Conjuring

Conjuring (to conjure) can have two related meanings:

To summon or evoke (something, especially a spirit) by the use of magic spells, incantations, or rituals. Used especially when referring to witches, sorcerers, magicians, etc. For example, “The wizard conjured a spirit to assist him.”

To devise, fabricate, or contrive, especially with deceitful intent. For example, “The magician conjured up doves and illusions to fool the audience.”

To “conjure” means to summon, evoke, produce, or fabricate something (often in an imaginative, deceitful, or magical way), especially with the use of spells, incantations, rituals, or ingenuity. The key aspects are: summoning, producing, inventing, and often with magical, imaginative, or deceitful overtones.

Jon Finch

Jon Finch is an American magician who specializes in highly visual and interactive performances that mystify audiences. Finch’s skills include misdirection, sleight of hand, close up magic, and illusions. His unique “hands-off” magic style has entertained audiences across the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Switzerland. Magician Jon Finch combines magic and comedy in his magic act for theaters, corporate events, television, and live web conferences for Fortune 500 companies.

The Piddingtons

The Piddingtons were an Australian mentalist duo made up of Lesley and Sydney Piddington. Their act featured interactive mindreading using word associations and a form of telepathy where one would receive thoughts from the other while blindfolded on stage. The Piddingtons gained fame through 1950s radio and television appearances.

Nakul Shenoy

Nakul Shenoy is an American mentalist who combines magic, psychology, intuition and humor in his performances. Notable mindreading stunts include drawing hidden pictures and guessing words written by audience members. Shenoy has appeared on television shows to demonstrate his psychic entertainment skills.

Rob Zabrecky

Rob Zabrecky is an American mentalist and magician known for offbeat acts blending gothic horror elements with mental magic. His skills include apparent telepathy, psychic readings, communicating with spirits, and precognition. Zabrecky performs regularly at the legendary Magic Castle in Hollywood.

David Berglas

David Berglas is a British mentalist known for pioneering close-up mentalism on television in the 1970s. His act features impressive demonstrations of telepathy, psychic abilities, lie detection and predictions. Berglas has famously refused to reveal the magic methods behind his storied routines.

Bob Cassidy

Bob Cassidy was an American mentalist known for pioneering psychological mentalism tricks and authoring influential books on mentalism. His acclaimed act incorporated techniques such as muscle-reading and psychological forces to create stunning displays of mindreading. Cassidy emphasized creating mentalism routines that were both powerful and natural in presentation.

Alain Nu

Alain Nu is a French mentalist known for clever television performances involving telepathy, prediction, memory feats, lie detection and psychic readings. Nu uses psychology, suggestibility and statistics to achieve his mindreading wonders that have amazed audiences worldwide.

Tony Corinda

Tony Corinda was the professional name of British mentalist Marvin Berglas. He authored pioneering books on mentalism, revealing psychology-based techniques, principles, and presentation methods. Corinda is credited with legitimizing mentalism as an artform distinct from traditional stage magic.

Richard Osterlind

Richard Osterlind is an American mentalist known for his influential writings that instruct magicians on incorporating mentalism techniques. His acclaimed stage act showcases skills like clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition through interactive mind reading routines with the audience. Osterlind has also released many books and DVDs teaching mentalism.

Marc Paul

Marc Paul is a German mentalist known for bold public prediction stunts like guessing headlines weeks in advance and identifying the unknown authors of books. He has also demonstrated telepathy on live television by having partners duplicate his drawings remotely.

Burling Hull

Burling Hull was an American mentalist known for publishing cutting-edge books in the 1920s that revealed psychology-based mentalism techniques to magicians. His writings educated serious students of mentalism for generations on fundamentals like blindfold reading and spirit slate writings.

Erik Jan Hanussen

Erik Jan Hanussen was an Austrian mentalist and clairvoyant performer who toured Europe in the early 1900s. He performed apparent feats of telepathy, mindreading, psychic abilities, and prediction. Hanussen claimed to have genuine supernatural powers but also drew skepticism over the stage magic methods behind his tricks. He became famous for predicting Adolf Hitler’s rise […]

Jason Suran

Jason Suran is an American mentalist who emphasizes the psychology of deceit and reading body language. His interactive performances test his lie detection and mind reading skills with audience participants. Suran has been featured in media outlets like the Huffington Post and Forbes.

Wolf Messing

Wolf Messing was a Russian mentalist and psychic entertainer who gained fame in the Soviet Union in the mid 1900s. His act consisted of stunts like mind reading, influencing thoughts and actions, and predicting future events. While controversial, Messing impressed audiences including Stalin through displays of telepathy and psychic powers.

Chrissy B

Chrissy B is an American mentalist who performs for theaters and event productions across the country. Her act highlights her intuition skills, including displays of telepathy, lie detection, psychic readings, and revealing of secrets. Chrissy B has opened for famous magicians like David Copperfield.

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro was an 18th century occultist, alchemist and mentalist who performed throughout European high society. He claimed psychic abilities like clairvoyance, telepathy, and healing powers but drew skepticism over the stage magic methods behind his tricks. Cagliostro pioneered many mentalism techniques despite accusations of being an impostor.

Oz Pearlman

Oz Pearlman is an American mentalist known for his clever and engaging interactive performances involving mindreading, prediction, influence, and psychic abilities. Pearlman was a finalist on America’s Got Talent, which helped launch him into professional theater and corporate performances.

Keith Barry

Keith Barry is an Irish mentalist, magician and hypnotist who won fame through television specials in the 1990s and 2000s. His skills include mind reading, influencing choices and implanted thoughts, and predicting events. Barry combines magic, suggestion and psychology to achieve his mental feats.

