thejerx

Anti-heckler judo for the amateur magician

Andy at The Jerx (previously) describes a surprisingly effective tactic for putting a heckler in his place during the performance of a magic trick. Read the rest

Why magicians should never snap their fingers as part of a trick

Andy from The Jerx (previously) continues to develop the theory of "audience-centered magic" with an excellent post on the deficiencies of snapping one's fingers to mark the moment at which some magic effect is meant to be happening. Read the rest

Towards an empirical theory of performing Tenyo tricks and other magic gadgets

For decades, the Japanese magic trick company Tenyo has delighted amateur conjurers with their little magic gimmicks, which can be very clever indeed, but which are nearly guaranteed to fall flat when performed for friends and strangers. Read the rest

Some delightfully sweet Valentine's magic for you to perform

Andy from The Jerx (previously) shows how you can use Thomas Bloomberg's Konami Code effect (which allows the performer to force an observer to pick a certain square in a grid, despite a seeming free choice) to perform a baffling and delightful effect using a box of assorted chocolates this Valentine's Day. Read the rest

How to make a coin vanish (without seeming like a weirdo)

Andy at the Jerx elaborates on a great way to set up a magic trick: "the peek backstage." Read the rest

Using Benjamin Franklin's behavioral economics maxim in magic

When Benjamin Franklin wanted someone to like him, he'd ask that person to do him a favor, because he noticed that people who'd done him a nice turn would rationalize this by assuming that they'd done so because they liked him, and so they'd continue to do him other favors in the future based on that affection. Read the rest

How to make your own magic "forcing pad"

"Svengali pads," are magic props that, like a Svengali deck of cards, selectively shaves down alternating leaves so that a performer can seemingly riffle all the pages but only display every second page. Read the rest

How to perform a magic gimmick in a way that astounds

For many years, Tenyo's clever "self-performing" magic gimmicks have been a delight to amateur magicians and a bugaboo of professionals, who sneered at them as being obvious, hackneyed and, well, gimmicky. Read the rest

Magic: Conjurers' audiences are most suspicious of extra effort

The Jerx (previously) gave an audience at a magic show an app that let them tap when their suspicions were aroused.

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Unseen Magic: tricks that make you want to perform

Patrick Kun's Unseen Magic videos compile 5-10 second clips of beautifully executed magic tricks that combine manual dexterity with fabulous showmanship. Read the rest

A better vanish technique

Andy from The Jerx points out that the traditional conjurer's technique of tapping once, twice, thrice-and-VANISH is a fundamentally unsound way to do a vanish, because you're showing the audience what the tap looks like when you're doing doing the move, and no matter how much you practice that move, you'll do something a little different that third time. Read the rest

How to do impromptu magic tricks without being a dork

If you're like me, you've learned a few "everyday magic" tricks that you can do with things normal humans carry around in their pockets, and if you're like me, you've discovered that it's hard to casually do an awesome, perfectly practiced trick without being kind of socially awkward and dorky. Read the rest

A magic trick to try at the beach

On The Jerx (previously), "Andy" describes a fantastic magic trick that you can only pull off under very special circumstances: a day at the beach. Read the rest

The story of magic: how narrative destroys conjurers' effects, or elevates them to transcendence

The Jerx is an anonymous, iconoclastic blog written by a heterodox magician who holds his fellow magicians in disdain for their terrible storytelling skills. Read the rest