All my life I’ve been entertained and mystified by magicians and illusionists. These people amaze audiences across the world by performing acts that change the way you perceive the world and in some cases can make you re-evaluate what is or isn’t possible. From Houdini to the modern Chris Angel we’ve seen some amazing stunts and feats over the years. Here is a list of some of the best magicians that I enjoy, every single one of which I believe you should check out.
Penn & Teller
This duo is probably my favorite magicians of all time. These two are often overlooked as great magicians unless you get a chance to see them in person. They currently perform a live show in Las Vegas and hosted the popular television show “Fool Us” that showcased some of the best unknown magic acts from around the world. Both Penn Jillette and Teller are respected magic authorities around the world. The two have been together since the 1970’s and have been featured on many TV networks and live shows around the world. One of their most amous tricks is to choose an audience member and do a live trick with their cell phone.
This magician is probably the most well known magician in the world that performs some truely amazing stunts in front of live audiences. David Copperfield was a New Jersey Ventriloquist who quickly became a proficient magic showman. At only age 16, he became the youngest person to ever be allowed in the Society of American Magicians while at the time teaching a course in magic at New York University. One of the best things about Copperfield has always been the large scale tricks he is known for. These have included making the Statue of Liberty disappear, escape from Alcatraz, and passing through the Great Wall of China. He is a magician that will go down in history as one of the best magicians to have ever lived.
When TV was still a relatively new concept Mark pioneered the way for doing magic on air. Mark worked with his wife Nani Darnell Wilson as his assistant and appeared on specials, shows, and also performed wildly popular live shows in Las Vegas. In 1972 he won the Magician of the Year award which he would go on to win again before the end of his career. Along with his shows he published the book “Mark Wilson Course in Magic” which would go on to sell over 800,000 copies. To this day both Wilson and his wife continue to teach the art of magic to up and coming magicians with occasional classes held at the infamous Magic Castle and through private seminars and lessons.
Jeff is a skilled illusionist who has a unique blend of myth and drama mixed into his performances. At age 16 he was selected to open for a musical group touring in Japan. When finished overseas McBride came home to New York and studied at the American Mime Theater while also holding a job at the famous Flosso magic shop. He has opened for concerts, performed in nightclubs, and has appeared in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Along with his amazing skills in magic, in 2005 he set world records for consecutive multi coin rolls, most coin rolls in a minute, and one handed card scaling. Jeff is the founder of the Magic & Mystery School which continuously offers classes in beginning and advanced magic.
Doug is another outstanding magician and in the late 20th century was known as one of the best magicians around the world. Many people are of the opinion that it was Henning that revived magic as a theatrical art. As a youth he was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Canada Council Study Grant to pursue his love of magic. In 1987, Henning left magic and moved to India to study transcendental meditation which is most famously practiced by Yogi specialists. He had originally planned to open up his own theme park in Orlando, Florida but unfortunately passed away in 2000. The land and plans were held suspended to see if anyone else would take the project until being sold in 2008.
If you’re looking for a great entertainment source I believe that magic ranks among the best. Magicians are creative, original, and you never know what you might see. If there is a magic act for you to see in your area I highly recommend checking it out. Have fun!
For more great entertainment reading from this author, check out:
Sublime: The Band That Changed the Alternative World
How to Know What Type of Techno You’re Listening to
The Best Scary but Unreal Urban Legends