Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

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Ken Trombly
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Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Ken Trombly » July 15th, 2014, 1:13 pm

It was held this past weekend. I did not attend, but would love to hear some reports. Has anyone got any news??

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby MaxNY » July 17th, 2014, 9:43 am

I stopped by just for five minutes because I had to be on that side of the Hudson River. I filmed attendees exiting a Saturday morning lecture, and will post that here in a day or two. I had a brief talk with Director Alan, as we have met a few times in the past (he found me when he was looking for rare footage.) the only magicians I recognized were jay, Weber and Armando. The crowd were NY socialites, and looked "well kept."

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby PickaCard » July 17th, 2014, 4:15 pm

[quote="MaxNY" The crowd were NY socialites, and looked "well kept."[/quote]

I was very interested in attending but the high price tag made me hesitant.

The scheduled program really had me confused as it appeared fairly light on magic content apart from a Weber lecture and a Ricky Jay show. There was supposed to be a lecture on practice, lighting, a lot of time scheduled to watch his documentary and bonus features, which I already own...?

The amateur magician in me remembered a quote that I read in an article about Jay, I believe, stating that he shuns all amateur magicians. I believe Richard even said Jay refused to be in Genii...

As such it really did not feel like this congress was aimed at a hobbyist like myself.

In the end the Genii convention is really the format I want to attend and maybe one day I will try to see Jay on Broadway should he ever put on another show.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 17th, 2014, 4:39 pm

There were two talks by Michael Weber and two by Ricky Jay.

A friend who attended said there were very few magic people there, so I doubt we'll see any reports here.

The convention was initiated by Dreamcatcher Events, who have done similar events with magicians in Rhinebeck and Woodstock. They approached Ricky and chose the location.

My friend said that the general consensus was that most people seemed to enjoy the event.
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bill Mullins » July 17th, 2014, 11:01 pm

Long interview with Mr. Jay at the NYPL.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Peter C » July 17th, 2014, 11:56 pm

I attended the convention with a friend (we're both hobbyists and long-time fans of Ricky). Ricky's intent seemed to be to expose us to a range of non-magic influences that have contributed to his work, in the hope that they would enrich ours. In this respect, it was absolutely a success.

There were about 100 people in attendance; the demographic seemed older than other conventions. Most were enthusiasts and fans of Ricky, although a few seemed to have come just because it was an unusual and fun way to spend a holiday. Many were professionals (doctors, lawyers, business people, government officials), although there were a few magic notables there, including Bill Kalush and Armando Lucero.

The venue was the town of Rhinebeck itself -- we dined at the local restaurants, watched the movies at the local repertory theatre, and attended the lectures and live shows at a parish hall. Nothing was more than a block away from the main hotel, the Beekman Arms.

Upon arrival, each attendee received a very nicely printed, bound and signed copy of an article Ricky did on Dai Vernon in the early nineties, as well as a couple of pointed but humorous pages on the "rules" for the event, including prohibitions against electronic recording and performing card tricks for fellow attendees. We took this guidance seriously; I didn't see a pack of cards the entire weekend, save for those on stage.

The first evening, we went to the local rep theatre and watched "Deceptive Practice", the recent documentary about Ricky. Afterwards, there was a Q&A with Ricky and the two filmmakers. There was lots of discussion regarding the making of the film, and in particular the relationship between Ricky and the crew; questions on other subjects were parked for later consideration.

The next two days included a variety of speakers on a very eclectic selection of topics. Michael Weber took on most of the emceeing duties.

Presenters included:

- Ryan and Trevor Oakes, twin visual artists who play with human visual perception in unique ways. They showed examples of their work and described the odd but fascinating creative techniques they've developed.
- Neuroscientist Gary Marcus, who addressed misconceptions about how people learn and reviewed the latest research on skill acquisition and practice.
- Jesse Dylan (Bob's son), a creator and consultant in many media who directed "CONversations with Ricky Jay". We watched a couple of un-broadcast episodes (starring Tom Waits, Werner Herzog, Martin Mull and many others) and then discussed Jesse's approach to creating and some of his other projects.
- Jules Fisher, the multi-award-winning lighting designer. He discussed the role of lighting in movies and film, the basic parameters of lighting and how each affects mood and enhances the narrative.
- Steve Cuiffo, who gave a performance of his Lenny Bruce act, and then discussed how he mastered seven hours of script and movement to bring the character to life. Later, he came back and gave his performance of Kaps' Homing Card.

It was obvious why each of these speakers was chosen -- they were all great communicators, but also masters of their particular field. They all stayed around throughout the conference and were generous with their time and attention.

Ricky and Michael W returned repeatedly during the event to conduct Q&A with the speakers, to provide additional comments or insight, and to do performances and talks of their own. Highlight moments for me were:

- Michael and Ricky's tales of some of their consulting engagements on well-known Hollywood films, and the process of problem-solving they have developed,
- Ricky's stories of learning from magic's royalty and of history's greatest con men,
- Michael and Ricky's review of examples of the best and worst acts of today, in their eyes.

The final event was an abbreviated performance of "Ricky Jay: A Rogue's Gallery" that finished with Ricky performing his famous card throwing/watermelon act that was a joy to watch.

Overall, I found it to be a rich, fascinating, thoughtfully composed event. There were a few awkward moments -- the local company providing the A/V stumbled more than once -- but none that detracted materially from the overall experience.

All of us felt, I think, that this wasn't something Ricky entered into lightly. As he told it, he was originally approached to host an event more akin to a "masters' class", at which he would give in-depth magic instruction. That was, unsurprisingly, not acceptable to him, but what he offered instead was pretty thrilling in its own right. On the first night, he seemed a little uncertain, but by the end, he appeared to be comfortable, energetic and open. His command of his craft was apparent to all, as was his affection for the people he'd introduced to us.

As I've grown older, I've attended fewer magic conventions, because the lecture/show/dealer room/competition/midnight session construct, while great for young people, increasingly left me exhausted. I've often wondered if there would be a market for something calmer and more deliberative (beside the history-focused events I've not yet had the chance to attend). This was exactly what I was looking for. It felt like a mini-semester at an Ivy League college devoted to magic, with all the best professors and no exams. If Ricky does it again, I'd sign up in a second.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2014, 12:39 am

Thanks for the great description.
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby PickaCard » July 18th, 2014, 9:34 am

Thank you for your great description of the event. If this is ever offered again I will be able to consider attending with a better understanding of what to expect.

(Richard, I remember a previous post about the event mentioned you would try to attend and there would be a write up in Genii? - viewtopic.php?t=43587)

It sounds like a fascinating weekend, however it also confirms that my imagined expectations would not have been met.

For the price of the event, at the very least I would have expected to see the full performance Ricky Jay: A Rogue's Gallery and hopefully taught an effect or handling by Jay.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby erdnasephile » July 18th, 2014, 12:18 pm

Peter:

Thanks for an insightful, in depth report--very cool!

Just wondering: did Mr. Jay actually mingle with the attendees? I was curious if getting to personally interact with him was part of the event.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Peter C » July 18th, 2014, 12:28 pm

Ricky came to most of the meals and the end-of-day gatherings. I saw him chatting with various attendees, but I confess I was too shy to approach him myself. There was plenty of Q&A time after the various presentations, and I asked a few questions, which he answered thoughtfully and completely.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2014, 1:52 pm

Another view below from an attendee who wishes to remain anonymous:


- By far the best reason to attend was networking with the other attendees. Meeting those people (some magicians, most Ricky Jay fans or non-magician magic enthusiasts) was by far the highlight of the event. From this standpoint alone I can see how the bulk of the non-magician attendees would have considered the event a success and worth attending. As someone expecting to go deeper into magic appreciation, practice, etc. per the promises on the event's website, the event was a tremendous disappointment.

- The location was great and the schedule paced the events and free time well.

- From my perspective, the real stars of the event were not Michael Weber and Ricky Jay. That honor went to the other speakers like Gary Marcus, Steve Cuiffo and Jules Fisher who gave very interesting presentations.

- Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. Just about every event (if not every event) started late due to A/V issues (or at least that's what we were told as we waited outside the parish hall to be admitted to the sessions held there.)

- The included food was a continental breakfast and buffets featuring chicken, salmon and veggies - or dinner at other nearby restaurants with menus restricting choices to those same items. The quality declined as the weekend progressed (with the exception of Sunday dinner which returned to the same levee of quality as the Friday night buffet.) Someone must have an aversion to other meats and seafood because there was no ground beef, prime rib, steak, bacon, ham, shrimp of any kind to be found throughout the weekend. Well … OK … Sunday Lunch did give us the choice between a veggie wrap and a turkey wrap along with tuna salad and potato chips - pardon my misstatement.

