Wide Open Magic

Tricks and ideas for fresh magic. Updated Fridays.


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Have Yourself A Very ‘Die Hard’ Christmas


You know when you’re chatting with friends and the subject of ESP naturally comes up? Nope, me neither. I’ve always been amused by the idea of trying to casually steer an everyday conversation round to the esoteric subject of a magic trick. I think one way we can make magic feel more current and relevant is to use more current, relevant conversations as starting points for tricks. So...

Coin To Impossibler Location


‘Object to impossible location’ routines are fab. So here’s a way to make the ‘impossible location’ even more impossible by shifting the reappearance location much further away. It’s the kind of trick you’d normally need an assistant for, but you can use this pleasingly ridiculous method instead. The Inspiration As is often the case, combining two...

Pretty Darn Fun (PDF): The No-Padlock Padlock Trick


I’ve always liked tricks where you guess the combination of a padlock. But I wanted a more virtual version. So I taught myself coding, infiltrated Adobe’s HQ posing as an intern called Garamond Futura, and through months of subtle persuasion, got them to include a guess-the-code feature into pdfs. Okay, enough entirely believable backstory, what am I talking about? This… The...

CTPAAN: Card To Pocket At Any Number


Don’t worry – this isn’t one of those Franken-tricks, where two simple tricks are combined into one messy monstrosity. Instead, it’s an idea for a hidden feature of David Williamson’s modern classic 51 Cards To Pocket that can be used by anyone who performs it. The Inspiration I’ve been thinking about how the reveal of the 51 cards is usually presented, i.e...

Why Being A Rounded Magician Is Overrated


As regular readers know, I love getting inspiration from outside magic. So this week I want to share one of my favourite books. It has great ideas, great writing…just a terrible title. It’s called Rules For Aging by Roger Rosenblatt and it’s a “wry and witty guide to life”. It’s full of unconventional nuggets of wisdom, in the form of numbered rules. I’ll...

What The Fridge?! Your Home Is Now your Gig Bag


A short post about a quick realisation I had the other day (which others may also have had, but it helped me think differently, so I’m sharing it in case it’s useful). From the few clips and ebooks I’ve seen about Zoom magic shows, most seem to feature close-up or parlour tricks, with small- to medium-sized props. This makes sense, since that’s what we’re used to...

Do It Your Ways: Finding Multiple ways To Do Magical Actions


Picking. Signing. Shuffling. There are many standard actions in magic. In fact, they’re so standard that we do them without thinking. But the standard way of doing them is only one way. So how many different ways are there? It’s easy to feel like there’s a limited number. But this post was inspired by a strangely captivating video that cropped up on my feed, by Jan Hakon...

Fast And Curious: Twisting The Racing Prediction


*Update* After posting this, a magician friend let me know that Kimmo Magic Shop have already had the idea of doing a superhero angle for the race prediction. Well done them! One of the downsides to inventing a lot of magic is that sometimes you’ll find you’ve reinvented the wheel. Such is life. Anyway, since they got there first with the superhero race idea, you should definitely...

The DCMCU: Creating A Blockbuster Superhero Crossover Trick


New superhero blockbusters aren’t coming out any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your audience their superhero fix though magical means. The Inspiration At its simplest, creativity is sometimes described as combining two existing ideas to create a new one. So in this case, we’re combining a trick from the magic world with a hook from the movie world. The...

Adding Bite To Book Tests With ‘The Raw Shark Texts’


While book tests can be great (I do one myself), they’re often a bit dry. So let’s dive in to discover a way to make them more interesting. There’s an old saying in creative advertising (my other job, when I’m not magic-ing) that if you’re really stuck for an idea for an ad, just stick a dog in it. So, twisting that to magic, here’s my version – when it...