Hi! We go by The Cosmic Romantics (Eric "Thirstin" Siegel and Elizabeth Messick). Our episode just aired this past weekend (Fri Oct 27) on The CW.
Ask Me Anything, Reddit!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecosmicromantics/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAekRVvuinYZGQj-GTh-SjQ
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Comments: 268 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

Ilsyer120 karma

do you lose the "magic" feeling while doing magic tricks? (as someone who watches magic tricks it does actually give me a sense of "magic" but I'm curious if you kinda miss out on that as the one doing the trick :D

ericisthirstin176 karma

I thought I replied to this one but I don't see it now?

Either way, it's a great questions. While we certainly experience illusions differently from our end, for us the magic is in the reactions we get, and it really is a great feeling to see that feeling of wonder in people's eyes

goog1e10 karma

Given that answer, how do you feel about Nolan's "The prestige?"

ericisthirstin2 karma

I think it's the best movie about magic ever made. When I was a kid I didn't like the ending/that anything supernatural was in it, but now I appreciate it more for the feeling it gives you. Also gets into rivalries, old illusions, and even a nod to real magicians of the era.

mbklein5 karma

Jumping on this reply just to say that I saw you two perform in the Signature Show at the Chicago Magic Lounge last year on my birthday, and the show was equal parts amazing and adorable. It was my daughter’s first live magic show, and we’re both big fans now. Thanks for helping keep the art alive!

ericisthirstin2 karma

That's so nice! Your bday must be coming up again soon then, happy birthday! Chicago's my home town so I have a soft spot for it, and the Lounge was beautiful. Hopefully you and your daughter can make it out next time we're there and say hi!

calvinyl82 karma

What’s the process like of being on that show? I’ve always wondered if the magicians have to reveal the method of their trick to a producer so they can’t lie about the method when Penn and Teller make their guesses?

And did you two meet through performing magic together?

ericisthirstin154 karma

Being on the show was a great experience. We needed to submit our audition to producers who approved it, and then yes, there is a magic consultant on the show that we went over some of the more magic-intensive details with so that he could be the arbiter when they make their guesses.

Yes we met in the LA magic scene! We both hosted magic shows and invited each other to be a part of them. We were friends for years and then started working together 2 years ago... and started dating a few months after that! Now that's magic :D

thisischrys62 karma

How did you do your trick?

ericisthirstin87 karma

We did it so well we won a trophy!

bingwhip46 karma

As someone that obviously is into Magic. And while it may seem obvious since you went on their show. Thoughts on P&T? Do they seem pretty genuine, or is it good editing? Do you think they're problematic by exposing how some tricks are done?

ericisthirstin221 karma

10 out of 10 recommend meeting them. Don't know them super well, but what they've done for magicians with this show is incredible. They let US upload the clip of our performance to YouTube so that we can benefit from all the views. What other TV show would let their guests do that?

While it can certainly be problematic for magicians to expose secrets, I think P&T have found the proper way to do it many times. They really just reveal antiquated ideas, only to pull a fast one on the audience and fool them a different way. It's sort of a classic magic plot at this point to do that, and I'd say they invented that style

jbaugues33 karma

Isn't she your fiance now?

The deal was if you fooled them you would be engaged.

I expected you to drop to a knee as the trophy came down.

ericisthirstin56 karma

When we shot the interview (the day before) we did that as a kind of joke, because we NEVER expected to fool them. But now... well now I guess the pressure is on! I just need to think of a really cool way to propose... we always knew we'd get married just never thought the timeline would be this quick haha

jbaugues27 karma

Proposing while the trophy was coming down would have been pretty cool...

ericisthirstin37 karma

In retrospect, yes, but I did NOT think that far ahead haha. We actually had spent much more time preparing what we'd do if we DIDN'T fool them haha

neotrin2000-1 karma

I can tell the future...you'll know I speak truth when the time is right...I predict you will pop the question by way of magic.

ericisthirstin1 karma

I think so too :D

huh_phd23 karma

It's been 856 days, can you finally make my dad reappear?

ericisthirstin39 karma

We tried that with our own dads but it didn't work. Sorry

Meeple_person22 karma

Do they take longer than is shown on the show to work it out or is that about right?

ericisthirstin48 karma

Definitely. The interview we did with Brooke was probably 5-10 minutes, but on TV it appears to be much shorter. It's that way with everyone who appears on the show, because P&T want to really think it through fully

ExaBast20 karma

Why are most of the replies removed?

ericisthirstin26 karma

Are they? I'm not good at Reddit but I haven't removed anything except for a reply I accidentally made twice... I hope I'm seeing everything!

