Quick Change Artists

Status: Magic Trick
image A lot of sites have been linking to this video of a pair of quick-change artists performing on NBC's America's Got Talent. The video is fun to watch if you haven't seen them performing before. The pair are magicians David & Dania, who were recently profiled in this Slate.com article. Apparently the duo have become the most popular act during NBA half-time shows.

So how is the trick done? Slate.com reports that:
the trick dates back to the 19th century, and the first English-language manual to describe the art was published in 1911. Back then, magicians connected the various layers via hook-and-eye fasteners; today, the literature describes no fewer than 15 different methods of pulling off the trick, using such devices as Velcro, magnets, and "fish bone pull fasteners."
In other words, it relies on special clothing and a lot of practice. If you watch the video closely, the moment when she has the hoop around her and changes from a green into a purple dress is the one time you can almost see the costume change occurring. I have no idea how she pulls off the trick at the end in which she changes clothes as glitter falls around her.

Magic Photos

Posted on Sun Jul 16, 2006


I love the look on the black girl's face(the one from the jury, I don't know who she is)...

They're good...they're really good.

Posted by DukeLeto  in  Bucharest  on  Sun Jul 16, 2006  at  06:50 PM
I think that some of the trick is cloth that is very thin, and can be underneath and folded without giving much bulk, as well as as the quick-release fastenings. A couple of the dresses seem to have similar structure to them but are different colors; maybe they're reversible.

At any rate, a great show.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sun Jul 16, 2006  at  07:16 PM
I've seen them live. They are great. Even if we knew the trick, it still has to be hard to pull it off.
Posted by Mickyfinn  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  07:42 AM
If the dresses are reversible, like maybe they close in front then she flips them to the back that could explain it. However, at the beginning of the skit she looks larger, like she is wearing a lot of clothes, then at the end she looks thinner. So I am wondering where did the dresses go?
The one I liked was the change where he had to hook(?) the dress to the hoop for her. It looked almost like she did nothing at all (and he was very quick) and her dress changed by itself. Way cool.
Posted by thephrog  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  09:25 AM
That girl is Brandy, she used to be a singer and was on a tv show called Moisha on WB or UPN I don't remember which.

As far as the act goes all I can say is; DAMN!
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  10:45 AM
I liked that her hair changes color from dark to blonde.

As for where the clothes go, notice that every cylinder is flipped right after its dropped and she walks away - the audience is too wowed by the change to notice he flips the rim over, hiding any clothes left behind.

On the green-to-purple transition, as thephrog noticed, he does something behind her back. You also can see the dress unfolding during the transition. Looks almost spring-loaded!
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  11:46 AM
All i can say is WOW. This is an exceptional performance/trick.

But now, did they win the competition that night?? I would have voted for them... but then again, i didn't see any of the other performances.

Gonna have to tune into this show sometime. but what's up with the judge selections? Brandy and David Hasselhoff? c'mon wink
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  12:47 PM
I've seen them up close and in person several times at the Palace in Detroit (actually Auburn Hills). I've been within 15 feet of them during their performances and the illusion is almost as good that close. I'm pretty sure she wears all of the clothes and the flip down/off with snaps and velcro. If you're close you can see a bit of bulk to the clothing, but not enough to ruin the illusion.
Posted by Trace  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  12:56 PM
Notice when they do the glitter pink-to-white trick at the end of the show, when the glitter falls and she is then in white, look at the glitter, you can see pink. Trust me, it is there, I saw it when I watched the show on TV. But still, even if she was wearing all the clothes beneath others, she went from long dress to short dress, back to long dress, and the like. The only way I can think she would be able to pull it off it she had the bottoms folded up.

Either way, this is a fairly simple trick, but yet people are amazed by it because they don't know what's going to happen, so they don't look for it.
Posted by RedNeckOreo  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  04:00 PM
"Either way, this is a fairly simple trick"

Dude, no offense, but no friggin' way this is a fairly simple trick. I bet if you practiced it yourself for weeks, (even with the right props) you would not be able to perform it as well as this couple does. The premise of trick may be simple with the right equipment, but the way these two perform this trick takes talent, skill, and a ton of practice. And even with those, there are probably a lot professional dancers and magicians who cannot perform it as well as these two...
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  04:07 PM
I agree with Grain. The principle is simple, just as the principle of juggling nine flaming hatchets in the air is simple, but these performers are incredibly skilled at their tricks. That doesn't come without a lot of hard work.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Jefferson, Texas  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  08:59 PM
I have seen this act live 3 or 4 times at the Orlando Arena. It is spectacular and they perform the act with viewers on all sides.
Posted by gcason  in  Mickey Mouse Land  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  07:08 AM
I meant simple principle, you just pull off your clothes quickly and try to hide them, but, yes, I know it is a hard trick to actually do. Sorry for confusion.
Posted by RedNeckOreo  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  09:30 AM
come on that looks so easy! mr. man who runs this website just made it sound like its hard. i do it all the time.
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis City, Wonderopolis  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  09:59 AM
ya, I used frame step on media player classic and I saw a green piece of cloth being pulled off revealing a purple dress underneath. it looked VERY thin, I think they could possibly be used to hold parts of the outfits, like the skirt, to fall out when ripped. You can definately see similar shapes to the dresses as well.

