Career

Jay Sankey: Get To Know The Close-up Magician, Stand-up Comedian, And Author

Career, Performance
Jay Sankey

 Jay Sankey is a Canadian close-up magician, stand-up comedian, and author, best known for his creation of magic effects. He’s an old timer in the business, having been center stage since the mid-1980s and his success in magic hasn’t slowed.

However there’s dark truth to his quote, “As wonderful as it is, not everyone likes magic. Try to only share your magic with people who enjoy it.”

Jay Sankey has met some rough patches, like most magicians, as well as his fair share of conflicts. However through the challenges, his magic has shone through and is considered to this day, one of the most original thinkers in the magic world.

He’s also one of the finest magic teachers still practicing today.

This talent didn’t just magically happen overnight, however.

Jay’s gift was evident from a young age. For his 11th birthday, Jay was given a magic toy set that he loved and gave him the inspiration he needed to kickstart his long, windy road to magic stardom.

By the age of 18, Jay was traveling the world lecturing about sleight of hand magic to both amateur magician and professionals.

Look at it this way: while most of us were beginning to study our passions in university, he was teaching his. That didn’t deter him from entering university, though. He still made time to graduate from the University of Toronto where he enjoyed studying psychology, philosophy and film.

This passion and early experience have led Jay Sankey to perform in front of some impressive audiences. We’re talking private parties, banquets and corporate functions for Coca Cola. Honda, Panasonic, Club Med and McDonalds.

On top of these hot dogs, he’s also worked as a consultant for some of the world’s most famous names in the magic industry such as Criss Angel, David Blaine and David Copperfield.

How’s that for a bio?

Jay Sankey in Stand-Up Comedy

As a stand-up comedian, Jay has performed in comedy clubs and numerous festivals for years.

You may have heard of one of them: Just for Laughs comedy festival.

On top of this, Jay has owned one-man shows such as Contents Under Pressure and Borrowed Breath.

Contents Under Pressure was such a hit, it was produced later on for television by Sleeping Giant Productions and aired on Bravo.

Jay Sankey combines his comedic streak with his love of writing through his book, Zen and the Art of the Monologue along with another book that’s considered to be a staple in the comedy community, Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy.

This is one characteristic that really makes Jay stand out from the rest as a unique individual in the magic world: his writing and performing of comedy.

Jay Sankey wearing three eyeglasses

Why would this make him stand out in magic?

He knows how to perform in front of people, how to get them going, and how to keep them at his every word. He’s headlined comedy clubs in Canada, England, and the US, appearing on CBC and CTV shows, defining his presence in the comedy world.

But we’re here for the magic, right?

Let’s take a look at some of Jay Sankey’s magician products and tutorials that will hopefully define his true stance in the magician community as one of the best.

Jay Sankey Products

Jay has spent basically his entire life perfecting his art of magic and cardistry. With all this wisdom and talent, it’s only fair that he shares the knowledge with other admirers and aspiring magicians.

We’ve laid out the best products Jay Sankey has provided as a way to help you spearhead the industry by learning tips and tricks from one of the world’s greatest.

Shape Shifter

Shape Shifter by Jay Sankey

This transforms something you always carry into incredibly powerful magical tools.

Get a spectator to hold onto your ring. While they concentrate, they can feel the ring becoming warm in their hand until they discover they have made the solid ring bend into your specific thought of shape.

Jay Sankey offers his expert handling and absolutely everything you need to perform this magical close-up and interactive performance.

This package comes with DVD and gimmicks and can be found at the Magic Shop

This DVD helps you learn the secrets to Jay’s entertaining version of the original “Professor’s Nightmare”.

This is how it goes:

Three magicians have their own magic wand and clearly, each magician is convinced that their magic wand is far more superior than anyone else's.

The ending scene makes for a shocking surprise where all three ropes mold together to form the world’s longest magical wand. You can use the rope wands for props throughout any show.

This DVD also includes a bonus crash course for entertaining kids, providing useful advice for any situation you may have.

COIL by Jay Sankey - Trick by Sankey Magic
  • Recommended for ages 13 and above.
  • Great GIFT for the magic hobbyist or professional
  • Shipping Weight: 0.35 lbs

You can perform Jay Sankey’s Soil for an awesome opening act and wear the bent nail for the remainder of your show.

Including a full-length DVD, this trick shows how the nail can be closely examined throughout the entire sequence of bends.

Make the nail bend in the spectator’s hands!

Coil is adaptable for all styles and performances and can be reset in seconds.

It also looks awesome, even in short sleeves.

Camouflage (DVD & Gimmicks) by Jay Sankey - Trick
  • Recommended for ages 13 and above.
  • Great GIFT for the magic hobbyist or professional
  • Shipping Weight: 0.35 lbs

This trick includes a secret gimmick that enables the magician to perform seemingly impossible penetrations, fusions, revelations, and amazingly, a levitation.

The gimmick also works with any type of playing cards you may own.

Some of the tricks you’ll find in this package are: Aperture, 51Gone, and Collapsible.

  • Aperture – you’ll learn how to slowly push a pencil through a deck of cards, yet causing no destruction or harm to the cards at all.
  • 51Gone – teaches you how to make a deck of cards disappear from inside a card case, leaving a single card in its place.
  • Collapsible – is created by fusing two halves of a deck together into a single, solid pack.

This project showcases an amazing collection of Bicycle brand cards, all designed to instill a shocking illusion for audiences to remember for years.

It includes card magic that people can see and touch and many of the effects can be handed out to the audience for examination.

Hypervisual is a powerful collection of card magic, and the most amazing collection Jay Sankey has released. As he says, “Seeing really is believing.”

This package also includes over two hours of mental and magic effects. Some of these effects include: Locomotion, In Case of Emergency, Shift, Sleeping Beauties, Terra Unfirma, Uberchange, Out of Control.

