(Gaffguy) Josh, how would you categorize the style of magic you create?
(Josh) I would categorize my magic as close-up/street magic, with a focus on bill magic and things that can be done without the need of a table.
(Gaffguy) Not too many magicians can create original effects. What is your thought process when you are in creation mode?
(Josh) That’s a good question! It really depends, honestly. Sometimes I’ll see something and it will inspire a trick, other times I’ll really enjoy a certain plot, and want to come up with my own variation, or see if I can apply it to another aspect of magic. A perfect example of that is I love Calen Morelli’s killer effect Quantum Space effect, which is a Sharpie through Card. The moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to adapt it to a dollar bill as it felt more impromptu to me. I ended up using a different method than Calen, but I would have never thought of doing it if I hadn’t been inspired by his effect. At the end of the day, I create magic that I would want to perform at gigs/on TV.
(Gaffguy) How many effects do you have on the market today?
(Josh) Not counting things in magazines or a few self-released projects, at the time of this interview I have four major releases, with a lot more on the way!
(Gaffguy) Is magic a full-time career for you now?
(Josh) Nope! I’m actually finishing up grad school to be a Character Animator for film! However, I love performing and creating magic, so I will always be doing that as well.
(Gaffguy) Have you had the chance to work with industry leaders that you were stoked to work with?
(Josh) Yes! I’ve had the pleasure to work with several companies, both through magic, and through editing/animation. I’ve also recently been lucky to start working with some magicians I’ve admired for years, which is a really surreal feeling.
(Gaffguy) How do you go about field testing your effects?
(Josh) I use to have a monthly gig at my old University, so I would test drive a lot of tricks that way. However, I really got my start doing street magic videos on YouTube, so most of the time I will either try them out on friends when we hang out, or just go out and perform for strangers. Also, whenever I get a gig, I always try and make sure I have one new thing to test out.
(Gaffguy) I read somewhere that you use sign language in some of your shows. That is amazing! Why sign language?
(Josh) When I was in Middle School, a friend of mine was taking ASL (American Sign Language) at the local High School in the mornings. Then when we would have class, she would show me some basic signs. When I got to High School the next year, I immediately signed up! I just found the language fascinating and learned early on that I was good at it. Several years ago I was hired to do some shows in New York for Special Needs individuals. While I was performing I noticed a woman sitting on her own. When I went up to her, I realized she was Deaf and so started to sign for her. It was tough signing and doing magic at the same time, but her reactions were amazing since for the first time she was able to enjoy something like this. That’s why I do it.
(Gaffguy) You write a column in Vanish Magazine, which is great. Can you tell our readers a bit about that?
(Josh) So it’s actually a funny story how that happened. I’ve been lucky enough to have my work appear in pretty much every major magic magazine. One day, Paul Romhany, who is the editor of Vanish, messaged me asking if I had any more magic I would like to submit to his magazine. I previously had two effects in there, so I was more than happy to contribute a third! At the same time, two of my really good friends, Jeff Prace and Chris Beason, had been working on magic columns of their own in Genii and Linking Ring. I figured since Paul reached out to me, he must like my work, so I asked him for a column and he said yes! My column is called “Show on the Go” and features material that typically doesn’t need a table.
(Gaffguy) Are you a gamer? If so what system do you play on and what game do you play the most?
(Josh) Ironically enough, even though I’m an Animator, I’m not really a gamer! I did play Star Wars Battlefront back in the day on PS2, and I did pick up the newest version for PC (I had to build a custom PC for work) but I don’t play religiously.
You can read more about Josh over on his website at www.justjoshinmagic.com