A Routine for You to Use: The Magic Magic Marker

The above title is not a misprint.  This article is about the magic Magic Marker.  Along with being a fun presentation theme, it also is a lesson in manipulation in the sense that each aspect of the routine gives reason for necessary moves.

To do this effect you must be able to handle a Hank Ball.  At the end of the routine I will describe the basic “steal” that is necessary.

Even if you don’t think you will use this routine, the Hank Ball “steal” is a superb move to learn.  If you master it you will have a tremendous new move in your sleight of hand arsenal.


If you are not interested in the Hank Ball “steal”, this routine is nevertheless worth consideration.  Maybe you could adapt it to a Silk Cabby or Change Bag.  I think it would be perfect for the Switch Can.  Put the marker down into the can through the hole in the top and claim it is drawing a picture.  It would  be extra fun to have a volunteer from the audience be the one who is doing the “magic drawing”.

What happens?

The magician shows the audience an 18” white silk.  There is no art or lettering on it.  It is just a white silk handkerchief.

This silk handkerchief is placed in his hand.

Next he shows the audience a felt tip marker.  He explains that since it is a “magic marker” there is no need to take off the cap and actually write something.  Instead he just briefly waves the marker above the handkerchief in his hand.

His hand holding the handkerchief then opens and it is instantly evident that there is now a black outlined picture on it.

Apart from the marker and this

handkerchief with a picture on it, there is nothing else in the magician’s hands.

The picture has appeared on the handkerchief by magic!


If you can do the Hank Ball “steal”, the method is easy.  This steal is thoroughly explained on our “Modern Hank Ball Manipulation” DVD.

Prepare for the routine by folding an 18” picture silk and hiding it in your left hand. (For this effect, I prefer a picture silk with a white background and a black and white outline picture on it.)

Place a Hank Ball on top of the silk.  It is not hard to keep the silk and the Hank Ball above it palmed in the hand.   When you start the routine, let the hand hang at your side in a relaxed manner.

Put a plain 18” white silk handkerchief in a place where it can easily be reached.  A good spot for it is in your breast pocket.  Fold it so it looks like a pocket scarf.  When you begin the trick, reach up and remove it from the pocket.

Place a felt tip type marker, commonly called a “Magic Marker” in your right coat pocket or down in a small box, or in your table.


With the picture silk and Hank Ball palmed in your left hand, begin the patter.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for a demonstration of something I call Magic Art.  It requires no artistic ability, but it does require the proper equipment.

The first necessary item is a white handkerchief.”

With your right hand, remove the handkerchief from your breast pocket.  With your left hand, grasp one of the corners of this handkerchief so it can be held outstretched between your two hands.  Show both sides of the handkerchief.


Even though you have a silk and Hank Ball palmed in your left hand, this is no problem.  Actually, it gives you cover.  Holding one corner of the handkerchief provides a reason to keep your left hand in a curved or slightly closed manner.

At the same time, because the left hand is being used to hold a corner of the handkerchief that is in view, an unspoken message is given that nothing else must be in the hand.

“It is Magic Art, so no easel is necessary.  The handkerchief is simply placed into my left hand.”

Close the left hand into a fist and start to push the handkerchief within.  Push it so it goes down into the Hank Ball.

Once the handkerchief is completely in the Hank Ball, do the Hank Ball “steal” so the ball goes back into your right hand.

This means: In your left hand you now only have the picture silk.  The audience thinks it is a plain white silk handkerchief.

In your right hand you have the Hank Ball which contains the plain white silk.  The hank Ball is palmed and therefore the audience does not know it exists.

At this point there is a problem, what do you do with the Hank Ball?  The answer is easy.  Reach into your right coat pocket, or down into a small box or your table, to get the felt tip marker.  While your hand is in the pocket, leave Hank Ball behind.

“With the handkerchief held tightly in my hand I need the other necessary item…a felt tip pen.”

Reach into your pocket and get the pen.  Bring the felt tip market into view.

“The wonderful thing about Magic Art is I need not even remove the cap from the pen.  If I hold it over the handkerchief in my hand and imagine the picture I want to see, the picture will appear.”

“Do you know why this is true?  Because this is much more than a felt tip pen, in reality it is a Magic Marker!”  (This comment should get a laugh.)

“Here is the proof!”

Open your left hand and let the handkerchief unfold.  The audience will notice the black lines on it.  Display the handkerchief between your hands so they can see the picture.  At the same time make it clear that, apart from the marker, there is nothing else in your hands.

With the handkerchief displayed between your hands, address the audience with these words, “And that, ladies and gentleman, is a demonstration of Magic Art!”

Another possibility:

I confess that my favorite way to use this routine is when I am in the role of an emcee or compeer.  Rather than having a picture appear on the silk, my Magic Art results in the words, “Welcome To The Show” appearing on the silk.

It is a nice magical way to greet an audience and get a magic show started.

–You can find the Hank Ball, 18″ White Silk, and the Modern Hank Ball Manipulation DVD all at the LaflinMagicStore.com

The Hank Ball “Steal”

As mentioned earlier, the Hank Ball “steal” is taught on video.  For those who like to see explanations on paper, here is a description of the maneuver.

  1. Place the Hank Ball in your left hand with the hole facing up.
  1. Push a silk down into the Hank Ball.
  1. Once the silk is in the ball, put the thumb of your left hand down into the ball.  (This is very different from standard maneuvers with a thumbtip. Rather than having the thumb from the opposite hand go into the gimmick, with this move, the thumb from the same hand that holds the gimmick goes down into it.)
  1. Once the thumb is lodged in the Hank Ball, straighten it up.  By doing this the Hank Ball will be levered up and out of your left hand.
  1. When you lever up the ball, keep your right hand curved down over the top of the left hand.  This covers the movement of the ball.  You may need to slightly open the fingers of your left hand to allow the ball to slide behind them and upwards.  As soon as the ball has gone past them, close the fingers again.  This happens quickly and will not be noticed by the audience.
  1. Once the Hank Ball is in the right hand, palm it.
  1. With the Hank Ball palmed in the right hand, keep the right hand still and pull the left hand away from beneath it. Keep the left hand closed as if the handkerchief is still there.  Move it up higher than the right hand so the audience will look at it.
  1. In a relaxed manner, use the right hand to reach into your pocket, or into a hat, to get a wand or other object.  This gives you opportunity to drop off the Hank Ball.
  1. Once the Hank Ball has been secretly hidden away in a pocket or hat, open the left hand and show that the handkerchief has disappeared.

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