The History of Magic And Why Children’s Magicians Are Perfect for Parties


There are very  few things more magical than a child’s reaction to a magic trick; their faces light up, mesmerized by the trick performed in front of their eyes.  It’s one of the  reasons why parents like to book children’s magicians, who can pluck coins from behind ears, and cards from hats and make amazing things happen.


For more than 20 years, I have been performing as a family magician in Melbourne, bamboozling youngsters and teenagers (and even older kids too) with tricks that bring smiles and laughter to birthday parties and private events.


But while Micky Trickstar is known as a children’s magician that may leave you scratching your heads and gaping in wonderment today, magic is an art that stretches back decades.


The Rise of Children’s Party Magicians


Exactly when magic tricks became so synonymous with children’s birthday parties is not certain, but children’s magicians have been performing for centuries. From royal princes and princesses to the young kids of Europe’s most important industrialists, parents were inviting conjurors and magicians to entertain children at private parties for centuries.


The biggest difference between then and more recent decades (other than the tricks themselves) is that it’s no longer the wealthy than can indulge in the option. It’s something all children can look forward to, and family magicians in Melbourne and across Australia are happy to oblige.


Of course, the ‘show’ has to be something more than simply choosing cards and pulling coloured handkerchiefs from felt bags. It’s a performance that marries music, acting and comedy that leaves children cheering and demanding more.  Hard work sure… but the most fulfilling.


So, how long have children’s magicians been entertaining the masses? Well, believe it or not, you need to go back almost 5,000 years. Just to put this into perspective; around the time the Pyramids were being built in Egypt.


TheTimeline of Magic


  • 2700 Before the Common Era (BCE) – The first recorded magic trick is reputed to have been performed in ancient Egypt by a man called Dedi. The ‘Cups and Balls’ trick (and variants of it) remains a hugely popular party trick.


  • 50-300 Common Era (CE) – The Acetabularii, a group of magicians, performed Dedi’s own trick (and others) in ancient Rome for over 250 years.


  • 1000-1500 –After disappearing from view through the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages saw a rise in street performances, featuring cups and balls and sleight of hands. It was during this time that people were often suspicious of magic and associated it with witchcraft.


  • 1584 – The breakthrough for magicians was the publishing of a book that revealed street magic as a neat trick, not witchcraft. The Discoverie of Witchcraft, written by Reginald Scot, took time to be accepted – but it was a start. Other books followed, like The Art of Conjuring (1614) and The Anatomy of Legerdemain: The Art of Juggling (1675).


  • 1720s – Isaac Fawlkes is celebrated throughout England for his ‘dexterity of hand’.  Performing at fairs he is reputed to have earned over £10,000 pounds over his lifetime, and even performed for King George II. This was the first golden era for street and children’s magicians, with the links to witchcraft finally cast off.


  • 1756-1781 – Famed magician and astrologer Jacob Philadelphia is celebrated across Europe, performing for kings, queens, sultans and emperors. He even famously read the mind of Friedrich The Great, King of Prussia.


  • 1784 – The book Physical Amusements written by Joseph Pinetti, promoted magic as theatre entertainment rather than a street act. The Italian was a magician to the Court of Louis XVI of France. He performed the first recorded instance of the Thumb Tie Effect, where the magician’s thumbs are tied together and tricks are performed as if they were untied and regularly performed the Orange Tree Illusion where various items would emerge from a plant such as oranges and butterflies.


  • 1805-1871 – Hailed as the Father of Modern Magic, French illusionist Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin brings a new glamour to magic by performing in elegant theatres and the drawing rooms of the wealthy.


  • 1874-1926 – The most famous name in magic (and especially escapology) Harry Houdini emerges onto the magic scene. Hungarian by birth, he started as The King of Cards before being known as the The Handcuff King.  He was one of the first people to fly a plane in Australia – at Diggers Rest, Victoria in 1910.


  • 1894-1992 – Canada’s most famous magician, Dai Vernon, is known as The Man Who Fooled Houdini after the iconic figure could not figure out one of his card tricks.


  • 1921 – The first Sawing in Half trick was performed by PT Selbit.


  • 1940 – Still a favourite children’s magician’s trick, Edward M. Massey invents the Finger Chopper trick.


  • 1952 – Modern Coin Magic is written by JB Bobo, still considered the most important work on coin tricks.


  • 1956 – The most famous TV illusionist, David Copperfield, is born. Since his TV debut in the 1970s, he has won 38 Emmy Awards and holds 11 Guinness World Records.
  • 1977 – Street magic makes a comeback with the book Street Magic by celebrated American street performer Jeff Sheridan – the first street magician to perform in New York in over 100 years.


  • 1990s – There are an abundance of magic shows shown on television across the world.  The Masked Magician exposes secrets, while David Blaine, Chris Angel and England’s Derren Brown become the new stars.


  • 2000s – The mercurial Micky Trickstar is already bamboozling kids as a children’s magician at birthday parties across Melbourne.


Micky Trickstar Magician


Magic has been a passion of mine for around 20 years, and as one of the most experienced family magicians in Melbourne, it remains a hugely enjoyable one.


With a background in theatre, I bring a hint of the mystery and a touch of the thrill that is so closely associated with the art of entertainment. Infused with energy and comedy, I will  take the whole party on an unforgettable magical journey, performing a range of tricks for all ages.


Shows are especially styled to my audience, but every show includes goofy photos, lots of chat and an introduction to Bella, a white dove. For more details on Melbourne’s leading children’s magician, check out my website and contact me via the online form or at 0412 809 574.