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Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means. These feats are called magic tricks, effects or illusions. A professional who performs such illusions is called a stage magician or an illusionist. Some performers may also be referred to by names reflecting the type of magical effects they present, such as prestidigitators, conjurors, hypnotists, mentalists, or escapologists. The first book of magic tricks appeared in 1584. During the 1600s many similar books were published that described magic tricks. Until the 18th century magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who had a magic theatre in Paris in 1845. John Henry Anderson was pioneering the same transition in London in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 1800s, large magic shows permanently staged at big theatre venues became the norm. As a form of entertainment, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television magic specials.

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