Have you ever gotten into the art of “magic tricks?” If you need something to do right now, take a look at this. You could probably watch this video of magician Eric Chien performing his “ribbon” magic trick a thousand times and you might not come anywhere near the correct answer on how he pulled it off.
The trick begins by giving off the appearance of a pretty regular, close-up table trick, involving a box, some cards, and a small amount of ribbon.
Then seemingly without explanation, the performance escalates into a trick where the waistband of the magician changes color, objects start disappearing out of nowhere, and cards, coins, all kinds of small objects start flying across the table.
The magician who came up with the trick, Eric Chien, was the recipient of a sizeable prize for what he created, winning the “Best Trick” prize from the International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM) Magic World Championships.
Call it the world cup of magic, that’s what was won by Eric Chien, one of the highest accolades that can be received by any magician.
One remarkable thing about the stunt is that it was filmed from really up-close. It’s a video, but you can as some describe, see things disappear right before your eyes.
On the magician’s YouTube channel, he talked about his hopes of taking his career to another level with this victory. “Though winning FISM is a big accomplishment, it is also just the beginning for me,” he said. “I’ve been behind the scenes for most of my magic career and its finally time for me be on stage performing.I have lots of things planned out right now and I can’t wait to show you guys what I can do!”
Have you ever wondered where this type of tradition even comes from? Witchcraft used to be something very real and serious in Europe, according to the account of history we are told, but as the story goes, past a certain point people stopped taking the concept as seriously and a certain genre of entertainer emerged that sort of evolved into magic tricks, jesters, ect.
It has been said that one of the earliest books to ever mention magic tricks as a form of entertainment is a piece published in 1489 by someone named Gantziony, titled Natural and Unnatural Magic. It describes and elaborates on old-time tricks, that were probably practiced for entertainment for a long time.
Then, in 1584 a less lighthearted book was published that purportedly illustrated the weakening of superstition, “The Discoverie of Witchcraft,” by Reginald Scot. It detailed how “magic tricks” were not the result of supernatural methods, but rather sleight of hand. The book elaborated on specific tricks like manipulations with rope, coins, and paper.
When the book was published in the 8th decade of the 1500’s, the fear of witchcraft was still supposed to be widespread. Then, by the 1600’s, many similar books came out describing juggling and other tricks, including The Anatomy of Legerdemain: The Art of Juggling (c. 1675) and The Art of Conjuring (1614).
It wasn’t exactly until the 1700’s that magic shows became a well known, common source of entertainment at fair, in which fire breathing, sword swallowing, juggling and all those things took place.
You may have heard of that English showman, Isaac Fawkes, who claimed to have performed for King George II.
This is the origin of a thing that exists today, that people rarely even stop to consider the origin of. Learning about this type of thing is pretty wholesome entertainment and a good way to kill some time.