How to Do the Elevator Self Levitation

Written by don davis
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How to Do the Elevator Self Levitation
This man levitating on a beach may be an illusion. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The elevator levitation trick was inspired by a magician's gag called the "Balducci levitation," first described by a magician named Ed Balducci. A magician named Peter Loughran takes credit for inventing the elevator levitation, and it was popularised by the illusionist David Blaine. Numerous magician's supply companies, including Loughran's, sell kits for this illusion. Loughran's current version, "Elevator 2," uses a foldable mirror that allows bystanders to look under your feet as you float above the pavement, carpet or stage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • PVC pipe or block of wood
  • Retractable reel
  • Elevator or Elevator 2 illusion

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  1. 1

    Attach a 4-inch long PVC pipe or a 4- by 4- by 2-inch block of wood to a spring-loaded, retractable magician's reel. Magician's reels are sold in stores that sell magic tricks and are used in numerous magic tricks.

  2. 2

    Put this device, which magicians call a gimmick, inside the pant leg of your dominant leg. Attach the reel to your belt inside your trousers.

  3. 3

    Show your audience that there are no hidden devices involved in your proposed levitation, only magic, by dramatically raising your hands up to the sky then sweeping them down to the ground.

  4. 4

    Grab the pipe or block inside your trousers as you sweep your hands to the ground and pull the pipe or block to the ground behind your feet.

  5. 5

    Stand very slightly on your toes as you begin to quiver with the concentration needed to levitate.

  6. 6

    Place the heel of your dominant foot on the pipe or block. Raise your toes off the ground and appear to levitate.

  7. 7

    Fall back to earth with a surprised thud when you slip off the block or pipe and retract it back up your pant leg.

  8. 8

    Pull up your sleeves to show you had nothing hidden there. Pull up both pant legs to show you had nothing hidden there either.

Tips and warnings

  • This illusion requires many hours of practice if you are going to fool anybody.

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