Archive for David Mamet
Art Stars, Indie Theatre, PLUGS with tags Austin Pendleton, David Mamet, Not My President, Penny Arcade, Tammy Faye Starlite, The Anarchist, theatre, WOW Cafe on February 16, 2017 by travsd
Broadway, Contemporary Variety, Magicians/ Mind Readers/ Quick Change, Movies, Movies (Contemporary), Vaudeville etc. with tags 52 Assistants, Cup and Balls, David Mamet, Learned Pigs, Ricky Jay on November 30, 2012 by travsd
Today is the birthday of Ricky Jay (b. 1948). I don’t know if he’s the coolest man alive (it’s tempting to call him that but he’s got competition) but I think I can say without qualification that he has the perfect life. In fact, he’s done so many amazing things that his Wikipedia entry downplays (scarcely mentions) the accomplishment I (and I’m certain many of my friends and colleagues) revere him most for, his 1986 book Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women. Note the timing of that book. Before it, a handful of ex-hippie “new vaudeville” performers. After it, an explosion of sideshow, circus, vaudeville and related variety forms. I’m just sayin’
Jay is not only a world class magician, mind reader and card thrower (and a scholar/ author/ lecturer thereof) he is also a movie and television star (Deadwood, Boogie Nights, Tomorrow Never Dies, etc) and a pal of David Mamet, who directed three of his one-man shows and has put him in several of his movies.
This clip gives a nice insight into two facets of this latter-day Renaissance man, as he gives a history lesson even as he performs virtuoso feats of misdirection:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.