Hi Reddit,

I am Vitaly Beckman, an illusionist who fooled Penn & Teller twice on the CW's show Fool Us, with a recent episode being shot during the pandemic. I also traveled the world and had my own off Broadway run in NYC. I combine magic with art, creating and designing all of my own illusions. 

Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNsrAgZH0bT

My recent Fool Us appearance was just aired on the CW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojLBGSnej_U

My first Fool Us appearance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I0UTKsRYLg

If you want to learn more about me, check out the recent MSN story: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/entertainment/news/vancouver-based-magician-vitaly-beckman-fools-penn-andamp-teller-for-second-time/ar-BB1eUIgB

Watch my promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9L5Qu_8kYM

Or learn more about me on my website: http://www.eveningofwonders.com

I love to talk about art, magic, movies, stage performance, creativity & invention. Ask me anything! (almost)


Thank you so much for the great questions everyone! I really enjoyed this AMA and would love to do it again sometime in the future! Till then, stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful day / night!

Comments: 359 • Responses: 101  • Date: 

kingfishcoons333 karma

Are there unspoken rules about "borrowing" from others in the industry? Do you have the freedom to iterate on illusions that others are doing, or is the expectation that you only present things that are uniquely yours?

VitalyBeckman371 karma

Some magicians publish their creations, or write books about them, and allow others to use them. Thus anyone buying the book can perform their effect. There are also many illusions that became public domain over the years that are in the grey area. It wouldn't be ok otherwise and best to create your own.

forgetshisuser1102 karma

Is there a registration for the illusions like with patents? If you keep your methods secret, it’s hard to claim someone else copied it because you never showed them how to do it.

VitalyBeckman200 karma

Yes could patent a device, but then you have to reveal how it works. You could also patent just the look or design, or claim rights on a certain sequence such as a choreography. Teller won a court case based on that I believe. But you cannot copyright an idea!

cantchoosefuck138 karma

Who inspired you to become an illusionist? :)

VitalyBeckman201 karma

When I was a kid, I was inspired by David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, Penn & Teller to name a few :)

TuaTurnsdaballova96 karma

Oh man, I went a live David Copperfield show when I was a kid, that shit was wild! He was slicing women in half and throwing them into the high ceiling and flying above the audience, and sending audience members from the stage to the back of the room instantly. I remember getting legit scared at some points like when he sawed his own head off and there was blood and crazy shit and his headless body walking around.

Are there still high budget magic shows like that? The atmosphere the lighting and music and mood it all felt like I was in a movie. David Blaine is cool for the close up street magic genre, but Copperfield was on another level of showmanship.

Edit: just watched some David Copperfield magic tricks/illusions on YouTube and it’s still incredible to see lol! He has to be the best ever.

VitalyBeckman58 karma

Yes, and he is still performing!

epocson106 karma

Can you walk us through what a day of filming on 'Fool Us' is like?

VitalyBeckman242 karma

It's more like 3-4 days (at least when you are there in person), the first 2 days I spent filming the introduction, interview, etc. and rehearsing in front of the producers, talking to the judges. The 3rd or 4th day there was a rehearsal live on stage in early afternoon, without Penn & Teller, and later that evening I was performing on their show in front of a live audience and P&T. In the meantime they keep you in the basement greenroom, so you don't see how the other contestants did! And when I was done performing, I wasn't allowed to go back and was sent to my hotel room, again, so I don't see how anyone else did on the show. Of course, that was in 2016, when I filmed virtually recently, it was completely different.

kabukistar66 karma

Do you have to reveal how all of your tricks are done to the producers?

VitalyBeckman126 karma

Just the one you are going to perform for Penn & Teller, yes.

cgbrannigan91 karma

How is Alyson? Big fan, she seems like she’d be lovely.

VitalyBeckman115 karma

She is the nicest person on and off screen.

Sword_Song89 karma

Ive always loved magic, clowns and side shows. I've tried for a long time to learn various skills in those veins, but the only one I've ever gotten any good with is diabolo. But now I am 30 and have two young boys, I've been working hard on learning slight of hand, mainly with cards, to make them delighted and giggly. Do you have any advice on specific skill sets to practice or invest in? Right now I feel so overwhelmed by all of the options, I do not know where to begin.

A two and a four year old certainly won't enjoy a counting trick, I sure don't.

VitalyBeckman121 karma

There are some great books to choose from. I would recommend getting The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic or Harry Lorayne The Magic Book. Another option is Henry Hay's The Amateur Magicians Handbook. Any one of these should give you a great basis I believe. Though to really enjoy magic, wait till your kids are 7 or 8 at least!

Andy312200275 karma

What kind of knowledge is most useful when creating new illusions? like physics and optics or maybe psychology ?

VitalyBeckman168 karma

Magic is a mixture of art and science. Theater and deception. So one needs to understand how to deceive, and how to tell a story. In deception, you have to understand psychology, control of attention, body language, sleight of hand and magic devices / technique. In theater, you have to understand storytelling, acting, entertainment. Science and physics can be helpful but is the lesser priority.

Andy312200236 karma

Follow-up question, When crafting a new illusion where do you usually start? with the storytelling, the devices/technique or something else ?

VitalyBeckman54 karma

Always with the idea, of what I want to accomplish. Sometimes a unique prop or something I see can spark the idea though.

BlueMeaniesM871 karma

What's the most recent illusion you've seen where you were clueless as to how it was done?

VitalyBeckman131 karma

Most recently I saw Jandro on Penn & Teller Fool Us with huge domino cubes! I thought it was amazing!

fishdontblink68 karma

What’s a question an illusionist likes to be asked?

VitalyBeckman59 karma

I love thoughtful questions!

Akasazh13 karma

I'll try for a thoughtful question. This might be familiar for many people in the performing arts:

How do you cope with impostor syndrome, if you are on stage is massively enhanced a you know how simple or complicated a trick is. I know, and many, I think, that you try out magic tricks in front of your family and you feel that you really didn't fool them, but they just fall for it to support you.

When did you first realize that you could do this and get the confidence needed to perform? I feel like this is the most important réalisation for an artist and something one has to break through in order to do what you do, do when was the first time you felt you could do that?

VitalyBeckman25 karma

I don't look at an audience as someone I need to impress but as my friends or family, and just sharing something I feel is wonderful and amazing with them. You have to listen to your audience and you will know what they think back and this will help you with confidence.

Zifnab_palmesano62 karma

Favourite illusionist movie? The Prestige or The Illusionist? Or something else?

VitalyBeckman77 karma

The Illusionist! It's more romantic and enchanting!

btcprox43 karma

Are there any non-illusionists that you'd like to collaborate with but haven't yet?

VitalyBeckman87 karma

I would love to collaborate with Philip Glass! I love his music!

helpusdrzaius4 karma

have you heard his album Orion?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

No, I will check it out!

PayasoFries39 karma

Why don't more magicians incorporate chocolate sauce into their act?

VitalyBeckman73 karma

That's a good question, I just incorporated a muffin in my act, so next time I will add chocolate sauce to it :p

ChuckEye33 karma

I know of Jim Steinmeier, and I know the late Ricky Jay used to develop effects for Hollywood in addition to his own routines. Who are the heavy hitters making new effects for stage or screen now days? Is it a pretty small pool? Or are there more people at it than I'd imagine?

VitalyBeckman50 karma

That's a good question. I believe Jim is still developing illusions today and is still regarded as one of the most prolific magic inventors. There are other well known inventors in magic, such as Kevin James, but overall, it is indeed a "small pool" :)

AdmiralAkbar129 karma

How often do people make jokes to you about Gob Bluth in Arrested Development?

VitalyBeckman44 karma

Not very often actually. The jokes I get are more like: "has anyone told you you look like Jerry Seinfeld?" :)

Bornspirit27 karma

What are your thoughts on YouTube magicians, especially those who reveal effects to their audience? Do you believe this cheapens the medium, or is it a net benefit that it's drawing a new type of audience to magic?

VitalyBeckman40 karma

I think most audiences do not want to know how magic is done, and with a few exceptions are disheartened if they find out. It's a similar feeling to learning that Santa Clause doesn't exist. So personally, I think it's best to do good magic, that makes people feel good, and then keep the "how" as a mystery... just like not revealing the end of the book while someone is in the middle of it :)

bad_linen15 karma

I feel mostly the same way but also really enjoy the kind of revelatory magic that P&T sometimes do, like their cups and balls routine. How do you feel about that kind of half-reveal, where we (the audience) learn mostly how the effect works, but we’re still baffled at its execution?

