Josh Jay

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Dave V
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Dave V » January 14th, 2009, 4:26 pm

I understand that's pretty much how Congress works as well.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 14th, 2009, 4:57 pm

Dave V wrote:I understand that's pretty much how Congress works as well.


Yes, but how many people appreciate the way Congress works?
My point here is that just because other people/organizations do something a certain way does not mean that way is honest or moral.

Accepted behaviour doesn't mean it's moral behaviour.

Still waiting on Mr. Kaufman's response.

c

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Ryan Matney
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Ryan Matney » January 14th, 2009, 5:20 pm

I don't think it's dishonest to publish books that don't appeal to you as a reader. If you are in the business of publishing, that's exactly what you do.

Richard probably doesn't 'love' every type of trick or every opnion in Genii either. And why would anyone?
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Pete McCabe » January 14th, 2009, 6:14 pm

If Richard wrote "I love Strong Magic," or even "this book is great," in his advertisements, then he's being dishonest. Did he? If the answer is no, then how can you accuse him of dishonesty? What did he do that was not honest?

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby JHostler » January 14th, 2009, 7:53 pm

Oh mee, Oh myy, what would we all do if Richard said he didn't like the Dingle book? Stop doing Rollover Aces?

Get a life, people. Kaufman sells books (typically very good ones). People buy them. No gun was held to anyone's head. And 90% of magic ad copy is BS, so you might as well get off that train.

Does the fact that I left three bits of "tripe" in a recent publication of mine make me dishonest? What of the positive comments I've since received on one of those three? Shall I notify those readers of their errors in judgment?

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 14th, 2009, 8:22 pm

Richard's opinion of Strong Magic was held by many when it was published. But that didn't stop Richard from reprinting it three more times.

This book has always been controversial. I brought this up in my piece on the book in the "Book of the Month " section back in 2003:

http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... ber=148331

(Unfortunately the link to the Jamy Ian Swiss review at the end of my piece no longer works.)

Dustin

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 14th, 2009, 9:07 pm

I'm not saying he's honest OR dishonest... I'll wait until he responds.

I'm waiting for his response. He's a grownup-- let him speak/write for himself...

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cugel » January 15th, 2009, 2:42 am

Dustin Stinett wrote:Richard's opinion of Strong Magic was held by many when it was published. But that didn't stop Richard from reprinting it three more times.


I think "many" is an exaggeration. The review in MAGIC and the review in Genii were negative, however. Not necessarily impartial, but that's another issue.

I understand it has been reprinted more than three times, and there is also a Spanish edition. So it doesn't seem to suck as much as a few might suppose.

But I agree with the other comments. Who cares if Richard Kaufman likes or loathes the books he publishes? Who cares if he can or cannot tell [censored] from cold plum pudding? The fact is he publishes books magicians want to read - and I for one am grateful to him for it.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 15th, 2009, 2:50 am

Many is not an exaggeration for I am not just talking about magazine reviews. Many working professionals at the time were quite vocal in their negative view of the book. (I cover this in my piece.)

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cugel » January 15th, 2009, 4:03 am

How many is many? What's the exact number here?

Still, in the end, who cares? The opinions of the pros on the dust cover are positive, as are those of many pros and amateurs since. It's perhaps not widely known regarding the politics of envy and revenge that emerged surrounding the book. But that, my dears, is a story for another evening.

(Blows out the candle).

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 15th, 2009, 4:17 am

Well THESE guys thought it was a good book:
"The book is readable, it's extremely clear, it's clear, it's thrilling in its intellectual adventure. And it's also, clearly, enormously practical. It makes you think. It enriches you as an artist (and therefore as a human being.)" - Juan Tamariz

"A wonderful, wonderful book filled with practical advice. It should be every serious close-up worker's next purchase." - David Williamson

"A thought-provoking analysis of the performance of close-up magic. Just reading it was motivating. I incorporated some of Darwin's suggestions in to my presentations the same day I read them. Highly recommended to the serious student of close-up magic." - Paul Gertner

"Darwin Ortiz, one of my favorite performers has done it again. This time he has captured the essence of creative showmanship for magicians." - Michael Skinner

But HEY-- whadda THEY know?

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cugel » January 15th, 2009, 5:12 am

Yeah, but Juan Tamariz isn't exactly in Jamy Ian Swiss's league, is he?

