Ricky Jay's Magical Secrets

November 27, 2018

People ask me why I don’t do lectures at magic conventions, and I say, ‘Because I’m still learning.’ Meanwhile, you’ve got people who have been doing magic for ten months and they are actually out there pontificating. It’s absurd.”

I've been catching up on a lot of stuff related to sleight of hand magician Ricky Jay after he passed away last week. The quote above from a fantastic 1993 New Yorker profile kept rattling around in my head. Given that his whole career is based on deception, you can't take anything he says at face value (pun intended,) but it is wonderful to think that one of the worlds best magicians still considered himself a student.

As someone who has done a lot of speaking this year I often feel this way. "Why should people listen to me - I just figured this out a couple of weeks ago." What allows me to fight back the imposter syndrome is the fact that I believe understanding how someone learned something has a lot of value. And I think this is the case for beginners and experts alike.