A compare and Contrast Essay by Sean Boyd


Have you ever wondered how magic tricks are done? Well, almost everyone has heard of magic tricks on stage, such as sawing someone in half. But there’s also another kind of magic that anyone can do. It’s magic where the street is your stage. You go up to random people on the street, ask if they’d like to see a magic trick, and watch their amazed faces as you perform unthinkable feats right before their eyes. Naturally it’s called Street Magic. Both kinds of magic have been around for hundreds of years. You may think they are pretty much the same. But they’re totally different.

The people who perform these different kinds of magic seem to have a different attitude. Stage magicians like to have a mystical attitude around them, to make it seem like real magic. In contrast, sometimes a street magician just wants to fool you, not making it seem like magic, just a trick. That doesn’t apply all the time, but some people do that. A lot of times street magicians will have a cool attitude opposed to a mystical attitude.

Stage magic can be difficult, but so can street magic. In stage magic, you have a lot of preparation to set up props, get people ready, and to rehearse. On the other hand, you wouldn’t have a lot of preparation in street magic at all. No props, no extra people, just yourself and your inconspicuous cards and coins.

In stage magic, you have a huge crowd. This could quite possibly sometimes be intimidating to the magician. But also, it’s intimidating for the audience, so they wouldn’t dare to say, “I see the cards up you sleeve!” or “You put the coin in your pocket!” So that lets the magician have some breathing room. But, in street magic, you have a very small audience, sometimes a single person as your audience. Also, street magicians don’t wear a tuxedo. Usually they’d wear normal clothes as you would any other day. This makes the intimidation towards the audience almost nothing compared to stage magic audiences, so they’d have a better chance of the audience speaking up about the hole in your pocket or the extra coin in your sleeve. So in street magic they have to be very careful and practice a lot!

Stage magic is to be seen from far away. The magic tricks are big and open, for everyone to see in the seats around the stage. Instead, in street magic the trickery is up close, so the magic tricks are small, detailed and should be rehearsed thoroughly.

Have you ever noticed that stage magicians always have a funny name, such as, Cardini, Svelton, Macadini, or Afrocadafro? Stage magicians usually use funny (or not so funny) made up names. Street magicians, rather, have normal names, such as Bob, Steve, George, Tom, or David.

The audience in stage magic is expecting magic. After all, they did purchase the ticket that says “Magic show Wednesday night, 9 pm”, right? They’re always looking for the cards up the magician’s sleeve. However, in street magic, the audience is just an unsuspecting citizen on the street on the way to the grocery store or something of that sort. They wouldn’t be looking for any hidden gimmicks. And they’ll never know if the trickery is done correctly.

Overall, stage and street magic are challenging to do. No matter which kind of magic you do, it’s most definitely going to take a lot of practice. After reading this over, you may become interested in magic. This essay gives a lot of the important differences in stage magic and street magic. What kind of attitude do you want to have? Who’s your audience? Are they expecting you to do magic tricks? How much time for preparation do you have? Which kind of magic would you do?