28 Jul Magic Shows! Is it only for kids?
“Oh you are a magician! So do you perform at kids birthday parties?”
That is still one of the most common questions that i get when i tell people that I’m a magician. Although many magicians do kids magic shows when they are first starting out, me included as well, magic entertainment can suitable for audiences of all ages both young and old.
There is actually quite a few categories of magic shows or “themes” that can be suitable for different events or depending on the occasion. I would like to briefly introduce some of these here in this post.
Close Up Magic or sometimes can also be known as “Street Magic” to some people, is a close up performance for a few people at a time. The spectator gets to be up close to the action that’s taking a place and is a very interactive experience between the performer and the spectators. The magic illusions can even take place in your hands! These performances utilized a lot of everyday common objects such as playing cards, coins, dollar notes, rubber bands, pens or even just plain pieces of paper. Many magicians that became famous and have their own TV shows perform quite a number of close up magic in their shows. One example is David Blaine who popularized “Street Magic” where he perform to random strangers on the street and also famous asian magicians such as Lu Chen and Cyril Takayama.
Close Up Magic can be perform either both walk-about to groups of people or seated at a table with a few spectators around it witnessing the spectacle. It is most suitable for events such as weddings, cocktail parties, networking events or even carnivals where the performer approaches different groups of people to interact and entertain them.
Stand Up Magic or also known as Parlor Magic in the magicians community is also a form of performance style where the magician performs his illusions in front of slightly larger groups of people anywhere between 10 to 50 who are seated indoors. These illusions are still considered quite small scale so they don’t really play well on the big stage that’s mainly reserved for the big illusions but they are larger than close up magic and can be seen by more people. Just imagine a performance of a scale that’s no larger than your living room. This is why most Kids Magic Shows also follow this format of performance where you have the groups of kids either sitting on the floor or chairs indoors. Of course such a style of performance can be suitable as well for small company events or as an interim entertainment during seminars. Some of the common illusions presented are classics of magic such as cups and balls, linking chinese rings, ropes illusions or just making use of giant playing cards so that the large group is able to view it from across the room.
Another different category of Stand Up performance is one of a Mind Reading act or also known as Mentalism, where the performer is able to read, influence or predict the spectators’ thoughts. For such performances, usually one or more volunteers from the audience will be invited on stage to participate in the show.
Nowadays with the advance of technology, Stand Up Magic can also be presented on stage in front of ballroom size audiences with cameras and projected screens showing the action that’s taking place.
Stage Magic is on a bigger and grander scale than the rest of the performance styles. Think David Copperfield and you could immediately visualize the illusion of him being cut into half by a sawing blade. Many stage magicians utilizes big props and often have one or more assistants participating in the performances. They also have a crew supporting him behind the scenes to help manage all the logistics and handling of the big illusions. There’s a lot more going on than just presenting the illusions. The overall ambience of the show such as the lighting, music & sound effects needs to be taken care of as well to ensure that it’s going to be an immersive experience even for the spectator that’s sitting the furthest away from the stage.
I hope this brief introduction gives you a better understanding about the different types of Magic Shows. For myself, mine performance style are within the first two categories of Close Up Magic and Stand Magic/Mind Reading Show for i love the experience of being able to interact and engage real-time with the spectators that I am performing for. Each performance is always different from the previous one even though the illusions presented could be similar as each group of spectators react differently thus giving me the challenge to able to improvise and “think on my feet”.
So yes, although we do perform magic for kids as well, sometimes the widest smiles & reactions that we have seen are from adults because just maybe, we all still have an inner child somewhere in us that still wish to feel amazement and believe in magic 🙂