The Insider | Luke Jermay

By Damian Jennings - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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In this episode of the show, we chat with Luke Jermay about the upcoming intense mentalism day The Event. Find out who is coming, what they’ll be doing and why Luke thinks you should join him this year.

Transcript of the podcast

The Insider: So on the line today, I'm lucky enough to have Mr. Luke Jermay. Luke, how are you this afternoon?

Jermay: I'm very good, thanks for having a chat about The Event, I'm excited to tell you all about it.

The Insider: Well what is The Event?

Jermay: So The Event is ... and I'll go into infomercial mode. The Event is a ... You know, it's interesting. So I think of it as being a three day mentalism convention that's compressed into one day. So technically The Event is a one day mentalism convention but the amount that we manage to schedule into one day, in my mind it's like a three day convention. So The Event is a one day mentalism convention that takes place in London. It happens on the Friday that immediately precedes the fantastic Session convention. So The Event is myself, Andi Gladwin and Joshua Jay. We organize it to run concurrently with The Session convention that immediately follows it but The Event focuses entirely on mentalism or psychic entertainment, or mind reading, whatever phrase you want to use to describe that genre of magic.

The Insider: What makes it different from other magic conferences?

Jermay: Well I mean for me, one of the really interesting things about The Event is I'm continually staggered by the lineup that we manage to pull in year on year. The thing that makes it different I think is that I manage to, through various collection of techniques, really prize out excellent material from really excellent mentalists. It's not set up to be one long dealer den. The lectures are actually about something. People are sharing real material that they perform in the real world and then also we work quite hard behind the scenes in creating a number of different formats that will take place during the day itself, so it's not just a case of a repetitive series of lectures. So we also have events that you ... multiple performers that maybe have an unusual theme or an unusual format. Shows and performances as well as what you would think of as being more traditional lectures.

Jermay: So for me, what separates The Event from many other conventions out there, first it's dedicated to mentalism, which is really rare. If you're into mentalism, you're kind of used to going to magic conventions and if you're lucky, maybe one or two events might cater specifically to that interest that you have. So the first thing is of course that it does focus entirely on mentalism and then I think the second thing is just the quality of the lineup and the fact that we work so hard on taking each performer and giving them a format within the convention that allows them to share their best material. Some performers are much better at teaching something in a short period of time, some people are much better at teaching and performing over a long period of time and ordinarily if you go to a convention, it's a kind of one size fits all event for each one of the speakers, or the performers, but we try and work out what is the very best way that we can show this great thing from this great performer?

Jermay: A lot more effort goes into that side of it than people might initially think. This year actually, in 2019, so the next one, we have this fantastic new format that will feature Max Maven, Michael Weber and Josh Jay and it's called Inspirations. The idea is that each one of them, Max, Michael and Josh, will pick a short video performance from a mentalist from the past, which we'll watch and then each of them will discuss what makes that particular performance so interesting and so powerful for them. I've never seen that format at any convention before and it's really interesting to see really great magicians, not talking about their material, not talking about what makes them great, but instead talking about these people that inspired them in their own performances and seeing someone like Max Maven get really enthusiastic and wide-eyed as he watches this great performance from the past.

Jermay: I've had that personal experience with Max a number of times where we've looked at things and I've seen him do that and I just think it's going to be a fascinating way of teaching these kind of performance tips, or even methods in some cases, there's just a different way of doing than just having somebody up there lecturing. I'm quite excited for that format.

Jermay: Then we have other things like a special show in the evening, which is dedicated to mentalism with playing cards, so we call that Mentalists At The Card Table, and that's going to be super fun. That always has a surprise lineup, we never announce who the lineup is for that because very often people arrive at the last minute and say, "Hey I want to do something." And suddenly you're like, "Oh okay, great. We can put you in this show." So sometimes we don't even know who's going to be on that show, which gives it a really great energy. The truth is that particular event comes from when I was a child, I used to attend The International Magic Conventions when they were-

The Insider: Indeed.