VitalyBeckman16 karma

I think those type of routines are specifically designed to be "revealed" in an entertaining way, at the end the audience still do not understand how they work, or the original effect is not baffling enough to begin with :)

WholesomePeeple22 karma

Alright for real spill the beans. Tell us how you do it. Is it demons?

VitalyBeckman51 karma

Yes, it is.

zaybak22 karma

Have you ever made a study of professional wrestling? The intersection of story telling, deception, crowd work, slight of hand, and the like and how they overlap with illusionism?

VitalyBeckman39 karma

I agree, there are a lot of parallels there! I think in wrestling people want to suspend their disbelief though, while in magic it's not always the case.

freducom19 karma

What is the most under appreciated but easy sleigh of hand with cards, that you enjoy doing still today?

VitalyBeckman29 karma

I don't perform a lot of card magic, but love to perform the card to pocket!

Titmonkey118 karma

Have you always liked performing, or was it something you had to get more comfortable with as you progressed? I've wanted to try something like stand-up, but I dont think I could ever feel comfortable in front of a crowd.

VitalyBeckman30 karma

I always felt comfortable in front of an audience, but even more so when performing magic. You can get comfortable in front of a crowd with the right state of mind. Stage fright is an illusion and is all in your head! But a little bit of stage fright is also good as it keeps you sharp!

TheMain_Ingredient16 karma

You've been very successful; were you always confident magic would work out as a career? Or, did you start out as an actor?

VitalyBeckman19 karma

I felt that magic was my calling. I had a gut feeling I would be successful if I pursued it, but I knew it's going to be a challenging journey!

bad_linen16 karma

1: Are there effects you've seen over and over that you still can't figure out? Which ones?

2: I know magicians won't tell me their secrets, but under what circumstances do you show each other how things work? My understanding is you tell Fool Us how your effect works, for example. How forthcoming are you with magician friends and colleagues?

VitalyBeckman32 karma

Yes, I am actually not very hard to fool with magic. Most recently, I was amazed by Jandro on Fool Us!

I have a few close friends that I trust, and share some of the new creations, to get their feedback. It's a small group of people. As to Fool Us, yes, anyone going on the show has to reveal the workings to the judges and the producers of the show. This way, they can decide if Penn & Teller guessed the method correctly or not.

bad_linen18 karma

P.S. Is Teller as sincere and friendly in person as I hope he is?

VitalyBeckman23 karma

He absolutely is!

mookler15 karma

Do you feel like you're able to quickly grasp how others' tricks are done?

Is there any particular trick by anyone that's got you stumped?

VitalyBeckman39 karma

If the performance is good, then I am usually too distracted to analyze how it is done! But otherwise, if I analyze it I can often know how it may have been achieved. The thing is, if you do that and analyze as it's being performed, then you may not enjoy it as much.

Most recently, I was stumped by Jandro on Fool Us!

exceptforanice_MLT15 karma

Magicians used to be a big draw because there was no/little TV, etc back in the day. Do you find there is still good consistent demand for in person magic shows (aside from the pandemic)?

VitalyBeckman50 karma

Yes, I find that people crave to experience magic live today. It's one thing to see special effects on tv, it's another to experience magic right n front of you, it seems it's a timeless art form.

Hites_0515 karma

Have you considered disguising yourself to try to fool P&T a third time?

VitalyBeckman15 karma

Ha! No, but I have a friend who wanted to!

NSFW__Jinx6911 karma

I have heard a lot of people saying that magic is just illusion. How would you define magic and illusion and how did you even get inspired to be an Illusionist?

VitalyBeckman59 karma

I think any art form is actually an illusion, because it plays with our senses. Like when we look at a painting of a tree, it's just paint but looks like a tree. Magic takes it a step further and blurs the lines between reality and illusion, so you do not see the frame on the painting. The audience paint that illusion themselves, in their own mind, and are next to that tree... inside the painting.

I got inspired when I realized a could create brand new illusions, my own "paintings" so to speak. And because I had lots of ideas that I wanted to realize!

elf_monster7 karma

Magicians are illusionists who target people living in fantasy worlds where magic is possible. Illusionists enjoy creating baffling illusions.