  • Locomotion – involves a selected card being pushed over the surface of another card.
  • In Case of Emergency – involves a prediction being written on the card case, undergoing an amazing transformation. The case is handed out to the audience for examination.
  • Shift – is the black design on a selected card being mysteriously shifted 45 degrees. It then magically shifts back into place.
  • Sleeping Beauties – this includes two faces on the Queen of Diamonds suddenly falling asleep. The card can be handed out to the audience for proof that the Queen’s eyes really do shut.
  • Terra Unfirma – transforms a pretend hold in the card into a real one.
  • Uberchange – changes a card even though a sticker initiated by the spectator has been stuck to its face.
  • Out of Control – includes an amazing 3 climax mental routine that must be seen to be believed.

You can learn all of these crazy card changes by Jay through extreme detail and insight that he provides personally.

In this set, you can learn how to get card breaks, how to make the best out of card changes, and how to incorporate spectator initials and signature into card work.

In this package, you’ll also see Kay discussing the uses of time lapses and the power of bucking cards and confidence, along with the secrets of speed and unbroken rhythms.

As a bonus, Jay Sankey also provides a number of changes and tricks that people believe to be some of his most valuable sleights of all time.

22 Blows to the Head

22 blows book

The amazing secrets offered in 22 Blows to the Head include 22 original psychic tricks with spoons, coins, business cards, hole punches, handkerchiefs, matchbooks, newspaper, dollar bills, pay envelopes and of course, playing cards.

Jay Sankey creates each trick to make your audience believe that you actually possess psychic powers.

However, there’s nothing difficult about it!

Some of the tricks you’ll find include: Homicide, Laying on of Hands, Simply Divine, Formal Affair, Symbolic, Divided Attention, Confession, Reenactment and Serial Killer.

All of these tricks use the simple props in order to convince your audience of your psychic powers. You can become a mind reader or a fortune teller, along with a bunch of other magical traits that only the special and divine hold.

You can purchase this set on Sankey Magic.

anytime anywhere

Take on the amazing collection of 34 impromptu effects including incredible routines that require absolutely no set-up of any kind, while using objects borrowed from your audience or passersby.

This includes mind-bending magic and mental tricks, no matter what your skill level is.

Out of the 34 magic tricks you’ll learn, here are some of our favorites:

  • Past, Present, Future – teaches you how to read someone’s mind three times without the need of preshow work or set ups.
  • Seed Money – can help you change two pennies into two dimes. After that, you’ll change both dimes in two half dollars.
  • The Wager – helps you learn how to secretly predict the date on a borrowed coin – 100% free choice.
  • Pawnbroker – allows you to take a borrowed coin and finger ring to change their places three times.
  • Heavy Metal Vanish – will help you develop a powerful impromptu vanish by helping you study the shape and weight of common designs such as cars and houses

On top of these, you’ll also learn Jay Sankey’s Change in Direction, Soft Spot, Hypothesis Production, Heat of the Moment, Inside Out, and Anywhere Wands.

What People Say About Jay Sankey

Jay has one of the largest followings in the world of magic and still maintains a sense of freshness and ingenuity after many years of stardom.

His groups of followers and fans don’t follow him for any reason. He has been influencing magicians for years and continues to come out with new creations that amaze and inspire.

From magazines to professional magicians, everyone has something to say about this incredible magician and his ground-breaking abilities to blow audiences’ minds.

However, there are a few people who aren’t fans of Jay Sankey and who have even gone to the extent of creating hate groups dedicated to him.

While there are perks to the life of a famous magician with thousands of fans, there’s always going to be some people who don’t due to slip-ups or mere personal preferences.

What We Think About Jay Sankey

Jay’s history is undeniably impressive.

From his magic feats to his many faces of stage presence, he has gained a following of loyal fans and admirers that surpasses many other magicians’.

This is mainly due to a special combination of skill and creativity. Not only does he continue to trick people into believing the unbelievable, but he does it with unique and unpredictable methods that only a brilliant mind can conjure.

Our say on his products?

If you’re into props and some of the best magic skills of our time, Jay Sankey’s products are an awesome investment.

Not only will you be continually entertained, but you’ll be learning from one of the best magicians in the industry who will undoubtedly inspire you to think like a creative genius.

Tommy Wonder: Everything About His Magic And Where To Find Them

Career, Performance

Spotlight: The Magic of Tommy Wonder

Tommy Wonder


The man from Amsterdam took the stage. Nobody knew who this magician was, even less knew what he would do.

As he was introduced as Jos Bema, a name that did little to wow the audience, the murmurs in the crowd faded into the shadows as anticipation took over.

He wasn’t on the stage for long, but then, he didn’t need to be.

Within just about ten minutes, the mysterious man performed three routines, each more brilliant than the next.

And as he finished, the crowd rose to their feet in unison, delivering a rousing ovation worthy of the world’s best magicians.

Sometime after, that man changed his name to Tommy Wonder.

From there, everyone in the industry knew his name, as he went on to become legendary, reaching global recognition as one of the greatest magicians of his time before his passing in the early 21st century.

With an extensive repertoire that was not only his own original work, he forged a reputation for groundbreaking performances, both as a stage magician and also in close-up performances.

Tommy wonder playing magic tricks with fire

The 3 Pillars of Magic

He even went on to write a popular book, The Books of Wonderwhich comprised two volumes and was published in 1996 to much acclaim by fellow magicians and fans.

Tommy was many things, but more than most, he was an artistic genius. Among his highly-advanced skillset were, what he coined as, “the three pillars of magic:”

The books of wonder by Tommy Wonder


  • sleight-of-hand technique
  • mechanical craftsmanship
  • psychological aspects of conjuring

A perfectionist who was highly focused on his personal ideals about what magic was, Tommy grew a fanbase that loved to watch him at work.

So much so, in fact, that at the inaugural 31 Faces North conference in Toronto, Tommy was invited to be the guest of honor.

During a little performance, he stopped on stage, pausing to confirm whether he should be doing magic or simply giving a lecture. He asked the crowd if they wanted him to explain what he is doing.

Without hesitation, the audience, which was full of elite magicians and accomplished intellectuals protested together – “No! Don’t explain anything! Just keep performing!”

Nobody wanted the secrets. They just wanted to enjoy the experience.

All they needed was the magic of Tommy Wonder.

From Holland to Hollywood

Born in the Netherlands on November 29th, 1953, Jacobus Maria Bemelman took up an interest in magic in his early years. The young Dutch boy studied at an esteemed Performance Academy in The Hague, a city on the Western coast of his homeland.

There, he was immersed in acting, singing, and dancing – all of which he studied for three years, finding comfort and confidence on the stage.

After his time at the academy, he then went on tour for two years with De Haagsche Comedie, before breaking away to chase his dream of being a stage magician.

Going through several stage names, Bemelman settled on Tommy Wonder, a moniker which would soon be recognized throughout the wider magician community.

The Dutch master performed around the globe, taking stages from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo, and also rising to make several appearances on television.

At the age of 26, he grabbed the runner-up prize in the World Championships of Magic, and 9 years later, in 1988, he came second again.

Rising high amongst his peers, Tommy was honored to receive Performer Fellowship Award in 1998 from the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. The following year, the World Magic Awards proclaimed him as the Best Sleight of Hand Performer.

Highly respected for creating his own repertoire, The Books of Wonder he published in 1996 became highly acclaimed, giving the world unique insights into the brilliance of this magician’s mind.

Aside from the books, his works are widely available on multiple websites, retailing at bargain prices.

The Best Magic of Tommy Wonder

Tommy Wonder is a highly-respected magician, with the awards and accolade he received during his lifetime serving testament to his abilities.

Here are some of his most well-known and loved works:​​​

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If you were to only watch one DVD of this magician, then make it this one.

Packed inside a running time of just over 80 minutes, this broadcast-quality production is loaded with some of the very best gems from Tommy Wonder.

In this performance, you’ll find a number of great tricks, including:

  • Cards to Card Case – A humorous and insightful lesson that will have you hooked, as Tommy teaches you just what the key aspects are that make up true Magical Impact.
  • Torn & Restored Card – With only one card, Tommy highlights how important it is to close the distance between yourself and the audience.
  • Lighter to Matches – It isn’t easy to approach people who aren’t ready for your magic. Some people can have their guard up, with preconceived notions or past experiences throwing up a barrier to your attempts to entertain. This is a perfect ice-breaker, allowing you to make big first impression.
  • The Ring, the Watch & Wallet – One of Tommy’s best acts, this showstopper will leave people scratching their heads in amazement. His delivery and storytelling are the perfect accompaniment to this incredible vanishing act. Tommy used this to great effect throughout his career, fooling many elite magicians. Placing all three items into the same envelope, he then uses a different method to make each item vanish. This unique and brilliant methodology makes this trick a true masterpiece.
  • The Signed Card to Box – Another classic from Tommy Wonder, this includes two other signature moves, the Ambitious Card and Tommy’s revolutionary Two-Second Card Fold. Watching this will help you gain insights into timing as well as how to divert attention using your gaze.
  • Squeeze – Taking a standard-sized deck and sliding it into a tiny card box seems tricky, if not, impossible. Tommy will show you how to do it in full view of your audience, leaving them amazed. Going further, he shows how to do a deck switch, taking viewers through a crash course in psychology, misdirection, timing, and presentation.
  • Shrinking Fan of Cards – With an age-old method, Tommy makes cards shrink, getting smaller and smaller before your very eyes.
L&L Publishing Tommy Wonder at British Close-Up Magic Symposium - DVD
  • Recommended for ages 13 and above.
  • Great GIFT for the magic hobbyist or professional
  • Shipping Weight: 0.35 lbs

When one of the greatest magical thinkers on the planet was invited to the British Close-Up Magic Symposium, it was bound to be a special occasion. This DVD was shot with two high-quality broadcast cameras, giving a close-up view of his most fantastic illusions.

Check it out to marvel at the following acts:

  • Thanks to Paul Harris – This Paul Harris classic gets an elegant rendition, as Tommy shows the torn card before restoring it to the awe of the audience.
  • Lighter to Matchbox – Have you ever saw a lighter transform into a box of matches? Try this one at the bar with your friends.
  • The Shrinking Box – Two different versions of this trick, showing you how to use the shrinking card case.
  • Ambitious Card Routine – An effective method of this routine, where the marked card finishes inside a little box on the table.
  • 2-Second Card Fold – Watching Tommy perform this rapid fold is mesmerizing. Learn how to do it for yourself now!
  • Deck Switch – It may be easy to perform, but it packs a mental punch to stun viewers.
The Books of Wonder
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wonder, Tommy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Comprising two volumes, Tommy Wonder’s manifesto on the art of magic delves deep into theater and psychology, offering an insight into the workings of his wonderful mind.

With a variety of essays, routines, and tricks, Tommy lays down the blueprint for aspiring magicians to follow, whether they are interested in close-up, stage performance, or walk-arounds.

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You don’t need to have been in magic long to know who Tommy Wonder was. While you may be too young to have had the good fortune of seeing the man in a live performance, you can still learn some great lessons from him in the Visions of Wonder series.

This is possibly the most comprehensive collection of footage that exists of arguably the best magician of our generation. Any upcoming magician with big ambitions should snap this one up.

With a variety performance of cabaret, stage and close-up, you can get a solid grasp on his style and presentation, seeing just how good it is in all genres.

Learning these incredible tricks might be your primary reason for watching, however, you should also take note of his commanding and captivating performance and presentation.

Furthermore, Tommy gives us the inside scoop on how he came up with his incredible, original illusions and acts, detailing how they came to be the masterpieces we see on stage. Not only will they astound and inspire, but some explanations will leave you laughing with joy because of just how ingenious they are.

If you want to see the most fantastic wild card routine ever, look no further than Tommy’s performance of “The Tamed Card.”