Jermay: Yeah, fantastic convention and many, many years ago, they used to do a show called the Gong Show, which was downstairs in the hotel and it was kind of ... I don't know if it's true or not but my memory of it is certainly that it was very smoky and loud and riotous and we tried to put some of that energy into this Card Table show to make it a bit more loud and live, kind of vibes. There's this fun thing that happens at the end of the night that's kind of like a blowing off of steam.

Jermay: Then of course in between, the whole day is packed with lectures and I know we sound kind of sales pitchy but when I say it's a three day convention compressed into one, when you look at the lineup, it really is. It's amazing that we manage to get so much in in one day to be honest. It does require a lot of focus for the participants because you just get so much. So much information coming at you.

The Insider: Sure but talking of that stellar lineup, who can we look forward to seeing at the latest event?

Jermay: Well, I'll be there, which I'll get that out of the way. So I'm going to do a lecture, which is now the ... I think, I worked this out the other day, this will be something like the ninth or tenth year that I've done something at The Session-

The Insider: Wow.

Jermay: ... and now the combined number of hours and lectures and performances and interviews at The Session is something like 18 hours.

The Insider: Is this going to be new stuff?

Jermay: Yeah, this'll all be new stuff. I've created a rod for my own back here which is every year I do a completely different lecture for The Event. The irony is I've never done my normal lecture. If you see me just lecture around the world somewhere, I've got my normal lecture that I like to do. I've never done that at this convention, so that's a shame. But no, it's a brand new lecture from me, so I don't know why Andi and Josh keep insisting that I do it. I would have thought 18 hours was enough-

The Insider: No, no, no.

Jermay: ... but I'm doing it. Then the more exciting and more interesting people, I'm super happy with our headlining act, that's Ross Johnson, who a lot of people in the UK probably ... Well, for many mentalists in the UK, this might be the first time that they'll actually see Ross because he has had such a stellar career out there in the trenches as they say, performing for real people, that very rarely did he cross over into the world of magic conventions in any way.

Jermay: Ross is just this utterly believable mind reader. When you see him perform, you just really feel like you're watching somebody that can really read people's minds. He has a very refined taste in material that I personally very much like. He's kind of old school in a sense that he goes for lots of personal information, really hard-hitting, but his methods are very streamlined and modern. There's nothing that feels dated about it but he just has this kind of what I would think of as being classically powerful mind reading, is his kind of approach. Very efficient in his material and the amazing thing you get with Ross is that you watch a lecture and you're literally learning a show that a man perfected over an entire career.

Jermay: You see him perform and then he's just opening up all of that to you and telling you exactly how this show that he did for years and years and years and years, how it works and there's really something great about that. It's real material that's been tested in the real world from a really phenomenal mind reader so I was very happy when Ross agreed to do it because it's not easy to get a guy like Ross to come and do a magic convention.

The Insider: Sure, so he's not just performing, he's going to be explaining the stuff as well.

Jermay: Yeah, precisely. He'll do a performance and the lecture.

The Insider: Fantastic.

Jermay: They're kind of connected. So Ross Johnson, I'm very, very happy to have Ross. We also have my two great friends, and I believe two of the most important mind readers in magic, Michael Weber and Max Maven.

The Insider: Never heard of them.

Jermay: Yeah, they're kind of unknown on the scene, there.

The Insider: It's nice that you're bringing out this new talent, helping them surface.

Jermay: Yeah, they're new guys, they're new guys. You wouldn't see them around but specialize in walk around magic, no. They obviously are titans in our industry.

The Insider: Gods.

Jermay: Yeah I believe so. For me, they both have incredible importance in mentalism. You can't overstate I think, Max's impact on the development of mentalism. Nowadays it's easy to kind of lose sight because information changes hands so quickly and we talk about it all the time and there's so much access to information but really Max was kind of ... in my mind is the modern father of mind reading in the way that modern mentalists approach their performances and their methods. Without Max Maven, the concept of dual reality wouldn't exist. Without Max Maven, the notion of psychological method as opposed to just brute force mechanism, that wouldn't exist.

