Many people asked me if I am a street magician.
I guess it depends. Let’s start with answering the most basic question:
What is street magic?
Most people nowadays associate street magic with David Blaine, Criss Angel or Dynamo. A guy goes out onto streets with his camera crew and performs tricks for random, unsuspecting people.
Is this street magic? Not really. It’s regular strolling Close-up magic performed outside. Exactly the same techniques are used, the same tricks and the same rules apply as for a regular indoors performance. The only difference is a camera crew following the guy who is doing tricks. If you asked me if I could go on the streets and do this kind of magic the answer would be YES. I am a Close-up magician. I have a very broad repertoire of illusions I can present and majority of them can be performed outside.
Some of my clients started the conversation by asking if I am a Street Magician, because they need one for their corporate event. When I asked what is it exactly they would like the street magician to do, I was told, that they wanted him to go from group of people to group of people at banqueting suite and do magic for them. “Apparently Street magic is the best kind of magic on the market and we need something special!” – they said.
After brief explanation what I do, I was hired. I did my magic at banqueting suites and amazed clients’ guests with magic they once saw on TV! Hey – this was nothing else than the most popular corporate Close-up magic setup wasn’t it! 😉
so What is real street magic then?
Even though the times have changed, some magicians, still amaze crowds outdoors doing what we now call Street Magic just like thousands of years ago. Would they earn anything by trying to approach random people as you see it on TV? No. People don’t normally like to be interrupted or approached like that by strangers (the exception is when they see a celebrity and a cameraman). This is why street performers prefer to have a spot in a public place where they can gather a crowd of people who actually feel like they could use some entertainment at the moment.
Imagine you are going out for a walk. Do you expect, that in next 20 minutes you will see an amazing magic show? No! The magician needs to be good enough to immediately grab your attention, keep it through the whole performance and make you want to put your hand in your pocket, take that pound or two out and throw it into his hat at the end of performance 🙂 Trust me, it’s very difficult to get people to give their money away willingly and yet some magicians get full hats after just a couple of moments of creating amazement on the streets…
If you go to Covent Gardens in London you will be able to see magicians do the IMPOSSIBLE with no camera trickery present in modern TV shows, for regular audiences and without the possibility to shoot each trick many times just to be able to choose the best version for postproduction.
To me – this is real street magic. Taking the whole TV studio for a walk is not.
History behind the street magic
Street magic is probably the oldest form of magic. Cups and balls trick has been dated to be over 10,000 years old and as you can imagine it was mostly performed on the streets. During the Renaissance era (14th to 17th century), many lute players and magicians took to the streets to perform. As a result, large crowds would gather.[lightbox link=”http://www.radekmakar.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Cups-and-Balls-Historical-Photo.jpg” group=”1″ description=”Street Magician Historical Photo” type=”image” width=”” height=””][/lightbox] Hieronymus Bosch: The Conjurer, 1475-1480
If you are planning a private or corporate party and need a Street Magician – give me a call or drop me an email. 😉
Till the next time!
Radek Makar: Conjuror