A “close-up magician” is quite an ambiguous term and there’s a lot of confusion around what each variant of the phrase means. Therefore, I’m putting on my professor’s hat for a minute and providing quick explanations for each type of close-up magician:
Close-up magician is a catch-all name that covers all of the types of magician I’ll explain below. I’ve also been card a “close hand magician”, an “up close magician” and many similar things.
A walkaround magician or walkabout magician normally mingles with guests during a cocktail party or similar. I most regularly perform as a walkaround magician and it’s my favourite type of performance.
As you might expect, a table magician, table top magician or similar performs during a meal, entertaining the entire table at a time. This is often seen as banquets and weddings.
A sleight of hand magician performs tricks that require considerable dexterity. I’ve practiced for almost twenty years and thus, consider myself a sleight of hand magician.
There are many other phrases and words used to describe a magician (all positive, I hope!), but these cover those that you might hear often.