[deleted]2 karma



You answered a lot of the questions on another account somehow. The mods removed those comments

The other account you were using:


ericisthirstin19 karma

Oh whoops. I must have forgot I had an account and created a new one. I'll have to remove that other one now. Thanks for letting me know!

thetreeking12 karma

Did you tell P and T how you did it at the end??

Also that was amazing.

[deleted]9 karma


thetreeking9 karma

Okay thats pretty cool and also makes a lot of sense. Has ANYONE figured it out?

Is there a secret group of magicians you two workshop this stuff with?

ericisthirstin41 karma

Not sure if I replied to this, but yes we definitely have some magicians we collaborate with here in LA.

Most of the people who have guessed our method are way off, but if you piece together what certain people have said, like in YouTube comments, then yes, it's been figured out. Then again, on YouTube people can go back, rewatch, zoom in, etc... giving them a pretty big advantage over watching it live

SW198110 karma

Penn always jokes that really the contestants just have to fool teller. Is this true or is Penn being modest?

ericisthirstin1 karma

I've heard that's true. Teller has more of the encyclopedic magic mind between the two of them. Penn is a damn good performer though.

rwx-9 karma

What type of stuff do you expect people to ask if it can’t be about the trick?

Also, how did you do the trick?

ericisthirstin7 karma

How did we do it? We did it so well that we won a trophy :D

I_am_Protagonist9 karma

I`m not a magician, but have been around magic and I really enjoy seeing Magicians do Magic for other Magicians. I also really like the in jokes and secret communication to other Magicians you can pick up over time. The story of a trick is always the best part for me, even if I see how it's done or know how it's likely done it's still always a delight when the 3 of clubs gets pulled from somewhere unexpected.

Do you have a favourite trick you do for other Magicians? Or a story about something you learned from being fooled by one?

ericisthirstin11 karma

Agreed, the story of a trick can often be better than the trick itself. I think that's why Asi Wind has the most viewed appearance on Fool Us.

Lately our favorite trick we do together is this Vegas-style dance routine/3-card monte premise. We do it to this song that was in every magic special in the 90s, so it feels very much like an inside joke for magicians/fans of magic. On our YouTube channel, you can see clips from it at the very end of our promo video.

iBangFatGirls8 karma

What started your interest in doing magic tricks? What was your first one? Have you ever seen Penn & Teller live?

ericisthirstin18 karma

I (Eric) got started early. My dad Mel was a magician in Chicago.

Elizabeth got a magic set for Xmas when she was young.

We've seen P&T many times. They're our magic heroes! Which made the experience of performing for them live incredibly daunting.

Elizabeth's first trick was the Svengali Deck and mine was linking rubber bands.

DCDHermes4 karma

This brings me back to High School when I worked at a local magic shop here in Denver. Zeezo’s Magic Castle. I still have a box of my old gimmick decks and coin tricks somewhere, Svengali, Invisible, Scotch and Soda, cups and balls. I should break them out, try to remember how to do them, and amaze my kids.

ericisthirstin1 karma

Classics. Be sure to practice before you perform for their friends!

Slap-Happy277 karma

Have you ever seen Penn & Teller Get Killed, and if so, how are you able to explain their continued status of being alive to be fooled by you?

ericisthirstin6 karma

Haha, unfortunately we missed that one, but as usual, I wouldn't trust a magician... from the looks of it, they are very much alive

badwhiskey636 karma

Fun routine!

Here's some questions:

How do you think Penn and Teller changed magic?

What other currently active magicians do you admire?

Do you have an opinion of Harry Houdini as a magician?

ericisthirstin15 karma

In more recent times, Penn & Teller have changed magic by giving so many magicians like us a great platform to share their work.