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 15th, 2009, 7:20 am

Cugel wrote:Yeah, but Juan Tamariz isn't exactly in Jamy Ian Swiss's league, is he?


Don't know. What league is Swiss in?

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 7:49 am

You're assuming they actually read the book before giving the quotes.

You're assuming they read more than one chapter of the book.

You're assuming they didn't just give the quotes because they're friends and the author asked.

And if you assume those things, then you don't know anything about the publishing business.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Silly Walter » January 15th, 2009, 7:53 am

Almost every working pro that I know owns and have read Strong Magic. Some of them have stated that they do not agree with everything Mr. Ortiz wrote but they still were able to use quite a bit of the techniques taught in the book (especially scripting their routines).

I do remember some of the magicians blasting the book but I think in most cases, it had little to do with the contents of the book and more to do with the their opinion of the author.

I certainly got quite a bit out of it and I knew I was in good company when magicians I have the utmost respect for like Paul Gertner, David Williamson, Juan Tamariz, Rene Lavand, Mike Skinner and many others praised it.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 15th, 2009, 8:22 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:You're assuming they actually read the book before giving the quotes.

You're assuming they read more than one chapter of the book.

You're assuming they didn't just give the quotes because they're friends and the author asked.

And if you assume those things, then you don't know anything about the publishing business.


So would you answer my question now? And are you saying that the people I quoted are dishonest?

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 9:02 am

I would say that it's possible you're being naive if you think every quote you read on a dustjacket is coming from someone who has closely read and deeply thought about the book in question.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Disparity1 » January 15th, 2009, 9:10 am

Cerberus wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:You're assuming they actually read the book before giving the quotes.

You're assuming they read more than one chapter of the book.

You're assuming they didn't just give the quotes because they're friends and the author asked.

And if you assume those things, then you don't know anything about the publishing business.


So would you answer my question now? And are you saying that the people I quoted are dishonest?

c


It sounds a lot like he's saying 1) he lied about the quality of the book, thinking it was tripe but marketing it as a good one through three reprints and 2) everybody in the publishing business is a damn liar.

I'm not sure this has occurred to certain people, but most of us tend to do business with and buy products from people we see as having integrity. In a field as small as ours, our buying from certain publishers or retailers and not others is as much a sign of respect and trust as it is a desire for the product itself. If someone we're buying from proves to be dishonest, as a collective, we're simply less likely to buy from him. One extreme example of this is sitting in Idaho as we speak. I'm not sure what Richard's purpose is in publicly telling us that not only can we not take what he says at face value, but neither can we believe the people who simply lend quotes and endorsements. Now, we understand that there's a certain amount of salt we have to take with any endorsement, but this kind of revelation simply can't be good for his relationship with his customers. I started giving him a hard time as kind of a joke, but it's getting less funny as we go.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 10:16 am

You're being naive in the ways of business. Everyone, no matter who it is, or what he or she produces, goes into every project with the best of intentions. The end result does not always reflect that, however because of the time and money invested, it still must be brought to market so you don't loose your shirt on the deal.

I thought Strong Magic had the potential to be a good book, however all of my suggested edits were rejected. It needed to be stronger and more convincing in its arguments. It's a deeply flawed book that might provide interest to people who have access to no other forms of information on how to increase the quality of their close-up performances.

I assumed it would be published, sell modestly, and the rest of the copies would sit in the warehouse. Card Shark is the book I wanted to publish. I was extremely surprised when Strong Magic sold so well (and so was its author, who made its publication a condition of my being able to publish the trick book).

Who could have predicted the market reaction to both books? Enthusiasm for the bad book, and indifference to the good book.

I'll give you an example of another poor book I published: The Now You See It, Now You Don't Notebook by Bill Tarr. When Bill approached me about doing a large book it sounded great, and I paid him a good advance. What I received was in fact a not very good book when compared to other books on the market (though it has some good things in it). By this time in the process you're already too far down the pike to turn back, so the book has to come out and you know it's not going to sell well. In this case, my prediction was correct.

