Magic as a performance has existed for thousands of years in many cultures as a wondrous display of skill and intrigue that captivates its audiences, and as it has grown into a defined profession with many famous names, a need for international organization has arisen, and in 1922 the International Brotherhood of Magicians was formed. The organization has its origins in the correspondence between three magicians about magic in general. As it grew, more and more magicians wanted to take part in it and began to set up local sects in their own towns and cities. Now it is the largest organization of its kind in the whole world.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians exists to bring people with the common interest in and skill in magic together, and to promote everything magic with the exchange of ideas and to provide an organizational resource so that magicians may find each other and grow their trade. The “IBM” allows for people all over the world to stay connected with each other so that they may establish a professional presence globally. It is fulfilling and significant for people to know that there are people all over the world who do what they do and love it just as much, while protecting the craft.
As an international body of people of a similar trade, the IBM provides regulatory services in regards to ethics and professional standards. They have opposed the exposure of magicians’ secrets and the cruel treatment of animals for the sake of entertainment. Being part of a large body with elected officials ensures that people are being held to a certain standard, and cannot brazenly defy or damage the interests and needs of their industry without penalty. The IBM provides a long list of by-laws and rules that serve as a guide for the behavior expected from listed magicians and the goals of the organization as a whole. Magic is an art, and while one person might paint a picture or write a story, magicians use their particular skills to create a trick or illusion, and the protection of these tricks as actual pieces of art are fundamental to the interests of the organization, and a key part of this regulatory process is in the protection thereof.
On top of the regulatory benefits and solidarity in practice afforded by the IBM, packages of benefits from life insurance to healthcare, and even rental car services are provided to members. As a trade that is often self-started and self-managed, it is often difficult to guarantee personal income and the market can be uncertain, as is the nature of individual job-based entertainment services. With membership, the IBM can alleviate some of these uncertainties.
The IBM chooses a “Magician of the Year” annually for the best or greatest contributor. One such magician is Close-up Magic pioneer and Mentalist Mio, who has performed for innumerous celebrities and functions and won the 2013 “Magician of the Year” award. Performing on cruise ships to high profile birthday parties and more, Mio has made a huge name for himself within the industry. For the best in mentalism in Miami, come see one of his live shows, or visit his website.