Did I give the illusion that I had any idea what I was talking about?

Serious answer: magicians are illusionists. The only difference is what they call it. "Real magic" doesn't exist.

VitalyBeckman9 karma

Like any art form, magic experienced in the mind. It's not real in the physical world, but in our minds it is :)

Musicman1245611 karma

something like the pad in your video, how long does a routine like this take to master? how many hours gets put into a 2 minute routine like this to be executed flawlessly?

VitalyBeckman17 karma

It can take a few years sometimes! The leaf drawing on the pad, is something I created when I was a teenager and been practicing ever since. The rest of the routine where I drew coffee and mug, took about 3-4 months to create and master.

eatabean9 karma

Are there any books about the history of magic devices? How does one gain access to that info? The brotherhood protects our secrets so well...

VitalyBeckman17 karma

Actually, these books are all available to the general public and can be purchased! For instance, Jim Steinmeyer wrote a few such books, such as Hiding the Elephant. The real secrets are in the performance of magic not in the devices ;)

mrminch8 karma

Out of all of your illusions which one are you most proud of, besides the ones you fooled Penn & Teller with?

VitalyBeckman14 karma

It's so hard to choose one, because they are all like my children :) The one where I make people's faces disappear from their own driver's licenses has been a fan favourite though, and I am very proud as it is such a complex illusion to achieve!

haha_usernamegobrrrr8 karma

What inspired you to get into magic?

VitalyBeckman19 karma

At first I was just curious to see if I can figure out how magic works. But in the process of doing that, I realized I am good at inventing new magic effects, both ideas and how to make them work. I felt it could utilize my potential as a human being.

haha_usernamegobrrrr5 karma

Right on! Love that you found your calling! Thanks for doing the AMA by the way!

VitalyBeckman8 karma

My pleasure. Thanks for the great question!

solicitorpenguin8 karma

We had a salesman at our workplace who eventually took off to be a professional magician-and I always wondered about when a person takes a leap on something like that and gives up a secure conventional job.

How was your transition from magic as an interest to magic as a career?

VitalyBeckman14 karma

It's usually something very hard to do. Since I was a teenager, I knew magic is something I wanted to do professionally, but my parents advised to first get an education a some work experience, to have a "real job" to lean back on. After I did all that, and saved up a bit of money, I quit my job!

Luke_starkiller348 karma

How'd you do it?!

VitalyBeckman56 karma

Very well, thank you...

Jaxom_of_Ruatha8 karma

It's a bit of a cliché that beginning magicians typically perform at kids' birthday parties (and at other small, intimate events). Accomplished magicians, of course, perform on stage in front of hundreds of people. If you were to go back and perform at kids' birthday parties again, what skills or knowledge you've gained along the way do you think would help most to make a wonderful experience for that sort of audience? Are there any skills you've developed along the way that wouldn't transfer, due to how different the environment would be?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

It's hard to say, because I have only done 2 kids parties in my life. I think this one needs more thought and understanding of kids parties to give you a good answer.

LeftGhostCrow7 karma

What is the one magic trick that you have always wanted to pull off, but just haven't figured out the logistics to do? your dream trick i guess you could say!

Thank you! its so cool to talk to a magician!

VitalyBeckman12 karma

I have a list of such illusions, some I accomplished, and some I couldn't... yet. I cannot reveal these ideas yet, because I don't want to admit failure yet!

Daplesco6 karma

Have you ever done any death defying stunts? The style similar to Houdini is what comes to mind.

VitalyBeckman7 karma

I would love to in the future! I have always been trying to do things that are new and have never been done before, such as bringing art to life. So thus far, I haven't done anything dangerous or death defying. I do have some ideas for the future though, some new twists on escapes that will still keep them fresh and within my performing style.

theBoyWhoDaydreams6 karma

What is your weirdest experience on revealing a magic trick to someone?

VitalyBeckman9 karma

When I had to tell the Fool Us judges how it's done, it was fun seeing their facial expression.

PorcupineGod6 karma

Hey Vitaly,

On your "fooled us" video with the coffee cup, is that a continuous video?

It's hard to tell in this media if this is something you did in the room, or if it's just carefully spliced together scenes in a video.

