A lot of people get in contact and ask if I’m a stage magician (as opposed to the popular close up magic were you perform 1 on 1). I do perform on a stage, so the answer is yes. But, there are lots of different types of stage magicians.
The the type of stage magician that you’d need for your event, depends on how big the stage it, what else you have going on, the audience etc. Sometimes it’s best to have a magician perform a 45 minute show, interacting with your audience. Sometimes, a magician who has a visual manipulation type act, producing playing cards and doves etc could be the best answer. I’ve set the 5 main different styles below of stage magic.
Comedy Stage Magician
This is what I do. This is an act that is, for the most part, speaking during the tricks and often using members of the audience as volunteers. Usually the volunteers come on stage and are asked to help with the magic. This is lots of fun as everyone is different so it keeps the show fresh. Also, it adds a connection to the audience knowing that ‘one of ours’ is getting close to the action. A good example of the the type of trick a comedy stage magician might do is to ask to borrow a personal object (credit card, watch etc). They make that object disappear and appear somewhere impossible (such as inside a lemon or a walnut!).
Most of the tricks are performed with comedy and is perfect for most events. For more details, please see after dinner at corporate events. It’s also the type of magic that I’ve performed on TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, The Next Great Magician and Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
The stage illusionist is slightly different. This will usually involve large scale illusions and assistants. For instance, you might typically see the famous ‘Sawing a Lady in Half’ or get a magician levitating a member of the audience. Most of these acts have a minimum of 2 people and are perfect when you’ve got a huge audience (and a huge budget). Often, if you see a show in Las Vegas in will involve large scale illusions. David Copperfield has been the the leader in this field for over 30 years. If you ever go to Vegas I can highly recommend his show, currently at the MGM Grand.
I love watching these acts. The magician in this case often has an act that can last up to 12 minutes. It’s almost always silent (to music, but no speaking). The magician will make playing cards appear as well other small object that can be manipulated with sleight of hand (coins, mobile phones, thimbles, billiard balls etc). The magic is beautiful to watch and is clear that the performer has spent many hundreds of hours perfecting each small movement. Although we do have a few good ones in the UK, the magicians in South Korea completely lead this area of magic.
The mind reader can be a perfect act for on stage. It can usually work pretty much anywhere with no big and involved set up (unlike the stage illusionists who usually require hours to set up and to pack away after).
The mind reading tricks are often quite brilliant and can really resonate well with an audience. For instance, you can tell someone their bank PIN or a word they are just thinking of. One problem with the mind reader is they can often take themselves quite seriously and the acts can be slightly dull and self indulgent at times. There’s often a long set up before the exciting trick bit at the end.
Of course, some are excellent at it and can be very entertaining (Derren Brown for instance is not only excellent, but also really funny and entertaining). I think I’m quite entertaining whilst I do it, but then again, I would!
Close Up Stage Magician
A close up stage magician sounds like an oxymoron. However, now that projectors are fairly inexpensive and much better quality it’s becoming more possible. Close up magicians can perform an act on a close up pad with a camera and project it on to a screen so everyone can see. I love this type of magic when done well. It’s great that everyone can enjoy the magic and still have the feeling of a close up magician. It’s the type of thing that has made a star of Shin Lim on shows like America’s Got Talent.
To book some stage magic for your event, contact Alan Hudson here
Photo by kind permission of https://www.christopherpickettphotography.com/about/
What type of stage magician should I book?
It all depends on your audience, the size of the audience and how long you’d want. For instance, you might to book 1 person to entertain your guests with comedy magic for 30 minutes after dinner. If you are booking a manipulation act, they generally last around 12 minutes so you may need to book several acts
Is the magic still amazing for a comedy stage magician?
This will all depend on the magician you book. Tommy Cooper is a well known comedy stage magician and although funny, the magic wasn’t great. Many comedy magicians nowadays have fantastic magic along with the comedy.
How many types of stage magicians are there?
You can have comedy magicians, illusionists, manipulation acts, mind readers and close up stage magicians. Some others are variations on these (such as stage magicians that perform straight magic)