Magicians, especially professional magicians, tend to guard their secrets jealously. It is rare indeed to find a performer who would reveal the secrets of their art to the uninitiated or to colleagues. Very few of these individuals would indeed reveal the magic tricks they have developed on their own for love or money.
Nowadays books, videos, leaflets and other items available at bookstores and on the internet (even whole websites devoted to magic) have gone a long way towards explaining simple magic tricks. Amateur magic enthusiasts can even find the occasional magic convention to show them how to perform some of the more complicated magic tricks. All these things however are recent developments.
Right up till the end of the 19th century there were very few books or teachers of magic. Outsiders wishing to “break into” the art found it an uphill and often frustrating task. The magic community itself was a closely knit group where magic was concerned, and made it a point of honour to collectively close ranks against all would be new comers.
“Discoveries of magic” by Reginald Scott, which was printed in 1584, is one of the first books ever printed that gave an insight into magic. Today, even with the existence of such organizations as the International Brotherhood of Magicians, there are still some organizations which make it a condition of membership to NOT divulge their art to non magicians.
Magic tricks themselves can range over a diverse arena that includes everything from the old pulling a rabbit out of a hat trick and mind reading to more complicated forms of magic. These will involve levitation, using handcuffs and replacing your assistant with a Bengal tiger.
Be that as it may, coin and card tricks are still performed in every magicians act. They are some of the easiest and simplest tricks to perform. They require nothing more ingenious than a sleight of hand and a good routine to pull off a creditable performance.
Popular modern magicians include such names as David Copperfield, David Blaine, Siegfried and Roy, Chris Angel and a host of others. These magicians have become household names due to their fantastic, unexplainable and often mind boggling magical performances.
However, the most famous of all magicians is Harry Houdini (1805 – 1871), the son of a Hungarian rabbi who started out as a watch maker. He then went on to become one of the greatest magicians in the world. Houdini is best known for his escapology, the ability to escape from any form of restraints – tricks.
As you see there are many different tricks that are employed by magicians. These magic tricks are what makes these magicians so fascinating to us. The many different magic tricks you will find are part of the atmosphere of magic.