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Secrets of David Blaine

I got this from P2P.  No name seems to be attached to the document. I am in no way claiming ownership of this document. If you have any questions or suggestions, please direct them to

Although am in total disagreement of exposing magic tricks, it has come to my attention that there are those who actually believe something supernatural is going on.  Now, I am not one to argue the existence of supernatural events, but Mr. Blaine's show is definitely not one of them.  He is an incredibly talented magician and performer, nothing supernatural about it.

In addition, these tricks are pretty basic and are often times the variation of tricks found in ordinary magic trick books.  It is the execution that makes it special and dumbfounding.

The Secrets of David Blaine


This trick is for Intermediate Magicians

Effect: After asking a spectator to copy the action of you putting your hand on the table, you are able to twist your arm a full 360 degrees while others look at you in disbelief.

Preparation: A long sleeve shirt. Everything else is impromptu.

Method 1: The Secret Move. On the table, have your fingers pointing towards your body. This may seem a bit uncomfortable, but the effect is well worth it, now, you should have your fingers pointing to the left. Turn your palm up (still having the fingers pointing left) but keep turning the hand over the same way until it is face down again. With a long sleeve shirt, it looks as if your hand is just turned sideways to the left (in reality, it's twisted 270 degrees to the right).

Method 2: Hand on the table. Tell the other person to do exactly what you're doing and start slowly twisting your arm COUNTERCLOCKWISE. When your fingers start to point to the left, distract him from what you're doing, say something like "you're doing it wrong; do exactly what I'm doing!" or "maybe you should back up a bit to get a better view of my directions”. With that, point to his hand or push him away a bit with your other hand, and do the secret move while his eyes are concentrated on himself. When you have the secret move done, it's a simple matter of him trying to do what you're doing again. Little does he know you're simply UNTWISTING your arm instead of twisting it like he. By putting a plastic cup or hard cellophane tucked under your armpit, you can make a bone crunching noise by pressing gently as you twist your arm to add to the effect.



David Blaine again used this impressive trick where he pushed a cigarette through a coin. This trick uses a very clever gimmicked coin where the middle temporarily opens to let the cigarette through and later close so the hole is virtually invisible to the spectator. This coin is available through good magic suppliers



This trick is for intermediate magicians

Effect: David Blaine did this trick on his second national TV special. A watch is borrowed. The magician does not carry anything! After showing the watch to those nearby who notice the current time, you place the watch face down in the spectator's hand. His hand is closed over the watch. The magician does not touch the watch again. The magician then asks the spectator to name a number and then to concentrate on that number and the watch. He opens his hand, turns over the watch and sees that the hands of the watch have moved that many minutes! This trick does not require any gimmicks.

Props: Someone is wearing an analogue watch - a watch with a long stem that's easy to manipulate quickly, such as SEIKO watches.


Preparation: You need to wear a watch of your own with the wrong time.

Method: Ask your victim for his watch with an excuse like, "I think my time is wrong can I see yours for a second?" Borrow the watch for a minute and examine it, look at it, state what time it has, and say, "is this the right time, I need to know." Now glance at the time on YOUR watch and draw attention to it by setting its time. While they looking at you, set the time on your watch. Your other hand is moving their stem so THEIR time moved forward 25 minutes. Now have them sandwich their watch between their hands, and ask them to pick a number from 10 through 30. Most people will pick 25 if they pick 20, they won't notice it's off by five minutes when you reveal that the hands of their watch have moved forward in time. If they pick something below that number, tell them to make it harder, and pick a higher number. It gets them every time. Just remember to give a great patter when doing this trick.

Tips: I recommend trying to do this on nervous or shy people so they don't know what you're doing. The key to this trick is misdirection, but it's very easy to get caught.



Effect: The performer asks the spectator to pick a card without him seeing the face and replace it in the pack. The pack is then shuffled and the performer is apparently unsuccessful in locating the card. After a few attempts, the cards are thrown against a window in a fit of rage, on looking at the window, the chosen card is seen to be sticking to it, even more surprising is the fact that the card is on the inside of the window.

Preparation: You will need two identical packs of cards and a willing helper.

Method: This trick should be performed in an area with a large window nearby and with the spectator facing away from the window. The spectator is asked to choose a card from a pack, memorize it and without showing you, replace the card in the pack. The pack is then shuffled and a couple of attempts at "is this your card " tried, followed by a look of disbelief when the spectator tells you that it is not their card (this is all part of the act as you don’t even need to know the card).

After a few attempts you fake an angry outburst and making sure the cards are squared up, throw the pack broadside at the window, where they will hit the window and fall to the ground except the chosen card, which is sticking to the window. Your helper was already positioned behind the window and spectator and had an identical pack of cards. He was able to see the chosen card and took the duplicate from his pack. A small piece of looped sticky tape or magicians wax was attached to the duplicate card and it was stuck to the inside of the window. The helper should then have walked away from the window. This trick creates a real surprise but it is important to pick up the fallen cards quickly and to pocket the original chosen card.



This trick was performed in David Blaine’s second special where he made the spectator sign a card, the card was put back in the pack and was made to appear from between two aces.

Effect: Give the spectator, the two red aces and tell them to hold them. Fan out the deck and tell the spectator to touch a card. Square the deck up leaving their card stuck out to be signed and shown. This is because you secretly put the card into "palm position" when you square up the deck so you can easily palm the card when you want to. It must stick out of the lower corner of the pack meeting your inner thumb. Let them sign the card and then hand them the deck, secretly palming their card. After they are convinced that the card is well lost in the deck, ask for the two aces and sandwich the face down palmed card between the aces, showing only the aces face up.

Tell them to hold the deck openly and start to shake the aces over the pack, tell them to watch their card rise from the deck into the two aces, shake a little more loosely and the card will appear to their amazement



This trick is of medium skill

Effect: The magician invites a spectator to stand near a car, he then asks the person to check that the car tax disc is inside the windscreen. The spectator agrees, the magician then places his hands over the disc and pulls it out through the solid glass.

Preparation: This trick needs along piece of fishing line, two identical tax discs, a car and a spectator.

Method: Attach a piece of fishing line to the tax disc inside the car and run it out to the trunk and out to the back of the car. Have your assistant ducking down behind the back of the car holding the line, where the spectator cannot see him. Palming the duplicate disc, the spectator is asked to check that the disc is inside the car. With the disc in your right hand, cover the tax disc with your hands. This is your cue to the assistant. He pulls the line and keeps pulling until the disc is ripped of the windscreen and pulled right inside the trunk at the back and out of view of the spectators. Meanwhile, you pretend to struggle to pull the disc from inside the car, hand it to the spectator and casually walk off. It is good to really look like your putting a lot of effort into getting the tax disc through the windscreen.



Effect: A spectator chooses a card from a deck of cards. The deck is shuffled by the magician and then given to the spectator to shuffle. The magician draws out a card from the deck, not the chosen card and holds it in his fingertips. He gives the card a short sharp flick from behind and instantly the card changes into the spectators!

Preparation: Two decks are required. Choose a card that you want the spectator to choose and glue it back to back of any other card in the deck. Out of the top left hand corner (for right-handed people) before gluing leave a small needle or long pin sticking 2cm diagonally out of the card. This should be glued halfway firmly inside the sandwich of cards. You should now have a card with two faces and the little pin protruding about 2cm from one corner:

The Trick: Force them to choose the necessary card by your favorite force method. Shuffle and loose the card in the pack. When they are shuffling the deck withdraw the prepared card from your pocket with you left hand being careful not to let them see it. As they pass the cards back to you, receive them with both hands, left hand facing you so they don't see the cards and bring your hands together on the deck. Left hand with prepared card on the top of the deck and right hand facing inwards under the deck (almost like a praying position with a deck of cards in-between you hands!). Keeping your hands moving and in one continuous motion draw off the card that is in your left hand. To the audience it looks like they shuffle the pack and you draw off a card when it is returned to you. If the whole action is done with hands slightly faced towards your body, many of the motions are hidden by the back of your hands, so they might not even know that the card came off the top. Hold the card by the very tip with the pin between your thumb and forefinger of the left hand. The face they can see is not their card, their card's face is facing you. Ask them if that is their card. "No" they will reply. You say "Oh, in that case concentrate very hard on your card." After you say this give the bottom right hand edge of the card a short and sharp flick and let it flip over on the pin in you fingers. To the audience their card will appear just by flicking it! They will think you really are Blaine in disguise.

Hints: Don't let anyone stand behind you for this trick or they will see the double-faced card. You will have to figure out yourself how to get rid of the double-faced card without them seeing it. Practice in front of a mirror to refine the flicking action, so that the card makes the complete 180-degree flip. It won't look good if it didn't quite make it.



Effect: A name is written on a piece of paper on a notepad by the spectator, the paper is torn off unseen by the magician, crumpled up and placed in an ashtray. It is then set alight. The ashes are then rubbed on the magicians arm and the name of the person written on the paper mysteriously appears.

Preparation: You will need a small notepad, pen, ashtray, lighter and a small piece of soap or wax. The spectator is asked to write the name of a person or favorite anything of theirs on a notepad. Then to tear of the sheet of notepaper, crumple it up and place it in the ashtray, where the magician then sets the paper alight. The magician takes the notepad of the spectator and should be able to see the imprint of the name written on the paper above in the next sheet of the notepad. Looking at the pad should not be made obvious and some misdirection carried out while he carefully takes the small piece of wax or soap and writes the name on the imprint on his arm or hand  (this will not be visible to anyone). The magician can then take some ash from the ashtray and rub it over the wax where it will stick and create an impression of the spectator’s word to their amazement. This is a great trick but depends on the magician creating an atmosphere with an entertaining routine and patter about black magic to enhance the effect and create misdirection to allow him time to pull off the trick.



This trick is of medium skill level

Effect: You are walking down the street and casually pick any spectator. You ask them to come with you to a nearby car and pick a dead fly off the windscreen. You hold it in your hand do a few passes with the other hand and appear to be really concentrating, while the fly slowly comes back to life, to the surprise of the spectator.

Preparation: Freeze the fly. You need to catch a fly and freeze it, which puts it in a temporary coma. This can be done by swatting the fly hard enough to immobilize it, and then place it in a small container in the freezer. The fly then needs to be quickly taken to a suitable windscreen IN THE SHADE and placed there. It is important that the car is in the shade to prevent the fly from defrosting too quickly.

The Trick: Go and find a spectator and take them back to the car, which should appear to be randomly picked. The heat of your hand will revive the fly, which should soon start to move. A lot of this trick is in the actions of you reviving the fly. It may be necessary to practice how long it takes for the fly to revive itself. Freezing the fly with dry ice or even one of these aerosol canned air products for cleaning computers is a better way of freezing the fly as it is quicker and causes less damage to the fly.



This trick requires a lot of practice and is for advanced magicians

Effect: This is the trick that was performed on the David Blaine special and requires a complete mastery of the double lift. The magician shows the spectator the queen of diamonds on top of the deck. He then tells the spectator to hold the queen face down between his fingers. The performer then shows the next top card, the other red queen. After several fast sneaky switches of the cards, the spectator is told to guess which card is where? When he turns over his hand, he realizes he is holding no aces at all.

Preparation: This trick is done with a regular set of cards. Before performing the trick, put the black ace on the bottom, preferably the ace of clubs, it is less conspicuous. On the top of the deck, place the queen of diamonds, then the ace of spades, then the queen of hearts.

