steven brundage

Hi, I’m Steven Brundage, the magician who Fooled Penn & Teller with 2 Rubik’s Cubes on the New Season of Fool us. Ask me Anything!

Exactly one week ago I was on the the Season 2 Premier of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. The show which airs Monday at 8PM on the CW gathered nearly 1.6 Million Viewers and my youtube performance, “Rubik’s Cube Magician Fools Penn & Teller,” is up to 350,000.

You may also recognize me from the video, “Magician gets out of speeding ticket with magic,” which has reached 2.3 million views; which led to appearances and features on Good Morning America, Steve Harvey, Huffington Post, Daily News, helped me get on Fool Us and More. Ask Me Anything!

Proof: Twitter, Instagram


My Website

Do you always carry a cube with you?

99% of the time I have a cube at my side. Though I tend not to perform for friends and family as much. Usually I just perform at paid events.. but if people really want to see some magic I am more than happy to assist.

Is it like a cube holster on your belt? Because that would be extremely nerdy and incredibly awesome

haha.. I do own a Magic Holster that has an added cube pocket. It is absolutely awesome and nerdy at the same time. You can find the holsters here:

Do you have to tell a producer back stage how your trick is done before showing it to P&T? Or can you just claim they’re wrong with no one to call you out on it?

During your first rehearsal you have to perform you effect to a room full of the producers… Then you explain how it works to them.

So if I can become a producer, I could learn all sorts of magic secrets? Interesting…

Some of the producers who were working on the show were none other than Johnny Thompson and Michael Close… Two greatest magicians of the past century!

Are they under some sort of NDA or could they just reveal how it’s done if they wanted to?

Some are the producers were magicians so I’m pretty sure the wouldn’t reveal it.

What is your favorite trick that you don’t know fully how it’s done?

I have no idea how he matches the mixed up cards.. and I don’t want to know. Its awesome.

Were only two cubes used? The video you linked to has a lot of cuts, but even in the full video, there was some editing – was anything significant cut out? The most obvious edit is the first time you deal with Teller. It goes from two mixed up cubes to his being mixed up and yours being solved. How much was cut out? Did they ask to examine the cubes at all? Was them saying that you fooled them really as quick as it appeared on the show, because they didn’t look like they deliberated very long at all.

The full video of my performance can be seen here:

While I don’t want to dive to much into magic secrets.. I will give some away. I have 3 methods I can use to match a Rubik’s Cube. One method uses 3 cubes, the 2nd method uses 2 Rubik’s Cubes. The 3rd method, I used on the show, was the very first time I used it besides for friends and family, this method only uses two Rubik’s Cubes.

The only thing that was cut out of the performance was me solving one of the Cubes Normally. I think I solved the Cube in around 30 seconds.. so they just cut that out for time constraints.

They didn’t ask to look at them at the end. I would have been more than happy to let them look at them. It happened in about that much time. I was stepping around the table and they were supposed to step back to their seats so they could talk it over… but they immediately gave up. I was a little shocked as you can see…. I at least thought they would guess.

I can’t speak for season two but I attended the filming of an episode of the first season of Fool Us in London and there were no shenanigans. What I saw was what aired, with the exception that they spread the acts I saw over several episodes instead of just one.

Yeah. I didn’t meet any of the people that were in Episode 1. However I know about all the magicians who were on the show. Also magicians tend to talk a lot….. So I might have heard from some people what Magicians Fooled Penn and Teller.. but that is Top Secret!

What kind of snacks do they have for you guys in the back?

They had lots of water and chips right before the show. During our stay at the Rio we got passes for the Rio buffet each day. The food was fantastic and they even had seafood.

Did you interact with Penn and/or Teller outside of what is on film? If so, what were they like?

So during the show were are kept from ever meeting Penn & Teller. When I was doing a rehearsal they had me step behind a curtain right before Penn stepped into the room. Penn & Teller don’t know who is going to be on the show and what effects we would be performing.

After the show I wanted to hangout and talk but they had their own rehearsals. When I open up their show in Vegas I am sure I will be able to spend some quality time with them.

Will you reveal to them if given a chance how it was really done? I don’t know how well magicians guard their secrets from other magicians.

I would like to ask Penn and Teller how they think I did the trick… But I don’t think I will reveal my methods.

How’s your elmslay?

IDK, you tell me. : }

Did you start cubing before you got into magic or vice versa? What’s your record time on the 3×3, and do you enjoy doing other kinds of puzzles as well?

I always liked magic as a little kid. When I was around 8 or 9 I started learning simple tricks to show family. I didn’t start cubing til around the begging of high-school when I was 12 or 13. I basically did magic and cubing separately for years, never mixing the two. Around 3 ago I released that people loved to see me solve the Cube and I decided to put magic and cubing together. Ever since It has been a signature piece in my show and has gathered some decent media attention for myself.

Do you ever do speedcubing and if so, what are your times?

I AVG around 14 right now. My best all time is 8 or 9.. but that isn’t in comp.

I loved your performance! Your showmanship was excellent. The trick, though, didn’t seem that difficult to figure out in a general sense – you seemed to be relying on the fact that a slightly scrambled cube looks not that much different to the untrained eye compared to a well-scrambled cube. And solving a cube and scrambling a cube can both look pretty similar until you get close to finishing it. So is your trick really just based on scrambling and mostly unscrambling a cube while you’re talking, with the last few twists being done as part of a sleight-of-hand? Don’t take that the wrong way – I certainly can’t do that, and it was a great performance. It definitely shows off your skills with a Rubik’s cube!

Thank you for the complement. You have to understand that Penn & Teller are probably most familiar with the standard method of Rubik’s Cube Magic: Penn and Teller get only one guess… If they say I used a trick or gimmick cube essentially they lose. I did so many things to draw them in thinking it was a gimmick or trick cube. I also only use 2 cubes for the performance if Penn & Teller guess there is a extra cube or a cube switch they also lose. Here is just a small list of some of the Subtleties,so you can appreciate some of the thought that went into the performance and some of the behind the scenes work:

  • I didn’t let them examine the bag. Typically I give out the bag to be looked at to make sure the bag is completely empty and isn’t trick out. If you are magician your mind will automatically think of 2 or 3 ways this could be done. Not letting them look at the bag only adds that suspicion.
  • I didn’t show the entire cube solved. If you watch it again you will notice that I always hid one side of the solved cube. That was to draw them in to thinking I was using the old method.
  • I didn’t let them examine the cubes before I started the routines. I purposely started with both cubes mixed up so they couldn’t see them in the solved state. If I let them look at the cubes at the beginning and they would have been able to rule out trick cube.
  • One thing that worked out for my favor, was when I go grab the extra bag.. you will notice the cube going out of site while I grab the bag. This would have been a perfect time to switch the cubes for a trick cube. While I didn’t add this part in to be deceptive its just how the choreography worked out.
  • Millisecond solve – If you watch that solve you will notice it is the closest thing to a “Trick Cube” in my act. They only see the millisecond cube for a split second and can’t pause or rewind the effect. In that one second it is hard to keep track of colors and when you re-remember the effect you often misremember the color and what the effect looked like.

You also have to look at this from Penn & Teller view point. This is the first time they have ever seen me perform.. They had no idea who was going to be on the show or what the performers were going to do. They only get to see the performance once and they are literally two feet from me which makes misdirection so much easier. Remember I could have used trick cubes for nearly all of the effect performed and it would be nearly identical.

With all the being said.. Yes I am extremely good with Rubik’s Cubes.

Did Penn & Teller recruit you to the Illuminati?

They didn’t…. However during a school show I had a group of 4th and 5th graders start chanting, “All hail Steven, the Illuminati” while simultaneously bowing down to me. Best feeling Ever!

Here is the post when it happened:

Steven, Great Job on Penn and Teller. Also Thanks for being such an active member of the r/magic community and for sticking up for busking as well. Do you belong to any clubs?? How do you envision the magic community in the future? What changes/additions would you like to see?

I love R/Magic. Lots of good feedback and the community actually interacts with people who post there.

I belong to both my Sam and IBM local clubs. Sadly due to my schedule I haven’t been to a meeting in Months. Every time I try to plan to go something comes up.

