Welcome – Ross Prior

The Journal of Performance Magic would like to welcome Professor Ross W. Prior to our editorial board:

Professor Ross W. Prior, Ph.D. is author of the book Teaching Actors: Knowledge transfer in actor training. He is Founding Principal Editor of the international Journal of Applied Arts & Health (Intellect) and is currently Professor of Learning and Teaching in the Arts in Higher Education at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He is a professional magician by training and a Past President of The Magic Circle in Australia. He has worked within the performing arts for much of his life as a practitioner, teacher and researcher.

We look for to working with Ross on forthcoming issues!

Hypnotic ~ Luke Jermay

“Locked inside your mind are amazing abilities waiting to be liberated. You are more powerful than you can imagine. I invite you on a remarkable hypnotic journey to discover your strange power.” – Luke Jermay

The MRG presents Hypnotic ~ Luke Jermay – Saturday 16th April @ 7.30 pm.

Milton Theatre – The University of Huddersfield

Admission FREE – but please reserve a seat by emailing miltonboxoffice@hud.ac.uk. FB Event Link: Hypnotic

Psychic Entertainer and Master Hypnotist Luke Jermay returns to the stage after his acclaimed 2015 U.K Tour ‘Sixth Sense’ with a brand new stage show; ‘Jermay – Hypnotic.’

Jermay; the man they call the ‘Miracle Maker’ invites you to spend a perception shattering evening expanding your own intuitive potential through the transformational mystery of hypnosis and waking suggestion. Jermay will be your personal tour guide on an adventure into the deepest regions of your mind unlocking astonishing talents and intuitive abilities along the way.

‘Jermay – Hypnotic’ is a tour de force of jaw dropping hypnosis and mind mysteries certain to amaze, flabbergast and confound. Unlike other hypnotism shows, willing participants will leave entranced, empowered and amazed; not clucking like a chicken.

Magic and the Body – Call for Papers

Issue Four – Call for Papers!


Illustration from Herrmann’s Book of Magic 1903

The Journal of Performance Magic: Magic and the Body issue – guest editor Madelon Hoedt

“A conjuror is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician; an artist whose fingers have more need to move with deftness than with speed. I may even add that where sleight-of-hand is involved, the quieter the movement of the performer, the more readily will the spectators be deceived.” – Robert Houdin – Secrets of Conjuring and Magic

The words from Robert Houdin, included above, contain what is one of the most famous quotations in the field. Yet aside from the common interpretation in which the magician is said to play a role, a character, in an attempt to convince his audience, the context draws our attention to the art and physicality of magic performance. Indeed, the presence of the body is central to any kind of (live) performance. In Theatre and the Body (2009), Collette Conroy puts forward that “[i]n theatre, bodies have to both exist and not exist. They need to be used and manipulated and foregrounded to make any kind of theatre at all.” (74)

Despite the emphasis on (the development of) a stage persona, it is the physical presence of the magician which has received little attention. From the moment of the appearance onstage, the performer presents a magical body to the audience, a body in possession of nearly superhuman capabilities, the perception of which is influenced by the way in which said body is offered to the spectator.

The next issue of The Journal of Performance Magic seeks papers which explore the connection between the performance of the magician and his/her physical presence and presentation.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Magician as an acting body and character
  • “Super”/Magical body – Victimized body
  • The intelligent body in mentalism
  • Performance styles: physical, silent performance
  • Sideshow – Freak show performance
  • Mediated body: performance onscreen
  • Body inside and outside of performance

All contributions will be peer-reviewed subject to their acceptance. Full details can be found at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/journal/jpm/

Please e-mail your contributions and/or queries to the editor Madelon Hoedt (by 30th April 2016) jpmeditors@hud.ac.uk

Technology and Magic – Call for Papers

Call for Papers

 The Journal of Performance Magic: Technology and Magic Issue 

“Kurzweil holds that all technologies increase in performance exponentially – as computers have in the past 50 years. If so, then we will soon see technology and magic become more or less indistinguishable, and the future become so strange it is impossible to write about from this side of the event horizon.” Mark Stevenson – An Optimist’s Tour of the Future:

Performance Magic has a long and complex relationship with technology – using, resisting, denying, interpreting, challenging, enchanting, and demystifying technological advances. Magicians have often been inventors and innovators, most notably of film and media technologies, and have used emerging technologies both as a tool and as a source of stories and frameworks for performance. The relationship is often fraught, technology has exposed magic, and magic has debunked pseudo-science.

