The most entertaining aspect of magic might be Illusion. This is the moment when the magician’s assistant is sawn in half while the shocked audience squeals in horror and delight. With a flourish of the wrist, the magician then shows us the two dismembered halves of her body as she smiles brightly and waves at the audience. Conjurers, escapists and mentalists all use illusion in their acts.
While all styles of magic incorporate the creation of illusions, this aspect of magic has been made popular by magicians like David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, and David Blane. Amazing acts have been performed using the art of illusion; such as causing the entire Statue of Liberty to disappear, being entombed in a coffin surrounded by gallons of water for a week, or being encased in a block of ice for 60 days!
The ability to get inside people’s heads and get them to believe the impossible is the essence of the craft for a successful magician. It depends on a great amount of focus and the level of desire from the audience to witness the unimaginable.
In order to understand and practice illusion magic the magician must be dedicated to entering the psych of the human mind and exploiting the beliefs of the audience. It depends on molding the audience’s perceptions by manipulating and distracting their senses.
Distracting them with props and acts aids is all part of the illusionary process. The magician has dedicated countless hours and is focused not only on practicing his tricks over and over, but also focusing on managing the audience.
The difference between someone studying the art of illusion and a master illusionist is that while performing an illusion, the student will focus one sense of the audience’s whereas the master will captivate all the senses. You must make them feel the experience, see the experience, hear the experience and believe the experience.
Though it appears to be a daunting task, people who have achieved their successes have begun with simpler tricks and gained skill and confidence in their ability to “sell” the audience. A place to start is with tricks of slight like coin and card tricks to build your sense of the audience.
All the famous magicians incorporate illusion in their magic although their tricks seem unique. With due diligence and practice, aspiring and accomplished magicians can improve their magic performances with their strengthened illusion skills.