Magic tricks lay at the heart of the art of magic and a performance, so the amount of work and practice that magicians put into their tricks is understandable. All magic is based on a set of principles that have been designed and used for centuries and when performing magic tricks magicians rely on sleight of hand to pull them off in front of crowds. For this reason, the fact that there is a trick to every piece of magic, a magician’s performance has come to be named a set of magic tricks instead of just magic.
We know that there is an explanation behind all magic tricks, but those explanations are not always obvious to viewers. Keeping the trick concealed and unapparent to the crowd is the main job of the magician, if his audience were to figure out or notice the trick, all element of surprise would be lost and the magic show is over. For this reason, there is also an unspoken code among magicians regarding the basic principles and sleight of hand that is used. In keeping these basic practices secret, magicians can perform their tricks confident that their audience will not be able to easily guess at how the tricks are being accomplished.
Even though all magicians base their magic tricks off the same set of principles and use some degree of sleight of hand, creating their own tricks and performance is integral to the art of a magician. Over time, magicians will create signature magic tricks or become better in one form of magic over the others. Each type of magic trick falls into a different category, and magicians may work more towards performing one than another. A vanishing and a production are two of the oldest types of magic illusions and the most commonly performed tricks. Other illusions like, predictions and penetrations are not considered by everyone to be an entire type of illusion on their own for one or several reasons.
The many schools of magic and magic tricks that are performed are generally past down from magician to magician, but no magician will share his secrets with someone who refuses to take a magician’s oath. Only then can someone train to learn the magic tricks of other magicians and learn enough sleight of hand to be able to create their own routines. The sharing of techniques and execution by all magicians regardless of skill level is important to the continued life of the trade. For this reason, not only do magicians pass on their knowledge to those that will work with them, but they form clubs or groups of trusted magicians in order to share information with each other.
While the presentation of magic can be in any form, from the theatrical to the serious to the horrific, the magic tricks are the root of the show. Without good knowledge of the principles of magic and hard work to master sleight of hand, convincing magic tricks are just not possible.
By: Robert Westgate
MagicShop.co.uk is one of the UK's largest magic shops. The company supply and manufacture magic tricks, books, DVDs and accessories to both professional and amateur magicians worldwide.