Exactly one week ago I was on the the Season 2 Premier of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. The show which airs Monday at 8PM on the CW gathered nearly 1.6 Million Viewers and my youtube performance, "Rubik's Cube Magician Fools Penn & Teller," is up to 350,000.

You may also recognize me from the video, "Magician gets out of speeding ticket with magic," which has reached 2.3 million views; which led to appearances and features on Good Morning America, Steve Harvey, Huffington Post, Daily News, helped me get on Fool Us and More. Ask Me Anything!

Proof: Twitter, Instagram


My Website

Edit 1: For those interested in Cubing or Magic I recommend these subreddits. They have lots of information if you want to get started in either of these two hobbies.



Edit 2: I will be watching the Minion movie with my Girlfriend and her family at 9:00PM. I will be answering questions on my cellphone during the drive... and once I get back I will try my best to get to as many comments as possible. Thank you for being awesome reddit!

Edit 3: Girlfriend is not impressed with me reaching the front page... I will be back right after the movie! https://instagram.com/p/5GPycqBGqd/

Edit 4: Thank you so much for all the amazing questions Reddit, you are one of the reasons I love my job. Make sure to watch the Latest episodes of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, there are a lot of amazing magicians on the show and it should turn out to be an amazing season. You have all my social media above so if you wish to follow my career and see what I have planned for the future, feel free to check them out. Also, I have a 5 hour drive to Hilton Head, NC. Feel free to ask more interesting questions (think of stuff that hasn't been asked or something that would allow for unique answer) and I will most likely check in and answer them during the long boring drive. (I will be in the passenger seat).

Edit 5: Thank you reddit for making my day and giving me one of the best Possible IAmAs I could hope for... It seems to be the highest rated magician iama of all time, which is a huge honor! Make sure to like my magic page if you want to stay in touch: https://m.facebook.com/StevenBrundageMagic or you can even add me on my personal facebook if you wish! Hope you enjoy reading the comments and have an awesome day! One day when I have my own Vegas show or another huge project, I would love to come back and do another AMA. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Comments: 1797 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

Too_much_vodka1508 karma

What kind of snacks do they have for you guys in the back?

BrundageMagic1612 karma

They had lots of water and chips right before the show. During our stay at the Rio we got passes for the Rio buffet each day. The food was fantastic and they even had seafood.

Dachannien1027 karma

Hi, Steven,

I loved your performance! Your showmanship was excellent.

The trick, though, didn't seem that difficult to figure out in a general sense - you seemed to be relying on the fact that a slightly scrambled cube looks not that much different to the untrained eye compared to a well-scrambled cube. And solving a cube and scrambling a cube can both look pretty similar until you get close to finishing it. So is your trick really just based on scrambling and mostly unscrambling a cube while you're talking, with the last few twists being done as part of a sleight-of-hand?

Don't take that the wrong way - I certainly can't do that, and it was a great performance. It definitely shows off your skills with a Rubik's cube!

BrundageMagic2165 karma

Thank you for the complement. You have to understand that Penn & Teller are probably most familiar with the standard method of Rubik's Cube Magic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKeLekIH840. Penn and Teller get only one guess... If they say I used a trick or gimmick cube essentially they lose. I did so many things to draw them in thinking it was a gimmick or trick cube. I also only use 2 cubes for the performance if Penn & Teller guess there is a extra cube or a cube switch they also lose. Here is just a small list of some of the Subtleties,so you can appreciate some of the thought that went into the performance and some of the behind the scenes work:

  • I didn't let them examine the bag. Typically I give out the bag to be looked at to make sure the bag is completely empty and isn't trick out. If you are magician your mind will automatically think of 2 or 3 ways this could be done. Not letting them look at the bag only adds that suspicion.
  • I didn't show the entire cube solved. If you watch it again you will notice that I always hid one side of the solved cube. That was to draw them in to thinking I was using the old method.
  • I didn't let them examine the cubes before I started the routines. I purposely started with both cubes mixed up so they couldn't see them in the solved state. If I let them look at the cubes at the beginning and they would have been able to rule out trick cube.
  • One thing that worked out for my favor, was when I go grab the extra bag.. you will notice the cube going out of site while I grab the bag. This would have been a perfect time to switch the cubes for a trick cube. While I didn't add this part in to be deceptive its just how the choreography worked out.

