What’s in a Name?

You know what? I’m not even called “Jack Strange”.

I made it up just to have a magical “Alter Ego”. Partly because I didn’t think my real name was terribly magical sounding. Partly because I liked the idea of have a mysterious second identity. (Third identity if you include the other one I created for my Casino Heist). And partly because I spent a whole evening thinking it up, and it seemed a shame to waste it.

You wouldn’t believe the thought that went into it.

Jack: Is a playing card (apt).

It implies someone with a broad range of talents (“Jack of all trades” – I pride myself on doing belting card tricks, tricks with cards, and also close up magic. Occasionally I stretch to a little mind reading. Pretty broad).

It also has fairytale connotations (“and the beanstalk”), and is linked to some fairly cool famous characters (“Nicholson”, “Sparrow”, “Inabox”, “Black” and “White” to name but a few).

Also it’s known to be a shortened form of my real name, and it implies I can lift a car*

Strange: Well firstly, it’s dangerously close to my real surname.

Secondly, it seemed appropriate. Good magic should be a little strange. One of my favourite magic books “The Art of Astonishment” by Paul Harris is subtitled “Pieces of Strange to Unleash the Moment”. Mr Harris doesn’t use the term “trick”. He likes to think of magic as a finely crafted “piece of strange” to unleash uncontrollable astonishment in spectators.

So there you have it. Hopefully, when you hear the name “Jack Strange”, you think of a broadly talented cool character with a fondness for cards. Someone who can release astonishment. Someone whose surname rhymes with Strange. And someone who can lift a car*

Or may be you just think “Oh, he’s that magician guy”. That’s OK too.

* I can’t lift a car.