Jermay: You look back over Max's prolific published materials, Phil Goldstein, and you see just how much impact Max has had on a technical front.

The Insider: On everyone.

Jermay: Yeah, on a technical front, Max has had such a huge impact and then for me, you look at Max's performances, when we talk about Max Maven as opposed to Phil Goldstein, you look at his performances, I just think it's vital that that man exists. It sounds strange to say that but Max has been, I think one of the bravest performers in mentalism, to adopt the persona that he had, to stick with it for the number of years that he has and now you just see this lovely evolution as he becomes an older man and his performances reflect that kind of evolution, he's a lot softer now than he ever was before, a lot warmer and so for me, Max is this complete package, that he has all of these amazing contributions in the technical toolbox of mind reading and then a really razor-sharp dedication to being an artist. Not just a mind reader, but an artist.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: And Michael Weber, I believe is probably the smartest magician and mind reader that will ever live. There is no one performer that has fooled me more than Michael Weber in my life and no one performer that has fooled me with such power. Fools me so badly time and time again. It's just kind of a genius level guy. So to have Max and Michael and they've kind of become part of The Event now, this is the ... have done it every year since we began and it's really great to see them continually building on what they did the year before as well. So if you have attended before, each time it feels like, "Oh we're getting even more now, it's building."

Jermay: So Max and Michael are just fantastic and to have them supporting the convention and being there every year the way that they are is great. Often I think with both Max and Michael, some of the most exciting things that happen for people at the convention happen at 2:00 in the morning when you're sat cross-legged on the floor and Michael's doing killer magic to you or-

The Insider: Yeah that's what I was just going to say it's those little convention rumors of, "Did you see Weber do this crazy thing with this thing and this thing?" And it almost becomes this folklore or myth, doesn't it?

Jermay: Yeah well of course Michael starts all those rumors. No that's not true, he really does do these crazy things but yeah, I think to be in a scenario where you can just hang out with Max and Michael, it's very rare to see either of them perform and to see them give lectures and give performances on the stage, that's fantastic and I'm literally at the front row myself with a notebook and a pen but then later on as I walk around the convention and I see Michael surrounded by teenagers and ... from teenagers to pensioners all sat on the floor doing card material and Max performing some routine at a coffee table or something, it's just really humbling almost when I look at that, like, "God, look at what we did. We managed to make this happen." It's really great. That level of connection with performers of that ... I think that importance is another thing that makes this convention so great, is that-

The Insider: I think that's unusual, yes, that you can actually chat with them and hang out.

Jermay: Yeah, I think so. I think it's a real testament to kind of ... All of this began with The Session. I've been a great supporter of The Session convention since the beginning and I've done lots of different things over the years for Andi and Josh at The Session and then for sort of, I don't know, six or seven years, they kept trying to convince me to do a mentalism thing with them and I kept thinking, "Oh I don't think there's the interest to do a day of mentalism." Then eventually we took the plunge and I kind of benefit in the fact that Andi and Josh were out there doing The Session for so many years before we began doing this that they learned all of the lessons.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: I got the shortcut because I just do what they tell me.

The Insider: In terms of logistics and-

Jermay: Yeah, in making it more than just a day full of people doing tricks and when you come to talk about it, it's really hard to explain it but there's this kind of magical recipe that they've learned over the years that does, I think create that feeling that allows people to be sat on the floor at 2:00 in the morning doing card tricks. It does feel very much like you're connected and it's friendly and everybody wants to talk to everybody and Andi and Josh have really worked quite hard to build that up into the convention, it's not by accident. It's always part of what they wanted from The Session. Then when I joined to do The Event, I just sort of said, "Yep, we'll have some of that as well please."

Jermay: So that's really great and then as well as Max and Michael and myself, Ross Johnson, Andy Nyman, everybody's favorite short, punchy mind reader is-

The Insider: Is that his official bio?