Back in the day, they changed magic by making it cool again!

We admire Pop Haydn, Rob Zabrecky, The Sentimentalists, and Carisa Hendrix aka Lucy Darling

I think Houdini was an incredible showman and self-promoter so in that way I respect him a lot as a magician.


Did you have any kind of formative moment of seeing magic in childhood that struck you with its beauty and made you love magic?

ericisthirstin14 karma

For Elizabeth: When she first saw the Masked Magician on those Fox specials. She was throughly enchanted by the craftiness that goes into illusions. Obviously it's not a great show for magicians (lol), but it introduced her to the craft!

For Eric: I saw a lot of the greatest magicians in the world as a kid growing up in this world. For me, Tina Lennert's "Mop Man" routine is what inspired me to do this. It's heartwarming and maybe the single greatest variety routine of all time.


How did you execute the mysterious performance?

ericisthirstin3 karma


Portarossa5 karma

What was the first trick you performed that made you think 'Yes, I want to do this professionally'?

ericisthirstin7 karma

For me (Eric) it was a trick I did maybe 6 years ago with a friend called, "The Amazing Disappearing Fifth of Rum." We went by The New Bad Boys of Magic and while it felt more like sketch comedy, it also really fooled people and they wanted to know how it was done. I forgot how powerful magic could be, because I had been out of the scene for so long, but that reminded me and made me think it was possible to do this for a living

BneBikeCommuter19 karma

I do "The Amazing Disappearing Fifth of Rum" pretty much every Saturday night, sometimes even multiple times! Does that mean I could be a professional magician?

ericisthirstin34 karma

Hmm, with those drinking habits, you might be more cut out to be a professional comedian

ExRockstar5 karma

Was this your card? 🃏

ericisthirstin2 karma


The_Pooter4 karma

How did you do your illusion?

ericisthirstin3 karma

So well that we fooled Penn & Teller and won an award

tealfan4 karma

I'm late to the party, but loved your reactions when they said you fooled them. Especially Elizabeth who was almost in tears. Their final question to Elizabeth and her answer were intriguing. Could you explain that or would it give too much away?.


ericisthirstin2 karma

Apparently P&T had a trick like that years ago where that really was the method. The pictures appeared different but could all be described the same way.

ALL the same way... as Elizabeth said, that's not true. Ours is a bit more complicated.

phezhead4 karma

Since we're on the topic of magic... Why are all of your replies disappearing? Absolutely loved the routine

ericisthirstin1 karma

Unfortunately tech wizardry is not my specialty... I have no idea! I hope you can still see most everything

ericisthirstin1 karma

Also, thank you for watching it! We're so appreciative

ericisthirstin3 karma

Apparently I was logged in on a different device on an old account... whoops! The mods deleted those other comments

danccbc4 karma

I swear, these guys never summon the powers of darkness to fool them, why even compete?

ericisthirstin9 karma

I feel like some magicians HAVE someoned the power of darkness to fool them. See Ondrej's routines. He's fooled them several times. I think it's the beetle he eats that helps him confer with supernatural entities maybe?? I don't know but he fools us every time!

TheRealBertoltBrecht4 karma

Do you come up with your own tricks? If so, what inspires you?

ericisthirstin10 karma

We do come up with a lot of our own material, though sometimes we borrow effects from other magicians we know and try to make them our own. The diary effect we performed on the show was our own creation but it borrowed from aspects of mentalism and book tests as well.

Luckily there is an incredible community of magicians we've met through the Magic Castle, including people like Trigg, Griffin, Tyler Rabbit, David Gabbay, Sirinda, Dana Pleasant, and a whole bunch of others we don't have time to list inspire us all the time

RiRikkulous3 karma

This question is for Eric, and it requires no answer... Can you propose to her using a magic trick that even surprises her...? 🤔

ericisthirstin2 karma

That's what I'm working on now... If I can pull it off it'll be a miracle but I'm gonna try!

Drmabuse92 karma

When was your performance filmed?

ericisthirstin8 karma

We shot it back in August, and had to keep the outcome a secret for the past few months... glad we can finally talk about it!

The_Pirate_of_Oz2 karma


ericisthirstin7 karma

We like Brooke better because we know her! She was incredibly smart, professional, beautiful, and charming to meet.