The next issue of The Journal of Performance Magic seeks papers that tackle the dance between technology and performance magic.

Topics include but are not limited to:

– Playing with technology in a theatrical space
– Playing with the theatrical in a technological space
– Sufficiently advanced magic
– Sufficient advanced technology
– Magic and futurology
– Luddite magic
– The technomagical

All contributions will be peer-reviewed subject to their acceptance. Full details can be found at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/journal/jpm/

Please e-mail your contributions and/or queries to the editors Nik Taylor & Stuart Nolan (by 31st March 2015) jpmeditors@hud.ac.uk

* Postponed* The Magic Menagerie – Todd Landman

Postponed  – The Magic Menagerie – Todd Landman

…truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion…’
-Tennessee Williams

Harking back to his youth growing up in Hemlock Hollow, Pennsylvania, Dr Todd Landman explores the notion of re-enchantment through the medium of magic and mind reading. His early days were spent as a young magician exploring the virtues of the Hollow while practising and honing his skills as a conjurer.

Re-enchanting the self…
His intellectual journey led him astray from these important roots, but through life in a small English village he finds them again and shares with you an extraordinary and inexplicable set of demonstrations that simply defy rational explanation.

Part conjuring, part autobiography, and all magic in its widest sense.

‘We all start knowing magic. We are born with the whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.’
-Robert R. McCammon

What is magic?
The setting is a 1930s front room, adorned with polished furniture filled with boxes, goblets, and objects from a bygone era. Questions are asked and themes are explored. From glass beads plucked from thin air to memories extracted from the deepest corners of your mind, from stories of 1900 London to Dante’s Inferno, from amazing close-up conjuring to the importance of community during World War II, The Magic Menagerie is a mélange of delightful deception that delves into life’s bittersweet moments.

What can you rediscover about yourself?
This is a different kind of magic, one borne of deep reflection and a commitment to understanding whether we can rediscover the ‘whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us.’


The Journal of Performance Magic – Issue Two

We are very pleased to announce the release of the latest issue of The Journal of Performance Magic!

Table of Contents;

Taylor, Nik and Nolan, Stuart Letter from the Editors. p. 1.
Kelly, Lynne Feminine Magic. pp. 2-7.
Bruns, Laura C. and Zompetti, Joseph P. The Rhetorical Goddess: A Feminist Perspective on Women in Magic. pp. 8-39.
Williams, Grace Alexandra Vanishing in Plain Sight. pp. 40-53.
Williams, Grace Alexandra Escamotage, 2014. pp. 54-58.
Taylor, Nik and Nolan, Stuart Call for papers. p. 5

Magic Lab (#2)

This fortnight’s Magic Lab was all about the freaky and spooky.  A slight detour from the main project, but that’s OK as it’s Halloween!  We looked at the fine art of needle swallowing, hammering six-inch nails in our heads and sticking large pointy things into (and out of) our skin).  We moved on to the more gentle art of the ideomotor response, and looked more generally at framing magic(k) in a more darker tradition.

All of this was a pre-cursor to my Research Seminar on Performing Séance. And a big ‘thank you’ to all that attended.  It was great to be able to finally ‘air’ the material.

And a extra big ‘thank you’ to Ashton Carter who stepped up to the mark and provided an impromptu demo of some of the material.*

Next week we’ll move back to the main project, and as a contrast, this means getting the playing cards out!

*Ashton Carter will be presenting our next Research Seminar on Immersive Horror Events: Immersion and Bizarre Magic on a Large Scale.  You don’t want to miss that!

Magic Lab (#1)

As part of my work at the University of Huddersfield I run a small project called ‘Magic Lab’.  Each year a group of students join me in exploring the principles and framing of performance magic.  It’s very informal and the structure (certainly early on) is deliberately loose to allow ideas and skills to develop freely.

We welcomed some new members this academic year and once the pledge was signed we began by looking at a simple coin trick and how through framing, narrative and psychology it can be transformed into magic.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this project develops this year!

As a pre-cursor to my talk on Performing Seance, our next workshop will be on the Spooky and the Macabre – entirely apt for Halloween.