VitalyBeckman17 karma

Yes, it was all filmed in a continues shot. It is edited to give you the best view, however the video Penn & Teller saw of me perform was a single unedited shot. There are no camera tricks, its a real stage effect!

TalkingBackAgain6 karma

How cool were Penn & Teller really about being fooled, and twice even, by you?

VitalyBeckman15 karma

They were very gracious about it the first time. But after the second time, this is what Penn had to say about me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi-s0VwJu78

jhoratio5 karma

I've always thought of performing the trick and inventing the trick as somewhat different skills. Who are the folks in your mind who did both equally well?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

It is definitely different skills, and one has to change hats. I think the late Tommy Wonder was both a brilliant inventor and a performer.

ramos19695 karma

Have you seen any magician lie to Penn & Teller about their method in order to win? I have at least one in mind. We don’t have to name them if you don’t want to, but I think it ‘rings’ true.

VitalyBeckman17 karma

No, personally, I have never seen anyone lie, such as P&T were saying the correct method and the magician said it wasn't. It would also be impossible to do on Fool Us, because the judge and even the producers are familiar with how it works.

thegrotch4 karma

Are you a witch?

VitalyBeckman16 karma


BlobfishOverlord4 karma

Do you think you or magicians in general will ever run out of new ideas for tricks?

VitalyBeckman16 karma

I don't think so. It is certainly becomes more and more challenging to come up with something really new every time, but the same is true for other art forms like music, considering the limited number of chords, it is hard to come up with a brand new tune!

stimulize4 karma

Do you do birthday parties?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

I have done 2 when I was starting out :)

Digitoxin3 karma

You talk about how it can take years to create and perfect a new illusion. How many different new tricks are you usually working on at one time?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

I usually have 10-20 in the back of my head, and then actively work on anywhere from 1 to 5 at the same time. But when one of them starts to shape better, I pause on all the others and only focus on that one until it's finished.

johnnymonkey3 karma

I'm thinking of a very specific card from a traditional deck of cards.

What is it?

VitalyBeckman21 karma

I'm sending you the answer telepathically ;)

Ipromisetobehonest3 karma

Have you ever experienced "writer's block" when creating new acts? If so, what helps you get those magically creative juices flowing again?

VitalyBeckman8 karma

Yea, I experience them quite a lot. I keep a notebook, where I sketch ideas for effects. So one thing that helps is going through it and bring up various ideas from the past. It's good to warm up your brain too. For instance you could improvise the scene you are working on, and by being playful and spontaneous, your subconscious mind can come up with ideas. Ask yourself some questions about what you want to create, write them down. Once you have a clear vision of what you want and ask the write questions, you can find the answer as well. But sometimes if you have a block, it's good to take a break and come back to it later!

CastingPouch3 karma

Do you have to tell penn and teller or the producers how your trick is done to verify they were fooled?

VitalyBeckman4 karma

Yes, you do have to reveal how it works to the Fool Us judge and to the producers.

chief_piggum3 karma

What’s your favourite reaction to one of your illusions? What’s the strangest reaction you have ever received?

Do you find any differences in reactions from audiences in different countries or from different backgrounds or cultures?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

Once I had a couple on stage, and the moment I did magic they ran away like I was a demon. It took them no more then 3 seconds to get off the stage and make their way back into their seats, passing though a row full of people!

Yes, in some places audiences can be more reserved, such as the UK or Singapore. In the US or Australia audiences tend to be louder, but there are always exceptions and you never truly know what to expect! At the end, every audience is unique and it makes every show interesting and memorable.

Cant_Think_For_Shit3 karma

What can you share about hypnosis in the industry? I know that hypnosis and magic are similar, however is there anything you can share about your knowledge of hypnosis?

VitalyBeckman4 karma

I have never learned hypnosis, however magic is often based on suggestions and causing people to make assumptions. So one has to know how to "seduce" an audience to want to imagine certain storyline, and painting the illusion in your mind. So yes, there are some similarities.

zerbey3 karma

That's is one amazing illusion, how many hours did it take you to be able to pull it off that smoothly?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

Thank you! It took several month to create and several more months to rehearse. It looks simple but it is very difficult to execute.

dumber_than_thou3 karma

Hi, Vitaly! Love your stuff. What are some of the maybe less known magicians you would recommend watching? Would your answer be different for a magician than for a non-magician? Thanks!

