Magic Trick: Teleporting a glass of wine


The performer invites an audience member to mark a glass in some way and then pours some red liquid, stated to be wine, into it. S/he exhibits a hat, demonstrating that it's empty. Picking up the glass containing the wine, s/he explains that s/he's going to magically transfer it into the hat; further that there are two ways to do it — the visible and invisible way — and that s/he's going to demonstrate the visible way. So, s/he urges the audience to watch carefully so as to detect the trick, makes the appropriate invocation, then simply places the glass in the hat, beams at the spectators, withdraws the glass, and says, "see how easy it is?"

Next, to demonstrate the invisible method, the performer places the glass on the table and wraps around it a strong, stiff piece of paper, concealing it and conforming to its shape. Picking the whole up, holding the top with two fingers and supporting the bottom with the other hand, s/he approaches a spectator and offers him/her the opportunity to take the glass — but as s/he reaches towards it, the performer suddenly crumples up the paper and throws it in the general area of the table. Returning to the table, s/he picks up the hat and removes the glass from it, and the spectator will then confirm his marking of it.


There are two glasses needed for this illusion — call them A and B. A is a trick glass — one that is actually double-walled so that liquid is contained between the walls; these can be purchased at novelty stores. The "wine" must of course be the same colour as that in the trick glass A. The best way to mark the glass B may be to take a small note-it pad and offer it along with a felt pen; a similar label can be affixed to the trick glass A before the commencement of the illusion.

When the performer places the real glass B in the hat, s/he leaves it there and takes out the trick one A. While wrapping the trick glass A in the paper, s/he contrives to slip it off the table into a catch-box attached to the table's hidden side, a box lined with sound-muffling material. The rest of the trick then follows without need of any other artifice.


The trickiest part of this performance is getting the trick glass A into the hat to begin with. The original description of this trick has the performer briefly turning his back on the audience and slipping it in, having concealed it under his arm: this will work but the turn will have to be done as naturally and briefly as possible. If the performer is able to palm the glass, so much the better. In any case this is the part that needs to be practised to perfection. The switch of the glasses is much less difficult but must also be done smoothly.

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