October 03, 2003
Ricky Jay

ricky jay

I was going to post something a couple months ago that I found on cardhouse, the archives of Ricky Jay's weekly radio show on KCRW, Jay's Journal, but I forgot (forgetfulness seems to be a recent theme here).

Nobody seems to know who Ricky Jay is.

He's been in a bunch of David Mamet films: House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, Heist. He was in an X-Files episode. He was even in Boogie Nights. In some circles (just a few people I know, maybe) he's famous for writing Cards as Weapons, a self-defense book that teaches one how to use ordinary playing cards as... weapons (he can impale watermelons with them).

From an interview with The Onion:

O: Have you ever used your magic powers for evil?
RJ: Can't think of a day when I haven't. [Laughs.]

I found out a friend of mine is his assistant. I got all excited, and she said “You really know who Ricky Jay is?”

Because of that I went and looked at his website, and found (the real focus of this post) this amazing profile of him from the New Yorker (PDF; here's an HTML version). It's long, and I'm no magician lover, but I really enjoyed it.

I haven't even mentioned the really interesting bits about Ricky Jay, or why you should read the article. I guess I'll just leave it up to you to decide whether it's worth taking a look at, but know this: he is not like any other magician.

I'm a little scared I will walk into Canter's some night around 3 or 4 am and see him.

Posted by jjwiseman at October 03, 2003 06:55 PM

That's some pretty slick web design, too. (And I normally hate "cute" designs.)

In other magic news, it's what we've all been waiting for for sooo long!!!!!


Posted by: geoff on October 3, 2003 11:07 PM

Looks like he's also riffing on the intro to Magnolia in a new Cisco commercial. Just saw it during the Oakland-Boston game.

Posted by: Zach Beane on October 4, 2003 05:59 PM

"Cards as Weapons" is one of my all-time favorite titles. And I love being the obnoxious uncle who challenges kids to toss cards across the room.

Posted by: Will Fitzgerald on October 6, 2003 05:44 AM

i want the book cards as wapons or the pdf file can u help me out

Posted by: rome on August 7, 2004 08:42 AM

well i saw u on mith busters and i have ben throwing fora copel mounts. so i would like to learn more.

Posted by: tim domeier on September 30, 2005 05:14 PM
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