  • Millisecond solve - If you watch that solve you will notice it is the closest thing to a "Trick Cube" in my act. They only see the millisecond cube for a split second and can't pause or rewind the effect. In that one second it is hard to keep track of colors and when you re-remember the effect you often misremember the color and what the effect looked like.

You also have to look at this from Penn & Teller view point. This is the first time they have ever seen me perform.. They had no idea who was going to be on the show or what the performers were going to do. They only get to see the performance once and they are literally two feet from me which makes misdirection so much easier. Remember I could have used trick cubes for nearly all of the effect performed and it would be nearly identical.

With all the being said.. Yes I am extremely good with Rubik's Cubes.

BrundageMagic18 karma

I would like to also add the I didn't purposely add any Red Herrings. EX. I was thinking about turning around when Penn was mixing up the Rubik's Cubes to imply that I could be doing a cube switch. I decided that would detract from the act and make it more convoluted. So while I didn't add any extra hidden moves to throw them off. I purposely left lots open to mystery and wasn't as open as possible.

Dracode826 karma

Do you always carry a cube with you?

BrundageMagic1104 karma

99% of the time I have a cube at my side. Though I tend not to perform for friends and family as much. Usually I just perform at paid events.. but if people really want to see some magic I am more than happy to assist.

Not_Prisoner714 karma

Is it like a cube holster on your belt? Because that would be extremely nerdy and incredibly awesome

BrundageMagic685 karma

haha.. I do own a Magic Holster that has an added cube pocket. It is absolutely awesome and nerdy at the same time. You can find the holsters here: http://www.highcalibermagic.com/

Nutella_Sandwich775 karma

Do you have to tell a producer back stage how your trick is done before showing it to P&T? Or can you just claim they're wrong with no one to call you out on it?

BrundageMagic924 karma

During your first rehearsal you have to perform you effect to a room full of the producers... Then you explain how it works to them.

Ar3s701757 karma

So if I can become a producer, I could learn all sorts of magic secrets? Interesting...

BrundageMagic179 karma

Some of the producers who were working on the show were none other than Johnny Thompson and Michael Close... Two greatest magicians of the past century!

barts185480 karma

First, regardless of the answers, I want to say great job. It's obvious that you have worked not only on the cube, but on the whole routine, and on making it entertaining.

Were only two cubes used?

The video you linked to has a lot of cuts, but even in the full video, there was some editing - was anything significant cut out? The most obvious edit is the first time you deal with Teller. It goes from two mixed up cubes to his being mixed up and yours being solved. How much was cut out?

Did they ask to examine the cubes at all?

Was them saying that you fooled them really as quick as it appeared on the show, because they didn't look like they deliberated very long at all.

BrundageMagic723 karma

The full video of my performance can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/StevenBrundageMagic/videos/921914137850188/.

While I don't want to dive to much into magic secrets.. I will give some away. I have 3 methods I can use to match a Rubik's Cube. One method uses 3 cubes, the 2nd method uses 2 Rubik's Cubes. The 3rd method, I used on the show, was the very first time I used it besides for friends and family, this method only uses two Rubik's Cubes.

The only thing that was cut out of the performance was me solving one of the Cubes Normally. I think I solved the Cube in around 30 seconds.. so they just cut that out for time constraints.

They didn't ask to look at them at the end. I would have been more than happy to let them look at them. It happened in about that much time. I was stepping around the table and they were supposed to step back to their seats so they could talk it over... but they immediately gave up. I was a little shocked as you can see.... I at least thought they would guess.

bracesthrowaway149 karma

It seems like a pretty simple guess to say that you had time to look at the other cube and you know how to basically unsolve a cube. You'd just have to work backwards from the alogorithm to solve the cube that was on the table, right?

Eji170023 karma

While that might work for some of t his i'm not certain how he does the behind the back/in the air/drop them stuff. I simply can't be these are normal cubes (or this guy is sitting on world record skills).

BrundageMagic18 karma

I am by no means a world record holder. There are some amazing cubers out there who can legit do what I dream about doing. Go check out the rankings for WCA... those are the real masters: https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/events.php

Rock_Me-Amadeus149 karma

I can't speak for season two but I attended the filming of an episode of the first season of Fool Us in London and there were no shenanigans. What I saw was what aired, with the exception that they spread the acts I saw over several episodes instead of just one.

BrundageMagic151 karma

Yeah. I didn't meet any of the people that were in Episode 1. However I know about all the magicians who were on the show. Also magicians tend to talk a lot..... So I might have heard from some people what Magicians Fooled Penn and Teller.. but that is Top Secret!

original_greaser_bob232 karma

how often do you watch this video to pump self up?

BrundageMagic141 karma

WOW... I have never seen that before.. but I am pretty sure I will now be opening all my shows with this video!

maninthearena40219 karma

Did you start cubing before you got into magic or vice versa? What's your record time on the 3x3, and do you enjoy doing other kinds of puzzles as well?

BrundageMagic276 karma

I always liked magic as a little kid. When I was around 8 or 9 I started learning simple tricks to show family. I didn't start cubing til around the begging of high-school when I was 12 or 13. I basically did magic and cubing separately for years, never mixing the two. Around 3 ago I released that people loved to see me solve the Cube and I decided to put magic and cubing together. Ever since It has been a signature piece in my show and has gathered some decent media attention for myself.

ninjamuffin93 karma

Do you ever do speedcubing and if so, what are your times?

BrundageMagic181 karma

I AVG around 14 right now. My best all time is 8 or 9.. but that isn't in comp.

BrodyApproved207 karma

Did Penn & Teller recruit you to the Illuminati?

BrundageMagic313 karma

They didn't.... However during a school show I had a group of 4th and 5th graders start chanting, "All hail Steven, the Illuminati" while simultaneously bowing down to me. Best feeling Ever!

Here is the post when it happened: https://www.facebook.com/SJBrundage/posts/10152988664712712?

ProgramDeprogram185 karma

How's your elmslay?

BrundageMagic351 karma

DoktrMike98 karma

Nice, but how's your Faro? :)

Cool_Story_Bra141 karma

Did you interact with Penn and/or Teller outside of what is on film? If so, what were they like?

BrundageMagic319 karma

So during the show were are kept from ever meeting Penn & Teller. When I was doing a rehearsal they had me step behind a curtain right before Penn stepped into the room. Penn & Teller don't know who is going to be on the show and what effects we would be performing.

After the show I wanted to hangout and talk but they had their own rehearsals. When I open up their show in Vegas I am sure I will be able to spend some quality time with them.

Tkent91103 karma

Will you reveal to them if given a chance how it was really done? I don't know how well magicians guard their secrets from other magicians.

BrundageMagic117 karma

I would like to ask Penn and Teller how they think I did the trick... But I don't think I will reveal my methods.

maz-o103 karma

What is your favorite trick that you don't know fully how it's done?

BrundageMagic247 karma


I have no idea how he matches the mixed up cards.. and I don't want to know. Its awesome.

madkatalpha28 karma

That was a cool video. I really wish the camera didn't cut away as he crossed the stage between receiving the mixed cards and having the woman pick one, because I think that's where the entire trick is.

BinaryResult24 karma

I'm more interested in how he changed the ace to two with the handkerchief.

BrundageMagic48 karma

Haha. I had no idea how he does that for years.... Until I bought the trick.

fungshei99 karma

So.... how did you do it? Were those trick Rubik's cubes? I just watched this yesterday and here you are. Congrats on the performance!

Can you solve a Rubik's cube blind folded? Whats the secret to those bastards that I have never solved?

BrundageMagic144 karma

So the standard Rubik's Cube trick that most magicians use is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKeLekIH840. I however do not use this method. All the cubes I use in the show are completely normal.

As far as blindfolded solving... During my show I do solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvrpATAI9Gk, but I have to admit I am cheating during that performance. : )

xpop_tartsx98 karma

Steven, Great Job on Penn and Teller. Also Thanks for being such an active member of the r/magic community and for sticking up for busking as well. Do you belong to any clubs?? How do you envision the magic community in the future? What changes/additions would you like to see???

