How Real Is 'Magic For Humans'? Justin Willman's Tricks Don't Rely On Fancy Camera Work


Can magic unite humanity? That's something Justin Willman's Magic For Humans may be able to answer as it explores how emotions like guilt, wonder, fear, and more connect us all. Plus, there's lighthearted magic in between more serious lessons on forgiveness and trust. As seen in the trailer for the fast-paced magic reality show, Willman promises he's using "real people, real magic, [and] no camera tricks" to achieve his illusions. And, he assures Bustle that the Magic For Humans tricks are as real as they appear.

"I’m proud to say that all the illusions in the show were accomplished without any camera tricks, and all of the reactions are 100 percent real," Willman says in a statement to Bustle. "I’m aware that by the very nature of editing a show you’re manipulating reality, so we went to great lengths to not cut away during any of the crucial magic moments throughout the series. Hopefully viewers will appreciate this effort and enjoy a little escape from reality."

Indeed, there are numerous illusions and tricks that play out before those "real people" and viewers at home can see the whole thing go down. There are classic card tricks, objects re-appearing in sealed oranges, balloons, and bottles, and a high amount of tricks where Willman spits out different types of food on command. But it's all so fascinating that you can't look away — which is key when it comes to detecting if a magic trick is "real."

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Of course, few magic tricks are actually real. You shouldn't believe that Willman actually shoved his wife into a backpack or that he really threw someone's phone into the water only for it to reappear in a sealed glass bottle. They're called tricks for a reason because they require skill to pull off. What's real is the sleight of hand, the thought process, the execution, the innovation. It's how he's able to do his tricks without camera editing and with real people closely watching him. "I didn't blink that entire time," an awed student tells him after a successful trick. Everyone can watch with their eyes wide open and still miss how he did it.

Willman even explains some of his tricks, like pressing someone's card against the outside of an opaque balloon, popping it, and acting like the card was inside the whole time. Or a floating silver orb that is just a soup ladle with the handle stuffed into his sleeve seen from the right angle.


As for his other tricks, you can Google how magicians can seemingly "control" decisions and predict answers ahead of time and write them in sealed envelopes. You can easily search how they're able to "put" items inside sealed objects. It's human nature to be curious about how Willman does what he does, and since the series is an examination of humanity — he probably wouldn't fault you for looking up the answers.

But, if you don't, you get to experience the magic just like the people in the show do, and you can be awed by it in real time without any camera editing. In the end, maybe it doesn't matter how he did it, maybe it's just cool that you got to see him do it at all.