Magic makes the impossible seem possible! Magicians or illusionists amaze us by making us believe we see things appear or disappear, by seeming to read our minds, or even by making people float off the ground- all things that seem impossible! Magic and illusion are a performance art.
The earliest recorded magicians date back to ancient times in Egypt, Rome, and Greece. For many years, people believed magicians actually had special powers, and were often thought to be witches, wizards or sorcerers. These sorcerers were believed to be able to change the weather, prevent disease, heal the sick, or help win battles.
Today’s magic is sleight of hand, meaning it is a skill practiced to trick your audience into thinking they see something happen. This can be done by moving objects like cards or coins quickly and secretly. Magicians practice a lot to be able to amaze their audiences, and they carefully guard the secrets to their tricks! A magician usually has an act, which is a set of tricks they have put together, to make a show. Because tricks require so much practice and many require props, this planning helps the magic show go well!
There have been some very famous magicians over time. The most well-known was Harry Houdini. He was famous for his amazing escapes from handcuffs and straightjackets in the early 1900s. Many people consider him to be the father of modern-day magic. Another famous magician is David Copperfield, he has been described as the greatest magician of the century!
Some fun words that are often used in magic are: Abracadabra, Alakazam, Hocus Pocus, or Presto Chango!
Magic and illusion is a performing art that entertains audiences by tricks, or illusions of what seem to be impossible feats. If your kid wants to give magic a try, check out our National Geographic Magic Kits.