I could send in a showing what I said, If you REALLY wanna see....
Posted by Adam Dovick  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  12:36 AM
Its clear that there is trick clothing that involes being covered while the clothes are either removed or flipped..However I have a theory for the glitter. He makes sure the glitter gets dumped on her, not thrown in front of her as a curtain. I think the red dress and the final dress are the same dress on the fabric is some kind of color change fabric the glliter appears to be held in a plastic bag would would help keep it "cold" while under the lights....
Posted by Gutgut  in  Bay Area SF  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  10:55 AM
If you watch her right before the glitter falls, she positions both hands on the straps of the dress near her hands. I think she releases hooks right as the glitter falls. The timing would have to be perfect, but it would explain how she does it!
Posted by Shawn  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  12:45 PM
Shawn is right.. as the glitter falls so does the dress, my bad, still that must take ALOT of practice to pull of as seemlessly as they did, I would bet they have a ton of video of themselves messing up..
she looks ALOT thicker at the beginning than the end...
Posted by Gutgut  in  Bay Area SF  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  04:39 PM
There is another version of it on youtube.
Posted by samemo  in  australian  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  02:01 AM
They do perform this act very well. But Piers Morgan, the British judge, was dead on with his criticism of the fact that each time, it was the same act. Great as part of a Vegas show, but you gotta have more than a 90 second magic act to win the prize. Many Vegas shows have one of these acts, and amazing as it is the first time you see it, one trick, no matter how well played, does not a professional magic act make.
Posted by Piers fan  in  Citrus Heights, California  on  Fri Aug 18, 2006  at  02:40 AM
I believe it's done by burning/chemical destruction of the dresses in sequence--which is why she gets thinner. Two materials are used so that only one dress destroys itself at a time.
Posted by Tom  in  england  on  Wed Aug 08, 2007  at  03:44 PM
I dunno guys...I think she's a witch
Posted by John  on  Tue Aug 14, 2007  at  06:04 PM
I'll tip it. Right before each outfit change, as he gets things ready, she pops a colored gaseous capsule and when the change is needed, she emits a thunderous ass burp (which is why loud music is needed during performance) which expels it's colorful gas from her bulbous butt biscuit and dies her dress that color. Very simple.
Posted by Mr. Magic  in  Somewhere over the rainbow.....  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  10:52 PM
if you look closely when the girl changes from the yellow and black costume into the green one - the gold covering is lifted up and you can just see there is fabric covering - where the clothes could be stored. Not a clue on how they change so fast though.
Posted by Brian cohen  in  England  on  Mon Oct 08, 2007  at  02:00 PM
The change where you see the "tattered" covering you can see her dress almost roll down. Its around :56 :59.
Posted by Ed  in  Behind you  on  Fri Dec 14, 2007  at  08:25 PM
To RedNeckOreo you are wrong. You only see pink in the glitter because of the spotlight on her reflecting the color of the pink dress. And why do the clothes have to be super thin? 8 Layers don't make you look that thick. And to Gutgut why would they film themselves? They are professionals they wouldn't have videos of themselves messing up. This sort of magic is really skilled so there would be no mistakes, even if you just started it. And also to Piers Fan watch their video of them on a basketball halftime show before you judge. Just search for Quick Change halftime show.
Posted by Andrew  on  Sun Dec 16, 2007  at  01:31 PM
I dont see what the big mystery is guys.
The answer is simple....They have both obviously sold their souls to the devil for special abilities.

Obvious answer really....don't understand why no-one else saw it.


Posted by JoffaBoyInOz  in  Australia  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  06:10 AM
Hey JoffaBoyInOz that was the absolutely the dumbest thing I have ever heard. No magicians sells their souls to a non-existant being.
Posted by Andrew.  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  02:11 PM
If you watch the transition from the green outfit to the blue dress using the hoop, he uses his right hand to release something on her back. Watch closely as the green fabric at her neck lets go first and the blue fabric of her skirt then falls. It appears the blue dress was hiding around her torso under the green outfit and when the green outfit came apart (from the waist up), the torso section of the green outfit dangled underneath the fabric of the skirt.
Posted by Cassie  in  San Angelo, TX  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  02:52 PM
I think these people are just truly supernatural magicians using some ancient craft from Africa consisting of voodoo, witchery and some spooky spells which just cause clothes to materialize and disappear.
Posted by ralph wiggum  on  Thu Apr 10, 2008  at  09:54 PM
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