top of page

What's the Difference between Magicians?

What's the difference between magicians?

When you think of a magician, what image comes to your mind? Do you think of Criss Angel floating around shirtless? Or do you think of a birthday clown in your living room?

Here are the general categories of magician. I'm sure there are some that I've left out, but this will give you a good idea.


Even though it is possible to create illusions with just your bare hands, an illusionist (in general) uses large props to change ladies into tigers, or make helicopters appear on stage. Illusionists usually need special lights and audio, large stages with a back stage, and a crew of stage hands. David Copperfield is a good example of an illusionist, and probably one of the most famous magicians alive today.

Close up and Strolling:

Close up magic is just what it sounds like, it's close to the audience. A strolling magician will walk around at a party or restaurant and entertain 2 to 10 guests at a time before strolling to the next small group. They usually use common props such as cards and coins, or even borrowed items from spectators. David Blaine is probably the most famous close-up magician.* I (Elias Caress) perform close-up and on stage.


This last category encompasses many sub-categories of performs, but basically a stand up performer entertains crowds of people with less props than an illusionist. Penn and Teller are probably the most famous stand-up magicians. I also include myself in this category.