- The "beautiful signed keepsake of the event" was a rather short 6 x 9 stapled paper pamphlet containing an article about Vernon that Jay wrote. It had a sketch of Vernon on its red paper cover. And yes, Jay signed it on the last page of the article but without any personalization since they were all prepared ahead of time and waiting for us in our welcome bag.

- Speaking of the welcome bag, a bag it was - literally. A plastic bag. A white plastic bag. Thankfully not of the Wal-Mart variety, but the slightly thicker kind with handles made from the same material as the bag (not even the kind with the extra durable molded handles.) A schedule, a couple of letters warning the magicians not to perform magic for the other attendees, and a few coupons from local businesses rounded out the package. Someone should be very embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

- I doubt anyone attending could go down the checklist on the event's homepage and say that they achieved even 25% of the goals as outlined.

- Ricky himself was in fine curmudgeonly form, refusing to sign books, cards or any materials. He also declined to have his picture taken with most (if not all) of those who asked him.

- Ricky admitted that they were frequently "winging it" throughout the weekend. The lack of planning and preparation (especially on his part) was unmistakeable. I also heard many rumblings about his health. Whether those rumors were/are true or not, a glaring mistake was made when he decided to demonstrate the "Fast and Loose" chain con … try as he might, he could never throw the chain to make it catch on his finger. He eventually looked at Weber and said "What should I do now, Michael?" to which Weber replied "Now you dismiss your volunteers back to their seats and we move on" as Weber escorted Jay off the stage. The next morning a group of us were sitting around at the continental breakfast talking about it. The magicians (including myself) were of the strong opinion that he had a legitimate screw up. But the non-magicians were adamant that Jay screwed it up on purpose - he is an actor, after all - and that it was a set-up for the real work when he would return to it and blow everyone away the next night. Too bad Jay never did return to it or even comment on it; I would have liked to have been wrong.

- Several people apparently complained about the weekend midway through. At one point Weber got on the microphone at the start of a session and told people that "Instead of complaining about what you think is missing, take a good hard look at what is there and think about why it is there." Very interesting spin, considering Jay's "winging it" admission earlier.

- My understanding was that this event was not Jay's idea, but that Dreamcatcher Events approached him about it. At first, he refused to do it. But through perhaps $ome form of $uper $ecret magic, Jay eventually gave in. You could see that he was not really into the weekend at all; the attendees seemed more like annoyances for him to endure for three days rather than folks he was interested in edifying in that time. I would have hoped that Jay would have at least mingled a little bit; instead he kept to himself and only dined with those in his inner circle.

If there was any way I could get some or all of my money back, I would. The event fell far short of what it could have been. Sorry to say that I felt conned by the whole thing. Perhaps that was the real lesson that the Congress of Wonders taught.
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby PickaCard » July 18th, 2014, 2:17 pm

Wow!

I came so close to going. I received an email 2 days before the event informing me that a place was available. I filled out the form, then got the OK from the wife for the extraordinary expense and to disappear by myself (a pre-40th b-day gift), got my credit card out and... hesitated.

100 guests and you cannot even get a picture or an autograph with him over a 3 day event? That speaks volume about the character of the man.

I'm over him.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby erdnasephile » July 18th, 2014, 2:32 pm

Thanks for that report, Richard--it helps to have another view of the event.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bill Mullins » July 18th, 2014, 11:41 pm

Another interview with Jay.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Tom Moore » July 19th, 2014, 5:43 am

A rather non-discript interview and since the "favourite deception" fact Ricky opens with is wrong (well hideously mis-remembered and badly told) I'm suddenly highly doubtful of everything else he says....
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Roger M. » July 19th, 2014, 10:33 am

I'm not sure why folks might feel that simply cutting a rather large cheque in order to attend this event might cause RJ to alter his personality or suddenly become something that he's made very clear that he's "not"?

Folks seem to relate events like this directly to their experiences at magic conventions, even after being informed that this definitely wasn't a magic convention.

Why would an amateur magician believe that they might be sitting down for dinner or drinks with a major star of stage, screen, and page simply because he happened to be a speaker at an event related to magic?
Or that Jay would suddenly embrace amateur magicians to the degree that he'd put his arm around them and invite a picture be taken?

