Close-up magic is magical entertainment that happens right in front of you, magic you can not only see but feel and touch. This intimacy is what makes it so different from other types of magic. An expert close-up magician will involve and interact with the audience far more than a stage magician (or any other form of entertainer for that matter).
Most close-up magicians use common props such as playing cards, coins, sponge balls and rope. And all magicians perform the same basic magical effects with these props, making them appear, disappear, change, levitate, break and restore, and penetrate other objects. What is amazing about close-up magic is that it happens so close to you, sometimes while you are holding the props!
There are many standard close-up magic effects and standard routines used to present them. For example, the ‘Ambitious Card’ where a chosen card repeatedly rises to the top position in a deck of cards without any shuffling or cutting, or the ‘Sponge Balls’ where the balls move invisibly between the magician’s hands and those of the spectator’s. In fact, these routines are freely available if you care to look. Anyone can search the internet and buy books and DVDs on close-up magic, or even the props and standard routines.
What really sets one close-up magician apart from another is how they present their magic. In fact, presentation is the key - it is what makes close-up magic entertaining. A really good, professional magician will be creative and present their magic in an original and entertaining way. Sometimes humorous, sometimes mysterious, sometimes just plain weird and freaky. The magic becomes a vehicle for the personality and ideas of the performer.
This is what makes close-up magic great entertainment. An interesting, strange and funny person demonstrates the impossible, weird and wonderful, right under your nose!