New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
November 15, 2017

Family Activity: Jason Bishop, Believe in Magic

Play with magic, tricks and crafts together, as a family! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts here on our blog or at at

To be an official magician, you must recite the Magician's Oath: 

"I, (your name here), a magician, hereby stand by the Magician's Oath:
—I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician. 
—I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic.
—I promise never to ask a magician how their illusion was done honoring the practice and tradition of the artform."

Disappearing Coin

What's a magician without a few tricks up their sleeve? In this activity you will learn your very own trick—making a coin disappear!

Materials: A clear glass cup, two sheets of paper that are the same color, scissors, pencil, glue
Step One

Step One: Watch the trick!
Step Two: Now you try! To set up the trick, trace an outline of the glass' opening onto your paper.

Step Two

Step Three: Using scissors, cut out the circle and erase any pencils lines that are left over. 

Step Three

Step Five: Using your glue stick, trace the edge of the circle and attach it to the top of your glass. Make sure it's as seamless as possible. If there's paper hanging over, trim it with your scissors.

Step Five
Step Five

Step Six: Place your second sheet of paper on a flat surface. This should be the same color of the paper you glued to the cup. Place a coin and your glass cup upside-down on the piece of paper.

Step Six

Step Seven: Now it's time to practice!
  • To perform your trick wrap your hand around the rim of the glass.
  • Then very slightly lift the glass over the coin. Make sure you do not lift the glass too much because that might reveal your trick.
  • Once the glass is fully over the coin, you've tricked your audience into thinking the coin has completely disappeared!
  • Then, lightly lift the cup again and place it in the spot you started to show your audience that the coin can reappear.

Step Seven
Step Seven
Step Seven

Step Eight: Make sure you practice it a few times to get the hang of it before you show it to your audience. 

Multiplying Coin

Now that you've learned how to make a coin disappear and reappear, make your audience think you can make coins multiply.

Materials: Tape, paper, scissors, two paper or styrofoam plates, three coins

Step One: Watch the trick! We've made the magic pocket visible in this video and the following steps to help you learn it.
Step Two: Now you try! To set up the trick, cut out two squares with a width and height of approximately one and a half inches.

Step Two

Step Three: Place the two paper squares on the back of each plate and tape down three of the sides. You're making a tiny pocket.

Step Three

Step Four: Take one coin and slide it into the pocket of one plate. Take the other coin and slide it into the pocket of the other plate.

Step Four

Step Five: Flip your plates over. Make sure that the two openings in the pockets you created are facing each other. Place your third coin on one of the plates.

Step Five

Step Six: Now you are ready to perform your trick! If you are using a white paper plate, make sure your audience stays at a distance to avoid seeing how the illusion is done. HINT: Drawing a fun design on your plate with markers before the performance helps the illusion.
  • Show your audience the plate with the coin. Keep a steady hand, remembering that two coins in tiny pockets are under the two plates.
  • Tip the plate onto the other plate so that the coin on top transfers to the other plate. The coin in the pocket will slip out too, magically turning your coin count to two.
Step Six
  • Repeat the action to the other plate. TADA, three coins! Magic.
Pitter Patter

Magicians often converse with participants and audiences to engage them while doing their magic—it also helps to distract audience members so they don't carefully study your sly moves! This dialogue is known as patter. Write a short magician's introduction filled with one liners to use when performing your magic tricks. 

Watch these magicians' patter for inspiration!
Jason Bishop
Jen Kramer

Step One: Now that you have two magic tricks ready to go, come up with your Magician's Name and the name of your magic show! 

  • What kind of magic do you specialize in? Levitation? Hand Tricks? Contortion? 
  • Are you performing in a stadium? In a living room? For a panel of judges?
Step Two: Write out a short magician's introduction. Fill in the madlib below!


Step Three: Practice your introduction to yourself and get the timing right. Then perform it for friends and family. They can't wait to meet their new friend, the magician!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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