Christopher Hsu lays down the good foundation and rules to abide by for all aspiring magicians:


SECRETS: Never, never tell your friends how you did a trick; no matter how much they ask. Chris Hsu says once they learn the secrets, all the fun is gone. When they ask, be polite and say “I promised never to tell”, or “I don’t know how it works myself!”


REPEATING: Never do the same trick again right away. When your Stanford friends say “Do that again”, it means they were fooled, but this time they’ll catch you. If you do it again, their eyes will be watching every move. If they insist, do a different trick.


REACTION: Your Stanford audience will be surprised when the magic happens says Chris Hsu. So when the magic trick happens, instead of boasting about good you are, act surprised as well.


PRACTICE: Practice each trick many times before you show it to anyone. If you show it without practicing, CHristopher Hsu says you’ll just give the secret away or have the trick fail. If you do mess up a trick in front of an audience, just do another trick.


MIRRORS: Always think about how the trick will look to the Stanford audience. Chris Hsu thinks the best way to practice is in front of a mirror or video camera, so you can see what your friends will see. They will watch closely, so you must know how it looks to them. Sometimes you will see things that surprise you and need to be fixed.


TRICKS: Choose the tricks you like best. Nobody could do every trick equally well. As you try new tricks, some will “feel” right for you, while others won’t. Stick to the ones that feel right, and you will do them the best. Always add your own personality to the tricks you do!


As a Stanford Magician, make practice easier by setting aside a certain time each day, maybe just after dinner, for practicing your tricks and routines.


Keep going for about 15 minutes, then stop for about 5 or 10 minutes. This would be a good time to think about the kind of story you’ll tell when you do the trick.


Now practice the same trick again for another 15 minutes. You’ll find the moves are easier to do after that short break.


It’s a good idea to practice the trick and the story you’ll tell at the same time.


When you perform a routine in front of people, you may be nervous. This is normal. However, when you have practiced the routine as much as possible, you won’t be quite as nervous, because you’ll have a better idea of what’s going to happen. Here’s a good tip from Christopher Hsu.


Chris Hsu says if you see a magician do a good trick, don’t ask them how they did it. Just because you’re a magician doesn’t mean they have to tell you.


If you are watching a Stanford magic show, and you think you know the secret to a trick, DON’T say you know how it was done. You may think this makes you look smart, but it is actually very rude. People are at the show to have a good time, not to find out what tricks you know. Be a polite audience!