By the end of this set, you’ll have taken course in magic from one of the best ever, allowing you to become a better magician.

Comparison Table

Tommy Wonder’s Two Cup Routine

This routine is a well-known one, and there’s hardly a magician alive who hasn’t got a version of their own. Unlike the rest, however, this routine is viewed by many as one of the greatest cup and ball routines of all-time.

With a simple method and structure, Tommy utilizes great misdirection and more to fool his audience, leaving them helpless to do little more than smile.

Unfortunately, this DVD footage is far from perfect, with grainy quality and poor subtitle programming taking somewhat from the show.

The Death of a Great Magician

To the shock and dismay of the magician’s world and his fans, Tommy Wonder died in June 2006, after a short battle with lung cancer, aged just 52.

Gone at such a young age, Tommy surely had many more years at the top, but unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to see any more from the marvelous man.

Shortly after his passing, in August 2006, Tommy was posthumously honored with the Theory & Philosophy Award, which was presented in Stockholm, at the FISM World Championships of Magic.

Tommy Wonder stood tall among his peers, ahead of his time in more ways than one. Just like a chess Grand Master, the Dutch wizard was many moves ahead of everyone else. Every move of every trick, every performance on every stage, he had planned and practiced the routines to perfection.

This artistic genius combined skill and elegance with masterful performance abilities, leaving you believing it was truly magic.

Our Take on the Magic of Tommy Wonder

He may be gone, but his magic is still alive and well.

Unfortunately, some of the products available online aren’t of the best quality in regard to visual production or audio quality.

While that’s a bit of a shame, it’s no reason to overlook Tommy Wonder. That would be a serious mistake for any fan of magic or aspiring magician.

This man died early, leaving a hole behind, as well as a fantastic legacy that continues to inspire and awe people years after his passing.

His vast repertoire of original creations and diverse range of acts demonstrate the passion and dedication Tommy Wonder had for the art of magic. He was nothing short of a genius and is one that we can all learn from. Even if you have only a mild interest in magic, his performances will engage and entertain you like few other magicians can.

Get your hands on a copy of Wonderized to start off. You’ll not regret it.

Juan Tamariz – One Of The Most Notable And Active Magicians

Career

Juan Tamariz is a Spanish born magician whose career centers around misdirection and sleight of hand. He belongs to what many call “the sixties of the Magic School of Madrid.”

Juan Tamariz is not only a virtuoso when it comes to cardistry and card magic, but he also knows how to inject humor into his act and keep the audience engaged, which is no easy feat.

Playing cards. Many of us became familiarized with a deck of playing cards from a young age. Whether you were playing a game of Go Fish or Crazy Eights, saw your older family members playing Solitaire or Bridge to pass some time, or you witnessed (and maybe ended up in the middle of) an old-fashioned game of Texas Hold ‘Em, playing cards are a critical item to have around your home or on your person at any given time.

There are some of us who view cards not simply as a way to play games with people we like or would like to take money from, but as a way to showcase expertise in slight of hand and misdirection.

Tamariz is one of the most notable and potentially one of the most important active magicians. With his grasp on so many different aspects of the art, he brings a flare to the table that is impossible to replicate.

Let’s take a dive into Juan Tamariz and discover how he became the notorious performer he is today.

Juan Tamariz: Pros & Cons


PROS

  • Excellent close-up magic performances
  • Tricks focuses on physicality and psychology 
  • Provides practical and approachable tips

CONS

  • Limited stock

Early Life of Magic

juan tamariz: toddler in white hoodie during daytime

Magic was part of Tamariz’s life from an early age. When he was four years old, Juan’s father took him to a magic show in Spain, and it was then he knew he was hooked. Immediately, Juan wanted to learn the art of magic and be a great performer like those who enthralled him in the first place.  When he received a magic kit shortly after that, he knew magic would be a part of his life from then on.

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Not only did Juan Tamariz begin practicing magic, but he sought out nearby performers who he could watch and study. When he did find a show to watch, he sat and absorbed methodically with the goal of understanding the ins and outs of every trick.

After years of study and practice, Juan wanted to join the Spanish Society of Illusionism at the age of 16. The society required members be at least 20 years old, so Juan was rejected on his first attempt. Two years later, however, Juan remained ambitious and took the membership exam. He passed with such flying colors that the Spanish Society of Illusionism made an exception and allowed the then 18-year-old to join.

Beginnings of Magical Fame

juan tamariz: card dark floating focus

Not one to waste any time, Tamariz met fellow magician Juan Antón. These two would team up on a variety of shows and tricks together, resulting in notoriety and even some awards. The act between Tamariz and Antón was called ‘Los Mancos,’ or ‘The Lame’ for English-speakers. The spin on this act was that both men performed using only one hand, a feat that next to no magician was brave enough to embark upon in show settings.

In 1968 alone, Juan Tamariz won three notable awards, including the Ace of Cartomagia, The Extraordinary Prize, and the Ace of Magic. Tamariz won the last two awards with his partner in crime Juan Antón, making them both rising stars at the time.

While winning these awards and beginning his show career as a slight of hand master, Tamariz met Arturo de Ascanio, who would go on to be one of his most influential mentors. Tamariz was finding himself surrounded by other notable magicians, as well as taking on other jobs like a puppeteer to hone his comedy and incorporate laughter into his magic.

Other Interests and Studies

Juan Tamariz’s life in magic began early, and his talent was apparent from the start. Magic was not, however, the only thing Juan showed interest in. Originally going to university for a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences, he dropped out of that program with only a year remaining to pursue his other real passion – filmmaking.

Juan enrolled in film school, meeting notable Spanish writers and directors like Miguel Hermoso, who won a Golden St. George award at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival in 2003 for his film The End of a Mystery.

Tamariz directed two short films while he was in film school in the late 1960s, “Muerte S.A” and “El Espiritu.” Tamariz wrote the script for the former piece, showcasing his variety of talents and abilities.

