Well past midnight, everyone gathered around a coffee table as Jay, at Baron’s request, did closeup card magic. When he had performed several dazzling illusions and seemed ready to retire, a guest named Mort said, “Come on, Ricky. Why don’t you do something truly amazing?”
Baron recalls that at that moment “the look in Ricky’s eyes was, like, ‘Mort—you have just fucked with the wrong person.’ ”
Jay told Mort to name a card, any card. Mort said, “The three of hearts.” After shuffling, Jay gripped the deck in the palm of his right hand and sprung it, cascading all fifty-two cards so that they travelled the length of the table and pelted an open wine bottle.
“O.K., Mort, what was your card again?”
“The three of hearts.”
“Look inside the bottle.”
If you’re a member of Kanopy, you can watch the Ricky Jay documentary “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.” It’s free to sign up for Kanopy.
I’m always curious to learn how the best of the best practice. It’s one of the questions I always asked guitar players for GUITARKADIA. At 41:02 min of the film, Jay says the following which I absolutely loved.
“Charlie [Miller] was inclined to work on the specifics of one particular move and the finest points and finest subtleties of this particular move. Spending eight or 10 or 12 hours a day practicing, you can just get into a rhythm where it just feels so wonderful that you do it without really spending an awful lot of time thinking about doing it. And it’s not the best way to practice. I probably learned from Charlie Miller more about how to refine practice. The concept instead of just getting into the rote and the rhythm and this wonderful things of how nice it feels when you hit a move when you’re working on your chops to actually to make the move better each time you do it.”
- Ricky Jay
My favorite part of the film comes at 1:09:26 as Ricky tells the story of a Malini trick, followed by a story by The Guardian writer Suzie Mackenzie. Goosebumps!