We have compiled a list of terms for people interested in magic, so they can get a jump start on the lingo. (We have excluded terms that we think give away the secrets to effects.)
Busking â€“ To perform in a public area usually for tips. This term is not exclusive to magic, but to any kind of public performing art. Street Magic is considered a form of Busking.
Close-Up - Performance style that happens right in front of the audience at close-range. Itâ€™s more interactive magic that usually includes the use of coins, cards, and other small day-to-day objects.
Control - Ability move or track a card from one point of the deck to another. Typically from the middle to the top of bottom using one of many shuffling techniques.
Face - The part of a card that shows its value and suit. Reverse of back.
Flashing - When someone in the audience see something that they shouldn't. Accidentally exposing a gimmick or method during the performance.
Flourish - A move that displays dexterity and skill, but does not necessarily achieve a magic effect. Flourishes can include shuffles, fans, rolls, and cuts.
Gimmick - A secret device used to achieve something out of the ordinary. Usually a gimmick is camouflaged or hidden from the audienceâ€™s view.
Heat - Term used for how closely an audience member is watching you. Intense scrutiny is considered lots of heat. Synonymous with the term 'Burning'.
Impromptu - A trick that needs no backstage preparation.
Mentalism â€“ A form of magic where one appears to possess extreme mind control. Mentalists often employ effects involving telekinesis, mind reading, and fortune telling.
Misdirection - The ability to make your audience look where you want them to while you do something sneaky elsewhere.
Packet - A group of cards that is smaller than a deck. A â€œPacket Trickâ€ refers to a routine that uses less than a full deck of cards.
Parlor Magic- In between Close-Up and Stage Magic. Plays to a larger crowd, and usually uses day-to-day objects.
Patter - Scripted material said while performing magic.
Pips - Marks on a card: Clubs, Hearts, Spades, Diamonds.
Reversed Card - A card that is turned the opposite direction of the other cards in a deck.
Self-Working - A trick that requires no Sleight of Hand.
Sleight - A secret technique for achieving an effect. Also called a "move".
Stage Magic - Large, illusion based magic. Usually done with larder props and done on a stage or platform.
Stock - A packet of cards that have been prearranged somewhere in the deck.
Sucker Trick - Routine that sets the audience up to think that the magician has failed, only to be fooled by the unexpected triumph.
Switch - The secret exchange of props.
Transposition - Then one object or person switches places with another object or person by impossible means.
There are a lot of terms missing, so if you can think of any additions, please comment with your suggestions.
This post was posted in Uncategorized