Close-up magic is perhaps the most difficult type of magic to perform, and perhaps the most effective. This type of performance is where you'll find card tricks, coin tricks and other effects that take place within a couple feet of the audience, or even right in someone's hand. Don't be mistaken though; in the hands of a professional magician, things are never as simple as "pick a card" or finding coins behind ears. When you witness true close-up magic at a party or in a restaurant, for instance, you will be treated to sights your eyes simply won't believe. This is as close as you'll get to experiencing real magic.
A Type of Close-up Entertaining This is the term used to describe a way of performing close-up magic. It's very popular at banquets, such as at a wedding reception, and at corporate events. You'll also see it at a lot of restaurants. Along with the strolling magician, it is distinct in that here the magician goes to the audience, as opposed to the audience going to see the magician. The reason that table hopping magic is considered different than strolling magic is due to the types of tricks that can be performed. Having a seated audience and a table to aid in a presentation allows the performer to use certain tricks he or she couldn't perform otherwise.
The strolling or wandering magician performs feats with cards, coins, rubber bands and perhaps any other small object you can imagine. This type of entertainment is typically seen at functions where guests are wandering or mingling as opposed to being seated at tables. Often, the strolling magician will perform during cocktails at functions like weddings and bar mitzvahs, and also during networking events. The wandering entertainer must be able to perform at close range, without the aid of tables or large props, and also while surrounded, and therefore being watched from all angles.
The name for this style of magic comes from its origins, but doesn't limit your enjoyment of it. Parlour magicians perform the type of magic you see at children's parties, night clubs and similar venues. Really, it's the style that falls somewhere between close-up and stage shows. You won't likely see anyone get sawn in two in this type of show, nor will you witness lions and tigers appearing in cages, but you will still get feel a lot of amazement. Due to its nature, the audience is close to the magician. This allows for an intimate performance that can easily entertain ten, twenty or a hundred people.
When most people think about professional magicians, they think of all those effects they've seen on the big TV specials. This is where people vanish in shiny boxes, people's torsos are separated from their bodies and women fly high above the stage. Entertainers who perform this type of show invest a lot of time and effort into building illusions and perfecting their presentation, because their audiences will always have the highest of expectations