Jermay: I don't know, it should be. I just remember years ago a set of lecture notes from Andy was called Short, Punchy and Mental and I just thought, "Yeah, that should be the introduction for ever, shouldn't it?"

The Insider: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jermay: Short, punchy and mental. So Andy Nyman needs very little introduction, especially if you're based in the UK, his influence is large. It's been a while since I've seen Andy do anything at a magic convention, which I think is really interesting to see where he is now because obviously we all know that Andy is a very successful actor in Hollywood movies. I think technically he's a lovie.

The Insider: Could be.

Jermay: I think that's what they call Andy Nyman.

The Insider: Short, punchy, lovie.

Jermay: Yeah a short, punchy, lovie, that's a great way.

The Insider: Happens to do a couple of tricks.

Jermay: Yeah, yeah, yeah but you know, I think the fascinating thing about watching Nyman work is the crossover from his real job, e.g. being a Hollywood actor, and his hobby which is mentalism, and seeing what he brings in because Andy can take a trick that is very, very small or has a very basic kind of concept and punch it up to real levels of drama and often just through the conviction with which he performs. So he's always very engaging to watch work and I think that kind of crossover is really fascinating, to get that insight from somebody. It's not a magician teaching you how to act, it's an actor who has had a really celebrated career, talking about those lessons from that world and how he combines that with mentalism and I think that's really a great thing you'll get from Andy Nyman.

The Insider: I think that would be something that would apply to magicians as well as mentalists, I think everybody needs to act better.

Jermay: I think so yeah. Yeah, I would think so. You know one of the interesting things is that while we talk about this convention as being laser-focused on mentalism, there's a vast number of people that come that are ... If you were to say to them, "Are you a magician or a mentalist?" They would say, "Absolutely a magician." But very often now, the boundaries are blurring so much that if a magician's doing a cabaret set or a stand up set they might want to put a little bit of mind reading in. So it's interesting that when you look across the room, you go from super hardcore mind reader guys that only want to do questions and answers acts and then it goes ... runs the gambit really that you also have a bunch of guys that are just looking for fun, entertaining material that they could put in a cabaret set.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: So we do try and hit all of those points as well in terms of the scheduling.

The Insider: Actually having the mentalism with cards, fun section towards the end of the day at The Event kind of opens it up a little bit for magicians because I'm sure there's many hardcore mentalists that say, "Oh you can't ever do mind reading with cards." I think you may be able to prove them wrong.

Jermay: I mean, I'd hope so. I don't know if all of that kind of separation between magician and mentalist is that useful really. If you ask me, I'm a magician and the genre of magic that I do is mind reading.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: I think all of that kind of, "Oh well I'm a mentalist." I don't know where that comes from really. It doesn't make any sense to me. So those hardcore guys that maybe have that elitist attitude, I don't know, I don't know how that helps them in any way. The truth of the matter is that I think the majority of mentalists, we all sit around and practice card tricks, is the truth, right? Everybody started magic because they loved this thing and then you found yourself drawn over into mentalism but, you know, my job is being a mind reader, my hobby is practicing second deals.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: So this is just a way for us to exercise that other side of the thing that we love, right?

The Insider: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jermay: So that's kind of my take on the whole card show, is that at the end of the day, we all really love a great card trick and why not embrace that instead of pretending that there is this elitism about, "Oh, can't do that." In a performance I certainly wouldn't do a whole show of card material but it doesn't matter because this isn't a performance, this is us in our industry getting together to celebrate great things about mind reading, so why not indulge yourself with a whole bunch of great card magic at the end, you know?

The Insider: Absolutely.

Jermay: Or mentalism with cards at the end. We also have Jared Kopf, who is phenomenal and it's an interesting segue there, that a lot of people will know Jared from his super refined, slight of hand ability but in the last sort of handful of years, maybe five or so years, Jared's really moved over in his own performances to being ... mixing mentalism and magic and when I say mixing mentalism and magic, I mean very powerful demonstrations of mind reading and then very powerful pieces of magic, you know like ... He's found a really interesting way of doing that, like a performance character that really suits what he wants to achieve and he's become very interested in mentalism and tarot cards and stuff like that. So with Jared, I think it will be a big surprise for a lot of people in the audience, just because he's an underground name.

Jermay: I think he'll be a big surprise and very probably a highlight for many people you may not have heard of him before but when you see him, I think you're going to be really impressed with just how unique he's found a way of mixing all these things, of magic and mentalism and a really unique performance character. He's actually doing a lecture where he'll teach material and then a completely separate show as well, so you'll actually see a real performance from Jared as well, which I think is great. That's one of the things that I've always wanted in The Event from the beginning, was that we would have real shows from real performers doing what they really do. Not just the thing that they worked out for the magic convention but then real world material being performed.

The Insider: Or the thing they want to sell at the back of the room after the lecture.

Jermay: Yeah, yeah exactly. I want to see what performers are really doing in the world, I don't want to just see the latest thing that fits in the plastic bag.

The Insider: And nice thing about that as well is that I'm sure a lot of people are very good at working out everything but equally there's going to be a lot of people that are just going to have their pants fooled off them in the show as well.

Jermay: I think when we watch Jared, I'll be one of those people. I think there's a lot of really, really intelligent, interesting and I suppose avant-garde thought in what he's doing now and I think it'd be a really impressive thing for him, for everybody in the room. Then we have Looch, a great, British mentalist who's giving a, I think, very useful lecture. Looch is going to talk about how you do mind reading at walk around events. He makes his living from doing this and he has for many years, predominantly working at weddings and things like that and I'll be honest with you, as a performer that only performs in theaters, when I think about, "Well how would you do that at a wedding?" I have no idea. I really have no idea how you would do it.

Jermay: Then I saw Looch's lecture and I was like, "Oh this is so great." Because a lot of people in the room, a lot of people that come to The Event are just beginning to move into doing mentalism in some professional capacity, whether that be onstage or in walk around environments, or whatever. Looch has created this lecture that really is a kind of 101. Right from the ground up, what do you do, what do you do when you arrive, what kind of material do you need? How do you talk to people? A real toolbox for people that want to go out there and do that kind of thing.

The Insider: That sounds incredible, because it's hard enough at a wedding or a walk around gig going up and interrupting the group anyway, "Excuse me, did you drop this black pocket knife?" But to interrupt them, and then have to go into mind reading stuff.

Jermay: Yeah, yeah. Now he's got really interesting thoughts on the approach and how long to spend with each group and what kind of material to pick if you're in a place where it's so loud no one can hear you and all of the things that I imagine you have to solve if you specialize in that kind of performance because unfortunately you probably turn up to a gig, having never thought about this before and suddenly the music's so loud that you can't be heard and you just have to change it in the moment because you have to. So Looch has been specializing in this stuff for so long that he's kind of solved those problems already and he really does share what I think is a really practical, genuinely useful lecture where you could take those lessons and the tricks that he teaches and really, after a very short amount of time just getting things clear in your own mind, you could go out there and start doing walk around mentalism.

Jermay: So I'm excited for that lecture because I just think it's the sort of stuff no one talks about at magic conventions because normally at a convention, we're so focused on novel or clever, the practical somehow doesn't get a look in anymore. For me, having a really practical person that's really found the right ways to do these things in a vast performance market, at least in the UK, weddings are just huge. For my friends around the world, when they say to me like, "Oh where do most magicians perform?" And I say, "Well you know, most magicians in England perform at weddings." They sort of look at me with this blank expression, like, "How can a magician perform at a wedding?" Well, if you see Looch's lecture, you'll find out. He really does explain that in great detail so I think that's a great addition to the day.

