Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Project 365 (166/365): Jeff Sheridan

.:166/365: Jeff Sheridan:.

Many magicians might know him in later years, but Jeff Sheridan is generally recognized as the man who brought street magic into public consciousness as early as the late 60’s, with his unique and engaging performing style that never fails to attract the attention of people who pass by and see the man at work.

Unlike the later understanding of street magic as guerrilla magic, Sheridan was normally tasked to entertain people on the street as a magician. He is an excellent silent performer with world-class skill in card manipulation, resulting in him being the man who taught one of the most recognized card manipulators in the world, Jeff McBride. Despite the fact that Sheridan may not immediately ring a bell to the average person, his influence is felt to this very day, because aside from having been an early mentor to Jeff McBride, it is also somewhat of a legend that David Blaine, in his youth, witnessed Sheridan at work, which has resulted in him becoming a street magician himself years later.

Sheridan is world-renowned as a lecturer and educator for future magicians. He has toured around the world to lecture possibly even more than he has toured around the world to perform as a magician. With his amazing skill and his mysterious but at times funny silent magician gimmick, he has managed to establish himself as a very esteemed member of the magic community.

I really wanted to start with Sheridan because to my recollection, he was the first modern street magician. David Blaine or (Shudder.) Criss Angel may be the most popular, but Sheridan blazed that trail, and as I’ve seen his work not only with cards but his beautiful cut and restored rope routine, I must say that I am a big fan of Jeff Sheridan’s meticulous work ethic and amazing charisma. For a performer as silent as he is to capture the imagination of people requires an unbelievable amount of skill. Teller has the unfair advantage of a loudmouth Penn providing not just misdirection but a break from the deafening silence. Sheridan has none of that.

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