The magic community is changed and growing like never before. Years ago you had to go to the back room of the magic shop to learn the real secrets… Now so much is exposed online. I have no idea what magic will look like in 20 years.. but I can assume it won’t look anything like today.

Were you surprised? Nervous? It seemed so instant that they were “fooled by you”! Congrats.

To be completely honest I don’t think I felt nervous throughout the entire performance.. Mostly just EXTREME excitement. To get a chance to be on a show that I LOVED and to possibly get the opportunity of a life was a pretty big deal for me.

While just being on the show is fun…. but most of the people only remember the acts who fooled them… Except for Piff, he was great. Fooling them was more than I could have ever hoped for. While I did think I would fool them.. I had NO IDEA it would happen that fast. To be completely honest I had no clue as to what they were going to say the method was…. I still don’t know exactly how they think I did it.

What got you interested in magic?

I first got interested in magic when I saw a David Blaine special. I was hooked and had to know how he was doing it. I remember watching people freak out and start to run around and scream when they watched his magic. That was powerful… because I loved magic but I never got reactions like that. I then started learning the tricks he performed on the special and the rest is history.

Are you as annoyed as I am that someone made it through the auditions on America’s Got Talent with a Svengali deck?

Depends on the act. More than the tricks I look for originality in personality and character. Adding original tricks is the icing on the cake. Creating magic can be hard and takes lots of times and HOURS of thinking and tinkering. Many magicians are much better at being performers and many are better at being creators.

Who was the guy who made it through with a Svengali Deck?

So…. how did you do it? Were those trick Rubik’s cubes? I just watched this yesterday and here you are. Congrats on the performance! Can you solve a Rubik’s cube blind folded? Whats the secret to those bastards that I have never solved?

So the standard Rubik’s Cube trick that most magicians use is this: I however do not use this method. All the cubes I use in the show are completely normal.

As far as blindfolded solving… During my show I do solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded here:, but I have to admit I am cheating during that performance. : )

Hey, as an amateur magician myself, I have a ton of respect for you not only fooling Penn and Teller with your sleight of hand, but also by baiting them to guess the wrong method (playing the “game within the game”). My question for you is, did your act rely more on the fact that P&T were magicians, not cubers, and therefore wouldn’t understand your method as easily?

I basically picked my best original trick and decided to perform that! I didn’t really consider if Penn and teller have any cubing experience… But I guess that played out for the better.

First of all I loved your performance on Fool Us! Even as an experienced cuber I couldn’t figure out all of the tricks (I’m sub10, that might tell you of my level). I’m honestly kinda jealous and would like to learn some of the tricks myself 😛 My question to you is: Do you see yourself progressing more as a speedcuber, or do you want to focus more on magic? Also, what is your favourite non-3×3 puzzle?

WOW, your fast. I will be publishing a DVD with Murphys Magic later this year teaching some of my Rubik’s Cube Magic. I will post on R/Cubers when it is ready.

While I love speedcubing I don’t see myself progressing much more than I already have. I average around 14 seconds and while I can get faster.. it wouldn’t necessarily help my career. During most of my paid performances I slow down to around a 30 second solve to add some added tension and comedy to the solve. Currently Magic is my only income.. with magic I have to pay student debt, rent, car payments, insurance, vacations, hospital bills, gas, internet and phone bills… etc etc. I also have to cover all my magic business expenses which can be excessive when you consider some magic effects cost over $1000. But honestly the best part of doing magic as a business is I get to write all the Magic tricks and magic conventions off as business expenses. Last year I spent well over $7000 on magic tricks and magic trips. : )

With all this most of my time is spent on the business side of magic… working on new bookings and new opportunities.

I recently just bought my first 5×5 a few months ago. It was super fun learning how to solve a cube and figuring out the algorithms.

What’s your best advice for an aspiring magician?

Find a teacher.. or at least someone with more experience who can guide you. I never had a proper teacher so it took me so many added years to get where I am. When I was in college I still sucked at magic even though I had been doing it for years. I only got good when I started to perform magic for money and had to step up my game.

Here is Unlisted performance of when I was in college: You can see I handle the cards sloppy and I don’t have very good presentation skills. If I had a teacher when I was younger I would have progressed much faster.