These types of expectations make absolutely no sense when speaking of Ricky Jay in a personal or professional capacity.

Were attendee's really surprised that Jay was a curmudgeon? ... he's only been portraying that very character both onstage and off for the last 25+ years. To expect he'd be anything but standoffish and private would be a silly expectation.

Both the positive and negative reports above describe exactly what I took from the advance "blurb" about the conference ... that would be to expect an unfocused and somewhat scattered event, peripherally associated with the craft of magic, and featuring the majority of speakers being non-magicians who would be speaking on topics which were only marginally related to magic.

Also to express that Jay may not be in top form seems a bit much. He's aging like the rest of us are aging, and he may in fact not be in top form at all times.
You presumably understand that a 70+ year old man isn't going to demonstrate the agility (mentally and physically) of a 45 year old man.
Nonetheless, he is Ricky Jay and although aging, he represents the very finest writing, performing, and thinking about the craft of magic and the craft of the short con.

Based on the advance blurb, I'd never have chosen to attend this event. It simply wasn't described as something for magicians. It read as an event for dilettantes and academics with a peripheral interest in the craft of magic (to me it read as such, perhaps it read differently for you).

Now if Jay ever offered (and he won't) a two day event in New York or LA, limited to 6 people, with the entire time being spent one-on-one with Jay, and focused on things like Vernon, cons, etc ... and featuring "guests" like Steve Freeman and Percy Diaconis ... I'd go to that.

This recent event wasn't marketed as anything close to that, nor does it appear it tried to be anything like that.

I also read the first detailed review by Peter C. as a fair take of the conference, sans any agenda.

I take the second anonymous review as presented by Richard as very well written, but with a subtle, but apparent agenda ... and note that because it's anonymous in nature, the writer is relieved from answering any questions or addressing any of his comments if challenged by a reader.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Brad Henderson » July 19th, 2014, 12:30 pm

if wonder if an anonymous review of the upcoming genii convention will be posted by Richard and held up as representative of the gathering?

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bob Farmer » July 19th, 2014, 2:12 pm

Ricky Jay's talents and accomplishments as a magician, performer, actor and writer are well known. I've never come across any tricks he's invented. Now that may be because he doesn't publish, but does anyone know of any effects he's created?

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby PickaCard » July 19th, 2014, 3:24 pm

Roger M. wrote:Why would an amateur magician believe that they might be sitting down for dinner or drinks with a major star of stage, screen, and page simply because he happened to be a speaker at an event related to magic?
Or that Jay would suddenly embrace amateur magicians to the degree that he'd put his arm around them and invite a picture be taken?

These types of expectations make absolutely no sense when speaking of Ricky Jay in a personal or professional capacity.


It is not unreasonable to expect someone who puts on an intimate 3 day event, at a high price tag, to put on a good face and be gracious to the very few "guests" who attend. He is an "actor" after all.

Taking a 30 second picture or scribbling an autograph to someone who is a big enough fan to have paid $3000 to attend is not really that much to ask.

I am fairly certain that I would have been very insulted to have been refused a photo or an autograph. I would have none of these expectations at a major convention with a "star" who attends for a few hours the event as the amount on people and the time he is at the venue would not make it very feasible should everyone ask.

And seriously, Jay may be a star in the magic world but no one I know has heard of him.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 19th, 2014, 3:35 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:if wonder if an anonymous review of the upcoming genii convention will be posted by Richard and held up as representative of the gathering?

Very disappointing spin, Brad. I thought you were smarter than that. Richard merely said that it was "another view" and nothing more. That is hardly being sold as being "representative" of the event. It just means what it means: "another view" of the event

Rest assured: If someone sends me an email with a review of the Genii Convention and asks that they remain anonymous, as long as I know who they are, I will post it. (Of course, that means you have to attend. ;) )

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bill Mullins » July 19th, 2014, 4:13 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:Ricky Jay's talents and accomplishments as a magician, performer, actor and writer are well known. I've never come across any tricks he's invented. Now that may be because he doesn't publish, but does anyone know of any effects he's created?


His version of the Cups and Balls that was in 52 assistants is an amalgamation of a lot of elements created by other people, but the routine is clearly his (and fits him perfectly).

