For four seasons, Michael Carbonaro, who just happens to be a magician, has been performing illusions and tricks on unsuspecting people in front of hidden cameras on the aptly named, The Carbonaro Effect.  

After nearly 100 episodes, it’s no surprise viewers are beginning to suspect that the reactions — and the “everyday situations” — are fake and that the magic is really the work of clever editing. 

So, is The Carbonaro Effect staged? 

According to Michael, yes and no. The truTV series kicks off with Michael usually pretending to be a retail employee, while the final longer act is more elaborate and requires more planning. 

In order to accomplish this, Michael and his team use six cameras, to capture all the action, and simple tricks like footprint decals to unknowingly have people in the right position. And yes, it usually requires more than one take. 


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