So "Close-up Magic" Parties are a Thing You Should Know About for 2018

Have you heard of "close-up magic"? When we think of Magicians, our minds often go to David Copperfield or Houdini himself, ladies in sequins getting their noggins chopped off and reassembled in time for applause, big stages, spotlights and maybe even tigers. Wait no, that's a circus.

Close-up magic is an interactive and more intimate version of chopping heads off bedazzled ladies. It actually deals more with tricks involving cards, scarfs, rings, and sleight of hand. And the audience is positioned up-close so that the magic is witnessed, not merely observed from afar. Basically, it's those slick European street-hustlers you loved in Paris, in your home! Except this time you end the night with your heart abuzz with magic, instead of, say, not being able to find your wallet.

 Sensei Strange performs some tricks for a captive(ated) audience in Austin, TX

Sensei Strange performs some tricks for a captive(ated) audience in Austin, TX

I had the pleasure of hosting one of these parties in my home this past winter with The Secret Society, and everyone there was super wowed out. I suffer from a marked lack of the genes required for suspension of disbelief (unless it's a horror movie, which my brain will take as pure truth bombs + my immediate destiny). Despite this handicap, I found myself enchanted with many of the magicians' acts at our fancy soiree. And our guests' party participation levels were en pointe!

 Guests were encouraged to dress to thrill and this man never disappoints.

Guests were encouraged to dress to thrill and this man never disappoints.

As the night began, we were treated to a mix of seated close-up magic shows with about 5-10 guests each and a larger venue (ahem, my studio/living room) magic show of about 20 guests. Each small gathering had an interesting theme and style to it, which I loved. Because I love themes. This one time, I married a soldier before he left for war, so we had a ceremony at the Naval Museum and guests were asked to wear attire suitable for a 40's wedding. The marriage did not last, but the pictures of all my beautiful sisters in cheap polyester knock-off swing dresses persist, to their horror.

The two really small close-up shows were my personal favorite, with only 5-6 guests at each performance so everyone felt connected to the magic and the performers.

 Jason Wylie, the Irish Magician, pours a Bushmills up for each guest, explaining lore of his home country while dazzling us with sleight of hand and cards.

Jason Wylie, the Irish Magician, pours a Bushmills up for each guest, explaining lore of his home country while dazzling us with sleight of hand and cards.

 Sensei Strange deals us some mystery and, honestly, the best "white guy rap" I've seen this close, hands down. THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND FUN PERFORMANCE ART.

Sensei Strange deals us some mystery and, honestly, the best "white guy rap" I've seen this close, hands down. THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND FUN PERFORMANCE ART.

As we swapped rooms between shows, we laughed merrily and ate tons of wine and drank gallons of cheese, sipped on grapes and hoarked down sparkling cocktails. During intermission and after the shows, we watched a great band play in the backyard.

 "Viewers Like Ewe" laying down some backyard tunes for us.

"Viewers Like Ewe" laying down some backyard tunes for us.

The Birthday Girl was celebrated in style with a Kids Show that had some super cute slapstick routines. And the tour-de-force was a double-feature with some really standout performance magic.

 Jeff tickling our inner childrens' funnyboneS.

Jeff tickling our inner childrens' funnyboneS.

 Brad putting stars in our weary-of-adulting eyes.

Brad putting stars in our weary-of-adulting eyes.

The night was really fantastic. We had lots of fun and learned a bunch of things about magic in history, and the magicians even learned a thing or two from us. 

 beautiful Revelers reveling.

beautiful Revelers reveling.

 Roger explains his trick  WHILE  doing the trick for some welcome and adorable comic relief.

Roger explains his trick WHILE doing the trick for some welcome and adorable comic relief.

 Speaking of people who never disappoint when it comes to costumery. <handclap>

Speaking of people who never disappoint when it comes to costumery. <handclap>

 Men in Hats was a most-welcome theme of the night.

Men in Hats was a most-welcome theme of the night.

 Good spirits abound!

Good spirits abound!

 More well-dressed lovelies. There were so many, I lost count.

More well-dressed lovelies. There were so many, I lost count.

 The Birthday Girl (left) and good friend strike a pose.

The Birthday Girl (left) and good friend strike a pose.

We had an absolutely grand time. 10/10 would do again.


If you'd like to enjoy a Night with The Secret Society, send in the form here requesting more info on a Magic Party!