Gardyloo #80

Now that the second book is no longer for sale, I feel more comfortable selling you on it. I think it’s pretty great. I think it’s at least as good as the first book, you know, the Tarbell Award Winning, Jerx, Volume 1? Although it may appeal to even a smaller audience. While editing the book I had to try and cut out all the times I was saying, “Oh, I love this trick,” because most of the write-ups for each trick were done after I had been deeply engaged with performing a given effect pretty intensely for a few weeks. So I was particularly enamored with each trick as I was writing it up. That makes it hard to pick favorites, but some of the ones I’ve been having the most fun with recently are:

Two Dying Worlds In Orbit - You and the spectator each freely shuffle two decks of cards and the order ends up matching. More-so than the trick itself, the presentation on this one is one of my favorites.

Card Libs - You and your spectators play a prototype of a new game you’re thinking of pitching to some game manufacturers. It does not go well. In a magical way.

Ass To Mouth - My friend Andrew’s version of Card to Mouth. The only version that has ever fooled me. Completely impossible and impromptu.

With the books likely coming to me mid-December-ish, they will probably go out either the week after Christmas or the week after New Years. On the Season 3 rewards page, I’ve put an estimated shipping date at the top. I will push that forward or back as needed so you can check there if you’re ever curious. If there is a significant change in the ship date, I will announce it here.


The same friend who created the card to mouth effect that’s in the book also purchased tickets to Joshua Jay’s show in NYC. Immediately he got an email from his bank…

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Even Citi Bank is like, “Someone’s spending $250 for a Joshua Jay show? This must be fraud.” No, surprisingly it’s the real deal.

I’ll be seeing the show myself in May. If I do a write-up here, it will mostly be bullshit because I know Josh wants to keep things under wraps.


I received an email from Hector Chadwick with a suggestion in regards the Blow Up My Phone idea from Wednesday. I like the idea and plan on working on a version and trying it out over the next couple weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

With Hector and I together, we just need S.W. Erdnase for the greatest meeting of the pseudonymous/anonymous magic minds in history.

Actually, here is what collaborating with Erdnase would be like. “You know what we should do here? A diagonal palm shift.” That would be his answer to everything. “You don’t think the audience would be that intrigued by this premise? Hmmm… ok… well… let’s see. Maybe a couple diagonal palm shifts would help.”


Does anyone know if the magician named Martyn Smith who created this trick, Up the Ante, is the same magician named Martyn Smith who just was arrested for murdering someone?

I hope not. Up the Ante is a decent effect.

Not that it really matters, I’m just curious. I mean, either way, it’s a magician who killed someone. A tragedy regardless of which Martyn Smith it is. And—while not nearly as important as the pain the victims’ families endured—it’s just never a good reflection on the magic community. No matter what the crime, if it’s a magician, they’ll make sure to mention the

Hey, good news, Andy. At least he didn’t rape them first. (As far as we know.)

Good point. Some might call that a hollow victory. But I’ll take it.


I got a number of nice comments on last Friday’s post, The Power of a Little Emotional Doubt. And I got one strange criticism via email,

“I thought today’s post offered a good summary regarding why you perform the way you do. It just seems odd that it came out after three years of writing routines in that style. It seems like you’re trying to retroactively fit your performance philosophy to the routines.”

Yeah. That’s 100% true. I never had a “performance philosophy” of my own that wasn’t dictated by the spectators. I started exploring some different styles of performance and some worked and some didn’t. The ones that worked I pursued, and after a while I thought I had a good understanding in regards to why they seemed to work. So my “performance philosophy,” to the extent that it exists, developed backwards based on the reactions to the effects, breaking them down with the audience afterwards, and putting ideas through testing.

I think magic has enough people coming up with how they think magic should be done and then making proclamations based on their own artistic preferences. I’m no artist. I just do whatever people seem to like. If they flipped out over rhyming patter and hot rods, I sure as shit would be doing that.

Six jewels I have on this stick, so you see
And I’d like you to choose one jewel for me
Pick a number in the 1 thru 6 range
And to that stone, the others will change
We’ll count to 3 and to 4 as well
But the other numbers we’re going to spell
Spelling a number might seem a bit wonky
But it’s normal if you’ve been kicked in the head by a donkey