There is something about the art of illusion that captivates audiences of all ages. Masterful magicians are capable of wowing onlookers into a state of wonder. Join a society or club, pick up a book or find a show to enjoy during National Magic Week, celebrated annually across the country October 25 through 31, 2010.
When we think of magicians, images of wands, top hats and rabbits come to mind. Names of some of the greats may fill your head like Harry Houdini, well-known for his amazing escapes; master illusionist David Copperfield; and Siegfried and Roy, known for their tigers, lions and spellbinding performances. These unique acts have left their marks on magic and history, but they and others dedicated to the art share one thing in common: the magician’s oath. Magicians swear themselves to secrecy, promising never to reveal to non-magicians the methods behind the magic.
There are many types of magic tricks from vanishing and conjuring to transformation and escapology and more. Magic can take shape in many different ways; performances range from stage and platform magic to street performances and close-up magic.
How can someone interested in performing magic learn the tricks of the trade? Luckily, there are societies and clubs where like-minded individuals, both professional and amateur, can get together to learn, educate and entertain.
One such group is the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) whose past presidents included the late, great escape artist, Harry Houdini. Founded in 1902, the society is dedicated to promoting and protecting the art of magic, and prides itself as the “oldest and most prestigious magical society” the world over. It is also the creator of National Magic Week. Originating from “Houdini Day,” which honored the October 31 date of Houdini’s death, National Magic Week evolved into an entire week of celebration and has been celebrated annually for over 40 years. Magicians from all over the country bring their magic tricks to people in the community who would otherwise be unable to attend such performances. The Society of American Magicians also holds a S.A.M. National Convention, and distributes a members-only magazine full of tips and tricks. For more information, visit www.magicsam.com.
For children that aspire to become magicians, the Society of Young Magicians gives apprentices between seven and 17 years old an opportunity to learn the skills and art of magic while emphasizing self-confidence, discipline, community-involvement and charity. The society, which began as an off-shoot of the Society of American Magicians, has local assemblies in 60 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.magicsym.com.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians is the most sizable organization of its kind with 300 local rings spread across 73 countries and close to 12,000 members who share the common interest of magic. For more information, visit www.magician.org.
If you’d rather learn a little about magic before joining a group, there are many books available that teach simple sleight-of-hand tricks and other magic acts. Plenty of books and props are available through www.magictricks.com including selections geared toward adult and child beginners. Once you learn the basics, you’ll be able to treat everyone you know to some magical entertainment. Remember not to spoil it for anyone else.
Learn some new tricks, and enjoy a “magic” moment this October.