Have you ever witnessed a magic trick and wondered, "What was that little thing the magician did just before the magic happened?" That, my friend, is the magic behind the magic—this is what we know as the "Imp."

For years, magicians lacked a term to describe this crucial element. Snapping fingers was the go-to, but it fell short of capturing the essence of what truly makes a trick memorable.

The Imp is the action, gesture, or phrase that acts as a bridge between the ordinary and the extraordinary. It sets the stage for the magic to unfold and becomes part of the trick's narrative. So, let's dive into the details of the matter to make better sense of its crux! 

Why Snapping Fingers Isn't Enough

While a snap is quick and easy, it lacks depth. Snapping fingers doesn't connect with the audience or weave the trick into a story. Imagine a magician snapping their fingers to make a chosen card appear at the top of the deck. There is no doubt that the visual is impressive, but without context, it feels like a random display of power. This calls for something with more depth and nuance to describe magic better in the right context. 

Make Way For The Power of a Strong Imp!

A well-crafted Imp elevates a trick from a fleeting moment of surprise to a lasting memory. It creates a story around the magic, making it relatable and engaging. 

Of course, mastering this art is not always easy, but taking the right steps with the right information can make a significant difference. So, here is your insight into the "Imp Formula" in a nutshell:

  1. Stay Away From The Usual: It is always important for magicians to deliver something unique and out of the box for a better experience. Ditching the usual helps grab the audience's attention and sets the stage for something extraordinary to happen.
  2. Tie it to the Premise: Now that you have something unusual, it is important to tie it to the trick's premise for better impact. Magicians need to ensure that unusual actions connect to the trick itself and are not random acts that disrupt the flow.

What Makes a Strong Imp, And Why Does It Matter?

Imagine a magician showing you a trick at 11 pm, claiming it only works at that specific time. While intriguing, the connection feels arbitrary. This is not an impactful Imp and might not be able to impress the audience.    

Now, picture a magician showing you a card trick on the equinox, explaining how this specific time period creates a "balance" needed for the trick to work. The Imp here is the equinox, and the trick is to balance cards. Both these factors complement each other, creating a story that resonates and strokes the right chord with the audience.

But why does an Imp matter? A strong Imp provides a hook for memory. When someone hears about the upcoming equinox, they might recall the time a friend performed a balancing card trick at that specific time. The Imp becomes an anchor for the memory, making the magic more impactful.


Imps are not about creating a believable scenario. They are about crafting a story that makes the magic relatable. By going beyond the snap of a finger, magicians can use Imps to weave a narrative, leaving a lasting impression on their audience.

You must remember that people connect with stories. A strong Imp creates a story around the magic, making it more engaging and memorable. So, next time you witness a magic trick, pay attention to the seemingly insignificant gesture before the magic happens. You can also check out the Magic Shop San Diego offerings to master your Imp with the right props.