Playing Tricks with Rashad Jennings
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings was only six when he first fell in love with magic. "I was watching TV, and this guy pulled a rabbit out of his hat — the old classic," says the sixth-year player, who signed with the Giants in March. "I was like, 'Wow! I wonder how he did that.' " He received a magic kit from his family for Christmas, and he was hooked. "I figured out one or two little tricks," he says, "but when I tried to do them, they didn't have any awe effect."
It wasn't until Jennings got to Liberty University that he focused on honing his skills as a magician in his spare time, choosing to focus on card tricks for an entire semester. When he went home for a family dinner, he practiced what he had learned. "They lost their minds," he said of his family's reaction to his sleight of hand work. Has he tricked his Giants teammates yet? "I'm going to wait for camp," he says. "When everybody is tired, it's a good time to make everybody smile."
This summer, Jennings shared his tricks to pull your own card tricks. Check them out, and watch Jennings work his magic on one of SI Kids' editors!
1. BE SECRETIVE
You have to know something about the deck or the card order that nobody else in your audience does "from the jump," as Jennings puts it, for any trick to work.
2. BE AWARE
Get a feel for your audience members' emotions. Pay attention to where they are standing in relation to you — and where their eyes are focused.
3. BE CREATIVE
Have a story to go along with your trick, and you'll impress your audience even more. For example, you can tell people that they are going to do the magic trick and make them believe they are in charge by manipulating the cards. They won't believe it when the trick actually works.
Photo: Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated