I don’t usually do guest posts here (okay, I’ve never done guest posts here), because it’s not that kind of a blog, but I thought I’d make an exception. Last year’s magic contest winner, Joe Mckay of England, asked me if he could present his case here for financially supporting the magic site The Jerx. I’ve written about the site before, of which I’m a great admirer, and right now the site is at a crossroads: after a year of entertaining posts including some very good, original effects and method descriptions, the site is asking for donations to continue.
I think it’s a fair request, and as Michael Close wrote recently in a completely different context, the site is “that kind of thing that those who like that kind of thing will like.”
And yes, this request is totally selfish on my part, as I have pledged towards the site’s money target—but there will be no continuation of the site until it’s completely funded. As of this writing, the site has reached 88% of its goal. So I’m hoping that Joe’s post might entice you to donate (invest?), so that we can all enjoy another year of the site.
Here’s Joe’s post (make sure to follow the links for some great magic):
“Go check out www.thejerx.com— it is a magic blog written by an anonymous figure called Andy who lives in New York.
He is my favourite thinker in magic today and his blog is something all magicians should check out. He has been posting about 3-5 times a week for the past 18 months. There is a ton of great stuff there. Offbeat magic unlike anything else around. Very funny commentary and a ton of useful theory that overturns a lot of the conventional wisdom we see in most books on magic. A lot of the biggest names in magic are hip to the blog and you should be to.
Andy has a remarkable brain. Imagine if Paul Harris, Derren Brown and Penn & Teller were genetically spliced together and then dropped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. That is how Andy thinks about magic.
Here are some of my favourite tricks from the blog:
1) A lovely trick that was inspired by the effect that climaxed Derren Brown’s first TV special here in the UK. I have never seen an ending to a trick as sweet as this one. That sounds twee but Andy has introduced something new here. It has a lovely nostalgic touch I have never seen before in a trick.
2) Andy applies takes one of my favourite principles in magic (UF Grant’s Million Dollar Mystery) and extends it into an instant transposition that takes place over thousands of miles.
3) Andy reworks The Invisible Deck to create a totally different effect. In this case – you convince the spectator you have hypnotized him. The thinking here is equal parts strange and sneaky. I cannot imagine the odd effect this would create in the spectator’s brain.
4) You introduce yourself to a spectator and blow his mind by convincing him he is your long lost twin. The presentation and method here play off each other in a way that builds and builds. This is both hilarious and deceptive. This would definitely have fooled me if I have experienced it live.
Another favourite is the trick where you transport a spectator to parallel universe (I am not kidding). But I will leave that one for you to try and track down as you work through the blog.
I could mention a ton of other great things about the blog. But brevity is useful with any recommendation. So I don’t want to make this one too long. It will take a couple of weeks of intensive reading for people to catch up with all the posts. But it is definitely worth doing.
The revelation of how he does these tricks is fun but also a bit disappointing. I thought magicians weren’t supposed to tell the secrets!! I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to read them.
Andy doesn’t reveal just for the sake of revealing—his blog is really aimed at amateur magicians who actually want to perform his stuff. The assumption is that only magic geeks would bother to read his blog…