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"A remarkable performer and the epitome of skill..."Dai Vernon

"I never saw anything like that! That was a sick trick!"Annie Duke, World Champion Poker Player

"You’re freakin’ me out."Matt Lauer, The Today Show

"I like him! I like him a lot!"Craig Fergusson, The Late, Late Show

What will he teach?

This new lecture by Jamy Ian Swiss will cover the gamut of close-up sleight-of-hand magic. This lecture is absolutely full of amazing card magic, from original card-in-impossible location plots (and a fresh new handling of the Card on Ceiling); to apparent displays of extraordinary skill that don't demand as much as they appear; and a simple but mystifying and commercial memorized deck routine.

Then comes the non-card magic; including an impromptu cup-and-ball routine with an original and amazing new climax; a practical mentalism routine that turns any peek into an engaging four-effect routine; and coin magic that includes a lesson in pure misdirection, and an amazing no-gaff vanish of four coins.

A Peculiarly Strong Card Trick: a perennial favorite where a signed card is found folded inside a container of breath mints and that ends clean. This solution is unexpected, organic, and minty-fresh.

Self-Contained Card on Ceiling: a practical method to carry and access all the items you need to perform one of the strongest card tricks in the world.

SandSwitch: a two-phase “isolated sandwich” routine in which the first selection appears between two queens, and then, while on the table at a distance, the sandwiched card changes into the second selection.

Stabbed in the Sandwich: a card tossed into the air is caught between two selections. The feat of skill is repeated with a tabled deck and surprisingly accurate results.

Premonition Redux: a clever combination of mind and moves... any card named is discovered to be missing from the deck, only to be found hidden in the card case.

Me-Fly: no gimmick version of hand-to-hand coins relying on well-choreographed moments of misdirection and ending clean.

Two Empty Hands: a beautiful one-at-a-time vanish and re-appearance of four coins.

Free Association: a psychological game of Free Association that leads to the revelation of two geometric shapes and two words.

Solid Glass: an impromptu cup-and-ball routine with an original and amazing new climax.

Who is he?

According to the post-modern magic duo, Penn & Teller, Jamy Ian Swiss is "James Bond with a deck of cards for a pistol!" Swiss has appeared internationally for presenters ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. His U.S. television appearances include CBS "48 Hours," PBS "Nova," "The Today Show," and repeat appearances on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

Internationally renowned for his skills as a close-up magician, Swiss has also performed his stage show of mind-reading and mentalism, "Heavy Mental," for audiences of thousands across the United States. As a speaker, Swiss has addressed subjects including creativity, risk management, information design, user experience and other aspects of corporate and creative concern to firms as diverse as Publicis, Schlumberger, Evernote, Adobe, Intuit, Evernote, Electronic Arts, Shufflemaster and more; and also serves as on-stage host for a diverse range of business conferences.

Swiss was the book reviewer for "Genii" magazine for 18 years, and is the author of several books including "The Art of Magic" (the companion to the PBS documentary); two collections of essays: "Devious Standards" and "Shattering Illusions"; and he collaborated with Edward Tufte on a chapter in the book "Visual Explanations." He has produced and written for television including Penn & Teller’s "Sin City Spectacular" series, and Marco Tempest’s “The Virtual Magician;” and he is a co-producer of New York’s longest-running Off-Broadway magic show, "Monday Night Magic," now in its 18th consecutive year.

A regular performer at the Magic Castle since 1987, Swiss has also lectured to magicians in more than 30 states and 13 countries. A renowned “skeptic” and pro-science advocate and activist, Swiss is a founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics [www.ncas.org], a founder of the New York City Skeptics [www.nycs.org]; has served as a Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation [randi.org]; and is a co-producer and on-stage host of the annual New England Conference on Science and Skepticism [NECSScon.org] in New York City.

In a lengthy profile, "New Yorker" magazine declared, “Swiss is widely thought to have one of the most masterly sleight-of-hand techniques in the world today!”

If you could ask ONE question to one of the world's most creative professional magicians, what would it be?



If you've never been to a magic lecture, there’'s never been a better time. Sunday, December 11th, at 7:00pm, we're streaming Jamy Ian Swiss LIVE in a spectacular 2-hour online lecture. Watch and learn things you won't find in any book or DVD.

Want VIP access to EVERY FUTURE Penguin LIVE we film? Check out the new Penguin LIVE: All Access Pass!

