Luke Jermay  Lecture - Northern Magic Circle Convention
April 2011
Spa Complex, Scarborough
Reviewed by Roger Woods


Luke Jermay may be a name known to you as an award winning mentalist. He was described in the Convention programme as a psychological magician. His appearance covered in tattoos is initially startling. However, he quickly began by establishing his credentials having worked with Penn & Teller, Derren Brown and then having his own show at O’Shea’s Hotel in Las Vegas. He is clearly very knowledgeable about magic and related subjects. He now has 54 publications to his name.

His lecture was interesting and challenging veering off at times into making serious points about the state of magic. The first effect demonstrated was “Dyslexia” where based upon a story of a blind girl who can read through her fingertips. Luke was able to read the colours of cards in a shuffled deck by touch alone. Luke took us through all the subtleties which were needed to present this effect properly.

Luke made the point that the more you know about magic the more you are able to construct themes for tricks whether whimsical, supernatural or whatever. Also thorough preparation allows you to be spontaneous in magic. He was asked what if the spectator shuffling the cards drops them? – Answer – do a different trick!

He then demonstrated how he presented a memory effect used in his close up presentation earlier when he appeared to be memorising a deck. He began a lengthy explanation with a journal of magical ideas that he had kept since a teenager only to pull the rug from our feet by telling us that this journal had been deliberately constructed as a generic presentation tool which can be introduced to give a credible explanation!

Luke made the point that magic is thought of as stupid and that the general public do not like it when compared to other art forms. Directors will tell you this. We owe a duty to elevate magic rather than view it as a collection of tricks. Magicians are cocooned. The audience heartily agreed with these sentiments.

Again the details and subtleties of the presentation were analysed in depth. For example, acting like you hate yourself for getting the name of a card wrong can create greater impact. Another technique was to appear to make a mistake in counting cards. Deck switches were also discussed. Luke also stressed the need for crediting and not stealing other people’s material.

In the last five minutes of the lecture Luke presented “The Outcome” a prop less mind reading routine with three volunteers. This is a very strong display of apparent mind reading.

All the details of Luke’s effects are provided in his Expanded Lecture Notes 2011 which were available on disc in PDF format. This is well produced and provides a lot of material. This was a great lecture, thought provoking and pushing the boundaries of magic that bit further.


© Roger Woods, May 2011.