Comedian Dennis Hemphill as Elliot “The Hawk,” magician extraordinaire.
Thanks to YouTuber hummpy
Andy is now well into year two of The Jerx, and Issue #4 of the JAMM monthly newsletter. While the first year’s blog had quite a number of very strong effects, some of which made it into The Jerx book, the second year saves most of the tricks for the newsletter. Now the blog is for the most part Andy’s attempts to flesh out a theory of amateur performance (interspersed with ads in support of his website). Leaving aside the newsletter for now, I thought I’d link to some of my favorite second-year blog posts.
A few things first, though. Number one: I have no idea what sort of human being Andy is in his other lives, but in his Jerx life, he has been, contrary to the expectations of many skeptical magicians, a model citizen. He has delivered everything that he has promised—two books, a monthly newsletter, other paraphernalia, and most importantly in my opinion, his blog—in a timely manner. While this is the normal expectation in most spheres of commerce, sadly, for some reason in the magic world, it’s too often the exception rather than the rule. So although Andy would probably cringe at the designation, he has been a man of integrity.
Number two: I’m sort of done with telling folks how good some of this stuff is. There’s enough for free on the blog to decide whether it’s your kind of thing or not. Andy takes a kind of cost-analysis approach to his magic that basically asks: what investment of time/money/practice will best improve the experience of magic for the audience? Andy’s real strength is that when he puts forth an idea, he really explores it and puts it into practice, rather than just giving lip service to the concept. But because improved audience impact often has nothing to do with issues of method, and rather results from focusing more on presentational issues, some will bypass The Jerx. All I can do is shrug my shoulders.
So, here are some of the Year Two blog posts I’ve enjoyed:
I wore out the Judy Collins‘s In My Life album when I was in college, the album with “Suzanne” and “Marat/Sade” on it. All the songs on that and previous recordings were written by people other than herself, but Judy Collins, an amazing interpreter, always made those songs her own. Later on, she started to write her own songs, songs that no one else could have written. Here is one of those self-penned songs, “My Father,” so exquisitely performed that you don’t believe her when she says it isn’t autobiographical.
Thanks to YouTuber bensisko16
Here’s a wonderful example of a magician who uses misdirection expertly and repeatedly. Magician James Brown won London’s Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year in 2006 for this routine.
More James Brown at James Brown