Did you follow the last season of America’s Got Talent? A magician won a million dollars with a poorly-executed Cup and Balls trick, which, coincidentally, is almost identical to the one Penn and Teller do with clear cups. Do you think good magic has a chance at competing with other pop culture on a large scale?

Its hard for magicians to compete with music and other acts… but I do think great magicians always have a chance. To be in that upper category of magicians is extremely hard to get to and takes YEARS of hard work and discipline.

I noticed in your trick that after your bag solve the cube is pretty misaligned, showing that it had just been manipulated. Was that a mistake, or was that on purpose to mess with P&T’s heads?

haha.. I could have done the bag trick much better than I did it.

Different people in different videos – but somehow they both chose six of diamonds?

Haha. That is funny pure coincidence. They could have honestly said any card they wanted.

What was the single moment you realized you wanted to become a magician…if there ever was one?

I never really had a defining moment. When I first started to get paid gigs.. I said I would go with the flow and see where it leads. Over time things got better and better and I realized to myself there is nothing In this world I would rather be doing.

Any chance of you coming to US nationals for fun?

I really want to go.. but I typically work on the weekends.. LOL. If someone would sponsor my $2000 I would consider going. Sadly if I give up work I lose out on $1000’s and its a hard compromise to make.

Do you just pull all the stickers off and then stick them back on really fast?…. Orrrrr… are you are speedster? orrrrr are you able to manipulate Time?

Wow. I just binge watched the entire season of Flash and it was amazing! So while manipulation of time would be awesome…. Being a speedster would be crazy awesome. Though wouldn’t the speed force allow me to manipulate time… I love comics and r/whowouldwin but I don’t have the greatest knowledge of the speed force.

About how much time do you practice each day? Do you ever take time off from magic?

To be honest I don’t practice as much as I should. Most of my work is spent working on the business side of things… I however am working on a brand new theatre show that I intend to start touring with across the country early next year!

Can you get out of seeing the Minions movie by using magic?

I wish…. I gotta spend time with the girl or she might vanish… 🙂

So it appears you’re a redditor. What was it like reading all the comments when it blew up on here the other day?

It was pretty fun!!! I always enjoy reading comments and having a good laugh.

I also did an IAMA a few months ago and it was a blast:

Also, the cop video first started to take off once it was posted to reddit…. Some of those comments are hilarious.

How long would you say you trained to get this routine down? Any parts harder than others? Any parts you still nervous about when performing or are you comfortably skilled at the whole shebang?

I have performed this routine literally thousands of times so I wasn’t too worried about a screwup.. except for one part. lol. That performance of the Millisecond solve was the first time I had EVER done it for an audience. I didn’t think I would screw it up.. but there is always a chance.

The hardest part of the routine would have to be the Bad part of the behind the back. Matching Penn’s cube was pretty tough and I almost messed up at that part.

I used to be a magician in my teens. Unfortunately now, the “magic” has been lost whenever I see a trick. I feel like I know how almost everything is done. I feel bad when someone wants to show me a trick because I just can’t pretend to be surprised when they do. How do you deal with losing the “magic” in magic?

I do have magician goggles… .Instead of appreciating the effect.. I am much more focused on the method. Sometimes you do see an act that takes your breath away and makes you believe in magic again. EX:

What do you think of cross on left?

haha.. I think I suck at it. I have some friends who do use it and love it. I just tried it for the first time ever.. added 4 seconds on the solve.. yet it was kinda interesting. Might play with it for little bit. Do you do F2L on the left?

What’s your opinion of Derren Brown?

He is amazing! One of the greatest thinking magicians of our time. His stage shows are beautiful and are pieces of art.

Many people also don’t realize he is a master at sleight of hand!

Hey, did you do a show at RPI last year? If so, I think so, the only trick of yours I couldn’t work out was this one.

YES! That was me! Guess what I just got a call from RPI today and they want me to do a show for Student Orientation.. Feel free to contact Amy at Student Administration and tell her I am doing an AMA and your excited to see my show!

Hi there! Amateur magician here! I’m just wondering, if there is one trick that every magician should know, what would it be and why?