Jermay: Then we have a whole bunch of other people as well. So, Chris Rawlins, Marco Fida, myself and some others that we're not announcing just yet that will be involved in various surprise events throughout the day. There's also a new thing this year that we're going to do where ... We call it Meet The Speakers, where after the final lecture of the day and before the closing show, the fun show, we're going to set up a whole bunch of tables for the performers to sit at and you can just go and join them and have a chat.

Jermay: If you want to ask some questions about ... Let's say you saw something in someone's lecture earlier that day and then two hours later, an idea struck you. Instead of having to run around the convention for the next three days hoping that you can bump into that person, my hope is that by scheduling this sort of thing in now, you can just go straight up to that person and get clarification on that idea, or ask an opinion or ... because so often you watch a lecture and then three hours later an idea arrives, so why not create this situation where at the very end of the day, before the final show, now you can go and ask those questions that might have occurred to you after the lecture, or you can go and ask to see a certain thing again and so on.

The Insider: It also gives you permission to talk to them because some people may be kind of ... although we have said that The Session and The Event, you can session with people and they're hanging around the bar and what have you, some people might be a bit intimidated to go up to Weber or Max and ask a question-

Jermay: For sure, for sure.

The Insider: ... but there it's like, "Here's permission. I'm here, come and talk to me."

Jermay: Yeah, no and I really hope that that is the case. Last year at The Event, somebody got in touch with me via Twitter and they said, "Oh I'm loving the convention but I'm just too scared to say hello." So I said to him via Twitter, "Don't be crazy, just come up and say hello." And then he went and said hello and he was very nice and we had a nice conversation and that experience actually took me back slightly because it is such a friendly convention and everybody is so happy to talk to each other that I kind of didn't imagine that maybe there might be someone that maybe was a little bit intimidated to come up and say hello to various people.

Jermay: So if you are that sort of person, if you're listening to this and you're thinking, "Oh God, that sounds like me." Really just come up and say hello to whoever you want and if it really does come to it, then there is this section at the end of the day where, as you say, you have an excuse, you have permission, you haven't got to feel uncomfortable in any way because that's what the performers are scheduled to be doing at that time. You're not going to ruin anyone's evening by coming up and having a conversation at that time. So hopefully, yeah, if you are someone that maybe doesn't feel as comfortable with just going and having a chat, then this can give you the opportunity to do that without pushing you too far out of your comfort zone.

The Insider: Sure. So who should come, Luke?

Jermay: Well I think everyone should come. I think everybody in the world should come. Well no actually, that's not true because if everybody came, there'd be no one to perform tricks to. So what I would ideally like is that we get 60% of the world's population attending the convention and then we somehow separate the other 40% of the world's population and just pre-seat them in theaters around the world for us to walk out and do shows at. That's my dream.

The Insider: Perfect.

Jermay: Yeah, so if everybody in the world could turn up. No, so I think this is ... If you're a mentalist, this just is kind of ... I'm so hesitant to say it because obviously I'm biased, obviously I'm biased, I have a lot of emotional investment in what we plan and what we do but I do genuinely think it's the best mentalism convention in the world, I really do and I believe, and of course I don't know how true this is and how biased it is, but I believe that I would also say exactly that if I was just attending. It's impossible for me to know the difference, clearly, because I'm so invested in it but I do genuinely think it's the best mentalism convention in the world.

Jermay: So if you're into mentalism, if you're a hardcore mentalist, I think there's no excuse for you not to come because you just gain so much. The other great thing, and this is an accidental brilliance about the convention in my mind is that it takes place in January, right after New Year, and it sort of always gives me this little burst of inspiration right at the beginning of the year. Get all of these new ideas and this new energy that can take you into the next year, you know?

The Insider: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jermay: I really like that. I like the fact that it happens in January because it gives you this feeling of possibilities and potential in amongst all of this stuff that you've just learned for the year ahead.

The Insider: Sure.

