I lie magic community always has been a very elite group of thinkers and i ivators; as a result there has always been a lot of elitism and jealousy. Our It Iras our creations and fantasies are our own babies. Top all this off with the I n I I hat there are many dabblers, people with delusions of grandeur (due to .( Ill I Ic knowledge being a dangerous thing) and amateurs in this gaggle and you end up with a very, very cynical group.
§0 what would happen if a very young upstart came forward, wrote a book Willi effects that seemed like pipe dreams yet claimed they worked, effects ih,il he claimed took nothing but pure willpower and personality? Well a very large majority of the prior mentioned group would cry "fraud." What would happen if this young man then performed the effects on a DVD? Well l his elite group would probably cry "Stooges." And those with lesser i s | icrlence or lack of stage presence would cry
" I here is no way anyone that young could control people like that! It is not pi iv.ihlr; he must be using stooges or not giving us the real work."
Mow do I know t his is what would happen? Well because it already has. It Happened to I uke Jermay. While in his teens Luke introduced new concepts to I lie world of mentahsm. Here was a young man with an understanding thai many who have been in mentalism never quite grasp. Luke was not <fiii!il 10 dream anil dream big. I le did not understand the word "can't." As a fi hiili I uke would I liink up a concept and try it out, believing that he would ii liltw ilu desired lesull I his was the key; this was the concept that so
—CXVI3—THIRTY FIVB Tl?ll many in mentalism and magic do not understand. It is the fact that while onstage you must believe you can accomplish I lie desired outcome and quite often this is the means to accomplish t lie outcome you want.
Now let's step back a bit, this understanding is real difficult for most in magic or any related arts to achieve. Magic/comedy/theater tends to attract those with social inadequacies. Heck, I am a prime example of that. We tend to come from very dysfunctional backgrounds and as a result we are psychologically primed to believe we will fail when we first try something new. It is this belief of failure that causes the success of a trick to become like a drug. It releases endorphins in our body that give us a natural high.
"I can do something they can't, I have succeeded in fooling them. I finally have a position of power over other peoples feelings"
It is what also gives us a false sense of importance and the delusion of grandeur mentioned earlier but this is another topic for another time. This is about Lukejermay.
Luke did not suffer from this. Luke understood he would succeed and does believe this every time he steps onstage. He believes the spectator will feel another spectators pulse stop and this is what makes it works.
I knew this when I first read Luke's writings. I had no doubt in my mind (unlike many of my peers) that what Luke said worked. I saw something in him that I saw in myself. I had experienced this success at an early age as well and had to break it down for myself, much as Luke had to do for different reasons. Both Luke and I came by this naturally. But is something that can be taught as Luke later found out.
It was not until Luke started to lecture that the naysayers started to hush up. Did they apologize? Of course not, most of them just disappeared. The professionals who had sat back in quiet uncertainty started to speak Luke's praises. There are still those who think that what Luke accomplishes can't be so. However they are falling by the wayside as Luke explains how to collect the wits and self-confidence to pull of his miracles (and miracles they arc). Luke wrote a whole book as a result of this experience, Building Blocks is
I. IIK13 J(1 RinFIY—CXVI1
basically a tool box of how to artificially obtain the years of experience and natural instinct it takes to pull of these ideas. This book teaches you concepts that prior to these writings one either had or did not have.
Later when I met Luke I found out we both had very similar backgrounds. We both came from what you might call "broken homes," we both had a very clear sense in our heads of wrong and right. We both had a sense of loyalty to those we call friends but not a loyalty that allowed for blindness. Wrong was wrong and right was right. Honesty was honesty no if ands or buts about it. We also both understood that miscommunication was usually the root of most arguments.
There were a few major differences. I started at the age of sixteen. Luke started at the age of six. I never started in magic; Luke started engulfing all the magic he could get his hands on. So much so that at the age of twelve Luke was blowing away magicians with twenty years or more experience.
This last bit of information is interesting to me as knowledge so often stifles creativity. One tends to get lazy and lean upon what one knows rather than what one does not know and learned knowledge tends to belong to someone else. I personally stayed away from magicians for many years; it was during those years that I created some of my best material. These days I am often afraid that I will create something and forget that I read it somewhere many years ago. Luke does not have this problem. His knowledge helps him create; I uke knows what works and what does not by instinct (this is a natural talent one either has or does not by the way). Luke uses this knowledge to t hink outside the box of effects and ideas that are in print and on DVD's and create brand new concepts.
Sure many of his ideas are based upon previous ideas but usually they are just I he catalyst to taking the idea into a new direction that no one else would ever think of. The most amazing thing is Luke can give you the exact location and history of an effect, even obscure effects and if he can't he knows who tan,
I have watched in delight over the last few years how Luke interacts with many long lime experienced professionals. How after five minutes they
—CXVIII3—THIRTY FIVB "11111
gravitate to his intelligence and expeilent e )ust t his month I watched as Jim Steinmeyer (Illusions buildei in I In Mais such as C.opperfield and Doug Henning) sat in amazement at tin clarity ol thought and direction and knowledge and experience thai I like exudes. I ast year I watched in the same amazement as Johnny Thompson and ( rlss Angel experienced the eye opening experience of meeting I like I hal I knew they did not believe when I had expressed my feelings to i hem prior I like never fails to come through in this way. I know they had to have t bought I was exaggerating. I will never forget how I sat in glee as Luke looked over suggest ed routines for season one of MindFreak and spouted, "Great, rubbish, rubbish, great, rubbish, great, great, who the hell thought this up it's rubbish..." with absolute confidence. There is no obfuscation with Luke. 1 le calls it as he sees it.
Yes Luke is still coming into his own, he is finally getting comfortable with his shell so to speak, but what young man isn't? The difference is Luke has a well-developed shell to fall into, one that will someday propel him to being one of the greats of our time. He is already one ol the great creators of our time.
Luke once said he wished I could have been his Dad. Well, I feel like I am as I feel he is one of my family, Luke is like a son. I am proud of Luke every moment I am with him and every moment I am not. Most never accomplish in a lifetime what Luke has accomplished in twenty years. I may not see him everyday or every month but he can rest assured, I am always here if he needs me.
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