When I posted my earlier tribute to Ricky Jay, I was remiss to not link to this excellent New Yorker profile of the famous magician, actor, and author. It’s full of fascinating and hugely entertaining stories and anecdotes. For example:
Deborah Baron, a screenwriter in Los Angeles, where Jay lives, once invited him to a New Year’s Eve dinner party at her home. About a dozen other people attended. Well past midnight, everyone gathered around a coffee table as Jay, at Baron’s request, did closeup card magic. When he had performed several dazzling illusions and seemed ready to retire, a guest named Mort said, “Come on, Ricky. Why don’t you do something truly amazing?”
Baron recalls that at that moment “the look in Ricky’s eyes was, like, ‘Mort — you have just fucked with the wrong person.’”
Jay told Mort to name a card, any card. Mort said, “The three of hearts.” After shuffling, Jay gripped the deck in the palm of his right hand and sprung it, cascading all fifty-two cards so that they travelled the length of the table and pelted an open wine bottle.
“O.K., Mort, what was your card again?”
“The three of hearts.”
“Look inside the bottle.”
Mort discovered, curled inside the neck, the three of hearts. The party broke up immediately.
There are numerous clips of Ricky Jay’s tricks and performances on YouTube, and they’re all mind-blowing. You could do worse than spending your afternoon watching a bunch of them.