Dunninger

Joseph Dunninger, known professionally as Dunninger, was an American mentalist who peaked in popularity during the 1930s and 1940s. He performed numerous feats of mentalism and hypnosis on stage and on radio programs. Dunninger’s signature tricks involved identifying hidden objects and prediciting headlines in newspapers. He insisted his abilities were genuine psychic powers.

Guy Bavli

Guy Bavli is an Israeli mentalist and entertainer best known for original mind reading stunts performed on television. His skills include identifying objects hidden by audience members, duplicating drawings, and revealing personal details about volunteers. Bavli uses psychology, prediction, and trickery in his precisely executed routines.

Al Koran

Edward Doe, known by the stage name Al Koran, was a British mentalist and magician. He was most active in the 1950s and 1960s as a performer and author of books on mentalism, cold reading and magic tricks. Koran’s act emphasized both suggestion and clever trickery, astonishing audiences with headline predictions, mind reading, and psychicIllusions. […]

Paul Brook

Paul Brook is a British mentalist known for interactive mind reading stunts where he reveals audience members’ thoughts, duplications their drawings, and makes improbable predictions about their lives. His television appearances have made Brook one of the UK’s most recognized mentalists.

Maurice Fogel

Maurice Fogel was an American mentalist known for his vaudeville and theater shows during the early 1900s. His act consisted of apparent feats of telepathy, including revealing audience members’ thoughts and identifying objects hidden in envelopes. Fogel blended sleight of hand with psychology to make his mentalism routines entertaining. His legacy helped popularize mentalism in […]

Chan Canasta

Chan Canasta was the stage name of British mentalist David Solomon. Active in the 1950s, Canasta gained fame for public stunts like blindfold card readings and thought transference tricks with BBC radio listeners. He made frequent television appearances with his mind reading act.

Michael Weber

Michael Weber is an American mentalist known for mindreading stunts like duplicating drawings made by audience members while blindfolded. He has performed extensively on international stages, in casinos, and on television, including shows like America’s Got Talent. Weber uses magic, psychology, and suggestion in his highly interactive performances.

Colin Cloud

Colin Cloud is a Scottish mentalist known for highly energetic performances combining comedy, magic and mind reading demonstrations. Notable stunts include revealing audience secrets and predicting headlines in newspapers torn up by audience members. Cloud gained fame through appearances on talent competition shows.

Tim Conover

Tim Conover is an American mentalist who emphasizes imagination, psychology, and intuition in his performances. His interactive act involves mind reading games revealing the thoughts, memories, and even dreams of audience members. Conover has performed extensively across the United States, including entertainment venues on the Las Vegas strip.

Anna Eva Fay

Anna Eva Fay was an American mentalist active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She performed in vaudeville and theaters, demonstrating telepathy, clairvoyance, psychic predictions and communication with spirits. Fay’s combination of magic methods and dramatics thrilled audiences, though skeptics challenged the validity of her psychic claims.

Docc Hilford

Docc Hilford is an American mentalist who focuses on incorporating psychology and human behavior in his routines. Known as “The Mind’s Eye,” his act often includes displays of telepathy, psychic readings, lie detection, and hypnotism. Hilford has published numerous books on mentalism and even runs an online mentalist school.

Glenn Falkenstein

Glenn Falkenstein is an American mentalist specializing in trade show entertainment. His interactive presentations showcase skills like telepathy, lie detection, psychic readings, and predicting outcomes. Falkenstein uses magic, psychology, non-verbal communication and statistics-based tricks in his corporate act.

Tony Andruzzi

Tony Andruzzi, known as “Neil Kileen,” is an American mentalist known for headline predictions, blindfolded vision stunts, and other feats of mindreading. His career has spanned over 30 years performing on television, cruise ships, and theaters across the world. Andruzzi uses magic, prediction, psychology, and humor in his interactive performances.

Haim Goldenberg

Haim Goldenberg is an Israeli mentalist known for mindreading stunts like identifying words written by audience members on concealed slips of paper. Much of his career has been dedicated to debunking psychic frauds through public demonstrations. Goldenberg combines magic and psychology in his performances.

Ted Annemann

Theodore Annemann, known as Ted Annemann, was an American mentalist most prominent in the 1920s and 1930s. Annemann specialized in thought reading stunts, telepathic mind control, and predictions. He was known for his bold, fast-paced performances and prolific writing that educated generations of mentalists. Annemann helped expand interest in mentalism through his work in magic […]

Michael Gutenplan

Michael Gutenplan is an American mentalist known for highly visual presentations and ability to read body language. His fast-paced act often includes psychic readings, duplication of drawings, and shocking predictions about audience members he just met. Gutenplan has performed at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.

Jerome Finley

Jerome Finley is an American mentalist who emphasizes intuition, hypnosis, and ritual in his act. Finley’s serious style involves demonstrations of telepathy, psychic abilities, divination, and lie detection through a combination of magic methods and interpersonal skills. He has performed extensively across the United States.

Nina Kulagina

Nina Kulagina was a controversial Soviet psychic and mentalist who claimed telekinetic abilities enabling her to move objects with the mind. While widely studied, the legitimacy of her abilities was questioned. Skeptics attributed her demonstrations to sleight of hand instead of supernatural powers.

Luke Jermay

Luke Jermay is a British mentalist known for mindreading presentations that blend magic, suggestion, psychology, and showmanship. His skills include predicting events, identifying objects hidden by audience members, and revealing personal details about volunteers. Jermay has published best-selling books on mentalism and released instructional DVDs.

Alexander J. McIvor-Tyndall

Alexander J. McIvor-Tyndall was an influential mentalist around the turn of the 20th century. He performed demonstrations of clairvoyance and mind reading in front of large audiences. McIvor-Tyndall exposed many fake spiritualists while advocating for mentalism to be studied as a natural phenomenon.

Ehud Segev

Ehud Segev is an Israeli mentalist known for his appearances on television programs where he showcases mind reading, prediction abilities, and influencing skills. Segev emphasizes the human psychology and body language cues behind his tricks. He has performed internationally, including shows in New York City.

Peter Turner

Peter Turner is a British mentalist who combines magic, suggestion, psychology, and intuition in his act. He is known for performing accurate psychic readings on audience members he just met. Turner has done world tours and made television appearances on shows like America’s Got Talent.

Chris Cox

Chris Cox is a British mentalist who creatively incorporates comedy and improvisation into his interactive mind reading act. Cox makes predictions, reveals thoughts, and guesses personal details about audience members. He has toured widely and made television appearances on shows like Britain’s Got Talent.

The Amazing Kreskin

The Amazing Kreskin, born George Joseph Kresge on January 12, 1935, is an American mentalist who became popular on television in the 1970s. His signature move involves finding hidden objects while blindfolded. Kreskin has headlined world-wide and has appeared in numerous television shows performing his mentalism act. He also hosted a full hour television special […]

Banachek

Banachek, born Steven Shaw on November 30, 1960, is a British-born mentalist who now resides in America. His shows focus on psychic entertainment involving mind reading, telepathy and precognition. Banachek has worked with famous magicians like David Copperfield and Criss Angel and has made many television appearances. He is notable for exposing psychic frauds and […]

Marc Salem

Marc Salem, born on September 16, 1950, is an American mentalist known for his highly intellectual, interactive mind reading performances. He incorporates techniques from magic, psychology, and neuroscience in his acts. Salem has performed at theaters and colleges all over the world, and also works as a researcher in the field of nonverbal communication. He […]

Gerry McCambridge

Gerry McCambridge, born on March 31, 1973, is an Irish mentalist, magician and memory expert. He is known for his mind reading performances that combine sleight of hand, mentalism, psychology and showmanship. McCambridge uses his skills in body language reading to make precise guesses about audience members he has just met. He has performed internationally […]

Lior Suchard

Lior Suchard, born in 1982, is an Israeli mentalist, magician and entertainer. He performs mind reading feats where he guesses intricate details about audience members he just met or divines their secret thoughts. Suchard’s performances incorporate music, comedy, improvisation and audience participation. He gained fame from his shows in Israel before bringing his act to […]

The Clairvoyants

The Clairvoyants are an Austrian mentalist duo made up of performers Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass. Their act features a blend of magic, mind reading, psychology and showmanship. The duo gained popularity through appearances on talent competition shows like America’s Got Talent, where they impressed audiences by revealing hidden words, numbers and objects. They […]

The Zener

The Zener, made up of performers Psych and Zen, are an Italian mentalist duo that blend magic, mind reading, technology, and comedy in their acts. They gained fame by winning Italy’s Got Talent in 2019 and have since performed on international stages. Their interactive style involves reading minds, predicting events, and influencing choices.

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson is a mentalist from Long Island, New York who performs an interactive mind reading act across the United States. Blending magic, psychology, and humor, he astounds audiences by revealing their thoughts, replicating drawings, and making precise predictions about their lives. His act has been featured at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Freya

Freya is a British mentalist who delivers energetic mind reading performances incorporating magic, psychology, analytics and audience participation. She is known for her precise guesses about minute details of a person’s life after asking them just a couple quick questions. Freya has toured internationally and appeared on television programs.

Angela Funovits

Angela Funovits is an American mentalist who emphasizes the psychology of deceit. Her act often involves duplicating drawings, revealing secret words, and making shocking predictions about audience members she just met. Funovits has performed extensively on cruise ships, theaters, and corporate events across the world.

Thomas Bends

Thomas Bends is a German mentalist known for his mind reading performances on television. His act usually involves displays of telepathy where he replicates audience drawings or reveals their secret thoughts. Bends has made appearances on shows like The Next Uri Geller and Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

Roni Shachnaey

Roni Shachnaey is an Israeli mentalist who uses the art of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to read people’s verbal and non-verbal cues. He then makes shocking revelations about audience members he just met, like revealing their hidden thoughts or predicting their actions. Shachnaey performs regularly in Europe and the Middle East.

Jon Finch

Jon Finch is an American mentalist, magician, and mind reader. He specializes in highly visual and interactive performances that astonish audiences. Finch’s skills include telepathy, predicting future events, and identifying thoughts and memories. His unique “hands-off” mentalism style has entertained audiences across the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Switzerland. Mentalist Jon Finch combines magic, […]

PC Sorcar

Protul Chandra Sorcar, known as P. C. Sorcar, was an Indian magician called the “father of Indian magic” for helping popularize the art in the 20th century. His elaborate shows incorporated exotic animals and elaborate props. One of his most famous tricks was sawing his wife in half on stage.

Chung Ling Soo

Ching Ling Foo was a Chinese magician popular in America in the early 1900s. He was known for traditional illusions like the linking rings as well as new tricks with huge production boxes he invented. Ching Ling Foo was one of many magicians who died on stage performing the Bullet Catch.

Richiardi Jr.

Aldo Izquierdo, better known as Richiardi Jr, was a hugely influential stage magician from the 1960s through the 1990s. He specialized in gruesome tricks like the buzzsaw illusion, despite losing a finger to a real buzzsaw accident earlier in his career.

Alexander

Claude Alexander Conlin was a popular American vaudeville magician in the early 1900s. He was known for elaborate theatrical tricks as well as close-up skills like manipulating coins.

