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Jamy Ian Swiss

16 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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195. Jamy Ian Swiss — The Conjuror’s Conundrum

The Michael Shermer Show

The most fundamental lesson that all magicians learn is that seeing is not believing. In episode 195, Michael speaks with internationally acclaimed sleight-of-hand artist and 35-year activist for scientific skepticism, Jamy Ian Swiss, about his lively, personal book, The Conjuror’s Conundrum, that takes readers on a magical mystery tour of the longstanding connection between magic and skepticism. Shermer and Swiss discuss: Swiss’s first encounter with fraud, the paranormal and supernatural, magic and mentalism, hot/cold/universal readings, pychics, talking to the dead, James van Praagh, belief, the afterlife, “the amazing” Kreskin, the Alpha Project, and more…

2hr 12mins

27 Jul 2021

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Jamy Ian Swiss Part 2: Episode #139

Banachek's Brain

In this episode, we chat with Jamy Ian Swiss about his passions for various art forms and the impact they had on his life.  We talk about magic, skepticism, and his new book “The Conjuror’s Conundrum” available at https://jamyianswiss.com.


23 May 2021

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Jamy Ian Swiss Part 1: Episode #138

Banachek's Brain

In this episode, we chat with Jamy Ian Swiss about his passions for various art forms and the impact they had on his life.  We talk about magic, skepticism, and his new book “The Conjuror’s Conundrum” available at https://jamyianswiss.com.


16 May 2021

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Jamy Ian Swiss Interview S3 E5

Conversations With Close

This month my guest on Conversations with Close is an old friend, Jamy Ian Swiss. Jamy is an author, a public speaker, a close-up and stand-up performer, and an activist in the skeptic community. We talked about a wide variety of subjects; Jamy offered some great stories he has never shared in interviews before. We also discussed his new book, The Conjurer’s Conundrum.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/michaelclose/support

1hr 8mins

7 May 2021

Most Popular

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Jamy Ian Swiss - The Honest Liar

Of Sleights and Men

Jamy has performed worldwide — from Caesar's Palace on the Las Vegas Strip to Hollywood's Magic Castle to the Ginza District of downtown Tokyo. He’s made numerous television appearances including CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova, CNN, and repeat appearances on The Today Show and The Late, Late Show.  The author of five books and contributor to countless others, he also writes and produces for television, including for Penn & Teller, and the Neil Gaiman series, American Gods.  Check out his site here: https://jamyianswiss.com/

2hr 16mins

21 Apr 2021

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Finding Your Voice with Jamy Ian Swiss

