Considering all the different forms of entertainment that people all over the world seek and enjoy, the art of magic, sleight of hand and illusions are at or close to the very top, and have always been. We love to be fooled–but we quickly respond by passionately dissecting what just happened, to explain or have explained to us that what we just saw occurred because of a trick. We somehow want to be assured that there is no real magic–yet we love illusions at the same time. A true conundrum. There are many great illusionists and it would be impossible to produce a proper list which includes even a percentage of all the seasoned and developing illusionists around the world deserving kudos. This being said, the following are some of the ones you should be able to easily recognize.
Cyril Takayama is quickly developing a huge following in Japan, and he’s utilizing every avenue possible–including technology and social media to upload his stellar performances, and in doing so, furthered his notoriety and fan base like crazy. As an illusionist, he’s proven himself in many venues, and demonstrated his exceptional deftness at sleight of hand magic, and mind-blowing manipulation of objects. His worldwide fame is sure to grow, with his most popular tricks currently being the hamburger in the menu, his head drop and his shocking card through window. Cyril has earned the status of being the leading cyber celebrity magician. He’s been featured on several TV shows and has been a featured act at an impressive number of international productions.
Penn And Teller
This magic duo has found their calling by centering their act on the unbelievable. In their well-honed characteristic style, they weave in their own brand of comedic storytelling, providing another level of entertainment and integration. With Teller’s routine style of remaining silent throughout the performance, Penn takes the helm by telling the stories. As the “passive” partner, Teller is the one who is “done-to,” with submersion, being tied up and bound, rolled around, separated and more, while Penn the perpetrator, more or less. You’ll get a lot of gore and macabre effects with these two. They’ve been awarded Magician(s) of the Year, and been featured on Broadway, their own prime TV series and the leading late night talk shows.
Burton has been featured on several of his own TV specials, in addition to starring on The Tonight Show, and more. He too, has been awarded “Magician of the Year,” and has emerged as the winner of a myriad of magic competitions, even the Grand Prix. An impressive award from his industry and peers, the Gold Medal of Excellence was awarded to Burton. At the time, he was the youngest magician ever, to have received this prestigious award. And he is Las Vegas’s “Homeboy,” with his very own “Lance Burton Theatre” constructed for his Monte Carlo Resort show in Las Vegas. Out of all the entertainers to have ever performed in Las Vegas, Burton has been under contract the longest, to date.
Canadian-born Henning is a masterful illusionist with an extensive repertoire of illusions requiring the most exacting magical skills involving mentalism, misdirection, and the good ole’ escapology. In many ways, Doug Henning has greatly helped to restore magic performance back to their earliest venue as theatre arts. During the 1970s, many remember “Doug Henning’s World of Magic,” which became a television show that was annually broadcasted on NBC for seven years in a row. This show was nominated for several Emmy awards. Another recipient of “Magician of the Year,” Henning retired in the 1980s. He died of liver cancer in 2000, after which he was posthumously given a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame.