fx on-set secrets

We always pay attention when actors are learning how to perform magic tricks, and LOVE to tell you how it’s done! Here are a few simple illusions done with common household supplies that you can quickly master and perform right at home. Halloween is the perfect occasion to wow your pals or let the kids take center stage as they entertain their friends. The Floating Pencil and Sugar Digits are easy enough for the youngsters, while Magic Ice will keep your adult guests talking till the ghouls stop knocking.

fx on-set secrets happy halloween

fx floating pencil

Plastic water bottle (label removed)
Black thread
Transparent tape

A pencil trapped within a bottle appears to float and rise as you command

Cut small slit in the eraser end of the pencil
Pull open and run thread through the slit, pull to the end of the thread
Drop pencil (eraser side down) into the bottle allowing thread to run up the side of the pencil
Run thread down the outer side of the bottle and cut thread just long enough to reach the bottom
Secure to the bottom of the bottle with a small piece of transparent tape
Hold bottle at the bottom with one hand
Place the thumb of your other hand under thread
Raise your hand pulling the thread toward you and watch the pencil rise!


fx sugar digits

Pencil (pen will NOT work)
Sugar cube (you can have several for effect)
Glass of water

A number rises from water to be imprinted on the volunteer’s hand

Ask for a volunteer
Have them pick a number between 1 and 10
Write their chosen number on a sugar cube
Drop the cube into a cup of water and hold the volunteer's hand over the water glass
Turn over their hand and the number has magically appeared on their palm

Press very hard when writing the number onto the cube
Hold the cube between your thumb and one finger
Hold it so the number transfers onto your thumb
Press the cube as hard as possible so the number is on your thumb
Drop the cube into the water and hold the volunteer's hand above the water
Be sure your thumb is in their palm so the number from your finger transfers onto the volunteer's hand


fx magic ice
1 clear glass – A
1 colored glass – B
Paper towel
Black marker
4-5 ice cubes

Water instantly transforms into ice as it goes from glass to glass

Fill glass A with a small amount of water (approx 1/2 cup)
Place glass B upside down on top of the sponge
Trace around the rim with the marker
Cut the sponge to the size of the circle marked on the sponge
Fold the paper towel and stuff into the bottom of glass B
Nestle the sponge tightly down on top of the paper towel
Place 4-5 cubes of ice on top of the sponge
Hold a glass in each hand approximately chest high
Raise glass A above glass B and pour water into glass B
Pour glass B into glass A and watch ice magically appear