A glass of water is placed on the table which is covered with a handkerchief. Then, the magician lifts it up and throws it into the air. The result: the handkerchief falls on the floor, and the glass disappears. The trick here is two-fold: firstly, there’s a wire ring sewn into the handkerchief, which creates the illusion that the glass is underneath the handkerchief. Secondly, the glass is then lowered into a secret pouch through a hole in the table.
Although it may seem like Hogwarts magic, the performance is quite easy. There’s a special v-shaped tunnel going under the wall. That is why the spectators who study the wall and how solid it is, don't find anything – the wall is ok, the floor is not. The magician needs just a fraction of a second to go through the small tunnel going under the wall and stand on the other side of it.
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.
Although being mostly used for entertainment and comedy purposes, sleight of hand is also notoriously used to cheat at casinos and gambling facilities throughout the world. Common ways to professionally cheat at card games using sleight of hand include palming, switching, ditching, and stealing cards from the table. Such techniques involve extreme misdirection and years of practice. For these reasons, the term sleight of hand frequently carries negative associations of dishonesty and deceit at many gambling halls, and many magicians known around the world are publicly banned from casinos, such as British mentalist and close-up magician Derren Brown, who is banned from every casino in Britain.
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.
In the past five years, magic—normally deemed fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas—has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. Even I—not exactly renowned as a public speaker—have been invited to address conferences on neuroscience and perception. I asked a scientist friend (whose identity I must protect), “Why the sudden interest?” He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.”
This trick will make it appear that you have punched a hole in a bill with a pen, but the bill magically restores itself or was never punched in the first place. This trick can really have your audience on the edge of their seats. Ask to borrow a bill from someone's wallet (your least favorite uncle, perhaps?) and make them think you've ruined it and then fix it for them all at once. They're sure to be surprised, relieved, and impressed all at once.