If you don't think this happens all the time in the "real" world, with movies, books, CDs, and every other thing that's brought to market then you're incredibly naive. And it's the case with almost every other publisher and dealer in magic as well, of both books, DVDS, tricks, whatever. I'm happy to say, in fact proud to say, that it has only happened to me a VERY few times. When you consider the number of books and other items I've published over the last 30 years, that's a pretty good record.

I also don't expect anyone else in our field to jump in here with their own mea culpa.

I'm just being brutally honest with you. You don't often get that in the business world.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby David Alexander » January 15th, 2009, 10:38 am

This thread has become silly. Disparity seems determined to have Richard admit that he's dishonest because he published a book he didn't like or think much of. This on-going nonsense reflects more on Disparitys lack of sophistication that it does Richards integrity.

Having owned a niche publishing company that served a small community I know many of the hazards that Richard faces. Primarily, one must make decisions about what to publish based on a number of factors. Mostly, one publishes to make money. If you dont then it isnt a business. Its a self-indulgent, ego-centric hobby.

You make the best deals you can and go to press with material you think will sell to your market. Sometimes youre decisions are proven correct and sometimes youre surprised at what the public will buy. The major publishing firms are filled with stories of books acquired for huge sums only to fall flat with tens of thousands of returns, and other books with little to no support from the publisher taking off and selling many editions. (My old literary agent brokered the deal with OJs lawyer Johnny Cochran for over $4 million. The book came and went in the blink of an eye. Then there's Tom Clancy and that Rowling woman, both of whom had their manuscripts turned down and were eventually picked up by small publishers.)

Richard admits he had to publish Strong Magic as part of a deal to get another title from the same author. He has an opinion of Strong Magic and he revealed it here. So what! I cannot comment on Strong Magic because I havent read it. Were it a book by an experienced stage performer who was passing along insights hed developed over years of performing I would have bought it in a heartbeat. But he isnt and I didnt.

That doesnt mean that it doesnt have value for others, which is evidenced by Richie reprinting it to satisfy the demand. Richards primary responsibility is to support his family. One of the ways he does that is through publishing magic books. If he were only to publish the books personally liked I suspect his list would be shorter and he would have gone out of business a long time ago. That certainly was my situation when I was publishing.

If you think jacket blurbs are not always honest, you should try book reviewers. Having had some experience with major reviewers (as opposed to the mildly incestuous magic community) I can speak to that. Reviewers come in a variety of types from honest to stupid. Some have their own agenda in reviewing. I actually had one SF reviewer castigate my book because I misspelled the first name of a well-known SF author. I missed it. My editor missed it. The copy editor missed it. It probably wasnt the worst part of a 600-page book, but that was enough for the reviewer to spend several paragraphs knocking a book that took almost three years to research and write. I also had reviewers review the book from the press release. (I did get a lot of good reviews, so Im not unhappy with reviewers, just using my own experience as illustration. This has also been the experience of writer friends.)

So, having been in the big world of New York publishers with a major biography of an iconic figure of the 20th Century, youll forgive me if I find the direction this thread has taken to be childish and simplistic.

So, lets stop the silliness and move on to productive discussions rather than trying to play semantic games to no good end.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Jeff Eline » January 15th, 2009, 11:04 am

Even Swiss had it on his list of books card magicians should read (at Card Clinic), although it was with certain reservations. The disconnect comes when Richard (the Publisher) uses the word "tripe" which seems excessive and nasty, even for someone that didn't care for the book.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Disparity1 » January 15th, 2009, 11:45 am

David Alexander wrote:This thread has become silly. Disparity seems determined to have Richard admit that he's dishonest because he published a book he didn't like or think much of. This on-going nonsense reflects more on Disparitys lack of sophistication that it does Richards integrity.

Having owned a niche publishing company that served a small community I know many of the hazards that Richard faces. Primarily, one must make decisions about what to publish based on a number of factors. Mostly, one publishes to make money. If you dont then it isnt a business. Its a self-indulgent, ego-centric hobby.

You make the best deals you can and go to press with material you think will sell to your market. Sometimes youre decisions are proven correct and sometimes youre surprised at what the public will buy. The major publishing firms are filled with stories of books acquired for huge sums only to fall flat with tens of thousands of returns, and other books with little to no support from the publisher taking off and selling many editions. (My old literary agent brokered the deal with OJs lawyer Johnny Cochran for over $4 million. The book came and went in the blink of an eye. Then there's Tom Clancy and that Rowling woman, both of whom had their manuscripts turned down and were eventually picked up by small publishers.)

