tracking and MRI equipment and promising that someday such machinery will help make me a better magician. I have my doubts. Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years.
Smash a cup through a table “accidentally.” Explain to your audience that you're going to pass a magical ball through a solid tabletop using a small cup and a “cloak of concealment” (an ordinary piece of paper). Place the cup upside down over the ball, then mold the paper around the cup so that it covers it completely. Pick up the paper-covered cup to give your audience one last look at the ball. As you do, drop the cup into your lap inconspicuously and cradle it between your thighs. Put the cup-shaped paper shell back over the ball and give it a smack. Remove the cloak to show that the ball is still there, but the cup has rematerialized beneath the table.
The art of card throwing generally consists of throwing standard playing cards with excessively high speed and accuracy, powerful enough to slice fruits like carrots and even melons. Like flourishing, throwing cards are meant to be visibly impressive and does not include magic elements. Magician Ricky Jay popularized throwing cards within the sleight of hand industry with the release of his 1977 book entitled Cards as Weapons, which was met with large sales and critical acclaim. Some magic tricks, both close-up and on stage, are heavily connected to throwing cards.
A magician needs specially cut screens to move a hand through mirror or glass. The back screen covers 2 mirror panels. When the performance begins, the whole construction shifts the real mirror to the back side, moving 2 fake mirror panels forward. Now there is a space to move a hand. At the end of the performance, the assistants shift the real mirror to the front side again.
Sleight of hand during stage magic performances is not common, as most magic events and stunts are performed with objects visible to a much larger audience, but is nevertheless done occasionally by many stage performers. The most common magic tricks performed with sleight of hand on stage are rope manipulations and card tricks, with the first typically being done with a member of the audience to rule out the possibility of stooges and the latter primarily being done on a table while a camera is live-recording, allowing the rest of audience to see the performance on a big screen. Worldwide acclaimed stage magician David Copperfield often includes illusions featuring sleight of hand in his stage shows.
2. Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. You will be fooled by a trick if it involves more time, money, and practice than you (or any other sane onlooker) would be willing to invest. My partner, Penn, and I once produced 500 live cockroaches from a top hat on the desk of talk show host David Letterman. To prepare this took weeks. We hired an entomologist who provided slow-moving, camera-friendly cockroaches (the kind from under your stove don’t hang around for close-ups) and taught us to pick the bugs up without screaming like preadolescent girls. Then we built a secret compartment and worked out a devious routine for sneaking the compartment into the hat. More trouble than the trick was worth? To you, probably. But not to magicians.
Many magicians devote their entire lives to mastering the art of illusion, but you don't have to go to such great lengths to impress your friends and family. With the right know-how and a little practice, you can easily learn to perform a number of jaw-dropping tricks that are guaranteed to leave onlookers in awe! Start by perfecting a few simple beginner tricks, like making a pencil float in the palm of your hand or passing a cup through a solid tabletop. You can then work your way up to more difficult tricks, such as rubbing a coin into your skin and making yourself levitate, to keep your audience spellbound.