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Topic: Josh Jay at Tannens - A Review
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Jan 19, 2006 08:55AM)
Last night I made the trip to Tannen's to attend a lecture by Josh Jay. Aside from reading some reviews of his new DVDs and watching a clip from them, I wasn't very familiar with Josh's work before last night. I hadn't followed his work for years, I didn't own any of his books or material, and he is not a “legend” in the magic world (that's not meant harshly - it's just that he's still in his early 20's). To be honest, I may not have even attended if it wasn't for the fact that I paid for and was unable to attend the Acer lecture at Tannen's in the Fall, and I had a “raincheck” for a future lecture. I decided to cash that “raincheck” in on Josh's lecture, and I am glad I did!

Josh is a talented guy and I like the way he thinks about magic. The lecture featured a nice variety of material, which I appreciated.

With a few minutes to go before the official start time, Josh treated us to some “bonus” effects. They sounded like they were pretty good. I wouldn't know for sure though, because these were performed on the table in front of him, and I had a large man in front of me completely obscuring my view! Awesome!

Then the lecture started and Josh opened it with his Tape Measure effect. The basic effect is that a random audience member is chosen, his height is noted in inches, and the tape is opened to show that there is an X mark on the tape marking the exact height of the spectator. I love the method and I would definitely try this out - but the effect didn't get a huge reaction from the crowd. I was trying to figure out the reason for this. One thought I had was that some of the people in the middle and back rows could not see the small mark on the tape measure. I thought the effect might play better for 2-3 people in a closer setting. Then I thought that maybe the lack of a response was because it was the opening effect of the lecture and Josh didn't do any warm-ups with us (but maybe that's the kid's show performer logic in me coming out).

I believe he did a Back in Time routine next. This seemed nice, but again, the table was used for a portion of the effect, and I was left looking at the back of the big guy's head.

Josh then did his Remote Control ACR. I liked the idea of it, and there was more involved than I realized. Tough to say this without exposing anything, but I was very impressed with the mechanics. Very clever.

I think Charming Chinese Challenge was next. I thought this routine (although not Jay's - it's Hoosier's) was beautiful. Josh performed it very well and explained it well too.

He then taught his Discreet Displacement move. He had everyone in the room take out a deck and learn the move, which was very easy and very effective. I will definitely be using this move.

His Any Card at Any Number routine was very good. It was unique and very clean looking.

To finish, he vanished three coins very cleanly at his fingertips. This was one of the cleanest looking vanish sequences I have ever seen. The final coin was most impressive - it apparently vanished completely, without a single trip to the pocket or anywhere else, and the hands were shown completely clean and empty. The subtleties of this final vanish were very nice.

Josh did make his “most coin magic sucks” statement, but he prefaced it with references to the Café and the controversy he caused due to the statement. He said it was not intended to be controversial or offensive, and explained his reasoning well. He did say there was some great coin magic out there, mostly by NYC guys (a smart thing to say when at Tannens). I agreed with his thoughts on the subject.

One other cool thing were the magic celebs in attendance, most notable was Harry Lorayne! It was also great to meet and talk to fellow Café member and Changeabill creator, Fred Berthelot.

Anyway, I enjoyed the lecture very much and got some useable material from it. I recommend the lecture highly.
Message: Posted by: imfletcher (Jan 20, 2006 02:48PM)
I saw Joshua Jay's lecture in CT last night and I have to say that it was a lot better than I thought. Josh is a very approachable person and took as long as needed to explain something, sometimes more than once. The only problem with the lecture was that he was up on a stage and it was hard to see his table work sometimes. Everyone was standing right over him and couldn't even tell that he was doing a riffle pass, it was that good. His Discreet Displacement move is very good and is something that can be used in many applications and is not that hard to master. The last thing I want to say is when it comes to magic, Joshua, acts like someone a lot older than his age. I don't even think he is 25 yet. I would recommend the lecture to anyone!
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Jan 20, 2006 07:07PM)
I wish I knew he was going to be in Shelton sooner. I found that out only a couple days before his Tannens lecture. Shelton is a lot easier for me than hopping the train to NYC. But then again, I like the atmosphere of Tannens and you never know who you're going to see in attendance.
Message: Posted by: squando (Feb 3, 2006 01:02PM)
I saw Josh recently ( in Jan) I liked his stuff very much. I am working on using the remote for one of my acts... Thanks for the reminder about the Discreet Displacement, I need to add that to my list of things to work on.