Richard admits he had to publish Strong Magic as part of a deal to get another title from the same author. He has an opinion of Strong Magic and he revealed it here. So what! I cannot comment on Strong Magic because I havent read it. Were it a book by an experienced stage performer who was passing along insights hed developed over years of performing I would have bought it in a heartbeat. But he isnt and I didnt.

That doesnt mean that it doesnt have value for others, which is evidenced by Richie reprinting it to satisfy the demand. Richards primary responsibility is to support his family. One of the ways he does that is through publishing magic books. If he were only to publish the books personally liked I suspect his list would be shorter and he would have gone out of business a long time ago. That certainly was my situation when I was publishing.

If you think jacket blurbs are not always honest, you should try book reviewers. Having had some experience with major reviewers (as opposed to the mildly incestuous magic community) I can speak to that. Reviewers come in a variety of types from honest to stupid. Some have their own agenda in reviewing. I actually had one SF reviewer castigate my book because I misspelled the first name of a well-known SF author. I missed it. My editor missed it. The copy editor missed it. It probably wasnt the worst part of a 600-page book, but that was enough for the reviewer to spend several paragraphs knocking a book that took almost three years to research and write. I also had reviewers review the book from the press release. (I did get a lot of good reviews, so Im not unhappy with reviewers, just using my own experience as illustration. This has also been the experience of writer friends.)

So, having been in the big world of New York publishers with a major biography of an iconic figure of the 20th Century, youll forgive me if I find the direction this thread has taken to be childish and simplistic.

So, lets stop the silliness and move on to productive discussions rather than trying to play semantic games to no good end.


I agree with just about everything you've said here, but paragraphs 2-8 aren't relevant to anything I've written because in paragraph 1 you've completely misrepresented my point, so 90% of what you've written is just wasted energy.

I am not determined to have Richard admit to dishonesty because he published a book he didn't like. It's perfectly understandable that any publisher will on occasion publish books he doesn't like. I've done it, too. And it doesn't matter why he published it or what book deal it was a part of. What's at issue is how he represented the book to us when he marketed it versus how he represents it to us now. The two aren't just different, which might be okay in some cases; they're worlds apart.

Initially, as a joke, I highlighted the contrast. I found the irony humorous. It was harmless fun poking at someone I kind of like. When he was selling the book, he promoted it as worthy of buying. Now, according to him, it's not even worthy of owning, let alone putting down money for.

Either opinion is quite fine, and a person can even have both opinions at various times in a life. But professing one opinion while taking money and revealing a different and truer posture after the book has served its monetary usefulness is another matter altogether.

Please don't assume I know nothing about publishing. I've published books, mine and others. I've published a magazine. I've published a lot of things. I didn't stay skinny. I marketed them, but what I never did was tell someone I thought a book was worth buying when I didn't think it was even worth writing. When someone asked me about a book I thought was weak, I'd ask what their interests were and see where they stood. Then, I would say, "Well, you might like this one, then," or "This one's not for you."

In any business, a good share of your success is all about people being able to believe what you say. If you want to argue against that principle, feel free to bloviate further and continue to revel in your own expertise, but I'm not likely to change my mind on that point. Richard has clearly told us that we may not be able to believe what he says. His business model just dropped a notch.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Dave Shepherd » January 15th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Good Lord. I never use the publisher's quotes about a book to make a decision as to whether to buy it.

I read reviews by disinterested third-parties. I have always ASSUMED it was the publisher's job to talk up a book.

Why is this discussion still going on?

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Tom Frame » January 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm

Hey, here's a novel idea. Why don't we use this thread to talk about Josh Jay?
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby flynn » January 15th, 2009, 2:05 pm

Disparity1 wrote:
flynn wrote:I guess disparity can't formulate his own opinions or thought for himself deciding wether the book was good or not. Somebody on a thread on the internet had to tell him. Just because someone does'nt like a certain product don't mean others do. Even if its the person pushing the product.


I can and have, and thanks for being beside the point. If the subtle and dry humor in this situation flies over your head, try standing up.


