Street magic is a traditional form of magic where magicians perform in a public space, drawing their audience from passer-bys. It is a very old performance art, dating back thousands of years, across the world. There are many artists who are either full-time or part-time street magicians for decades and they have inspired the next generation of magicians.
A particular form of street magic, known as guerilla magic is the type performed by famous magicians like David Blane and Criss Angel. In this form, instead of performing a group of tricks, the magician performs only one or two tricks on his unsuspecting audience.
It is a recent style of magic where the audience is literally shocked and awed. The validity of this classification of magic is debated because the audience are not willing participants and part of the fascination with magic is the audience’s desire to believe.
Traditional street magicians depend on tricks incorporating sleight of hand, card magic and mentalist tools. The secret behind the allusions of a street magician is their ability of misdirection and misinformation.
This could range from the performer quickly exchanged one item for another or causing it to disappear while the audience is distracted. Mentalist tools are used to appear to get into the minds of the audience in order to make them believe what they are seeing.
There are plenty of ways to get started in these feats; they are not as complicated as they appear. This street magic is dependent on speed and misdirection. These are skills that must be intensely practiced in order to be successful.
Props or events are used to distract the audience from what is really occurring in order to manipulate their perceptions and amaze them; hence the dazzle and vibrancy of magical props. Magicians usually start out with simple tricks that become progressively challenging as the show proceeds.
People begin to believe with the first few simple-seeming acts and are more than ready to believe the impossible finale. Timing needs to be impeccable in order to capture and guide your audience.
There are plenty of resources online or in the library about beginning street magic. They will give you the tips and tricks in order to perform these illusions, but the crux of your performance rest on you, the magician. Magic is only as believable and successful as the magician who is performing. So get out there and be ready to amaze!