A question was recently asked by a magician on a forum I’m a member of for Rubik Cube magic. I use Rubik Cubes when performing at weddings and corporate events, and even have a couple of routines in my various cabaret shows. However, I’m far from be a ‘Cuber’.
The question was about how to stop people asking to mix the Cube – especially when they are in a position where the Cube looks mixed to the audience, but the magician has got it in a stack ready for a final few turns.
It’s tricky to answer this question without knowing the routine, or how they are presenting. However, in my view there’s some common rules apply.
Note that although his talks about the Rubik Cube, the same logic applies to many other styles of magic. Simply replace “mixing the Cube” with “shuffling the deck” to apply the principles to card magic.
My view is that anything with a Rubik Cube really needs to start in the solved position (to show it’s a genuine cube), then be mixed by the spectator (or better, passed around a few), before the final reveal.
The best method for this is to show the cube, get it mixed, genuine solve, then do the routine. This does a couple of things:
1) Once you have demonstrated you can genuinely solve the Cube you have proved yourself and you abilities. People realise there’s no need to request further mixing.
2) Over the longer term spectators will forget at which stage the Cube was mixed by the spectators.
Not doing so does a couple of things:
1) The spectators may suspect it isn’t a real cube, or at the very least something isn’t quite ‘right’, sowing the seeds of doubt
2) The spectators may suspect you’ve learnt a sequence of twists and turns to do whatever you are showing
Remember, a spectator doesn’t need to be able to do it themselves, or even have the correct solution, for them to think they know how it is done.
So going back to the original question. The best way for them not to ask to mix the Cube is to embrace this by getting them to mix the Cube at the very start when it doesn’t matter; not wait until the end of the routine when their suspicions are piqued.