Discourse in Magic

Jonah is joined by Jamy Ian Swiss this week to discuss persona, creativity and the importance of learning the classics. Alongside being a dedicated, lifelong student of magic, Jamy is a prolific writer, sleight of hand artist, and magic historian.  Growing up as a shy, introverted child, Jamy was often introduced to new hobbies by his parents in an attempt to bring him out of his shell. His first introduction to magic came at the age of seven when his father purchased a colour vision box from Tannen’s and performed it for Jamy at dinner. From that moment, Jamy’s passion for magic began and he quickly became a lifelong student dedicated to mastering the art.  At first, Jamy’s father would go to Tannen’s to purchase magic every time Jamy mastered a trick. When he was 11, Jamy started attending the store himself to watch and learn from the magicians who attended the store. Louis Tannen, Presto, Al Koran, all became important mentors in Jamy’s initial years of learning magic, and they continue to influence him.  Magic, however, was just a passion. A hobby. He didn’t want to be a kid’s performer like his friends because he dislikes performing for kids. Additionally, while he had grown up recognizing the importance of the arts, he had been instilled with the bias that no sane person would consider pursuing an artistic career. Magic simply remained a hobby for him while he pursued a more traditional career. Jamy would proceed to lock himself in a room for a year to practice before emerging a year later, booking two corporate gigs, and never looking back.  Mentors  Jamy recognizes that he had the privilege of being surrounded by great mentors throughout his career in magic. Now, as his mentors slowly leave him, Jamy recognizes more than ever the impact his mentors had on his life. In turn, he has tried to pay it forward to help the newer generation.  When looking for a mentor, it’s not enough to just find someone with more experience than you.  Not only should they be more intelligent and skilled than you, they need to jive with your magic interests without being afraid to give you honest critiques; you shouldn’t be taking advice from somebody who is going to impose their thoughts on you. However, you shouldn’t try to learn in a vacuum which is why it’s important to surround yourself with people who scare the living hell out of you.  Confronting Discomfort  Magic, at its core, is a disconcerting experience. A cognitive dissonance for the spectator is created as their understanding of the world is challenged which can result in an uncomfortable situation for the audience and the magician. However, rather than avoid this feeling, Jamy believes magicians should embrace it.  Jamy isn’t interested in upholding the status quo; he’s interested in experiences and art that provoke thought and feeling. He doesn’t seek to please or be pleased with his art because, at the end of the day, if you’re trying to please everyone, no one will ever be passionate about what you’re doing. If you are setting out to create “childlike wonder” in adults, you’re taking the wrong approach to magic. Children believe anything is possible which is why it isn’t fun doing magic for younger people. If your audience can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality, what impact does magic have? Referencing Max Maven, Jamy explains that this is why magic has been rendered trivial as the performer is making fun of magic rather than embracing the provocative nature of the art.  Learning the Classics  Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s good, Jamy explains.  The classics are classics for a reason. If you want to gain a fundamental understanding of magic, he recommends learning the classics like Vernon’s cups and balls. It is only after you have a thorough understanding of the classic routines that you should consider branching out to your own unique takes on magic. When you do decide to branch out, Jamy believes that you should research every iteration of an effect you can find to understand the work that has gone into the effects before you. With Dennis Behr’s Conjuring Archive, researching effects is easier than ever.  Jamy notes that there is an issue with the onslaught of products that are released everyday. Primarily, products that have been developed by magic newcomers who believe that they’ve either created a new miracle or are releasing an older effect under the impression that they are the first to discover it. Often, these effects aren’t very good or somebody has developed it before, demonstrating that the person didn’t conduct their research before releasing the product. Jamy explains that good magic is hard to find, let alone create, and that the overwhelming amount of material on the market is difficult for newcomers to comprehend.  The Importance of a Message Don Allen. Eugene Burger. Penn & Teller.  All of their effects were informed by their personalities and the messages they wanted to convey to their audience. The effects these performers chose are not new, revolutionary tricks. What makes their presentations memorable is the original presentations they brought to their routines.  At the end of the day, it is how you present a trick that makes it magical. You cannot simply rely on a method to fool the audience, and you cannot recite somebody else’s script as it won’t be genuine. You need to put the work into finding what you want to say and creating a routine around this message if you ever want to do impactful performances. Wrap-Up  What do you like about magic in 2019? What do you dislike?  Jamy likes what the Spanish are doing for magic. They are focused on creating an experience of mystery, and they have a deep appreciation for what they’re communicating; they’re not trivializing the experience. Jamy dislikes the overwhelming onslaught of magic that is released on a daily basis. Anybody coming into magic has to sift through material in an attempt to find something good. Endless Chain  Eric Mead  Take Home Point  Don’t get distracted by material on YouTube or the fancy new product on the market. Becoming a great magician requires hard work, study, and finding a mentor who is willing to critique you.  Plugs Take Two  Lyons Den Preserving Mystery Shattering Illusions  Devious Standards  Cups & Balls Masterclass  Card on Ceiling Penguin Lecture  Jamy’s Website The post Finding Your Voice with Jamy Ian Swiss appeared first on Discourse in Magic.

2hr 12mins

25 Jul 2019

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Jamy Ian Swiss

The Insider

Seems fitting that after the passing of Johnny Thompson over the weekend I put out this episode of The Insider with Jamy Ian Swiss. Jamy literally wrote the book on Thompson and talks about him briefly in this week's show.  We also cover why magic sucks, the importance of your feet, American Gods and the Chicago Magic scene. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/vi65/message


11 Mar 2019

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DAS-Sept 2nd, 2017 Jamy Ian Swiss

The Dave Attwood Show

Dave and Steve start the show with their thoughts on the Mcgregor Mayweather fight and then Dave talked about his 30th high school re-union where he appears and then disappears. Our Guest this week is the mulit faceted Jamy Ian Smith to talk about his beginnings in magic and his special cocktail.The Jamy Ian Smith AviationCrème de violette, 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino, 1 1/2 oz Gin, 1/2 oz Lemon juice and 1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquer. Garnish with a cherry.

1hr 32mins

2 Sep 2017

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(Ep 63) Jamy Ian Swiss

Magical Thinking

Episode 63: Jamy Ian Swiss, renowned magical author, thinker, historian, and teacher, sits down with Elliott to discuss the current magic climate, share stories about coming up in New York, sitting with some of the greats, and launching magic shows. Jamy is oozing with knowledge and experience, and you’ll definitely look forward to seeking out some of his work after the episode. Enjoy!

3hr 7mins

11 Aug 2017

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40 - Jamy Ian Swiss

Tangentially Speaking with Christopher Ryan

Scientist, skeptic, intellectual, magician extraordinaire ... Jamy Ian Swiss is a fascinating man. For a guy who specializes in creating illusions, Jamy has a strikingly deep love and respect for authenticity.

1hr 28mins

31 Oct 2013