COVER: Jay Sankey, Let's Get It On
By Jamie D. Grant
With over 1,800 published magic tricks, it's hard to believe Jay Sankey needs an introduction. Odds are you have one of his effects or DVDs in your home or office somewhere and, as a result, have heard or seen Jay as he teaches you something in his recognizably offbeat and impromptu manner. But when you actually stop and think about it, about him, questions can rise to the surface — none more curious than this: what do we really know about Jay Sankey? You might be able to describe what he looks like, and you can probably recognize the names of some of his most successful effects, but what about the man himself? Do you know how old he is? If he went to school? Where he lives? That's what made us decide to sit down and talk with Jay about everything Sankey, to ask him about his reputation as a recluse, what exactly happened with his Big Ass Box of Magic, and what he has to say to the critics who think he puts out too much material. To our surprise, we didn't find him to be the J.D. Salinger type at all. Instead, he seemed like an open and forthcoming guy with a lot to say.
Cards, Coins, and More
By Joshua Jay and Andi Gladwin
This "Sampling of Sankey" includes four close-up effects created by Jay Sankey. Three were originally released on video, and one has not been previously published at all.
Jarrow, the Humorist Trickster
By David Charvet
The turning point in Emil Jarrow's career came in February 1910 during a performance at the Colonial Theater in New York. The Colonial was known as a "showing house" where agents would come to see new acts and those hoping to break into big-time vaudeville. The top theaters were part of the Keith-Albee-Orpheum circuit, controlled by B.F. Keith, E.F. Albee, and Martin Beck. Beck had discovered Houdini in 1900 and made him a star. A booking on the K-A-O circuit could make a performer's career. After one of the shows at the Colonial, Jarrow received visitors with a surprising request, as reported by The New York Telegraph:
"The other day at the Colonial, where Jarrow was performing, Martin Beck and E.F. Albee went up to look over the act, and after seeing it were convinced that the trickster must use two lemons and his own money. They sent word back asking if he objected to doing the trick in his dressing room and would allow them to furnish the lemon. The magician had no objection, and Beck and Albee, after securing the lemon, proceeded to the dressing room, where the trick was performed before their scrutinizing gaze. They took their departure a little laterů thoroughly mystified."
By Rory Johnston
The classic novel A Tale of Two Cities begins with the famous line "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." This story is also a tale of two cites — and two magicians in those two cities — and although they, like any other entertainers, have been through the age of foolishness, incredulity, darkness, and despair, they have reached the epoch of belief, the season of light, the spring of hope, and now have everything before them. At least that's how Charles Dickens might have put it. Sure, they've hit a few bumps, gone round and round, and had their ups and downs, but that's to be expected in an environment featuring bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, and roller coasters. Theirs is the world of amusement parks, where the games can be tough, but for the few successful winners, the prizes are huge. In the case of these two, Ben Ulin and David Garrity, the prize has been a combined 45 years of steady work!
Music to My Ears
The second installment of this series focuses on "Types of Music," with tips on what sort of music might best fit your act, which type is best used for what occasion, what advantages and disadvantages does each category have, and which type of music might one personally find most suitable.
Cut a Petal in Belgium, Feel the Effects in Las Vegas
"It is an icon for our show and the piece I hope to be remembered by in magic history." So says Teller of his Shadows routine, in which he slashes the shadow of a rose, magically causing the petals and leaves of the actual flower to fall as if he had cut them directly. In April of this year, Teller took legal action to protect his signature piece from being copied and sold without his permission.
Women of Magic
For the first time in its nearly fifty-year history, the Magic Castle has devoted a full week to the feminine side of conjuring. Women of Magic Week took place May 7-13, with solely female performers working in all the rooms. The event was produced by Dale Hindman in honor of Geri Larsen, mother of Castle founders Bill and Milt Larsen and a popular Los Angeles magician in her own right.
Edited by Gabe Fajuri
Fifteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Brad Henderson, Francis Menotti:
Executive Wallet by Roy Roth
The Badger by Anthony Miller
Mind Ball by David Regal
The Attic Is In My Chest by Dominique Duvivier
Time Traveler and The Hollywood Opener
by Tony Chris
Shared Dreams by Marcelo Ins˙a
Basic Training by Ian Kendall
Tru Test by Nathan Kranzo
Learning Patter by Ron Guttman
The Figurine by Lennart Green
Psychic Pad Folio by Banachek
Card Artistry by Justin Flom
Keymaster Reloaded by Craig Petty
Comedy Helper 1 & 2 by Stéphane Bourgoin
Best of British by Magicseen Magazine
Talk About Tricks
Joshua JayMasahiro Yanagida One-Man Issue
"Talk About Tricks" goes to Japan for a one-man issue on the fascinating card magic of Masahiro Yanagida. Shoot Ogawa has provided us with a selection of his mentor's unpublished works, and the effects are outstanding. Nearly all are easy to perform with a borrowed pack, and all are quite stylistically distinct.
The Almighty Dollar
Gregory WilsonNeat Freak
Demonstrating your need to keep your cash neat and tidy, you show a fan of five $1 bills, all arranged in the same direction and orientation. You then disturb this order by turning the two end bills upside down, followed by the middle bill. With all five bills in this condition, you fold them in half and mention that even while in your wallet, you would know something is wrong. You then tap the packet, spread them out, and all five bills have magically rearranged themselves back into their original and organized order. Putting your OCD to the test one more time, you repeat the topsy-turvy turnovers. You then mention that you'll repeat the quick fix, but this time it will be 100 times more impressive. After folding the bills in half, you give the packet a quick rotation, which causes it to transform into five $100 bills! The bills are also facing in the same direction and orientation, making everything right in this perfectly ordered universe.
Joanie Spina#6. Have I Made Myself Clear
Clarity is integral in getting the most impact from your presentation. Throughout all of your work, you should take care to be true to your vision. The better the audience is able to follow a routine, the more enjoyable it will be. Though complicated themes and storylines have their place, simplicity is recommended for short pieces. All elements should combine to create one overall effect. The music, magic, scripting, staging, and lighting should complement one another, always creating a stronger result, never distracting from the main focus.
Ian RowlandSee Yet Unseen
This month's article is all about the curious art of openly displaying a prediction while keeping it concealed at the same time. Two ideas are presented, one suitable for stage work and the other for informal occasions when you're enjoying a coffee with friends. No matter how many times they look at your prediction, they'll never see it!
For What It's Worth
Mark KornhauserExpect the Expected
It turns out the Boy Scouts had it right: "Be prepared — or you will not go to the Jamboree." Preparation is everything. Lack of preparation will result in "bad luck." Some odd combination of events will go wrong. You will look dumb. At some point you will be hugely embarrassed. As well you should be.
The creative process is an elusive thing. So when my fellow magi ask me where I come up with the ideas for the routines they have seen me perform, I find it a difficult question to answer. While I do have a process of sorts for developing routines, it defies explanation. You need to find your own process, that series of steps that works for you. And the best advice I can give you on how one might go about developing these processes is to build things.
Robert E. KabacyMagicians, Travel, and TSA
After a great visit to Las Vegas and a stop at a local magic store to show off the Psychic Clipboard I had made, I arrived at McCarren International airport to begin my journey home. Standing in the security line, I waited and waited for my turn. I finally made it to the plastic bin area and began to disrobe for the inspection process. I placed my carry-on bag on the conveyor, slipped my laptop, shoes, and sweater into a bin, and then stepped into the futuristic archway. As I walked through without a feared beep, I could see that the X-ray screener was talking into his collar. Reading his lips, I could make out, "We got one! We got one!"