Magifest 2022 Performer Spotlight | Jason Ladanye
By Vanishing Inc. - Thursday, December 2, 2021
Fresh off his incredible Vanishing Inc. Masterclass, Jason Ladayne will be joining us at Magifest 2022 with an all new show and lecture. He’ll also be joining us to honor our Guest of Honor, his lifelong mentor, Darwin Ortiz.
Until then, put down your copy of Confident Deceptions or Game Changer and join us as we learn more about Jason Ladanye from the man himself…
What Is your favorite convention memory?
There are too many to list, so here are a few. Being able to meet guys like David Blaine, Guy Hollingworth, and Juan Tamariz is always quite memorable. I also enjoy meeting magicians I’ve never met before that proceed to fool me badly with some amazing effects. And finally, meeting and performing for Shawn Farquhar for the first time. Shawn has fooled me so many times... it was nice to return the favor.
What legacy do you hope to leave on the magic world?
To show that card magic can be logical, entertaining and strong and practical. After I’m long gone, I hope to still have magicians performing my material and that it’ll stand the test of time.
What excites you most about the future of magic?
This isn’t the answer you want to hear, but hardly anything. Magic has become creators that create senseless visual magic gimmicks designed to perform only to a camera. The effects aren’t logical, practical, and they have no meaning or presentation. How does this inspire the next generation of sleight of hand artists? It doesn’t. And magic exposure on YouTube is completely out of control. What am I excited for? I’m excited for the few magicians in the next generation that can carry on the tradition of studying from the greats. How they’ll do that, I have no idea.
What’s one mistake in your career you encourage others not to repeat?
Back in 2004-2005 I read posts on the Magic Cafe / Genii forums. Why would any professional magician listen to the advice of hobbyists? In my first years of performing, I wondered if I could make it as a “cards only” performer. I wondered if gambling material was anything that lay people enjoyed. I learned quickly that pretty much every bit of “advice” on those forums was complete BS.
What do you consider to be “real magic”?
Spectators often remember what happens in an effect incorrectly. They exaggerate and change the conditions of the effect over time. So, when I hear someone explain a trick back to me that I know I can’t do, I consider that to be “real magic.”
I had performed a very standard version of card to ceiling back in high school. Years later I heard someone telling the story as they remembered it and it was quite distorted. Here’s what the effect became:
“Jay Ladanye tells this girl to think of a card. He then throws the deck at a ceiling fan, the deck explodes and cards go flying everywhere…. And there’s ONE card sticking to one of the fan blades spinning around…. And, it’s her thought-of card!!!”
Of course, I just went along with it saying that hitting the blade while it was spinning was the hardest part.
What’s your favorite fun fact?
That cheese is best served at room temperature.
If you had Josh and Andi over for dinner, what would you cook?
Cheese, so I can share my fun facts.
What are some other fun things or interesting facts about you?
I toured as a professional musician for 11 years, opening up for artists like BB King, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Al Green, and Jeff Beck. I played piano, and also play guitar, bass and harmonica.
When I was 17 years old, I played on stage with Bruce Willis at a NYC club called Chicago Blues.
I was a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2003.
I almost died in 2007 and that caused me to reevaluate everything in my life, which gave me the focus to get where I’m at today.
The only 9-to-5 job I ever had in my entire life was a bank teller for only a month or so. I was 18 years old. I quit after realizing that some guy got to tell me what to do all day and I was supposed to do it. Never again.
My first big influence in magic was Houdini. There was a time in my life that all I wanted to be was a professional escape artist.
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