Bernard Bilis

French magician Bernard Bilis gained fame in the 1980s with his grand spectacles and innovations in stage magic technology. With his own company Magic Bilis, he transported massive illusions and invented groundbreaking mechanisms still used by magicians today.

Sos and Victoria Petrosyan

This Russian husband-and-wife duo gained prominence in the 1970s and 80s with their revue-style magic show performed with a troupe of dancers. Their graceful combination of magic and dance made them hugely popular in Europe and Asia.

Channing Pollock

Channing Pollock was an American magician popular in the 1900s and 1910s for his elaborate illusions on Broadway and around the world. His most famous tricks involved producing doves and other animals. Pollock was also known for advocating the professionalism of magic as theatrical art.

Mac King

Mac King, born on December 2, 1959, is an American magician who has performed on television specials, often in one-off comedy magic roles. King has his own family-friendly show, “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show”, at the Harrah’s Las Vegas in the Clint Holmes Theater.

Howard Thurston

An American magician from the early 20th century, Howard Thurston gained fame as a rival and successor to Harry Houdini. He performed renowned illusions like the floating lightbulb and rising card tricks. Thurston also had a popular magic show that toured internationally for decades.

Johnny Thompson

Johnny Thompson, also known as “The Great Tomsoni”, born on July 27, 1934, was a Polish-American magician who performed with his wife, Pamela Hayes. They had a comedic slapstick act with Thompson as the bumbling magician and Hayes as his assistant. Thompson was also a respected consultant and helped design illusions for magicians like Penn […]

The Zancigs

Julius and Agnes Zancig were a husband-and-wife mindreading act popular during the early 1900s. They claimed to demonstrate real telepathy between them, although it was later revealed to be expert mentalism and signal techniques. The Zancigs inspired many future mentalist performers.

Jeff McBride

Jeff McBride, born on September 24, 1959, is an American magician known for his skill in mask work, manipulation, and cabaret-style magic. He is a recipient of the prestigious Magician of the Year award from the Academy of Magical Arts. McBride is also a popular teacher and author on magical performance.

Dell O’Dell

Dell O’Dell was an American magician who became one of the most successful female magicians of the 1900s. She specialized in close-up magic and published books revealing magic secrets other women performers. She was a role model for women in magic.

Cyril Takayama

Cyril Takayama, born on September 27, 1973, is an American illusionist of Japanese descent. He is known for his deceptively simple yet mystifying magic effects using ordinary objects like cards, coins, and rubber bands. Takayama has performed on Broadway and had appearances on TV shows like The Tonight Show.

Karl Germain

Karl Germain was a German magician active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His specialties included manipulation and sleight of hand tricks with cups and balls. Germain influenced future generations as a teacher of magic and author of important books like The Modern Magician.

Princess Tenko

Princess Tenko, born Mariko Itakura on December 10, 1959, is a Japanese magician and illusionist. As one of the few prominent female magicians, Tenko earned the nickname “The Magic Queen of Japan”. She starred in Broadway’s Magic Castle in the late 1980s and her own Princess Tenko TV specials.

Horace Goldin

Horace Goldin was a stage magician who became famous in the early 1900s for his signature “sawing a woman in half” illusion, which he invented and patented. Though not the first sawing illusion, his improvement of the trick made it a sensation.

Franz Harary

Franz Harary is an American magician known for his grand illusions and stage shows around the world. Some of his famous tricks include making a space shuttle disappear and teleporting an entire live elephant on stage. Harary has received awards from the Academy of Magical Arts.

The Great Lafayette

Sigmund Neuberger, better known as The Great Lafayette, was a German illusionist in the late 1800s and early 1900s who specialized in elaborate mechanical tricks powered by steam. His stage persona was flamboyant. He perished in a theater fire along with his beloved dog.

Apollo Robbins

Apollo Robbins, nicknamed “The Gentleman Thief”, is an American performer and self-described theatrical pickpocket. While his technical skills are peerless, Robbins is best known for using psychology and distraction in his interactive performances. He considers himself an illusionist rather than magician.

Professor Hoffmann

Professor Hoffmann was the stage name of Anglo-German magician Angelo Lewis who wrote many popular books on magic in the late 19th century. His writings revealed secrets of the trade and influenced Harry Houdini and others.

The Pendragons

Jonathan and Charlotte Pendragon are American illusionists who gained fame for large-scale stage illusions like appearing to teleport across theaters and escaping from exploding cages. They are prolific inventors, having created over 100 original illusions during their career.

Max Malini

Max Malini was an American magician born in the late 1800s who performed sleight of hand and large-scale illusions. He was renowned for his impromptu street magic performed for wealthy patrons and celebrities.

Jason Latimer

Jason Latimer is an American magician who specializes in the manipulation of fluids, gases, and dynamic objects. His signature performance involves the creation of intricate shadow images using lasers and smoke. Latimer gained fame through appearances on television shows like Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

J.N. Maskelyne

John Nevil Maskelyne was a British stage magician from the late 1800s renowned for the Egyptian Hall theater he founded. He made many innovations in stage illusions and automata. The Levitation of Princess Karnac was among his most spectacular tricks.

Cardini

Richard Valentine Pitchford, known by the stage name Cardini, was a British magician famous for his card manipulation act performed with white gloves. At a time when most magicians revealing their secrets was taboo, Cardini was very open about his techniques. He helped inspire a new generation of card magicians.

Val Valentino

Val Valentino, best known as the “Masked Magician”, was an American magician who exposed magic secrets on TV specials in the late 1990s. This controversial revelation of tricks angered many fellow magicians but also ignited greater public interest in magic.