BrundageMagic84 karma

I love R/Magic. Lots of good feedback and the community actually interacts with people who post there.

I belong to both my Sam and IBM local clubs. Sadly due to my schedule I haven't been to a meeting in Months. Every time I try to plan to go something comes up.

The magic community is changed and growing like never before. Years ago you had to go to the back room of the magic shop to learn the real secrets... Now so much is exposed online. I have no idea what magic will look like in 20 years.. but I can assume it won't look anything like today.

torgorama93 karma

Are you as annoyed as I am that someone made it through the auditions on America's Got Talent with a Svengali deck?

BrundageMagic144 karma

Depends on the act. More than the tricks I look for originality in personality and character. Adding original tricks is the icing on the cake. Creating magic can be hard and takes lots of times and HOURS of thinking and tinkering. Many magicians are much better at being performers and many are better at being creators.

Who was the guy who made it through with a Svengali Deck?

Frajer72 karma

What got you interested in magic?

BrundageMagic125 karma

I first got interested in magic when I saw a David Blaine special. I was hooked and had to know how he was doing it. I remember watching people freak out and start to run around and scream when they watched his magic. That was powerful... because I loved magic but I never got reactions like that. I then started learning the tricks he performed on the special and the rest is history.

Huomenna65 karma

Hey, fellow cuber here, I have a few questions!

First of all I loved your performance on Fool Us! Even as an experienced cuber I couldn't figure out all of the tricks (I'm sub10, that might tell you of my level). I'm honestly kinda jealous and would like to learn some of the tricks myself :P

My question to you is: Do you see yourself progressing more as a speedcuber, or do you want to focus more on magic?

Also, what is your favourite non-3x3 puzzle?

BrundageMagic96 karma

WOW, your fast. I will be publishing a DVD with Murphys Magic later this year teaching some of my Rubik's Cube Magic. I will post on R/Cubers when it is ready.

While I love speedcubing I don't see myself progressing much more than I already have. I average around 14 seconds and while I can get faster.. it wouldn't necessarily help my career. During most of my paid performances I slow down to around a 30 second solve to add some added tension and comedy to the solve. Currently Magic is my only income.. with magic I have to pay student debt, rent, car payments, insurance, vacations, hospital bills, gas, internet and phone bills... etc etc. I also have to cover all my magic business expenses which can be excessive when you consider some magic effects cost over $1000. But honestly the best part of doing magic as a business is I get to write all the Magic tricks and magic conventions off as business expenses. Last year I spent well over $7000 on magic tricks and magic trips. : )

With all this most of my time is spent on the business side of magic... working on new bookings and new opportunities.

I recently just bought my first 5x5 a few months ago. It was super fun learning how to solve a cube and figuring out the algorithms.

realityis33349 karma

Were you surprised? Nervous? It seemed so instant that they were "fooled by you"! Congrats.

BrundageMagic84 karma

To be completely honest I don't think I felt nervous throughout the entire performance.. Mostly just EXTREME excitement. To get a chance to be on a show that I LOVED and to possibly get the opportunity of a life was a pretty big deal for me.

While just being on the show is fun.... but most of the people only remember the acts who fooled them... Except for Piff, he was great. Fooling them was more than I could have ever hoped for. While I did think I would fool them.. I had NO IDEA it would happen that fast. To be completely honest I had no clue as to what they were going to say the method was.... I still don't know exactly how they think I did it.

JigglyArmadillo33 karma

What's your best advice for an aspiring magician?

BrundageMagic50 karma

Find a teacher.. or at least someone with more experience who can guide you. I never had a proper teacher so it took me so many added years to get where I am. When I was in college I still sucked at magic even though I had been doing it for years. I only got good when I started to perform magic for money and had to step up my game.

Here is Unlisted performance of when I was in college: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJjtOEFgfxU. You can see I handle the cards sloppy and I don't have very good presentation skills. If I had a teacher when I was younger I would have progressed much faster.

pullarius125 karma

Hey, great job! Fool Us is one of my favorite shows because there just isn't really good magic one TV.

