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PhotobucketLet me share with you a YouTube magic performance of a trick that ends in an apparent severe injury to, or even in the death of, one of the performers.

The video went viral over the weekend, racking up 2.2 million views on the views meter.

It shows two German kids—Michel and Sven—performing a magic trick (actually the tablecloth stunt) that ends badly when a bookshelf falls over and (apparently) crushes one of them.

PhotobucketThe tablecloth stunt is not, of course, the performance. It is only the story that the presentation of the real trick—that of a child getting crushed by a bookshelf— rides on.

Like any good magic performance, it shocked and awed millions of viewers. It may even have made some armchair magicians chuckle at the ridiculousness of the scene, were it not for the tinge of alarm they might have felt when they realized the deadly seriousness of the accident.

PhotobucketNot to worry, though. The video was staged, not real. Michel and Sven are all right. Their performance is part of a viral advertising campaign for a German variety show called GOP Varietéshow.  The campaign is called Stoppt Die Show.

On the campaign’s website is an explanation in German, which roughly translates to the following:

“Do you believe everything that you see on the Web?  No psychological or physical harm has come to any of the guests of GOP vaudeville shows.  Michael and Sven are enjoying perfect health and their mother, Mrs. Boeckel, is an enthusiastic supporter of GOP.”

I share this video to my readers so they can dissect it and find what magic principles are at work that make it convincing, amazing, and even entertaining to 2.2 million (and growing) viewers.

If a magic performer can find those principles, then he can put it to good use in his own shows to stage his own convincing, amazing and entertaining performance.

Here’s the video clip.

Stay magical,