What are the 7 types of magic?
Plus James Acaster's Unsolicited Advice
We’re going back to basics today, and no, it’s not because I’ve run out of things to write about—it’s because knowing the basics is crucial. It’s also because many magicians disagree on what precisely the seven (sometimes ten) types of magic are, and I want us all to be on one page: my page. There are only seven types of magic. And yet, magicians have an easier time recalling mnemonica than all seven types of magic.
The value that comes with knowing these off by heart is the speed you can then devise and change magic. You’ll be able to categorise existing effects in your mind palace better, add clarity to tricks, communicate well with other magicians and put together a setlist that isn’t all just one type of magic.
James Acaster, the comedian with a lot of Netflix specials, was a guest at Dynamo’s big arena show. Acaster’s former agent happened to produce the arena tour. At the after-party, James revealed he was a magic fan. In fact, he actually knew all about the seven types of magic. Acaster proceeded to tell us he didn’t like that Dynamo’s show only had two kinds of magic: levitation, prediction, levitation, prediction, and so on.
It was odd to receive unsolicited show notes from a famous comedian while intoxicated at the after-party for a show I helped produce. Also odd that he had a quite a good point. But “prediction” isn’t a type of magic; it’s a type of mentalism, so Acaster, with his silly voice and club soda, can sod off. Also, the show had phone-in-bottle, and that’s a penetration—Dammit, that’s still only two types of magic… Acaster was right about everything.
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