What comes in to your mind when you hear the word "magic"? What is magic? What is the ART of magic? According to World Book Online Encyclopedia, "The word magic also refers to entertainment in which the performer does tricks of so-called magic. In such entertainment, neither the magicians nor the audience believes that the performer has supernatural powers."
On the other hand, Paul Harris who is the author of "The Art of Astonishment" defines magicians as "guides to astonishment". Thus, magic can be defined as "an application of guided astonishment."
The three main branches of magic are "stage magic", "parlor magic" and "close-up magic". Stage magic is any magic that can be done on a stage. Stage magic is used to depict the imagination. On the other hand, there's also "stand-up" magic. If you've ever seen the Amazing Johnathan or Paul Kozak perform, you've been witness to stand-up magic.
Magic can be categorized by the motivations and the performance styles, but it does not end there. Here are some of the types of magic according to motivation:
Parlor magic is performed right on the same floor level as the audience, as opposed to a raised stage. Gospel is a special type of parlor magic that is used to demonstrate religious (mostly Christian) concepts. With the replacement of intimate nightclubs by super-mega-nightclubs and comedy clubs, classic parlor magic is rarely seen today.
A distinctive branch of magic has developed quite recently, called "close-up". Close-up magic, like the other styles of magic, has developed its own individual genres. Other types of close-up magic are "table-hopping", "walk-around" and "street magic". All these magic happens in the magician's and/or spectator's hands. This form of magic has become increasingly popular due to its intimate nature.
After discussing the various ways and motivations of magic, it seems appropriate to talk about the various types of "magic". Eugene Burger, who co-authored the entitled "Magic and Meaning", he mentioned the divisions of magic. First, there is the "primary magic" which is the imagination.
Secondary magic, on the other hand, is drawn out of the imagination and into the physical world. These include "ritual" magic and "stage" magic. Ritual magic is directed to enhance some aspect of life. A good example of this is magic performed by an Indian shaman (i.e. the rain dance around a campfire). Unlike stage magic, ritual magic relies on the imagination itself.
Other types of magic are:
Detached magic, which is a form of ritual magic, wherein the symbols used do not have direct significance to the individual invoking the magic.
Reflexive or trickster magic uses deception. This differs from reduced deceptive magic as it focuses on reminding and telling audiences its deceptive nature. Such include gambling displays and "sucker tricks.
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