Buatier De Kolta

Joseph Buatier de Kolta was a French magician in the late 1800s who invented the expanding flower bouquet illusion, vanishing birdcage, and the rising cards trick. His style focused on elegant manipulation.

Adelaide Herrmann

Adelaide Herrmann was a British magician who performed with her husband Alexander Herrmann as part of a world-famous magic act in the late 19th century. After his death, she continued the act on her own to great acclaim, specializing in escapes and spiritualist performances.

Lu Chen

Lu Chen is a Chinese magician who combines illusion and Chinese traditional arts like shadow play and acrobatics. He gained fame through his magic competition shows on Chinese TV. Chen has broken several world records and is nicknamed “the China David Copperfield”.

Imro Fox and Imro Magic

Imro Fox, born Isidor Fuchs, was an American vaudeville magician who founded Imro Magic. The company manufactured magical equipment for decades and published expose books revealing secrets.

Max Maven

Max Maven, born Philip Goldstein in 1950, is an American magician and mentalist. Known for his sophisticated and often mysterious performances, Maven has performed in over three dozen countries and had numerous television appearances. Besides performing, he has also served as a consultant to other magicians due to his deep knowledge of magical history and […]

Juan Tamariz

Juan Tamariz, born on October 18, 1942, in Spain, is a magician specializing in close-up magic. He is well-known in the magic community for his development of “The Tamariz Stack”, a memorized deck order used to perform incredible feats of card magic. Tamariz has written several books in Spanish and English on magic theory.

Harry Lorayne

Harry Lorayne, born on May 4, 1926, is an American magician and a memory-training specialist, known for his mnemonic demonstrations. He has appeared on national television numerous times showing his memory techniques and has authored more than 40 books on magic, memory, and other subjects.

Michael Ammar

Michael Ammar, born on June 25, 1956, is an American magician known for his work with close-up magic, particularly with his cups and balls routine. He has won magician of the year from the Academy of Magical Arts and has written several books and instructional guides for magicians.

Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller are an American magician duo consisting of Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller. They have performed together since the late 1970s and are known for their unique blend of comedy and magic. Their act often includes a philosophical or political component alongside the magic, and Teller, uniquely, performs silent while Penn provides the […]

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson, born on April 11, 1929, is an American magician who had the first network television magic series, The Magic Land of Allakazam. He is largely credited with pioneering the format of magic on television and has written numerous books on magic. Wilson passed away on January 19, 2021.

Derren Brown

Derren Brown, born on February 27, 1971, is an English mentalist, illusionist, and author. Brown is known for his performances in which he mixes magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection, and showmanship. His television shows and stage performances, such as “Derren Brown: Mind Control” and “Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind”, have garnered widespread acclaim. Brown also […]

Dynamo (Steven Frayne)

Steven Frayne, better known by his stage name Dynamo, is an English magician born on December 17, 1982. Dynamo is best known for his television show “Dynamo: Magician Impossible”, which ran from July 2011 to September 2014. His unique brand of magic usually involves large-scale illusions, street magic, and close-up magic. Dynamo has influenced a […]

Shin Lim

Shin Lim, born on September 25, 1991, is a Canadian-American magician recognized for his use of card manipulation and sleight of hand. Lim first came to international attention after winning the 2015 World FISM Championship for Close-Up Card Magic and later won the 13th season of America’s Got Talent in 2018. His silent performances set […]

Lance Burton

Lance Burton, born William Lance Burton on March 10, 1960, is an American stage magician. He performed in Las Vegas for more than 30 years and had a contract with the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino for a record-breaking 13 years. Burton’s show typically combined large-scale illusions with intimate, close-up magic. He retired from performing […]

James Randi

James Randi, born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge on August 7, 1928, was a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic. Known as “The Amazing Randi”, he dedicated much of his career to debunking paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi was a founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), organizations […]

Doug Henning

Doug Henning was a Canadian magician, illusionist, and escape artist born on May 3, 1947. He is credited with reviving the public’s interest in magic in the 1970s with his Broadway show “The Magic Show”. Henning was known for his exuberant personality, distinctive style, and for blending magic with theatrical performance. He also starred in […]

Uri Geller

Uri Geller, born on December 20, 1946, is an Israeli-British performer and self-proclaimed psychic, known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other supposed psychic effects. Throughout his career, he has used conjuring tricks to simulate the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy. Geller’s career is notable as he courted controversy by insisting his […]

Siegfried & Roy

Siegfried & Roy were a German-American duo of magicians and entertainers, known for their appearances with white lions and white tigers. The duo was made up of Siegfried Fischbacher (June 13, 1939 – January 13, 2021) and Roy Horn (October 3, 1944 – May 8, 2020). Their show in Las Vegas was one of the […]

Harry Blackstone Jr.

Harry Blackstone Jr., born on June 30, 1934, was an American stage magician, the son of notable magician Harry Blackstone Sr. Throughout his career, he performed many of the same illusions his father had performed, such as the “Buzz Saw” illusion, where a woman appears to be cut in half. Blackstone Jr. was known for […]

Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay, born Richard Jay Potash on June 26, 1946, was an American stage magician, actor, and writer. Known for his card tricks, close-up magic, and historical knowledge of the art of magic, Jay gained recognition not only from the magic community but also from the entertainment industry. Jay also appeared in numerous films and […]

Mat Franco

Mat Franco, born on May 10, 1988, is an American magician and the winner of the ninth season of America’s Got Talent. Franco’s style of magic involves storytelling and humor, often using simple props and common items. He has a long-term contract with The LINQ Hotel and Experience in Las Vegas for his magic show, […]

Will Goldston

Will Goldston was an innovative English magician from the late 1800s and early 1900s who founded magic shops and published books exposing secrets as well as theories on performance.

