Sleight-of-hand

Sleight of Hand Artist:

Sleight of Hand Artist, Steven Carlson

Sleight of Hand Artist Steven Carlson performing coin magic.

SLEIGHT OF HAND: The use of digital dexterity and cunning to deceive.

The sleight of hand artist relies upon digital skills to accomplish his illusions. These techniques are invisible to the audience. The juggler openly displays his hard earned skills. The sleight of hand artist hides them. They are concealed within natural movements and actions.

Beyond the finely acquired skills of his dexterous fingers the sleight of hand artist also relies upon other subtleties to accomplish his deceptions: Psychology and timing, language both verbal and physical, help him in deceiving all of the audience’s senses.

Sleight of hand is synonymous with the art of close up magic. It’s a form of magic performed within close proximity to the audience. The objects used are common everyday items, playing cards, coins, paper currency even cell phones. Though anything that fits into the artist’s hands becomes magical. This impromptu style of close range magic makes deception seem totally impossible, yet amazingly, the totally impossible still occurs.


Close up Magic, what is close up magic?

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What is close up magic?  What is a close up magician?

Close up magic is the intimate art of producing astounding illusions by sleight of hand performed within close proximity to the audience.
The magical objects or props need to fit in the close up magician’s hands. The traditional props are playing cards, coins, cups & balls and even dice. However, anything that fits into the magician’s hands is fair game for his miracles; a cell phone, a pen, paper napkins, a saltshaker, a coffee cup or a dollar bill.

Unlike the stage performer the close up artist brings his magic right into the audience space. There’s no stage or curtains, no boxes or mirrors, simply an object in the magician’s hands held inches away from the spectator’s eyes. The magic often happens right in the spectator’s hand!

Under these strict, close up and challenging conditions, deception seems utterly impossible. Yet, miraculously, the totally impossible still occurs! Close up magic is by far the most demanding form of the magical arts and when done perfectly it is the most astounding!

Close-up magic is best performed for an audience of 30 or less and can be performed sitting at a table or standing. With the arrival of LSV (large screen video) technology larger groups can be accommodated.

Another form of close-up magic is strolling magic. This style has become popular for social and cocktail hours where guests are standing and mingling in small groups. The close-up magician moves around the room entertaining these smaller groups of guests. Street magic is also a form of close-up magic.

Photo & art credits:
Photo art manipulation by Steven Paul Carlson, portrait photo by Nick Olson


Close up Magic, Steven Carlson

Close-up Magic, Steven CarlsonAs a sleight of hand artist, or close-up magician, I occasionally get to perform at really fun venues. Such was the case last month in Minneapolis, MN at The Theater in the Round.

It was an evening of magic, manipulation and illusion.  In the photo, shown here, I am finishing my close-up magic performance with a classic magical effect called, The Cups & Balls.  Here, in a finale I created back in 1975, one of the cups magically fills with pennies and pours out on to the table.  Who says, magic doesn’t make any sense… (cents )

The priceless expression on the face of my audience helper, makes this one of my all time favorite magic photos.  I hope you enjoy it.    🙂

Thanks,
Steven


Sleight of Hand Artist, Steven Carlson

steven-carlson-close-up-magic

Sleight of Hand Artist, Steven Carlson, performing his elegant style of close-up magic for guests at the beautiful Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul, MN.  The magic event was on Halloween night, a tribute the great escape artist, Harry Houdini.

in 1899 Houdini’s career was going nowhere and he was seriously contemplating retirement from entertainment.  But his big break came in St. Paul, MN at the Palm Garden beer hall, (less than a half mile away from the Forepaugh’s mansion) when he met manager Martin Beck.  Beck, impressed with Houdini’s handcuff act, advised Houdini to concentrate on the escapes and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.  The rest is history.

Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 he was 52.


Video

One Coin Magic

Magic with coins is my favorite expression within the performance art of Close-Up Magic.  I have worked with this particular “One Coin” routine for approximately 35 years.  A magical effect is never finished it just keeps evolving and growing.  I sincerely hope you enjoy it!

My thanks to the very talented Kevin MacLeod, for creating the beautiful music and allowing me to use it here.

Music:
“Sardana” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

© 2015 Steven Paul Carlson.
This video is copyrighted and may not be used without the written permission of Steven Paul Carlson


Master Magician, Steven Paul Carlson

Master Magician, Steven Paul CarlsonYou are entering a world of magic and illusion where anything is possible… pick a card… any card.  😉

This is my new magic promo poster, I had lots of fun creating it, I hope you enjoy it.


Video

Dancing with the Queen of Hearts – Steven Carlson

The Queen of Hearts, with her charismatic charm, completely enthralls her eight suitors.

Originally I wrote a little story, about a princess, to fit the magical effect of this card trick.

Personally, I loved the story, but after years of performing and testing I found music to be the best accompaniment. I truly hope you enjoy!

 

Kevin MacLeod created the wonderful music!  Let me tell you, Kevin’s one talented guy!  Here’s his link.
“Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

© 2015 Steven Paul Carlson.
This video is copyrighted and may not be used without the written permission of Steven Paul Carlson