Unfortunately, there is no room in magic contests these days for magic to be seen actually from up close. Now magic contests are supposed to entertain “close-up magic contest” audiences (<<200 people) so the conditions in this type of performances are far from letting the spectators witness the magic from up close. What we meant by a “close-up magic contest” act now is an act designed to fit in that “close-up magic contest” conditions.

Qualities like “being able to be seen from really up close”, “being practical”, “with very little or no setup”, “self-resetting setup”, “non-angle sensitive”, “internal structure that maximizes the use of the resources”… which are the key qualities when it comes to perform close up magic in normal conditions, are typically not taken into account by the panel while those acts are given a score at a contest. Why? Among other things, because “close-up magic contest” acts now do not need them.

Fortunately, some “close-up magic contest” acts do have those key qualities, normally because their creators regularly perform the act or parts of their act in any kind of situations. Other acts are designed from the very beginning not only to fit but also to exploit those “close-up magic contest” conditions, being given the paradox very often that some acts (sometimes awarded acts) are ONLY performable under those “close-up magic contest” conditions.

  • Are you the close up magic champion right?
  • Yes I am!!!
  • WOW! Could you do something for us please?
  • Mmmm… Could you step back a little? … a little bit more please … and could you turn the lights down a little bit too?

But to leave you with a good taste, nothing better than this amazing close up magic act (in many many ways), awarded first prize in FISM back in 1973, from the living legend and master of the art Camilo Vázquez. You will not find any of the things discussed in the article here. Camilo was probably the first one to conceive and construct a close-up magic act the modern way as a seamless unit both from the inside and from the outside (introduced by another living legend and master of the art, Juan Tamariz). Sorry it is in Spanish.

Thanks for reading

See you next month.


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