1) Did you follow the last season of America's Got Talent? A magician won a million dollars with a poorly-executed Cup and Balls trick, which, coincidentally, is almost identical to the one Penn and Teller do with clear cups. Do you think good magic has a chance at competing with other pop culture on a large scale?

2) I noticed in your trick that after your bag solve the cube is pretty misaligned, showing that it had just been manipulated. Was that a mistake, or was that on purpose to mess with P&T's heads?

BrundageMagic20 karma

1) Its hard for magicians to compete with music and other acts... but I do think great magicians always have a chance. To be in that upper category of magicians is extremely hard to get to and takes YEARS of hard work and discipline.

2) haha.. I could have done the bag trick much better than I did it.

flamingorage25 karma

Hey, as an amateur magician myself, I have a ton of respect for you not only fooling Penn and Teller with your sleight of hand, but also by baiting them to guess the wrong method (playing the "game within the game").

My question for you is, did your act rely more on the fact that P&T were magicians, not cubers, and therefore wouldn't understand your method as easily?

Thanks for doing this AMA, shoutout to the /r/Magic community!

BrundageMagic13 karma

I basically picked my best original trick and decided to perform that! I didn't really consider if Penn and teller have any cubing experience... But I guess that played out for the better.

doohicker8 karma

What was the single moment you realized you wanted to become a magician...if there ever was one?

BrundageMagic14 karma

I never really had a defining moment. When I first started to get paid gigs.. I said I would go with the flow and see where it leads. Over time things got better and better and I realized to myself there is nothing In this world I would rather be doing.

portlandburner5 karma

Hi, Steven! I loved your act!

Two questions: About how much time do you practice each day? Do you ever take time off from magic?


BrundageMagic6 karma

To be honest I don't practice as much as I should. Most of my work is spent working on the business side of things... I however am working on a brand new theatre show that I intend to start touring with across the country early next year!

Westicle4 karma

Any chance of you coming to US nationals for fun?

BrundageMagic6 karma

I really want to go.. but I typically work on the weekends.. LOL. If someone would sponsor my $2000 I would consider going. Sadly if I give up work I lose out on $1000's and its a hard compromise to make.

ghostbackwards3 karma

So it appears you're a redditor. What was it like reading all the comments when it blew up on here the other day?

BrundageMagic4 karma

It was pretty fun!!! I always enjoy reading comments and having a good laugh.

I also did an IAMA a few months ago and it was a blast: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2pdgiq/hi_im_steven_brundage_im_the_guy_from_the_video/

Also, the cop video first started to take off once it was posted to reddit.... Some of those comments are hilarious. https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/2oirkn/a_magician_getting_out_of_a_speeding_ticket_using/

marktronic3 karma

Woah dude! That was incredibly impressive.

  • How long would you say you trained to get this routine down?
  • Any parts harder than others?
  • Any parts you still nervous about when performing or are you comfortably skilled at the whole shebang?

Again - BRAVO!

BrundageMagic4 karma

I have performed this routine literally thousands of times so I wasn't too worried about a screwup.. except for one part. lol. That performance of the Millisecond solve was the first time I had EVER done it for an audience. I didn't think I would screw it up.. but there is always a chance.

The hardest part of the routine would have to be the Bad part of the behind the back. Matching Penn's cube was pretty tough and I almost messed up at that part.

breakingcups1 karma

So, that video with the cops was staged right? I like the PR tour you're doing, but it is quite obvious you're doing it. :) Please answer some of the hard answers in this thread if you want us to think this is more than just a press tour.

BrundageMagic13 karma

Cop video is VERY REAL. I actually did a Interview with a TV show on NBC... we also brought the cops in a interviewed them. That show will come out sometime later this year.

haha. and yeah.. PR is interesting. Earlier this year a magic group called The Illusionist did a IAMA, but it was very obvious that they were just trying to get some extra exposure for their show.

I think the big difference between myself and other random PR tours is I actually Love Reddit. I have been lurking for year and try my best to contribute as much as I can to some of the smaller subreddits. I won't lie and say that I don't appreciate the added exposure and PR. A college actually called me today saying they HAD to book me because they saw me on the Front Page. LOL.

I am more than happy to any questions in this thread.. Just upvote to the top and I will make sure to give them a proper answer.