Broken Wand : Ernest Earick
We at TDD are sad to announce the passing of Ernest Earick
Ernest Ray Earick Born March, 19 1960 Left April 27, 2013
Personally I (Xavior Spade) don’t know much about Ernest Earick beyond his influence, not just on me but on a whole generation of magicians who were lucky enough to find his work. When I first read his book By Forces Unseen I was inspired to do things that I never thought were possible. I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this. If you look around and you see the people who do his magic you can experience something that goes beyond just moves, you experience practice and dedication and devotion to perfect things that others would say are impossible. It has been a long time wish to meet Mr. Earick because of how much I enjoyed learning his moves and thoughts and just wanted to shake his hand and sit back and talk with him. Unfortunately I, and others will never again get that chance and he now joins the countless other true masters of magic in the realm of history and mystery leaving behind his work to inspire for years to come.
Except for those living in the vicinity of Ernest Earick during the beginning of the 1990s, his name was largely unknown to most cardmen. I had marginal knowledge of him (mostly due to information provided by Stephen Minch) and knew that a book was in the works. (Ernest did meet some heavyweights at the Magic Castle in 1986: Dai Vernon, Ray Kosby, Bill Goodwin, Larry Jennings, and Michael Skinner. These guys would spread the word.) At the time, I also realized that Ernest was probably reticent to showcase or show off. He was genuinely modest about his accomplished mastery. This was partly due to his standards of perfect, a goal he realized was impossible to reach but nevertheless “reaching” toward it was worth the effort. It also provided a sense of proportion and kept one humble.
When Ernest was diligently practicing in his insular “personal laboratory” the advent of “card artistry and hardcore flourishing” was just beginning. His approach to technique was to conceal it. It was meant to service the visual splendor of the ultimate effect. To create this kind of direct purity and visual potency, the underlying techniques were difficult—not only from the standpoint of sheer dexterity, but from the precise timing required. This is why his landmark book (BY FORCES UNSEEN) is aptly titled. Any cardman professing to love sleight-of-hand should carefully and slowly read Ernest’s “Apologia” in his book. Sentences such as the following should resonate with relevant majesty: “From the inception of this project [his book] the goal has been to place my beloved sleights, whenever possible, within some sort of practical and practicable framework.” There are others.
I met Ernest when he and I were invited to participate at Bob Weill’s Inn Event. My flight there required a change of planes in Chicago. While sitting at the departure gate I saw a man playing with a deck of cards. It was Ernest. I walked over and introduced myself. During our preliminary conversation, Ernest confessed that he was nervous about lecturing for the first time in front of magicians. This is understandable because, unless we have learned otherwise, first-time lecturers assume that other magicians know everything and can do everything—an assumption that is way off the mark. I assured him that he would find the audience to be congenial and supportive. For the next hour he dazzled me with material from his book. What I saw also fortified my belief regarding the dramatic disparity between the written explanation of a trick or sleight and how it looks in the accomplished hands of its creator! The same disparity should also be a strong incentive to put in the time and practice. These are the kinds of things that test the extent of our professed love of card magic.
Earnest was a committed swain of the pasteboards.
He was an artist.
No longer having him in the here-and-now is (as everyone so far has noted) is lamentable. As in so many other cases, I turn to the legacies left behind…with gratitude, sadness, and resolve to honor that legacy through my continued appreciation and desire to reach toward the same perfection Earnest always sought.
If anyone has any information please share it so we can make this a great omage to one of magics great thinkers.
Mr. Earick you will truly be missed………
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