Ricky Jay Quotes

  • Like every art form, there are jealousies and angers and competitiveness in magic. But there's camaraderie among magicians, whether you perform it for a living or you're an enthusiast.
  • Not only do I lie, I take real pleasure in lying, in the transmission of magic effects.
  • I started doing radio pieces with no clear, preconceived idea, except that I have a tendency to be theatrical.
  • One of the best sleight-of-hand guys I know is a plumber.
  • I certainly was performing before my writing was published, because I was performing when I was very young. And the thing is I'm very comfortable on stage, so a large portion of my act did come from ad-libs.
  • I wasn't obsessed by magic. People say, 'How you can you claim you practiced eight hours a day and weren't obsessed?' Well, people go to a job they don't even like for eight hours a day; it's not obsessive if it's something you like.
  • I suppose that if I could only do one thing, a solid card effect would be pretty high on the list. That's the root of it all, sleight-of-hand. It's certainly the thing I feel most comfortable with.
  • My father was the Formica King of Long Island, and my mother was the daughter of a Bengal Lancer in India.
  • For me, the most exciting thing is to create good magic that's entertaining for an audience, and it would be lovely if a magician was fooled as well.
  • I love amazing people. I love dazzling them. That's why I think performing magic is one of the greatest things a person can do.
  • I never talk much about my family, but my grandfather was friendly with these guys, with magicians and ventriloquists on the highest levels, and I was just... interested.
  • Writing is the only thing in my life that doesn't get easier. It just doesn't.
  • That's one of the ways language evolved, by some very obscure form becoming common usage. And I must say that I'm very intrigued by use of language and slang, and criminal underground terms.
  • I don't know what first got me to attack melons. It's not like I ate a bad one and got an upset stomach. It just eventually seemed like the appropriate fruit.
  • I'm probably the only kid in history whose parents made him stop taking music lessons. They made me stop studying the accordion.
  • I grew up like Athena - covered with playing cards instead of armor - and, at the age of seven, materialized on a TV show, doing magic.
  • I was considered a comedy magician. And - how do I put this without sounding egotistical? - it didn't take me long to realize that comedy magicians usually couldn't do comedy or magic.
  • Dai Vernon, the greatest sleight of hand figure in the history of the art, rarely performed. But he invented magic and had an enormous influence on the whole range of sleight of hand. And so often, the magic he was doing was to fool other magicians.
  • I always read what I write out loud, and I did that long before any radio thing. My editor finds that unusual.
  • The pain is bad magicians ripping off good ones, doing magic badly, and making a mockery of the art.
  • Magicians from the nineteenth century threw cards distances, but I think I'm the first one who made a thing about using them as weapons.
  • Every acting gig isn't the same, every writing job isn't the same, every live performance isn't the same - the challenge is the level of difficulty or ease, and that may vary.
  • There are enormous dangers in thinking that the world online is the world as it exists, that what you get from your one stroke on the Internet is all there is to know.