What is a Manhattan Magician? Houdini was one.
It would seem that any prestidigitator who resided, resides or even performs in the Big Apple is a Manhattan Magician. But in actuality a Manhattan Magician is a symbol. It’s a symbol of the magic art, yes, but it also represents a way of life. This way of life is to reach for the stars and sometimes even touch them.
The Irony of Being a Manhattan Magician
Manhattan Magicians are people of integrity because a Manhattan Magician makes it known that what they are doing are actually “tricks” and no claim is being made that it is real magic. Or to put it a different way, Manhattan Magicians dislike fraudulent psychics who use the toolbox of the Manhattan Magician to fool people and convince them that they actually have mystical powers.
World of Magic Imagination
A Manhattan Magician recognizes that the performances they do are for entertainment purposes only. There are no claims as to the work being real magic. But ironically, if we let ourselves suspend our disbelief the mere tricks of a Manhattan Magician can transport us to another world, a world of imagination. This world of imagination is the creative place that Manhattan Magician creators create from.
The Art of Being a Manhattan Magician
The art of the Manhattan Magician actually borrows from other art forms. The Manhattan Magician is in a sense an actor playing the role of a magician per an idea by Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin. The words that are spoken by a Manhattan Magician are often written by the performer themselves which makes the person doing so a writer. Additionally, the Manhattan Magician is a director who assesses and directs themselves by practicing in front of a mirror.
Manhattan Magicians and Other Vocations
The fact that a Manhattan Magician is really an actor/writer/director is why magicians have been known to explore other aspects of show business and are successful doing it. Some of the most famous and respected writer/director/actors such as Orson Welles were also Manhattan Magicians.