Magic Battle


Lexi Manning and Mac Strobel

Magic Manning stands at the podium, hands shaking, Kleenex in hand, audience watching. She begins her first performance of magic. Her competitor, Magic Mac, eyes her from the audience.

   As soon as we found out we were to be sorcerers, we were excited and relieved, thinking success would be a breeze. All we had to do  was  find a few easy tricks online and amaze our Journalism class and get an A on this article. But, we were most definitely wrong. After sifting through pages and videos of easy magic tricks, we soon realized that they were anything but easy.

We decided on doing three tricks each to impress and amaze our Journalism class. We had to teach ourselves slight of hand tricks, moving our hands, and distracting the audience to keep things natural.

The night before the performance, we had our tricks picked out and we were ready to go. We found that what was supposed to be a test of power may have really been a contest of luck, timing and preparation.

Mac: My magic tricks started off with my hardest trick. The first trick executed all had to do with counting and keeping an audience distracted enough to make little errors not stand out. What really made it interesting though was that they were doing most of the choosing for themselves. First, I called up Jr. Justin Anair as a volunteer. As he began, he cut the deck unevenly and separated the two halves as I requested. Anair then randomly selected a card from the larger deck and placed it back in the same deck. I then instructed Anair to randomly  select a separate card from the smaller deck, which was an eight. I then told him to remove the top eight cards from the large deck and flip up the next card which… was not his. I tried to play it off, pretending it was all part of the show as I exposed the next card which was luckily – or should I say magically – Anair’s.

The next trick wasn’t a card trick but an act in reading facial features. The trick began with four volunteers each walking up to the board and touching one of four faces depicting different emotions projected on the board while I looked away. I then had them step in front of me, and through my wizardry, was able to tell what face each had chosen..The trick went flawlessly as many actually suspected I was using the reflection off of a pop can. I happily realized they couldn’t comprehend my powers.

Although the first two tricks may have been astounding, it was the third that guaranteed the win for me as a magician. I first called up Jr. Mitch Frauenheim and had him take the top two cards on the deck. He then placed them back in the separated deck somewhere in the middle. I then demonstrated that I was not holding the place of the card and then, in a jaw-dropping flash, I snapped the cards from one hand to the other and was holding the two cards Mitch had chosen. The final trick worked as well as in practice, and maybe even better. Frauenheim said, “Mac’s last magic trick was pretty cool. If someone hadn’t told me how he did it, I’d have been thinking about it for the rest of the day.”

   Lexi: My first magic trick started off with the hardest one I had to do, because I had to hide pieces of tissue in my hand while not letting the audience see it. It worked, until it fell into sight at the end, which, thankfully, not everyone noticed. “I was amazed. In my mind, I was like, ‘Oh, how did she do that?’” Soph. Laisa Salas said. To my wizards with small hands, don’t give up.

My next magic trick had to do with a water bottle. First, I found a water bottle in the recycling bin (which was “magically” placed there) and then I put an ordinary quarter that I had chosen from a person in the audience and it materialized into the water bottle. This was probably my weakest trick. Let’s just say not everyone was fooled into amazement. This trick was way harder than it looked, being smooth with fitting a quarter into a magic hole in a bottle is not easy. Or, maybe, hand-eye coordination isn’t my forté.

In my last magic trick, I took a pencil and shoved it through a paper that was on the outside of a dollar bill. I showed the audience that the pencil was, in fact, between the middle of the paper and the dollar bill, before shoving it through, making a hole through the paper. Only I didn’t actually break the dollar, I only broke the paper that was holding the dollar. It was pretty cool, if I do say so myself. The best part was that it didn’t really take much practice, but I was so nervous and my hands were shaking so badly that I couldn’t tear the paper to the right size, so I must have been standing up there for like 5 minutes looking idiotic trying to tear the piece of paper. The things we wizards do for our magic. I never thought I’d be that nervous in front of the class.

“Magic was filling the air!” Jr. Kaylie McConnell said after the show. We both did a lot of work and had to teach ourselves new skills from scratch. With no help besides that of YouTube and various magic sites, we think we did a good job for the time we had. And, once we finally had to perform, it was actually pretty scary. We tried not to let it show, but silly speaking mistakes and shaking hands were sometimes clear to the audience throughout our presentations.

Some of our audience laughed at our jokes, some of them laughed while we messed up our tricks, but it was all in good fun and we managed to have a good time, even while we were so nervous. We did manage to amaze a couple students and we did get a laughed at a bit, but it was a good experience and not one that many high school students will get to do in an everyday class.

In the end, the class voted and Magic Mac won the competition. Although Magic Manning disagrees, many guests in the audience told her her performance was better anyway, and it was just Mac’s sweet tricks that won them over.