New Victory Arts Break: Asia – Create

Welcome to Create Week as we continue on our trip through Asia. In last week’s Discover post, we met some members of the company, GRUEJARM, as well as their families. This week, let’s look closer at GRUEJARM’s magical performances and practices to get inspired to do a bit of magic ourselves!

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New Victory Arts Break Asia Create


We hung out with GRUEJARM last week and learned about their everyday lives. Now, let’s learn more about the ins-and-outs and behind-the-scenes of running a performance.

In your New Victory Notebook, note what you noticed. Reflect with the following questions.

  • What did you learn about prepping for a performance that you didn’t know before?
  • Was there anything that surprised you?
  • What more do you want to learn about magic?

Make Magic

GRUEJARM are not the only ones with tricks up their sleeves. We’ve got three fun and crafty tricks that you can perform using things you have at home!

Peppering In Some Magic

Some magicians can move things with their minds—this is called telekinesis. Wow your family and friends with this trick to convince them that you have superpowers, all in the name of science!

Materials: Bowl, black pepper, dish detergent, milk or water (milk makes the effect look more dramatic)

Step One: To set up the illusion, fill a bowl with water or milk just enough to cover the bottom. Sprinkle black pepper into the middle of the liquid—make sure to use a bunch of pepper in just one specific area!

Step Two: Take your finger and secretly dip it in some dish detergent. Don’t let the audience see your secret ingredient!

Step Three: Now you are ready for an audience. Invite spectators to gather around the bowl, and explain that your magic words will give power to your magical finger and cause the pepper to scatter. When you have cast your spell, place your finger in the center of the blob of pepper and watch the pepper scurry away!

Pepper Milk Magic

Visit Mary J. Lockwood’s YouTube channel for kid-friendly activities, including the full version of the simple milk and pepper magic trick for kids.

Bottomless Notebook

Optical illusions are magic tricks that our brains play on us, tricking our eyes into seeing things that aren’t there. Let’s create a Bottomless Notebook optical illusion in our New Victory Notebook.

Materials: New Victory Notebook or a plain piece of paper, pencil, black pen, black marker

(Tip: Before you begin, make sure you put another piece of scrap paper between the page you are using and the next page. Coloring in with markers can get a bit messy!)

Bottomless Notebook Step One

Step One: Draw a square

Bottomless Notebook Step Two

Step Two: Draw a diagonal line through the square

Bottomless Notebook Step Three

Step Three: Draw two lines to make your square a bit smaller, hinging at your diagonal line

Bottomless Notebook Step Four

Step Four: Repeat this until you have a tiny square in the lower left hand corner

Bottomless Notebook Step Five

Step Five: With a pen or a marker, darken the outline of your box

Bottomless Notebook Step Six

Step Six: Color in every other rectangle that you’ve created

Bottomless Notebook Step Seven

Step Seven: To complete the illusion, shade in the right side of your image beneath the diagonal line. Whoa! Your notebook is bottomless!


Dog of a Different Color

Materials: New Victory Notebook, pencil, marker

Dog of a Different Color

Step One: Get out your New Victory Notebook and go to the next blank page. Skip that page and draw the dog pictured below on the page behind it. To draw the dog, first use a pencil to sketch out the shape, then use a marker to re-draw over it. Add some color! Here is an example:

Dog Blank Paper

Dog Sketch

Step Two: Now go back to the page in front and trace the same dog but don’t color it in.

Dog Magic Trick Screenshot

Step Three: Prepare for the trick! “Backstage,” place your thumb on the page of the dog you colored in. Enter the room with your audience and stand at a good distance from them, showcasing the page with just the outline of the dog. Give a quick introduction. Here is an example:

Hello, I am (your name) the Great and today I will color a dog in an instant before your very eyes!

Now, close your notebook, say ABRACADABRA COLOR PUPAFTA. Some ideas to make the trick super magical:

  • Add a bit of hand motion over the book.
  • Ask your audience to say the spell along with you.
  • Perhaps move about the room magically. (However, don’t lose your page though! Remember where your thumb is still supposed to be…)

Give the notebook a good slap, and open up to that page your thumb has been on this whole time! Magic!

Ya See What They Did There?

So far, we have revealed the behind-the-scenes of magic making this week. We’ll close out the week with some tricks that will play with your mind.

Card tricks are a classic element in a magician’s toolkit. Here are some magical instructional videos that are super helpful and just might do the…trick!

Practice makes perfect! Keep practicing. Try your card tricks out on family and friends once you’ve got it down.

Now it’s time for a bit of a mind trick. Watch along with New Victory Teaching Artist Steve Cuiffo to learn a bit more about magic tricks.

Wow! Find your card? Magical! Put your cards to the side and play along with Steve once more.

Amazing! Figure it out?

After watching those two videos, take out your New Victory Notebook and reflect:

  • What was it like to play along with this trick?
  • How was it different to experience a trick without knowing how it was done?
  • What did these tricks teach you about magic?
  • Is there a trick you can create and keep a secret…forever?
  • Share these videos with your family. What do they think? Could they figure it out?

Thanks for creating along with us for our Create Week adventures. Come back next week to learn more about movement from our New Victory Teaching Artists! Until then, brush up on your Magic Week from last spring’s New Victory Arts Break: Discover Art Forms.

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.