Now you see it, now you don't

Now you see it, now you don't

American magician Andrew Mayne's interest in magic was ignited as a little boy when his grandfather showed him a trick that involved making a coin disappear.

"He was able to spin it on a table, snap his fingers and make the coin vanish. It would then re-appear, sometimes in my shoes, or I would look up my shirt and it would fall out of my belly button," the 41-year-old bachelor says. "I was just amazed by that and I wanted to know how to do that."

As a teenager, he worked behind the scenes for a David Copperfield TV special. After high school, the Alabama-born magician started working on a cruise-ship, performing an illusion show. He later headlined shows in resorts and casinos around the world.

Some other big-name magicians he has worked with behind the scenes are David Blaine and Penn & Teller. He has also written mystery and thriller books. One of his books, Angel Killer, which involves a female FBI agent with a background in magic, was the sixth best-selling Kindle Direct Publishing book in the United Kingdom in 2012.

Writing books and performing magic may seem unrelated, but Mayne says that they are both about storytelling.

"As a magician, I want to tell you a story. I want to create some sort of conflict and resolve it. If I borrow a bill from you and tear it up, I create a problem and then solve it," he says. "In a story, I have a character whom you relate to, who goes through certain conflicts and then has to resolve them."

Creating conflict is also something he does on his show, Don't Trust Andrew Mayne, premiering April 1 on Lifetime Channel (StarHub TV Channel 514). He pulls pranks on unsuspecting people on the streets, such as putting their identity cards into a fire extinguisher box through the glass. The people then have to smash through the glass to retrieve their cards.

He also doles out revenge for people, for example, a woman whose husband bought a motorcycle even after he promised never to ride bikes again after they got married. She seeks Mayne's help to teach her husband a lesson for not keeping his promise.

The magician proceeds to put the bike in a helium- inflated ball, levitate the ball in front of her husband's eyes, before shooting an arrow at it. When the ball pops, the bike disappears.

Mayne is not new to TV productions as he independently produced Wizard School in 2004, a programme aired on Public Television in America that teaches magic and science to children. He is also a partner in Jaras/Mayne Productions, which produced G4 Undergound, a cable TV news magazine series, in 2009 and 2010.

While he did not attend college, he admits he loves science and says it helps to be good at science as a magic creator. He also talks about science on his podcasts, Weird Things. He says: "A magic trick is a cleverly disguised scientific principle."

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