Brian Brushwood (a magician and skeptic) says:
magic only exists in a willful contract between the person that wants to be fooled and the magician who says, "I'm now going to fool you". (SGU episode 205)
James Randi (also a magician and skeptic) says:
magicians are the most honest people in the world; they tell you they're gonna fool you, and then they do it. (An Honest Liar: The James Randi Story (Trailer))
If these people are self-identifying as magicians, then they are saying: "I'm now going to fool you."
There are many variants and related tricks involving changing one thing into another thing or making something appear where it previously wasn't:
Additionally, Lawrence Keleman doesn't claim that "Egyptian magicians today turn sticks into snakes". The exact quote from Permission to Receive is:
D.P. Mannix writes that modern Egyptians have preserved some of those "secret arts," and still practice the "snake as stiff as a rod" trick.