ATTENDING COULDN'T BE EASIER.

  1. Purchase the Jamy Ian Swiss LIVE “product”. This is your ticket.
  2. On Sunday, December 11th, anytime before 7:00pm Eastern, click the “MyPenguinMagic” area at the top of the Penguin site. You'll see the stream appear 1 hour before showtime. At 7pm sharp, Jamy will hit the stage and begin his JAM-PACKED professional lecture.
  3. Sit back and watch over 2 hours of DVD-quality streaming magic from the comfort of your own home.

DON’T WORRY IF YOU MIGHT MISS IT.

Reserve your seat anyway. Within 24 hours of ending, you'll be able to download and/or watch the full lecture on-demand, and go over all the great routines and subtleties as many times as you want. It'’ll be waiting for you in your “MyPenguinMagic” area.

Magicians flock to see “workers” give talks. Why? Because these guys see and learn things that you won'’t find in any book or DVD. Yes, you'll be learning some incredibly powerful A-material, but the INVALUABLE stuff will be the insight you learn along the way.

This lecture is for everyone, from the beginner to the professional and for magicians and mentalists alike.

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The Most Influential Magician on My Magic Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 15th, 2016
Before I get to the review of the lecture I want to post how I became aware of Jamy Ian Swiss and why he is the most influential magician to me and my magic. For those who know me on the forums (sirbrad) it is probably no surprise that I am posting a review for this lecture, as I posted a lot about Jamy and his work and insights often on the forums. I first saw Jamy on the magic documentary "The Art of Magic" back in 1997 on PBS. It was perfect timing, almost like "magic" as I had been doing magic full-time for many years and was burnt out from doing so many shows, and contemplating retirement as it seemed like the "magic" was no longer as strong as it used to be. Then one night this magic documentary just happened to come on and it forever changed the course of my life and career as a magician and professional. At the time there were not many magic documentaries out there, and not many videos except some VHS tapes that I ordered from old black and white catalogs with vague product descriptions, line drawings, and had to wait 6-8 weeks for them to arrive.

I also saw the "The Story of Magic" which was also great, and came out about the same time and another one which I forget the name of. But I loved The Art of Magic a lot as the performances were well done, and I was especially mesmerized by Jamy Ian Swiss and his card and coin handling ability. Not only that, but hearing him talk about magic and magic theory in a very intellectual, passionate, energetic, and sophisticated manner. Before that I had never really saw anyone talk about magic like that, nor anyone that highly skilled in close-up. This was before the internet was popular and long before YouTube so I did not have a lot of exposure with other magicians except occasionally at clubs and shows as there were no other local magicians in my area. So I never saw anything like it as most other magicians that I saw did stage shows and kids shows mostly. Even magic on TV was mostly stage shows until David Blaine came along and revolutionized close-up magic on the street dubbed as "Street Magic" and shifting the focus on the spectators and their reactions instead of the magician. Before that though we did not see very much close-up magic. "The Art of Magic" brought that genre to life.

Not only was Jamy very adept and proficient at performing, he was also a great speaker and thinker, and his discussion of magic theory, history, and psychology beamed with enthusiasm. His presentation was loud, bombastic, confident, and in your face and his passion and energy for the art seemed endless. He was gonna fry you and there was nothing you could do about it. His smooth patter matched every difficult move, and you could tell that he cared deeply for the art and that he wanted to be the best magician possible and provide the best experience possible for the audience. When he "locked himself in a room for a year" in preparation to go pro it surely paid off. As did working in the trenches as a "magic bartender" for years, which is a tough venue to work, and you would need to be very proficient to be able to continue doing both jobs at the same time. I was blown away how well Jamy did the riffle pass, even though it is not meant to be a trick in itself but more of a hidden move, it looked like pure magic even though I knew what was happening.

I remember working on it in the mirror all day and night trying to get it to look like his, and fooling myself with it once I got it down. Like Jamy I am from the "old school" of learning and love practicing the hard stuff and still do. Seems like many beginners today want everything to be easy, self-working, examinable, astonishing, no prep work or arts and crafts, and ends clean. In other words "real magic" with no work involved. We all know that is just a fantasy though and not reality. But after see that movie Jamy instantly became my favorite magician, and till this day is still the most influential to me and my magic after 36 years. His essays and talks inspired me to write my own essays based on my own experiences, which I then became known for from about 2003 on, when posting on the Penguin and Cafe forums among others.

I loved his style and his impeccable sleight of hand which I tried to emulate every day after seeing him perform. Jamy's talks and performances gave me renewed inspiration along with Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Max Maven and others. I loved Burger's creepy, spiritual style and storytelling a lot as well. I thought I was very good with cards/passes until I saw Jamy's, then I knew I had A LOT of work to do. So that inspired me a lot to excel even more so. I loved his "One-Coin Routine", including a "slow motion vanish" segment created by Geoff Latta which ends with a jumbo coin; as he talks about "magicians having the same problems with money as the rest of the world does," and inflation etc. This is coin sleight of hand magic at its best! He also demonstrated his card sleight of hand prowess with his "Four Principles of Card Conjuring" in which he made black and red aces change places visibly in the pack face up, and also with perfect patter, as well as "The Ambitious Card" and "Card Under The Glass" Routines. You can see these awesome segments on Jamy's YouTube channel and the entire movie on YouTube as well. So it is a special film to me. I am glad it is on YouTube so I can save on my two sets of VHS tapes. So yeah it really needs a DVD release.

So that is the "short version" of my history with Jamy and how I discovered him, and then later on began reading all of his reviews in Genii Magazine and bought his awesome book "Shattering Illusions" and "Live In London" DVD back then and loved them. I also bought all of the Antinomy Magazines as well for his contributions and liked many of the other contributions as well, and I have most of his other stuff as well and cover issues of Genii.

Now as far as the lecture goes it was awesome as well! I actually told Penguin long ago that they should get Jamy for it and they said they would look into it, so I am glad it finally happened! I was ecstatic to see the email that is was coming and pre-ordered it immediately. Definitely some stuff and tips in there I can use. Of course I loved the theory talks at the end also.

"The Card on Spotlight" or I mean "Self-Contained Card on Ceiling" lol. The "Card on Ceiling" was a trick I practiced a lot as a kid, and my entire ceiling used to be full of cards from practicing the card on ceiling. It was great magic ceiling-paper lol. It is kinda knacky and unpredictable which you will see in the explanation when the card fails to stick, but it stuck when it counted during the performance, and on a spotlight instead of the ceiling. I have had similar "mishaps" and much worse actually, that I turned into miracles, or had even more amazing things happen that I took credit for. So it just goes to show how you must be ready for anything, and anything bad that can happen so that you can make it work in your favor. Although in this case it was not actually bad and as I said maybe more amazing. A lot of factors are involved, ceiling height, materials used, angle of the ceiling, ceiling material, etc. Risky but also rewarding when it works. I used to do it a lot and still do it occasionally. I also love how Jamy brings in the material needed, very clever!

"A Peculiarly Strong Card Trick" a perennial favorite where a signed card is found folded inside a container of breath mints and that ends clean. This solution is unexpected, organic, and minty-fresh. I liked this as well, and Jamy did a similar one on his Live In London DVD. I have used "Card in Box" for a very long time as well and love it. This method is what some would call more "organic" or using "natural everyday items" which I do not feel is necessary as a magician unless that is your style. In fact glitzy, glamorous, magical looking props are what attracted me to magic in the first place as a kid, not natural looking ones. But this is just a small box anyway. Nonetheless it is great if that is your style. Also it is a little easier to carry a flatter mint box than a thicker card box. But I never had an issue with a regular card box. So I like both methods. Also that spectator definitely faked putting the mint in his mouth and held it in his hand melting the entire time lol. I knew he wold refuse the mint at the end lol.

"SandSwitch" a two-phase “isolated sandwich” routine in which the first selection appears between two queens, and then, while on the table at a distance, the sandwiched card changes into the second selection. Another cool effect also with a knacky move and some sleights you will need to practice, but not too hard to get down after awhile. That is what makes it so much fun though as it requires some effort.

"Stabbed in the Sandwich" a card tossed into the air is caught between two selections. The feat of skill is repeated with a tabled deck and surprisingly accurate results. Another cool effect, this one a card is thrown up and caught between two selections which is not quite as difficult. The other move is slightly more knacky, throwing a card into the deck that is tabled which I have done before many times also, not sure where I learned it or was just something I tried. Many times it will miss, deflect off the deck, or fly over the top as seen in the explanation section. But Jamy goes over all of that and tips for getting the card to stick in. Definitely something that needs practiced as you don't want the card to flip over also as you will see why. But you could also just put the card in the deck quickly and closer to it, or use another method if you need to so not a big deal.

