Ricky Jay – magician, sleight-of-hand artist extraordinaire, actor, author, scholar of weirdness and oddities, Guinness award winner for throwing playing cards – passed away on November 24th at age 72.
Ricky Jay's life and legacy have been dutifully celebrated in the feature documentary Deceptive Practice, an enduring 1993 profile in The New Yorker, and lately by David Mamet's eulogy. The man indeed left a dent in the magic community.
A personal note should say enough for my love of this man's work. I have only one object hanging on my studio walls: an original print of Ricky Jay’s book cover “Cards as Weapons.”
I was a teenage kid when I stumbled upon the card-magic bible "The Expert At The Card Table" by S.W.Erdnase. This book became an obsession of mine for a few years; eventually I translated and published the work in my native Italian. One day I got my paws on a VHS tape of a man who took Erdnase’s century-old presentation “The Exclusive Coterie” and brought it back to life – with humor, a charming style, and a never-before-seen flair. I was completely enraptured. That performance set the bar for artistry and excellence for years to come.
Ricky Jay’s long time friend, collaborator and co-conspirator Michael Weber said, “The real mark of an artist is not becoming known as the finest exponent of their art. It’s when the only way to describe what they do is to name them.”
Well, Ricky Jay’s name is set in stone: an artist in a league by himself. Read the rest
Eric Chien's got some nimble fingers, a shit-ton of showmanship, and a magic trick that'll blow your mind. The trick is so frigging good that Chien won a 2018 Fism Grand Prix award with it. Read the rest
Actor Harry Anderson, best known for presiding over NBC's 'Night Court,' has died. He was 65. Read the rest
There are two kinds of magic tricks. One kind makes the spectator think: "That magician must have a lot of skill to pull off such a difficult trick." The other kind makes the spectator think: "That was impossible." I saw Pascali perform at the Magic Castle in Hollywood last year, and he does impossible magic. Enjoy this brief film about Pascali, directed by Jacob Rosenberg.
When I met Franco Pascali, I was struck by how much I felt like I was meeting and hanging out with a young street skater. However, instead of witnessing skate tricks he destroyed me by his usage of cards. Much like the world of skateboarding that I was raised in, magic and cardistry are intensely personal and individually orientated in terms of the endless practice that is required to master them. Tricks are performed with decks and each person embodies a style that is distinctly their own. That style is reflective of the influences they devoured when they were coming up and their intrinsic sensibility that they develop as they mature. As I spent time with Franco I immediately wanted to point my camera at him to capture the way he dressed, the way he talked, the breathtaking way he moved cards and the feeling I had in encountering such raw talent. This is our first film.
Franco Pascali is 19 years-old and lives in Los Angeles. He is a director of magic at Theory11.
Photos by Stephen Vanasco Read the rest
Cyril Takayama is American-Japanese magician who started his career as a teenager busking on the streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo. Today he is regarded as one of the best magicians in the world. The entire one-hour video above is worth watching, but I've queued it to his signature card-through-the-window trick.
[via] Read the rest
Before we had names for them or a science to study their impact, the people who could claim the most expertise on biases, fallacies, heuristics and all the other recently popularized quirks of human reasoning were scam artists, con artists, and magicians.