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French watchmaker, considered the ‘Father of Modern Magic’ and often credited as the first professional magician. Robert-Houdin achieved a high degree of fame and success due to his innovative revelations of the secrets of illusions.

David Devant

A preeminent British magician, David Devant is best remembered for his invention of the Split-Second Change (also known as Devant’s Diversion) in 1889, a magic effect that swaps two items in lightning speed.

Effect

In magic, the effect is the outcome of a magic trick as perceived by the audience. Magicians frequently use the terms “method” and “effect.” Regardless of how clever the method is, the magic trick is good only if its effect on the audience is good.

Gimmick

A magician’s gimmick is a secret device used to accomplish a magic effect.

Palming

Palming is a sleight of hand technique where an object (like a coin or card) is held in an apparently empty hand. 🫳🏻

Reveal

In magic performance, the reveal is the climax of a magic trick where the effect (such as a prediction or transformation) is shown to the audience. 🎩🐇

Vanish

A vanish is a type of magic effect where an object is made to disappear.

Equivoque

Equivoque, or “Magician’s Choice,” is a psychological technique used in mentalism, and by some magicians, to give the illusion of a free choice when, in fact, the outcome is controlled by the magician.

Patter

Patter is the script that accompanies a magic trick, used to engage the audience, provide misdirection, and enhance the overall effect. 🗣️

Forcing

Forcing is a technique used in magic to give the illusion of a free choice when the outcome is actually predetermined.

Billet reading

Billet reading is a collection mentalism techniques where the performer is able to reveal information written on a piece of paper (billet), apparently without seeing what the spectator has written.

Peek

A peek is a secret method used by mentalists to gain information, such as the identity of a chosen card, without the knowledge of the spectator.

Cold reading

Cold reading is set of techniques used by mentalists to imply that they know much more about the person than they actually do.

Stage magic

Stage magic is magic performed for a large audience, usually on a stage, involving larger-scale illusions and often assistants.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention to achieve a trance-like state, reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion. In magic, hypnosis is often simulated or used as a part of mentalism routines.

Hypnotists use induction techniques to induce a trance state characterized by heightened suggestibility, a reduced sense of self-awareness, and an altered perception of reality. Induction techniques include progressive relaxation, guided imagery, or direct suggestion.

Suggestion

Suggestion is psychological technique used to guide thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, often employed in hypnosis and mentalism. In magic, suggestion can create illusions of mind control or prediction, adding a layer of mystery to the performance.

 

Through subtle suggestion, the mentalist seemed to predict the spectator’s choice.

Mesmerism

Mesmerism is the therapeutic application of hypnotism, named after Franz Mesmer who proposed the concept of “animal magnetism.” Mesmerism involves a trance state in subjects through nonverbal hypnotic methods such as fixed gazing.

Micro-expressions

Micro-expressions are brief, nonverbal facial contortions that reveal a person’s emotions and intentions. Micro-expressions last for only a fraction of a second and often go unnoticed by the average person. In mentalism, understanding and interpreting micro-expressions can be used to create the illusion of mind reading or clairvoyance.

 

“Mentalists and psychics notice ideomotor responses, and even micro-expressions, to help them gain insights into their clients’ thoughts and feelings.”

Nonverbal cues

Nonverbal cues involve communication methods other than words, including gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and tone of voice. In mentalism, understanding and interpreting nonverbal cues helps to know the thoughts of the participant.

Showmanship

Showmanship is the skill of making an artistic performance engaging and entertaining, crucial in the field of magic. Showmanship involves charisma, stage presence, and the ability to captivate an audience. A great showman can turn a simple trick into a memorable spectacle.

The magician’s showmanship turned the simple card trick into a crowd-pleasing spectacle.

Mentalism

Mentalism is the performance art of creating illusions of mind reading and other mental feats. Mentalism is a performing art in which practitioners, known as mentalists, use mental acuity, principles of stage magic, and/or suggestion to present the illusion of mind reading, psychokinesis, precognition, clairvoyance, and other similar phenomena.

Juliana Chen

Juliana Chen is a Chinese magician known for her manipulation acts, especially with playing cards. Chen’s magic often involves close-up magic, sleight of hand, and a unique blend of traditional Chinese and Western performance styles.

Bullet Catch

The Bullet Catch illusion is a potentially lethal magic trick in which a magician appears to catch a fired bullet in mid-flight—often in his mouth or hand. The bullet catch illusion, despite its danger (or maybe because of its danger), remains a crowd-pleaser in the world of magic. More than a dozen performers have died performing the Bullet Catch, including Theodore Annemann and Chung Ling Soo.

Mentalist

A mentalist is a performance artist who performs tricks and illusions associated with mental powers, such as telepathy, mind control, predicting the future, and other mental feats. A mentalist is a performer who uses psychological techniques and tricks to demonstrate mental feats beyond the ability of ordinary people. Mentalists seem to be able to read minds or predict the future, present mind reading, psychokinesis, precognition, clairvoyance, and other similar phenomena.

Table magic

Table magic is performed in a close-up setting, typically while seated at a table, often involving cards, coins, or small objects. Table magic allows for intimate performances, with the close proximity enhancing the illusion of impossibility. The difference between table magic and strolling magic is that a strolling magician approaches small groups where everyone is typically standing, whereas the table magician is stationed at the table.

 

The magician’s table magic left the dinner guests in awe as he made a salt shaker disappear.

