American Masters -- Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

Launching the series' 29(th) season, American Masters -- Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice premiered nationwide Friday, January 23, 9-10 p.m. on PBS and journied into the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees. Told largely in Jay's own distinctive voice, the documentary traces the story of his achievement, beginning at age 4 as apprentice to his grandfather Max Katz, an accomplished amateur magician, and features rare footage of some of the most influential magicians of the 20th century: Cardini, Slydini, Al Flosso, Dai Vernon and Charles Miller.

Narrated by Dick Cavett, American Masters -- Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice weaves together new interviews with Jay, his friends and collaborators, including writer/director David Mamet, and rare performance footage from his one-man shows and classic TV appearances, among them a hilarious turn with Steve Martin on Dinah Shore's 1970s program. Filmmakers Molly Bernstein (editor, American Masters -- Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About) and Alan Edelstein (Oscar-nominated producer, The Wizard of Strings) explore the arduous demands of the magician's craft, the use of language and storytelling central to the art, and this ancient tradition's future.

"All of the arts are forms of magic, and the wonderment, mystery and pure joy of seeing a master like Ricky Jay perform is a thrill like no other, " says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. "This intimate film makes you marvel at his genius and allows you to peek behind the curtain at many of the greatest magicians of the last century."

"I am truly honored to be included in this iconic series, and grateful to be able to introduce viewers to the great sleight-of-hand artists who were my mentors and my inspiration," says Ricky Jay.

To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website http://pbs.org/americanmasters offers streaming video of select films, interviews, photos, outtakes, essays and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel.

 

RICKY JAY: SIDESHOW AT YALE

Tuesday January 13, 2015 at 5:30 PM

Ricky Jay launches the SIDESHOW exhibit at the Yale School of Art with a talk about his favorite character, the armless conjurer and calligrapher, Matthew Buchinger (1674-1739).

"SIDESHOW - An exhibition about the intersection of fine art and the historical American popular entertainment world of the sideshow - in which the bodily display of the abnormal, human or animal, would be the focus of the event. Issues of race, ethnicity, gender and disability will be considered."

A number of pieces from the Ricky Jay Collection will be featured in the show which runs until March 20th.

32 Edgewood Gallery, New Haven, CT Open to the public and free of charge

Gallery Hours: 12-6:00pm Tues.-Sun. (closed Mondays).

For more information: http://art.yale.edu/32EdgewoodAveGallery

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FROM McSWEENY's BOOKS

Celebrations of Curious Characters

Celebrations of Curious Characters

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THE LA TIMES BOOK REVIEW
CELEBRATIONS OF CURIOUS CHARACTERS BY RICKY JAY

LA TIMES

Click here to read full article

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THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
INTERVIEW WITH RICKY JAY

Click here to read full article

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RECENT EVENTS

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simpsons

RICKY JAY appeared as himself on THE GREAT SIMPSINA, a new episode of THE SIMPSONS, which aired APRIL 10, 2011.

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Did you see
RICKY JAY on CBS's 60 MINUTES?

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Magic Taschen


MAGIC, 1400s–1950s, published by Taschen
Ricky Jay, Contributing Author

FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY
Thursday, November 8, 2012

VERY LIKE A WEASEL:
The Cyclical and Ever Changing Nature of Deceit.

An Illustrated Talk By RICKY JAY
Student of Deception and Occasional Practitioner



In connection with the exhibition
VERY LIKE A WHALE by Rosamond Purcell & Michael Witmore

 


THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE'S LIST OF HOLIDAY BOOKS, FEATURING


CELEBRATIONS OF CURIOUS CHARACTERS BY RICKY JAY

THE NEW YORKER ONLINE
SO MANY WIERD WORLDS: A CONVERSATION WITH RICKY JAY

Click here to read full article

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CONJURORS, CONMEN & OTHER STRANGE CELEBRITIES

GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY ONLINE

Click here to read full article

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THE NEW YORKER ONLINE
SO MANY WIERD WORLDS: A CONVERSATION WITH RICKY JAY

New Yorker

Click here to read

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
CONJURORS, CONMEN & OTHER STRANGE CELEBRITIES

Click here to read

ny times

horse

Hokum That Stands the Test of Time By Michael Kimmelman
Click here to read the full article.

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twixt

The New Yorker says “Coincident with the Met's ‘Perfect Medium’ show, the scholar and magician Ricky Jay presents a selection of related items from his vast collection of broadsides, posters, books, photographs, and ephemera pertaining to spiritualist amusements and deceptions. Slides from a presentation that Harry Houdini made in 1924 (though he desperately wanted to believe in mediums, he always figured out their tricks) demonstrate a few methods for spirit writing, materializations, and the like; this is accompanied by a recording of Houdini himself and a reading of his debunking lecture and commentary by the silver-tongued Jay.”



L.A. Times Critics Choice
Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants

“For the first time in more than a decade, legendary magician Ricky Jay — considered by many the best sleight-of-hand artist on Earth — brings his Obie-winning show, directed by his longtime associate David Mamet, back to the Southland. The ‘52 assistants’ of the title are a deck of cards — items that Jay manipulates to stunning effect in this must-see entertainment.”
— F. Kathleen Foley
November 24, 2006


From Zembla, the British literary magazine,
which features an interview and
an 8-page spread on Ricky Jay’s book
“Extraordinary Exhibitions".

Read the article from The Washington Examiner

Jay deals out best show in town

by
Doug Krentzlin

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Read the review by Peter Marks from The Washington Post

Illusionist Ricky Jay: An Ace in the Role
from The Washington Post, 10 May 2005
by Peter Marks


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Love and Theft
Video by Bob Dylan
Featuring Ricky Jay


Launch Quicktime Movie


Secrets of the Magus
from the New Yorker Magazine, 1993
by Mark Singer


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Download in PDF format (140k)
      Get Acrobat Reader here   


Call Me a Sucker,
But I Love Ricky Jay

At the Theater With John Heilpern
The New York Observer, May 20, 2002

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A front-row seat at the side show
San Francisco Chronicle,
December 14, 2001
Reviewed by Mark Luce

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Ricky Jay is Back in Town
New York Times Editorial
January 17, 1998