Tricks by Luke Jermay
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Having spent the past 3 years headlining on the world famous Las Vegas Strip Jermay is one of the most polished and experienced performers out there! Jermay has consulted, written and directed for the likes of Channel Four's controversial Derren Brown, A&E's mega star Criss Angel and Singapore's house hold name Laurence Kong.
Jermay was profiled on the BBC 1 documentary series "The History Of Magic" in episode 4 titled "The World's Best Mind Readers"; in which as well as performing demonstrations of mentalism he was described as being "one of the most prolific creators in the industry" despite at the time being only 19 years of age!
Jermay has authored over 20 books aimed at the psychological illusion industry, teaching other performers the tricks of his trade. These concepts, teachings and routines have been adopted the world over.
Q&A with Luke Jermay
What got you into Mentalism?
I had always been drawn to mentalism, even when performing and studying traditional magic. I suppose my first flash of inspiration came from my formative years working as a magic demonstrator in International Magic, London. While I was a fan of traditional magic books like the 13 Steps to Mentalism and the stories of people like Chan Canasta and Fogel that would come up during the course of the day had always caught my attention more strongly than anything else.
However I was also aware via the teachings and stories that mentalism was not something that could be performed in a compelling way by a younger person. This lead me to decide to study it, while restrain myself from performing it. I had a slight advantage with this - I have always appeared older than I am, so when I was 16 I felt like I might be able to begin to present mentalistic material in a way that seemed believable and in a walk around job I had (A restaurant in Camden, London where I performed 2 times a week) I started to include some simple mentalism sequences. Very quickly these mentalism sequences became the main talking points with the spectators and in a very organic and almost invisible transition one day I looked back and realized that all the material I was performing was mentalism. The magic material just fell away as I continued to perform. With the change of material and getting a bit older the venues changed a progression that has continued until this day.
What advice would you give those that are just starting out in Mentalism?
Read as much as you can. There is a real trend to shy away from the classic tools and texts that are out there with the assumption (misguided) that these are somehow not worth attention as they are "old." The truth is that in reading these classic texts you will be creating a strong and well founded backbone to your continued development as a mentalist. The more you read, the more you understand, and the more you understand the better you become as a performer.
Who are your biggest influences in magic?
They change very frequently but the ones that have remained a noted influence in my work are Vernon, Ramsay, Dunninger, Alexander and Max Maven. Michel Weber has also had a massive impact on not only my material but me as a person as our friendship has grown over the past few years.
Do you remember the first time you performed in your own theater in Vegas? What was that feeling like?
It was scary but in the best way possible. Like watching a great horror movie. At the end you want to watch it again. The difference was; I got to do that 2 times a day for a long time.
It was an amazing tool to refine performance and material and certainly has been pivotal in the development of the projects I am currently in. Without this experience there is no way I could begin to undertake the massive performance concepts that are coming up.
When and where was your first "big" show?
It depends on the definition of "big" every show you perform early in your life seems like the most important. Then for a while you get a little complacent until one day - that feeling comes back. Every show I do feels like it is "the first big show" and I like that.