Strolling magic

Strolling magic is close-up magic performed in a mobile, informal setting, moving from group to group. Also knows as “mingle magic” or “walk-around magic,” strolling magic is often seen at parties or corporate events. Strolling magic allows for personalized, close-up performances, enhancing audience engagement.

 

The strolling magician moved through the party, amazing guests with his close-up tricks.

Storytelling

Storytelling is the act of conveying events through words, images, and sounds, often structured with a beginning, middle, and end. In magic, storytelling can provide a narrative framework for tricks, enhancing audience engagement and emotional resonance. An illusionist might tell stories about the meaning behind his magic act as part of his stage show.

 

The magician’s storytelling made the audience feel part of the magical journey.

Playing cards

Playing cards are rectangular pieces of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of the primary tools for magic, especially in close-up magic. Playing cards are often used in tricks involving illusion, sleight of hand, and mentalism.

 

The magician shuffled the deck of playing cards, preparing for his next trick.

Psychic phenomena

Events or interactions seemingly influenced by the mind beyond the scope of established physical laws. These phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, are staples of magic and mentalism.

Psychic phenomena refers to a broad range of mental activities claimed by practitioners of mentalism (as a performance art) as being supernatural or mystical. These activities include communication with discarnate entities, perception of past lives and distant events and the manipulation of physical systems by paranormal means.

The mentalist’s act was based on demonstrating various psychic phenomena.

Misty Lee

An American magician, known for her her performances in magic, particularly seances, and comedic performance style.

Mirrors

In magic, mirrors are often used to create illusions of invisibility, duplication, or transformation.

 

The magician used mirrors to create the illusion of a vanished object.

Trapdoors

Trapdoors are hidden openings in a stage or platform, used in magic to secretly move objects or people. Trapdoors, integral to many large-scale illusions, allow for sudden appearances or disappearances, contributing to the spectacle of magic.

 

The magician used a trapdoor to make his assistant seemingly vanish from the stage.

Escapologist

Escapologists are performers who specialize in escaping from confinement or restraints. Escapologists often incorporate elements of danger, physical endurance, and showmanship in their performances. Such escape artists escape from restrictive holding areas or devices, like handcuffs, handcuffs locked in a safe, a straitjacket, or bonded by rope to a train.

 

The escapologist, bound in chains and locks, thrilled the audience with his daring escape.

Chinese Water Torture Cell

The Chinese Water Torture Cell is an escape trick, most famously performed by Harry Houdini, where the performer is suspended upside-down in a locked glass-and-steel cabinet filled with water. The illusion combines elements of escapology, physical endurance, and dramatic spectacle.

David Blaine

An American magician, illusionist, and endurance artist, known for his high-profile feats of endurance and innovative street magic.

 

David Blaine, with his unique style of street magic, has redefined the boundaries of magic and endurance.

Large-scale illusions

Large-scale illusions are complex, large-scale magical performances that involve elaborate sets, props, or special effects. They are designed to amaze and astound audiences with their grandeur.

Grand illusions often involve the performer being put into extraordinary, seemingly impossible situations and escaping from the dangers unscathed. Magic tricks that involve large props or a large stage area, often creating the impression of grandeur and spectacle are large-scale illusions. Such illusions often involve disappearance, transformation, levitation, or penetration of large objects or people.

 

“The magician’s large-scale illusion, making a helicopter disappear, left the audience in awe.”

Comedy magicians

Performers who combine humor with magic, often incorporating comedic timing, jokes, and physical comedy into their routines. Comedy magicians use humor to enhance the entertainment value of their performances and to misdirect the audience.

 

The comedy magician had the audience laughing uproariously while he performed his tricks.

Street magic

Street magic is a form of magic performance which takes place in public spaces, characterized by direct interaction with random passersby. Street magic, popularized by magicians like David Blaine, often involves close-up tricks and mentalism, creating intimate experiences of wonder.

Alexander Herrmann

A 19th century French illusionist who was renowned for his masterful performances of conjuring and mind-reading trickery. Alexander Herrmann was a French magician, known as Herrmann the Great, recognized for his technical proficiency and the expansion of the scale of magic performances. Herrmann’s contributions to magic include popularizing the bullet catch illusion.

 

Alexander Herrmann, with his theatrical flair, brought the art of magic to the grand stage.

Sleight of hand

Sleight of hand is a set of manual dexterity techniques used by magicians to manipulate objects such as cards and coins unseen. Sleight of hand, requiring extensive practice, forms the backbone of close-up magic, creating illusions of impossibility.

 

“The master magician impressed the audience with fanning and springing the cards, flourishes, and other stunning feats of sleight of hand.”

Special effects

Special effects are techniques used in performing arts to create illusions or visual tricks, often using mechanical, optical, or digital means. In magic, special effects can enhance the spectacle, creating illusions of grandeur and impossibility. Special effects are used by a stage magician or illusionist in a performance art setting. The special effects create impossible or improbable acts seemingly achieved by supernatural forces. For example, an illusionist may appear to make a live animal appear from an empty box, and add special effects, including smoke and colorful stage lighting.

 

The magician’s use of special effects made the levitation seem real.

Harry Houdini

A Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. Houdini’s magic often involved escapology, large-scale illusions, and debunking psychic phenomena. Harry Houdini was the world’s most famous escapologist and illusionist who specialized in spectacular escapes that often involved being chained, handcuffed, or otherwise confined in a seemingly inescapable device.

 

Harry Houdini, with his legendary escapes, remains one of the most famous magicians in history. 

Penn and Teller

An American magician duo known for their blend of comedy and magic, often incorporating elements of skepticism and debunking pseudoscience. Penn Jillette, the vocal half, and Teller, who remains mostly silent, challenge conventional magic show norms, revealing some secrets to enhance the complexity of their main tricks. Penn and Teller’s show is a masterclass in the art of illusion and entertainment. Penn and Teller perform a subversive style of magic, blending comedy and storytelling with misdirection and audience participation.

