There’s a mystical feeling of awe in magic, sparked in a person’s mind with staged tricks and illusions performed by talented magicians (sometimes referred to as ‘illusionists’). One of the oldest forms of performing arts in the world, magic shows have been popular entertainment for centuries, and magic tricks continue to evolve and amaze us.
For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice. — Joseph Dunninger (1892 – 1975), aka ‘The Amazing Dunninger’, pioneer performer of magic on radio and television
TRICKS of the TRADE
Magicians pull rabbits out of an empty hat, make objects seem to disappear or move from one place to another, transform the colors of a silk handkerchief, destroy something (like cutting off a head or tearing a dollar bill) and restore it, and escape from a restraining device [Harry Houdini (1874 – 1926) was known as the ‘Handcuff King’]. Other illusions include making something appear to defy gravity (levitation), making a solid object appear to pass through another object, and predicting the choice of a spectator (e.g., a specific card from a deck, word or number). Really, there are many different types of tricks, and magic acts often use several combinations of effects.
Creating “real” magic moments while faced with fast-paced technological advances during the last 50 years has presented challenges for magicians. However, Doug McKenzie, a New York-based magician and mentalist, has found innovative ways to merge traditional magic tricks with 21st century tech. Absolutely, crazy amazing. Watch these videos and see McKenzie in action.
LEARNING MAGIC TRICKS
Magic is a fun to learn creative art form, but the teaching of magic was at one time quite secretive, and professional magicians were often unwilling to share their knowledge and magic tricks with hobbyists and amateurs. Today, there are many books (See Magic Trick Instruction Book Selections), videos and online ‘how-to’ resources available to beginners. However, there’s more to magic than learning some tricks. It takes study, training, and lots of practice. How to Learn Magic Tricks (with Pictures), WikiHow
Jay Sankey shares his secret to reading minds using a paper napkin in this video demo.
Watch this ‘how-to’ video demonstration of a cool card trick for beginners.
Magic clubs offer an opportunity for new and experienced magicians to help one another learn and improve. There are usually minimum requirements, auditions and club membership fees. Here’s → a list of magic clubs around the world
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Levitation performed by P.C. Sorcar (Magician), Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library Digital Collections
5 of Diamonds Card magic feature photo, Omid Armin/Unsplash CC0
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