Magicians have been entertaining us for centuries with card tricks, escaping from various locked items and even pulling rabbits out of hats. You may think to yourself that magic is just magic and that there isn’t any difference between one trick and another, but there is. There are four basic types of magic:
• Sleight of hand
• Club or platform acts
• Escape magic or Escapology
• Mentalism ~ mind-reading
Each of these types can be broken down into other sections of magic as well. But what are these four main types of magic? How are they different from each other?
Sleight of hand
This type of magic has also been called prestidigitation and it is a technique used by magicians the world over to set up and produce the effect they are looking for in their tricks. It is used in conjunction with different skills such as misdirection to produce the desired effect in the trick. Card tricks and close up magic are mostly used but it can be used in most any magic including stage magic. There are various different types of sleights and they are broken into groups as well.
Club or platform and stage acts
This type of magic that is performed in clubs or on stage is usually performed for medium to large crowds. They encompass stage illusions with a sprinkling of other types of magic tossed in for good measure every now and then. Most tricks performed by these magicians are angle sensitive and would be hard to perform as a close-up magician. Club magicians will however encompass some close-up into their acts to add that extra “wow” to the act.
Escape magic or escapology
Escapology has been around for a very long time and is the practice of escaping from restraints and objects. Escapologists, as the artists are called, will escape from everything from handcuffs to burning buildings or any combination thereof. It was originally used to secretly create illusions during other magic acts like disappearance or transmutation. Harry Houdini made a name for himself being a well-known escapologist. Now magicians that use this practice are taking it farther and farther as to what they can escape out of.
Mentalism is the act or illusion of mind reading. Mentalists have been practicing as early on as 1572. But can be traced back further counting seers and Oracles in Ancient Greece and the Old Testament of the Bible. Mentalists have sometimes been called psychic entertainers; they appear to use telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, hypnosis, and much more to read the minds of their audience and tell them what they are thinking. One of the most well-known magicians of this century is Derren Brown who has performed mind reading on whole audiences.
Magicians will combine several types of magic in their acts to create a wonderful show making the audience happy and have them wondering, “How did they do that?” Tricks such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat, card tricks, levitation, and many more types of magic tricks, are still being used. These tricks are also being tailored to audiences and given upgrades for the times as well.