Stage Magic Secrets Revealed by Theater Performers

A New Jersey theater performer has revealed the "magic" behind the scenes of a production, and showed exactly how it all happens.

Performer Caleb Duffy is a part of the Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville, New Jersey, but has been giving behind the scenes looks to people all around the world through his TikTok videos.

Two days ago, Duffy posted footage of co-performer Emily Cobb manually working the "magic" behind the production of Matilda. Of course, audience members are likely aware that Matilda's object moving isn't real, but exactly how it's done isn't so obvious.

The first guess may be wires or strings of some kind, but Duffy's video showed Cobb hidden behind the table, spinning the cup from underneath herself with a stick. To the audience, who can't see Cobb, the cup appeared to be moving by itself.

She then glanced over to the camera, before grabbing the actors' jackets from inside the table, which is actually a pommel horse covered in fabric, and handed them over.

Hilariously, she then climbed into the table and tucked herself into it before being carted off stage by other cast members.


When you have to be the magician and the magicians assistant #theatre #musicaltheatre #broadway #matilda #fyp #magic @emilyecobb

♬ original sound - Caleb Duffy

In just the two days since it was posted, the video has gained over 870,000 likes from fascinated viewers, while some were still left with questions.

"I think they can see the feet," wrote one TikTok user, referencing Cobb's feet which, from the angle of the video, appeared to be hanging over the edge.

Duffy confirmed, however, that the feet were out of sight, writing: "The pommel horse it's on has a flap that hangs down to the floor in the front."

"I so badly want to see how it looks from the audience," wrote another user.

Other videos shared by Duffy continue to show the secrets behind theater, including one video again featuring Cobb along with other cast members. Needing to come on stage without being seen, three cast members crawl out from the stage curtain one by one, before lining up behind the table.

On July 18, Duffy also gained over 1 million views sharing an off-stage look at a quick costume change in Head Over Heels. The performer simply walked behind one of the backgrounds and stepped into his costume, supported by other waiting cast members.

The TikToking performer confirmed in comments that nobody in the crown seats are able to see what's happening, as there are no crown seats. Music Mountain Theater is a community theater, with "a 250-seat orchestra so no one sees it."

Newsweek has contacted Caleb Duffy for comment.

Woman singing in theater
Rosie Aldridge from Glyndebourne tests the accoustics on stage in the main auditorium during the first viewing of the interior at the new Marlowe Theater on September 27, 2011 in Canterbury, England. A theater in America has gone viral for showing behind the scenes. Getty Images