I'm sure Alyson is lovely too but we're biased haha.

kimmipea2 karma

What advice would you give someone who wants to learn magic?

ericisthirstin3 karma

Elizabeth's advice is to surround yourself with positive people who support you.

I'd also suggest trying to find a mentor or a club near you. While books/videos on magic are important, it's really something that you need to do in front of people to get better, and you want to practice in front of other magicians who can give you advice before taking it out into the real world!

Sonic11262 karma

How did you not do your trick?

ericisthirstin1 karma


TheMisterTango2 karma

Are you familiar with the clip of Penn’s daughter surprising him on the show, and knowing the inside structure of the show, do you think she genuinely fooled them or was it scripted to make good TV?

scaffnet-2 karma

Pretty sure everything is scripted

ericisthirstin1 karma

For reality TV, Fool Us is actually pretty much exactly what you see. No scripts (except during the routines, of course)

original_greaser_bob2 karma

who smells nicer penn or teller?

ericisthirstin1 karma


whitepepper2 karma

Probably too late, but curious, did Teller break character at all around yall?

My folks saw them decades ago and took my grandparents and met them backstage (my old man also practices the dark arts) and my grandmother was PISSED Teller wouldn't break character and talk to her.

Back then I think they were much more stringent with that part of their act as it was late 90s.

ericisthirstin1 karma

We've both seen him break character, but only because we're in the magic world. I'm not sure how strict he is with it these days.

iowanaquarist1 karma

What was it like to work with the famous Matt 'The Mind Noodler' Donnelly?

Was he as funny in person as he seems on his multi-award winning podcast, The Ice Cream Social?

Did he give you one of the coveted Poker Chips?

How much of the time on sec with The Mind Noodler was he in character -- or did he pretend to be just a regular Joe?

Is there a lot of buzz on set about his Patreon, and it's bonus content with behind the scenes stories aboutFool Us on his Abracababble podcast?

Do you see yourself working with Matt, The Mind Noodler Donnelly again?

ericisthirstin1 karma

Haha, we never saw him on set but did get the chance to meet and chat with him. Super funny and nice guy.

I HOPE we work with Matt, The Mind Noodler Donnelly again! Anytime anywhere!

AwdrevCZ1 karma

Do you like strawberries or raspberries more?

ericisthirstin2 karma

From Elizabeth: Strawberries

ericisthirstin1 karma

Also from Elizabeth: But she prefers strawberry soda

wprojects1 karma

Thank you for your IAmA. Enjoying reading your answers about the show, and glad they finally brought back the live audience. How long / how many magicians do they do in a day for the episodes? Wondering as a week of game shows would all be taped on a single day back in the day and wondering if that is the same with that show.

ericisthirstin1 karma

I'm not sure how they always do it, but the night we taped I think there were 5 acts and the show/taping lasted about 3 hours.

aussiekev1 karma

Hey, can I send you a pm? I had an idea about a variation of the existing 'mentalism' style acts and would love your feedback?

Might be something you can use as I'm not a magician.

Obviously you have watched the show. Who is your favourite act(s) from fool us?

ericisthirstin1 karma

Asi Wind has one of the best, and Shin Lim obviously. We also watched Jonathan Burns the other day and were blown away, so so funny. A lot of our friends have gone on and we're so proud of their work.

cool_slowbro1 karma

What's next on the horizon?

ericisthirstin2 karma

Maybe another competition show. Maybe cruises. Elizabeth has an album coming out next year and Eric has a book that will hopefully follow soon after.

WaitForItTheMongols1 karma

I've always been a bit confused about magic acts. Obviously you aren't doing real magic, so it's really cool to see the things you can make a convincing illusion of.

For me, I see a magic act and it's a puzzle. It's like a murder mystery movie. In the same way you say "Wow, so who killed her?" you say "Wow, so where did the card come from?"

So when I see a magic act that ends and the person walks off stage, it feels profoundly unsatisfying. It's like if a murder mystery rolled credits and that was it. You have all the buildup with none of the payoff.

