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Non-Review Review: Deceptive Practice – The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

A veteran magic performer since his childhood, with a career stretching back over half a century, Ricky Jay is an absolutely fascinating subject. Jay is a master magician in his own right, but he’s also a writer, historian and actor. He is this gigantically important pop culture figure, having worked with directors like David Mamet or Paul Thomas Anderson – having appeared in film and television roles unconnected to his stage career. At one point, Jay even reads a poem written about him, The Game In The Windowless Room.

Jay has this incredible diversity of skills and interests, and it’s absolutely intriguing to delve into those interests. Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay suffers a bit from never really pinning down the man himself, but it does demonstrate his long and abiding affection for the artform of magic, as well as some insightful glimpses at the long history and pedigree of this most mysterious performance art.

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