Unfortunately for Tamariz (at the time) the film school closed in 1970 because of numerous strikes, which meant Tamariz did not get to complete his film education either. However, the closing of the film school was a blessing in disguise, as it leads Juan and some of his classmates to founded the Magic School of Madrid. This set him down the path towards becoming the famous performer we all know and revere today.

Close-Up Magic

juan tamariz: luck gambling chance ace

If you were ever to see Juan Tamariz perform, then you would find yourself in a small, cozy setting where there would be next to know hidden secrets. The focus of Tamariz’s magic is close-up magic, which is sometimes also called micro magic or table magic, is performed up close and personal. Usually, no more than ten feet between the audience and the performer, the magician’s crowd will often be seated at a table across from them.

Close-up magic has a certain flair and nuance to it. It does not require a large stage or a grandiose act to work, but instead relies on subtlety and minutia to create an illusion in front of the audience’s very eyes.

Sleight-of-hand is one of the most important aspects of close-up magic. Sleight-of-hand is a set of methods and techniques that magicians in this space utilize to secretly manipulate objects they use for their tricks, such as coins or cards.

Notable Card Tricks

juan tamariz: poker magician deck gamble

As noted before, Juan Tamariz is famous for his sleight-of-hand in card tricks. While he has pioneered his tricks, he is also one to take basic and well-known card tricks and make them look flawless. There are a few in particular that comes to mind when thinking of Tamariz and his shows.

“Rising Cards”

A card trick that is classic, seemingly difficult, but easy once practiced. The basics of the Rising Cards trick are slight of hand and the trick itself. Without giving too much away, the premise of this trick is to make it appear as though the magician is raising a card out of the deck without touching the deck itself and, instead, leaving it in the box.

The trick starts by asking an audience member to select a card from the deck, then place the card in the middle of the deck, returning the deck to the box, and seemingly pulling the selected card out of the box without touching it.

Roberto Giobbi, another modern cardistry virtuoso, said that, though this is a common trick, the best practical professional routine he has seen with this trick came from Juan Tamariz. Large praise when you consider the pool of magicians who have likely incorporated this trick into their acts.

“Out of This World”

Another classic, often attributed to Paul Curry, the Out of this World card trick is rather involved but makes for a great show. It starts like a simplified game of Solitaire or Uno and relies on the color of each card.

The magician starts with two face-up cards, one red and one black. He then hands the deck of cards to the audience member or participant and asks them to start dealing the cards face down. They have to guess if they think the card will be red or black and throw it down on the corresponding pile. The participant has no idea what color each card is and will almost certainly mismatch the colors.

After a while, the audience member will make two new piles, as per suggestion of the magician, and start again until the deck is completely dealt. When the magician and the spectator flip over all four piles, all red cards will be in the red piles, and all black cards will be in the black piles.

On the surface, this would be seemingly impossible, but it was a trick that Paul Curry pioneered. However, Roberto Giobbi said that the best version of the trick he had seen was that of Juan Tamariz. There’s a pattern here when it comes to the finest version of staple card tricks.

Influential Books Translated to English

juan tamariz: blurred book book pages literature

Juan Tamariz is nearly as prolific as an author as he is a cardist and magician. He has written several books, put his expertise in educational videos, and finds himself considered one of the best in the business with a great deal to offer to aspiring magicians and those firmly rooted in the art.

Five Points in Magic

This is a book that will be hard to come by, as it has been out of print for a long while. Juan Tamariz’s Five Points in Magic is a study of the nuances that a performer can employ to fool the mind. Focusing on both physicality and psychology, Tamariz illuminates some of the secrets he used to become the prolific close-up magician he is.

Without giving too much away, Tamariz focuses on five aspects of a performer’s mental and physical presences, namely the eyes, voice, hands, feet, and body. These five “possessions,” as Tamariz calls them, are what differentiates a believable illusion from a forced trick. All five are required to work together to create believable deception.

Though it is a short book (under 100 pages), it covers the bases quickly without much fluff, so you can get right to the knowledge you are seeking from work.

The Magic Way

First published in 1987, The Magic Way is Juan Tamariz’s love letter to magic effects and polishing the craft of such artistry. This book is a study on the finer points of magic and how to improve methods to the point where they are unrecognizable.

In this book, Juan even puts his tricks on the line and explains some of them in-depth. The adage of “A Magician never reveals his secrets” is somewhat lost on Tamariz in this book, as he peels back the curtain and lets the reader inside his world and his mind.

Focusing on things like the “Theory of False Solutions,” Tamariz makes magic practical and approachable for anyone who picks up the book. Clocking in at nearly 300 pages, this book is sure to keep any magician, aspiring or experienced, hooked and wanting to learn more.

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Conclusion

Juan Tamariz is the pride of Spanish magic. Not only has he traversed the world showcasing his ability in cardistry, close-up magic, and sleight-of-hand, but he has shared his knowledge with aspiring magicians and peers alike. He has created numerous books that have been translated across languages, he has developed videos and training to break down the steps of his tricks as well as classic sleight-of-hand actions, and he does it all while incorporating humor and laughter into his routine.

Juan Tamariz is a pioneer in cardistry magic and is a name that will be remembered for years to come. Be sure to keep up with Juan on his website (it is in Spanish, so be prepared to use the translate function), peruse through his books, watch his videos, and be amazed by what this man can do with a deck of cards.

Max Maven: A Mentalist, Magic Consultant, And A TV Guest Star

Career, Max Maven

Magician Spotlight: Max Maven

Across the world of modern magic, spectators have been in awe by the likes of David Blane and Chris Angel, who use shock value and larger-than-life spectacles to bring magic to the masses. With those men at the forefront of the art, it’s easy to forget about the talented magicians who are versed in the more nuanced and finessed side of the mystic arts. Max Maven has been a force in the world of magic for over thirty years. He had been wowing audiences in the seats and at home with his unnerving grasp on mentalism and understanding of the human mind.

Who is Max Maven?

Max Maven was born with the name Philip Goldstein in December of 1950. A New York Native, Max is best known for his utilization of live magic performance and appearances on television shows. Often, he would perform interactive mind reading tricks, harnessing his understanding of mentalism and magic into one remarkable performance. He grew up in several cities across the globe, including New York and Rome, but spent the majority of his young life in Boston. In Beantown, Max Maven performed in numerous well-known clubs in front of crowds of varying sizes to begin his magic career.

Not only is Maven a well-known performer, but he also earned recognition for his writing. As an author, Maven created numerous mentalist effects and magical methods used by notable names in the industry. He is prolific for developing new and exciting ways to entice audiences and utilize magic for both skill and entertainment. Orson Welles (yes, THAT Orson Welles) was once quoted calling Max Maven the “most original mind in magic.” High praise from the man who supposedly sent listeners of a radio program into a panic that aliens may be invading. Max Maven’s footprint is all over the world of magic, and it’s easy to see why he’s such an influence on performers across generations.

Maven the Mentalist

Max Maven is well known for his artistry as a mentalist. A mentalist is someone, namely, a magician, who performs actions or feats that are of exceptional mental prowess and require a great deal of power. The most prevalent of these actions would be something like mind reading or showcasing psychic powers.

Traditionally, mentalism is a philosophy that theorizes physical and psychological phenomena are only able to be explained by using a creative or interpretative mind. This could mean that, for a mentalist to have a real effect, the person or crowd viewing such an act needs to believe what is in front of them or interpret the occurrence as potentially real.

While card tricks and hypnotism were on Max Maven’s list of abilities, his mentalism is often seen as one of his greatest contributions to the world of magic.

Maven even considered himself able to perform mentalist acts through a television screen with viewers at home. Meaning his strength in the mentalist realm was so strong he did not need to be in front of a person to influence them. He has pioneered new techniques and strategies in this field of magic performance that have resulted in other huge names of the industry coming to him for help and counsel on what to do next.

Magic Consultant 

Do names like David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and Sigfried & Roy sound familiar? Do you immediately think of amazing showmanship, awe-inspiring magic tricks, and sometimes death-defying stunts these people do day in and day out? Well, there is often at least one, if not more, magic consultant behind the scenes. Moreover, they provide magicians with guidance and suggestions on what is next for their great and mystical feats.

Max Maven is a prolific magic consultant. Yes, that is actually a job title (one we are a bit envious of), and one Max lives up to. Max has consulted for these magicians and countless others. Providing insight into what their act is doing well, what it lacks, and where improvements can be made. Whether it is special effects for movies or television shows, incorporating a new trick into a stage act or other live event. A magic consultant looks at the big picture and the more granular items to keep things exciting and fresh.

Max’s cerebral approach to magic has been a reason why other magicians seek him out and place so much credence in his opinions. Luckily for us, Max Maven didn’t keep his insights on the world and magic’s place in it to himself. Some of his other work contributed to society in other exciting and unique ways.​​​

The MAXimum Dimension

Who says mind tricks and magic are just for adults? In 1998, Max Maven filmed 26 half-hour episodes for a new show called The MAXimum Dimension. It wasn’t simply a show meant to give kids an insight on how to start their magic career. Instead, Max Maven used his relative fame and ability to reach audiences to create a show meant to help kids who struggled with mathematics. Besides teaching them How To Always Win At Rock Paper Scissors. Many kids face math phobia and consider the subject unapproachable. Something Max sought to combat. Maven utilized interactive puzzles and games to make math fun for the kids who watched. And allowed them to explore the subject in new and exciting ways.

What exactly makes a magician an authority on math? Well, nothing, really. Max simply wanted a way for kids to learn math outside of a classroom and feel like it could really, truly be fun. Apparently, this is all that was needed for the show to succeed, as it is still to this day one of the top six rated shows on TVO (a Canadian television channel).

Other Television Appearances

Fresh Prince of Bel Air – Aired April 17, 1995

A staple for television viewers in the 1990s, Max Maven found himself alongside the eventually prolific actor Will Smith on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In this episode, we see Max Maven playing a magician who is performing at a show that Will and Carlton are attending. While Max is hypnotizing the participant on stage, he inadvertently hypnotizes Will into behaving like a child anytime a bell rings. This Pavlovian response leads to quite a bit of hilarity. As we see Will act like he’s closer to seven years old than the young adult he portrays in the show. It is funny to see Maven, a master at mentalism and mind magic, apparently make a mistake that leads to a great half hour of television. Which makes this a classic in Max’s extensive filmography.

Mork and Mindy – Aired February 4, 1982

Not only did Mork and Mindy feature the late, great Robin Williams, but one episode in season four also featured Max Maven. In the fourth season’s 14th episode “Drive, She Said,” Robin Williams’ character Mork is attempting to pass his driver’s test and obtain a driver’s license, due to Mindy’s desire to not have to run all the errands.

When Mork shows up, he meets his driving instructor, S. Devlin. Played by none other than Max Mavin himself. Mavin is in full costume on the show, so he is far from unrecognizable. After Mork fails his driving tests, he informs his family that he believes his instructor was “The Devil." An honest mistake given Max’s somewhat maniacal eyebrows and hairstyle. This isn’t an easily forgettable appearance, and one worth revisiting.​​​

Recent Work

In 2012, Max Maven found himself back at work with Penn and Teller. Over in Israel, Max Maven began a show called Mi Yapil Et Ha Master, or “Who Can Fool the Master?” which is a licensed version of Penn & Teller: Can’t Fool Us that is shown in the United States. The premise of the show is straightforward. A magician, illusionist, or trickster would perform magic tricks in front of Penn & Teller or Max Maven, depending on which version you watch. If Penn & Teller could not figure out how the trick was done, the magician or group of performers earned the right to open for the duo at their Las Vegas show.

Additionally, Max was chosen to replace Penn & Teller for the Israeli version. A fitting option since Max Maven has worked with and consulted for the world-famous duo in the past.

