It’s always upsetting when someone in our magic community dies. It is particularly painful when that person is still young, and with a bright future ahead. Andi reported that Jack passed away this weekend, having lost his battle with bone and kidney cancer. Jack saw his Cookbook project come to fruition, and has left a legacy that Andi is currently preparing, in the form of a new book 52 Memories. I posted a review a couple of years ago on his Set to Stun e-book, I said “…but most of all you get the feeling that Jack really knows how to construct his effects, selecting the right moves and sleights to give you the cleanest and fairest possibly setups, with the most powerful climax possible.” I think that was an understatement, seeing Jack’s work progress through his numerous e-books, magazine contributions and online effects and videos was a real privilege. I just posted this on TSD, where Jack was prolific and generous to a fault with his sharing of ideas, tricks and videos:
I was fortunate to meet Jack on a couple of occasions through Andi & Rob’s Session Convention, chatted to him on IM and e-mailed him a bit, but I didn’t know him that well, but I like others on TSD have been affected by Jack, his immense humour has made tears of joy roll down my face, his thoughts and words made me think about my magic, and his video and trick contributions made my jaw drop on every occasion, for me his ability was in the construction of the routine, with very few sleights he got the maximum magic possible, usually taking the trick down the path less explored in the process.
I remember chatting to him at the first Session, when he was scheduled to do a flash-talk, he was worried, hoping that people would like and take to his material, I assured him that they would and he wouldn’t have any problems, he taught his Three Stooges routine and Kentucky Fried Aces, and got lots of positive feedback. I don’t think Jack needed to worry, with the sheer strength of his material and Andi’s publishing skills, Jack’s book will stand-up to be an instant bestseller, and a true modern classic of magic, that will live on for generations to reference, credit and enjoy, but most of all for us to use that material to astonish audiences all over the world, and to bring a bit of Jack’s magic to everyone.
Rest in peace Jack, you will be missed, thoughts and prayers to Tracy and family.