VitalyBeckman3 karma

I think the answer might be different, simply because the magicians that are well known in the magic community are not that well known to the general public. Such as Juan Tamariz or Richard Turner.

OozeNAahz3 karma

Do you ever do simple tricks in public just to screw with people or to see if they notice? Like paying for lunch with a ten but switching it with a twenty as you hand it over to see if they catch it. Obviously underpaying that way would be dishonest but overpaying that way could be amusing.

VitalyBeckman7 karma

Not really, I love magic as a performing art on stage, I love the atmosphere in the theatre, the mesmerized audiences. I may do something for a friend during dinner, but otherwise I do much magic outside my show :)

SquareManager92 karma

what/who was your biggest inspiration?

VitalyBeckman5 karma

When I was a kid it was Bruce Lee.

washedupsailor2 karma

Where can I learn some basic tricks that will blow my niece and nephews mind? I also like magic and don’t want to dive too deep and have the joy of watching magic spoilt!

VitalyBeckman9 karma

I would recommend getting The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic or Harry Lorayne The Magic Book or Henry Hay's The Amateur Magicians Handbook!

theDaveB2 karma

How is the floating dollar trick done?

VitalyBeckman7 karma

Ha! There are actually many methods to accomplish a magic effect. Even a floating dollar bill which may seem like the same effect to an audience, can be achieved with 5-6 different ways!

latnemidur2 karma

What’s an easy party trick illusion I can do to impress people?

VitalyBeckman12 karma

I'd recommend getting a magic book, such as mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic!

NSFW__Jinx692 karma

Have you ever been tricked or startled by an Illusion.. Like you had no clue how that happened ??

VitalyBeckman13 karma

Yes, many times. I am actually not very hard to fool, because when I watch magic, if it's entertaining then I don't try to analyze it, as I want to be entertained and be amazed!

ThaSkeptic2 karma

whats your favorite deck of cards?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

I normally use a Bicycle deck, but I don't have a favourite one!

putyourayguntomyhead2 karma

ok, questions about your second appearance:

Is the wall behind you a real wall or is there a fake place you're hiding the coffee cup and muffin?

You never walk from one side of the table to the other, between the table and the wall, are you able to or does some aspect of the trick not allow you to?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

Everything is real, the wall included :) I can also walk behind the table :)

putyourayguntomyhead2 karma

wow, that's pretty crazy, great trick. Mind if I ask a follow up?

In your first time on the show, they ask you if it could have been any of the 52 cards in the deck, you don't answer yes, you turn to Allison and ask her if she had free choice. Can you answer yes?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

Yes, I didn't want to tell them the answer, because they are supposed to guess not ask me! :) But Alyson's answer is correct, you don't see it in the final edit, but she even changed her mind from one card to another, and we went though the "stop me" process twice until she was satisfied with the card of her choosing :)

bsmithi2 karma

I notice on their question if anyone else was involved, you said no, well aside from the videographer. I'm curious to know, was there video editing done to accomplish the effect?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

Of course not!

squirrelchips2 karma

Hey Vitaly! I wanted to add some easy, fun, and cool tricks to my start of the school year stuff! I teach technical theater and love to get kids attention through magic, as magic, in a way, is part of technical theater. Do you have any cool and easy tricks that would dazzle the students that I could learn over the summer?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

Yes! I think a good book can be a good resource for you! I would recommend to get either of these: The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic, Harry Lorayne The Magic Book or Henry Hay's The Amateur Magicians Handbook. Good luck!

PabstyLoudmouth2 karma

What are your favorite cards to do magic with, and be as specific as you can?

VitalyBeckman5 karma

I usually just use Bicycle cards, nothing too special!

ohhangie2 karma

Can you make garbage disappear !?

VitalyBeckman4 karma

Yes, every evening!

TheeTruther2 karma

Do you have any pet peeves about people's assumptions of your work?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

As long as people are interested, I think it's all positive and appreciate anything people think about it. I am trying to bring greater awareness that magic is more than trickery and can be comparable with other arts though.

lushiouslush2 karma

Really enjoyed those performances! I’m curious as a magician, what were your thoughts on Derek DelGaudio’s In and of Itself? And did you get a chance to see it live?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

VitalyBeckman2 karma

Thank you! Yes, I did see it live and I loved it. It was really in and off itself!

