P.E.I.'s Dave Moses is no stranger to the magic of television.

The writer/producer/actor has credits that range from the comedy Robson Arms to the gritty, real-life Emergency: Life & Death at VGH, set in Vancouver General Hospital's emergency room.

And then there's the surreal life of the upcoming Real Housewives of Toronto.

But he's now also involved in some actual magic on TV, thanks to the current show Tricked, airing on YTV.

Tricked takes magic out into the streets, and into hidden camera situations, capturing the reaction of some very surprised victims.

It turns out that in addition to all his acting and writing, Moses has always been a magic fan too, and even has a mind-reading act.

si-moses-magician

Dave Moses will occasionally do his mind-reading act on the streets of Vancouver, just to keep his chops up. (davemoses.ca)

"Working in TV, you have weeks, and occasionally, months where you have no work at all," he told Matt Rainnie of Island Morning. "During those times, I would busk. I still have a busking show, and was doing it just a couple of months ago before this latest show that I'm working on now came up, and that's how I keep my chops honed."

When the job of 'magic producer'  for Tricked came open, he had the right talents, a knowledge of reality TV production, and the magic background.

"We basically come up with different tricks for our magician to perform, in different kinds of scenarios," said Moses. "There's pranks, that sort of thing."

Hidden camera 

The hidden camera is the key innovation in the show, he said.

"People don't know that they're watching a trick," Moses explained. "People just think that they're going through their day, and then something strange happens, and then typically it gets stranger and stranger. Sometimes they get frightened, and then other times they just think it's the most hilarious thing in the world."

Of course, the viewer gets to see both the trick, and the reaction, and both are fun.

The old chicken-in-the-bag-trick

"There was a young lady who walked up to sort of a deli counter," he gave as an example. "They asked for a chicken sandwich, and it's packed up in front of them, and when they go, 'You forgot to put the chicken in my sandwich,' he opens up the bag, and there's a live chicken in the bag."

That's one he said really clicked. Or clucked. However, Moses said they didn't all work like magic, and like everything in television, it turned out to be a lot of work to do the show.

"It was a dream for a very long time, but there's that expression, you have to be careful what you wish for," he said. "I don't think I picked up a magic book or a deck of cards for a couple of months after I finished on that show. The show is a half-hour long, and it has on average 10 tricks per episode. So that's 200 tricks, and that doesn't include the ones we decided not to do."

You can get Tricked yourself, as the show airs Monday to Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on YTV.

With files from Island Morning