Jermay: So if you're a hardcore mind reader guy, I just think you have to be there. The people in the audience kind of attest to that as well. You look around and sometimes I look at the people sat in the audience at The Event and I think, "My God, we could have done another 10 hours of lectures from the people that are just here." There's very often big name performers, Lu Chen comes to The Event, Michael and Max are sitting in the audience, Jan Becker from Germany has been in the past and a number of really important performers are just sat out in the audience because the quality is high enough for them to, you know, abandon whatever else they're doing in that weekend in January and fly across the world to come to the convention.

The Insider: Yeah, yeah.

Jermay: So I think that it's great for hardcore mind readers but also I think we try and schedule the performers and the lecturers so that if you're a magician and you're somewhere between the two, if you wouldn't call yourself ... like, "Oh I'm not a hardcore mind reader, I'm not a psychic entertainer." If you're just a magician but you want some kind of cool mind reading tricks to put into a cabaret set, there's a lot of that throughout the day as well.

The Insider: Yeah it could be the stand up, the guy doing comedy clubs, that wants to put in a ... I don't know, he's currently got a confabulation or something in there and he's like, "Oh what else could I ... this is playing really strong, this is going better than my comedy linking rings, what else can I look at?" You know?

Jermay: No, absolutely. I think of the convention as being a mix of mental magic and then the sort of hardcore mind reading stuff. So I suppose this is a terrible answer, but who should come? Anybody that's interested in magic and mind reading. As I say, it's an awful answer, I wish it would be more specific than that, but I do think if you have a genuine passion for magic or mind reading, or both, then you will absolutely gain a lot from the lecturers. It's easy for me to say that because I just sit there with everybody else and get to watch these great lectures every year. So in many ways, this convention is kind of my dream convention. I get to arrange the booking and get to choose who's going to be at the convention, so I get to each year just pick people that I think are intensely interesting and really, really good at what they do.

Jermay: So I can be ... obviously I am biased, but I suppose I can also be proud of the performers that we manage to book because I just think that they do a great job every year.

The Insider: What are you excited about personally for this year?

Jermay: I think for me, Ross Johnson is going to be a revelation for many people. I'm super excited to see Ross performing and lecturing. I'm very excited to spend time with Max and Michael. I think they consistently over-deliver at conventions. I'm not so excited about the fact that I've got to do another brand new lecture, this'll be the 18th hour of material, so I don't know where I'm going to find that from, but the lecture is chosen. If I come out looking a bit bored, it's because 18 hours, surely that's enough? Surely that's enough? No, I'm excited to do a lecture myself and the thing that I really enjoy the most every year is always what happens off stage. So I love the lectures and I really enjoy sitting there and I think the lectures are fantastic and the show's really entertaining and fun but it's always the unexpected things.

Jermay: Every year I get shown some amazing new thing from somebody I've never met before that then becomes a friend or whatever else. So when you ask what are you most excited for, I suppose my poetic answer would be, I'm most excited for what I can't yet predict. I'm most excited for the stuff that just happens, that you never expected to happen, that turns out to be so brilliant. At this point, I can be pretty sure that that happens every year because just previous experience, we had such great people in the room that after the convention's over for the night, then you know, a whole new convention begins.

The Insider: Sure, sure.

Jermay: So yeah, so for me I think it's a really great convention. Then of course, the great news is that someone like me, I'm obviously a professional mentalist, it's what I do for a living but at the same time, I get to then watch The Session. I love magic so I come for The Event and then I'm there for The Session as well on the Saturday and Sunday and I get to see [Matt Keen 00:32:41] and others that are going to be at The Session. It's this really great continued weekend. So many of the ... well, almost all of the performers from The Event will be there for the whole weekend which also means that you get to spend more time with those performers as well over the weekend if you stay for The Session as well as The Event. I really enjoy The Session every year as well. I get all of my hard work out of the way on the Friday and I get to relax and watch The Session.

The Insider: And have fun. Well I shall be joining and having fun. I look forward to seeing you in January, Luke. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to talk to us all about it.

Jermay: No problem, I look forward to seeing you there.

The Insider: Take care. Thanks very much for your time.

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