BiglyChungus2 karma

Apart from the illusions/tricks that fooled Penn & Teller, which is the one you’re proudest of coming up with?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

It's so hard to choose one, because they are all like my children :) The one where I make people's faces disappear from their own driver's licenses has been a fan favourite though, and I am very proud as it is such a complex illusion to achieve!

grunzkor2 karma

How long does it take you to learn a new trick?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

It usually takes a few years, from conception, to finding a way to make it work. With a few tough ones, it took me a decade as well!

mtjp822 karma

What is the secret to life?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

It's probably different for different people. But for me, I would say it's about taking the circumstances we have and living the life in the best way we can with them, rising beyond those initial circumstances. It's possibly about becoming the best human being we can, fulfilling our own potential while being kind to others and sharing the fruits of our success along the way.

tobaknowsss2 karma

Have you ever seen a trick or even something in your day to day life that you still can't explain?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

All the time... Actually, I can't explain anything, from "why are we here?" to life itself! As to magic specifically, there are certainly illusions I saw that I had no explanation to, most recently I was stumped by Jandro on Fool Us!

Gr33ndew2 karma

What would you say is part of your 'Magic Every-day Carry'; what items would you not leave the house with if you were expecting to perform in any form of capacity?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

To be honest, I rarely carry anything with me. I could improvise and do magic with items around me, but most of the time I reserve it for for an official theater show.

kabukistar2 karma

Are the mug and muffin stored on the underside of the table until they appear?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

No :)

BiteMyB2 karma

Can you show me a quick cool card trick I can use to impress my wife, and have her think I am magical?

VitalyBeckman8 karma

I don't think I can show you over Reddit... but I would suggest to get a good book, like Henry Hay's guide to magic, it has a lot of great stuff you could do!

Fantomfart2 karma

In you were given a choice between Paul Daniels and Tommy Cooper, who would you prefer an ama with?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

I feel like I would get better answers from Paul Daniels, as Tommy Cooper would keep talking about his dentist. But both would be fantastic.

Zenn_diagram2 karma

Have you ever cut someone in half and then not be able to put them back together?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

Only my half sister.

Ritinrow2 karma

Hi! Saw you in NYC a couple of summers ago and my boyfriend was actually chosen to participate in one of your tricks (he had the notebook where people had written the names of celebrities and had to read it).

Just wanted to thank you for an entertaining show and ask what was the most memorable thing an audience member ever did at one of your shows?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

Thanks for the kind words! When audience members come up on stage, the most unexpected things can happen! For instance one time a little kid spontaneously ran on stage and started running after me. All while not realizing he has a shoe missing... It was pretty hilarious.

iamtimeless2 karma

Can you make my sadness disappear?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

Sending you positive vibes and wishes of good fortune.

Bilbo_T2 karma

How do you make it so that it is an illusion? I can to the Arielle Triangle and the impossible stairs, but not much else. How do you create illusions?

VitalyBeckman4 karma

I start with a vision of what I want to see or experience. Once I have a clear vision, and I know not only what I want to create but also why and that it's pursuit is worthy of my time, then I begin to think on how I can do it and working my way up on making it work. It's usually a very long process with a lot of trial and error and sometimes can take years! But at the end, if the results feel like the vision you initially envisioned, it is also very rewarding.

President_A_Banana1 karma

Have computers ruined the magic of Magic in any ways, the way they ruined the 'magic' of special effects in movies?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

That's a good question I have to think of. I think audiences trust less magic on tv these days, but that's why it is also important to perform live, and I think that is the best venue to enjoy magic.

My_Balls_Itch_1231 karma

Is performing magic a cry for attention?

VitalyBeckman5 karma

I think it can be or it can also be a form of expression. Like with singing or most other art forms, people can do it for various motives.

pushathieb1 karma

Where are you on the magic or illusion stalemate?

VitalyBeckman3 karma

Magic IS illusion.

geekedoutcoolness1 karma

Did shin Lim get lucky? Or is he just “that good”?

VitalyBeckman2 karma

I think he is very good!

sonicbuster1 karma

How many fingers am I holding up?

VitalyBeckman6 karma

I don't know, I'm an illusionist, not a mind reader :)