Illusionists- the Big Boys of Magic

Illusionists mostly perform on stage; although, some illusionists do perform in other settings.

Illusions are a type of magic that is not going to be so easy to get to perform… especially if you are just starting out.

I specifically remember, on a trip to England – with my sisters Marian, Wendy and my twin sister Carol – seeing a magician performing the “Metamorphosis” illusion in the street.

So, Street Magicians perform illusions too!

No!  I can’t remember who the magician was and … Yes! Carol and I did get a few Paul Daniels effects whilst in England.

Why do I say that being an illusionist is not so easy?

    1. Illusions (in the large sense), are expensive to make and they are difficult to transport.
    2. You are going to need a platform (stage, hall, large hall) to practise and perform them in.
    3. They involve the use of other effects (well, should involve) like sound, music and lighting.
    4. You need an audience – which, as this is an actual show – requires organisation.

Everything in a good stage performance needs to be thought out, routined and rehearsed. There is no impromptu type of performing in stage magic.

Ask yourself the question: Would you want to pay good money and have the build up of excitement, to watch a stage magician – only to find out that his show is disjointed, unprepared and lacking in pizazz?

No way!!!

You want to go and watch an Extravaganza of Sight and Sound!

How do I perform stage magic as an illusionist- I really like the idea?

Well, the easiest way to get to perform as a magician on stage, or, as an illusionist is :- to seek help.

If you are lucky, as I was, it could be part of your Magic Course.

Or, the next best – join a Magic Club (coming soon).

Many great magicians belong to clubs. They don’t all have to be professional performers to help you.

(Professional and Amateur performers both perform – and performance is what gives you experience and ideas)

Some magic clubs/societies put on stage shows, sometimes for charity, sometimes as an event.

(I remember the Cape Magicians Circle used to arrange stage shows at halls and so on).

Why a magic club for stage shows?

Often if a magic club is putting on a stage show, the show is broken up into first half and second half, with different performers in each half of the show.

This means that if you perform on stage as one of the performers; you can gain valuable experience and not have to hold the audiences attention for the whole show – only for the 5/10 minutes that you are on stage performing.

Dog Appearance
My dog Angel makes her first magical appearance.
Also, joining a Magic Club will allow you to enter Magic Competitions and you get the excitement of entering the Stage Magic category and working on a really fantastic routine.


There have been many great illusionists that I have really enjoyed watching. David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy stand out from when I was performing.

Unfortunately, I have never been to Vegas – so I watched their shows on videotape- which doesn’t give you anywhere near the excitement of a real crowd. So, watch in real life if you can.

Here is a picture of the present my sister Marian received from Siegfried and Roy (coming soon – I still need to take the picture – must get more organised)

(Well, I promised… so just below is a picture of the gift that Marian received from Lynette on behalf of Siegfried and Roy.

Oooh lalaaaa!

Gift Siegfried and Roy
Gift from Siegfried and Roy
Opened gift from Siegfried and Roy
The gift from Siegfried and Roy opened.



Illusionists and stage magicians have to plan their acts very carefully and make sure that everything is very well routined and rehearsed.

If animals are used (even small animals like doves, rabbits, dogs, etc.), the planning needs to be even more rigorous

(animals are little people too – or, big people, if you’re a tiger).

Your act needs to be routined. Effects should flow into each other, with a reason for doing so and your music should match.

As an example:

  • Lets say that you are walking on stage, you appear a small table, this gives you something to put your top hat onto.
  • The silk from your pocket becomes your appearing cane, which you can lean against your table.
  • The silk that you appear next can be changed to a sponge ball, which when you are finished with them – can go into the top hat which is on your appeared table.

Smooth and clean…anyway, you get the idea.

One of the most popular illusions is the “levitation” – think that I will have to write a separate page for this…so – coming soon… shew, looks like I am going to be busy!

We will go more into “routining” for stage magic on another page.

For now though, I think that this is enough.

Remember, your audience is coming to watch your show.

Always think from their point of view (as well as yours) as Everyone wants to be entertained.

Hometypes of magicians › Illusionists

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