The magician’s secret? Practice

Bonaparte helps spark the imagination of Watertown Middle School students during an afterschool magic class on March 5, 2008.

Did you ever want to know how magicians learn their tricks?

On Wednesday afternoon at the Watertown Middle School, Bonaparte, a magician, teaches five eager students how to perform tricks.

In a class full of burning books and decks of cards, Bonaparte shows his curious students how to stick pens through quarters, make objects disappear, and cards fly.

But he also shows them how it is done.

He has the kids practice using props and everyday items. First, Bonaparte performs the magic trick. The kids’ reactions are wide-eyed and curious. He then has them try to figure out how it is done.

Following a reminder that “magicians can’t tell secrets” to a trick, he shows them how it is performed. The kids are given pointers, such as how to distract the audience and using angles for hiding props.

When asked why they were taking classes, all of the students replied because it was fun and interesting.

“[I] like to show my family and trick them,’’ said Laurence Read.

Both Brendan Lally and Patrick O’Connor agreed, adding, it is “fun to learn a lot of new things.”

Jennifer Grey said, “I want to be a magician … [and] put on my own shows.”

With the help of Bonaparte, she is well on her way.

(To learn more about Bonaparte, go to

–March 14, 2008–