If you don’t know what “The Jerx” is, and you’re a magician that can read, and has internet access – you’re missing out.
Here’s the cliffs notes version of what it is:
- About a decade ago, an anonymous magician who goes by the name Andy created a blog called “The Magic Circle Jerk” whose main purpose was to make fun of The Magic Café
- After some controversy (or just an end of the road) he closed it down with a post reading only one word – “POOF”
- About a year and a half ago he “POP”ed back into existence on a new website called www.thejerx.com
- While I don’t actually know what the old content was the new content is PACKED TO THE BRIM with magic ideas, tricks, premises, essays, philosophies, and opinions, that are so revolutionary and brilliant, it’s going to be hard to buy other peoples material after you read his.
- Oh, and it’s really inappropriate, don’t read it aloud to your kids.
- Why is he anonymous? So he can rip people apart for doing shitty magic, or being shitty people, or having shitty presentations without having to waste time protecting his identity. The honesty is refreshing, he says things I wish I could say, but I can’t.
- After a few months of reading it, you’ll also realize that who he is makes no difference – as long as he keeps doing what he’s doing!
I’ve been following this website closely for the past 9 or 10 months, and honestly it is the best magic content I have ever come across. I laugh, I take notes, I often change my mind about magic principles which I’ve believed for basically my entire career.
I decided to take on the task of re-reading some of my favourite posts (I’ll take one for the team) and isolating the top 5, so that if you’re new to it, you can jump in, at some of the best posts, and be inspired to read it all!
This turned out to be wildly difficult. After much deliberation and elimination my list of top 5…. had 14 posts on it.
I’ll leave the extra 9, at the bottom as honourable mentions
In order of oldest to newest, here are:
The Top 5 Jerx Posts (In my opinion)
This is the post that resonated with me the most, and one of the places that me and Andy agree. I actually found this post, when struggling with this in my own magic. In the new wave of mentalism it seems like people are moving towards making their magic look and feel more real. I had been struggling to make sense of it, but in my experience, the magic that makes people laugh out loud of awesomeness, isn’t when they’re puzzled. It’s when they see something truly impossible attached to a premise that isn’t real.
That means feats of skill like reading body language, weighing cards, memorizing cards, etc.. produce confusing reactions. But things like the invisible palm or other fantastical ideas, make people laugh – Because they know it isn’t true but they experienced it anyways.
This is the post that separates, the boys from the men. The Jerkers, from the rest of us idiots. One of the unique things that Andy brings to the table in his blog, and particularly this post, is the idea of grandiose close up effects. One’s that hint at a bigger idea or world than people see. The rest of us idiots, have someone pick a card, we find it, and then we hope for applause.
Andy builds an entirely fake world, that his audience (usually 1 on 1) gets to enjoy, and partake in. Think like a prank show, except there is no “haha this was a prank” at the end. It’s more like -look at this fun fake world, that you get to experience as if it was real.
In this post he give us great examples with the same effect: The spectator cuts the aces.
Wanna feel stupid in the best way possible? All of us idiots, get a tool like a thumb writer, or a swami type gimmick, or a peek type tool. And we immediately go 0 degrees of separation. What if we could have what someone is thinking written down “before” they say it, it will look like we can read their mind, or know the future, what if we can make it look like we read their mind by peeking what they write?. SNOOOOOOZEFEST2016
Good Ol’ Andy makes us all look like stupid farts, by using multiple degrees of separation, and building a fantastical – not believable – world, with the same tools that we have.
Image someone approaches you at a restaurant, and proves* that you’re long lost twins who share a secret language. Sounds whacky? – read the post!
For a short week while Andy was producing his book he turned his website into a site called “The Splooge” a lifestyle blog a la Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (I had to look up Goop to know what that meant).
He basically had a half dozen posts about life instead of magic. To be honest, he could write a book about principles of life just from those few days and I’d buy 10 and give them to my friends who are hopeless. It’s worth reading all of them, but this was absolutely my favourite part of The Splooge
This post came out a few days ago, and it’s what reminded me to make this top 5 post.
Red or Black ?/ Heart or Diamond?/ High or Low?/ 2,3,4,5,6 or 7?
Sound familiar – ME TOO!
Thats how the rest of us idiots look when we perform Invisible Deck every time. Andy once again takes a trick that everybody knows, and just FLOORS us with his creativity.
Read the post, and try for a moment to imagine yourself as the spectator. What a different affect that has on them instead of the obvious question of “how did he know the card I was thinking”.
Distracted Artist – You know when you see your friend who draws a drawing on a napkin while sipping coffee, and you crap yourself at the amazing drawing, and they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Andy pioneered (?) this concept for magic. He talks about it in a few places but check out Presentation Week 5, and The Pre Sliced Banana.
What makes a good premise – So much of The Jerx is spent explaining why our magic premises are boring, and giving us new plots and ideas that he graciously creates. In this post, he answers what exactly makes a good premise
Mad Libs Ploy – This is a really clever effect. The thing I like most about it, is that it is an engulfing piece of theatre. At no point will someone be thinking or saying “you know this isn’t real right”. It’s engaging, lively and clever with a comedic, and magical ending.
4 Scoops of Vanilla – Want to make fun of the whiteness of popular magicians at the same time as interactive magic videos? You’ll love this!
This is a Post® on Magic Blog® – I was sitting in my kitchen eating eggs, legitimately laughing out loud at the dialogue he wrote at the end. Worth a good laugh if you know a little bit about the Yigel Mesika Loops controversy.
The Wizard Staff – Remember that wizard trick you learned when you were 13? Ace, Two, Three, Four, F**k this… This is a really clever spin on it, with some (not-appropriate) jokes that make a better presentation, with a better method, that’s just- all around better!
Big Concept Little Idea – Do you have old Tenyo props, or other small tiny magic props that you used to use back when you were a fetus learning magic collecting dust somewhere? Well you’re going to want to dust them off for this one. Here is a universal presentation for ALL OF THEM!
PS. While you should buy the book that he’s making to support him and the site. I don’t recommend it – BECAUSE I WANT IT ALL TO MYSELF AND I’M NOT SHARING!!!!! Instead support him by buying a GLOMM T-shirt, or check out the ways he recommends supporting the site
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See you there!