Originally posted by Michael Vincent:
If possible, I would like to learn a little more about Ricky Jay.
To date the most comprehensive work on the elusive Ricky Jay is the 18-page piece by Mark Singer in the April 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker
(also later published in Life Stories: Profiles From the New Yorker
). Virtually everything else can best be described as “fluff.”
It's too bad that he is so reticent. He really is a star of some compelling magnitude (Broadway, books and film – only TV is left), and that reticence actually fuels the maniacal hunger for Jay memorabilia that he, apparently, disdains. When I first started collecting Jay material it was virtually free and easy. Now I wonder how much I could fetch for a playing card he signed back in the 70s (pre-calligraphy I might add). His reserve also feeds the fires of desire for more personal and professional news. It's just a matter of time before there is more fiction
available than fact.
Stars of such magnitude can take a lesson from golfer Arnold Palmer. He will sign anything and everything (there was a joke that went around that said that Arnold would stay at the course looking for people who had not yet asked for his autograph) and he grants all interviews, whether he is up or down. The result of all this is a reasonable market for Palmer memorabilia with very little forgery, fraud and misinformation. And, perhaps most importantly, when he asks for privacy, he is so
respected that it is quickly granted, because everyone, fans and the press, knows just how much he has already given, and is willing to give. When Curtis Strange won his second consecutive U.S. Open, he received a box of trading cards with the request that he sign and return them. Furious, he called and asked Arnold what he would do: “Sign "em” was his simple reply.
As for Ricky Jay changing his ways, I'm not going to hold my breath – but I will hold on to hope.