Jay Sankey (b. 1963 )
Jay Sankey's Real Name
Magician, Comedian, Author, Inventor
Place of Birth
Jay Sankey possesses the ability of innovative creation in the art of close up magic. Apart from being one of most original thinkers and magic teachers alive today, he is also highly skilled in sleight-of-hand, specializing in the field of close up magic.
Jay gets his inspiration for creating magic from everything. Exercising at the gym, walking in the snow, driving the car, gigging in parties, pretty much everywhere he is and everything he does seems capable of planting a seed in his magic-obsessed mind.
Jay Sankey was born in 1963, in Montreal, Canada and moved to Toronto with his family shortly after.
He was given a magic set for his 11th birthday and soon after began experimenting in the art at the age of 14. During his "formative" years, Jay was educated in the performing side of the art through children’s shows, restaurant magic, and walkaround corporate events
In 1980, he launched "Sankey Magic" and at the ripe age of 17, he invented his very first marketed trick, entitled "Smash."
At the age of 19, Sankey submitted an introductory letter and videotape to prolific author and publisher on magic, Richard Kaufman.
His video featured some of his original ideas which included his now reputable coin sleight, “HPC-CPH," which resulted in a double one-man issue of Richard's Almanac in 1983.
His innovative effects grabbed the attention of many experts in magic, which resulted in him being invited to perform at prestigious gatherings, such as Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic, Close Encounters, and The New York Magic Symposium.
In addition, he began writing a series of columns on magic theory for The Magic Manuscript.
In 1986, he released "Sankey Panky," the first of two large collections of Sankey’s magic written by Richard Kaufman; the second, "100% Sankey," came out in 1990.
Material for a third book had also been collected by Kaufman, but was eventually transferred to Gabe Fajuri, written up by Jon Racherbaumer, illustrated by Earle Oakes, and published by Squash Publishing in 2004 as "Sankey Unleashed."
In 1990, Sankey began experimenting with stand-up comedy, a parallel career that quickly took root, forcing him to divert much of his creative energy from magic.
The investment resulted in numerous headlined comedy clubs including two appearances at the famed "Just for Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal.
He also performed several live one-man shows, including “Contents Under Pressure" in 1996, and “Borrowed Breath," in 1998. “Contents Under Pressure” was later produced for the Bravo! TV channel which starred Sankey.
In addition, Sankey wrote a benchmark book called "Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy," described on the back cover as, “an insider’s look that explains stand-up from the ground up.”
The book, published by Routledge in New York, quickly sold out of its first printing, and two years later was joined by a sequel - Zen and the Art of the Monologue in 2000.
At the start of the new millennium, Sankey turned his attention back to magic and released a handful of tricks through Hampton Ridge (e.g., Measle Deck), then Elmwood Magic (e.g., The Big Finish, One Car Garage, Chain Reaction) before forming a company, Sankey Magic, dedicated to manufacturing and distributing his own creations.
He also co-developed with magician David Peck, and began co-hosting with actress Bridget Hall, a television series called Spellz, devoted to teaching children about the art of magic.
Jay has worked as a consultant for many of today's popular magicians, including David Copperfield, Criss Angel and Keith Barry. David Blaine has also performed Sankey's magic effects.
For less than a year, he developed tricks for Criss Angel's "Mindfreak" TV show, and more recently produced funny video parody's of himself in the character of "Craigg Angelo," mocking Criss Angel.
Jay Sankey lives in Toronto with his wife Lisa, and his two children Mason and Madelaine. He is currently a columnist for M.U.M. magazine.
Information, courtesy of Magicpedia
For more information, visit
Jay Sankey's official website.
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