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.
BY JAMY IAN SWISS | Welcome to Take Two. Every Friday I'll be posting a pair of magic performance videos, accompanied by commentary—in essence a projection of curation—with a goal to pen 52 posts. I encourage non-magicians to enjoy these clips along with the magic community, as I intend to avoid outright discussion of methods. All this is subject to some adjustment over time and experience, but these are the goals at the start.
Jamy Ian Swiss looks back at his early influences in magic: visiting Tannen’s, joining the famous Saturday-afternoon crowd at Governor's, and watching and learning from one of the chief-holders-of-court ... Harry Lorayne.
In this Take Two, Jamy Ian Swiss remembers the legendary Pat Page: a classic sleight-of-hand performer with sharp and funny banter packed in an outsized, charming and memorable character.
Jamy Ian Swiss remembers a true master of cabaret magic, Paul Potassy, in this week’s Take Two. If you didn’t know Potassy, you need to read this post. If you did know him, enjoy Jamy’s wonderful reflection of a fine gentleman and great magician.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dai Vernon described Charlie Miller as one of the best card handlers he had ever encountered. Although the two were a generation apart in age, they began a friendship that would last through their lifetimes. Miller would become a remarkable magical maestro in his own right.
He builds illusions his own particular way, generally with full-scale constructions rather than computer simulations or miniature models. He emphasizes that real-world performance is vastly different than theory on paper or screen, and thus his old world skill set delivers the most modern of solutions for every conceivable variety of need and application. I literally cannot imagine the skills it requires to restore or recreate the automata that fuel Gaughan’s passion, but I am truly wondrous every time I see one of his performances with them.