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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} {{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} Magic (sometimes referred to as stage magic to distinguish it from paranormal or ritual magic) is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible<ref>Henning Nelms. Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers, page 1 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc, 2000).</ref> or supernatural<ref>Jim Steinmeyer. "A New Kind of Magic," in Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear (New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003).</ref> feats using natural means. These feats are called magic tricks, effects or illusions. A professional who performs such illusions is called a stage magician or an illusionist. Some performers may also be referred to by names reflecting the type of magical effects they present, such as prestidigitators, conjurors, hypnotists, mentalists, or escapologists.

The first book containing explanations of magic tricks appeared in 1584. During the 1600s many similar books were published that described magic tricks. Until the 18th century magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who had a magic theatre in Paris in 1845. John Henry Anderson was pioneering the same transition in London in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 1800s, large magic shows permanently staged at big theatre venues became the norm.<ref name="History of Magic">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> As a form of entertainment, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television magic specials.

Opinions vary among magicians on how to categorize a given effect, but a number of categories have been developed. Magicians may pull a rabbit from an empty hat, make something seem to disappear, or transform a red silk handkerchief into a white handkerchief. Magicians may also destroy something, like cutting a rope, and then "restore" it, make something appear to move from one place to another, or they may escape from a restraining device. Other illusions include making something appear to defy gravity, making a solid object appear to pass through another object, or appearing to predict the choice of a spectator. Many magical routines use combinations of effects.

Traditionally, magicians refuse to reveal the methods behind their tricks to the audience. Membership in professional magicians' organizations often requires a commitment never to reveal the secrets of magic to non-magicians. The teaching of performance magic was once a secretive practice.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Magic performances tend to fall into a few specialties or genres. Stage illusions use large-scale props and even large animals. Platform magic is performed for a medium to large audience. Close-up magic is performed with the audience close to the magician. Escapology involves escapes from confinement or restraints. Pickpocket magicians take audience members' wallets, belts, and ties. Mentalism creates the illusion that the magician can read minds. Comedy magic is the use of magic combined with stand-up comedy, an example being Penn & Teller. Some modern illusionists believe that it is unethical to give a performance that claims to be anything other than a clever and skillful deception. Others argue that they can claim that the effects are due to magic. These apparently irreconcilable differences of opinion have led to some conflicts among performers. Another issue is the use of deceptive practices for personal gain outside the venue of a magical performance. Examples include fraudulent mediums, con men and grifters who use deception for cheating at card games.


Magic (illusion) sections
Intro  History   Categories of effects    Learning magic    Types of magic performance    Misuse of magic    Researching magic    See also    References    Further reading   External links  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} {{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} Magic (sometimes referred to as stage magic to distinguish it from paranormal or ritual magic) is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible<ref>Henning Nelms. Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers, page 1 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc, 2000).</ref> or supernatural<ref>Jim Steinmeyer. "A New Kind of Magic," in Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear (New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003).</ref> feats using natural means. These feats are called magic tricks, effects or illusions. A professional who performs such illusions is called a stage magician or an illusionist. Some performers may also be referred to by names reflecting the type of magical effects they present, such as prestidigitators, conjurors, hypnotists, mentalists, or escapologists.

The first book containing explanations of magic tricks appeared in 1584. During the 1600s many similar books were published that described magic tricks. Until the 18th century magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who had a magic theatre in Paris in 1845. John Henry Anderson was pioneering the same transition in London in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 1800s, large magic shows permanently staged at big theatre venues became the norm.<ref name="History of Magic">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> As a form of entertainment, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television magic specials.

Opinions vary among magicians on how to categorize a given effect, but a number of categories have been developed. Magicians may pull a rabbit from an empty hat, make something seem to disappear, or transform a red silk handkerchief into a white handkerchief. Magicians may also destroy something, like cutting a rope, and then "restore" it, make something appear to move from one place to another, or they may escape from a restraining device. Other illusions include making something appear to defy gravity, making a solid object appear to pass through another object, or appearing to predict the choice of a spectator. Many magical routines use combinations of effects.

Traditionally, magicians refuse to reveal the methods behind their tricks to the audience. Membership in professional magicians' organizations often requires a commitment never to reveal the secrets of magic to non-magicians. The teaching of performance magic was once a secretive practice.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Magic performances tend to fall into a few specialties or genres. Stage illusions use large-scale props and even large animals. Platform magic is performed for a medium to large audience. Close-up magic is performed with the audience close to the magician. Escapology involves escapes from confinement or restraints. Pickpocket magicians take audience members' wallets, belts, and ties. Mentalism creates the illusion that the magician can read minds. Comedy magic is the use of magic combined with stand-up comedy, an example being Penn & Teller. Some modern illusionists believe that it is unethical to give a performance that claims to be anything other than a clever and skillful deception. Others argue that they can claim that the effects are due to magic. These apparently irreconcilable differences of opinion have led to some conflicts among performers. Another issue is the use of deceptive practices for personal gain outside the venue of a magical performance. Examples include fraudulent mediums, con men and grifters who use deception for cheating at card games.


Magic (illusion) sections
Intro  History   Categories of effects    Learning magic    Types of magic performance    Misuse of magic    Researching magic    See also    References    Further reading   External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: History
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