Close-up magic, also known as micro-magic or table magic, is a type of magic that is performed at close range, often with small objects like cards, coins, or small props. The best close-up magicians are those who are not only skilled at sleight-of-hand and misdirection, but who also have a strong stage presence and an ability to engage and entertain their audiences. (How Does Close-Up Magic Work?)
In this post, we will look at some of the greatest close-up magicians of all time!
Greatest Close-Up Magicians of All-Time
Here are some of the best close-up magicians of all time. (This list is not meant to be in the order of the greatest first. However, Dai Vernon would probably be at the top of the list if so, as he is usually considered to be the greatest close-up magician of all-time, and has inspired countless magicians since his time.)
1) Dai Vernon
Dai Vernon, also known as “The Professor,” is considered by many to be the father of modern close-up magic. He was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1894 and became interested in magic at a young age.
Vernon was known for his skill at sleight-of-hand and for his ability to create new magic effects. He also mentored many other famous magicians, including Larry Jennings and David Copperfield.
2) Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay, born Richard Jay Potash in New York City in 1946, was a master of close-up magic and sleight-of-hand. He began performing magic at a young age and became known for his card tricks and his ability to manipulate small objects.
Jay was also a historian of magic and wrote several books on the subject. He was known for his dry wit and his ability to engage audiences with his stories and magic tricks.
3) Juan Tamariz
Juan Tamariz is a Spanish magician who is known for his skill at close-up magic and his ability to entertain and engage audiences. Tamariz is known for his use of misdirection and his ability to perform seemingly impossible feats of magic.
He is also a prolific author and has written several books on the subject of magic. He is most famous for his Mnemonica stack, a certain arrangement of cards for memorized deck magic, which Tamariz had an extensive amount of work with.
4) Michael Ammar
Michael Ammar is an American magician who is known for his skill at close-up magic and his ability to engage and entertain audiences. Ammar is known for his expertise in coin magic and has won numerous awards for his performances.
He has also published several instructional videos and books on the subject of close-up magic.
5) Lennart Green
Lennart Green is a Swedish magician who is known for his skill at card magic and his ability to perform complex sleight-of-hand tricks. Green is known for his unorthodox approach to magic, often incorporating humor and improvisation into his performances.
He has won numerous awards for his performances and has published several instructional videos on the subject of card magic.
6) Rene Lavand
Rene Lavand was an Argentine magician known for his skill at card magic and his unique approach to performing with one hand. He lost his right hand in a childhood accident, but went on to become a master of close-up magic, using his left hand to perform complex sleight-of-hand tricks.
Lavand was also known for his storytelling and his ability to captivate his audience with his performances.
7) Tony Slydini
Tony Slydini was an Italian-American magician known for his skill at close-up magic and his ability to perform sleight-of-hand tricks with everyday objects. He was known for his mastery of misdirection and his ability to create illusions that were seemingly impossible.
Slydini was also a mentor to many other famous magicians, who studied under Slydini. His teachings are highly sought out even today.
8) Johnny Thompson
Johnny Thompson, also known as “The Great Tomsoni,” was an American magician known for his skill at close-up magic and his use of comedy in his performances. He was also a mentor to many other famous magicians, including Lance Burton and Penn & Teller.
Thompson was known for his ability to engage his audience and his talent for creating illusions that were both surprising and entertaining.
9) Tommy Wonder
Tommy Wonder, born Jacobus Maria Bemelman in the Netherlands in 1953, was a Dutch magician known for his skill at close-up magic and his use of storytelling in his performances.
He was known for his creativity and his ability to take classic magic tricks and put his own unique twist on them. Wonder was also a mentor to many other famous magicians and published his works for them to read.
10) Michael Skinner
Michael Skinner was an American magician known for his expertise in close-up magic and his skill with cards. Skinner was considered one of the greatest card magicians of all time and his skill at sleight-of-hand was legendary. He was also known for his ability to engage and entertain his audiences, often performing for high-profile clients such as presidents and celebrities.
Skinner was born in New Jersey in 1942 and began his career in magic as a teenager. He was inspired by the famous magician Dai Vernon and spent many years studying and perfecting his craft. Skinner was known for his exceptional technical skill, often performing complex card tricks with ease and precision.
Skinner passed away in 1998, but his legacy lives on through his many contributions to the world of magic. He was posthumously awarded the Magic Castle’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and continues to be revered as one of the greatest close-up magicians of all time.
11) Daryl Martinez (“Daryl”)
Daryl Martinez, better known as just “Daryl”, was an American magician known for his expertise in close-up magic and his skill with cards. He was born in New York in 1955 and began his career in magic at the age of 7. Daryl became interested in close-up magic as a teenager and went on to become one of the most respected card magicians in the world.
Daryl was known for his exceptional technical skill and his ability to create and perform complex card tricks that left audiences amazed. He was also known for his engaging personality and his ability to connect with his audience. Daryl was a regular performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood and was a popular guest on many television shows.
Daryl passed away in 2017, but his legacy lives on through his many contributions to the world of magic. He was posthumously awarded the Magic Castle’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and continues to be revered as one of the greatest close-up magicians of all time.
These are just some of the best close-up magicians of all time. Each of these magicians has their own unique style and approach to magic, but all are skilled at engaging and entertaining their audiences.
Whether performing with cards, coins, or small objects, these magicians have demonstrated an exceptional level of skill and showmanship in their close-up magic performances.
The magician started magic as a kid and has learned from some of the greats. He loves to share his knowledge with others and help out with the subtleties he’s learned along the way.
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