How to connect with your audiences. You can do the most amazing tricks… But if your audience doesn’t like you… You are screwed.

You must have a really good agent and publicists, considering how much I’ve seen you name and bit on reddit. How did they convince you to use reddit to market yourself?

haha.. I actually didn’t use any publicists or marketing people. I am a HUGE fan of Reddit and love participating in the community. I did an AMA a few months ago and it was super fun.. I thought it would be fun to do it again! If you want some insight in my marketing plans.. here is the marketing plan i put together before the Penn and Teller appearance.

Hey Guys,

Some pretty fantastic news. Just the confirmation that I will be on the Premier for Penn and Teller Fool Us. That is airing on July 6th. With the first Viral Video and Media appearances I got a taste of whats to come. While I think I handled the Media craze.. There are a lot of things I wish I would have done better.. But regardless I am preparing for this new Opportunity.. and I plan to take advantage of every chance I get. Below I am listing some of what I am planning to do before and after the TV appearance. Please chime in with your thoughts and ideas for anything that would help.

Quick Note: While the information that I will be on the premier is public.. I haven’t officially announced it on my Facebook or other social media. The episode is airing in 10 days… I am planning to release my press release and make all official announcements either 6 or 5 days before the episode.

Here is a List of Things I plan to do.:


  1. Get together an email list of all past clients and fans and send out an email letting them Know I will be on the show and to watch it. Also, Let them know that they can share it on social media.
  2. Set up strategic facebook posts… that are timed with the initial press release. Saying that I will be on the show and pointing to my website blog with more information.
  3. Have a well written blog post with more information and behind the scenes of the show. I am thinking I will have a few blog posts focusing on Penn and Teller. One before the show and one a few days later.. going behind the scenes.
  4. Gather all information of all the past media relationships I have formed over the past few months and send them all the press release and personalized emails about the story. Hopefully I will lots of local articles written and maybe even score a news TV appearance promoting myself and the show. Since its on the CW it seems like the news channel will probably be CBS or TIme Warner News.
  5. I am also tempted to possible hire a publicists to help me spread the word.


  1. From what I can tell from the first season.. Many of the clips have the potential to go Viral. Luckily in my agreement I am allowed to post 3 minutes from my segment onto my youtube channel. I am torn between just editing my segment down to just 3 minutes and posting it. OR I could split the clip into a Part 1 and Part 2 for youtube. Not sure which one would be the better route.
  2. Post my FULL segment to my facebook page and share the crap out of it.. also using paid facebook advertising.
  3. I will make sure to include some sort of watermarking on the youtube video. I will also be doing my best to help make the youtube video go Viral. I have a decent following on R/Magic on Reddit.. so if I post the video to that and R/Cubers.. I assume someone will post it to R/Videos… Which would help the video take off.

I would love any feedback you guys have.. and any interesting ideas you would like to share.

AFTER THE SHOW AND VIDEO: Recently I just did a event for one of the largest Entertainment Companies in New York. The event went FANTASTIC and it looks like they will book me for around 20 events this year. Which is amazing. Hopefully the Penn and Teller Video will be just another thing to help them sell me to their clients.

Another thing I plan to do is make a GIANT push towards the college market. Working on a new Image and re-branding myself specifically for the market. I believe in my show and I have 100% confidence that I can ROCK the market. I will be leveraging all the past media attention over the past months in posters, banners, flyers, givewaways etc.. So when I go to Apca and Naca and will hopefully stand out. I believe that my Showcase is original enough and different enough to garner some attention. So much work to do.. and so little time.

Here is the update after the show:

  1. Before all of this I never had any type of email lists.. and I finally release how much I have been missing out on. I spent a few days gathering up all my past clients emails. I sent out a friendly email saying that I was on the show. Many of them responded with extremely nice emails saying they would send out a blast to the rest of the company. Since then I have received facebook messages from many of the employees of these companies who congratulated me on the appearances.
  2. Setting up the facebook posts went quite well. I focused on trying to draw attention to my magic page. What I typically did was post a photo on my magic page then share it with my standard facebook account. Many of the posts did extremely well.. multiple posts had hundreds and hundreds of likes. vast amounts of comments and lots of shares. It also drew lots of new fans to my facebook magic page and to my actual facebook. I gained over 700 likes this week.
  3. Having the Blogs allowed me to draw some extra attention to my website. There was a huge increase in traffic the moment I shared those blogs on my facebook.
  4. So instead of sending out a Press Release to hundreds on random reporters I decided to target specific reporters and media relationships I had already created for the past few years. I especially focused on people who have done stories on me before.. and those that would be most interested in doing stories in the future.