Max Maven continues his behind-the-scenes work with notable magicians like David Blaine. Also helping them keep their acts and methods fresh to ensure the audiences stay interested. He also pops up at numerous conferences. Which include the EG Conference in Carmel, California. Where he shares his insights on the human mind and how magic and mentalism work in our everyday lives, as well as more industry-specific events.

Max has been seen at conventions for the International Brotherhood of Magicians as well as the Society of American Magicians. He also contributes to numerous publications that cover all aspects of the magic world. Those publications include Genii, The Conjurour’s Magazine and The Linking Ring.

Too Busy to Keep Up

Max Maven is one of the busiest magicians in the industry. While he had great success and a variety of appearances on American television throughout his career, many of the accolades attributed to Max come from his overseas or behind-the-scenes work. Not only is his magic consulting going strong, but Max has hosted eight network specials overseas in Japan. While performing and speaking Japanese, as well as being the star of series across the globe. Max Maven can be found on television screens in England, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, Finland, Germany, Singapore, and countless more.

Finally, magic is alive and well, and Max Maven is the man who ensures that flame continues to burn bright.

Max has gone on record as saying that his acquisition of magic history and the origin of numerous methods and tricks is important such like How Do Magicians Burn Paper Into Money?. He wants to preserve the history of the art of magic, slight of hand, and mentalism. And also ensure that those who created and originated the ideas are given credit. We are glad to have someone like Max, who is so passionate about the art of magic, to save and preserve its history, all while contributing to its future. Maven is an artist, an entertainer, an educator, a consultant, a mentalist, a magician, and a legend. We are glad to have him in the world of magic and in our world.

To keep up with Max Maven, follow him on Twitter @RealMaxMaven and check his website for updates, appearances, and the latest news.



Eric Jones: Lessons And Lectures From A Magician To Watch Out For

Career, Eric Jones

Spotlight: The Magic of Eric Jones

Eric Jones is an American magician who’s been performing magic professionally for several years. A flurry of television appearances increased his name recognition outside the magic community.

Who is Eric Jones?

Eric is a magician based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Working in the insurance industry and practicing magic as a side job, Eric got into the field full time in 2011 as Director of Product Development at Ellusionist. After a couple of years with Ellusionist, he moved on to a short stint at Murphy’s Magic Supplies from 2013 to 2014 before co-founding his own magic company, Lost Art Magic, in 2015.

He is the creator of numerous magic tricks and techniques with several products available on the magic market. In addition to performing all over the world, Eric also lectures to other professionals in the field and consults on magic tricks for various productions including television, movies, and stage performances.

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What He Does

Eric Jones is a close-up magic specialist and creator. He’s known for being good with both cards and coins while many sleights of hand artists are typically only good with one or the other.

Eric has created numerous original tricks. Combinations of original and classic sleights that make for a completely new effect. He’s also created or co-created several gimmicks. The magic industry term for an item created for use in an illusion that has been altered in some way to enhance the effect or is an accessory to help a magician perform an illusion.

Here are some products Jones produces to help aspiring magicians. 

Get Schooled - Lessons and Lectures from Eric Jones

Eric Jones is a professional magician. Professionals innovate, then pass that knowledge to others.

Here are a some of Eric Jones’ many educational programs.

Mirage Et Trois – Created by Eric Jones in 2004, this is a coin routine made up of three separate tricks, Out with Three, S.V.C.A. (Spectator’s Visible Coins Across), and Three Klan Vanish. Since 2004 Eric has refined and improved the routine and released a new version known as Mirage Et Trois 2.0.

Evanesce – An impromptu coin vanish that is so smooth it can, theoretically, be performed in the nude.

Harlequin – A gimmick-less variation on a sandwich card trick that can be done with any deck.

Liberty: Fingertips Part II – This is a set of illusions designed to allow the performer to work with a crowd viewing the tricks from any angle. Liberty includes both a card and coin sleights and numerous original tricks like 2Coinz, Surrogate, Visual Oil and Water, New Era, and others.

Metal 1-3 is a series of instructional DVDs outlining increasingly difficult coin illusions from Eric Jones.

Metal: High Impact Coin Magic is designed for beginners and teaches basic concealments, productions, vanishes, sleeving, utilities, and flourishes. It also includes 6 full routines and tips for handling things like getting caught.

Metal 2: Commanding Coin Magic offers 8 more routines. It also includes performance advice for magicians who want to move out of the amateur arena on issues like pacing, blocking, redirection, and looking natural.

Metal 3: Gaffed Coin Magic is a lesson in the up-close use of trick or gaff coins. Eric teaches 8 gaffed coin routines that include principles that can be used with standard coin magic, too.

Gimmicks by Eric Jones:

BioBender – The BioBender is a modular thumb tip gimmick that allows the user to bend metal in real-time using items that haven’t been prepared in advance.

The Gaff System – Eric co-created The Gaff System with fellow magicians Callen Morelli and Daniel Morelli. The system was commissioned by Ellusion and Artifice and includes the 54-card Artifice Gaff Deck and two DVDs that teach users a total of fifteen tricks using the gaffed deck in combination with one or more of three Artifice decks. On the DVDs, Eric teaches users four tricks called Hoarders, Side Effect, On Point, and Morph.

Twizted – Another DVD and card set, this set teaches four tricks, Sandwich with a Twizt, Eclipse, Twizted Grasshopper, and Extreme Twizt. The DVD also includes instructions for an original move, the Passless Pass, which is used in the Sandwich with a Twizt trick.

Academy of Magical Arts

Eric Jones has been nominated by the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts for several awards. In 2017 he was nominated for Lecturer of the Year. In 2018 he was nominated for both Lecturer of the Year and for Close-Up Magician of the Year.

Eric has also been a featured performer at the Academy’s famed Magic Castle club and restaurant in Hollywood, California several times in the past decade.

