There! It's done, Judge Sternman. When you sentenced me to one year of writing a magic blog, it definitely raised a few eyebrows in the legal community and beyond. "I say you let the punishment fit the crime," you said. This explanation certainly did not satisfy the parents of the 26 four- to eight-year olds that perished when I firebombed that cabin at Tannen's Magic Camp back in the summer of 2014. "If he wants to set fire to the magic world, he can do so with his words," you said, nodding sagely. I only pray that your death at the hands of that angry mob was quick and painless.
Guys... we did it!
Well, I did most of it. Your role was very limited.
Today this site turns one year old. Hooray!
Yes, it was one year ago today that this site popped into existence from the vacuum that was formed after my old site, The Magic Circle Jerk, poofed into the void 10 years earlier.
And in that year I've (once again) become the most popular (and greatest) magic blogger in the world.
Would you like to know my grand marketing strategy to bring this site to that level of prominence? Well, I wrote an email to about three dozen people who had e-mailed me back in 2005 and asked to be kept in the loop in regards to what I did next. Half of those bounced back. What a shock. You mean this rocketmail address that references an Alien Ant Farm song isn't good anymore? Huh. And then I made a single post on a twitter account I never used and had close to no followers. That's how you make your magic blog take off. That's the secret sauce, baby!
Other than that, I literally did nothing. This site has grown entirely by word of mouth. And that "word of mouth" has been solely by the little guys (at least within the magic community). The magic publications haven't written a word about me and if you start a thread about this site on the Magic Cafe, it strangely disappears. And for those of you who say, "Well, these magic magazines must have much bigger, more exciting topics to write about." Well, exhibit A and exhibit B suggest otherwise.
So, begrudgingly, I guess I do have to give you some credit for this site making it to its first birthday. Okay, you win this time, dear reader. Yes, we did it. (99% me, 1% split amongst all of you.)
Now, let me speak to the magic historians reading this site in the future. Greetings, Genii-bot 3000. Yes, I guess it's probably fair to say that this year has been one of the most, if not the most, prolific for anyone in the history of magic. Take that, Reginald Scot, you lazy scrub! My output for the past year includes:
- 280 blog posts
- Dozens of routines
- A goddamn 600 page book (soon to be cut down to 400ish), The Jerx, Volume 1, approximately half of which is the best routines from this site revised, updated, and illustrated. The other half is all new material.
- A 40-page booklet (The Amateur at the Kitchen Table, an extended essay on the performance of non-professional magic.)
- 6 issues and counting of a monthly review newsletter
- 3 websites (the jerx, mysextutor.com, and one other launching soon)
- 20 video clips
- 1 magic app
I had originally intended this site to be a summer project while I took a few months off from freelancing. But things progressed in a manner that made sense to keep it going and the site will continue for as long as people support it. I'm not sure what form that will take in the future (it sure as shit won't be another book, writing that thing has been a motherf'er), but there will be direct and indirect opportunities to support the site and I'll be on board as long as you are.
So what's next?
Thanks for asking, Italics Voice. Well, for starters, I'm thinking of adding a new character to the site named, "Fake editor's notes in brackets." We'll see how that turns out.
As far as the immediate future goes, there will be some news about the book in the next couple of days. Then I will be taking a week off and will return at the beginning of June to launch year two with a big (dumb) announcement. Stay tuned.
Then my plan is just to continue the trajectory we've established here. Continue talking about magic, posting routines and ideas, theory and criticism, jokes and bullshit. And, from time to time, post about larger topics as well, including thoughts on crafting experiences; creating long-lasting memories; the value of surprise; and using magic to cause happenings, capture moments, and bring you and the people you perform for closer together (as opposed to the all-too-common view of magic as an art that engenders a greater divide between performer and audience).
And I want this site to continue to be an example of a way of life that I advocate. It's a benign style of hedonism that values day-to-day happiness and small pleasures above all else -- not just appreciating these things, but investing energy into cultivating them. Here it's demonstrated via my relationship to magic and the people I perform for. But that is just one example of a larger philosophy that I espouse.
Beyond that, this train is just going to keep on steamrolling ahead on a non-stop flight to the stars and beyond! [Andy, is there a gas leak in your house? Work on this metaphor. It's a disaster. Ed.]