I’ve really been interested in Apollo Robbins (website: www.Istealstuff.com—really) since reading this New Yorker profile. Robbins is an entertainer whose act is picking the pockets of his audience members, who are aware that he is trying to pick their pockets, yet are fooled all the same.
In the several videos I’ve seen, Robbins always does pretty much the exact same routine. And so it is with the video below, from a recent TED Talk in Edinburgh, Scotland. But since every TED talk must have a high-falutin theme, Robbins first does a gloss about the transitive nature of human attention, on which he is, no doubt, an expert. Unfortunately, the camera work and editing of this video is terrible during some of the close-up sequence. Don’t TED directors block these things?
But aside from that, in this trick Robbins pulls off a pretty neat trick on the entire audience. He definitely got me. Watch to the end and see. (And for a better view of Robbins’s close up work, including some of the moves the TED cameras missed, watch this.)