Nugget of Knowledge: Magician’s jargon


(WYTV) – Magicians never reveal their secrets, but we do know a little bit of their language, their jargon.

Illusionist: Magicians prefer this label.

Misdirection: The key to a magic trick is misdirecting the audience’s attention, usually away from the magician’s hands.

Burn: This a stubborn audience member who stares at the magician’s hands, someone who doesn’t fall for misdirection.

Legerdemain: You might hear magic acts referred to this way. It’s from the French meaning “light hands.”

Hat production: Pulling something out of a hat.

Topit: The large, secret pocket in the inner lining of the magician’s coat. Things disappear there.

Servante: A pouch or shelf beneath the magician’s table on stage. He tosses items there that have disappeared.

Dirty: A magician’s hand is dirty if it’s holding something that disappeared.

Mechanic: A magician who specializes in card tricks.

Magic dust: A magician says he must reach into his pocket for magic dust to make his trick work. He’s just reaching in there to grab an item or prop that has disappeared, and he needs it back in his hand.

Confederate: An audience plant who helps the magician.

Black art: Using a black curtain as a background to hide assistants or props.

Talking: If a hidden prop makes a noise, a scraping sound, for example. This talking can ruin the trick.

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