Things are hot and heavy with book number two now. The list of tricks is being finalized, illustrations are coming in, some little props that will accompany the book are being produced. Everything is on schedule.
As we're a little past the middle of Season 3, I thought I'd give you an update on the progress of the rewards. I always want to keep you in the loop on this stuff because as far as I'm concerned that is part of the deal in any situation where you're paying up front for a product that won't be ready for some time.
Let me start with the stuff I like to think about the least.
If you want to support this site and my work, there is only one way to do so, and that is through this site. No legitimate copies of my work are available elsewhere.
Yes, people are going to bootleg my shit and no there's not much I can do about it. I don't talk about it here because it's fucking depressing. In my utopia, the fact that I put out so much content for free would cause people to say, "Oh, he puts a ton of time into this and gives it away for free, I'm not going to also try and screw him out of his paid work too," although that's probably naive on my part.
But I've decided not to concentrate on that aspect of things, because if I do, I'd just end up shutting the site down.
Instead I'm going to focus on the people who do support the site, because they're good people and not shit-heads and I'd like to share a milkshake with them, and I have long-term plans to keep them in the inner circle even when this site is gone.
I do no advertising, I don't have an email list, and I don't annoy you on twitter. The existence of this site has (and always will) come down to how people respond to this soft sell:
If you like this site please consider supporting it to keep it going.
The focus of this site is too narrow for it to exist without the support of the people who are into what we're doing here.
This is just a reminder, as I wrote in the initial Season 3 description:
You'll notice the Gotta Have It tier is actually less than $5/week (it's $240 instead of $260). That's because it doesn't include shipping. Instead, shipping will be paid by you when the book is ready to be shipped. This will be the best/easiest way for me to make sure I have your most up-to-date address and it will make the actual mailing go faster and smoother on our end. I don't want it to come as a surprise to you when it's ready to be mailed out. You will be paying shipping once the book and deck are ready to be shipped. I don't know exactly how much it will be, but the total will be less than what JV1 cost shipped (which was $260 in the US and $286 outside the US).
I'm reminding you now because I don't want you to have forgotten this point and then be all bummed out when the book is ready to ship.
Ooooh... there's so much good!
I'm working on the back design for the Jerx Deck #2. There were a couple of ideas I was going with, inspired by some of my favorite decks from the past. But it looks like Deck #2 will be The Jerx Squishers based on the old Bulldog Squeezers deck, which is my favorite of the old-timey decks.
Diamond Jim Tyler has a good, short explanation for the back of the Bulldog Squeezers which clarifies some of the elements.
The Jerx Squishers will have some goofy bullshit on the back too.
(I should mention, since I've received a number of requests in recent weeks for the original Jerx deck, that the only way to get the deck is to support the site during the year in which it's released. There are no reprints. There are no bricks or bonus decks to be sold. And any future Jerx Decks will be a completely different design.)
I'm really happy with how the essay that opens the book is coming together. One of the things that I find wildly annoying is when a magician says something like, "You can't just perform tricks for people... you need to create an experience." And then you watch them perform... and they're just fucking doing regular old tricks for people!
The opening essay collects a lot of ideas from posts on this site, and seeing them all together and reformatted and updated will, I think, make it clear with concrete steps how you can accomplish this somewhat nebulous goal of "creating an experience."
The final part of this essay involves taking a standard trick (the prediction of a two-digit number using a nail-writer) and breaking it down and adjusting every element of the method/presentation until you have something that is structurally the same but the effect and the experience are completely different. You'll see. It's a good one.
I don't like to get too deep into the details of the descriptions of the effects (because I think with my material that's where the value is) but how does this baby sound?
"A card is selected and a lucky number generated, which is used along with some spelling and dealing to produce the chosen card, plus the four Aces, and finally a royal flush!"
Sound good to you? Huh... really? Well, it's a description of a Harry Lorayne trick that I read on the Cafe.
There is nothing in the book that reads like that trick above. But the good news is, if that's your type of thing, there are mountains of tricks like that in the literature. So you are all set.
The tricks in the book I've been having the most fun with recently are a full-deck matching effect (the presentation is what excites me), a three phase trick done with an infant child (this is kind of a sequel effect to The Baby Who Knows), a trick where you control someone's dream, and my most-performed effect over the past few months that is done with the movie Jaws (or any movie you like, but you'll be set up to do it with Jaws).
There's also a trick that uses the book itself as a prop that I can't wait to perform. My early versions of the trick with a prototype prop have received crazy reactions.
And in this book you will find what I believe to be the most fooling version of Card-to-Mouth ever. This is my friend Andrew's trick and he's allowing me to publish it in the book after it completely blew me away the first time he showed it to me. I've never been a big card-to-mouth guy. I've done the trick and some variations a few times over the years. It's a fun trick to do and gets surprised reactions, but when breaking it down with people afterwards their reaction was, "Well, I don't know how you did it, but you must have put the card in your mouth when I wasn't looking." Well... yeah. Andrew's version has two convincers that lead people away from this theory. A signed card goes into the deck, your hands never leave the deck and are in full view the whole time, your mouth is obviously empty. Then, in an instant, without your hands moving, the card is no longer in the deck and is now in your mouth. It can be performed 100% impromptu and buck-ass naked.
In one sense the trick is a "magician fooler" because it uses a method I've never seen before in magic, but it's also the strongest version I've seen for laymen because it's made very clear that their card and your hands never leave their field of vision. I think you guys are going to have fun working on this one. The method is totally practical but also a little out there.
There's your book update. Thanks to everyone who has supported this site in Season 3. Your kindness, good taste, and generosity will be rewarded.
The next book update will be in a few months when the book is sent to the printers.