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Lyons Den

The cheerful ironic distance, the stellar sleight of hand, the palpable intellect behind the sesquipedalian banter... Jamy Ian Swiss pays tribute to magic legend Ricky Jay.

Submitted Tue, 11/27/2018

It’s a big one! If you have any interest in card magic, then you must read this double review by Jamy Ian Swiss of Denis Behr’s recent book Handcrafted Card Magic Vol. 3 and four-disc DVD-set Magic on Tap. In a word, it’s all about… taste.

Submitted Thu, 11/15/2018

With the release of the second printing of The Magic of Johnny Thompson, Jamy Ian Swiss takes a close look at five of the master’s choicest classic routines in the latest Take Two.

Submitted Mon, 09/10/2018

Sorry to dash your hopes, but despite the title, this is not Steve Spill’s personal update of the Kama Sutra. But it is a book about relationships: about a magician’s relationship with his art...

Submitted Fri, 07/20/2018

On July 2nd, 2018, magic lost one of its favorite sons. The professional magician, Brian Gillis, passed away from complications due to open heart surgery, the result of a major heart attack suffered two weeks prior. He was 71 years old. 

Submitted Wed, 07/11/2018

Silvan’s performing record as a “general practitioner” reflects a tremendously accomplished career, including as the author of a dozen books for both magicians and the public, not to mention the sale of more than a million magic kits for beginners.

Submitted Tue, 05/01/2018

What accounts for the longevity of this classic? A recent survey has been touted that suggests that the public supposedly dislikes the classics of magic. The results of this survey mean—well, absolutely nothing to me, because the survey simply measures participants’ preconceived notions about magic. I, for one, have no interest in creating art based on random surveys or focus groups; I’ll leave that to lousy summer blockbuster movies.

Submitted Tue, 04/24/2018

Why get The Paradigm Shift Vol. 1 & 2? Because they are “filled to the brim with theory, technique, effects, history, perspective, experience, and a distinctive creator’s voice. What more do you want...?”

Submitted Thu, 03/15/2018

The nature of the variety arts is such that there have always been, and shall always be, unsung heroes. I can tick off a list of performers who had significant impact on me in the course of my life in magic, whose names would mostly be recognized by locals who shared the same geography. 

Submitted Thu, 02/08/2018

On the first weekend of January, my partner, Ann Coleman, and I took my twin stepsons, Dexter and Grayson, now 14 years old, to Los Angeles for a three-day adventure, in the concluding days of their winter break before returning to ninth grade. This was the “J-Pa Knows A Guy” road trip (a sort of running family joke about me), that included magic, music, meals and more.

Submitted Wed, 01/24/2018

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