"Premonition Redux" a clever combination of mind and moves... any card named is discovered to be missing from the deck, only to be found hidden in the card case. Loved this one as well. Also loved when Jamy asked if anyone "Did mem (memory) deck work" and no hands went up lol. Leave the hard stuff to us old school guys, we actually like it lol. I have used the case reveal for a long time as well which I believe is by Ed Marlo and as Jamy states often done wrong, or backwards and shows why it is more convincing doing it the other way with the flap on the bottom. Looks very convincing.

"Me-Fly" no gimmick version of hand-to-hand coins relying on well-choreographed moments of misdirection and ending clean. Great sleight of hand coin magic! I don't do a lot of 3-fly coin magic but it looked very visual and some would swear there were gimmicks being used. But it is added bonus to end clean even if not always necessary.

"Two Empty Hands" a beautiful one-at-a-time vanish and re-appearance of four coins. More great sleight of hand coin magic utilizing a magic wand. Loved this one as well and the timing and sleights used!

"Free Association" a psychological game of Free Association that leads to the revelation of two geometric shapes and two words. A cool mentalism effect that is pretty common and can be hit or miss as shown, but it all comes down to how well you are able to adapt to misses and make them appear to be hits.

"Solid Glass" Another great routine and in this case used as a "bar magic" routine with items found around the bar. These can also be adapted to balls or fruit. I must say I knew what was going on up until the climax which had me totally surprised, and rarely am I fooled having been in magic now for so long, so if it happens it is something I like to savor. So that was great. I thought maybe the glass was gonna vanish since it reminded me of the vanishing salt shaker wrapped up in the paper, so I was watching for that but it did something entirely different. But Jamy said it also fooled Tommy Wonder so it must be great lol. I won't give it away you will just have to watch for yourself! So yeah all in all a great lecture and looking forward to more lectures soon! -SirBrad
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I like Jamy Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 14th, 2016
I like Jamy, but there are lots of people in the magic world who don't. For some he rubs them the wrong way and for others he seems arrogant.
I first saw Jamy lecture way back in the '80s and loved his work. He reminded me to treat magic with the care that an art deserves and not to be satisfied because I had fooled the easy people in the room.
If you will listen carefully, you will get some great advice, far more valuable than the tricks. The tricks are great (I loved "world's hardest card trick" which Jamy taught at a Card Clinic years ago but that I had forgotten.
In short, I think that Jamy is one of the finest writers in magic and what he says deserves to be listened to. Get past the seeming brashness and listen to a person who has performed a LOT. There is gold in this lecture, but you'll have to mine it yourself.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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Great Material and Superb Insight Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 27th, 2016
Jamy shared some excellent material in this lecture. If you are interested in performing close up magic professionally or even if you’re not, do yourself a favor and buy this lecture!

Jamy’s thinking on card to impossible location is fantastic. His card in altoids works perfectly in professional strolling performance and would work equally well in a more casual setting.

For those who are building comfort with a mem deck and even those who are more experienced practitioners, premonition redux is awesome and a great example of using a single sentence to establish surprise and build suspense.

There is also fantastic instruction on making the side steal invisible and there are two awesome routines that don’t use cards. Pay particular attention to the insight which is shared about each of these routines and the other routines as well.

Highly, highly recommended!
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Highest value - super lecture Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 26th, 2016
Want to grow in magic by getting a wonderful sense of the past and forge some thinking for the future?...
For my money, the Jamy Ian Swiss live lecture is among the very best Penguin has produced. I would rank this with the Eugene Burger and Giobbi lectures. I think anyone at any level in magic can richly benefit from time spent with artists like these.

The material covered in this appearance has serious practical and artistic value. Lots of real, real-world stuff here, which one would expect from a writer/creator/performer of Jamy’s career,
(I’m amazed how often a single mediocre and poorly developed trick or video is sold for more than this lecture of almost 4 hrs!)

Jamy’s extensive background in nearly every facet of magic, and his passion for his art really comes through in this lecture.
Of course not everyone would perform as he would; in his style or voice… Does anyone using any kind of brain effort think that’s an issue? Watch and listen and learn here…
There’s a lot to be gleaned by repeated viewings, trying out these tested routines, and at the very least by following up on his crediting references.


