About Magic and Illusions

Magic is a great art, and it is performed in a variety of ways. Stage magic is mainly performing art which entertains the common public by creating illusions or staging tricks which could seem impossible. An individual who does perform such illusions is known as an illusionist or a magician. Some of the performers are also known as names due to the kind of magical effect that is presented by them such as mentalists, conjurors, escape artists or prestidigitators.

The term "magic" has been derived from a Latin word "magi" which is a term that the Zoroastrians were referred as. Magic has been used for a variety of purposes from time immemorial. It has been used to entertain as well as to cheat. The same amount of creativity which was used to produce some famous deceptions like the Trojan Horse was also used for entertaining purposes or even for cheating in many money games since time unknown. They were used by practitioners who belonged to different cults for the purpose of frightening uneducated people and turn them into believers.

There were many discussions amongst different magicians as to how a particular effect should be categorized as well as to the disagreements regarding the kind of categories do exist. For example, some of the magicians consider "penetrations" to belong to a different category while there are others who consider this as a form of teleportation or restoration.

Some of the effects are mentioned below.

  • Production: This is when a magician can produce something out of nothing such as a rabbit from a hat or cards from just thin air, coins from a bucket which is empty, doves coming out of a pan, etc. All such effects are known as productions.
  • Vanish: The effects of vanish as name suggests is to make something disappear such as a dove, coins, assistant from a shelf. Vanish is nothing but the opposite of production and the magic could also be using the same kind of technique in reverse.
  • Transformation: This is when a magician can transform from one particular state to another such as a handkerchief changing its color, a lady becoming a tiger etc. A transformation could be seen with combining production and vanish.
  • Restoration: In this case, the magician could destroy an object and get it back to its original condition. For example, a newspaper being torn, a rope being cut, a watch smashed into pieces and get them all back in its original form.
  • Teleportation: A magician could cause something to move from a particular place to another. Such as a borrowed ring being found inside a ball of cotton, an assistant from the back of a theatre getting to a shelf etc. when the two objects tend to change places it is known transposition or double teleportation.


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