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Chris Aguilar » July 19th, 2014, 4:51 pm

PickaCard wrote:I'm over him.

Same here, albeit that happened several years ago for me.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby anhedonia » July 19th, 2014, 5:10 pm

Roger M. wrote:Why would an amateur magician believe that they might be sitting down for dinner or drinks with a major star of stage, screen, and page simply because he happened to be a speaker at an event related to magic?
These types of expectations make absolutely no sense when speaking of Ricky Jay in a personal or professional capacity.

I also read the first detailed review by Peter C. as a fair take of the conference, sans any agenda.
I take the second anonymous review as presented by Richard as very well written, but with a subtle, but apparent agenda ... and note that because it's anonymous in nature, the writer is relieved from answering any questions or addressing any of his comments if challenged by a reader.


Because when I e-mailed Dreamcatcher before signing up, specifically asking if Ricky would be available for interaction during free time I was given the response:

"Ricky and the guest talent will all be available during free time throughout the weekend."

And Anonymous' recollections are spot on. The only thing I would add is that Ricky was somewhat available at Foster's after the show and did do some signings.

Seems like the only agenda here is choosing to believe one poster instead of the other just because they posted anonymously. But I'll answer whatever questions I can, seeing I was there and you were not.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 19th, 2014, 5:25 pm

Ricky generally doesn't sign anything because some people sell his signed items on eBay and that pissses him off. So everyone is assumed to be greedy and thus he won't sign most people's purchases. I saw him yell at a friend of mine in the dealer's room at the LA Conference on Magic History, out loud and in front of everyone, for about 5 minutes because my friend had asked him to sign a book. I have books signed by E.L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, John Cheever, Ann Beattie, and many other authors whose readings I attended when living in New York. They were all very pleasant, happy to sign and chat.

Why he wouldn't allow his photo to be taken with any guests ... who knows? It would seem to be a simple common courtesy when you've paid over $2,000 for an event like this.

Anyone who knows Ricky would tell you that this event seemed like a very odd fit for him. He doesn't like to hang around with magicians, and the event was priced to exclude most magicians. It was designed for wealthy layman, and they may have an entirely different view of the event than our anonymous poster.
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Roger M. » July 19th, 2014, 11:01 pm

Jay has made it abundantly clear, over a period of decades, that to all of those folks who "want a piece of him", be they amateur magicians or dilettantes, that he simply wasn't interested in participating in such interaction.

In other words, you're welcome to buy his books and movies, to attend and see his live shows, but don't bother thinking that he wants to associate with you, or know anything about you ... however brief you plan on making your "personal time" with him.

I thought magicians in the know were perfectly clear that this has always been Jay's mantra?

I'd not trust some stranger on the telephone (who was only interested in selling me a $2000.00 ticket) telling me that Jay would be available to all attendees for autograph signings and pictures when every single aspect of the past 30 years of Jay's life demonstrate that he's NEVER behaved like that in public!

It truly sounds to me that there were a limited number of attendees who either had absolutely no idea who Ricky Jay was (unlikely considering the cost, distance to event, etc), or were amateur magicians who sincerely believed that their $2000.00 entry fee was going to purchase Jay as their temporary friend ... if even for the briefest period of time for a picture or an autograph.

He's never done it before, what would make somebody think he was going to suddenly change?

Historically, he's been crystal clear that he's not a dancing dog, generally doesn't like magicians at all, and is simply not available in any capacity to folks who aren't already long time personal friends.

No reason to think this event was going to fundamentally change the mans personality ... and by all accounts, it certainly didn't!

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 19th, 2014, 11:30 pm

Roger M. wrote:Historically, he's been crystal clear that he's not a dancing dog, generally doesn't like magicians at all, and is simply not available in any capacity to folks who aren't already long time personal friends.


Really? Because someone asks you to sign a book of yours that they've purchased, or requested a photograph, that makes you a "dancing dog"?

