The most commercially successful magician of all time (according to Forbes), David Copperfield, has had to break magic’s golden rule and reveal his secrets.
Copperfield is currently in court facing a negligence lawsuit filed by an audience member after he claimed ongoing brain and body injuries caused by a fall during participation in one of the magicians illusions.
The famous ‘Thirteen’ trick involves 13 selected audience members being placed in chairs on a platform and handed torches.
A curtain is then draped over a frame surrounding the participants so they are completely masked before they are asked to wave their lights around so everyone watching can see they are still there. The platform is suspended above ground.
Copperfield then waves his magic hands around and BAM, the curtain drops with 13 participants appearing to have vanished who now can be found at the back of the crowd, still sitting in their chairs with their torches.
See it here:
So how does it work?
Jurors, folks tuning into the hearing on TV and now everyone online have been given a unique inside look at what goes on behind the scenes.
It turns out, as soon as the curtain drops, participants are instantly hurried down dark passageways and around corners by stagehands with torches to guide them. They run indoors, outdoors, through an MGM Grand resort kitchen and arrive in time to ‘reappear’ at the end of the trick.
The illusion has been carried out a countless number of times over two decades, but when Gavin Cox from England fell in 2013, he claims to have sustained injuries costing him $400,000 (around $518,750 AUD) in medical bills, suggesting Copperfield and the MGM hotel have neglected crucial safety measures.
Take a look: