I gave myself five minutes to learn a magic trick, then performed it in front of a crowd 4 years ago

I gave myself five minutes to learn a magic trick, then performed it in front of a crowd

Magician? Yes, I believe I am.

I woke up this morning and felt different, almost magical.

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Could I delve into the world of magic and come out successful, even revered by the magic community?

I waited until after lunch before I decided to embark on the beginning of my career in magic, because as everyone knows, you simply cannot practice magic on an empty stomach.

Rather than sitting down and spending a decent amount of time on the process, I decided to set myself a time limit. After all, I'm a millennial and we want everything quick and we want it now.

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With the five minute timer and myself suitably prepped, I began the countdown.


Due to my background which involves working online, I used my heightened knowledge of the internet to go with the most efficient search terms.

I Googled 'Magic trick'.

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The seventh search result caught my eye, because as we all know, the first six results are always garbage.

I settled on a website called 'Magic Tricks - Kidzone'. Truthfully, I went with it because I saw that it was aimed at children, which means I'd have a fair chance of conquering it in five minutes, or in general to be honest.

Any website that has an opening line of 'Magic Tricks!' is okay in my book.

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Obviously the card tricks weren't an option because this godforsaken office doesn't have any playing cards, so I went with my gut. My gut was shouting 'Pepper Trick'.

I had a quick scan of the instructions as time was pressing on. Luckily, they were a piece of piss.

I was fairly certain that we had pepper in the office kitchen, along with a cup, soap and water. All I had to do was memorise the trick. Simple.

Next, I sent an all-staff email to gather some attention. If I was going to make a show of myself, it needed to happen in front of a large amount of people. Go hard or go home, etc.

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Among the replies was a sea of 'Do some work ffs' and 'Get a real job', but I wasn't bothered. At the end of the day, my haters are my motivators.

I raced up to the kitchen for a quick practice before the masses arrived.

After locating a cup and a grubby little container of pepper, I was ready for a trial run.

Cup and pepper neatly positioned on the work surface, we hit a bit of a snag. I couldn't find any soap. I could hear the excitement mounting through the office. This was turning into a disaster. I had to improvise. I grabbed a bottle of washing up liquid and hoped for the best.

Next, I sprinkled some pepper into the cup. I wasn't sure how much, so I decided on loads. Like a heap of pepper. Just so much pepper.

I stuck my unsoaped finger into the cup and nothing happened. Some pepper stuck to it, but there was no separation, as expected.

I gave the peppery finger a quick wash and readied it for the next step.

I then applied some washing up liquid to my finger and, for lack of a better phrase, lubed it all up.

Then, I returned my finger into the pepper cup, but it didn't really separate to the extent that I was hoping for.

I started to panic and right on queue the big crowd started to arrive.

By crowd, I am referring to three people. Three people came to see my show.

While they were chatting among themselves, presumably about their excitement to see real magic in front of their very eyes, I ran in search for soap. Luckily, the men's bathroom had an almost empty bottle of soap and it was blue. The colour is irrelevant, I just want to be fully transparent about everything here.

I didn't have time to practice with proper soap, so I was going into the performance blind. It wasn't ideal, but the five minutes were up.

I took a deep breath, rinsed out the cup and commenced the magic show.

A kind volunteer from the audience offered to be my assistant. She put her finger into the peppery water and thankfully, it didn't separate.

As she was doing so, I put some soap on my finger hidden from the crowd so that nobody could see.

This was it, the moment I'd been building towards. I hadn't practiced with proper soap. My heart was pounding. Would it even work? Would the huge crowd be disappointed?

I paused for a second and reminded myself that no matter how this turned out, I had definitely accomplished something. Not much, but something.

Low and behold, it didn't really separate. It looked more or less the exact same as the washing up liquid experiment.

The crowd was suitably underwhelmed. Embarrassed, I thanked them for their attendance. All three of them willingly went back to work.

Left alone in the kitchen to contemplate my failure, I realised something. I did exactly what I set out to do.

I learned a magic trick in five minutes. Granted, it turned out to be an absolute dog shit magic trick, but that's what happens when you learn your magic tricks from a website designed for children.

Am I happy with the outcome? Absolutely not. Nobody was under the illusion that I performed magic. It turns out they saw the soap being applied to my finger, but were too polite to say anything.

I didn't really learn anything from this experience, aside from the fact that you can definitely learn a magic trick in five minutes. It'll just be a very very shit magic trick.