Pulling Back the Curtains on Illusionists

Illustration of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat
Source: Library of Congress, illustration by The Strobridge Litho. Co.

I love magic. The accurate term would be illusion, but in my heart it is all real.

When it comes to modern illusionists, my favorite is Criss Angel. I saw his show in Las Vegas and was blown away by the appearance of birds from nowhere and him walking down walls. I know it’s heavily edited, but his show Mindfreak was strangely addictive and he goes into detail behind the scenes in the companion book, Mindfreak.

I went looking for more books on illusionists and found more than I bargained for in Hiding the Elephant. I started to read it on vacation and came to the chapter that covers disappearing, an important principle in illusions. I decided to save the chapter until I had time to sit down and be completely focused. I put it in a bag that was then stolen. I was angry not because it was stolen but because I really wanted to know how things disappear but the book itself disappeared! I thought it was an anti-muggle conspiracy.

I returned home and paid for the stolen book. Eventually I obtained another copy and flipped to the chapter and discovered it was not there. What is going on? Did I imagine it was there? Maybe the secrets were too dangerous for everyday people to know. Upon further inspection, the remnants of pages stuck out a few millimeters from the page. It had been cut out. Foiled again!

I finally found another copy and learned the secret behind disappearing of which I will divulge one word: mirrors. Which brings me to my final recommendation, my favorite movie of last year is Now You See Me, which is all about magic.

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