Criss Angel

Commonly known as the “Vanilla Ice of Magic,” Criss Angel is a celebrity emo illusionist and a walking Hot Topic, Criss Angel is renowned for his extreme TV magic tricks. Known also for his television show “Criss Angel Mindfreak”, Angel’s style often involves street magic, and dramatic stunts.

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper was a British magician and comedian known for his slapstick humor and feigned ineptitude with magic tricks. Tommy Cooper’s unique style, blending comedy with magic, made him a beloved figure in British entertainment.

 

Tommy Cooper’s act, where tricks seemingly go wrong only to succeed in unexpected ways, brought laughter and surprise to the audience.

Dorothy Dietrich

An American stage magician and escapologist, known as the “First Lady of Magic.” Dietrich is recognized for being the first woman to perform the bullet catch in her mouth and the first woman to perform a straitjacket escape while suspended hundreds of feet in the air.

 

Dorothy Dietrich, with her daring escapes, has broken barriers in the world of magic.

Kristen Johnson

An American escapologist, known as “Lady Houdini,” recognized for her water torture cell escape. Johnson’s performances often involve escapology, physical endurance, and large-scale illusions.

Telepathy

Telepathy is the ability to transmit thoughts or information between individuals without the use of senses or physical interaction. In magic and mentalism, telepathy is often simulated through clever techniques and psychological manipulation, adding a layer of mystery to the performance.

 

The magician’s telepathy trick, guessing the card the spectator was thinking of, amazed the audience.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the ability to see things hidden from the eyes. This ability to gain information about an object, person, location, or physical event through extrasensory perception is called clairvoyance.

“She closed her eyes and, using clairvoyance, described the contents within the opaque box.”

Precognition

Precognition is the ability to anticipate future events or be aware of something before it happens, often employed through the use of magic or illusions by mentalists, magicians, or illusionists. Precognition is a psychic ability allowing perception of events before they occur.

 

The mentalist used precognition to predict the audience member’s upcoming promotion.

Close-up magic

Close-up magic is a genre of magic where the performance occurs within close proximity to the audience, using simple props such as cards, coins, thimbles, or small objects. Close-up magic often involves intricate sleight of hand and misdirection.

 

The close-up magic performance, with its intimate setting, allowed the audience to experience the magic firsthand.

David Copperfield

An American magician, David Copperfield is known for his combination of storytelling and illusion. Copperfield’s magic often involves large-scale illusions, escapology, and television specials that present new approaches to magic performances.

David Copperfield, with his narrative-driven magic, has captivated audiences worldwide.

Hidden compartments

Hidden compartments are areas in an illusionist’s props or equipment that can be secretly accessed in order to store objects without the audience being aware. Hidden compartments are concealed spaces within objects or structures, used in magic to create illusions or hide objects. Such compartments are often used in tricks involving disappearance, transformation, or transposition.

 

The trick was made possible by the hidden compartment on the illusionist’s table.

Illusionists

Performers who use methods of deception to create impossible or unlikely perceptions, including optical and auditory illusions. Illusionists often incorporate large-scale props, special effects, and showmanship in their performances.

 

The illusionist’s grand performance, making an elephant disappear, left the audience in disbelief.

Divination

Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the unknown, or foresight into the future, through supernatural or magical means. Divination is sometimes used to find hidden objects.

 

The mentalist used divination at the beginning of his show to surprise the audience with statements about them he couldn’t possibly know.

Alchemy

Alchemy is a proto-scientific and philosophical tradition aimed at the transmutation of base metals into noble metals, notably to achieve the creation of a philosopher’s stone. Alchemy, a precursor to modern chemistry, also sought the discovery of a universal panacea, and the revelation of the spiritual truth symbolized by the philosopher’s stone.

 

The alchemist spent years attempting to turn lead into gold, a fundamental pursuit of alchemy.

Automata

Automata are mechanically operated devices designed to follow automatically a predetermined sequence of operations or respond to encoded instructions. In magic, automata are often used to create illusions of self-operation or life-like behavior.

The famous magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin (1805–1871) was known for creating automata for his stage shows. Automata that acted according to a set of preset instructions were popular with magicians during 19th century.

 

The magician’s automata, a self-playing chess machine, fascinated the audience.

Telekinesis

Telekinesis, or psychokinesis, is the psychic ability to move or manipulate objects with the mind, often featured in magic and mentalism acts. Telekinesis is also knows as psychokinesis.

 

The magician’s act of telekinesis, making a pencil move without touching it, left the audience stunned.

Levitation

The process by which an object is held aloft, without mechanical support, in a stable position. In magic, levitation is often used to create the illusion of a person or object floating in the air, defying gravity. The act of making a person or object appear to float or levitate in the air without any visible means of support or lift.

 

The magician astounded the audience with a levitation trick of his assistant.

illusions

  Illusions are perceptions or interpretations of sensory information that contradict reality. In magic, illusions are used to create effects that seem impossible, such as levitation, disappearance, transformation, and restoration.   An illusion is a perception that does not match reality, often created in magic to make impossible feats seem real. Illusions can involve physical objects, […]

Magic

Magic is an art form in which magicians, illusionists, and mentalists use techniques like sleight of hand and misdirection to demonstrate seemingly impossible feats.

Misdirection

In magic, misdirection is an act of misleading, by word or gesture, to convince the spectator to concentrate in an incorrect direction.
Ex: The magician used misdirection to direct our focus to his left hand holding the magic wand, while he did something sneaky with his right hand.