The Trick: With the deck set up as above, first show the spectator the (actual) top card. Tell them to hold it between their fingers, face down. Then tell them to look at the card they have, so they are sure that there was no fancy moves in play. Using this as misdirection, prepare to double lift the next two cards once they have looked at their card. Perform the double lift and show them the queen of hearts with the ace concealed. Put the cards back on top of the deck. Remove the ace without showing them the face of the ace. Then pretend to switch the cards, once or twice. After this say "Okay, I’m going to teach you how to do this.” This time, perform the "switch" very slowly, actually switching the cards. Make sure that they do not look at the ace in their hands. Then, very quickly, making sure that they do not notice what you are doing, take the queen of diamonds you are holding and put it on top of the deck. Then steal the card off the bottom of the deck (ace of clubs) and give it to them. Then ask them to tell you where the card is. After you hear their guess, have them turn over their hand and be amazed!



This trick requires a lot of practice and is for advanced magicians

Effect: The magician has a card selected and signed. The spectator then shuffles the card into the pack. It is the magician’s job to locate it. Unfortunately, the magician cannot seem to get it right, but after a few attempts, the magician seems to actually regurgitate a tightly folded card. It is the spectator’s card, with their signature.

Preparation: You need a pen and a deck of cards

The Trick: Have the spectator select a card from the deck and show it to the audience. After the card is signed, control it to the top of the deck by means of a Hindu shuffle control or a revolving pass. The deck is now held in the standard dealing position in the left hand (with the chosen card at the top). Get a finger break under the top card and palm it with your right hand immediately. Flourish the rest of the deck with a one hand cut, or one hand shuffle with your left hand and offer it to a spectator to simply mix up the cards. Make sure the spectator starts to shuffle because some stubborn people start to shuffle through the deck looking for their card. Then turn your back, making this move seem natural to show at there is no possible way that you could know where the card is. At this time you are folding the palmed card into eighths (the smaller the better). This is easy as your back is turned you can use both hands to do this and then slip the tiny package in your mouth between your cheek and gum. Turn around to face the audience as the card is folded so tightly in your mouth, you can talk normally. Take the cards and act as if you messed up. Turn over a couple of cards to reveal what was supposed to be their selection. Do whatever you want, just make yourself look bad. As soon as people start to laugh at you, act as if you’re hurt, as if something inside of you wants to get out. Make the audience curious, and have the suspense build up. As soon as they reach their peak, work the card out of your lips and slowly spit the card out onto the palm of your hand. Unfold it, and watch the audience scream at the chosen signed card. It looks as if you somehow swallowed the card beforehand and regurgitated it back up again.



David Blaine performed this extremely effective trick where a coin was bitten and one piece was removed. The coin was restored when the missing piece was seemingly spat out at it. This trick used a very cleverly engineered coin, which is available from a lot of good magic suppliers.



Effect: The spectator is asked to sign a card and the card is placed back in the deck. The cards are shuffled and the magician throws the cards at a bottle behind the spectators. The signed card appears in the bottle.

The Trick: David Blaine showed the spectators a different trick before this one involving the same spectator signing a card of the same number and suit that is forced when showing the card in the bottle trick following after the card trick. He then keeps the card and does another trick not involving cards and slips the card to one of the cameramen or lights crew. The guy then puts the card in the bottle while David distracts the audience with the trick. Then he goes on to perform the card in the bottle trick and the card is forced, signed, and the trick is done. He then throws the cards at the bottle and the card that was recently signed is held on to. He then tells everyone to look at the bottle and the card is slipped in his pocket.



 David Blaine was seen in his TV special to visibly vanish a coin that was on a spectator’s out-stretched hand, without touching the spectators palm and by waving his hands above the spectator’s palm. This looks very impressive and is performed by using a gimmick called " The Raven" which is available from good magic suppliers and is a worthwhile purchase for those of you interested in street magic.

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