Where You May Have Seen Him

Wizard Wars – Aired March 12, 2015

Wizard Wars was a competitive reality show for magicians that ran for a season and a half on America’s SyFy network. Judges were magicians Penn & Teller, magician and magic critic Christen Gerhart, and 2003 Grand Prix World Champion of Magic Jason Latimer. There was also a 4-person panel of in-house magicians that performed for the audience each episode. Each episode four outside magicians were paired off and given random objects to put together a short act.

During the first part of the show, two teams of challengers would compete against each other. The winning team would then compete with a pair of the “wizards,” the show’s in-house team of magicians. If the outside magicians won, they would take home a $10,000 prize. One of the best aspects of this show was that it highlighted performers who were big in the magic community but not necessarily well-known to the public.

Eric Jones appeared on season one, episode twelve of the show.

He was partnered with Joshua Messado, a linking ring specialist also from Philadelphia. The pair won the initial round of the show with their easy banter and traveling coin tricks utilizing a hula hoop, a piggy bank, and a plastic flamingo. They were subsequently defeated by the wizards in a fishing themed round complete with hip waders, tackle box, and a large submarine sandwich.

The judges indicated that the main reason the Philadelphia duo lost was that their routine had a lot of open time with not enough interaction between the illusions. There was a prop failure during the act as well, though the duo performed through it. The panel of judges commended them on their professionalism.

Penn and Teller: Fool Us – Aired September 21, 2015

Famous magicians Penn and Tell challenged other magicians to fool them by performing their tricks so well that the duo couldn’t tell how it was done. This show was originally conceived in the UK by British network ITV and filmed in London. It recently aired its fifth season in the summer of 2018. By the time Eric Jones was on the show, during Episode 11 of Season 2, the show was filming at the Penn and Teller Theater in the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eric performed several vanishing coin tricks with audience members as participants.

Penn and Teller, in a rare move for the show, suspected they knew how the trick was done but wasn’t sure. They ended up asking for a final call from one of their producers, someone who knew both how they thought it was done and how the magician accomplished his trick.

Penn and Teller only guessed a small portion of the act’s total illusions, and their producer declared that Eric had fooled them. Eric Jones walked away with a trophy and a great resume line. He could now say he’d fooled Penn and Teller.

The Next Great Magician – Aired November 6, 2016

The Next Great Magician was a limited, 6-episode reality television series that aired on the UK’s ITV network in 2016. The premise was 6 magicians each episode competed for a spot in the finale.

The real twist on this show was that the performers themselves gave numeric scores to each other’s acts. The winner of each episode, including the finale, was whoever had the highest cumulative score from their peers. The winner of the finale would go on to receive a solo show from the network.

Eric Jones performed on the first episode of series. He was competing against 2 escape artists, Jonathan Goodwin and Ines Magi and another sleight of hand artist, Jordan Gomez, who worked with larger objects

The episode also included the comedic magic duo Young and Strange and their dog, Houndini as well as former Cirque du Soleil illusionist Xavier Mortimer.

Moreover, Eric’s tabletop performance – which included audience members in the act - was flawless. Against large, extravagantly visual escapes and illusions, his style of close-up magic was likely too low key. The winner of the episode, based on the magicians scoring each other’s acts, was the French illusionist Xavier Mortimer.

Sleight – Released April 28, 2017

The only part of Eric in this independent film is his hands. The main character is a young street magician trying to support his younger sister after the deaths of their parents. When you see a close-up magic trick on the screen and don’t see actor Jacob Latimore’s face in the shot, there’s a good chance you’re looking at the work of Eric Jones. If you want to check it out, just remember the film is rated-R for language, drug content, and violence.

America’s Got Talent – Summer 2017                  

Eric Jones almost didn’t make it onto the Summer 2017 season of NBC network’s America’s Got Talent television show.

In fact, if show creator Simon Cowell had his way, Eric wouldn’t have made it past the live audition when he appeared to teleport a coin from his hand to judge Mel B’s hand. Fortunately for Jones, Cowell’s three co-judges, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B, disagreed with Simon and Eric got a second chance to impress the stern English judge.

During episode seven, the Judge Cuts according to the show’s format, Eric performed an illusion that involved disappearing a card signed by one of the judges and having it reappear inside Simon Cowell’s buzzer. The illusion was particularly dramatic since Jones used a hammer to shatter the button. A symbol of Cowell’s initial rejection of him on the show. The drama played well and helped Eric move on to the show’s Quarterfinals

During the Quarterfinal round, Jones stepped up to bigger illusions with a large pane of glass on the stage.

He made a signed card seem to move through the glass with the help of judge Howie Mandel. For the finale of his act, he concealed the glass and appeared to step through it himself. This larger-scale illusion moved him out of the Quarterfinals of the show and into the top twelve as he proceeded to the Semifinals.

For the Semifinal round, Eric Jones did a series of tricks that played to his strength as a close-up magician. He appeared to transform a bill into four coins, then subsequently made the coins seem to disappear one at a time while involving every judge in the trick. He then finished by making the coins reappear under an untouched bill. And then appeared to convert them back into the bill he started with.

However, there were a few gaffes in the performance. One is notably calling one judge by another judge’s name. Eric was eliminated after the semifinal round, so this was his final performance on America’s Got Talent.

Masters of Illusion – Aired September 22, 2017

CW network’s Masters of Illusion is a reality designed to showcase top magicians from around the globe. The show is performed in front of a live audience and promises no camera tricks or CGI. What the viewers see at home is what the live audience sees.

Eric Jones appeared on the show for the season four finale, filmed shortly after his stint on America’s Got Talent.

The Grandmaster Asia – Part One

In what probably felt like a nice change of pace after being a contestant on so many shows, Eric Jones was one of four judges on Indonesia’s SCTV show The Grandmaster Asia – Part One. They filmed for several days in November 2017 and Jones’ episodes began on December 1, 2017.

A Man to Watch

Finally, Eric Jones is a star on the rise in the modern magic world. This is indicated by his increasingly public presence on stages and television screens all over the world. For close-up magic, his is a name to know.