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What Does a Magician Do?

Magicians perform magic tricks like pulling rabbits out of hats.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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A magician typically performs a number of different tasks related to his or her profession, including learning different tricks, finding venues for work, and performing tricks in front of an audience. Learning and practicing magic tricks is one of the most important and time-consuming aspects of the work done by magicians and is often an ongoing process. Magicians also typically find ways to profit from their time and knowledge, usually by joining professional groups and looking for opportunities to give performances. A magician might also spend a great deal of time coming up with new tricks to perform, which may require extensive practice and construction of props.

Also known as an illusionist, a magician is typically a person who performs stage magic or similar tricks that are usually based on illusions and sleight of hand. This work often begins with learning magic tricks, frequently including prestidigitation and manipulation of objects such as playing cards and coins. Not only does a magician have to learn how a trick works, but many of these tricks require hundreds of hours of practice to perfect. Those tricks involving sleight of hand, for example, often require extensive practice to ensure that the movements and action are seamless while performing a trick.

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A magician who wishes to work professionally also needs to find a way to profit from the practice and tricks that he or she learns. This can be done in a number of ways, and many magicians join a professional association to network with other magicians and build professional contacts. Work for these magicians can be found at themed restaurants and other venues, such as special events like birthday parties and weddings. A magician who is especially skilled, charismatic, or brings something new to a performance may also work in larger venues including television specials and major night clubs.

While a magician may be content to perform tricks that others have created, or to make slight adjustments to other people’s work, some magicians also create their own tricks. This can involve a great deal of work and may be as simple as reworking another trick to have a different delivery or theme or as complicated as inventing a new trick. Some tricks require large props or sets to make the illusion work, and so a magician creating such a trick may have to physically build props and perform construction to create the trick. Many magicians also work with assistants who are often integral to a trick, and so they may need to interview and train assistants prior to a performance.

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Discuss this Article

Grinderry
Post 5
The most famous magician was Harry Houdini. He amazed people with his escapes from very dire and sometimes impossible places. I believe one of his tricks was what finally ended not only his career, but his life as well.
Contentum
Post 4
While being amazed at some magic tricks when I was younger, I find that now I cannot watch most magicians without harboring doubt and skepticism when it comes to their tricks.
Realited
Post 3
Most magicians are considered to be really good at deceiving people, and this is understood because of their ability to make people focus on one thing, while perpetuating a quick change or switch up some place else.
RoyalSpyder
Post 2

@Chmander – A few years ago, I remember going to a magic show where an illusionist was pulling colored scarfs out of his throat. It was both bizarre and fascinating to watch. I can’t even imagine how many hours it took for him to prepare.

Chmander
Post 1

The illusions and tricks of a magician are always a wonder to behold. From the cliché “rabbit out of a hat” trick, to some of the most unique stunts, this is a great article. However, what surprised me the most is how magicians spend so many hours to get their performances right, a true sign of dedication.

In life, the things that appear so simple can be a mere illusion, something far more complex than meets the eye. The work of a magician is very interesting, and it shows that nothing worth having is easily obtained.

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