Levitation is one of the most exciting illusions a magician can perform. This trick has been around as long as magic has been practiced, and you can accomplish it using a variety of methods and techniques. Some methods involve complicated props and magnets and cost a great deal. Simpler techniques use only well-timed illusions. The “Balducci method” is the most common way to perform levitation. Anyone can do it, and it costs nothing.
Performing the Levitation
Announce to the audience that you will perform an amazing feat of levitation. Make sure the audience is 8 to 10 feet in front of you, viewing the proceedings at a 45 degree angle. Do what you can to make sure they remain at this angle, since it is a big part of the illusion.
Stand with feet together and slowly start to rise on the tips of your toes using the foot farthest from the audience. For example, if the audience is on your right, use your left foot. Slowly begin to stand on the tip toes of the left foot. Hover for a minute on the tiptoe, then return to the ground. This method works because the magician pretends to float off the ground by standing on the tips of her toes on just one foot--the foot farthest from the audience. As a result, the other foot appears as though it is raised off the ground.
Hover in the air by slowly moving up and down on the toes of one foot; this makes the trick look more real and less mechanical. Remember, the effect is created because the audience sees the side and back of your right foot and the back of your left foot, making it look like both feet are raised off the ground.
Hover in the air for a few seconds, then return to the ground before anyone can spot the trick. The presentation of this trick is the most important component, because this is where you make the trick believable. Make sure to wear longer or baggy pants to mask the effect.
Practice the trick to ensure success. Enlist the help of a friend or practice in front of a mirror to learn the angles. Create a story about the trick for added effect, such as you studied with a Chinese Qi master or learned from an old wizard.
- Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media