How To Catch a Playing Card In Mid Air

How To Catch a Playing Card In Mid Air

Want to learn to catch a playing card from a deck of playing cards that are flying by? I'm happy to teach you. Anyone can do this. It just takes practice.

I decided to reveal the method myself because I think "revealed" videos that are prevalent on YouTube are just terrible. They steal from the artist; they give away their art of craft without permission. And they steal from the viewer, who is given the illusion of knowledge.

I wanted to beat them to the punch this time. Not just by making my own "revealed" video first, but by selecting a magic trick to perform on TV that would only grow in appreciation when "exposed."

Fool Us: No Tricks, I Just Do It

Fool Us: No Tricks, I Just Do It

In Season 2 of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" I fooled Penn & Teller and made Penn pretty mad about it. The performance video went viral and made a huge difference in my life.

Invited back for Season 5, I decided to do something different. Here’s the full video. And, if you're curious about what was going through my mind and what went on right before filming, my wife, Amy, and I discussed what we were feeling, just four hours before showtime in Las Vegas.

After retiring this trick for a decade, I brought it back for Penn & Teller

After retiring this trick for a decade, I brought it back for Penn & Teller

Without giving away too much, let me tell you a little bit about the trick I decided to perform this time, on Season 5 of “Fool Us.”

The effect is catching a selected playing card while the cards are falling down in a cascade that magicians call a "dribble."

It's the hardest trick I do. I stopped doing it because it brought me too much stress.

So why in the world would I want to perform it when I have just one chance to get it right, in front of Penn & Teller and millions of people watching it at home?

Lions, Tigers & Siegfried...Oh My!

Lions, Tigers & Siegfried...Oh My!

On the second of the three days I spent in Las Vegas with my wife Amy prepping for my second “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” appearance, we found ourselves with a free afternoon.

On a whim, we found ourselves in a place we had not visited before, Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage. Our Google search billed it as “a zoolike animal sanctuary at the Mirage hosting tigers, lions & panthers plus bottlenose dolphins.” Some of the animals we’d see would be the ones who had appeared in the retired Siegfried & Roy’s iconic Vegas magic show until it ended in 2003.

As we wandered around looking at the beautiful animals, we saw one pacing back and forth, looking a little tense and more active than the other animals. We asked one of the employees why this lion was acting that way, and she said, “It’s probably he’s ready to be fed, or he knows that Siegfried is around.”

How A Magician Prepares for Penn & Teller: Fool Us

How A Magician Prepares for Penn & Teller: Fool Us

While viewers of “Fool Us” see 5-8 minutes of a particular magician’s performance, let me tell you about the 3 days each of us spends in Las Vegas getting ready for the showtime/showdown with Penn & Teller.

Our first morning began bright and early, with filming for the “bio package.” The total shoot takes about 4-6 hours and is different for each performer. Each of us worked with our own producer on our spot.

If You Can Think This Way, You Can Think Like A Magician™

If You Can Think This Way, You Can Think Like A Magician™

Because we all perceive the world differently, we need—now more than ever—to better understand each other in order to communicate more effectively. This skill of understanding each other is one magicians have honed for centuries.

The art and craft of magic can showcase principles of applied psychology in action. Magicians think differently, see differently, and act differently. Understanding these differences and applying them in a different field can be very powerful.

If perception plays a role in your life or business, you'll find these new ways of seeing and acting permeating into your work life and your personal life. In the end, you won’t be a magician but you’ll learn to think like a magician. 

How Fooling Penn and Teller Changed My Life

How Fooling Penn and Teller Changed My Life

Performing for Penn and Teller changed my life in one way I never expected. Up until then I had assumed I was going to remain, for the rest of my life, an anonymous, local magician. And this wasn’t a bad thing.

My friend and I would talk about how we would retire by the beach and do magic tricks into our last days. We knew that doing magic would always make us happy because it made others happy.

So as a teenager I embraced this fact with aplomb: to be happy in life I wouldn’t need to be famous, I just needed to do magic.

And then came the chance to be on national television and get a taste of national exposure.

Back with Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 5!

Back with Penn & Teller: Fool Us - Season 5!

I’m beyond excited to share with you that I will be back on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” this year, performing on the fifth season of their amazing show. The video of my first performance has almost 10 million views and nearly 4,000 comments. My favorite ones are when people tell me that watching the video brings them immense amounts of joy and they’ve watched it 5, 10 or 20 times with their friends and family.

Want to Wow at Work? Learn to Think Like A Magician™

Want to Wow at Work? Learn to Think Like A Magician™

I’ve been a magician for over 20 years, specializing in teaching businesses the secrets of magic and how those insights can improve communication, sales and client relationships. As a speaker, trainer and facilitator, I teach that magic is a rich source of thinking tools. Those tools apply to any organization and any industry, but they also apply to individuals. You can make magic work for you, at work.

To prove it, I’m going to share a few magician’s secrets that can help you improve your career in the following areas: Innovation and Lateral Thinking, Perception Management and Social Intelligence.

If You're In Sales, You Need To Think Like A Magician™

If You're In Sales, You Need To Think Like A Magician™

A sale, like a great magic trick, occurs inside the customer’s mind. And it is there where it is replayed, remembered and redefined continually after. The mind is the final battleground. Because magicians are masters of perception, they understand how to get into the heads of their prospects better than anyone else. That’s why the principles of magic can be so helpful in a business environment. If you’re in sales or customer service, here are four secrets to Think Like A Magician™.

When Customer Service Is A Crime

When Customer Service Is A Crime

When an automotive department employee received a bad performance review by her employers at the Walmart in Sanford, Florida, she created a plan to boost her ratings—by giving customers free merchandise.

Unfortunately for Walmart, that meant Jennifer gave away $1,500 in product she wasn't authorized to distribute. And unfortunately for Jennifer, that meant being charged with grand theft and being taken to jail.

Senior Class Students Think Like Magicians To Prank Their School

Senior Class Students Think Like Magicians To Prank Their School

Magicians don't make the impossible possible; they just create the illusion that they do. This kind of thinking led a group of high school students to prank their school -- and not get in trouble for it -- by creating the illusion of a car accident that their local police department said was one of the best they had ever seen.

A Close-Up Magician Is Easing the Tension Between North and South Korea

A Close-Up Magician Is Easing the Tension Between North and South Korea

When the leaders of North and South Korea came together today after their meeting on denuclearization, they brought in a magician to “break the ice and get everyone laughing.” A Korean magician engaged the group of world leaders with close-up magic, weaving in humor to get the group relaxed and laughing together.

As a magician, I have to tell you that I couldn’t be happier to have this amazing secret of magic revealed to the world. Now everyone can see that by creating a shared moment of laughter and wonder, magic brings people together, no matter their race, age, or political, economic or philosophical perceptions and beliefs. 

A Magician's Take on ABC's 'Deception' Pilot

A Magician's Take on ABC's 'Deception' Pilot

Law enforcement and magicians have a long history. There's the CIA Manual of Trickery & Deception which earned magician John Mulholland $3,000 for writing during the Cold War. And then there's Harry Houdini, who some say used his magician persona as a cover to spy on the Germans and Russians for Scotland Yard.

Now, ABC is bringing this partnership to primetime with Deception, which debuts Sunday, March 11 at 10|9c after the American Idol premiere.

How To Read People Like A Magician

How To Read People Like A Magician

Many people have taken personality tests to tell them who they are. But very few people can instantly assess the personality style of someone they meet. Thanks to this magical system, you’re now equipped to do just that.

You don’t have to rack your brain to search for the right word to describe someone. The magician’s method of four suits is simple to learn and easy to use in the real world. When you’re in the trenches of a presentation or negotiation, meeting people and trying to understand them on the fly, utilize the four suits to identify personality types quickly and easily. And then, give them what their suit needs.

Why Your Pet Can Help Your Career

Why Your Pet Can Help Your Career

Did you know that research shows that your pet's presence can influence not just you, but other people's perceptions of you? As a business speaker and magician, I am fascinated by the way our perceptions are shaped in our personal and professional lives. Turns out that when we see a person with an animal, particularly a furry one, we automatically feel a level of trust. If you own a dog or cat, how can you use these research findings to shape and control the way you're perceived?

Overcome Sales Objections by Turning Your Company's Flaws into Features

Overcome Sales Objections by Turning Your Company's Flaws into Features

Overcoming objections in sales and business can be tough...I have to handle concerns and objections often just by virtue of being a magician. So, what's the solution? Transform what people perceive as your company's FLAWS into FEATURES.

Find out how to change people's perceptions—and Think Like a Magician™—in this blog, which profiles the way the Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis turns the worst seats in their restaurant into the best.

The One Question That Saved This Company From Losing My Business

The One Question That Saved This Company From Losing My Business

I was trying to get electronic payments out to my partners and vendors before the end of the year. What should have been an easy process turned into a nightmare.

When I first signed up with my financial institution five years ago, the charm of a small, hometown bank drew me in. I was tired of being treated as an insignificant account holder at the major behemoths. There was one particular detail that made me happy each time too: the calendar date was always correct. 

3 Ways to Maximize How Customers Perceive Your Brand

3 Ways to Maximize How Customers Perceive Your Brand

This post is about how organizations can create experiences for their customers that are positive, engaging and align with their brand. 

The three strategies I share can be applied by any business that wishes to create a more engaging customer experience.

Whether you’re operating an escape room, a performing arts center or a news organization that gives tourists a peek at what you do, here are three things you should do:

  1. Meet expectations in a satisfying way.
  2. Go beyond expectations; create surprise and delight via unexpected moments.
  3. Connect the specific experience to the overarching brand promise or company mission/vision. 

Here is an example of how not to do this...