Pro’s
Solid value for your magic $
Great, practical, useable tricks. You don’t really need to buy something more to be able to put these ideas to work…. Wow.
Jamy’s segment on modern mentalism is as strong in theory as any I have seen, and the effect he teaches can be put into one’s work to great value.
Love the production values in showing his actual performances, mixed with his detailed analyses of the real work and thinking behind strongly delivering the effects, both from technical and artistic choices.
Thoughtful crediting in magic is very important I believe, so I’ll mention it again here as a top quality of this lecture.

Con’s
I wish this lecture was longer, particularly for the anecdotes and discussions about the development of modern magic through his deeply felt appreciations of the personalities who helped shape the art we love so much.

Bottom line:
This lecture is a real winner and well worth your time and attention.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Sharp and Clear Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 24th, 2016
Jamy Ian Swiss is a close-up magician, a former magic-bartender, and a stand-out writer in our field. His thoughts on over 35 years in magic, as well as his sharp clarity of mind made this lecture a joy to watch. Jamy gives compelling reasons for each decision he's made, regarding moves and trick construction, while keeping the lecture moving at a steady pace.

As one might expect from someone as well-read as Jamy, his instruction for each effect is punctuated with rich crediting as well as his tips on classic moves (side-steal) and theoretical musings. I particularly liked his thoughts on Card on Ceiling-a plug for the thumbtack method (not the version he teaches here)-which I didn't expect I'd find myself agreeing with.

Jamy's got a slightly acerbic style, which you may find either refreshing or jarring (he doesn't hesitate to call out a spectator who's tending to her phone during his performance), or perhaps both, simultaneously. (At the very least, I can imagine this has suited him well as a New York bartender.)

Overall, this is a terrific few hours with a very well-read read, clear-thinking, opinionated New York close-up magician. His astute observations regarding tricks, moves and psychology make this a lecture for multiple viewings, as you are certain to uncover gems that escaped your attention the first time you watched it.
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Great lecture from a modern master Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 15th, 2016
Highly recommended for anyone who takes their craft seriously. The tricks are great (in particular I love the card on ceiling ideas and the sandwich trick), but it's the advice between the tricks that is really priceless. The tips on the side steal alone are worth the price of admission; a relatively easy control that's completely invisible and doesn't involve any shuffling, awkward movements or moments, what more could you ask for. On top of all that, he his extremely charming, funny, and engaging making the lecture a true pleasure to watch. 5 stars.
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Awesome Lecture! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 14th, 2016
Jamy Ian Swiss has the best method for Card on Ceiling EVER. It's the one I use professionally - it's been buried in his lecture notes for years - and he's finally put it out there on video here in his Penguin lecture.

If you want to see some of the finest sleight of hand and magic theory in practice, buy this lecture immediately. His Solid Glass is one of my favorite tricks and I've only seen him teach it once to a group over ten years ago.

Fantastic stories and real working material from one of the best that's ever lived. Don't wait. Check this out today.

Awesome job, Jamy!
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I love The Honest Liar! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 14th, 2016
I've been a fan of Jamy ever first encountering him on the PBS special, "The Art Of Magic" so many years ago. Jamy is a true master, who expresses himself and his worldview artistically through his magic and his humorous, sometimes profound, and wickedly-smart prose. So much can be learned from this lecture, beyond the tricks. Read (listen) between the lines, and empty your cup. Jamy's example can be transformative. I admire him so very much.

Ben Blau
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Good, solid material Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 12th, 2016
For me, this was all fairly solid material. Nothing particularly spectacular, but no idle pipe dreams either. Swiss has performed all of these effects many times over many years, so you know they are audience tested, and they've been refined. (Didn't like the last coin on "Me-Fly," but nothing's perfect.) Many of these effects were polished in bar magic venues, so if that's your thing, this is especially for you.
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For the history alone Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 4th, 2017
Jamy Ian Swiss gives brilliant and enthusiastic explanations of these fantastic effects. Jamy weaves throughout the lecture his own personal oral history of his performances. Just to hear the history of these tricks is as important as the methods themselves. That on its own is worth watching even without the magic. His breakdown of specific motivations for certain actions is very direct and understandable. I have learned new ways to evolve and practice some very nice close up magic from his live talk. I would recommend professionals and amateurs to get this Jamy Ian Swiss lecture.
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