14 episodes

The How Magicians Think podcast is a fascinating deep dive into one of the most elusive and secretive performing arts: magic. Join Joshua Jay, one of the world's most accomplished magicians, as he reveals the artistry and obsessiveness of magicians. Jay takes listeners around the globe to speak to the biggest names in magic, always in search of creative techniques and insights that anyone can apply to their own lives and passions. Joshua Jay--a masterful storyteller--will regale listeners with esoteric moments in magic history and quirky secrets of psychology.

How Magicians Think Audio Up Media

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 65 Ratings

The How Magicians Think podcast is a fascinating deep dive into one of the most elusive and secretive performing arts: magic. Join Joshua Jay, one of the world's most accomplished magicians, as he reveals the artistry and obsessiveness of magicians. Jay takes listeners around the globe to speak to the biggest names in magic, always in search of creative techniques and insights that anyone can apply to their own lives and passions. Joshua Jay--a masterful storyteller--will regale listeners with esoteric moments in magic history and quirky secrets of psychology.

    How Magicians Think: Think Like a Magician

    How Magicians Think: Think Like a Magician

    The final episode of this podcast is filled with special guests and plot twists, all in the service of answering this simple question: how do magicians create their illusions? And beyond this question, another arises: are there tips and tricks magicians can share with us to help us in our own creative pursuits. Jay speaks with Freakanomics co-founder Steven Levitt who shares how magic expands the mind to enhance your work. Andy J. Pizza, artist, illustrator and podcast host, talks magic and editing as part of the creative process.

    • 34 min
    How Magicians Think: Tragic Magic

    How Magicians Think: Tragic Magic

    Staged suicides. Beheadings. Shootings. This episode is all about magic that goes wrong. You’ll learn about a magician who was burned alive, another who was shot onstage, and still another who was blown to bits. And as Joshua recounts these strange tales from magic’s history, we approach a deeper philosophical question: why do we as audience members like to watch people risk their lives for us?

    • 38 min
    How Magicians Think: The Greatest Magician You've Never Heard Of

    How Magicians Think: The Greatest Magician You've Never Heard Of

    Magic historians have consistently overlooked the significant contributions Black magicians have made to the craft. Perhaps no magician in history has a more fascinating backstory than Henry “Box” Brown. Born into slavery, Brown mailed himself to freedom in a box, and then became an accomplished touring magician. To help us recount Brown’s fascinating life, Jay enlists Henry’s biographer, Rory Rennick.

    • 23 min
    How Magicians Think: Magic in the Movies

    How Magicians Think: Magic in the Movies

    There have been many movies made about magic--The Prestige, The Illusionist, Hugo, Now You See Me, Scoop--and in this episode Joshua makes a compelling argument for the very best one. Magic scholar Jamy Ian Swiss disagrees, and makes a different case. Cinematographer Larry Fong (Lost, 300, Watchmen, Kong: Skull Island) takes us behind the curtain and shares the parallels between magic and filmmaking. Then Mike Elizalde, Hollywood’s preeminent special-effects designer, shares how being an amateur magician has helped him create some of cinema’s scariest monsters.

    • 28 min
    How Magicians Think: Was Houdini As Great As Everyone Says?

    How Magicians Think: Was Houdini As Great As Everyone Says?

    Houdini was a marketing genius, but how great a magician he was is a source of contention among magic’s greatest scholars. Joshua creates a grudge match between Houdini’s most fervent supporters and detractors. We’ll hear from illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, Houdini biographer Joe Posnanski, and magic historians Jamy Ian Swiss and Mike Caveney, as they give their take on the enigmatic Houdini.

    • 28 min
    How Magicians Think: The Smartest Magician Alive

    How Magicians Think: The Smartest Magician Alive

    It’s definitely Teller. The shorter, silent half of Penn & Teller never speaks onstage, but we’re delighted to present this engaging conversation with magic’s most erudite scholar and performer. Teller creates magic with purpose, and he speaks in detail about what makes for a successful partnership. Joshua dials in on the creative process with Teller, who is candid and thoughtful about how he approaches his craft. His insights will prove invaluable to anyone who wants to elevate their work.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

eapperson ,

Great podcast if you are a magician or not!

Have thoroughly enjoyed the podcast! These episodes bring to light that magic truly is an art form. Great stories as well. Love the Teller episode, magic in prison and the Holocaust episodes so much.

Roberto El Segundo ,

Informative and Thought Provoking

Recently discovered Joshua Jay’s book, and accompanying podcast “How Magicians Think.” He has great insight and communicates well. As a lifelong fan of magic, he “speaks” to me.

Bee Kimura ,

Magical!

Insightful and entertaining. I am inspired to revisit my childhood interest in learning magic ♥️ Editing to add: I just ordered the Magical Mail Box for my niece from the vanishing Ink website a really amazing interactive gift and so affordable!

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