Going back thru the thread finding examples of when and where Richard might have did some false advertisement, I ran into this response to an earlier post that i missed. In a quick response to disparity maybe I did miss your point just write or post with more clarity next time and as for your dry humor I didnt get, there is no way one can tell sometimes when ones just joking around or not without seeing the facial expression and hearing the tone of whats being said in person. It didnt sound to me like you were joking around cussing asking for your money back. And with where this thread is at, your twisted. You jump onto something else when someone slams your thoughts and ideas with how things should be run and with whats moral and whats not. If I were to end up with a Mickey D's franchise, I'm not gonna stop selling some of the foods on the menu I dont agree with nor will I put my displeasure with the product next to that item on the menu. I might tell someone after they've bought a fish sandwhich that I personally dont like fish I would prefer a bic mac instead, or maybe before they buy which I doubt will make any difference wether they will purchase or not. If you provide any kind of proof that Strong Magic was strongly endorsed by Richard than you might still only be half right. Different strokes for different folks.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Mark M Walsh » January 15th, 2009, 2:05 pm

I recomend that a new thread be started about Strong Magic instead of continuing the discussion on this thread which was initially about Josh Jay.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 2:21 pm

I don't think we need to start any new threads. I'm done with Strong Magic and we'll have no further posts about it here.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Disparity1 » January 15th, 2009, 2:29 pm

Well, just one more:

Many apologies.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 3:51 pm

I'll repeat: no further posts about Strong Magic here. Thank you.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 15th, 2009, 5:14 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't think we need to start any new threads. I'm done with Strong Magic and we'll have no further posts about it here.


Well, I honestly don't know if what you did was honest or dishonest. But I do know you never answered my question directly.

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Dave Shepherd » January 15th, 2009, 5:57 pm

Cerberus wrote:Well, I honestly don't know if what you did was honest or dishonest. But I do know you never answered my question directly.

c

Of the 12 posts you have made on the Genii forum at the time I'm typing this, 11 of them are in this thread, calling Richard out.

I'm surprised he's allowing you to stay here, honestly. You're a more patient man than I am, RK.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cerberus » January 15th, 2009, 10:17 pm

I asked a question. All I wanted was for him to give me a direct answer.

Sorry if that upset you-- I certainly didn't intend to do that.

c

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby rage » January 15th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Cerberus wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:What I would recommend is avoiding tripe like Strong Magic and watching good magicians perform, either live or recorded. Then performing yourself and developing a personal style. It's not that difficult, it's not brain surgery, and you don't have to read crap about Alfred Hitchcock movies to do it.


This is confusing to me. You said you only published Strong Magic so you could get another book. Does that mean that you published, marketed and promoted what you thought was "Tripe"?

Because in order to do that, wouldn't you have to "pretend" it's a good book? And if that's what you did, isn't that dishonest?

Maybe I misunderstood....

c


Wow. I am coming into this thread very late, but, it is surprising to read Richard bash his own book. Very surprising. Cerberus has valid questions.
with an N

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2009, 11:44 pm

I have given lengthy answers to those issues. Perhaps they're not as clear as you'd like, but they're as clear as they're going to get.
End of story for the moment.
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Joelgiv » January 16th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Here is a vid of Josh on Good Morning America on Friday, enjoy.
http://abcnews.go.com/abcnewsnow/GMANow

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Cugel » January 16th, 2009, 8:37 pm

Showing again what a terrific, natural performer Josh is. Eloquent, charming, engaging - with great chops and a slow open style. He's like a young Mike Skinner.

Excellent, again, Josh.

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Steve Hook » January 16th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Excellent job, Josh.

Thanks for the post, Joel.

- S

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Bill Duncan » January 16th, 2009, 11:33 pm

That made up for like, three, Masked Magician specials...

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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Ray T. Stott » January 16th, 2009, 11:42 pm

I might tell someone after they've bought a fish sandwhich that I personally dont like fish I would prefer a [color:#3333FF][size:11pt]bic mac[/size][/color] instead,


:) Bic Mac, isn't that McDonald's new sandwich made with two cheap ballpoint pens, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun? :)
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Re: Josh Jay

Postby Mark Paulson » January 16th, 2009, 11:45 pm

I thought Joshua'a appearance on GMA on Friday was very good. He even had a chance to talk up his book more. Also, the hosts weren't annoying, which made it a lot more enjoyable to watch Joshua work.


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