The Secrets Of Magicians

With the Magicians Society annual show coming up, MidWeek’s intrepid reporter learns the secrets of how magic tricks are actually done

Wednesday - December 13, 2006
By Kerry Miller
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Christy Qin and her 4-year-old son, Zachary, make a paper rose that actually smells like the real thing!
Christy Qin and her 4-year-old son, Zachary, make a
paper rose that actually smells like the real thing!

Warning: This article contains various secrets of the inner workings of magic tricks. For anyone who doesn’t want to know how to make a paper rose smell like an actual rose or how various card tricks are done, I suggest you don’t let your eyes wander any further down this page.

With that said, let’s move on to learning the inside track to understanding the “magic” of magic.

The Hawaii Magicians Society meets on the fourth Thursday of each month, gathering together to trade information and show off a few tricks to each other and to the community at large.

At the group’s meeting on Nov. 30, Magic Storyteller Yona Chock revealed how to pull off magic tricks using paper.

“The Magic word is two,” Chock says. “If you have two you can always tear one up and make a new one.”

Chock demonstrated various effects for the small crowd gathered at the Kalihi Palama Public Library’s meeting hall, including color change in a change bag, making a paper rose, Buddha papers and how to tear and restore a paper hat.

For the color change in a change bag effect, Chock places a piece of black tissue paper into a paper bag. She waves her magic wand a few times and the paper comes out with zebra stripes.

The secret? The paper bag has a hidden pocket already loaded with a second color of paper. She’s applied her rule of two here, using two paper bags with one cut short and placed inside the larger one. She also moved the bag around for all to see.

“As long as it’s moving, your eyes can’t focus on the edges,” Chock explains.

Guests at the meeting then select colors of tissue paper and with Chock’s instruction, make paper roses. She waves her magic wand once again, and suddenly her paper rose smells like the actual flower. The rose is passed around for everyone to sniff. The secret here is a pretty simple one, the paper is scented before the flower is made.

Magic Storyteller and member of the Hawaii Magicians Society, Yona Chock demonstrates how to magically pull colored paper from a newspaper cone
Magic Storyteller and member of the Hawaii
Magicians Society, Yona Chock demonstrates
how to magically pull colored paper from a
newspaper cone

Chock prefers to use soap scent because it doesn’t stain.

“I did this trick at a Las Vegas convention once with 150 magicians. They all passed it around to smell it,” she laughs.

Her last trick of the night is the torn and restored hat. Each guest is given a square of tissue paper, which they tear into tiny pieces. Chock collects all the scraps and folds them into a bundle. She says “hocus pocus cock-aroaches,” waves her magic wand and opens her hand where the bundle of paper was, to reveal a decorated party hat, all in one piece.

How did she pull this one off?

Simple, the party hat was also folded really tiny in her hand the whole time too - she just did a good job of hiding it.

After the fun part of the evening, Chock puts away her bag of tricks, and she and other club members settle in so they can discuss general business, including their upcoming show.

As president Mike Ching says, plenty of fun is expected throughout the night.

Magicians will be walking around doing sleight of hand magic tricks, and the main show features various stage acts, as well as a competition which anyone can enter.

“The competition is open to any magician or magic enthusiast. We hope we get some entrants,” says Ching.

Some added excitement to this year’s show is that the local cable access show Jenn and Friends is shooting footage, which it will air for upcoming episodes.

(The show airs Wednesday nights from 6 to 7 p.m. on KWHE Channel 14 and on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channel 11. It’s hosted by Jenniffer Salazar and co-hosted by several of her friends.)

“They’re talking about breaking it up into segments, showing over the course of weeks,” Ching explains.

Ching is excited about the show, saying that with all the preparation work involved, “We’ve got our hands full.” Magic society members are arriving on site as early as 3:30 p.m., with all set-up scheduled for completion at 5:30. All stage acts will be no more than 10 minutes long, with hopefully at least three adults and two junior (youth) commando acts.

(For the magically impaired, commando acts are ones during which a lone performer does his/her thing using whatever props they have inside of a suitcase or some other type of carrying case.)

“We’re really excited about this. Bring your family and friends to come. Even if it’s only me showing up,” Ching jokes, “we’re definitely going to have some kind of show. We’re

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