The thing that is quite clear is that Ricky Jay should never have agreed to be put in a position where he would be expected to engage other magicians, or sign a book he's written, or have a photograph taken with an admirer who just paid $2,000 to be in his company for a few days. And you're right, Roger, none of this should be a surprise to anyone who knows him.
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby anhedonia » July 19th, 2014, 11:38 pm

You seem to be getting awfully animated about an event you didn't even go to.
And no one claimed that any event was going to fundamentally change his personality - set up straw men much?
On Sunday night he was very agreeable and I watched as a stream of people approached him and got anything they wanted autographed (with the exception of "Cards and Weapons" and individual cards). He was even seen in a group conversation where there was a teenager! :o
I'm not quite sure why you're even participating in this thread - you've certainly added nothing to it except your boorishness.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Roger M. » July 20th, 2014, 12:26 am

Thanks for taking a personal interest in my posts anhedonia, and more importantly - me ... it's really very sweet!
You're utterly irrelevant though, so best you move on from trying to talk to me.

I agree with you Richard - that the only real surprise associated with the event was that Jay ever agreed to do it in the first place.

I should be clear too, in stating that as opposed to defending Jay's behavior, I'm simply expressing mild shock that folks are apparently mildly shocked at Jay's real life demeanor!

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bob Farmer » July 20th, 2014, 1:24 pm

I'm organizing a Congress of Blunders at the Motel 6 in Albany. I will be available to sign books and photographs, even books I haven't written and photos of people who aren't me. If I can arrange it, I'll have people talk about stuff, but there's no guarantee that will happen since there's no money in the budget for a P.A. system. In fact, there's no money in the budget at all, so I'm hoping people will just come, hang out, give me money and then leave. It might be possible to meet someone who knows someone who is famous but this is doubtful since I just heard the Motel 6 has been condemned for failure to combat an infestation of boll weevils. The guest of honor will be Ricky Jay Sankey, a diminutive close-up worker with a beard. DO NOT approach him, speak to him or even look at him--you are not worthy.

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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Steve Mills » July 20th, 2014, 5:05 pm

At my advanced age a lot of things make me wonder. I have been a hobbyist for about 60 years and have never pretended to be anything else. It has always amazed me how so many magicians fawn over "names" that show that show nothing but total disdain for other magicians, particularly amateurs.

Mr Big Name - will you please come spit on me and I will give you money. I don't understand.

At this stage of my life, I find it very easy to return the contempt. If Ricky Jay were performing in my living room for two dollars, I still wouldn't go.

That's just my perspective.
Hell is empty, all the devils are here.Shakespeare

Tom Gilbert
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Tom Gilbert » July 20th, 2014, 5:31 pm

Bob, need two things... One the dates, and two, is there a early registration price?
I'm in.

I.M. Magician
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby I.M. Magician » July 20th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Well said Steve Mills! I don't get it either.
Last edited by I.M. Magician on July 21st, 2014, 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 20th, 2014, 7:53 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:I'm organizing a Congress of Blunders at the Motel 6 in Albany.

To borrow from and paraphrase one of my heroes (Groucho Marx), I refuse to register for an event where Bob Farmer would accept me as an attendee.

Ted M
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Ted M » July 20th, 2014, 7:57 pm

For your consideration, a poem by Stephen Crane:

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

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MManchester
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby MManchester » July 20th, 2014, 9:23 pm

I'm organizing a Congress of Blunders


And will the beautiful keepsake of the event will be a Motel 6 towel or washcloth?
Michael Manchester
Literacy magic for library and school performances - http://www.librarylegerdemain.com

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 20th, 2014, 11:41 pm

The keepsake will be a very tiny bar of neatly wrapped soap.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 21st, 2014, 10:55 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The keepsake will be a very tiny bar of neatly wrapped soap.


Is that a setup for finding a card or perhaps a soap auction? Some of the bars have genuine hand signed never before published insights :D
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

qkeli
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby qkeli » July 21st, 2014, 11:13 am

Could someone confirm the price to attend this convention please? I thought itwas 2700 $ at first but it seems the price went down a few days before the beginningof the event no ?
Can someone post a review of Weber's lectures please ?
chacun de nous est magique, combien le realisent et combien partent trop vite...

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 21st, 2014, 12:23 pm

I believe the cost was, for the least expensive room at the hotel, $2000 per person for double occupancy. This included hotel and food.

They did sell convention only registrations in the final months for $1000, but without food or hotel (and you had to stay elsewhere).
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Ricky Jay's Congress of Wonders

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2014, 1:10 pm

The price list is still online. Cheapest room option was $1799, most expensive was $3199.

And for folks who are hung up about getting a Ricky Jay autograph, they aren't that difficult to come by.


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