Some magicians do show their methods at the end - such as, indeed, Penn and Teller. Good examples are their SNL "Are we live? Yeah!" skit, and their "Blast Off" which they performed once with traditional props and again with transparent ones.

So my question is, why is it so uncommon for magicians to show the methods they used? Usually the execution and the practice is the majority of the work (I wouldn't be able to just watch it and replicate it), so I don't see the harm in letting me know. To me when I see the "solution", it makes the trick 10x cooler, because now I can have the understanding to say "Wow, that's so clever, it's amazing that you came up with that", versus the solutionless delivery where all I can say is "Well, you probably did something cool".

Even here, your one stipulation is that you don't want people to ask how you did it, so my question is, why do you want it to be such a secret?

ericisthirstin1 karma

It can definitely be more impressive to know how some tricks are done. Most of the time I've found that it's more of a let down though. Just depends on the trick. P&T have played around with the premise of exposing things before and made it work really well for them. I know they got a lot of flack from the community though when they were starting out.

I think the idea of keeping a secret is a historical magic thing that's supposed to protect the art form. With so many people on instagram and tiktok stealing/revealing other people's tricks now I was sort of worried myself, but magic seems to not be hurt at all by that. People still love to see it live, are fooled by unique tricks.

nyquistj1 karma

Who is your favorite fictional magician and why is it Job?

ericisthirstin3 karma

I think we've made a huge mistake... not talking about Job earlier.

My favorite sketch about magic is in Tim Robinson's show I Think You Should Leave, Season 1 Episode 3 I believe. It's so so so good.

swankpoppy1 karma

Does magic ever come up in the bedroom… if you know what I mean? ;)

ericisthirstin2 karma

Improv comes up more than magic...

MerleNoir851 karma

Can you confirm there was more than one different pictures in the first trick? P&T made a wrong guess that they where all the same, does it also mean there was also more than one?

ericisthirstin5 karma

Yes, while that's a theory I'm seeing a lot on YouTube, there were about 20 pictures in the diary (not sure why it took Brooke so long to find one--we tested that trick many times and it never took someone so long to find a picture).

And while it was a solid guess by P&T, no, all the pictures could not be described the same way

kaiabunga3 karma

I think she was looking for like a printed photo and maybe misunderstood until Elizabeth I think clarified they were drawings. Like, I dont think Brooke was looking for the doodles I guess?

You guys were pretty cute though, well done for fooling them!

ericisthirstin2 karma

I think you're right. We tested that out at about 20 shows, and it never took someone that long to find a picture. She probably did think we meant like a photo... Maybe next time I'll say doodle or sketch or something.

Nice catch!

goog1e1 karma

What's your favorite trick (that someone else does)?

And what's your favorite trick that you perform?

And is your favorite the hardest one?

ericisthirstin2 karma

Someone else- Tom Stone's "Whose Box is This" routine which I think he did on Fool Us

Our favorite trick right now is this Vegas-style 3-Card Monte routine.

It's one of the easiest actually, but it still fools most people and is the most fun to perform.

lifeandtimes891 karma

How long did it take, as in train and practice for you guys to pull this trick off? ? Have you ever been deceived by something like it before or do you catch it every time?

ericisthirstin1 karma

It's a routine we made about a year-and-a-half ago, but challenged ourselves to do it without cards for the show (because there are so many card tricks on Fool Us). Took a couple months of really hard work to turn it into the version you saw.

Ok-Feedback56041 karma

Where did you both learn magic tricks?(is there any course or study?)

ericisthirstin1 karma

Eric's dad was a magician in Chicago, so he got involved that way. Elizabeth got involved through the magic scene in LA, ie Magic Castle/Black Rabbit Rose.

If you're looking to get into it, I'd suggest finding a magic club nearby and learning from others.

spoung451 karma

Frist off 1 3 5, and congratulations my question is will any of you two get a hair cut your like Dan Harlan has on the cover of his rubber band DVDs?

ericisthirstin2 karma

We're actually both getting "Ammar" cuts next time we're at the salon

whynotthebest-1 karma

Why is your OP account name different than the account name you're answering questions from?

ericisthirstin-1 karma

I'm not sure, but they're both me! I don't use Reddit much so I can't explain why. Maybe one is my username or something?