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  • Nicholas J. Johnson

Scamapalooza 56 - Performing Deception with Brian Rappert

Have you ever thought about how magicians learn their tricks? Not the methods—the smoke and mirrors behind the illusion—but the actual process of learning a new effect.

Even magicians don’t think too much about how they learn magic, treating our instructions like a recipe that—if followed—will create a moment of wonder.

Brian Rappert, a Professor of Science, Technology and Public Affairs at the University of Exeter, believes there’s more to learning magic than just following directions.

Starting as a complete novice, he’s documented the process of becoming a magician, not to reveal the secrets, but to understand the process by which magicians acquire their skills.

In this episode of Scamapalooza, Brian goes deep into his research exploring the nature of learning magic.

Be warned we do discuss certain Christmas-related secrets that may be inappropriate for very young listeners.


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