The initial Press Release went extremely well in my eyes. I was able to get a on a Local Morning Show – CBS 6 News. We promoted the show and also my local brand of magic. Later on that evening they actually invited me back for the 10 and 11 nightly news right after my show aired. We got to talk more about the show and my local brand of magic. Here is 1 of those 4 segments. Just the 11 oclock nightly new:……77.shtml

Besides the local news I was also able to get another news channel (Time Warner Cable News) to agree to do a story on me in 2 weeks during the start of Track Season. They will come downtown and watch me busking and focus the story on the explosive career boost.

The press release was also able to gather some of the local newspapers and a few did some stories after the episode. EX:

These local appearances seemed to have worked. I went downtown Friday night to some street performing and was congratulated well over 30 times about the TV appearances. Many were about PENN AND TELLER but some where about CBS 6.. and some others were about Steve Harvey.. LOL. He decided to reair my episode the same day Penn and Teller came out.

  1. I didn’t hire a publicist.. but I did give my Press release to a friend of mine who is the CEO of a marketing company. She redid the Press Release and sent it back.. very much improved. For any interested here is the Press Release I sent out:……=sharing

AFTER THE SHOW: This is the part I am most proud of.

  1. As soon as the show came out I used software to get the HD footage of the entire episode. I then edited down my segment from 6 minutes to 3 minutes so I could post it to my channel and not worry about it getting taken down.
  2. I then posted the full segment to my facebook. It was watched by about 22,000 people and had impressions to over 140,000.. About half organic and half paid.
  3. I also put a watermark on the lower part of the video here: . I posted the segment on Facebook and a few forums. It got shared extremely heavily between friends and was able to gather 20,000 views on youtube.

My next step was to try and get the video to go viral or at least take off and gather a significant amount of views. For those who don’t know what Reddit is.. It is called the front page of the internet. Videos and content that are posted there and get to the “Front Page” will almost always go viral and attract hundreds of thousands of views. I was able to post the content to R/Videos with then got nearly 4000 upvotes and was able to add nearly 300,000 views in a few days: . One interesting thing about reddit is they very seldom like self promotion. When I first posted the video it was marked as spam and didn’t show up anywhere. I had to repost it again but I contacted the mods and asked them to allow the post to go through and see if Reddit would up vote it or not. Lucky the video took off and hit the front page of reddit. Since the video has been shared on Reddit it has been picked up on numerous sites and is started to gain more attraction.


  1. Something extra that I decided to do was throw a contest. I decided to GIVE AWAY the signed Cube that was used to Fool Penn and Teller. I am running the contest on facebook, instagram and twitter. So far it has gathered loads of likes, comments and shares. It was also retweeted by Penn himself so that helped me gain a substantial amount of new followers.
  2. The next thing I am working on is doing and ASK ME ANYTHING on reddit. Its basically a forum were celebrities will answer lots of questions from the users of reddit. A few months ago I did my first AMA and it gathered me loads of new follower and fans.……e_video/ .

For this next IAMA I will be focusing specifically on Fooling Penn and Teller and any questions they have about he show. Ideally it will attract even more views to my video and make the show itself more popular. I will also make sure to share my instagram, twitter and facebook on the IAMA and it should help me gather new followers and fans.

What was the video flickr at 1:43?

That was my computer not being awesome enough to encode videos.

Do you have any current plans for television or live shows in the near future?

I filmed for a Television show on NBC and a UK Television show a few months ago. Both of those should be out later this year… but besides those I have some fun plans in the work.

Do you have an endorsement deal with any speed cube manufacturer? You should.

Haha. That would be so awesome! Typically in my performances I use the NEWISLAND PHEONIX and also the SHENGSHOU AURORA.