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SNAP Family Activity

In SNAP, talented tricksters hit the stage to tease, fool and wow audiences (and each other) with daring tricks and illusions. Experimenting with everything from light to sand to paint, there is no element too unique for this group of vaudevillian magicians. In this Family Activity, create illusion photographs, practice some sleight of hand and build a magic box to dazzle audiences!

At Home

The performers of SNAP will make you see things that you simply cannot believe. Surely, they cannot be real… or could they? In this activity, create illusions and capture them with a camera to mystify even the most fervent non-believers!

Materials: Camera, optional props

Step One: Gather your friends or family together to take some fun photos. Most illusion photos work best outside because they require a lot of space to play with depth and distance.

Step Two: Get inspired by these illusion photos. How many can your family recreate? Can you

  • Hold a family member in the palm of your hand?
  • Squeeze a family member’s cheeks?
  • Step on a family member’s head?
A trick of the eye photo in Times Square
A trick of the eye photo in Times Square
A trick of the eye photo in Times Square
A trick of the eye photo in Times Square

Step Three: Try to invent your own illusion photo. Post your picture on Instagram and tag The New Victory Theater.

On the Way

Now you see it…now you don’t! While you’re on your way to the theater, practice these five dramatic hand tricks to get into the mood for magic.

Materials: String, rubber band, coin

Trick One — Separating Thumb Illusion

  1. Hold out one hand with your palm facing inwards, toward your tummy and bend your thumb so the top of your thumb is tucked away. This is your stationary hand.
  2. Bend your other thumb and place it on top of your stationary hand so it looks like your completed stationary thumb.
  3. Use your pointer and middle fingers to cover the part of your thumb that is bent.
  4. Slide your thumbs up and down the pointer finger of your stationary hand to create the illusion!

Trick Two — Middle Finger Wiggle Trick

  1. Put your two palms together and separate your fingers.
  2. Collapse your two middle fingers beside each other.
  3. Rotate one hand so that your fingers are touching the other hand’s palm and your hands are now sideways.
  4. Wiggle your middle fingers!

Trick Three — Behind the Ear Coin Trick?

  1. Tuck a coin between your pointer and middle fingers so you cannot see the coin when your palm is face down.
  2. Strike up a conversation with someone, and let them know that you see something shiny behind their ear.
  3. When reaching behind their ear, grab the coin and flick it between your thumb and pointer finger to reveal it with a flourish!

Trick Four — Jumping Rubber Band Trick?

  1. Put a rubber band around your pinky and ring finger.
  2. Pull the rubber band out onto your palm and bend all of your fingers (besides your thumb) and wrap the rubber band around your fingertips.
  3. Unbend all four of your fingers and watch the rubber band magically jump to your pointer and middle fingers!

Trick Five — Rope Escape Trick?

  1. Tie one piece of string in a circle. Loop it around your pinky and thumb on each hand, then stretch out the string.
  2. Thread your middle finger through the string of the opposite hand. Repeat on both sides.
  3. Ask a family member or friend to insert their hand in the middle of the string configuration from the top.
  4. Release the string on all of your fingers except your thumb. Now their hands are trapped!
  5. Loop the string back around your pinky fingers, and once again thread your middle fingers through the string on the opposite hand.
  6. Ask your family member to insert their hand up through the string configuration from the bottom.
  7. Release the string on all of your fingers except the thumb. Freedom!

After the Show

Now that you’ve been wowed by the magic of SNAP, here are some questions to discuss with your family on the way home:

  • What was your favorite trick?
  • Was there a trick you’ve seen before or a trick you’d like to try?
  • Each magician played a different character. How did their personalities determine what trick they performed?
  • If you had a magic door, what kind of magic trick would you perform behind it?

After this chat, build your own magic box to conceal your favorite magical items!

Materials: Cardboard, ruler, black paint, scissors, tape or glue, decorative items like stickers or glitter

Step One: Measure and cut out six 5×5″ squares of cardboard.

Step Two: Paint only one side of five of your cardboard squares in black paint. For the sixth square, cover both sides.

Step Three:Tape together four of the one-sided cardboard squares to start building your box. Make sure the black sides are facing in.

Make the box

Step Four: Place the final one-sided square on the ground or table, painted side up. This will be the bottom of your box. Tape the double black sided cardboard square a bit off-center onto the bottom. You should now have a hinge on the bottom of your box!

Make the bottom of the box

Step Five: Tape the bottom of your box to the rest of your box. Make sure that the double black cardboard square is free to swing back and forth easily.

Finish the craft

Step Six: Decorate the outside of the box however you’d like!

Step Seven: Gather small items you can hide underneath the double-black square. A ribbon? A coin? A marble? A baseball card?

Step Eight: Practice concealing your objects in private until you have perfected your trick. Then, show it off in front of any audience you can find. Abracadabra!

And Beyond

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