The Art of Magic

Home FISM Results Types of Magic Magic Performances


Over the years, magic has branched out into several forms. Magicians have specialized so much that it's not uncommon to find an expert mentalist who can't handle cards for his life. There are five main categories of magic.

Stage Illusion
This form of magic often uses big props. Humans or animals are also commonly involved. Tricks include sawing a woman in half, vanishing a large object, or levitating a person or object.

Stage Manipulation
This form of magic often uses small props that can fit in a hand comfortably, like coins, cards, or billiard balls. This involves vanishes, appearances, transformations, and color changes.

Close-up Magic
This form of magic also uses small props like coins and cards. Close-up magic is performed with common objects that laypeople are familiar with. This form of magic is performed right next to or in front of spectators, making clean execution and misdirection vital. Tricks include just about every card trick and every coin trick.

Harry Houdini popularized this form of magic in the 1900's. Escapes from locked boxes, underwater, and underground are common.

Mentalism is about creating the illusion that the mentalist can read minds. Tricks often involve predictions and thoughts.